When attempting to control lighting, it is important to decide which part of the subject area you wish to light or which sector will have a greater amount of light to draw the eye to. Now this can also be perceived as, which part of the image will be shaded with less light. That is where the “Yin Yang” principal of lighting comes in. I believe that what makes images interesting is contrast. There are an infinite amount of ways of doing so.
In the last instalment I suggested that I would delve into umbrella and light box lighting used creatively or selectively. When using a bare umbrella or light box, the light is distributed quite predictably. What I would like to suggest is the following; go out and get some black velvet or thick black cloth that is large enough to cover the entire surface of the light box or umbrella surface. Also purchase some Velcro. Cut the cloth in to a circle for the umbrella and attach the Velcro to the periphery of the umbrella and cloth circle. Do the same for the light box. You may wish to cut holes in the circular cloth umbrella pattern to allow it to be attached to the umbrella rib tips.
Here is where some of the fun begins. Place the cloth scrim template cover over the entire umbrella or soft box and turn on the flash unit, with the modelling light on. Place the object or person you are wishing to light in the desired place and remove i.e. peel back a sector of the cloth scrim. See what the light is doing. Rotate the umbrella or soft box and observe the effects on your subject and don’t forget to play with the angle and distance of the main light from the subject. You might also consider allowing light to bleed from several sections of the soft box or umbrella, by peeling back different sections.
You may also consider applying the same technique for the background light as well. However, in this case you may wish to move the light source around to see the effect on the overall image. If there are ambient light sources, you may consider using them to add realism to the image.
In the next instalment, I will continue with other types of less conventional modifiers.
What Kinds of Lighting Accessories are Needed to Sculpt or Paint with Light?