I do not con­sid­er myself an expe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­ph­er who knows the nuances of com­po­si­tion, or an expert on light­ing schemes in por­trait pho­tog­ra­phy. The rea­son for the 25x price dif­fer­ence between the Canon EF 16–35mm F2.8L III USM lens and the Yongn­uo YN 50mm f/1.8 Canon EF lens eludes me. There­fore, I am writ­ing not for spe­cial­ists who will find errors and inac­cu­ra­cies, but for ordi­nary ama­teur pho­tog­ra­phers.

Once I read an arti­cle about a way to pho­to­graph objects in com­plete dark­ness at a slow shut­ter speed with a flash­light. The tech­nique is called “Light brush” and is a vari­ant of the “Light graph­ics” tech­nique (for exam­ple, when a per­son with a flash­light runs in front of the cam­era at night and draws some kind of pat­tern).

Pho­to tak­en by light graph­ic method / Illus­tra­tion: sublument.com

And when using the light brush method, on the con­trary, an object is pho­tographed, which is illu­mi­nat­ed from dif­fer­ent sides by a flash­light.

What are the advan­tages of this method:

1. When shoot­ing sub­jects, there is no need for light­ing equip­ment. Enough, for exam­ple, a cell phone flash­light.

2. You can get the effect of “inner radi­ance” of the sub­ject if you do not illu­mi­nate the back­ground with the same inten­si­ty as the sub­ject.

3. Pho­tos are unusu­al because you can high­light one side more than the oth­er, com­plete­ly get rid of any shad­ow, try light­ing with dif­fer­ent col­ors, etc.

No cons what­so­ev­er:

1. You need a tri­pod or a sur­face on which the cam­era will be placed. Since the shut­ter can be opened and closed in the dark, there is no need for a remote con­trol for cam­eras. You can not be afraid to blur the pic­ture by press­ing.

2. Only sta­tion­ary objects can be pho­tographed in this way. A por­trait of a per­son, I think, can be done, but before that, he needs to be immo­bi­lized in some way. Of the humane, only a pho­to­graph of a sleep­ing per­son comes to my mind. Well, or, as por­traits used to be made, attach­ing the head and body to a spe­cial mech­a­nism.

The same device for immo­bil­i­ty mod­els / Illus­tra­tion: memolition.com

And one fea­ture — there is no way to know in advance how the frame will turn out, whether there will be enough light for the nec­es­sary illu­mi­na­tion of the matrix, what kind of glare from shiny sur­faces will be. But with a lit­tle expe­ri­ence, after a few pho­tos it becomes clear how to cov­er what exact­ly and for how long.

In gen­er­al, I had a tri­pod, a Nikon D7000 cam­era (they don’t make them any­more), a cheap Chi­nese sou­venir flash­light and time to try it.

It was the mid­dle of the day, the sun was shin­ing, so I decid­ed that it made sense to prac­tice in the bath­room, put things on the shelf, adjust­ed the focal length, set the ISO to the min­i­mum 100 units, set the shut­ter speed dial to 30 sec­onds, twist­ed the aper­ture to the max­i­mum val­ue of F / 29, turned off the light, opened the shut­ter of the cam­era, turned on the flash­light and began to dri­ve the flash­light beam over the com­po­si­tion.

Then the mean­ing of the name of the tech­nique “Light brush” came to me — it’s like you are using a brush, only instead of paint — a light beam, you draw over the com­po­si­tion, care­ful­ly cov­er­ing it with light, try­ing not to miss any­thing.

The first expe­ri­ence turned out like this (about the con­struc­tion of the com­po­si­tion, I refer to the begin­ning. The author is not a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, the author is the author):

Light brush. Attempt num­ber 1 / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

The fol­low­ing fea­tures are vis­i­ble: on the wall, the shad­ow from the bot­tle, which was reflect­ed from the table mir­ror, the tiles glare, the flash­light was motion­less for some time and illu­mi­nat­ed the com­po­si­tion uneven­ly.

I try a sec­ond time with the same set­tings.

Light brush. Attempt num­ber 2 / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

It turned out more uni­form light­ing, but the glare (the glass wall of the show­er cab­in is still glare on the left) still remains. I under­stand for myself that if there are glare sur­faces, then it is bet­ter to join sev­er­al pho­tos tak­en from the same place and com­bine the result in the edi­tor to remove very bright glare.

In gen­er­al, I liked it, it was decid­ed to con­tin­ue, my wife was sent to the store to buy the com­po­nents of a beau­ti­ful still life, and I sat down to wait for dark­ness.

Final­ly it got dark and the lab­o­ra­to­ry for mak­ing mas­ter­pieces moved to the kitchen.

An attempt was imme­di­ate­ly made to cre­ate a still life com­po­si­tion in the style of Arcim­bol­do. It didn’t work out, so in the end the fruits were sim­ply fold­ed into a dish, for the entourage I added acces­sories and a glass of tinc­ture.

I did­n’t change any­thing in the cam­era set­tings. The first option turned out like this:

Light brush. Still life with fruit. Attempt No. 1 / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

I noticed the fol­low­ing jambs: as before, it is not pos­si­ble to even­ly illu­mi­nate the com­po­si­tion, it is bet­ter to turn the mir­ror with the mag­ni­fy­ing side away from the pho­to.

The sec­ond option went straight to the trash.

Light brush. Still life with fruit. Attempt No. 2, unsuc­cess­ful / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

How­ev­er, like the third. Here, in gen­er­al, even the trace from the flash­light got into the reflec­tion of the mir­ror.

Light brush. Still life with fruit. Attempt No. 3, also unsuc­cess­ful / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

Before mak­ing the next ver­sion, I still had to first think about what move­ments I would cov­er the com­po­si­tion with and prac­tice sev­er­al times. I also rearranged the com­po­nents of the com­po­si­tion. It turned out like this:

Light brush. Still life with fruit. Attempt num­ber 4, already more inter­est­ing / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

I liked this option. For a change, I decid­ed to add a light source and hid the iPhone with the flash­light turned on under the fruit plate. As a result, clear­ly over­ex­posed the right side to the detri­ment of the left.

Light brush. Still life with fruit. Final attempt / Pho­to: Alex­ey Knyazev

In the end, I real­ly liked this tech­nique. It turns out beau­ti­ful­ly, unusu­al­ly and does not require any addi­tion­al costs or long prepa­ra­tion. Plus, you can still abuse it a lit­tle dur­ing pro­duc­tion, because a full bot­tle looks com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent from a half-emp­ty one.


От Yara

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