The 2nd assignment must be shot in Jpeg--I prefer Raw and enjoy “tweaking” in Lightroom.  Learning how the camera sees and records a scene , and being able to use this knowledge to create better images in-camera with no PP , has been the purpose of the preceding exercises and projects. I have no idea at the moment of what or how I want to shoot. So I decided the best way of curing this lethargy was to simply take some , even just one or two , shots under one of  the conditions needed for the assignment. I took myself upstairs with a car inspection lamp and set my tripod up to do some self-portraiture in a dark room. Having nearly set fire to the room because my lamp overheated I then carried an ordinary spotlight reading lamp upstairs to use as my single light source, My preferred method of working is to use available daylight but I actually enjoyed the challenge of trying to achieve a film noir look on the cheap. Trying being the operative word here , my amateurish attempts are hardly cutting edge but I shot in jpeg, I bracketed all the shots using my light meter, and tried different WB settings to see just how they altered the atmosphere of an image. It’s interesting to see just how much the WB setting contributes to the mood of a picture. The Spike Lee film “Do the Right Thing” is a brilliant example of how good cinematography contributes to the oppressive mood of the film.  I personally prefer the more orange than natural looking tones of the two images below as I feel they are more representative of what I was trying to achieve.    

             Top image  F8 1/8 sec ISO 200 @ 24mm Tungsten WB / Bottom image @ 1/6 sec Fluoroesceent  WB

I also attempted to bounce some more light back onto my face using a white card.

 It's difficult taking self-portraits with no assistant !!!
I have  also been trying to think of different techniques to incorporate old photographs with portraiture as a way of showing a connection between past and present--a way of exploring thoughts and feelings. For this image I used a reading lamp and took a series of self-portraits at different focal lengths . I really wanted a wider view to show more of the dressing table and all of the bits and pieces kept there but found it very difficult to frame correctly and use myself as the model.  Keeping the light source out of the frame proved awkward. Shooting at slow speeds made many of the images out of focus if I moved slightly and I wanted the mirror reflection to be reasonably sharp in order to clearly see the person I was and have now become. Anyway the image below was the best I could manage at this session but I will continue to explore this concept more.

F9  1/4 sec ISO 320 @ 50mm Tungsten WB


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