Why has the «inverse square law» has nothing to do with photography?
Actually, it has everything to do indeed, but it is often (always?) misquoted.
The inverse square law is a law of physics that tells, basically, that the intensity of light decreases in proportion of the distance, squared, between a point-like light source and the subject being illuminated.
In photography, this law is often misquoted: you will find this explanation in tutorials involving light modifiers (widely used in studio photography: softboxes, beauty dishes, reflectors…) or flash photography more in general, always with the following intended meaning: the light gets dimmer if the distance increases. Of course, this statement would be perfectly true! Howeverread
Fog (“smoke”) is unreliable because dosing it is difficult. You may find your perfect f-stops and light power settings, but the variability introduced by a fog machine will force you to try and try again.
Of course, fog must be lit, or it won’t show up in photography. I’m presenting here a lighting scheme that I found working for the kind of fog effect I wanted.
How to light a muscular man, in order to emphasise his muscle? For this purpose I kind of like the following scheme:
I used Elinchrom material, as usual: three D-Lite RX 2 units equipped with:
one beauty dish, with the white diffuser cloth that I stole from the Rotaluxes;
two 90×110 Rotaluxes equipped with their Rotagrids, internal baffle diffusers and white reflectors.
With the camera set at ISO 200 (always optimistic on a Fujifilm X-T1) and the XF35/1.4 lens at about f/5, I kept the power at 4.0 and 1.0 respectively for the flashes going through the soft boxes and the beauty dish (the soft boxes absorb plenty of light with their three diffusing layers).
This is the result:
Advantages of the scheme
Able to emphasise really well any muscular build
The light is still soft and so suitable to further contrast-enhancing post-processing
Powering down the soft boxes, the effect can be tuned down to a barely visible rim light, while keeping the subject beautifully illuminated by a beauty dish.
Disadvantages of the scheme
The disadvantages of the scheme are linked to the large size of the two soft boxes equipped with grids:
When I was an undergraduate student in Pisa, I cycled daily for my urban commute from home to the University. I found it pleasant and relatively safe. I used my mountain bike frequently and with enjoyment, but always in urban contexts. Basically, wherever I could have a stroll, I cycled instead. The bike was a simple commuting tool for short urban distances.
Today, several years later, I see problems that I did not before. On urban roads, I feel tense, and scared by motorists, towards whom I become extremely aggressive. Motorists’ manners got worse and I became much more sensitive to their unruly presence — much more! I cannot but avoid urban roads altogether.
As a result, I have changed my cycling habits, shifting from the town to the countryside that, fortunately, surrounds my home near Pisa. Now I end up visiting country roads that I would not tread otherwise and seeing spots that I can photograph with my omnipresent iPhone 5, really small and really good.
I must almost thank, then, people’s unruliness at the wheel, that pushed me towards unbeaten tracks, if I could capture the following simple yet satisfying scenes! This, at least, is my humble attempt to seeing the good within the bad.
In a way the bicycle can unexpectedly become a simple solution for a «photographer’s block» of sort because even without travelling (far away) you may end up in streets and roads just adjacent the ones you would walk, or you may find it easy to stop and take a picture (whereas with the car perhaps you would not).
You can usually characterise and recognise famous travel locations by means of one or more landmarks (natural, historic, architectural…) that are generally well captured by a “long shot.” In fact a panorama, an aerial photograph or a very wide shot can very well work as an establishing shot that identifies the place at the beginning of a travel article. Yet, for as much famous and beautiful a place can be, the list of establishing shots for a given place is finite and known (if it wasn’t known, you couldn’t use it to identify the place!) and therefore boring.read