Dialing In The Lighting


Anatomy of a Photoshoot


Lesson Info

Dialing In The Lighting

You see it's just sort of it's like controlled chaos on a day like today. And so, michelle, if you come right here, is this how close or far you want to be from the back? I'm not sure so first let's, let's, um with style, the key light. And so what we're doing is, when you're building a lighting setup, you always start with the key light and almost any lighting setup has three lights. You have a key light or the main light. That's what? Everything is based on that's what this is this is our key light. Then you have a second light, which is the phil light, and we don't have an actual light, but we're using a reflector for our fill, and then you have a hair light or separation light, and actually what we have is way back here, I know if you can see it, we have this light right here that's got a grid on it, and we're not, uh, putting that on the model. We're actually putting it on the wall behind the model, and what that does is the wall will be illuminated. Teo separate our model from wh...

at we're doing, and so we'll have. Basically a three lights set up it's the same three lights set up that you would use for any basic olin mills portrait, but we're just changing what we consider lights and how we're doing that, but you'll see as we're doing all of these different lighting setups when we put lights on the background on the screen those air essentially separation lights when we put lights on the model we have a key light you'll see the same pattern over and over and over again sometimes you have a fourth light, which is called a special and that specialist to eliminate shadows or to give a little extra highlight something like that so I'm going to start right here with our key light and that's really what we care about, we want to make sure we dial that in and once it's dialed in, we'll go so let me do this first kill six they think I need to feather this light so what I'm going to do here and let's get rid of that reflector, please this is ah twenty degree grid and so what this grid is doing and I need thio fix this light it's tilted down a little bit too much for me right now I'm killing the modeling light inside so I don't burn my hand and these air a little bit heavy, so I'm just sort of cheating it up, tightening it down so that when it falls, it's a little bit more level and that's not level yet. So, kelso, you're going to tell me when it's level because I can't really see it. That's too high. Yeah. It's gonna drop that's pretty close. Pretty close. Yeah. Okay, so now we have it pretty close to level. Um, that just has a little dip too, because it's such a large soft box so I want that light to come out and be nice and even and then also so if we can show from this camera here the relationship of our model to the light notice I've got, I can position the model either toward the back of this light, to the middle or to the front. And I want a position, her to the back, so I have more light falling on the front of her and less light back here, and then also we're going to put this pretty close because we wanted pretty dramatic light fall off so that we get that high contrast. Look so what I'm gonna do here, bring this over. I'm shooting vertical, but in post production we can do things like cut out this if it's a little bit too close, we could just drop that out, and if we have a really a dark background we always have the ability to fill in some of those dark spaces. So we're going to start with this. And so, since for mita ring for the highlights, we want those shadows to drop off. We're going to get her to the light. So, kelsey, if you could do that park, can we ask you some questions with you on this? Okay, awesome or rolling fast. I know. Um, empty wine had asked could mark talk about why the light on the bg versus using the hair light? What is the look he's after? Yes, so that the reason we want the light on the background instead of the light on the hair is if I put a light on the hair it's going to give ah highlight and it's going to make sort of a halo effect, and I don't want that I want it to be a soft, muted look, and so I don't want a really, really hard line around the back of our model. What I want is a soft look, I have the option if so, if I point it at the back and actually get that outline, look half hard lines, but wanted to be sort of soft and muted, and so by putting it on the back more soft line the other thing that's gonna happen is is way back here that light because we have a five degree grid it's just going to make a sort of a very circular pattern and it'll just sort of fall off and it'll give us a really interesting look um that I think will like I'm not sure if we're gonna like it on that that background we might have to put cem seamless gray up but I think it's gonna look pretty good but we're dialing it in so just a preference so for the people on the chat room that don't understand the difference between a main light and a key light can you just go over that really quickly yes they're yeah one is spelled katie why want to spell may I know they're the same thing same thing two different terms it's like wife and spouse you could be the same thing and are so yeah that's what it is thank you okay, so we're goingto first uh take a couple of