Term two we analysed use of studio lighting in relation to product photography. We made a presentation on a particular photographer.
My presentation was on Robert Mapplethorpe, and found his studio work with flowers, both on their own and when photographed with people, incredibly inspiring.
Using dark backgrounds and split lighting techniques in the studio with a diffuser/softbox it was possible to create dramatic light and shade contrasts that highlighted the relationship of the flowers to the human subjects while presenting both flowers and people in their beauty and vulnerability.
For the flower on its own, the trick was to use a reflector also to make the light bounce back onto the stem, otherwise the stem would have been in complete darkness. Using also a low F-stop some sharpening of the stem was necessary in post-production.
Also studio assistance was needed to use a shield to ensure absolutely none of the light fell onto the background, to maintain the dramatic effect caused by total darkness.