The Inverse Square Law

The inverse square law is the intensity of light from a constant source falls off as the square of the distance from the source. Any light source that spreads light in all directions, i.e. a lightbulb obeys this law. If you were to walk away from a campfire in the middle of a dark woods, it would get dark pretty quickly. Basically, the double the distance you are from the light, you quarter the light intensity. The light falls off 1 over the distance multiplied by itself. The light measured at 2 metres from the source will be half squared the intensity, if it was one meter it would be a quarter of the intensity. a light measured 4 metres from the same source would be a quarter squared or a sixteenth the intensity at one metre. In photography, as every stop means halving or doubling the light, a quarter of the light is two stops down and a 16th of the light is four stops down. A light reading of f/16 at 1 metre, for example would be f/8 at 2 metres and f/4 at 4 metres. The only light source that conflicts with this law is the sun, as the distance we move something on earth is quite trivial in comparison to the distance between the earth to the sun.


What is Light?

Light is a gift in some photographic moments, and when light is presented, you must make the best of what you have. However, in the studio, you have full control of the light. I am researching the simple rules and guidelines to improvise my lighting skills and have a better understanding of the aesthetics I can achieve in the studio. I would rather learn from my mistakes, learn from lectures or even books and the internet than have poor quality lighting and ruining my images. Before taking my images or even brainstorming ideas, I feel that I need to understand lighting and build a relationship with it. Understanding the simplest of qualities, will help me understand how to bring out shadows, highlights, detail and saturation. I have chosen three books and various websites to give me the tools to develop my studio skills. As I am aware of photographic lighting, I have no real experience, though I have worked with lighting in moving image. This kind of lighting however, is different.

What is lighting?

Scientifically, light is a narrow band of electromagnetic radiation, we can see it because the optic nerves are sensitive to these bands of radiation. There are no accurate boundaries to the range in which we can see light as individuals are different, but on average our eyes are receptive to a range of wavelengths between 400 – 700 nanometers.

Radient energy exists above and below the visible spectrum of light. Above the visible spectrum is ultraviolet and below is infrared. The digital revolution has allowed us to use technology such as photography and film, to pick up these colours and and convert them into a range of visibility.


The Electromagnetic Spectrum

Photographers are typically interested in three physical properties of lighting – The wavelength/Frequency, the amplitude/intensity and the angle of vibration/polarization. The intensity of the light determines the brightness, the wavelength determines the colour and the changes of polarization are barely visible to the human eye, however these can be manipulated using polarizing filters.

Light causes shadows because it travels in straight lines, it is then reflected off a shiny surface like a mirror that reverses the angle of which the light falls. These simple laws allow the photographer to manipulate light to their advantage, using reflectors, mirrors and cutters. Light can also be refracted, meaning lenses can be designed to focus an image.

Light allows us to see colour, without it, the world would be colourless. For example, a green pepper only looks green if the corresponding wavelengths are present in the illuminating light. If an orange light that contains no green, falls over a green pepper, the pepper would appear grey and colourless.

Light that contains all the colors of the spectrum is known as daylight, but photographers use this term precisely. White light comes from radiating sources, the sun, lightbulbs, flash guns etc. However there is some underlining connection with heat. Photographers use the theory of colour temperature, the theory wavelengths on the spectrum heating up to describe the exact colour of a lightsorce (tungsten, florescent etc.)


The Nomograph

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

James Telford
12 Address Street, Earth
Tel: xxxxx xxxxxx
Mob: xxxxxxxxxxx

Personal Profile

I am an enthusiastic and creatively driven individual, with a work ethic that is second to none. I am currently studying a BA in photographic media with the aspiration to one day be a freelance film maker or photographer. I currently work at ASDA in Accrington as a sales assistant, but looking for work closer to University. I have experience with tills, customer services, stocking shelves, warehouse and working with produce. As a film maker and photographer I have gained leadership skills, communication skills, technical skills and I am able to work well in a team. All of these skills are easily transferable in a retail environment.

