Art of Photography

Rob Townsend

Assignment 4: Applying lighting techniques – preparation


After the many (many) exercises in the Light section, I’m finally getting started on the assignment! I already had to ask for an extension to the end of the month, so the clock is ticking now, only about 10 days to go.

Subject inspiration

At the moment I’m planning on using a pineapple… I was already thinking of a fruit and my wife suggested pineapple. It has a distinctive shape, both in two dimensions and in three; it has texture; and it has colour(s).

I’m thinking I might divide the shots between the outside and the inside of the pineapple, i.e. the whole thing, and slices thereof. This way I can get a little bit of variety in the shapes, forms, textures and colours.

I auditioned a pineapple for the part just to see if the subject ‘worked’… I won’t use any of these shots, but they will serve as a bit of practice, getting to know the quirks of my chosen fruit…!

Pineapple test shot

Pineapple test shot

Lighting plans

Much as I normally prefer using natural/available light for photography, in this case I believe that as this is a technical exercise, I need to be able to control the lighting as much as possible, meaning: indoor photographic lighting. That’s my current thinking anyway.

  • Shape: lit from behind to create a silhouette
  • Form: side lighting to emphasise the curve, the contours and the depth
  • Texture: side lighting (obviously need to work out the right positioning / angle / number of lights to distinguish this from the ‘form’ shots) to show the ridges of the skin
  • Colour: am thinking of using frontal lighting, maybe a bit of top-down lighting, and maybe coloured reflector cards; alternatively I may see if I can get a warm, low sun outdoor shot?

I’m referring to the fantastic book ‘Light, Science & Magic’ [1] as I prepare for this assignment… am finding it very useful. One could almost say it’s been very enlightening (ho ho).

… more progress to follow shortly …

1.  Hunter, F . 2012. Light, science & magic 4th ed. Oxford: Focal Press


2 thoughts on “Assignment 4: Applying lighting techniques – preparation

  1. Hi Rob good luck with your assignment. The pineapple is an interesting subject with plenty of texture. I’ve almost finished the Light Science & Magic book and I’ve found it quite fascinating with a whole new world to think about. I am going into March now for my assignment as I am so far behind but will keep an eye on your preparations with great interest.

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