1.6: Light and Shadow

Exercise 1.6 Light and shadow

Make a series of photographic studies of light and shadow. Use your spot meter to expose the highlights correctly, but make the shadows dark. Use the edges and corners of your frame to create dramatic compositions. You’ll need to shoot many exposures for this project, perhaps more than you’re accustomed to taking. Be observant and go out specifically with taking pictures in mind.

I have one of those fancy Dyson lollipop fans in my bedroom, and it stands next to a west-facing window which has ventian blinds. When the sun low in the sky in the late afternoon there are often fantastic shadows that play over the windowsill, bookcase and fan so I waited for a clear sunny day and set the camera up.

I was aiming to look for pattern and shape and contrast, and I think it was a successful shoot in that regard. It was interesting to vary the openings in the blinds and change the light coming through, and use that to play around with the lines of light and shadow. It also allowed me to stop and look carefully at the camera settings as I was controlling the light.

I do have problems with remembering which button combination to use if I want to switch between exposure lock and focus lock etc so it was useful to be able to change the lighting conditions and practice.

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