Project 5: ‘Return’

To further explore staged photography, I decided to experiment with lighting and flash within an interior environment. Once again, the objective is to create a sense of story telling within the imagery and to emphasise on cinematic qualities within a scene.  For this project, I set the location in my attic in which I used a TTL flashgun, tripod and other props to bring supporting light to the scene.  My vision of the scene focuses on the loft entrance in which I have used myself as the model as I intend to experiment further with placing myself in the picture.  I used the TTL flashgun to sync off camera and placed it nearest to the right side corner of the area near the entrance.  This was so that I could bring light to my face as well as lighten the surrounding area so that it would not appear too dark.  I also chose to use the flashgun this way as I found it would be an interesting way to bring a fantasy element to the scene; as I peak over the attic entrance, I have directed myself to look closely toward a particular object near the flash so that it appears I may be looking at a mysterious light.  The flash settings for this were F with the shutter speed at.  With this scene, I particularly intended on balancing the lighting, using both warm and cold light.

Post Production Development: Editing

I firstly lightened the image slightly using curves to bring further exposure to the image.  Further contrast was not necessary as the image appeared quite balanced in exposure and had the effect I had intended.

I also adjusted the RGB channel using the curves tool to experiment with colouring within the scene.  The image gives a tone of both cold and warm lighting and so I adjusted the blue channel to bring more emphasis on the cold, darkness of the attic against the warm light of the lower floor.

However, I did not want the image to hold too much colour and so further adjustments I made included the adjusting the red channel in curves, sot healing to remove unwanted marks and slight saturation so that the image appeared neutral but still keeping the right amount of colour hues in the lighting.

Final Image

Fig 1. ‘Return’.



Concluding this project, I find my experimentations with lighting a staged scene have been successful and the final image gives a satisfactory sense of performance and theatrical value.  My original intention of creating a series based in this location has been dismissed as I find the image presents itself nicely as a single piece in how it gives the viewer a wide range of things to absorb such as lighting and discreet objects.  The process of creating this image used a longer amount of time as I was working completely with artificial lighting and balancing this was crucial to achieve the effect I intended.  I am satisfied with the simplicity of the pose in the scene; I held a blank facial expression as I intended to give a sense of expectancy which may suggest a supernatural, alien presence to the viewer where the subject (in this case myself) is aware that something is about to happen. I feel the lighting could have been slightly better, for instance, the back of my head is not fully lit and blends into the darkness of the room.  This is something that could have been improved using an additional reflector to create at least a slight separating outline of my head.  Overall however, I find the image presents a good cinematic quality and gives an eerie sense of drama that may echo elements seen in paranormal film and imagery.  I titled the image ‘Return because I also find it could reflect a nostalgic element with how the location itself relates to exploring and reminiscing the past i.e. photo albums, childhood toys etc.  Also, working within an interior space was a refreshing activity to pursue as this made me act more carefully about aspects such as lighting set up and posing.  This is something which I intend to experiment with further perhaps within a studio where I can put lighting a scene into a more extensive practice.


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