This is an exercise in refining framing on location and exploring lighting.
My first choice of location is the dining room, using a corner of the table, showing bookshelves and enough window to indicate where the light is coming from.
This was early afternoon on a sunny day. Lighting falls off from left to right (with distance from the window) and shows strong shadows on the camera-right sides of objects.
I then played with placing figures in frame (me, as I was the only available model, holding an iPhone because I am using it as a remote trigger – K1 has a WiFi mode via the Pentax ImageSynch app). I also tried a reduced exposure to get some more detail in the window.
Then, just for fun, I combined them in Photoshop.
Not perfect. For instance, it needs some work to tone down the window frame and make the outdoor scene a bit more believable. I am not particularly worried about the left-hand figure having his face in shadow – he would become the Invisible Man so his head will be erased anyway. The lighting could be balanced by a big reflector at the right or, in principle, with flash.
Therefore, I spent the evening playing with studio flash. I used a three-point set-up, attempting to emulate the direction of daylight (main light with beauty dish at high level in the corner of the window) plus some fill (fill light with white reflector brolly at the camera position) and a hairlight to separate the right-hand figure from the background shelves (smaller light with snoot). Setup and one result below:
As seen, it is obviously artificial light (curtains being shut is a give-away) but I am confident that I could combine it successfully with natural daylight, subject to tweaking of lighting ratios.
However, I became less happy with the location, which will require considerable set dressing. The scenario I have in mind is a young lady with her invisible or ‘imaginary friend’, so the bookshelves will require replanning and filling with more appropriate books, instead of cameras. A logistical issue and also a potential distraction as I suspect viewers would spend (waste) time on checking out the titles.
I have, therefore, worked up a Plan B in the kitchen. The wide shot was taken at about 2pm, when there is too much direct sunlight through the window. The tighter-framed images were taken at 4:30, when the sun had moved around to just outside the top right corner of the window.
This is the location that I will work with as it can show an informal kitchen tea-party, and the natural lighting at the right time is good without artificial aids. (I will have some reflectors and studio lights available if I need them).
I moved the table and chairs to put them in the right place in frame, and I will have further set-dressing to do. Obviously, the table will need placemats, crockery and cakes. I wondered about a flower arrangement but it would have to be small – the white vase seen in the background was too dominant on the table. Background elements on the worktop will augment my narrative (a ‘young Miss Havisham’ figure with an ‘imaginary friend’ or ghost of a lost love) In particular there will be photographs of both (I have graduation photos) next to the fruit bowl or flower vase in the corner of the worktop.
The shoot will be next Thursday afternoon, with post-production done over Easter and submission to my tutor immediately afterward.