From the Archives: Poetic Lighting

This was one of the first substantial projects I was given in my photography class back in 2018. This was a course that challenged me both creatively and technically. Unlike in my drawings or paintings, I learned that I could not really manipulate light and values in the capture phase of lens-based media. The prompt was to take photographs in 6/8 different types of lighting listed. I really struggled, and that is evident in the disorganization of this final set... of which, I only want to share 5 with you. There are a lot of these that now, in my more developed sense of artistic self, I wish I could go back and edit and adjust--either in shooting or post-shoot editing.


In fact, in writing that sentence alone, I recognize that I'm sitting with the old drive right next to me and likely still have the DNGs on my camera. I'm going to re-edit and post the old versions first, followed by the new versions.

Take one: As you're about to see when you scroll through, I really was railing against the orange and yellow tones of warm light. Even today, I hate making things warmer. But now I hate it because it's a choice I don't wish to make--I can respect it. I used to feel like any person around me who could get a nice camera would just *snap* a pic, filter it warm, and all of a sudden it was praised as wonderful portraiture. I still think a lot of this takes place, but it doesn't make me as mad anymore and I now see that ragging on beginning photographers does not make for a welcome learning space... which I need, too.


Again, really pushed the purples and blues in the first take. In retrospect, I don't know if I love this framing as much as enjoy the following composition:


Either way, thanks to the artists behind retail displays at Swarovski!

This was just so cool. I think it looks painfully black and white, with exception of the cactus in the bottom.


I think, with a bit of reframing, taking a step back, letting the darks really be dark values, and giving some warmth, this now has a quality that lets me take a breath. This is still cold and contrasty, but I get to relish in the harsh glass shapes and distortions much more.

Oof... REALLY loved blues and purples for this series. Probably should not have. Definitely should not have. In fact, when I went to display for final crit, my teacher asked another student to yank one or two off of the wall so we could breathe from the excessive purple and blues.


This just gives that gritty noir vibe so much better. And the lights seem sharper.

I didn't love this one enough even the first time around to re-edit it for this post, sorry. This just had to be included and I still don't really like it. But to make up for it, I'll drop another I just rescue re-edited:



Imagine this photo above, the silk and mirror, but entirely re-colored to be... you guessed it, purple and blue. Looking at it now, though, I see that the green and orange really have an October color scheme to them. There's something so very human about this color scheme. It has an organic quality despite being a silk and mirror setup. Thank you, candle light, for this weird effect. This photo still has a lot of problems, but I think this has more going for it than it's predecessor.

THIS was a redo of another picture I won't be sharing. BUT! Do you see it? The glass in the foreground? The distortion of narrative context? It's so funny to see this looking back, knowing I was another month or two away from stumbling into my Redefining Landscape series. So thankful my best friend let me borrow her for the day.

THOSE BLUES! So bright. So cool and icy.

Warmth! Better framing! Not convinced this is leagues better, but I think it rests easier on the eyes.


Anyways! That's all from this excavation center into the archives. Next time, maybe Italian ceilings? Who knows! Stay tuned. Feel free to drop a comment about which versions you like better: the original edits or the quickfire clean up jobs I did this morning!