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Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 9 of 38

Controlling Light with Grids

Mark Wallace

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

9. Controlling Light with Grids

Lesson Info

Controlling Light with Grids

Welcome back I uh I hung out with some people, I guess from australia there's like a contingent in australia I'm hearing and so everybody that's watching in the middle of the night I applaud you well done so what we're gonna do is, uh I've been caffeinated now and so you'll see the energy level goes up if you can believe it. So if you watch with a box on the steps, it could be really cool. Well, one of the questions that we got a couple minutes ago and I got caught up a little bit on what people were talking about while I was chatting up here is how to control the light and we, uh, talk about that next specifically, we had a question that was how do you in a small space? How do you isolate a white background and make it black? And so what we're gonna do is we're going to talk about some of the things that you can use to control the light. So remember, we've talked about the source of light and the shape of light and the direction of light, and I can't stop so now there's this and I'm g...

onna walk right up to this camera, so I hope you can see that can you see that going in and out like that, okay, this is called a grid and what the grid does there's all different types of ribs was a big grid here. That's a twenty degree grid. This is a five degree grid, and so you can see that these do different things. What these do is these restrict the light coming out of aa standard reflector like this, but you can also get grids for things like soft boxes and even umbrellas and stuff like that. So the big grids that air used on soft boxes, we have one that we could just pop around here. Yeah, kelsey's gonna grab one of those, but those big grids, a lot of people call them egg crates. And so this is show that really fast. Grab this. Thank you. So this is the same thing. This is ah, grid on a big, soft blocks and it I will actually come off of there. It's called an egg crate because back in the olden days when you bought eggs and create it looks something like that. And so that's just a velcro in and out. Most soft boxes depending on, doesn't matter which manufacturer you can get it creates, and what they do is they control the spill of light. And so one of the other questions that we had, they looked at it lunches, you know, what's the difference again between a soft box and an umbrella well, a soft box only controls light falling behind not only does it diffused light a little bit more but you can throw these egg crates on here too really, I really do some amazing things so what we're gonna do is first I'm going to show you how you can take a photo and separate the foreground and background and make that white background go black using a standard grid because these guys are much less sorry these air much less expensive than something like this considerate left less expensive but when you see the difference I think you're going to go one of those so we'll start here with a new experiment we're going to use a five degree grid all right now the other thing is this light is pretty powerful so I'm gonna pop this in depending on your brand you will have to have either some kind of holder or on these pro photos they just popped right in there and they stay now this guy is a pretty powerful light and so if you can zoom in really tightly to this I'm going to show you something that will happen and this you should not be afraid of this is gonna happen to you the very first time you use one of these things has got fresh paint on it there it is it's a smoker you see that way we clearly have a little smoke coming out of there so you guys saw that I started doing this teo prep this and then people like ad it's on fire it's not what's happening is the paint is melting so that'll happen the first few times you used it ten or fifteen times you'll get this little pop of painting that burns off their sort of cool thie other thing is that sort of gives you an idea of how hot these air going to be so the last thing you want to do is just grab this and take it out right now I can feel the heat from about right here on and so what you should get in your studio are some gloves because when you're working with these kind of things you can burn your hands so get some gloves or an experienced assistant has cans so either one didn't work that's also where they have these little tab so you can pull them out they're really really hot the other thing is the modeling lights so I don't have a smiling light on I'll turn it on when the modeling like comes on it's almost impossible to see that modeling lights really really difficult because the light is so constrained so that's one thing that you'll have to get used to the other thing is that modeling light is heating up it's getting a really, really, really hot and if you leave a modeling light on with the grid like this you're going to burn your hand eventually so what I I recommend you do is get the lights set with the modeling light and then turn the modeling light off so that this can cool off a little bit because that will really burn your