Light as Subject

I am now more than halfway though the class at Photo Center NW. This past week’s assignment focused less on the technical aspects of photography and more on the creative. I think I may have had the most fun so far with this one. The idea was to use light as the main subject, the source could be natural or artificial. I did a little of both.

With the self-portrait, I was going for a dramatic look with the lighting. So, I placed my off-camera flash above and left of the camera, just a little in front of me. I set the shutter to synch speed (1/200 sec) to get rid of any ambient light, opened up the aperture, and then dialed in the flash power until it gave me this final result. Not a lot of post-production, brought the lights up a little and moved the shadows down a touch. According to a friend who saw this picture, it’s my KGB shot!

The eagle required a little bit more manipulating in post, though not as much as you might think. I shot this with my new 70x300mm lens using a polarizing filter (brings out the blue sky). I really liked the shot in color, but there wasn’t as much “light as subject” as I wanted for this assignment. So, after converting it to monochrome, I almost completely removed all the blue from the mix. That made the clouds that were present a bit more prominent, and darkened the areas that were blue without affecting anything on the eagle itself. So, now light seems to be a bit more of a subject than before. At least that’s what I’m telling myself so I can use it for this assignment.

The rest are a mix of some others that I really liked from the past week.

Self Portrait
Whimsical Bottles
Alki Sunset

Curving Lines
Warm Beach Sky
Low Tide
Olympic Clouds
Seattle Public Library, Exterior


  1. Where were the whimsical bottles? Love that shot!

    • There’s a house down on Alki that has a very funky garden. It’s just past all of the shops and restaurants but before you get to the lighthouse.

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