ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Lighting 102 | Review – Assignment 1.2 Again

Posted on: 3 July 2007

sunflower-assignment.jpgOk, I’m starting to understand this. I did assignment 1.2 twice again. The first time there was some noticeable difference, but still it seemed lacking. I decided it was because the distance between the object and the background wasn’t sufficient enough. I was originally using a distance of about 2 feet. I increased this distance and set my sunflower 6 feet from the background and began taking photos from 9 feet away. The EXIF data from top to bottom are as follows:

(1) ISO=100, Flash is 9 ft. from sunflower, 25 seconds at f/9.0.

(2) ISO=100, Flash is 6 ft. from sunflower, 30 seconds at f/14.

(3) ISO=100, Flash is 3 ft from sunflower, 30 seconds at f/29 (in this one I think I was not careful about directing the flash head onto the flower.)

(4) ISO=100, Flash is 1′ from sunflower, 30 seconds at f/32.

Observations: (a) The background does indeed get darker as the flash gets closer to the subject. (b) The highlighting of the object is greatly enhanced due to the focusing of the flash. (c) The closer the flash the smaller the aperture. (d) The closer the flash the longer the shutter stays open.

Questions: (a) Why does the shutter stay open for so long and (b) is this just happening for me?



According to the feedback I’m getting so far, I understand that the 30″ blinking in the camera is warning me that the photo is going to be underexposed. This is likely happening because I’m setting up the photo in dark, ambient light and waiting for the flash to light up the scene. I shoot in Aperture Priority (AV) mode or Manual (M), depending on nothing more than my mood.

If I understand correctly, I have several options:

  1. I can set a larger aperture (while in AV mode)
  2. I can set a higher ISO (while in AV mode)
  3. I can shoot in M mode and set the shutter speed to exactly what I want it. If the shutter speeds range from 30″ (underexposed) to 4000″ (overexposed) I might begin somewhere around 1/200th for example.

I think I’ll give option 3 a try. I’m glad to have this extra week just to get some of these “technique” issues worked out before David brings out the “heavy guns” of lighting.

As an aside…I really like this “formula” for understanding light. You see, I’m one of those individuals who can’t cook without a recipe, can’t sew without a pattern, and can’t play music by ear. Initially I have to have the instructions before me and I can follow those puppies to the letter until I begin to understand what’s happening and why. Then, later I may get brave and add a little more onion, a little less salt, or an extra key someplace that makes the creation my own. I don’t feel 100% comfortable with this Inverse Square Law, but I am beginning to see how it works, and having it as an aid to help me learn is fantastic. That’s what works in my learning curve.


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