For those of you following my blog, you’ll know that I’m taking some time this fall to push myself as an artist, and continue to enhance my skills in photography. You can read more about the course I’m taking here. This blog post captures my first week’s homework assignment.
I had so much fun this week practicing our ‘catchlight’ assignment. Having said this, one of the challenges I came across is capturing fabulous catchlight outdoors. While I often achieve some catchlight when shooting outdoors, I notice they don’t ‘pop’ the same way as when shooting near a window indoors. Brooke mentioned that this is because of the contrast that is often at play when shooting indoors. To replicate this outdoors, she recommended I shoot in a darker/shaded area and then position the subject looking towards something bright. So, I set off to try this…but unfortunately my subject (my 4 yr old son), didn’t want to cooperate.
So, rather then try and corral him into a dark/shady spot outside, I let him play at the playground! During this shoot, I challenged myself to try and capture decent catchlight vs. no catch light without drastically altering where he was playing (but instead changing my perspective). The playground itself is in an open space in the middle of several houses, but the entire area was shaded because it was shot shortly before dusk. In the first shot he is facing me (and the brighter sky and open area behind me). The sky above is still fairly bright and generated catchlights in his eyes. In the second shot (taken less than a minute apart). He is looking down at me. The ground is light grey, so it is reflecting up towards him and is helping to brighten his face, but not enough to generate a reflection in his eyes.
Overall, I’m pleased with this week’s assignment and how it forced me to really pay attention to what I am ‘seeing’ in my subjects eyes!