Photographic Project: Exploring Light

Last term I enthusiastically began a photography project themed around human trafficking.  The goal was to create a book cover for my twin’s book on just this subject.  Unfortunately at the beginning of December each member of our family came down with a nasty infection.  We are still recovering from it now, in February!  Needless to say, trying to get the photos I needed was incredibly hard.  My little sisters were my models, and they were simply not well enough to model for me outside in the cold.  I had to rethink.

Photographic project
One of the photos for my abandoned but not forgotten photographic project on human trafficking. I am hoping to continue with this next term

The project was due in after Christmas.  How on earth was I going to manage?  Then I remembered a personal project I had been doing for weeks on my own.  I had discovered Brandon Woelfel and his incredible light photography whilst browsing the net one day, and I had been hooked ever since.  I’d spent hours of my free time experimenting with lights, prisms, orbs and fairy lights.  Could I use this as my project?

I checked with my tutor, who gave me the go ahead.  I had lots of work to do if I was to turn this into an acceptable project.  I decided upon an exploration of light as the overall theme of the project.  In addition to Branden Woelfel, I also looked at Sam Hurd, experimenting with techniques he calls ‘prisming’ and ‘lens chimping’.

Lens chimping
A photo of my twin, Charlotte, displaying the effects of ‘Lens Chimping’ (using a convex lens to add light orbs to the images).

A steep (very steep) learning curve followed.  I began knowing very little, and I ended the project ever more aware of all the skills I lacked!  I completed risk assessments, gannt charts, I set up shoots and I took millions of photographs.  I had never done a photographic project before and so I did not realise how intentional each shoot needs to be.  I wasted time, energy and frustration setting up shoots and hoping for the best….only to be disappointed by the resulting images.  I did manage to complete the project, and just about within the time frame.  And, as a novice, I was happy with my panel of nine images:

Final Panel
This is my final panel of nine photos which I mounted and have since framed with a black frame. It will soon be hanging in my parents’ bedroom.


Going in to my next project, my main goal will be to create more intentional photoshoots and to focus on improving my basic photographic skills, such as composition and lighting.


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