Lens Lugger Jerry Stone provides a mini Clinic on Design elemensts in Photography
Editors note*We asked Jerry Stone to provide some help in how he did this stunning image. Here are his comments…
Here are three of my latest images, done on my set-up. Hope this is what you are looking for.
Shooting pictures with a candle is fun, and great for honing your camera skills. You get a greater feeling of achievement with a still life or table top set-up, because “YOU” have created the entire image, as opposed to recording the greatness of nature.
Control of the ambient light in the room is critical to achieve the lighting balance that you are trying to present. Use your imagination in the use of lamps and reflectors.
The use of Camera RAW is a big advantage. Because it allows you to utilize the full dynamic range that your camera can produce for your presentation. The candle is very bright in relation to the surrounding scene, thus creating a high dynamic atmosphere. You don’t want the flame to be completely too,too bright, or blown out, but it wants to be very bright. But, again, it’s your creation, use whatever guidelines that make you happy with your image.
HDR is also helpful in some instances, but be careful, as HDR has side affects that can be harmful. By it’s nature, HDR produces excessive digital noise in the darker and shadow areas of your image. This digital noise is accumulative.
The use of wider angle lens in close, will make your scene deeper and further
away. Where as longer or telephoto, from further back will compress the scene. shoot the scene with both and review your results. This is very helpful learning the traits and eccentricities in your lens. Varying the height of your tripod for different angles of view, will also have an big effect on the composition.
Stopping your lens down to f-22 will give a star burst effect to the flame, if you desire.
I’ve found it beneficial to take notes of each series of shots. I then process my shots for review and most times, return to the set-up and make further adjustments and more shots.
The use of the graduated filter in Photoshop or Adobe Raw Convertor is a powerful tool in this type of work. You have more control with the filter in A.R.C.
Side lighting of folds or ripples in the cloth background can produce interesting lead-in lines.
With or without a candle or principal light source, you can create dramatic images from everyday objects with creative lighting.