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  • Paul Williams

Stay safe but stay creative

With so many of us largely confined to home our regular routines are thrown into disarray, and it would easy for us to evolve into couch potatoes taking comfort in Netflix and the like.


I work in three different fields and everyone of them has been closed down by the CVID precautions; my training and coaching clients have closed their businesses for now, I'm not working in the TV & Film industry as there are no productions still working, and as far as photography is concerned people are in short supply at the moment, and I can't travel to interesting landscapes. Just as an aside it's rather ironic that as our TV consumption increases, the creatives who produce the programmes are all out of work (its an industry filled with freelance workers).


On a more positive note this hiatus brings opportunities; opportunities to develop new skills, polish old ones and push at the boundaries to remain creative.


One the one hand I've tried my hand at film making (see it here), utilising the knowledge I've soaked up from a year on film and TV sets, but as stills photography remains my first love I thought I'd practice some lighting techniques with the only model I have to hand. Me.


So here's the challenge. It's a bright sunny day and in my south facing room that means harsh light pouring through the window, yet I want to create an end of day mood. Here's my starting point with squintingly bright sunshine.



First step was to cut the light down by using the camera settings, shutting the aperture down to restrict that light. Progress, but it doesn't have the mood I'm seeking and there's no model! More importantly the light is all coming from outside so anything placed between camera and window is going to be no more than a silhouette which isn't what I want.



Second step was to light the interior, but with a cool colour to give a twighlight feel. My first stab using blue was just too obvious and saturated but it gave me confidence that I was on the right track. Adding another light outside in my garden with a warmer colour to represent a setting sun was a bit much too but like the blue gave me a start to work back from.


I changed both of the colour gels I was using; blue for cyan and orange for something a little less yellow and I was nearly there. I thought I might change the mood more by adding rain, but hosing me windows didn't really make a noticeable difference.


Linking my camera wirelessly to my iPad allowed me to set up and trigger shots from my place in the image, but the sun was so bright it was difficult to accurately see the best pose to adopt so I shot lots. It may not be the most photogenic of subjects but in terms of demonstrating how lighting can change the mood even in extremes light direct sunlight it was a case of job done.



Now what's the next challenge?

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