face or hand or something it's no fun but you have a cool waffle scarf we sort of like about all right, so what we're gonna do here we have all kinds of light, all kinds of lights zipping around and let's use the d three x yes, we're not going to be able to do this. Well, let's try the d three us let's just see if we can do we might not be able to do this with the three us because of the s o might be a little bit high, but let's see if we can do we're gonna pretend like we're in a very confined small space and we have this wall that's why are seamless white? So carly is about I don't know not very far from this, so this is what two feet? Maybe. So I'm really, really close and they were going to say that we only have about this much room to work with, so this is, I don't know, maybe ten feet, something like that, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn on my modeling light and I'm gonna put this right on your face on your face like that right now the meeting on this is very tricky so if I normally meet her like this how's your faces it melt off yeah, I turn this off just a little bit separate that a little bit lowering the power somebody else asked you know, how do I know when I say it is too much like this? Just measured thirty six my camera doesn't goto thirty six by now close your eyes thank you so much meet her one more time and I'm meeting up here the reason for that is this light is so restricted that I'm probably in shadow down here I'm not gonna get a proper reading so I'm gonna meet her for the highlights appear that says f twenty two well, with the three s I can't when I got two hundred thirty two still to punching someone take that down and we might to move this back just a little bit we'll see how that works so this is just really sort of picky but you'll love it when you see it. All right, we'll try it one more time whammo were twenty five we need to move back just a little bit more, see if we have that right okay one more time twenty to write we have twenty that's it the the range of my camera now we'll see if I have this at the right angle I can't really see what my life is doing because we have so many so much ambient light normally we would take the ambient light down but stay right there this is really picky that's going to make sure that it can see exactly what this is falling falling the light down yeah that's about right just like that and I'm gonna make a wide shot here okay let's see how this turned out well hit play check that out crazy huh yeah so we can really really restrict the light using those grids I mean she's two feet from that white background and it's almost completely gone crazy now we can dio josh come help me josh he's the man with plan we're gonna use this large flag okay you're gonna be a human light stand to come back here right behind that going to see if we can knock that out we might not be able to we're gonna try it so take this guy right up here I'm gonna hold it just like that yeah right next to it just like that don't be afraid okay pull this back just a little bit all right this may or may not work again I can't really see what I'm doing here but let's see if we can totally eliminate that and you know see what we get there it isthe now we have a problem because the other side of her face is totally dark, right? We don't like that that's okay, we have some reflectors we have a silver reflector let's grab a silver reflector so what we're doing now is we're starting to shape our light so we talked about hard light and soft light now we want to control it if you want to say I want to like to be right here and nowhere else cool that's gonna bring this guy out I show you something it's called a uh uh white reflector and on the other side there's a black reflector and let me just show these guys what this is this is, uh, just material okay, this is a photo flex there's all different brands that make these so we want to use this white side so you can flip this inside out and there's a little frame that this stretches on to like that you guys could get the bottom of that now what we're trying to do is we have a lot of light coming over here sitting carly's face we want toe to bring some back in we used another light we could do that we're trying to just do this the most simple way possible, so we'll see if we can get in there nice and tight so uh kelsey, if you can come in for john you're gonna help me move this around just a little bit again I can't really see what I'm doing it get that as close as possible and the point is we want to keep that background you can see now that we're getting a little bit of field fill on the other side of her face let's bring it a little bit closer there you go closer still not that close come back good just like that. Okay, now you can see we had that subtle effect not only what I would do in this situation I'd be adding something like a second light or something tio give us you know, some more controlled fill on that um but you can see that we're starting to shape like I want to show you something else here so gentleman and hand you this I know we're moving out a pretty good clip thanks, josh how's your arms I forgot you there there's no blood in them back to like, please let me go okay, we're going to do is I'm gonna bring you back out here just a