Exercise – Spaces

Capture four shots that have the following feel about them

• An oppressive, cluttered space
• An open, honest, simple space containing one intriguing item
• A stark, empty hostile space
• A warm, friendly, cosy space

I thought a bit before I did this exercise about the lighting used in films, how they contributed to mood and feeling. I decided to start with ‘A stark, empty hostile space’ What came to mind was a cold clinical place, like an abandoned hospital, or a government space where secret things happened maybe to do with aliens or new creations.

The question was, where were these things in the house. I thought of the corridor, long and empty and asked if my family could stay out of it for five minutes. I turned all the lights off in the corridor and shot on the white balance of tungsten. This immediately made it feel more empty and stark. In foresight I would have turned the kitchen light off too as it adds a warm feel. Then again you could say it was a contrast of the red warmth to the empty corridor.



An oppressive cluttered space. 

My first thought was the garage but then the shed seemed a good idea. Packed with all sorts of equipment and sheltered in the corner of the garden it was perfect. I shot a few from the outside but it didn’t have the cluttered look. I was aware that a whole civilisation of giant black spiders were watching me somewhere just out of sight. But spiders meant webs. So I left the shed and put my camera against the spider coated window. Using a really small aperture I was able to get the web and the clutter together, the web acting as a sort of double exposure cluttering up the frame. I need to be careful not to include the camera in the glass but in this I feel it kind of works.


A warm, friendly, cosy space

My sister is really ill at the moment and was resting on the bed and I thought she looked very relaxed and peaceful so asked to photograph her. I thought about the mise-en-scéne and gathered the following props together.



The pink easter bunny and Elliot denotes comfort. The kitten diary shows how she was writing before she fell asleep and the pink rug complemented the white fluorescent white balance. I shot vertically so I could include the LOVE ornament on the wall to add to the feeling. Overall it’s a very girly, soft and gentle space with the wide aperture contributing to the mood.


An open, honest, simple space containing one intriguing item

This one was harder but I chose the small space of flowers in our driveway, placed the sunglasses in the foreground and lay down on the floor focusing on the glasses and using a wide aperture.



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