Assignment 4 – Applying lighting techniques

For this assignment, I chose to photograph an old vintage toy that I got years ago whilst visiting my parents in Prague. It is a model of what used to be a popular car, when I was a baby. In fact, it was the first car that my parents bought together, after they got married. I tried to polish it and get rid of the scratches but later decided to leave it as it is, as the scratches and imperfections are a big part of the object.

I like the shape, the colour and all the details on the car toy, so thought it would be perfect for this exercise. Photographing it at different positions, during different time of day and using various light sources was fun and I enjoyed myself..


For the first photo, I used natural available light ( on a sunny day ), placed the subject on a table under a window, so there was direct back light coming. I used  shallow depth of field, so the further part of the car somewhat blends into the background, while the front part is sharp and outlines the overall shape of the car


For the second photo, to show off the overall shape of the car, I used a flash attached to my camera, point it up so it bounced down from a white ceiling and just added some extra light, to highlight the edges of the car, without overexposing the whole image. The placing of the object was the same as above.



I took two photographs to show the form of the object and to show a 3D look as much as possible.

For this photograph I used an angle slightly from above, so the shadow adds another dimension to the photograph. Still using available day light, I placed the object on the side of the table so the light was coming from the right hand side, as well as from above.

DU1E0353 (1)

For the second shot I used video light used to enhance the shadows and to reflect the light more from the shiny surface, as well a mirror underneath the car  – the reflection adds to the three dimensional feel of the image

DU1E0355 (2)


To show the texture of the object, I concentrated on the surface detail, and tried to show all the small and fine details of the object.

For this shot I used a video light that I placed in front and above the object,so it would illuminate the front of the car. I shot the car from the front and with a very shallow depth of field, so the attention of the viewer would be drawn to the detail of the front of the car and focus on the fine details.


For the second shot I used low light, this was later in the afternoon, when I used the daylight coming from the window above and on the right hand side. I focused on showing the chrome surface,  with the mirror reflection adding to the effect of reflection of the chrome texture.



To show the object’s colour as strongly as possible, we need to use right  kind of lighting and exposure that shows true reflection of the colour in the best possible way

For the first photo I used available daylight, from above, with a strong sunlight coming in – this showed a lovely vibrant colour. I cropped the photo so the image has an abstract feel and the colour is the most important aspect of the image. I also slightly overexposed the image to create a bright image.


For the second image, I used flash, attached to the camera and bouncing off the white ceiling, so the created light would be a neutral and diffused – perfect for showing the true colour of the car.



In my work I rarely use flash or any other artificial light – I like working with available light and fixing the best position for whatever subject/ object I am photographing. So for this assignment I followed my natural preferences and for most of the shots I used available day light.

I found the use of flash very useful for illuminating certain aspects of the subject and hence drawing the viewer’s attention to a certain part of the car. I also found out that the video light is very useful, as it is a constant stream of light and gives a very subtle effect. I enjoyed this assignment very much.

This entry was published on November 28, 2014 at 5:40 pm and is filed under OCA. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Assignment 4 – Applying lighting techniques

  1. nwhartonuk on said:

    great work

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