Studio Lighting- Still life

  • Catch light- when you can see the lights in the objects/eyes

  • Fall off at the back of an image- make the light directional, and move it away so it has more space to fall off.

We took influence from Raphaelle Peal 1817 for our still life shot. We wanted dramatic lighting; to do this we had a 45 degree angle of lighting from the left of the objects. To make the background dark and the light fall off we have faced the lighting away from the background and not pointing at the background.Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 10.13.08.png

  • We found that even using the flash on the lowest f number, it was still too bright and not as dramatic as we wanted, with barely any shadows. This was because we were using a softbox, meaning the light spread out and so hit more of the composition. To overcome this problem we decided to use a more directional light.IMG_2766.jpg

  • We next tried with a snoot; this is a more directional light. This worked well on the objects, getting the lighting we wanted, looking like our influence photograph. However the background light did not fall off as we wanted, so to overcome this problem we used a black reflector to block the light hitting the background. IMG_2776.jpg

  • Using the black reflector created a very dark and harsh line down the background.IMG_2778.jpg

  • To overcome this final problem, we adjusted the reflector so it was next to the light and so cut off more light from the background. We then used a softbox lamp to slightly lighten the background at the right side to blend the shadow to light better.IMG_2782.jpg


We took influence and adapted from the image, Juan Sachez, 1602. For this image we put our objects into a roofless box, we decided to do this as it would create more directional and dramatic lighting.Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 13.46.48.png

  • When using the flash pointing down into the box, the white sides of the inside of the box caused the photograph to be very bright as all the light was reflected off the white walls. IMG_2788.jpg

  • Next we tried just doing the softbox as continuous light; this meant that the photograph was less bright than before and with shadows. However because of the height of the roofless box, the bottom of the box, where the objects were, was very dark and had little detail.IMG_2794.jpg

  • To overcome the darkness at the bottom of the image, we decided to use a low light softbox as a front light, this unfortunately still didn’t look quite right. IMG_2795.jpg

  • Next we tried with the snoot, and pointed it directly down into the box, so it hit the objects straight on. This looked a lot better, but the whole photograph was very dark all over; to overcome this we changed the ISO from 125 to 250 to double the light (this is one stop brighter) without doing anything to the set up and lighting. This was a lot better however still slightly too dark.IMG_2797.jpg

  • Finally we set up a front light and placed a reflector in front of the front light, this reduced the brightness and strength of the front light, but still slightly lightened the objects. IMG_2804.jpg


We then decided to do our own lighting on an object; we used a glass and looked at the idea of how we are lighting it for our client. We decided to do a shot for a company like Ikea, who would want a clear photograph showing the product clearly, whereas a more creative client like an art gallery would want a more dramatic and creative photograph.



  • We tried lighting from above, this created interesting shapes and shadows on the glass. This was very creative, however didn’t show loads of detail and was more dramatic especially with bold shadows. IMG_2810 copy.jpg

  • We then added back lighting, with a reflector over the lamp, at a 45 degree angle. This created a beautiful photograph that was dramatic, however still showed enough detail of the glass. IMG_2812.jpg


  • For this photograph we wanted it a lot lighter, so we had a front light and the side light snoot at 45 degree angle. This created a clear photograph of the glass, with some shadows so it was not flat. 20140401.JPG



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