29 Jun 2011

Exercise: Concentrating Light

This exercise suggested we fashion a cone of light to highlight a subject by using a tube of card or something similar.  Luckily I have a snoot that I use with my studio lights that is a purpose built version of the same thing.With the snoot in place it forms a pool of light that looks like this:

Here the intense light of the flash has correctly exposed the table but the amount of light has been restricted to a narrow beam by the snoot placed over the light.  The area around the bright-up appears to be in dark shadow when, in reality, it is quite visible to the naked eye.  Being set at around 1/100, f18, ISO50, the camera only sees the area of intense light produced by the flash.  In order to narrow the beam of flash further, I placed a honeycomb filter over the end of the snoot.  This attachment looks like a handful of hexagonal straws which only let light through the hollow centres and further ensure that unwanted light doesn't spill out from the snoot.  The honeycomb can give a slight grid effect to the light as can be seen here:

When photographed in this highly directional light the subject appears in high contrast and in a pool of light surrounded by shadow.  It has a rather dramatic effect with the vase being outlined by light and dark with just enough detail showing to give substance.

The same set-up from the side shows more detail of the vase.  A little bright up at the bottom right corner comes from a slight reflection and could easily be removed post production.

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