little bit not too far right about there and what we're going to do is, uh kelsey, can you move this just to decide a little bit and then we're going to throw that big grid now here's where you can get a bit because I almost forgot this is still about a million degrees so little these are extremely hot so I can hold this out don't touch it but just sort of feel very close to it you can feel the heat from there yeah yeah it is like a heater so you guys feel this don't touch it crazy, huh? Yeah very, very hot yeah. So if you need to heat up your house just get some pro photo lights yeah gonna get the big one yep. I'm gonna put this on now put this on. I'm gonna show you the back of this small tabs here he's actually events and normally what you do is you put this here put a little bubble in there like that so some of that heat can escape it is going to build up some heat now literally what I do and we'll go over to this camera you see that there's uh this is a speed ring so speed ring so it holds together a soft box you're going to need a speed ring in a soft box. The speed ring is specific to your brand of camera and so this is a pro photo speed ring, but if you have alien bees or if you have, you know bronco or whatever you have, you just need to get one that's specific to mount to your specific flash and normally what I do because um pro photos allow you to zoom in and out I tried to get the light to sort of rest right back at the back of this thing so let me do that these things were not super heavy but they can be sort of fun to get on here all right, here we go lower this just a little bit you know let me go ahead and get this tighten that down just a little bit just like that okay, now the speed ring uh allow me to spin this I can do all kinds of things and what I'm gonna do is put this about right here okay? Good turning on my like so carly, we're gonna have you stand right here understand to thank you we'll take that out let's take this away for a second now what we're going to do here is I'm gonna meet her to the light because I don't care about the highlights and what the shadows to fall out right now we have too much power just to close so I'm gonna move this back because I don't have any less power to give it here we go something like that again I'm gonna meet her this that's twenty f twenty all right now I have a camera here somewhere I want to show you what this does so you can make sure this doesn't fall out all right coming right back out here. All right, carly right there this is more of a it's not a full body shot but it's right above the knees we did not um did not set the background to be beautiful. So it's okay, I'm having live your issues so hang on there is a little camera we'll go so I think I'm having a live years you unplugged this just for a second see if that's it when in doubt turn off the camera and come back on I think I crashed it way have some questions if you want yeah, I mean to see if this is going to kick back in because I want to complete this little exercise and not well I've got some issues with it well, I'm not sure exactly what those issues are question okay, we try really fast it should be good there he goes alright yeah yes yank the battery don't put it back in so I really don't ever have that happen but sometimes like now we have issues so we're gonna change cameras because I'm not sure what's this what's going on I think it's the live use the issue so what's the question we'll figure out what the live you how come it's being messed up so give me a question and then I'll show you this but I really want you question from miss nolan can mark give a brief explanation of what seconds and how much you need yes that's coming up next oh that's immediately after this all right next uh from nick craig can mark explained the difference of the different size percent size grids yes I'll show it to you so uh okay hopefully our cameras fixed same camera let's see if it's fixed fixed all right let's see you so we're back here if twenty two and no not a ah that's gonna be it oh this is going to be spectacular fail yes I turned this off how is it you see that I turned the battery drip off that is awesome that's the first big fail is it big points okay so that is what this looks like and I think my auto rotate is turned off let's see if I can get it to turn back on here lou there it is okay now you can see we have really nice soft light from the side very hard contrast and we have that background that looks gray even those white but we have that fall off we're getting some really nice stuff um and I can sort of feather this light so somebody asked about feathering the light I'm gonna move this out this a little bit so now I have the light coming this way so it just sort of hitting skimming you and so now what? Well do same thing I am now I'm gonna meet her for the shadows this time so that's f sixteen it's okay we'll just go with what we have right now so I'm a f sixteen for this so we're gonna get mohr of the background more the background here okay and I lied so les in the background because we feathered the light but pretty cool huh so again we have that that really soft light really high contrast now john get that white reflector let's throw it on the other side really fast now save you a few hundred dollars