April 1, 2012

Insomnia Sucks... But the Skyline Sure is Pretty

I went to bed Friday night fully intending to sleep. I went through my usual nightly ritual (it's important to have good sleep hygiene), closed my eyes and waited for blissful sleep to envelop me... And I waited... And I waited... I tossed and turned and I waited. Eventually it was time to admit defeat and just get up. After reading through my Google Reader and researching about what bit of kit I'd like to buy next I was at a loss as to what to do. Watching home shopping commercials is never a good idea for me as I become convinced I desperately need a (insert product name here). I realised sunrise was only a few short hours away and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to break out my neutral density filters and see what I could capture. As it turned out however I am much happier with the photos I took before sunrise and I thought I'd share a few.

I'd be willing to bet that most if not all photographers in Brisbane (be they enthusiasts or professionals) have been to the Kangaroo Point cliffs to take photos of the city skyline. Armed with this knowledge I took along a prop to add a little something different into the scene.

 It was heaps of fun tossing a torch around to light up the foreground. Testing out different angles and directions to light the birdcage from to see what looked best. If you ask me it was the prefect way to spend a few hours while I was waiting to feel sleepy.

Once the sun had fully risen I loaded myself up and walked the short distance back to the car to put most of my gear away. Side note: I only got in the way of three super keen, super fit jogger types on the way back to the car so I'd consider that a complete success.

As I put away my tripods and bags I was stuck by the beauty of the morning. So I decided to go for a walk without any of my bags weighing me down. Armed only with my camera and a 50mm 1.8 lens I set off again to enjoy the morning and capture a few more photos along the way... But that's for another post.


A Little Bit of a Rembrandt Wanna-Be

Over the past couple of weeks in one of my classes we have been discussing, learning about and practising rembrandt lighting. Rembrandt lighting is a fairly simply lighting set-up that uses one key light and usually a reflector. This lighting style lights up half of the face while placing the other half in shadow save for a triangle of light underneath the eye. Here's one of my first attempts at rembrandt lighting in the studio. Thanks to the awesome Miss M for being my model.

 Rembrandt lighting is unsurprisingly named for the Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (how fantastic is his middle name??!!? Imagine trying to say that one to a voice automated system.) The painter often used this technique to give his subjects form, depth and definition. Here's a self-portrait he painted which demonstrates the lighting style perfectly:

See that little triangle of light underneath his eye on the shadow side of his face? That's rembrandt lighting at its finest. Man oh man could that guy paint or what?!?

While more difficult it is possible to implement this lighting style outdoors using the sun as your key light. You just need to get a little more creative when working with the sun. The lovely Miss T proved to be my best example of rembrandt lighting outdoors. Thanks Miss T for being my model for a while!

As you can see while we are learning about photography from behind the camera we also spend a bit of time in front of the camera being models as well. If nothing else I suppose that it teaches you how to communicate exactly what you want/need from the model because you can see it from both sides.

There's a whole lot more still to come but I want to know: do you like me sharing what I've learnt and photographed in class? What would you like to see on this blog? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time I hope your weekend has been restful!