When I was in college I signed up for this class called BIO 122: General Biology. At first I was confused because BIO 101 was also called General Biology. However, 122 didn’t have much of a prerequisite (high school English) whilst 101 required one full semester of General Chemistry. It turns out that Bio 101 was General Biology for Science Majors so it’s more intense and comprehensive whilst Bio 122 was General Biology for students who don’t want to study biology (but have to since it’s required).

I test with a lot of new models so I thought I’d start a mini series of posts about what photographers want models to know about photography. I won’t be going through the uberly technical tidbits but just some pointers and why they matter.

Let’s get started. Lesson #1: Inverse Square Law

So you’re about to shoot and the photographer tells you to stand at a certain spot. You change looks, step up to the set, and s/he tells you to stand there again. Sometimes s/he even pauses mid shoot and tells you to…stand at the spot again. Why?

This normally happens when you’re shooting with flash. The reason for this is that flash behaves differently than lights that do not flash. The light starts off really strong when it’s close to the actual flash unit and then gradually (or should I say rapidly) lose power as it travels away.

So the photographer takes a meter reading (that electronic device with the white dome) at that spot and then sets the camera accordingly. Any other point away from the spot will either be brighter or darker.

Like so:

Hence, if you stand closer than the marked/metered spot, you’re going to appear brighter. Consequently, if you stand farther back you’re going to be darker. True, you can “fix” this in Photoshop, but why create a situation that requires “fixing” if it can be avoided in the first place, right? ^_^

Next topic: Movement and focusing

**Sorry it took a while to get this started. WordPress does not support .swf (Flash) files so I had to find an alternative solution to upload the animation I made.

About Carlo

I like film photography, K-pop, and yogurt soju.

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