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Activity 2: Lighting an orange (physical)


  • Create your own lighting setup by experimenting with light positions and roles.
  • Take pictures of your favorite set up and name the mood you have created.


  • use the same light box from the previous exercise
  • 3 or more light sources is ideal

Part 1: Examining light roles

Start in a dark room
Place an orange a few inches from one side of the set up box.
Position one light to act as your key.
  • Move your key so that it comes from different places such as from the same place as your camera or from directly above your set.
  • Observe how this changes the shadows on and around the orange.
  • Pick your favorite position.
Position a second light to act as your fill
  • Observe how this changes the value of the shadows
  • If the light is too bright try putting a piece of cloth or paper over it.
Position a third light to act as a rim and/or kick.
Optional: Put colored paper or plastic in front of the lights to see if you can change the feeling of the scene.
Take a picture of your set up once you are happy with it. Give it a name!

Part 2: Experiment with different setups

Now try doing the same thing with three new key light positions to create three new moods.
  • For each new key position play with the placement and brightness of the fill and rim to see how they can supplement the key.
  • Take a picture from the same camera angle for each experiment that you try so that you can compare the different moods.

Part 3: Full Color

If you feel like it, you can also do this as an optional painting exercise.
  • Pick your favorite photo from the previous step and print it.
  • Trace the image on a piece of paper to outline the shadow and light shapes
  • Paint in the shapes by matching the colors as done in the previous exercise.
Tips on how to identify and mix colors:
  • Look through the spot screen at each region in your image.
  • identify the color you see; hue, value, saturation.
  • Choose the tube of paint that comes closest to the color you see.
  • Mix some onto your flat palette knife
  • Hold the palette knife up in one hand and the spot screen in the other and compare.
  • Mix to get closer to the color you see through the screen
  • Mix in small amounts of color so you don’t over do it.
  • Clean your palette knife thoroughly between mixings
  • Work slowly and accurately
  • If you surpass your color don’t work backwards, start again.

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