Still Life Studio Lighting

Studio lighting is hard.

Therefore, this was a very challenging week at school! Let’s just say that three girls cried out of frustration and most of us weren’t that far behind them.

The week’s deliverables were five shots: 1) Texture  2)Metal/shiny objects  3 & 4) Glass, white-line and black-line shots  5) A complexity combining two of the above

The school has limited equipment and studio space, so we work in groups of four during studio weeks like this, which means that each person only has about five hours to do their five shots (an hour per shot) over the course of the module. Let the time crunch and tension begin!

This is my final “Texture” shot. I mostly learned that hard light brings out texture best and that you should use the edge of the light to create interesting shadow instead of just blasting light at something, but a softer fill light is often needed, too, for overall illumination. This was the hardest of the shots to accomplish.

I love that bee paper!

On the second day we moved on to metal/shiny objects. I really liked using Tyler’s leather jacket as a background for this one; I think the contrasting textures are nice. The challenge here is not letting anything, or at least not letting much, reflect in the shiny surfaces.

My poor Middlebury Cook Commons piggy is getting stewed! But not really; I’m a vegetarian.

Glass was the easiest of the lighting exercises. There is a pretty simple way to back-light glass and let the edges be defined by either black or white. My lovely pitcher held up nicely, though the top of the handle was a bit tricky to get lit up.

The final assignment, a complexity of two or more of the above, took a lot of creativity. How to light glass and texture together without compromising either?

You can tell me how you think I did:

You have total control of the lights in the studio, but also total responsibility. It’s a lot of work to set up the equipment, compose a shot, position lights (and reposition them a hundred times) to get a final result you’re happy with.

After this challenging week I am very excited to fly home to California tomorrow for my Thanksgiving break!



Filed under Photo Assignment, School, Still Life

3 responses to “Still Life Studio Lighting

  1. Sally Ferguson

    This is so interesting! I love that I get to learn and you do all of the work. tee hee

    Great pictures!

  2. Love the Midd pig! Pretty shots.

  3. Mom

    I guess I’m learning just how much work goes into one shot. I feel like I’m learning just a little bit right along with you! You’ve done a great job, Julie!

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