Rembrandt Lighting

Today in the studio we were trying to create a rembrandt lighting effect.

“There are two things that make up Rembrandt lighting: a light on one half the subject’s face and a triangle of light on the shadowed side of the face. Technically, the triangle shadow should be no wider than the eye and no longer than the nose. The thing that distinguishes Rembrandt lighting from simple short lighting is the triangle of light.”

We had one light at a 45 degree angle from the models and it was a bit higher than eye level. And we had a second light on the opposite side of the model a bit further back and at its lowest setting just to give a little bit of light to that side of the face where we are trying to create the triangle of light.

Here is our set up –


And my edited images –

Bailey Style

In todays studio session we discussed different types of lighting and then worked on recreating David Bailey’s style –

“David Bailey’s distinctive 1960’s portraits have a timeless feel and should be on everyone’s list of styles to recreate. His use of lighting and bold composition made him one of the world’s best known portrait photographers” 100 Ways To Take Better Portrait Photographs (Book)

We used a white backdrop, snoot on the backdrop then one light to the side of the model to create a very harsh shadow down one side of the face. This created a very powerful masculinity to the image.

I was the model for most of this session but i was also able to get a few shots of Roy afterwards so i could get an example of this lighting technique.

Motion Blur



Today Colin wanted us to experiment with motion blur using suspended balloons, a fan and ambient lighting. For this we used a mix of tripod and hand held with a very slow shutter speed around 1-2 seconds F14 ISO 100 to show the movement of the balloons.

We took some photos of the balloons on their own  with the white backdrop then added a scarf and then some coloured gels for some variations.

Then the balloon was sprayed with water and we used the macro to get some close up shots of the water droplets.


Oceans Eye

Im feeling totally uninspired by my chosen idea of a struggling music artist so i have decided to go down the fantasy route instead.

  • A little girl who dreams of being a mermaid – Whilst out shopping with her mum in a vintage shop she discovers a pearl glistening underneath an old clothes rack whilst she is playing hide and seek in the shop. She tries to give it to the wisened old woman behind the counter but she wont take it and tells her that it hers. She leaves feeling very puzzled and shoves it in her pocket. What she didn’t realise is that the pearl is the oceans eye and anytime it gets wet it takes her into a parrallel world where she is a mermaid and the stone is part of a necklace that she wears. If she comes out of the water she is then transformed back into her normal life

Hmmmm…i think i could make this work, i will return to develop this 🙂

Developing Ideas

Developing Ideas

My ideas :

  • A struggling music artist – finding it hard to pursue their dream as a producer whilst having to work a high pressure day job at the same time
  • 2 sisters – growing up in a small village with no jobs and they long for good careers and hate being burdens on their parents who struggle financially
  • Teenagers in a car crash – the problems that follow, loss of friendships, blame & death
  • A hard-working dad – working day and night to build a business to provide a good future for his kids for it to be stolen from him and all the kids want is their Dad
  • A single mum – burning the candle at both ends juggling 2 kids, being self-employed and attending a full-time University course

So now I have SOMETHING down, here are more points for me to consider that might help me use what I have got and develop it:

Chosen Idea:

A struggling music artist


I have chosen this one because, I am drawing from personal experiences so I think that might help ease me into the planning and there is ups & downs to this story but it also ends on a positive note


After 10 years of John trying to be recognised as a top music producer he hits a make or break point whilst risking losing his family at the same time he makes one last gruelling attempt to succeed.

WHO: Michael (music producer)

WHAT: Loses all DJ bookings after moving abroad, becomes severely depressed

HOW: He decides to move back to the UK, causing a huge rift with his wife & children and he desperately tries to repair his music career whilst trying not to lose his family at the same time.


Michael (Protagonist) – Is married to Jenny and has 3 children – Lewis Age 7, Anabelle Age 5 & Charlie Age 1 , he works in a well paid day job as an IT Analyst for a bank, and has been getting part-time work as a music producer and DJ which is his dream job, something he hopes to be able to do full-time eventually. He’s hard-working and driven with his end goal in sight….to be playing main stage at the biggest hard dance events across the world. Things are hard at home because he rarely sees his wife and kids so when a job opportunity comes up in Nerja in Spain he can see it is what his wife wants for them as a family – a more relaxed lifestyle and more time to spend together, his guilt for the lack of time spent with them makes him agree and they sell up and move there and that’s where things start to spiral downwards for him.

Jenny ( Love Interest ) – Wife of Michael’s 3 children, prior to children she worked in a design company and was also a DJ at the weekend, this is how they both met.

Children – Lewis, Anabelle & Charlie

William (Antagonist) – lives in Australia and runs a stream of nightclubs, has his own music label and promotions company.

Trevor (Mentor) – Michael’s dad. Works as a self-employed bricklayer. Lives alone with his animals, divorced from his wife Sally when Michael was 10 years old. He has played the guitar in a band called ‘The Stingers’ since the 60’s.

So i have an idea & i have some characters ….but it lacks anyway ‘wow’ i need to find something that picks this out from being ordinary……back to brainstorming!

Pre Production Pipeline

I need to come up with 5 ideas for a film….sat at my laptop for an hour…nothing….drank some vodka to loosen up my brain…one hour later….nothing….went and sat in he studio with my hubby in the hope that he would give off some vibes for inspiration….nope not tonight….watched some short films on YouTube by Lin Oeding, one below

Great blockbuster style short films….inspired yes but nope still nothing is brewing in my head grrr.