tests of this and what did it mean shooting with the ex shooting with the ex? Yes we're sitting with the d three x we're shooting specifically with the d three x because we really need some low isoda control all this ambient light we want to make sure that you can see what we're doing so we have video lights and anya lights and so we need that that to be a slow is possible on and then also what we need is we need to be able tio have really high resolution images so before I do this there's something I haven't done that we didn't talk about yet and that is the preflight checklist so this is something I do every single time I pick up my camera at the beginning of the shoot and I just go through and manly check the camera to make sure I haven't done something stupid and so the first thing I'm gonna do is check to see if I have a battery in there why do you believe how many times have you tried and that there's no battery I'm looking to see if my battery's charged it is we actually have a battery on standby being charged just in case this one dies so we have a back up I'm going to go and check to see if I have a card in the camera I have a card in the camera I need to make sure the card is empty so I'm gonna turn on the camera, go in hit play I can see I have a bunch of pictures that we took yes today I don't want those in there so I'm gonna form at the card so let's take the second format card card is now formatted folder contains no images, I'm good to go I need to make sure that my s o is at one hundred it is I need to make sure that my auto eso sensitivity has turned off because I don't want it to jump up to twelve thousand eight hundred or something so that's turned off checking my white balance right now it's on flash I don't want that I want to do a preset white balance. Andi, we're going to do the white balance after we get everything set, so for now I'm gonna put it on a kelvin setting, so I'm putting it to fifty to sixty calvin I know that's a closer approximate very closely to what this light is going to give me not gonna be exactly right but I'll get me there close. It could have also put it in the flash setting but my white balance has said my quality I check that so I am a shooting, eh rod image and I also need to have I'm also shooting a small j peg image and the reason I also shoot small j peg along with the raw if I need to quickly just getsem images out of the computer I have those justo to throw out there so that's done right there I have my mode set to manual mode so that's good, I need to make sure that my camera set to my camera sink speed and on the d three x you just slow it down till it's his ex to fifty so it's that sink speed of two fifty we never adjust that I need to make sure that my mode is in single mode and on accidentally fire off six shots so that is also set and checking my auto focus so it's set to auto focus I have it set to five meters to infinity not the entire focus because I'm not shooting anything really close I've turned my v are off because we don't need extra freezing flash with the strobe so I've done all of that stuff I have my auto focus point set to the middles lycan manually choose which auto focus point that I'm using gonna look through here I'm checking my doctor to make sure that my images are nice and clear inside if I needed to change that I could do that really quickly right there my meeting mode doesn't matter everything else is set to go so I'm ready and the battery mr done yeah and the battery groups turned and normally I would do all of that in about fifteen or twenty seconds maybe so usually it's just a really quick fast run through and I also have that documented to step by step by step process that his uh has been born out of many failures so coming in after shooting all day outside s o sixteen hundred something like that okay, so we have anything on her first shot do we have a bunch of questions before I take the shirt first shot? Same? Cox asked well, mark, use a color, check her passport anytime the shoot yeah we'll use it all day looking great so now the thing is we're going to be using the color check her passport to dial in our colors but we know that we're going to do postproduction teo de saturate and do all kinds of things but what we want to do is make sure that we have a calibrated starting point tio tio from so we want to start from right and then make it artistically whatever we want it to be but we don't want to start from I'm not so sure um and it's just a good a good practice to be in kingsley wanted to know which is better separation light pointed at background versus pointed at the model it's a personal preference so if you have a separation light pointed at the model it's going to really cut that model out you might have issues with lens flare and so you have to make sure you put a flag or something in front of that light to cut it out from the linz um it's a it's a totally subjective decision and so in this we're going to first try it on the wall to see if we get enough separation and if we don't we'll probably turn around and get some kicker but we wanted to be a subtle shot we don't want to be really nice cut out shot but on the when we're shooting the table we're going toe point the separation light the hair light at the table because we wanted to be crystal clear and highlight