Lights, shadows and reflections

Light is the most important component of a picture, and the best way to understand how it works is with black and white photography.
Just like drawing with charcoal before learning how to apply color in painting, shooting in black and white is a good exercise to find how highlights and shadows work in different shapes and textures.


These two first compositions are made without a camera. Over a photographic paper (that is light-sensitive) I put several objects that I thought would make cool effects when shining a light on them.
That resulted in these negative images. The darkest parts of the pictures are the ones in where the light went through the objects and burned the light-sensitive layer of the paper, while the lightest parts are the ones the light didn’t go through and left the paper intact.

Diorama 1

Diorama 1

Diorama 2

Diorama 2

This second picture was taken with a homemade pinhole camera. I placed the light-sensitive paper inside a shoebox, sealed it completely, and did a small hole with a pin. With the pinhole camera steady in one place, I let the hole open for about 30 seconds. This allowed the light from outside the box to enter and project what’s outside on the paper.
After covering the hole and processing the picture, this is the original negative.

Pinhole camera negative picture

Pinhole camera negative picture

And this is the positive version.

Negative version  turned into positive. There's a bush, a palm tree and a building

Negative version turned into positive. There’s a bush, a palm tree and a building

Here are some of the pictures I took with an analog camera some time ago. I tried to find some interesting shapes to capture the light effects in the textures.

Clay sunflower

Clay sunflower

Butterfly

Butterfly

Ceiba

Ceiba

Tinfoil pinwheel

Tinfoil pinwheel

Garden flamingos

Garden flamingos

Hope you liked them!

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