Re: Re: Hard vs soft

Duncan Rawlinson

Great examples of images for this assignment.

Not only have you shown your ability to use both hard and soft lighting in a creative way, but you’ve also incorporated strong compositional elements into each of these two photographs.

The light source in your first image (the candle) creates a soft glow around your subjects face. Normally harsh shadowing on one side of the face is caused by hard lighting but in this case the completely dark setting, coupled with the fact that a candle gives very little light “throw” created a scene where your subject is covered half in the warm, orange light of the candle and half in darkness. Being able to see the light source in this example is a helpful visual element as well because it helps provide a dramatic bright highly to the otherwise low key (i.e. predominantly dark) photograph. Because this image has great tonal range, it would also make a wonderful black and white photograph. It has the dramatic whites on one end of the spectrum, and the deep blacks on the other end of the spectrum, with just enough mid tones to provide texture and context. Great image. My main concern is that your focus is soft. In this example, and as a general rule of thumb, you should have had a strong focus on your subject’s eyes.

Your second image is also very strong. You’ve used large vertical lines and you’ve shot upwards to create the sense of power and strength. You’ve used a very limited color palette consisting of gradients of blues and whites with green highlights to help isolate your main area of interest. You’ve also furthered this effect by using a lot of negative space (i.e. the sky). Both your composition and the technical elements of this photograph are very strong.

Overall, great work!