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Lighting advice

martyn_b 12 20 1
31 Jan 2006 12:42PM
this is quite a difficult question because i dont reallly know what i'm looking for as an end result.
i am doing a 10 week evening course and my assignment is "hands"
i need to express emotions only by perception of the hand gestures (i thought of the idea so i have only myself to blame,lol) i have experimented with a few photos but they are really rubbish,i put them on ephoto hoping for some expert guidance as to where i was going wrong, some i used flash and some i used natural light, my question is how can i light hands to show dramatic contours and depth, i really want these in black and white, prolly wont go with the coloured wedding rings,also unsure about white background or blackground.if you check the few pics i have left up you will see , i dont need a detailed analysis of where my pics have gone wrong, i need suggestions to improve thanks martyn

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mikeweeks 12 969 3 England
31 Jan 2006 1:16PM
The images of the hands that you show all appear to be lit from the front, this introduces a lack of modelling, try anywhere from the side to 45 degrees, possibly with a reflector.

Forget the tonal range of anything but the hands, pump up the contrast because at the moment they lack tonal interest.

Subject matter, look for older and more weather beaten hands.

Remember most hand gestures are not static, so how about mixing natural light with rear curtain flash so that there are hand trails with the hands frozen at the most expressive moment.

Good Luck
chrism 13 118 England
31 Jan 2006 1:16PM
I think if I was going to do this I would go for someone with a craggy/weathered face and hands. Go for a 'despair' feel, head down, hands gripping the hair. Strong side lighting to get good definition with a little fill from the opposite side. I've got an image in mind which I'm sure i've seen somewhere. If I can find it i'll post a link for you. I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing you want, but it's the first thing that came to mind.

martyn_b 12 20 1
31 Jan 2006 2:01PM
thanks for the ideas, i'm trying to photo just the hands and nothing else , the male hand is mine and i tried to get better contrast by PS adjsutment, mike i might try the rear curtain sync, last year i did blur and my second assignment this year will be dance blur so my tutor may think i cant let go,lol. the main obective is to lose the arms, i have loads of ideas about the actual expression (like clenched fist pointing upwards to show aggression,knarled fingers to show pain) i would love to have some old hands but i dont know anyone old to pose.
chrism i will try the side lighting and if you find the pic please post a link, i havent got much stuff due to being amateur,
a few lenses (12-24,18-70.105+macro)
a couple of 50watt reading lamps
a couple of rubbish expensive chinese made light umbrellas (diffusers) with no brackets bought from jessops at 23 each (they saw me coming)
a sb600 flash which i can now use as a remote from any angle (but it means i must use the main flash from the camera as a trigger)
oh and lastly heaps of enthusiasm
cheers martyn
mad-dogs 15 2.2k England
31 Jan 2006 11:13PM
Try lighting from the side or behind and use a reflector to bounce some light back in.

The image linked below was top lit ( side lighting ) and a mirror used for fill.

martyn_b 12 20 1
1 Feb 2006 1:18AM
thanks for info, i will try side lighting, cheers martyn
adonoghue 13 519 England
1 Feb 2006 1:31AM
Here's an example of a side lit 'contrasty' image Side Lit Hand

Hope it helps

*edit...bloody links....
chrism 13 118 England
1 Feb 2006 9:49AM
this is what I had in mind
click on the Adam Hinton link and its the picture at the bottom
martyn_b 12 20 1
3 Feb 2006 3:30AM
thanks for the links, i will try that approach, going to do some photos this weekend and will experiment with the different ideas, i will post some pics as soon as, then you can see where i'm heading and probably where i'm going wrong. thanks martyn
paulcr 12 1.5k 9 Ireland
3 Feb 2006 3:35AM
What about sign language as a theme. PAul
sabretalon 13 1.9k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 4:09AM
Take a quick look here

Scroll down to see more tutorials. Some may help to give you ideas?
martyn_b 12 20 1
5 Feb 2006 12:59AM
hi paul thats a very good idea but i dont know any, i am trying to convey body language just through the hands,took a few experimental pics yesterday and posted one today,i am having to up the contrast,maybe i want the hand resting on a third interchange and the arm leading in from the left ? i can always crop and rotate .
sabretalon theres some good lighting tips and also composition tips on that link, thanks martyn
martyn_b 12 20 1
5 Feb 2006 1:28AM
unsure how to do a hyperlink so i dont know if this will work, posted a few before and after pics here
thanks martyn
paulcr 12 1.5k 9 Ireland
5 Feb 2006 4:25AM
Martyn, I'm sure you'll easily get a book of signs either in the library or a book store. Just thought conveying language using hands was a good theme. Paul

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