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UPDATE, NEW DUE DATE FOR ENTRIES
Due to circumstances that prevented us from being able to post our article with more lighting tips/tricks, the lighting challenge deadline has been extended for one week, with entries now due by September 5th, 2012
Entries can be submitted to the folder "Monthly Challenges", here [link]
. So far we have 5 lovely entries, we hope to see more though!
Challenge: The Art of Lighting
We are going to be having a monthly educational challenge for you all to participate in!
Each month you - our lovely members- will vote on which topic you would like to learn about, and one of us, you're ever loving admins, will write a journal about the subject and propose a challenge for you to complete. Sounds fun, right?
So, I hear you all would like to know what's the 411 on lighting, so I am here to write up a journal about it and provide resources on the how-tos and provide great examples of lighting at work.
Okay first off, what is
lighting anyways? I mean we all hear it, we all talk about it, but what is it exactly? Well to define it simply, lighting is well....lighting
In a manipulation lighting is everything, and it all varies depending on what type of work you're doing. So before you get all crazy and wanting to dive into doing some dramatic lighting works (trust me, this is from personal experience) let's cover the basics.
1. Light: Where, Oh Where Is It Coming From?
This is the most important thing you need to know about light, where is your light source? Is it behind, is it to the left, the right, coming up from the bottom? You have to establish that first and foremost. Of course, it's not always this easy, sometimes it is, in some works, they are back-lit and the lighting source is easy enough to discern, but sometimes there are secondary light sources: aka windows, candles, fire, what have you, so you really have to pay attention to what you are doing.
2. Soft or Harsh: What Kind of Light Is It?
Next, you need to decide is your light a harsh light or a soft, ambient light because these are definitely two different things. For example, evening light provides a more subtle, softer light, but if you're doing a piece with lighting that would be say around noon, that is a much harsher, defined light.
3. To Color or Not to Color?
After that, there is the question of what color is your light going to be? Green, white, blue, orange...the choices are endless! You have to accomodate your piece to the color of your light or you will get some really weird, unrealistic result. For example, having a fire in your piece, obviously fire throws off a red light -unless of course you have like a blue fire for a fantasy piece or something, then that is blue light - but moon light is more white. So, make a decision on this early if you can.
4. Distance: How Far Away Are You?
Last, but not least, we have distance of your subject; how far away is your subject to the light? This can really play a direct role in how harsh or soft your light is, or how much light will fall on the subject or surrounding subjects. For example, let's say your subject is standing close to a fire, that light will provide a stronger, harsher light on your subject because they are standing very close to the light source; however, if your subject is further away, that light source is not going to be as harsh, in fact, they may not be effected by that particular light source at all. You really have to pay attention to what you are doing.
Okay, if you're still with me, that's great because now we get to get into to how-tos and examples.
Lighting is a fun tool to work with, but how do you do it? There are many
solutions to this problem, and none are necessarily right or wrong, it all has to do with the artist and what they are comfortable with. Personally, I like to paint my light with brushes and my tablet, that's just how I do things, someone else may use the dodge and burn tools, and someone else may use a combination of many different things. So, I can hear you asking, "But how do I pick what to do?" The answer to that is, I don't have one, it's all up to you
as the individual. It has to do with what you are comfortable with and what you are ready to try and learn. So, are you ready to learn? Because I know I am
Here are some excellent lighting tutorials for your viewing/learning pleasure:
And there are so
many more where that came from, so do not hesitate to keep up your search.
We will be doing an educational stream on lighting! More info to come soon!
Just remember, everything you do takes practice. If you want to get better at lighting do your best to practice and study and practice some more. Some of the best ways of getting better at something are to simply ask someone who you believe is "better" at something than you are to give you pointers or to help you. We all want to make everyone feel welcome and invited here and not like they are not allowed to learn or make their own craft.
Now, onto the challenge!! You didn't think you'd get away scott free did you?
Okay, so now that you've learned a little bit about
lighting, let's see you put it into practice. Here are your required stock images that you can pick from to work with. Remember, you need at least three
images to be considered a manipulation.
Remember, these are twelve images for you to choose from, you have to use at least one model and one background from the choices, but you are not by any means limited to what you see here. (please don't just use the ones here
) You need at least three images to be considered a manipulation, and just because you have these images here, does not mean you are have to use them strictly as is, be creative! Make sure to focus on lighting since that is what this challenge is all about. Make sure to credit your stock images properly! Remember, this is an educational challenge, meaning you must take what you've learned and make something new.
Here is my example of what I have done with "lighting" and the required stock:
YOU! That's right, you are the judges! We are going to make a poll with all of the entries for you guys to vote on to see who you think has done the best, learned the most
The winning piece will be placed in our Featured Folder
The winning piece will also be featured in our journal
Your entry is due by August 29th, we will pick the top 10 entries and create a poll for you to choose the winner. The poll will run from August 30th until Sept. 2nd. Winners will be announced in the journal for the new challenge which will be posted on Sept. 3rd.
You have all the tools you could ever need, so go forth and create!
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