Archive for March 18, 2016

Photo 101 ~ Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects ~ “Blessings from the Underworld”   8 comments

Photo 101
Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects – Blessings from the Underworld

Twa Pek

Blessings from the Underworld

I had been taking the Birthday Celebrations of the two Taoist Dieties of the Underworld – Twa Pek (Big Uncle) and Jee Pek (Second Uncle) for two years. It was extremely difficult as no flash can be used at all times. The time of the celebrations was usually from 9.00 pm till midnight. So, as photographer I tried to manage somehow. As these Dieties are from the Taoist Underworld, certain rituals and rules must be followed closely or you shall be inflicted with bad luck and cursed with severe sickness with mental disorders. This is the risk I must undertake as photographer and was glad a fellow French photographer of Brazilian nationality, Bertrand Linet was around me to give guidance. He was the one who brought a local boy, me, to see and photograph this Taoist Ceremony. I managed to shoot this Ceremony safely as I followed the regulations very closely.

The photograph showed a devotee being blessed by the Jee Pek medium in trance for health and wealth, with a feather fan on his head. The lighting from the numerous candles and paper lanterns lit the devotee’s face and his shadow deepened the darkness on the medium’s face. As high ISO of 20,000 f.4 at 1/60 sec was used the photograph has some noise but further heightened the mysterious mood of the composition.

SP Lim
Photographer who had some Taoist Underworld blessings from the Ceremony.


Photo 101
Day Ten: Mystery & Lighting Effects

A photograph can create a mood and communicate an idea that transcends its subject. At this performance at the 2013 Montreal Jazz Festival, there was a sense of anticipation, enhanced by dramatic stage lighting that revealed silhouettes of the musicians.

What were we about to watch and hear? It was a mystery:

Photo – not included

Today, share an image that creates a sense of mystery. A lone mitten on the sidewalk. A trail leading off into the distance. Your dog’s deep brown eyes. Intrigue us with uncertainty.

Today’s Tip: To stretch yourself, manipulate the light available to you to create a particular effect — use it to cast shadows and highlights to create a moody image. Work with natural light, or find an artificial light source like the stage lights above.

The direction of light has a big impact on your photos. Things lit from the front have few shadows, and are evenly lit. When the light comes from the side, shadows and highlights are introduced, creating more texture and complexity. Lighting from behind throws things into sharp relief, silhouetting your subject.

Not sure where to start?

Take your photo during the “Golden Hour”: the time just after sunrise or before sunset when natural light is soft and takes on color tones of its own.
Illuminate your subject with a flashlight or candle.
Take a street shot, using car headlights or street lamps to light your scene.
Try a photo during the day when the bulk of the sun is hidden, revealing patches or bursting rays of light.
Working with light is, at heart, what photography is all about.

Josh R. and the Team

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