Off to bed (with laptop in stow). Really feeling defeated, why when I’m given briefs/deadlines is it so hard for ideas to ignite but when I don’t have any my head is full of thoughts all clashing together. My love is photographing life, the innocence, the beauty, the happiness, mainly baby and wedding photography. I am absolutely not a writer, words always disappear when its time to write….just like now, I don’t know what else to write except pluueeeargh.

Need more help, off to google again.

Ok after reading this article –

Here are the tips that Darious lays out:

1. Write daily, 10 mins in the morning before you get up and 10 mins before you go to bed.

2. Write What You Know: Drawing from your own experiences is a sure-fire way to create believable scenarios and authentic characters. Dig into your past and ask yourself if there are any instances that could be the basis for a film. This doesn’t mean you should make a biopic about yourself, but instead, apply your experiences to different ideas that you’ve generated.

3. Game of Opposites: Take a well-known concept and flip it on its head. This is a playful way to brainstorm ideas that go against the grain.

4. Watch Other Films: This one is self-explanatory. Being a good consumer of art makes you a better artist. Plus, as Darious mentions, it’s a great way to mine for ideas. Keep in mind that very few, if any, ideas are truly original. Don’t feel bad about taking somebody else’s concept and putting your own spin on it. Chances are the filmmaker you’re borrowing from did the exact same thing.

5. The Magic Notebook: Ideas often come at the worst time: in the shower, when you’re out with friends, when you’re cooking dinner. It doesn’t have to be a physical notebook, but having a way to capture spontaneous ideas as they come to you is essential. The notes app on your phone works great, as does the voice recording app.

6. Research: Start doing research about a topic that interests you. Along the way, you’ll almost certainly come across interesting facts and scenarios that can be turned into film ideas.

7. List Your Resources: As independent filmmakers, our resources are often limited. By listing out the resources you have, whether it’s certain locations or props, you can generate ideas that you know you can make. This is a super practical way to go about making short films.

8. Keep It Simple: For short films, it’s often better that the concept is something extremely simple. Stop thinking about complex plot lines and characters, and instead try building a film around a simple idea.

9. Live a Little: This goes along with #2. It’s much easier to write what you know if your life is somewhat interesting.

  • A little boys dream of becoming a famous DJ finally becomes reality until he has a head injury leaving him 90% blind which won’t stop him but will his new method of mixing catch on…
  • A group of young friends loving life driving through the woods & drinking end up in a car crash which turns their night into a desperate attempt to stay alive and risk their lives to save each other.
  • A work obsessed Dad ends up losing his family and everything that he’d worked for to realise how rich he already was and has to find a miracle to get his family back in time for christmas.
  • A sleep deprived single Mum trying to make it as a designer juggling University, Work and her children by accident finds out she has a hidden talent that changes everything.
  • A little girl who longs to be a mermaid and knows she is different to all her friends and soon finds out how much different

Sub-framing, Rhythm & Tempo

Sub-framing is something i really like, i use it a lot in my photography, whether its capturing someone in a mirror or a reflection or a view through a window etc so i was looking forward to taking those images. Rhythm & tempo opened up a new challenge for me because i have never taken photos for those reasons alone.

I did some research on youtube and found these videos which were really useful:



My Sub-framing images

My Rhythm images


My Tempo images


Overall i was happy with my images, if i had more time i would re-do the tempo ones, i think i would like to attempt these again in possibly a town or city and play with my slow exposures to show the movement of people/traffic.




The Rules

For this assignment we had to produce 9 images to show – Rule Of Thirds, Rule Of Odds & Rule Of Space.

I felt confident in the rule of thirds because when i look back at all my photos it seems to be how i shoot anyway, with that in my mind subconsciously so i knew i wasn’t going to struggle taking those images.

I have some ideas for rule of thirds with items and things around the house but for rule of space i think i will go to the beach for that…you can’t get a better sense of space than there.

Rule Of Thirds

Rule Of Thirds

Rule Of Space

Learning Simplification & Negative Space

Starting out on this assignment I thought yes this is easy, but the more I thought about it the more I complicated the relatively simple brief.

What I knew…

Simplification is to reduce as much in the frame as you can to leave only the essential elements of the image, as minimal as possible.

I found the Arnold Newman – Stravinsky portrait that we were shown in class the clearest in explaining simplification, below is the original and then the cropped version which shows how when taking everything else out of the frame and only leaving his head and shoulders and the top of the piano makes a much more powerful composite. There is also negative space in this image with the area behind the subject but I think it stands out more for simplification.

Negative space being the area which surrounds the main subject (positive space) and even though the space is empty and classed as negative it adds emphasis and impact to the main subject more so than if it was filling the frame.

There was so many images that I could have referenced to for this but in the end I chose the one below purely because I liked it, the colour looks like an old polaroid, and the sky almost looks like it could be under the sea….negative space but so much in it 🙂


The only time I had spare to work on this assignment was a day when I was stuck at home, unable to go out because my son was poorly. So I had to work with what I had around me, at first I was blank but then realised I had endless options. I found the negative space images easy to do but slowed down on the simplification ones because I found that my negative space images could also fall into the simplification category also and I would of liked a separation between them.

I will add my images in the production section of this blog… if you don’t mind making your way over there please 😀