Conquering Rim Light & Back Light

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So like I mentioned before, I started my Beyond Basics class a few weeks ago and we have been focusing a lot more on light.  For this last project we had control over our light source, which for me was a desk lamp mounted on top of a baby gate.  We had to make-shift a “studio” in our homes and pick a subject to shoot, (preferable a bowl of food–but do you think I did fruit, no I made it hard for myself and did a watering can).  Anyway, we went over our photos last night in class and I find the critiquing extremely helpful.  The “what-nots” and the “don’ts” stay with you longer and help you fix your mistakes and, don’t get me wrong, I love hearing the good things too!  I think I find it more surprising to her our teacher say nice things about my photos because I’m always hard on myself and never believe I’m doing the assignment correctly.  I do take something away from each class, which just clarifies the assignment even more!  I feel like I’m rambling, so I’m going to show you a few pictures and tell you a couple things I could have done differently…

-My angle is pretty good, but to remember when shooting rim light to be even  with the subject.

-My light source is too close to my subject, so I would need to raise the light or move it around.  (to avoid the “hot spots” of light on top of the can) and there’s too much light on my background, causing the black backdrop to look, well, not black!

-My reflector is in a good position, and you can see the rim light on the neck of the can and handle.  (Jodi told us not to be afraid to cut holes into our reflectors…)

-Not sure if I like the composition, but it will have to do.

This weeks assignment a little bit more exciting, since we get to shoot sunsets and cityscapes!  We are to practice more on metering and learn how to bracket when taking pictures of the sun or sky.  Metering, I have found, is a bit tricky, since you shouldn’t rely solely on your what your camera is telling you…it should be a guide and only a guide!  It takes me a while to meter, since I have to meter the brightest area and the darkest area and make sure there is a 2-stop difference (F-stop) for there to be good contrast.  I find myself always missing steps because there is so much to think about…I should have a better routine when I shoot…maybe I need to write down my steps before hand…I’m very much a list follower…maybe I’ll do that right now!

Preparing for a shoot:

1.  What kind of effect do I want; action shot (check shutter speed), depth of field (check aperture)

2.   Check my ISO (what lighting situation am I in; outdoor, bright light, indoor?)  And where is my light coming from!!  (Shoot I use a reflector?)

3.  Switch to program and meter for the highlights & shadows (write down settings…I’m bad at this)

4.  What is the goal of my composition?  What angle would be the best shot?  Am I telling a story?

5.  Are there any distractions, anything in the way of my shot?

6.  Am I in focus–usually the answer is yes (since auto-focus is on), but I have trouble when my aperture is wide open!!

7.  Lastly, how do I fix everything that I did wrong.   (When I get more advanced, I’m sure the list will get longer…but the goal is to become efficient and faster so I don’t have to worry so much about fidgeting with my settings, and just capture the shot!)

Happy December! 


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One thought on “Conquering Rim Light & Back Light

  1. Pingback: Portrait Lighting «

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