HDR Still Life Painting Technique... ??

CBGCBG -
edited April 9 in Painting
Lighting is relative. 

If you successfully reproduce a shadowbox still life, using Z amount of light in the shadow box and Y amount of light in your studio (assuming here most of the mid values come out very well) , then it would stand to reason that using 0.75Z and 0.75Y or using 1.5Z and 1.5Y likely would have led to the similar success, and similar results.

Moreover, it is quite reasonable to assume that since light is relative, a painting produced in the 1.5 context, when lit with 0.75Y, should match the still life lit at 0.75Z.

At some lower levels of dimness, the eye is not so good at determining value differences, likewise, overbearing brightness leading one to squint, is also not conducive to painting.  A novice will have a harder time with this than an experienced painter with a highly trained eye.


Now Keep an Open mind...

Idea:  Capture more subtlety of range in the subject by painting with higher dynamic range (HDR).

In one variation, one merely uses the brightest Z and Y lights (effectively a higher dynamic range) which are not counter productive to painting, this should enable viewing and discerning more subtle variations which results in slightly more realistic results even when viewed under normal light.  Beginners using color checking, would more easily see variations which otherwise might look "all the same".


In a second variation, the shadowbox and studio lights are varied, proportionally in the same amount, to keep the level of various parts being painted closer to the "sweet spot" for seeing and painting.  In this example, one could use 2.0Z and 2.0Y for the darkest parts and the mid-values, and 0.5Z and 0.5Y for the lightest parts of the work... or whatever other combination works best.


PS: The same principle should be applicable to painting from a photo, but with limits as photo blacks are not true black, whereas shadowbox black is limited only by how well you can control lighting (using for example... a black paint in and around the studio and shadow box).


Any thoughts?



Comments

  • I think. You’re over thinking the situation. 
    CBG

  • Anyone else have any thoughts?    :)
  • edited April 10
    Here is a photo of my shadowbox with pewter mug inside with just enough light to tell my story. Just enough light on the easel to paint by. Buy the way notice no odd reflections on the pewter and no black painted room.

    I don't see how HDR comes into play in this instance. Am I missing something? Isn't HDR a compensation mechanism combining multiple exposures used in digital imaging? Or something a image processing chip does to resolve inherent exposure difficulties in digital imaging?

    If we are using the shadowbox for creating photos to paint from maybe a good tool. Maybe not. Again when painting from life all we have his our ability to see. Learning to see is a big part of what art is about.

  • Am I missing something? Isn't HDR a compensation mechanism combining multiple exposures used in digital imaging? Or something a image processing chip does to resolve inherent exposure difficulties in digital imaging?

    Perhaps. It's hard for me to tell how much consideration or thought you have actually given to my post. Whether you choose to do so or not is entirely up to you. I place no onus on any particular person when I post, only hope that others likewise enthusiastic/interested will want to respond.  That said, if you want to take the time to read and think about my post and discuss it with me, I would be delighted.


    As for my use of the acronym HDR (High Dynamic Range), I am using it in a different context from its meaning in Televisions/Monitors and its different meaning in Photography, but still with the same general concept.

    KingstonFineArt 

    Maybe not. Again when painting from life all we have his our ability to see. Learning to see is a big part of what art is about.
    This is very true.  I think it would be a mistake to use the technique to learn, or use it all the time... as it is more like a crutch to make value differences bigger than normal, rather than help one learn to see them.  It might be better used only occasionally or for specific challenges.


    I love your shadow box, and that piece with the boat looks sublime.  Can't wait to see that one posted!

  • @CBG I follow what your saying.  Vary the shadow box light to make it easier to see the value/color grades in different parts of the subject.  I think you would want the studio lights to stay constant to make sure the relationships there are maintained when viewed under one light level.  
    I think that for a trained eye, maybe someone who has done about twenty DMP paintings, varying the shadow box light would not be necessary.  
    I do see that setting the studio lights to just enough to paint by could make it easier to make the painting easier to view under lower level lighting, in a home instead of a brightly lit gallery.
  • @GTO
    Setting you easel light to 'just enough' is the constant. Never change it. Just enough is probably a unique amount for everyone. If you vary the amount of light from painting to painting your work will be different piece to piece . The shadow box window could be brighter of darker than then the easel light. Box light can be high key, low key or flat light from inside that box.  The same as if you are working from a photo. That shadow box has to be isolated from your easel light giving you a window… a window of light. 

