The above images were taken at Stockport Art Gallery and War Memorial, where Les Monaghan (OCA tutor) was setting up his “Aspirations” exhibition. I was lucky enough to spend 3 days with Les, assisting him, in setting up his very thought-provoking work. This is be a great collection for anyone to see. The images are not what I would describe as magazine quality images and as Les will agree, not perfect from an aesthetic point of view, but they are amazingly provocative, real life and capture the aspirations of not just the people of Doncaster, but will also fit as an “Everytown” study. The images are seen in such numbers (600 smaller images as seen in the image below) and size they take on their own life. If these images were perfect portraits, this would detract from the work and diminish the meaning. This is not a criticism of the work, but my feelings towards how enlightening this work is.
The difference between ambient and natural light.
The above 2 images show the juxtaposition between artificial light and natural light.
The artificial light in the gallery was aimed at being as uniform as possible across the display surface, with points of light added as highlights. Shadows were kept to a minimum and the colour given off was predominately white and even, on the areas where the exhibitions are mounted, to give an optimum view. There is not much point displaying thought-provoking art work partially in the shade, (unless this is the point of the work). The light remained constant and was not affected by the time of day, the weather, or what the building was made of. In saying that, he white surfaces of the wall gave the impression of calm uniformity and assisted the lighting and its’ purpose.
Natural light, cannot be controlled by us at its’ basic level. What you can control is how you use it. Positioning your subject, using such items as reflectors, and most important is the time of the day and the weather and how this will affect what and how you shoot. You can use natural light and the time of day to achieve the result what you want, yes this may be replicated in a studio but the beauty of nature is amazing and better for our planet. With natural light you may need to plan your photography well in advance (i.e. shooting with a full moon), but as I found out in the previous exercise plans have to be adaptable, when using natural light. Nature is something we should not aim to control but to work with it and let it enhance our lives.