Grade Level: Middle-High School; Type: Physical Science
Students will investigate which type of light bulbs are the best at producing flattering photographs in both flash and non-flash conditions.
- What are Incandescent, Halogen, and Fluorescent light bulbs made of? How do they work?
- What kind of colors do Incandescent, Halogen, and Fluorescent lights generally give off?
One of the factors that photographers rely on for a flattering photograph is lighting conditions. Bad lighting leads to a bad photograph. Incandescent (Tungsten), Halogen, and Fluorescent lights are composed of different materials and they emit different light effects. In this experiment, we'll test how these different lights affect picture quality.
- Incandescent Light Bulb (control the experiment by using the same wattage for all bulbs)
- One Fluorescent Light Bulb
- One Halogen Light Bulb
- Light sockets and tubes
- A Digital Camera or Instant Camera (a decent one will do)
- A friend willing to help or a well-defined object
Terms and Concepts: Incandescent (Tungsten), Halogen, Fluorescent, photography, camera
- Choose a set location as the control. It is preferred to be a blank wall or a photographers' backdrop. At this time, set up the lights. Twist the incandescent light bulb into its socket andturn on.
- Your camera needs to be in the same setting for all three photos. In other words, the only thing thatis changing are the light bulb types.
- Have a friend stand in front of the wall or place your chosen object there. However, the anglemust be the same in all three photos. This also goes for positioning and pose.
- Take the photograph with and without flash for comparison.
- Repeat the light bulb set-up and take photos (flash and no flash) for the remaining two light bulbs.
- Evaluate the results. Which one looks the best? The worst?
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions
Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational
purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation
regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for
any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such
information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and
renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your
access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by
on Education.com's liability.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all
individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea
should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental
or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all
materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For
further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.