Riddle me this: copy work and light exploration

Hey photog fam,

For my “emotional light” image I chose this macabre and moody image by Stanly Greene. The use of natural light gives a sense of fear, solitude and isolation.


Stanley Greene. USA, Agence Vu, France
Forgotten refugees from Chechnya. Following the Russian bombardment of Chechnya, many people fled to neighboring Ingushetia. The eighty old or mentally ill residents of Katayama House in Grozny were left behind. Journalists and Chechen separatists made two buses available for their escape, but the buses were fired on and three people died. Once in Ingushetia the refugees were housed in an asylum for mentally ill children. Some were chained to the walls, and those who were Russian were sent to Russia. Many of the others have now returned to Grozny. © Stanley Greene
“In 1954 the Air Force was studying how to make space helmets in three sizes: small, medium and large,”says Ralph Morse. “They measured thousands of guys to see how big their heads were, taking measurements with a small strobe light that moved in an arc across the head from front to back. I sat a guy down in the dark, with an old-fashioned photographer’s clamp holding his head steady. Then I left the shutter open and moved the light through its path a dozen times until its pattern recorded on the film.” When NASA was created in 1958, however, its budget was large enough to allow each astronaut’s helmet to be custom crafted. © Ralph Morse

For my “how-was-it-done light” image I came across this cool image called “Jet Age Man” by Ralph Morse. I thought the patterns were interesting and the entire image utilized light and flash in a creative way while also connecting with the photographer’s deeper message.

Both images turned out best with the Tungsten white balance, leading me to believe that the lights in the copy stand desk are Tungsten rather than Fluorescent. For my f-stops i started on f 8.0 so that I would have enough stops and half stops to bracket through throughout the shooting process (especially given the lens I used and the lowest f-stop available on the lens).

Approaching this assignment I already had some experience with white balance from an intro to photography course I took a while back and from some of my shoots from Fundamentals of Photojournalism last semester. For my final project I shot two subjects at their roller derby practices and the two skating venues they practiced at had different indoor lighting limitations. Typically I try to eyeball the type of lights used and use that white balance setting, but when a venue has a mixture of lights that gets tricky, so I look forward to learning more about light and blending light. Overall I got a better understanding of f-stops and how ISO and aperture work together. On a typical shoot I normally take a few test shots and I usually only adjust the ISO or shutter speed since I’m more familiar with those elements. But in this assignment I was forced to keep my ISO at 200 and I chose to keep my shutter speed at 20 so it was interesting seeing exactly how aperture affects an image outside of depth of field.

Lighting Diagram

Processed with VSCO


Whitney Matewe


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