Category Archives: The Language of Light

Assignment 4 Tutor Feedback

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills:

Materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skills

Your work for this assignment has shown very competent technical and visual skills. The lighting and in particular use of darkness for a background works very well. The use of screens and shadows is highly effective. You have constructed these images to only show exactly what you want to show and so visual awareness, design and composition have all been carefully and effectively controlled.

Quality of Outcome:

Content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas.

Your work has been presented well, I could see this work as large prints in an exhibition. You have communicated your ideas effectively, there are a lot of signs and symbols in these images and I would be interested to see a write up on the thoughts for each image. Also could they have text accompany them to emphasise the idea or do you think this would detract?

Highly effective work presented in a professional way, showing strong judgement.

Demonstration of Creativity:

Imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice.

Strongly creative, takes risks with many imaginative and successful outcomes, strong evidence of personal voice. I think your idea and the way you have gone about constructing it is very personal to you. Well done.

You have experimented with lighting and reflections in your image to create images which are full of layers of interest to keep you looking at them for longer and trying to“read” the images.


I can see exercises have been completed from the write up on your work submitted, however for assessment the exercises will need to be provided on your blog.


Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis.

I can also see you have completed thorough research from the write up of your work. You have reflected well on your own work and the work of other photographers.

Learning Log:

Very articulate and self aware, very well researched, demonstrating a developed intellectual understanding. Make sure that everything is on your blog for assessment.

Pointers for the next assignment / assessment

  • Keep up the good work
  • Make sure everything is evidenced on your blog



Exercise 4.5 Ex-nihilo

Make an image search and take screenshot of a ´landscape, portrait or object´. Note down similarities you find between the images.


There is usually a foreground, midground (subject, but not always) and the sky usually features. The typical landscape therefore, can be said is divided into three strips of information or composition. The foreground and sky are at the edges, leading your eye to the main part, mountains/trees etc. This is the section with the most depth. Variations include foreground subjects, clouds and the horizon line depicted as irregular or curved. Landscapes are often seen as aesthetically pleasing as something to view that is easy-on-the-eye, sweeping, majestic, a wide expanse of terrain with enhanced colours.


In the Prix Pictet photography category ‘Earth’ , Chris Steele-Perkins has depicted mount Fuji as being incidental. Although the mountain features in all the images, the scenes of everyday life that go on around Mount Fuji are included into the scene and become equally as important as the mountain.

I wanted to shoot a landscape that differed from the screenshot in terms of being less aesthetic and more gritty and interesting.  This chosen terrain comes with questions and can be analysed from a social and environmental viewpoint. The images are views of the landscape, yet they feature foreground subjects that unlike trees, mountains or ‘natural’ environmental sights, need to be thought about. As these wind turbines are close to where I live there continues to be debate about their function and how they impact on our landscape. My chosen image from this exercise shows the landscape as being incidental as there are other considerations within the picture. I have chosen to frame the final image with the fence and barbed wire, both are also man-made structures on the natural landscape but are noticed less due to size, their function and age.  By using black and white each form is given equal importance in the frame especially significant with the foreground weed appearing as tall as the turbine.landscapeContactSheet-001

Exercise 4.3The Beauty of Artificial Light

One evening I returned from work and saw the children in their room. As they didn’t see me outside as they were all on devices I decided to see what I could shoot through the window. After checking the exposure in the first shot I loved how the outside reflection became part of the image adding another dimension and a ‘other worldly’ quality. I wondered how much interference from the outside would break their concentration. The blue sky of dusk enhances the blue light of the screens.

In learning photography I was always told that anything hand held below 1/60 would result in an unsharp image. These pictures were all hand-held between 1/20 & 1/10 and considering they were also shot through a window are surprisingly sharp.

There is ambient light in the room from a bedside lamp that is giving an overall warmish feel, coupled with the blue light from the screens of the devices. The blue light is more direct creating shadows and a ‘washed-out’ , bluish appearance to the skin.  The devices are draining their natural skin tones. In pictures 1 and 3 you can make out the sidelighting from the lamp and direct light from the device.

Artificial lighting can be harsh and unatural. These pictures are even eerie. At the same time the capturing of children concentrating is quite beautiful. Daylight produces a more diffused spread of light.

Project 1-Exposure Exercise 4.1

Photography-A compound of the Greek words for light (phos)and writing (graphie) implying that a photograph is writing with light.

For this exercise, I have photographed a dark object (black curtains), a white object (white radiator) and a grey/midtoned object (grey handbag).

I filled the frame with each item. Using the fully-auto ‘Program ‘mode I photographed each tone and without using photoshop to enhance them, noticed how similar the tones were to each other. There is not a distinctive difference between the colours. All images have come out as grey. To the eye, the black image was darker and the white, lighter.

I checked the histograms for each. They are different shapes but all spiking in the central divisions of the graph. I would say the grey image is softer therefore having more tonal range.

The exercise was repeated again, this time using manual mode and adjusting the exposure meter for each picture. The black is blacker and the white whiter than before. The white isn’t as bright as it should have been on the histogram reading. This could be because of the shadows on the radiator giving a different tone to the raised metal of the radiator. The greys are very similar.

The cameras metering system averages each exposure around the mid-tones. This is because the light metered is ‘reflected’ light from he subject and not ‘incident’ light, the light falling onto a subject. A light meter can measure incident light.

The exposure exercise has been on my mind as the white histogram was not as far to the right in the highlights as expected. I decided to find a truer white and take another picture. With the truer white the histogram now reads where first expected. Problem solved.