Saturday, March 27, 2010

Natural Side Lighting

I was reading tips on how to take better still-life photos a while back, and one site said that, especially if you're planning on converting to monochrome, contrasty side lighting is usually desirable. Today, I noticed that a piece of furniture in our house was getting hit with some powerful side lighting from the sun shining through our windows.

So I busted out the camera and tripod and tried it out. I must say I'm pleased with the results.

click to enlarge, or see it on Flickr
Aperture: f/11
Shutter Speed: 1/10
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 49 mm

The sun provided much stronger light (and therefore even more contrast) than the desk lamp I use for artificially lighting smaller subjects ever could. The texture on the chair really stood out with the side lighting (which, now that I think about it, is something I learned in my digital photography class: side lighting enhances texture).

The only thing I'm not super happy with is the composition. Too much going on in the bottom right, not enough in the top left. But oh, well. You can't win them all.

Anyway, on an unrelated note, at about 5:00 today I'm heading out to shoot Prom photos for a few of my friends and their dates. I read up all about how, and my dad showed me what I need to know about using his speedlight, so I should be set to get some very good results. I'll almost definitely post about that tomorrow.


  1. I love the abstract feel of this. I agree that the composition is a little unbalanced, but I think you could fix that with just a slight crop. Very nice.

  2. The light certainly emphasizes all the wonderful textures of the chair. Sometimes the intensity of the sun creates shadows so dramatic that they become subjects in their own right. I really like this - well done!

  3. Very cool. I love black and white photography as well. I like this photo a lot. Did you also try this photo from a lower angle? I'm just curious if that would show anything more of the curve of the arm of the chair.

    I'm always looking for sharp contrasts. Last week we stopped at the local pub with some of the local artists. I was photographing them in black and white. Normally its very dark in the pub, but the light was coming in through the windows just right. A couple of the artist posted the photos on their blogs. (The banner)


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