Students are well under way here at NAIT now that they are back into school. They have had three portrait assignments already handed in and marked. We usually start the year off with a review of lighting fundamentals first presented in the second term of first year. Their first assignment was to create a portrait using a classical four light setup – main, fill, separation and background. Two portraits were required a ½, ¾ or full-length captures using two distinctively different lighting patterns.
Their second assignment took them outdoors to take advantage of time of year and fall foliage. The basis of this assignment was to capture two portraits of an individual in a scenic environment enjoying it and oblivious to camera. The second capture was with a closer view of the person, and may show the subject relating to either the surroundings or to the photographer/viewer. The two images were to be presented in a collage state with presentation being part of the mark.
Finally, their third assignment was "Advanced Portable Flash". We discussed guide number, light fall-off and fill-flash techniques. We are all faced with situations where we have to supplement ambient situations with flash - either as a fill source or to provide a "main" light to create shape and form. Two portable flashes were required with the decision left to the students as to what the two lights were going to do - main/fill, main/kicker. main/separation or main/background. Even though some of them feel they do not have a handle on the fundamentals of fill-flash the results proved otherwise.