Roll #4: Cloudy Bright Light

Why you are doing this assignment

This assignment will help you notice lighting conditions that will result in attractive images. Photographers usually avoid shots under mid-day direct sunlight because this results in deep black shadows with no shadow details, totally white highlights with no details, and fewer middle gray tones. Those images usually come out looking harsh and unattractive.

How to do this assignment

Take a roll of film under cloudy conditions. But wait — it is possible for natural light to be too gray and flat. That’s not good either.  Don’t just look for any old cloudy conditions, but look for what is called “bright cloudy” conditions. That means that when you hold out your arm, it throws a faint, diffused shadow on the ground. If it is sunny, wait for a cloud to come to cover the sun, and then try to determine the best moment for a photo.

What to shoot

Get industrial with this assignment and search for an object or group of objects that (as always) form interesting visual patterns. Think of trash bins, propane tanks, piles of lumber, pipes on a wall. Whatever, you pick, it needs to be outside, not in the shade of a building.

What your folder should contain

From now on, turn in the same things you turned in for Roll #3. As always, put the most recent assignment on top. Include

  • An analysis sheet of your one best image. The analysis sheet should always be the first page of the folder, so that I know what assignment I am looking at.
  • A contact sheet with at least 20 visible images related to the assignment, and with the two best images circled. Use a non-black sharpie.
  • Two 5X7 prints of your two best images. Mount the prints with tape loops on plain white paper so that the tape does not show. Punch holes in the paper, not the prints.

What your assignment should look like

Shoot about seven different subjects and vary the shooting angle (vertical, horizontal, high, low, etc.). The requirement for this assignment is that the objects need to be ones that show the “cloudy bright” lighting conditions with soft shadow areas and beautiful highlights.