Lighting 102: Unit 2.1 - Apparent Light Size.
But I manage to get a little bit of time, this afternoon, to post some of my images along with the setup shots and good info to help you out on your quest.
I did a lot of thinking after seeing a lot of good pictures about this exercise on the Flickr dedicated page so I decided to be a little bit more specific on what this is all about.
My starting point was ISO 100, Tv 200 and Av 9.0 this was then made through all the images in order for them to be consistent. The position of the light was to camera right and a couple of meters from the subject (Apple, not the computer) also not very far since the room was small but the distance enough to mount the umbrella.
The apple was standing still in a small kitchen chair, did I mentioned that since we moved to Luxembourg furniture is not abundant around the house, and I try to choose a good position so you can see the background effect as well as shadows around the subject.
So with this in mind my only concern was to get the flash with enough intensity to get a good exposure... I know I could have done it with exposure but at least this way you can see some easy to see results just by looking at the pictures, so blame me on this ;)
Since this étude has nothing to do with getting the best possible light for the apple or even trying to get too many lights to get it right. This time I only used one strobe (Canon 580EX) triggered by the Gadget Infinity and some reflective and translucent stuff to get an idea how BIG can a small light become.
Enough of talking and let's get to business...
I set the 580Ex to 105mm and 1/16 for the power.
You can notice the harsh shadow cast on the left side of the apple produce by the small strobe pointing right at it. Also you can see part of the apple illuminated by the lighter part of the chair and also some light on the background the spill from the strobe onto the white wall behind the apple.
Here the setup was the same 580Ex was set to 105mm and 1/16 but I used a StoFen on the flash head to create more of a candle light pointing right at the apple.
As you can see now we have a more "soft" light on all of the scene and a not so pronounced background and shadow.
Now I changed the 580Ex light size and set it to 24mm and 1/8 power and used it through the umbrella to get bigger soft light.
You can now notice that the shadow is almost gone and all the scene as a more pleasing look.
Here the 580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/2 but use it into the umbrella for reflective purposes.
It looks like the light is coming from everywhere. Look how soft everything is turn to. The shadows and the highlights.
Next I decided to try with the same settings but with a silver umbrella, the 580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/4. Not much different from last one but if you look closer you can still see some at the background and also had to use less power.
580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/1 but used up against the white ceiling and background wall to create a large reflective area.
This image shows how good can a large reflective area become when you use your small strobe against it. Very soft shadows and all around the apple you can see this soft light.
580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/1 but used up against the white ceiling and background wall to create a large reflective area, now added the StoFen to the flash.
Have you noticed that even thou it was the same settings just by adding the StoFen it created a shadow cast on the apple and it's pole?
The background didn't look so pronounced either and the front light on the apple is now a little more visible.
580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/8 but used through the umbrella and used a reflector to the left side to catch some light that could spill from the umbrella.
Here I posted 2 pictures of the same thing but the second one I changed the reflector to gold so you can notice were that little light is getting at the left side of the umbrella... can you see it?
580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/8 but used through the umbrella and used a silver reflector to the left side catch some more light from the umbrella.
The changing was only on the reflector's color but that made some difference
580Ex was set to 24mm and 1/4 used through a big white reflector.
I was trying to create a big softbox with the reflector or simulate a window on the right side.
It looks like I accomplish that since the light was coming through a BIG white reflector it also came out soft and diffused enough.
To finish up I got to sheets of paper (so you don't start saying that you cannot make this étude because you do not have a big reflector or an umbrella and don't come up with any other excuse) and put one near, almost glued, the apple and the other one behind it so I could, almost, recreate
the last setup with 2 sheets of white paper.
The 580Ex was set to 105mm and 1/1, for full power since the paper is a little more thicker than the reflector, used through a white sheet of paper and also put a white sheet of paper on the left to catch some light on the other side of the apple.
Some of the light that went around the paper also gave a little ambiance to the background and illuminated the back part of the apple and the paper on the right gave it a little more fill in. NICE!!!
Hope you have enjoyed this nice étude and prepare yourself for the next one.
Please visit Lighting 102: Unit 2.1 - Apparent Light Size, make yourself a favor and make this one.