Sunday, May 12, 2013

2B Day 5 : Hunting for the Right Light

This week's Beyond Beyond lesson had me searching the house for light ...  From the get-go, I was starting to over-think this assignment.  I'd have to make some kind of spreadsheet to chart not only which window in the house, but also the time of day, time of year, weather conditions ... on and on ...  I finally decided that was silly.  Yes, I COULD chart all that, but what would I do with that data?  If I really wanted to re-create a certain light effect, I'd have to wait for the perfect conditions to come around again?  Nah!  Keep it Simple!  This exercise is just to make us stretch a little and perhaps find a new staging area that we hadn't discovered previously at home.  This is all about doing the best you can with the light you have.  There were some surprises : The 2 places I tend to stage still-lifes did not work at all this time of day. They were both too flooded with light.  But these other sites that I'd never considered before worked very well.  I have a whole new world of possibilities for staging areas at home.

Above, you see a collage made from the 9 sites in our house that I tested for this exercise at 2 pm on a Saturday afternoon (having purchased the little bird nest at Hobby Lobby earlier in the day).   It was overcast at the time.  These are all straight-out-of-my camera.   The nest is not real, nor are the eggs, but I was inspired by seeing a broken blue robin's egg on the dog walk yesterday.  Let's hope it broke out of its shell of its own accord and wasn't lunch for some other hungry bird.

In this collage, you can see some of the many ways to ADD light to an image if it needs a little help.
1.  The original - in a North Window
2.  Kim's Let There Be Light Light Room Preset - Perfect light with 1 click!
3.  Sybil Trick - Used Kim's Texture Sybil with her recommended recipe
4.  Added a Radial Gradient in PhotoShop Elements
5. Added a Linear gradient in PSE for Kim's "Blanket of Dreamy Light"
6.  LightRoom Adjustment Brush to add a Radial Light by hand

The original image for this exercise was a little darker than most of what I shot for this set.  It needed a little help and seemed well-suited to all the treatments above.  Other images in the North window came out a little better when I bounced light back in with a white board. 

There was so much in this lesson, it could have lasted the whole month.  I wrote about 12 pages of notes for this lesson alone.  Jam-packed!  I can't believe what a bargain this year-long class is!  I did take careful notes, and I will revisit this lesson for future reference.  Previously, if a picture needed more light, I would use the I'm Feeling Lucky in Picasa, or pull it into RadLab.  Ironically, I tried RadLab on this image, and none of the stylets sang to me for this particular image.  Now I have 5 new tools to add Light!

Credit goes to Anja Rabius, another 2B classmate.  I really liked the way she presented this lesson on her blog, so I followed her model.   As for the subject matter, I was inspired by the nest with jelly beans on Sarah's blog.  She also found some beautiful and unexpected light through this exercise. Thank you, Ladies.  You are both an inspiration to me.

All week, George Harrison's "Give me light" lyric has been running through my head.  Thus, I had to include the video for it.   He was my favorite Beatle.  Enjoy!

Give me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) - George Harrison
[Sorry--Blogger is not letting me embed the videos anymore, so you'll just have to follow the link if you want to hear it. Cheers!]

Beyond Layers

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