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    Here are two of my examples of hard and soft lighting.It is a photo of an old iron bridge anchor.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Very interesting assignment. Most students find two separate geographic spaces to capture the differences in lighting, so it’s interesting to see you use the same space with two different lighting setups.

    Your first photograph uses soft, gentle lighting throughout the composition, while your second image uses gentle lighting in your background, but it appears either the sun or your camera’s flash has fully illuminated the iron bridge anchor.

    I want to draw your attention towards a couple of different thoughts I had about your composition. For starters, your audiences eye will be drawn towards the more illuminated area of a photograph. We’re drawn towards what’s exposed, bright and visible. As a photographer, it’s not just object placement, but also lighting that helps guide your viewer’s eyes through your photographs. What I found a bit unusual was that you effectively reversed the focus in the two images. In one image, the foreground is in focus and the background out of focus. In the other image the foreground is out of focus and the background is in focus.

    As a photographer it’s important to know where and how you’re trying to draw your audience’s attention. What is your focus and how do you communicate that? Generally you’ll use a shallow depth of field to isolate an object. It’s also often helpful to light your foreground. For example, look at the following image.

    Notice that the photograph lit the foreground and then the light trails off. They have effectively used light and sharp focus to isolate their area of interest. However, in your image that you used exaggerated harsh light, you blurred your object. This is a bit unusual because the additional light makes me think you want me to focus on that area, but then you have changed your depth of field and blurred that area and are now drawing my interest towards the background.

    From a technical standpoint you’ve done a great job (and a creative one at that!) of showcasing the differences between lighting situations. However, I want you to think about direction, attention and focus, and pull lighting, depth and composition together to build your visual story together, rather than thinking about each technical element as an isolated feature of photography.

    Overall, I really like the photographs and I’m not trying to sound too critical. But I really want you to think about how these different components tie in together. It will make your future work just that much better, which is our main concern.

    Again, great assignment!


    Thank you very much for you honesty. This is the only way that I can become a better photohrapher. In these pictures I was trying to see how the two differant field of views would work. It was the flash that gave me the flare. I was trying to get only a slight back light on the anchour.
    The part of being artistic is still coming to me.
    From the previous asignment I do need to keep the horizon a little more level in the camera.
    Thank you very much for your help it is greatly appreciated.

    Joe Edwards

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