i am an artist and I use photographs to paint from. I would like to explore using a single light source in photographing still lifes as well as other subject matter. I like the effect of the play of light and shadow and the environment that many of the "Old Masters' created in their paintings. I have uploaded a couple of paintings that I did from National Geographic. (As these are copyrighted, they are for my own enjoyment and I cannot sell them.) The oil painting of "The Nun" has a single light source that comes from above and behind her, and my pastel, "Deep Thoughts" is of an Afghanistan woman looking through a window. In both cases, the single source lighting creates wonderful effects. In the "Candle Lit Still Life" watercolor I painted I wsn't able to accomplish a single light source and I think partly due to the fact that the walls are a light color in the diningroom. I ended up using lighting from a couple of sources.
What I am thinking is that perhaps I need to photograph in a dark space as starters. Perhaps i could paint my room downstairs (where I do most of my paintings) in a dark color. Am I on the right track? If the walls were dark brown or black, light would not be reflected off them and my subject matter could receive the full benefit of the single source light with no diffusion from reflected light.
I am a complete novice at photography but feel that I need to learn how to photograph in order to paint the way I would like to. The still life is just okay, but I feel that it would have been far more dramatic if the background were dark and the light came from one direction only.
I bought a wedding dress at "Goodwill" recently and would like to photograph someone in it, again using a single light source. It would not be a portrait of a smiling happy bride, instead a bride left at the alter. (One thought I had would to photograph her lying on the carpet in the wedding dress. Idea comes from "Izzie" in her ball gown in "Greys Anatomy" mourning the death of her love, "Denny". The wedding dress would be wonderful to paint, as it has lace on fine netting and an underskirt of taffeta.
I have a halogen work light which provides a strong light. Is "halogen" a good source of light to use in photography or do I need some other kind of light? (I used a lot of halogen lighting in homes as an Interior Designer and I really liked the effects! However, I don't know if that translates to photography.) My camera is an Olympus 550 UZ and the white balance choiced are sunny day, cloudy day, tungston light, flourescent 1 (daylight flourescent), flourescent 2 (neutral white flourescent), flourescent 3 (white flourescent mostly used in offices and "one touch white balance", "a more precise white balance than present white balance can provide. You can set and save the optimum white balance for the shooting conditions".
My guess is that I would want to use the "one touch white balance" option. The instructions say to point the camera at a sheet of white paper, positioning the paper so it fills the screen, making sure there are no shadows". I would say that the wedding dress is an off white in color. There are different colors of white paper. Should I use white paper that is closer to the color of the wedding dress, if possible?
Hopefully these are easy questions for a photographer and you don't mind advising me!
Thanks in advance!
web site: www.beverleybonnerfineart.com