As a part of my photo-extravaganza last weekend, I experimented with some desktop studio lighting. Inspired by Edward Weston's beautiful black and white produce photography (such as the pepper pictured below), I decided to photograph a strawberry.
I found a berry with a nice dent in it-- I wanted one with a dent or some sort of imperfection in it that would be accentuated with the hard lighting and shadows it produced. Hearkening back to my days in AP Photo class, I set up shots of hard and soft lighting. Note how the hard light hits the strawberry below:
Like I said before, I did this all atop my desk. I placed a plate with a strawberry on it in front of my window, set up a white backdrop, and then used my desk lamp to project dramatic light down onto the berry. The light was positioned out of the top left of the frame.
Here is the same strawberry, this time lit with soft light: the light from the window alone.
Looks a lot more appetizing, huh? My photography class loved the emotion in the first one, saying it looked evil or menacing, while the second strawberry looked ripe and ready to eat.
What a difference lighting can make!