Unit 1: Assignment 5 – studio light and available light outdoors at night

Canon EOS 90D, 59mm lens, 1/1000 sec, f8, ISO 6400
Canon EOS 90D, 59mm lens, 1/1000 sec, f8, ISO 6400
Canon EOS 90D, 59mm lens, 1/1000 sec, f8, ISO 6400

The above photographs were taken indoors in a studio against a black background, with no natural light – using one lamp for the light source.

The images to the left and right use split lighting technique, where the light is to the side of the subject. Split lighting is a classic portrait lighting pattern that lights up half of the face while keeping the other half shadowed – it can produce an intense image.

The light source in the middle photograph uses back-lighting, highlighting the subjects neck/hair, producing sharp contrasts between light and dark.

Canon EOS 90D, 18mm lens, 1/400 sec, f3.5, ISO 6400
Canon EOS 90D, 19mm lens, 1/60 sec, f3.5, ISO 800
Canon EOS 90D, 19mm lens, 1/60 sec, f3.5, ISO 3200

The above photographs were taken outdoors at night using available light. The photographs use street lamps as the light source as well as experimenting with reflectors for added light.

Canon EOS 90D, 18mm lens, 1/80 sec, f4, ISO 25600
Canon EOS 90D, 18mm lens, 3/10 sec, f14, ISO 25600

Canon EOS 90D, 18mm lens, 1/5 sec, f11, ISO 2000

The above photographs were taken outside the front of Petersham Hotel in Richmond at night, using the lights on the building and reflections from rain and puddles as the light source. This hotel has a nice imposing structure with it’s tower and balconies that are described as ‘florid Italian Gothic’. It was a challenge to capture the towers Gothic detail, to get strong contrasts of light and dark, to find good angles in the busy car park, and to not draw attention to the buildings modern extensions – keeping them in the shade/shadows. This project needs more work to find better angles (usual angles of this hotel are more of a side view from Nightingale Lane, or close-ups of the front entrance and balconies on the tower), and to also find the most correct exposure – there is a delicate balance between under and over-exposure with this building. Overall, I was pleased with a few of my photographs but admit to giving-up on this ambitious shoot due to weather conditions.

Unit 2 research

Gothenburg-based photographer Noreh Lorek has some really amazing portraits playing with light intensity, and the impact of her subjects is exquisite. The play with light and shadows adds drama to the subject as well as giving the photos/subjects a sense of power, assertiveness and conviction.

Turkish writer and human rights activist Aslı Erdoğan was imprisoned for over four months in Turkey, according to the state, to have supported and encouraged terror. She was awarded the Simone de Beauvoir Prize 2018. (Photo credit: Noreh Lorek)


I really enjoyed this assignment and loved seeing how different light sources can change a photograph completely. Practicing indoors and outdoors was good fun, and both had different challenges for image exposure and composition. Familiarity with the camera’s settings helps to adapt to light sources easily. With this assignment, it was good to work alongside peers who provided instant feedback and helpful tips, and that was indispensable for learning at pace – grasping the required skills quickly, and for seeing different interpretations of the same environment, subject and available light. I look forward to working with light a lot more and to find a style and aesthetic that better represents my subjects.