1.5. Light - Photo Challenge

I know that photography can look sometime too technical. I felt sometimes that although I had my great idea and my gorgeous message, main subject and props, the lack of energy was just there, laughing at my willpower to start the shooting session.

I believe that in order to have a wonderful and fun and amazing photo session (especially if it’s indoors), you must first “warm up” for it a little bit. Like in gym.

So, put aside all the thoughts of pressure (“what if the light is not too good in here” or “what if I can’t simply can’t get what I’ve seen on pinterest”???), replace them with simple ones.

My first and strong suggestion is to put some music you love, a little bit of energy, a little bit of love for the sounds and the words.

(Please don’t start photo sessions after you had lunch or similar / again like in the gym).And make sure there is some fresh air in that room; you can open the windows for start, let the energy flow in there.

Then simply visualize with open or closed eyes how your picture should look like.What should come first into attention? Posture, texture, details… and what is the emotion you want to create?

Put 3-5 ideas on paper if this helps - like get into specifics (see, you’re already into new thoughts).

And then you can start, your warm up for playing (not competing in the gym hall) is done!

Simply follow the steps below:

Photo Challenge 

1. Pick a dear object or speak to a family member you would like to work with: will become the main subject for your shooting session!

Main subject can vary from a small vase, a cup, or even a toy. Pick something with a little height and which stands easily, so that you can move it around with you.

2. For start, set your camera as follows: 

  • ISO 100
  • aperture f/2.2   (or smallest possible, could be f/3.5 for your lens)
  • shutter speed 1/125 or 1/100
  • you can leave for now the white balance on auto, we will tackle this in the upcoming part.

Start with this combination of parameters and change freely until you are happy with the outcome!

3. Draw a daily plan in your Photography file or in your workbook :

  • on the row put the time of the day: morning, afternoon, evening
  • on the column put the settings: ISO, aperture, shutter speed and your impressions and conclusions.

Please refer also to the pdf file attached below.

4. Take a set of pictures for 2 days in a row

For indoor pictures, look for different spots in your home / studio.The light can come from a window, from an open door, or even from a side window on your ceiling (I have one and it is amazing what great light it provides within a small space).

For outdoor pictures, just open the window or go to your terrace / garden and try it out either in full sun or open natural shadow (remember, we are in testing phase).You can test full sun, but avoid taking pictures in the sun’s direction. If you can find a natural shade outside, start from there.

Benefits of this task 

1. Understanding how the mix of light parameters are working together.

2. Finding great spots in your home / outdoor space, which you can use as future reference

 *For example if you want to post something in social media, you will remember that in bedroom, next to the window, there is an uncluttered spot with great soft light...

3. Write down and use in the future your conclusions:

- what you observed - could be that for one spot in the house, smartphone photo gives the same clarity as your camera

- impressions and new ideas - love taking snapshots from your life, like pages of a beloved magazine, your books on the shelve

- what you loved - could be pictures with blurry background, with a pastel colour palette

- what you would like to try again next day - try another angle in the same room, same time of the day

- any other thing you have noticed and would like to remember!

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