Have you ever set yourself a specific project or challenge to improve your photography? If not, let me tell you that not only is it an excellent way of developing a specific skill, but it also encourages you to learn about a genre in which you may have had very little interest.
Since we as artists all enjoy exercising our creative abilities and sharing our imagery with a wider audience, Mathieu and I at Mirrorlessons in association with Tyson Robichaud Photography Blog have decided to embark on a monthly Flickr photography challenge, and we invite all of you to join us for the ride!
Each month there will be a theme posted in a Theme Thread on our respective Flickr pages. In the thread, participants will be invited to share the photo (medium sized) they’ve created for the challenge along with the gear used, setups, lighting and settings so that we may learn new techniques from each other through this collaborative process.
At the end of the month, Tyson, Mathieu and I will each pick our favourite entry (three images in total), post them on our respective blogs, and open them up for a vote in the comments section. The winner will be invited to choose the theme for the next round.
This month, as our first challenge, we have decided to create an image using a single light source.
“Single light” can be any singular light source and the subject can be anything. This means that the sun, a flashlight, a strobe, a lamp, a phone, and a lighter can all be considered single light sources. The only rule is that it must be evident that the subject is being lit solely by this singular light source.
Feel free to take this theme and run with it. Just make sure to link your image in TRP’S FLICKR THREAD or the MIRRORLESSONS FLICKR THREAD to submit it. You have time until March 31st 2014 to submit your image. On April 1st, voting will commence and on April 5th, the winner will be announced.
Below Mathieu and I have provided a few example photos of how a single light source (in this case, a lamp without a lampshade) can be used to create a dramatic portrait. The key is to find a good position for the light relative to the subject’s face so that the contrast between the highlights and shadows makes the portrait interesting, mysterious and hopefully flattering! Keep you ISO as low as possible if you want to have an easier time post-processing the image. Subjects lit by one light source are generally well-suited to black and white, which is what we chose for this set. In our case, we used the Rebecca Lily Monochrome Rosewood preset from her Pro Set II package.
For an even more detailed tutorial on how to use one light source, be sure to visit Tyson Robichaud’s blog post about the challenge!