Experimenting with lace (Natural light)

After reflecting on my previous shoot and deciding that perhaps working with natural light is more my area of interest, I turned my thoughts back to ideas of how to create interesting imagery and incorporate natural lighting as the main source of focus.

As detailed within my sketchbook, I had ideas that stemmed from my first shoot; projection of natural light and shadow. As an initial ideas coming from this, I wanted tocreate some self portraiture with a projection of something on my face, and as I researched strands of shadow manipulation through initial research of Jack Davison on Pinterest, I started seeing a theme of somewhat atmospheric, dreamy imagery coming together, involving shadows created by a strong shadow of patterned material or natural materials.
Here’s a link to research gathered around this subject – Pinterest – Interesting Shadows

I decided that I really wanted to try something similar, but as I was home alone, with no model and no plan of leaving the house, I felt maybe self portraiture could bring an aspect of intimacy and more emotion to the shoot. I soon found that without a tripod, someone to hold a torch to project the lace that I had found in my craft/sewing box and the bright midday light streaming in through my blinds, shadows were faint, if they even got captured on my face at all. Suffice to say, I gave up after 3 attempts and promptly deleted any evidence of a blurred, distorted portrait of someone I was not proud to call me.
Next port of call was trying out the idea of double exposure, which strictly, was not breaking the rules of the brief, as any editing was still in-camera.

Attempt I
Attempt II
Attempt III







Although these images were dr-eamy and had such a great atmosphere to them, the finished content was just not what I was aiming for, and definitely didn’t fit the ideas that I had planned for this shoot.

So, so far this shoot was not perhaps shaping up to be the most succesful, as the double exposed images were tricky to set up as overexposed images were imperative to be able to see the shadows and colours of the second set of images, so indeed, they had a sense of atmosphere, but were conveying a sense of washed out inability to use the settings to my very liking. The idea of lace and pattern was brought through to this idea by using the natural light coming through the slightly more transparent parts of my net curtains, but perhaps this wasnt conveyed strongly enough in my imagery. I put this idea aside as well, but used it as an idea to ‘leave on the back-burner’ for another time where the situation seemed right.

Feeling demoralised, I started messing around with the actual lace and patterns to see what I could create and found that the use of the light either framing or coming through the lace created the same kind of atmospheric look, without being too abstract in nature. I feel like the boundaries of what constitutes as a self-portrait were pushed here, as my hands are those in the picture, and the rings I wear throughout the later pictures all build up parts of my history and who I am. After creating some more abstract images, being careful to not create silhouettes as I was shooting against the light, as opposed to letting the direction of the light illuminate the subject, I found myself at a slight angle to the window, as this diffused some of the light coming through the nets.

Mentioning my rings, I felt that at some point during the shoot, the focus of my intentions changed from an abstract nature to one of more a commercial, product placement one, definitely helped by the manual focus pulling my eye towards the details of the rings, letting my photos become a study of detail, whilst also letting a range of shallow and high depths of field become prevalant, again, taking influence from the DSLR camera induction.

I find I like the black and white images slightly less than the colour, as they lose some of their character, being lost in the midtones; the greys taking over the images, and leaving the blacks not quite black enough. I felt this was a reflection on my skills with my camera, as the overexposed background was letting in too much light, creating silhouettes, but if I had changed say, the aperture, I wouldn’t be achieving the same depth of field, but also would be completely blanking out the foreground.

As to linking this to my previous work, I find I try to stipulate my first idea – working with the shadows and portraiture, and whilst doing so stumbled upon another idea that seemed to work aswell. I think if I were to reshoot something similar to this, I would hire out a reflector and perhaps use a golden reflection to warm up quite a harsh light to and some of the colder areas of the images.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the imagery I created, and apart from some the downfalls and reflections illustrated above, I feel like the set of images that I’ve produced throughout the project quite happily end with this set. If anything, I feel like I’ve established that I enjoy working with natural light, but that it is temperamental, and if I were to do a shoot similar to this again, I’d definitely try to find a way to manipulate the light to my very specifications.

I put together a couple of final sets to present as a final layout, and I feel this allowed me to see some of the merit of ‘less is more’ in some of the photos, as the sets became very busy, very quickly. Thinking of audience, I feel maybe magazine spreads, or a series of images that could be set out separately to advertise the same product in various ways could be a potential market.

colage 4
I like the way each one connected to each other, but am in two minds as I find the whole thing a little busy, and the overlapping frames bother me slightly. 
collage 2
I like the ‘space’ in this one, it also has a good mix of perspective (in terms of angles)
collage 3
This one becomes busier the more you look at it, but detail is also exposed over time, picking out more highlights as a way to ‘read’ the image.  
I love the cascading effect here, its effective as the photos also seem to change from a more ‘closed’ mood to one that is more forgiving, open and ‘available’ to the eyes. 



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