Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photography Assignment - Black is Beautiful - Lighting and the Decisive Moment

I chose to use my guitar as my subject matter once again, like in the first assignment, to show my love for music, and I captured it in two different lighting conditions. In addition, I also used a wooden cupboard as the drawer to blend in with the texture of the guitar, such that the bacground would not be too distracting. The first picture, as seen above, is taken with flash. The use of flash immediately draws the viewer's attention to the guitar as the subject matter, as the light is cast directly onto it.

By using just overhead lighting, without any additional frontal lighting, more shadows can be seen, which are whited out by the flash in the above photo. This gives a more a warmer and more cosy feeling as compared to the photo taken with flash, and adds more depth as well, giving a more 3-dimensional feel to the image. Attention is drawn more subtly to the subject as compared to in the first photo.

This was taken at my cousin's wedding recently, whereby the groom made a "formal proposal" to the bride. In order to capture the action quickly, I used the "Sports" mode in my camera, and turned on the flash. It provided me with a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. I placed the subjects at the bottom two-thirds of the picture so that the viewer's attention would be drawn to them, and the picture would not be too boring. The use of flash also draws attention to the subjects - the bride and the groom, making the background less distracting. What makes this a decisive moment is not only when due to the touching of lips, but also the uncle behind looking at them at the exact moment - perhaps he is thinking of his younger days.

When I was watching the elephant show at the zoo, the commentator said that this would be a classic moment. Hence, I immediately whipped out my camera, which was running low on battery at that time. I used a fast shutter speed of 1/160 second with the flash turned on. Thankfully, I manged to freeze the moment to just when the elephant was lifting up the log. The elephant is placed directly in the center of the picture, which shows its majesty, and it gives the impression that the elephant is coming out of the picture and straight at the viewer.

Ocean Park- Hong Kong. This pic was taken using the "Sports" mode once again, with a fast shutter speed of 1/250 second. The stage behind forms a triangle in the picture, adding strength to the image. The viewer is led from one corner of the picture to the other, and the triangle also acts to separate the image into two parts, drawing the viewer's attention to the dolphins. The rule of thirds is also employed, where the dolphins are placed at the left side of the picture. What makes this a decisive moment is that the dolphins are about to enter the water, and that the actions of the two dolphins are in unison.

The sealion in the picture was also taken in Ocean Park, and this picture was taken with the "Sports" mode with a shutter speed of 1/125 second as well as a slightly higher ISO sensitivity of 400 to capture the exact moment when the sealion was lifting itself on its fins, showing off its strength. The sealion was deliberately placed at the centre in order to make it the centre of attention, to give it its deserved role of being the star or "king" of the show. The heads of the people in the foreground also give the impression that many people are watching the show, further enhancing the stardom of the seal. There is also the use of a little negative space in the background, serving the same purpose of drawing the viewer's attention the subject.

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