EYV 4 Exercise 4.4

The brief

Use a combination of quality, contrast, direction and colour to light an object in order to reveal its form. Aim for four or five unique shots – either change the viewpoint, the subject or the lighting for each shot. Add the sequence to your learning log. Draw a simple lighting diagram for each of your shots showing the position of the camera, the subject and the direction of the key light and fill. In your notes try to describe any similarities between the qualities of controlled lighting and the daylight and ambient artificial light shots from Exercises 4.2 and 4.3.


For the studio lighting in this exercise I used a softbox with 150W CFL bulb as keylight and a softbox with 80W CFL bulb or bounce from a silver or gold reflector as fill. Controlling the light in a studio environment is a very different experience to shooting with daylight or ambient artificial lighting – a whole set of extra equipment to manage and an apparently infinite number of permutations to arrange it all in. I find it less enjoyable than shooting with ambient light, partly because I don’t yet understand all the physics of it and am a long way from feeling that I know what I’m doing; and partly because there is so much preparatory work to be done to set up the shots. I know that the solution to both these issues is to keep on practicing until I get to grips with it properly and it becomes second nature.

I would say the most successful shot of the four is the fourth one, with the gold reflector fill, because both the shadow on the avocado’s underside and the one thrown by its profile indicate the object’s three-dimensionality; and because the light cast by the gold reflector helps to give warmth and depth to both these shadows and to the highlights in the surface texture.

References and resources

Präkel, D. (2013) Basics Photography 02: Lighting (2nd ed.). London, UK: AVA Publishing.