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Things CritiqueLighting the Way

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Bob Yankle
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Lighting the Way

Post by Bob Yankle » Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:06 pm

I'm not sure if candles qualify for still-life renditions, as they almost seem alive in their movement. But they DO provide the most beautiful soft lighting, falling off quite naturally into the background.

"Jack Frost lighting the way through a Yuletide Forest"
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Last edited by Bob Yankle on Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by Duck » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:13 pm

Nice, but a little cluttered. There is no central focus. The candles are pulling too much of the attention away fromt the statuette. Are you up for a challenge?

I really like that candle holder in the background, the one you use as your avatar. It plays really nicely into the theme of Jack Frost traveling through a warmly lit forest. I think you can put that to really great use in a composite image. That's where the challenge starts, because it will take some planning and some PhotoShop work. Here is a sketch for a concept;

Jack Frost.jpg

All you will need is some of that white cotton diorama "fake snow" stuff that comes in a roll. Use that as a base for your scene. Set everything up as you would want it but leave room to be able to relocate that beautiful candle holder around the scene. Also, leave some room in a corner to add a little holiday message and turn the image into a holiday greeting card. ;)

You'll have to place your camera on a tripod and make sure it doesn't move. Place the camera at a lower angle so that jack looks tall and impressive. You may need to place the candle holders on a little platform to make them look taller. Set a few of the smaller candles in the foreground to create a nice enclosing frame. Once you set your exposure for the candles grab a flashlight and use it just to light Jack. If the shutter is slow enough give the flashlight a little jiggle as you trip the shutter to soften the light.

Hope you take up the challenge and best of luck.
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Bob Yankle
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Post by Bob Yankle » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:59 pm

Duck wrote:Nice, but a little cluttered. There is no central focus. The candles are pulling too much of the attention away fromt the statuette. Are you up for a challenge?

I really like that candle holder in the background, the one you use as your avatar. It plays really nicely into the theme of Jack Frost traveling through a warmly lit forest. I think you can put that to really great use in a composite image. That's where the challenge starts, because it will take some planning and some PhotoShop work. Here is a sketch for a concept;

Jack Frost.jpg
All you will need is some of that white cotton diorama "fake snow" stuff that comes in a roll. Use that as a base for your scene. Set everything up as you would want it but leave room to be able to relocate that beautiful candle holder around the scene. Also, leave some room in a corner to add a little holiday message and turn the image into a holiday greeting card. ;)

You'll have to place your camera on a tripod and make sure it doesn't move. Place the camera at a lower angle so that jack looks tall and impressive. You may need to place the candle holders on a little platform to make them look taller. Set a few of the smaller candles in the foreground to create a nice enclosing frame. Once you set your exposure for the candles grab a flashlight and use it just to light Jack. If the shutter is slow enough give the flashlight a little jiggle as you trip the shutter to soften the light.

Hope you take up the challenge and best of luck.
Thanks for the suggestions Duck. It's amazing to me the different things folks see in others' images. As for me, I'm good with it just as it is now.

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Post by Duck » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:03 pm

Bob Yankle wrote:[...] It's amazing to me the different things folks see in others' images. As for me, I'm good with it just as it is now.


Sorry. I definitely saw this through the eyes of a product photographer. :D
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:10 am

I like this but I see it in threes and think it's too cluttered compared to your other work here. The short analysis is the front row competes with the back row.

I might keep the hurricane candle, Jack, and the candle front-right where they are. I would move the avatar candle behind the star in Jack's left hand and the Christmas tree opposite picture left balancing out the avatar candle. Jack is the hero but all I see are the candles in front of him. I hope this helps! S-
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Post by minniev » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:25 pm

Bob Yankle wrote:I'm not sure if candles qualify for still-life renditions, as they almost seem alive in their movement. But they DO provide the most beautiful soft lighting, falling off quite naturally into the background.

"Jack Frost lighting the way through a Yuletide Forest"


I understand that you've captured it the way you want it, but will offer my ideas anyway, since you have allowed for that :) I like the objects, but believe that fewer may be better in this instance. I would not have thought of it, but I like the way Duck sketched that beautiful candle holder (or whatever it should be called) across the whole background. I also find myself wanting to fix the verticals, either by shooting from a lower angle or allowing extra space so things could be straightened in post without losing too much. The objects speak to the Season, and can be sorted in any number of ways, though, from simpler to complex.

You are always so good at Christmas still life setups. I hope you'll share a "card" in the Christmas card thread!
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by Bob Yankle » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:08 pm

Another view, a different less crowded look.
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Post by St3v3M » Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:23 am

Bob Yankle wrote:Another view, a different less crowded look.

I really like the texture over it and think this is a much more attractive image.

I would like to see the child and his polar bear and would suggest removing the large red candle. Everything else in its place! S-
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Post by minniev » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:25 pm

Bob Yankle wrote:Another view, a different less crowded look.

I do like this one! It seems warmer even though the photo temp is the same, just because of the intimacy with the central figures and the candle.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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