Lighting is Everything

I was at the hardware store recently picking something up when I stumbled upon some clamp lamps. I’ve seen clamp lamps used before in photography demos online, and I like the effect. They’re a cheap and effective alternative to big, fancy studio lights. I’ve wanted to experiment with light sources and still objects for a while now, and today was finally the day I got around to it.

I’ve provided three shots below taken with the exact same composition, just different light setups. This first shot was taken with a 60W bulb hitting the subject directly from the side. It makes for some dramatic shadows, however, the lighting is quite harsh.

50mm; F/2.8; 1/2s; ISO 100

The second shot was taken with the light in the same location, but this time I hung a white sheet in front of the light to diffuse it a bit. I experimented holding the sheet at varying distances from the light source to alter the strength, and the resulting image has a softer feel to it.

50mm; F/2.8; 1/2s; ISO 100

In the third and final shot, I set up an additional light behind the subject and on the other side of the table. The light source was quite close to the backdrop as I was hoping to bounce the light off the back and pickup the left edge of the subject. In retrospect, I might have altered the intensity of the background light a bit.

50mm; F/2.8; 1/6s; ISO 100

Anyways, this was a fun little experiment with lighting techniques, which I’m sure I’ll explore more over the coming winter months.


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