 Education and Qualifications

2005-2010                Army Cadet Force


  • Duke of Edinburgh Award (Silver)
  • SCIC (Senior Cadet Instructor Cadre)
  • BTEC 1st Diploma – Public Services

2003-2008                     Rhyddings Business And Enterprise School

Subject Grade
Mathematics C
English Literature C
English Language C
Business Studies D
Product Design D
History F
Science D


2008-2011                     Blackburn College

  • Auto Electrical IMI Level 1
  • Key Skills (English)
  • National Certificate – Creative Computing: Merit
  • National Diploma – Media Production: DDM


2013-2014                      Blackburn College

  •  UAL Foundation – Art & Design: Pass

 Work Experience

 2010-2010          FCBetz

Betting Cashier – Taking bets at football games.

I gained financial skills and was trained on a till.

2010-2011          Home Bargains

Retail Assistant – Stocking the shelves and checkout.

I was till trained and gained retail skills.

2013-                  ASDA

Sales Assistant – Anything from checkouts to customer



  • Leadership
  • Team Work
  • ICT Skills
  • First Aid
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Customer Service
  • Till Trained
  • Creative

 Interests and Activities

I am extremely passionate about the arts. This can be anything between; film, television, photography, fine art and writing. I have wrote, directed and published my own films and have also been involved with photographing events in my spare time. It’s not only a career aspiration, it’s also my hobby. Any other spare time I have I play video games, listen to music, write poetry and write short stories. I also enjoy playing my guitar.

Contextual Studies – Lecture Four

Modernity and Modernism:


The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 to commemorate the beginning of the French Revolution one hundred years earlier. The Eiffel Tower itself is a work of modern art, it was made of iron to symbolise freedom and the industrial revolution that took over Paris. The tower was the tallest standing structure of its time and was designed by an Engineer named Kristof Eiffel. During the planning of the huge monument, Eiffel envisioned his sculpture as a humanoid figure in the center of Paris, the four legs also represent the four corners of the world which projects the message of global modernity. The tower opened to the public nine days after the exhibition. The aerial view gave a whole new perspective to the public, inspiring artists to play with space on their canvases. This historical event is one of many that kickstarted modern art, the new perspective of aerial views also made some critics and artists open to the idea of modernism.

The modernist era made for huge advances in technology, in 1822 (premodernism) the first ever permanent photograph was developed by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce a French inventor. Photography was quite a slow process for the most part of the 19th century. The camera’s were huge and took a very traditional path in terms of art. Only the rich and famous were to be photographed. In 1885, roll film was invented by George Eastman which opened doors to filmmaking and photography. In 1888 photography as an artform became more accessible to the public as the first Kodak box camera was invented. The Kodak camera was small, compact and easy to carry. This changed the world of photography.


In the late 1880’s, machines took over the world and replaced many workers in mills, factories and farms. A lot of people didn’t like the idea of machines, many believed that they would turn on humanity and destroy the world. These sorts of ideologies inspired modern art and are still around in the postmodernist era.

Metropolis (1927)


The Card Players (1881 – 1955) Fernand Leger

There was a new world and it was hitting cities like London and Paris extremely hard. In 1879 the first Edison electric light bulb was produced on a mass scale and houses slowly started to convert to electricity, in 1893 the first Thomas Ford Automobile was invented, in 1892 the diesel engine was invented, in 1895 the first moving image camera was invented, in 1909 the first flight across the English Channel was completed successfully. All of these things made a huge impact on modern art. The creation of the light bulb meant that lighting had changed, artists now started to paint light in orange or blue. The Kodak camera, which was easily acquired stole the limelight and the business from traditional portrait painters which meant that they needed something new. The new modern age had liberated artists from an accurate representation, it allowed them to experiment with shape, size and colour. As the cities boomed, artists were more likely to paint city life rather than rural life. The modern era came out of nowhere, but it took a grip of the world and changed it forever.

I, Robot (2004)

These ideas still inspire works of art even today, this trailer from the 2004 film I, Robot is extremely similar in terms of subject matter. The film is about the takeover of robots, they replace other machines and humans, taking jobs and throwing the human race into a lazy void. However, things go wrong and the robots are evil and attempt to take over the world.

