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These are two great examples of the difference between hard and soft lighting. I really like your example for hard lighting because it’s so unusual. Most hard lighting assignments either use direct sun or bright artificial light on land to show the harshness of the light. However, you’ve shown the actual rays of light by shooting in an underground aquarium.
The composition of both images are great. I also love the soccer shot below. It’s a great action shot that incorporates both composition and technical elements learnt in previous lessons. Great work.
My main concern with the first image (aquarium) is that your direct sunlight caused a blown out area on your main subject’s head. Its difficult not to have blown out (i.e. over exposed) areas when using hard lighting where there is a big difference in latitude, but as a general rule of thumb you’ll try to avoid blowing out your main subject.
To learn more about how to control this and latitude in general you can read a recent blog post we wrote about the subject here:
My other concern with the image is that it’s very “noisy”. It has a lot of “grain” in the image. I’ve looked through your previous images and it’s not as exaggerated as this image. It seems as though either your camera has a difficult time shooting in low light or you’re using to high an ISO speed (1600). To get rid of the grainy look try using the lowest ISO possible. Obviously this isn’t always possible in low light situations, but you could always open your aperture more or use a slower shutter speed to let in more light. Doing either of those two things will really increase the production value of your photographs.
Overall, great work. I’m really impressed with these two images.