    Working with an isolation box (shadowbox)  is unique condition. In most situations light is variable in some way. Mostly beyond our control. In a large room with 30 people painting a model with room light up and only one feeble spot on the model is a great way to train your eye. Painting outside is the best training ground.

    A lot of people paint with too much light. Just enough happens when you are working on a painting and you move it to different locations to check color. Outdoors in bright open shade. Diffused cloudy shade. Open sun. The living room in daylight. The living room at night. A dark hallway. You'll know whether your easel light is right for you. Don't change it if it is.





  • CBGCBG -
    edited April 10
    GTO said:
    @CBG I follow what your saying.  Vary the shadow box light to make it easier to see the value/color grades in different parts of the subject.  I think you would want the studio lights to stay constant to make sure the relationships there are maintained when viewed under one light level.  
    I think that for a trained eye, maybe someone who has done about twenty DMP paintings, varying the shadow box light would not be necessary.  
    I do see that setting the studio lights to just enough to paint by could make it easier to make the painting easier to view under lower level lighting, in a home instead of a brightly lit gallery.
    Not sure you are following.  :)

    If you keep the studio lights constant, and change the lighting in your shadow box, you make things inconsistent.


    Imagine you have default lighting, a green apple in your shadow box and you have the perfect color matched green for a spot right in the center,  When you hold up your color checker, its perfect.  You paint it, all is good.

    Now, if you suddenly double the light in the shadow box without changing your studio lighting, guess what... your color wont match anymore, your paint on your color checker will be half as bright. Color matching any colors now will contradict what you have already put on the canvas.  Since light is relative, all you need to do is double the light in the studio, and voila your paint will color check perfectly again, for the green you already have down, and any other new colors.


    It's true all the relative relationships in the still life stay the same no matter what the light is in there, and all the relative relationships in the studio (color checker and painting) stay the same no matter what the light is out there, but for the process to work, the varying the light in one must be matched by the same proportional variation in the other.

    This is a very strange idea.. and thinking about it is not everyone's cup of tea.  Some people don'e even like any kind of tea.  

    :)

     PS:  Relative lighting considerations like this apply also to the brightness difference perceived in lighting your final work.  If you have a reasonably large well lit area where you want to mount a still life, you could try setting it up "in situ", at around the spot where you will mount it... if that lighting is consistent all the way to your easel, you could paint a work with an almost uncanny illusion of reality in terms of lighting.
  • edited April 10
    All very interesting. But if I had to think about all this stuff before painting I'd probably never start. 
    My studio lighting is adequate although I'm sure it could be improved. But I manage with daylight during the day and artificial light at night. I move my painting around often to see how it looks in different light and I often spot problems this way. Nothing is ever perfect and at the end of the day you just have to get painting whatever the limitations. How did the old masters manage without all our modern lighting science and technology? Pretty well I'd say.   :)
  • @tassieguy

    No tea for you?  That's fine.  :)

    I am getting the distinct impression that I am earning the dubious distinction of being the utterly mad scientist here... well I suppose that suits me just fine.  Challenge accepted!

    I'll just have to put the things I have in mind into practice and display the results one day.


  • edited April 10
    I'm sure you will, @CBG. I look forward to seeing your work.

    With painting, it doesn't hurt to know a few things and you obviously do. I love science, too. It's all I read. It's our only way of asking the universe questions and getting reliable (but provisional) answers back.  :)

    I prefer coffee.  :)
    CBG
  • @KingstonFineArt @CBG that helps.  I’ve got a new still life setup.  I’m going to adjust the studio lighting but keep it constant.  I have isolated the shadow box.  
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