The purpose of this photography assignment was to get you thinking about staging your own stories. The intention was to give you the time to fully design something. We wanted you to think about your background, your story, your lighting, your texture, your framing and your colors. We wanted you to control it all.
You’ve done a great job of taking an idea and designing it as a photograph. Congratulations.
You’ve used a color palette consisting predominantly of browns and golds. The image has a very classy, almost royal feel to it. I can’t help be see some sort of commentary in the image as well. There seems to be a solitary component to the story as well. The environment doesn’t seem to be a party, which leads me to believe this is a reflective moment alone with the bottle of whisky.
The nice wood in the background and the small accent of the cigar help you tell your story. You haven’t overdone it with trying to put too much in. The focus is on the hand and the glass and the background supports and expands on the story.
My only concern is that I would have liked to see slightly more light on the glass to help it pop out of the composition a little more. You can light your foreground separate from your background. To ensure light doesn’t splash all over the place you can use black flags to help control the light. While white reflectors (even paper) will reflect light, black surfaces will help “cut” the light.
Anyone can turn on a light. That’s the easy part. Knowing how to mould light through diffusion, cutting and shaping is the real art. I think you’ll find playing with shadows is as much fun as playing with light.
Great work overall though. It’s nice seeing your progression.