Monthly Archives: November 2014

Exercise: Cloudy weather & rain

Part 1

Make 4-6 images where the subject is first in sunlight then in the shade of a passing cloud, keep the white balance set to sunlight/daylight; make a note of the difference in exposure between the pairs.

I am finding myself significantly behind schedule at the moment, and in light of this I have decided to move on with the next exercises before plunging into my assignment. I have done part 3 of this exercise as I felt I needed to explore this area more so than parts 1 & 2.

I would predict, however that for part 1 the images in sunlight would cast stronger/harsher shadows than that of the image taken in shade. By not adjusting the white balance and keeping it set to sunlight/daylight, there’s a chance that the shade images may appear slightly blue.

Part 2

For the second part of the exercise take 3 images outdoors on an overcast day.  Look for some detail that has pronounced relief  and an object with strong colour.

I would predict that as the day is to be overcast shadows will be less distinct and the subject shall be more evenly lit. The image where the subject has pronounced relief will show clearer detail.

Part 3

Make a minimum of two images in the rain.

Unfortunately for this part of the exercise the weather has not been on my side. It’s either not rained, or its been borderline torrential! However, not put off by this I ventured out with my Nikon and a variety of lenses (I’ve just extended my collection)


I love taking photos of light reflections in wet pavements and puddles. This carnival picture is a perfect example of the abstract impressions you can get through reflection photography. I am hoping to experiment more with street lighting/ traffic lights reflected through rain.



This macro shot shows the ‘shiny’ appearance raindrops can create when they catch the light. The main thing to observe here is that one raindrop has caught the light completely, while the surrounding drops catch glimmers of light.


I actually quite like this photo. By focusing solely on the raindrops on the glass the background becomes somewhat blurred making the drops the point of interest. The colours in the background emphasise the dreary weather as they are a combination of greys, browns , yet the bright green raincoat acts as a focal point beyond the raindrops.


Using a low f-number resulted in part of this railing being in focus, implying that the areas surrounding the focal point follow the same pattern structure. I wanted to capture the drops in stages – the ones running down the railing and later congregating into the raindrops hanging from the bottom of the railing.


Finally, a raindrop suspended from the railing. I love how the raindrop has captured the light and reflected it, if there had been a prominent colour behind the droplet this would have been reflected this too. I like how the reflection captivates the viewers attention. This is also something i will experiment with.

The handbook said that capturing a rainbow is a special bonus for this exercise, and I managed to photograph one while away a few weeks ago, gorgeous. If you look closely you can see its actually a double rainbow. I like how the colours are in stark contrast to the moody sky and dark sea.








Exercise: Contrast and Shadow Fill (TAoP)

Set up a simple still-life scene and shooting from the same level as the object(s), fix the light about 2 -3 feet to one side of the object and at its level so that it’s aimed at right-angles to the camera’s view.  Make the first image without a diffuser and then one with.  Follow this with a series of five exposures; take the white card and place it 3 feet from the object(s) on the opposite side from the light.  Make one image and then move the card twice as close to the object(s) and make another image.  Next cut a piece of baking foil to fit the white card; fix it dull side out and make an image, turn the foil around so that the shiny side is facing out and make an image, finally crumple the foil, smooth it out by hand, replace it around the card and make a final image.

This exercise did not produce the kind of results I was anticipating. I do, however think it is important to critique these results and look at why they did not turn out quite as i expected. I will re do this exercise at a later date, but I had a fairly clear idea of what should happen using the different lighting methods.


The first picture here uses a bare light positioned 2-3 feet away from the subject. This casts a strong harsh shadow and the back drop is relatively dark.


The second shot has a diffused light – resulting in softer shadows and the back drop has also been lightened.


The third shot has incorporated a white card positioned opposite the light, around 3 feet away from the subject. The only difference I can pick out is an extremely subtle change with the far right blue strip. The white card seems to have softened the slight glare in the above picture.


By moving the white card twice as close to the object, again doesn’t create a significant difference, apart from the light has bounced back onto the 2 circular elements at the top left corner of the object. There seems to be some refraction and glare coming off the lower circle especially.


The card now has foil covering it, with the dull side of the foil facing out. This seems to have softened the shadow cast by the object ever so slightly, and has reduced the glare coming off the 2 circular elements. Again this is only a very slight change.


Now this shot is interesting. The foil has now been turned round so that the shiny side is facing out, and the amount of shadows being cast had been reduced quite considerably. The light has been directly bounced back, meaning that the shadow is not as present. The back drop has also darkened slightly.


The final shot in this set uses crumpled foil smoothed out. The shadows are more prominent and the front of the camera is brighter.

As I had predicted, the image that has no diffuser or reflector  has the most contrast.

Perhaps if the light had been closer to the subject I may have got more obvious results. I also think perhaps i should have used a larger light resulting in stronger visual results.