 Obviously at the time of early modernism, technology and the industrial take over happened extremely quickly and it was very new to the world. It scared people because it was so new and it took over rapidly. These fears started to change the way some artists made their art.


The Card Players (1881 – 1955) Fernand Leger

This abstract cubist painting by Leger depicts the broken and fragmented images of soldiers playing card games. Their bodies are made of almost a mechanical looking material, the painting itself looks incredibly industrial in terms of subject matter. Leger belonged to the cubists. Cubists were inspired by sharp shapes and distorted subject matters. Cubist paintings also have more than one focal point, the aesthetics of the painting, more specifically the composition, makes your eyes scan the canvas to take the whole piece in.


Three Women (1921) Fernand Leger

Three women, painted in 1921, is a more figurative painting than its predecessor. The painting itself is still abstract in terms of aesthetics, but the subject matter is much easier to put together. The piece is put together using bright and unnatural colors for the time, much later in the late sixties and early seventies, modern art had inspired the world to embrace its wacky laws and eventually, colors like these became the norm. The piece is made up of patterns which aesthetically are created with distorted shapes. The three women depicted within the painting look extremely robotic due to the emphasised joints.

University Reflection Image


This is what it means to be a full time student at University. It’s financially crippling. I reflectively look back on the absolute stupidity I made which was buy everything I ever wanted ever. I bought clothes, a guitar, games, films, takeaway etc. My student finance was destroyed so unbelievably quickly. I do however, believe that this is quite important in terms of experiences. By doing this you really learn the importance finances and day to day living, so this is why I chose this image of my very empty wallet.

SMART Action Plan

Action Plan

This is my SMART (smart, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) action plan. I devised it into six categories which I felt best described SMART. My aims are my over all goals, my objectives are how I am going to achieve those goals, what I need lists all the things I need in order to organise my progression, obsticals are the problems I may encounter, skills to gain are what I will eventually achieve in terms of skill progression and my deadline is the time I have set in which to achieve my aims.

I have aimed to improve the weaknesses I distinguished when creating my SWOT analysis and listed reasonable and feasible objectives in order to achieve those aims. I chose that specific deadline because that is the submission date for most of the modules in the first semester. By this time I would expect to have met these aims due to the practice I have had during the completion of these modules.

An Exploration of Light

Camera Functions: 

  • Sensitivity, film or sensor.
  • Exposure mode (M,A,S,P – Nikon), (M,AV,TV,P – Canon)
  • Focus.
  • Compose, visualise and capture.

Taking a Photograph:

  • Film speed (light sensitivity) ISO, ASA.
  • Shutter Speed (time) seconds.
  • Aperture (Size of diaphragm) f-
  • Exposure reading/ check.
  • Focus (auto or manual)
  • Compose, frame and capture.

Shutter and aperture are inversely proportional which means that as you increase one you must incrementally decrease the other. These increments are what photographers call ‘stops‘. A stop can be aperture, shutter speed or ISO. i.e. 1/60 – 1/125 is equal to one stop. 400 ISO – 800 ISO is equal to one stop. F5.6 – F8 is equal to one stop.

  • At 200 ISO, F56 @ 1/125 is the same as f8 @ 1/60.

A photographer adjusts the ISO, aperture and shutter speed to suit the general light level.

  • ISO is set to suit the general light level.
  • Aperture determines the depth of field.
  • Shutter determines the capture of movement.
  • You decide what the priority is.

Aperture Priority is when you set the aperture you require and the camera selects the correct shutter speed. This is great for:

  • Portraits, where you want to control background sharpness.
  • Shots where you want to emphisise small detail.
  • Creating soft moods.

Shutter Priority is when you set the shutter speed you require and the camera selects the correct aperture. this is great for:

  • Freezing or blurring motion.
  • Capturing action.
  • Making sure you don’t get camera shake.

Programme is for when you just want ti snap away with little thought to settings.

Manual is when you have time to concentrate on accurate expire for maximized capture quality,