Light & Lighting – Module 1

Activity 1.1

Image 1 

The light is very low key, only lighting part of the subjects face. Predominantly dark. Likely taken in a studio with strobe or continuous lighting. This is a direct light providing harsh contrast. The light is warm.

With a combination of the lighting and the posing of the subject, it makes me feel dark and regretful/remorseful. It’s either that this person has done something that they regret or that they have been given disappointing news. Sad, depressed, worried, concerned, dark are all words I would used to describe this image.


Image 2

The lighting in this image is light, cool and soft. There is no hard shadowing on the subjects face. The shadow just nicely frames the outside edges of her face. I’d suggest this was taken either with natural window light or studio light with a very large diffuser.

It makes me feel like I am looking through glass or water. I’m drawn into the eyes of the subject straight away. Even though the image is light it is not a ‘happy’ or ‘bright’ image. The lighting and the expression of the subject make me feel that there are layers, deeper feelings that need to be explored. It’s like the subject has a story to tell.


Image 3

This was taken later in the afternoon. The sun is gleaming through the trees and sweeping across the green grass. There is a lot of light available in this image and it has been used in a back-light situation. The colour of the light is warm. The light has highlighted the edges of the subjects which can be seen especially strongly around the top of the head.

It’s a relaxed, happy image. Reminds me of a cool spring afternoon.


Image 4

The lighting is quite even, given the heavy cloud, acting like a large diffuser in the sky. That said, the lighting still makes the subject very clear as it is lighter around the boat.

This image makes me feel calm and also cold. With the mist and the cooler tones, it gives the impression that it is cold. Yet the stillness of the water, the simplicity of the composition, gives me a sense of calm.shutterstock_782787829.jpg

Activity 1.2

Image 1

Image Credit – Lola Melani

Lola Melani is one of my all time inspirations. Her commercial work, particularly in the field of maternity and motherhood images, evokes strong feelings and uses light to sculpt the body. her work celebrates femininity in a beautiful way.

The below image is the first I have chosen. This is a low key image, taken in a studio with strobe lighting. I’d suggest there is one image to the left/behind and a reflector to the right or possibly another light to the right. It is direct light because there is harsh, hard shadowing with contrasting strong highlights.

This image evokes the feelings of confidence, individuality, protection, boldness, fearlessness.

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Image 2

Photo Credit – Magdalena Berny

Another inspiration of mine.

This image was taken with natural light on a cool overcast day. The lighting is soft and back-lit from the rear left. The colours are cool, with blue-whites and grays. The shadows are soft. The direction of the light is coming from behind, but above the subject and to the left which would suggest it was early afternoon, which has created some shadowing under the eyes of the subject.

With the intentional placement of shadows and the posing of the subject, this evokes some conflicting emotions in me. Partly, I feel free, liberated, light I’m taking a moment to breath in the cool air, yet when I consider the shadowing and the darkness of the scenery and coolness of tones, it feels dark, almost scary or depressing.


Magdalena Berny.PNG

Image 3

Image credit – Ana Brandt

This is a high key image taken in a studio environment. Likely, a large, diffused light source was placed at a 45 degree angle to the backdrop behind the subject, to the left, creating the pure white background and the back-light highlights around the edges of the subject.

This image evokes emotions such as, joy, peace, happiness, pride.

Ana Brandt.PNG


Image 4

There is a lot of warm light available in this image. It is taken when the sun is low in the sky, just at the hint of golden hour approaching. The subject is actually in shadow, with a highlight contrasting the right hand edge of her face and body. The light is sweeping across the background and a heavy shadow is created by the prop the subject is sitting on. The way the subject has been placed, it creates even light right across her face with no harsh shadows.

This image evokes feelings of the simplicity and care-free nature of childhood.

Erin Elizabeth.PNG