adding you a, uh fill light okay like that and I'm gonna tell you to bring this in as close as possible so a little bit closer closer there you go good. All right, I'll see how much we got unfilled on the other side of her yeah so I got a little bit of it in there we're kicking some light back in so if that was silver we would get even more so that's a case where I would use silver we had when we didn't have silver um but those reflectors really help out okay, now let's do this. Um if you can take this away let's take this off box off put the standard reflecting back on and then carly you can actually use it over there and I think we're good but I'm gonna show you now is yes, thank you it's really hot in here it's like about building a hundred degrees I feel like a southern preacher yeah, we're gonna put a good foot down um my dad's a southern baptist preacher so I'm not making fun of anybody except for maybe my dad um okay, so can you hold this just for a second and I need our grids okay, what we're gonna do is I'm going to shoot across this white gonna shoot across the white so you're gonna help me with the grids okay? We're starting with a five degree grid and this will help illustrate the difference of these grids all right? Good going blind somebody over there and we're just gonna shoot these eight twenty two we'll see if we can actually get this in power we can you meet her that kelsey because obviously it's less than twenty yeah, this meter in about halfway straight it the light ways okay, good, good, good, good. Okay there's the spread of a five degree grid can you throw a twenty in there? You'll see really clearly what we get with the twenty degree grid. All right, same thing now it's a twenty degree grid twenty good. So big difference what we have in between anything I was throwing tenant was throwing it in good very cool ten degree grid so you see that we just have the difference in three grids comes from you know just controls the beam spread five degree twenty degree ten degree it's cool so that's all it's doing is it's controlling how much spread that we get so I hope that clearly answered that um and then there is one more thing I was going to answer and oh yes I don't think so kelsey if you grab that light take the grid out may I show you something else that's just unique to pro photo um and then I want you to know leave it where was okay so zooming out to ten john's going to thes reflectors zoom zoom it back to ten there you go. Okay, make sure it's just uh going straight across that there you go good. So this is, uh, pro photo light at ten so much light we get big beam spread now zoom it to the other all the way to the opposite end all way down to four yep and locked it on their good so yes that's for well probably look too close because you can see it right here so maybe we need to bring this out just a little bit we're zooming how the light falls so it's it's making things a little bit more uh contrast to see if I can get that yeah, we can't okay so it's just blowing it out too much you see if I could get way down teo see if we get this guy. Yeah, still just too much light, so I can't captures outside of dynamic range. I can, uh, confound it up, but the zoom lights, maybe they can do this, so hold this police good where we can see it. This way me might be old suit this week, so there's a hot spot there. I hope you can see this on video. I'm not sure you can there's a nice, hot spot right here. Very nice, very hot. Um, let me just zoom this out. I think we're okay, and this is a wide, wide light, so it's, much more evenly lit, so the light is coming up so it's not the same as agreed, but it's it's a similar effect. Hopefully, we'll have more time to dig in, and we can show it to you, uh, either tomorrow or later on, so we're going to get

Class Description

Join Mark Wallace as he dissects a commercial photoshoot to reveal each step at its most basic level. From technical aspects of lighting and color, to real-world experiences working with art directors, make-up artists, models, and other professionals, you’ll have a firsthand look as he puts each piece together to complete several complete concepts from start to finish. This unique course explores the fundamentals of commercial photography, from the smallest jobs to the biggest productions. Bring your questions from your own shoots, or use this experience as a roadmap when planning your first jobs. Mark will be chatting with the live worldwide audience throughout the weekend!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Snapfactory Color Theory

Snapfactory Lightroom Workflow

Snapfactory Workflow Example - creativeLIVE

Snapfactory Model Release

Snapfactory Commercial Shoot Workflow

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snapfactory creativeLIVE overview

Snapfactory Purpose Worksheet

creativeLIVE plan

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Brian Geoghegan

Mark Wallace, Brilliant at what he does, so clear to understand, he is amazing, well done Mark great workshop, I learned so much. Thank you, kind Regards, Brian from Ireland


Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.

a Creativelive Student

I loved this workshop! Many things I struggled to understand about exposure and many other things became so clear! Just wow!