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Old 05-13-2004, 10:42 PM   #1
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Greetings,

And welcome to a forum
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:04 PM   #2
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And let the search begin
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:43 PM   #3
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Ok, Mike I have a question, am I looking for the place with the BEST natural light OR the place with the best natural light from ONE source?

There are three places in my house that I tend to take all of my pictures. One is in Liza's room. It is a tiny room (9.5x14) but an exterior corner room facing south the two exterior walls have a double and triple window, so the light is coming in from two sides of a corner.
It is the brightest room in the house.

The other is my dining room, it is a much darker room with one large window facing north. However there is a Magnolia tree the size of Texas in my front yard that doesn't let the light come in like it should.

The third is on my Sunroom and it has windows all the way around three walls.

SO, that said, does my question make sense?
 
Old 05-18-2004, 09:45 PM   #4
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The preferred set up is a single source of light. When light fills the room from more than one direction you loose the shadows. You have to preserve the shadows.

First of all, I don't like the idea of the room with windows on two walls. Can you completely block the light from one window? If so choose the window on the long wall.

My suggestion would be to cut down the Magnolia tree.

If you refuse, I would test this north facing light anew. I would bet that on bright days there is ample light for your purpose. In any case you probably have enough light for the "light" side of the face, and we may at some point down the road, talk about augmenting the ambient light. Take a look at the attached photo. My guess is that you're North light window would produce something like this. Adequate light on the North, very little ambient light on the South. Later on we will get into how to make this work.

Next, I would test the sunroom. If the fourth side of this room is a wall (worst case), you could try blocking the light on both sides of this wall to move the light source more toward the single lit wall opposite the solid wall. Then move your subject back toward the solid wall as far as you can. If this fourth side is not a wall but open to another room, then move the subject just outside the sunroom such that the sunroom becomes just one big window.

You have to create a situation where the light is traveling sideways into your space, toward the shadow side.

Don't discount the possibility that there may be other situations. Look at the spaces in your house as if you had just walked into a strangers house. This will happen to you someday, this is really what you are preparing yourself to do. You've got to root something out.

So make your investigation, try our little exercise with what you think is your best shot. You don't need to worry about taking any photos at this point, just the observation exercise will be sufficient.
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Old 05-19-2004, 12:23 AM   #5
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I do not seek perfection in my photo images.
Hey Mary,

Up there, where I said that about not seeking perfection, I think that's mostly bunk. Truth be known, I'm always trying to make it perfect. The thing is, the target is constantly shifting, the light is moving up and down the scale and the scene keeps changing. So we do what we can.

Just thought I should adjust the record.
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Old 05-20-2004, 07:21 AM   #6
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Mike, after looking around and taking your directions into consideration, I finally settled on the dining room. It is the only spot in the house with only one source of light. Because I have been doing this exercise early in the morning, the room itself is very dark at this time of day, not to mention the walls are painted black so there isn't much light bouncing off of walls. Being 5-7 feet back in that room resulted in very muted light, and while I could Identify aspects of your diagram, I needed to move toward the window about 3 feet to get more visible results. Once there it was interesting to see that just the slightest variation in movement resulted in quite a different "picture" should I have chosen to sketch it. I don't think I have ever thought that much about it before. If I moved too close to the light the whole hand seemed illuminated, and reminded me almost of looking at a picture of a hand taken with a flash, to move it farther away from my midpoint, while I could obviously still see the hand there were no shadows of interest. However while standing in the chosen spot approximately 3 feet, maybe 4 from the window, I could definitely see rounded forms all over my hand and arm that resembled your diagram. Each little part on my hand, the finger tips, the knuckles etc, had their own little areas of light zones and shadow zones. I then pulled a white blanket into that dark pit of a room and placed beside me opposite the window. The results were very similar, however it added more of a "glow" to the underside of the shadow zones.
 
Old 05-20-2004, 12:01 PM   #7
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I don't think I have ever thought that much about it before.
The question was once posed ...
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Old 05-20-2004, 11:48 PM   #8
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Reflecting light

I
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:01 AM   #9
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Mike, I have come back to that room at various times in the day. And there honestly doesn't seem to be that much difference in any of the day light hours. I also walked around other rooms at the same time and they all seemed pretty consistent. I think this is due to being on a very shady lot?

The black room, oddly enough seems as lit as the light green kitchen when looking only at my hand and not paying attention to the room itself. I think this is because there are so many mirrors (4) hanging in that dining room reflecting light.

I do, and will take pictures in my home, however the only places I would allow them in my house would be my living room, dining room, or covered porch. So I "need" to learn how to make these spaces work. However, I also understand the need to be able to make strange places work. What would you suggest I do from here?
 
Old 05-21-2004, 12:13 PM   #10
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Thanks Mary,

Your theory regarding the shaded lot is probably correct.

I know that you have a beautiful statue. In your best lighting conditions, I would like for you to center this statue in the dinning room window about 4-5 feet back. I don't want you to have it right up next to the window. Position yourself such that your shooting angle is 90 degrees to the window. Also, try not to shoot down at or up to the subject, but more horizontal. I would like to see just how much ambient light is in the room. My guess is not much, but the mirrors may factor in a positive way. If the statue is not movable try using a vase on a stand. In fact try both if you can.

Then, just to give us something to compare to, take the vase into the room with two windows and place it using your best judgment. Using the same camera perspective in relation to the light, show us the vase from the two rooms.

For this second room, try and determine your strongest light, and set up for it. Maybe you could somewhat restrict the secondary light if necessary.
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