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Where I Find My Primitive Light

As a very recent and exceptionally lucky winner of a spot in Kim Klassen's MyStillSunday class, I could not be more excited to participate with such an incredibly talented group of photographers!  
The initial part of the class process was information gathering on “light” in the various areas one would be taking photographs.  Light and photography have become a very interesting area of study for me based on my recent post Primitive Light and My New Tagline.


I am fortunate to have several areas to take images and each has its own light characteristics and challenges.  My main “studio” is a large garage/studio building that has nice large windows and three garage doors.  Light comes in from all angles and the concrete floor allows for a more “industrial” feel when planning stills.  

Because this area is so large, I created a small 4x4 setting to function as an interior room when needed.  It is a nice background area for a chair, table, etc. when I want more of a "homey" feel in this space.  It was very simple to make as I used 4x4 sheets of plywood for both the floor and wall.  The Habitat For Humanity store in our area had several small bundles of wood flooring and trim molding which worked perfectly.  The flooring is simply glued to the base and the trim is attached directly to the wall section.  The wall has four L brackets on the front and back to allow it so stand nicely against the flooring section.  I didn't know if the plywood would be a good solution for the wall but when painted, I was pleasantly surprised by the texture....it almost resembles a "chipped/flaking plaster" effect!

In the house I use a spare bedroom that has the most beautiful white painted floor.  The light in here is most prevalent during the first half of the day and allows for small and large set-ups.   I am debating painting the walls white to allow for even longer shoot times based on the brightness and current lack of daylight during the winter months. 




Lastly, the dining room table is right next to a south facing patio door and has wonderful light most of the day.  Because we have many trees surrounding the deck in this area, the light is often softened by the leaves and branches which prevents the strong glare one would expect from this angle.  This spot is perfect for smaller shoots including food sets and flat-lay images.
I have used and highly recommend inexpensive white and black foam core boards to bounce light as well as use for backdrops in a pinch.  One technique I used with the black foam core is to season it with white chalk so that is has an old dusty chalkboard look.  I am planning  more of this backdrop experimentation when I focus on “dark and moody” stills in the upcoming months - especially fitting during our short daylight hours in the winter.
At the present time I am not using any other forms of light other than what comes happily through a door or window.  With this being a winter in Wisconsin time, my light is short-lived so I try to pre-plan my photo attack so that I can grab and go at a moments notice. 
Speaking of planning, I am a pencil and paper type of girl and LOVE To develop lists, ideas, and notes when the thoughts strike.  I am never far from my favorite black and white composition notebooks and buy them by the armload during back-to-school sales!  Ideas can surface at any given point in time and I want to be ready to jot down the thoughts as they always morph into something special when the actual photo taking begins.
Where is your favorite place to set up your stills?  I would love to hear about them!
Wishing you a wonderful day!
JoanMarie




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