Re: Re: soft/hard lighting

Duncan Rawlinson

Thanks for sending in your photographs for this assignment. It looks like you’ve been away for a while!

My name is Duncan Rawlinson and I’m now running this course.

Nice to meet you!

So, on with the critique.

In certain situations it’s better for me to do a critique like this.

Photo 1: “hard light”

Your camera’s CCD sensor needs to be cleaned. I’ve highlighted some of the spots that show dust on your sensor. It’s a fairly common problem with cameras these days. *note, this could also be dust on your lens.

I like the idea of the road for the foreground of your image. Just be aware of how dominant flat surfaces can be in your images. This road takes up half of your image. In fact it feels disproportionately large when you compare it to the background.

You may have been better suited to walk down this road and shoot the road as it winds it’s way into these mountains at this spot.

Your image’s white balance might just be a tad too blueish. This may be a filter your using or the white balance. It could also be my monitor. Either way my brain noticed something felt off with the color and that’s not good… Maybe it’s too vibrant or something?

This image certainly fits the bill for a ‘hard light’ image so well done here.

Photo 2: “soft light”

Are you using a polarizing filter here? Is this the look you wanted with a gradient from light to dark blue? If so well done. If not it’s possible the angle of your filter is incorrect.

I really like this tree but this photograph feels like there might just be too much going on. The tree and the background are both interesting and you might have been better served to shoot them seperately. Of course it’s always a good idea to have visually intetesting elements on multiple planes but this photo might just have too much going on. It doesn’t help that the tree is slightly cut off and blending into a darker background.

There are some unseen lines here that are leading my eye toward this bush over here. Try to direct these kinds of ‘lines’ toward the focal point of your image.

Shadows are usually a nice element to have in a frame but in this instance they don’t really add anything. This is obviously entirely subjective but notce how the shadows on the rock formations in the background are really nice. The shadow from this tree? Not so much…

In terms of the goal for this assignment, to differentiate between hard and soft light… Well, honestly both of these images have fairly hard light. I would suggest that you take another look at shooting a ‘soft light’ image.

Don’t forget, it’s best if you shoot photos for the assignments themselves. Try to avoid picking images from your library to suit the requirements of each lesson. You’ll get more out of the course that way.