highlight highlighted so we want that effect and so that's sort of why we're trying to mute the model because we want to have the table tio stand out in the model t blend in a little bit could you talk a little bit about why v ers turned off when it's on the tripod yes javi was asking that so the reason pr is turned off is if we go back to day one we have the first curtain so what first let's talk about what we are is so ers vibration reduction or canniness image stabilization what's happening is you're trying to correct for camera shake or the movement of somebody and so normally you get that with the seventy two hundred millimeter lens that shutter speeds below about two fifty sometimes five hundred you'll get a little bit of shake there and so images khun b blurred and so what we're trying to do here is with v r is there's an actual gyroscope inside there that's moving things around to try to compensate for the movement of the camera and that allows you teo uh get rid of that blur when you're using a flash of studio strobe you have something called flash duration so back today one we have the first curtain that opens up it opens all the way up the flash turns on flash turns off and then the second curtain waits and then goes back now what we try to demonstrate is that with our strobes the strobes air so bright and the aperture is restricting so much light that we really don't see any ambient light always see is the light that comes from the flash that's all we're saying is light that comes from the flash the ambient light isn't showing up in these images and because of that the how long the flash is on effectively becomes your shutter speed so if your flash turns on and turns off it like normally these I'm not sure what it is but twenty five hundredth of a second maybe five thousandth of a second I'm sure something can google it and tell me exactly what it is but it's around there it's thousands of a second and so it effectively makes your shutter speed really, really fast and so therefore you don't I have to worry about that blur anymore because we don't have to worry about the blur because the stroh is freezing that then we don't need that v r because the v r isn't really doing anything except for wasting our battery and way don't need it so will turn it off in fact, in my own my cannon lenses I don't have any ice lenses in the studio because it's it's totally uncalled for so go back and look at day one I think we had a carly doing this kind of stuff that we do that or she moved her hands around here okay, we'll do that here we'll have michelle move her hands around and I'll take a picture in fact let's do it right now. Well, first we need to meet her this and get it all violent. Well, I'll show you why we don't need they are so let me do that right now. So what was that meeting for? Five, four five let's get a little more power so we can weaken illustrate this how much more? Uh, give us half one stop more five meet the five and a third. Yeah, let's do this, kelsey so we don't really have a lot of light coming under, so I hadn't just going meter that wait. So what we're gonna do is I'm just going to take a picture really quickly um to make sure that we have a photo and we do okay that's going to pop up so we see it, we have a dramatic light fall off and you can also see how that background is now has that muted kind of stuff instead of that big bright light on the hair so michelle what I want you to do is on your face do this as fast as you can okay dude as fast as you can alright good I've turned my focus to manual yeah he's fast fast fast good alright see how that's frozen as if frozen image because all the camera saw was the light from the flash the flash was super super fast because the flash was super super fast and that's all we saw it froze the action therefore we don't need v r you don't need it and you can also tell on this meter yes so on this meter is well there's on on all state comic meters so I come over here and then hopefully you can see this there is a percentage right at the very top this says one hundred percent with that one hundred percent says is we're seeing one hundred per cent of the light from the flash that good yeah so one hundred per cent of the light is coming from the flash we have too much glare yeah all right so um we'll try to get a better shot was that a little bit okay all right good yeah no one hundred percent of light comes from a flash now watch this we're way way far away from the light meter it right here so do that and that's saying I don't even see a flash there's nothing you can't make it yeah turn it toward me just a little bit there we go so do that we're seeing twenty percent of the light's coming from ambient eighty from the flash see that so this actually tells us how much is coming from the flash how much is coming from ambient light if I slowed down my shutter speed you can see that now we have twenty percent from the flash at fifteenth of a second so by speeding up and slowing down the shutter speed all of those things update in real time and that's why we want a fast sink speed to eliminate that ambient light okay let's keep dialing in our light thank you very much, john um no, not yet because we got a dia listen, so did that answer that question? Do we sufficiently answer sugar mean uh good, right? So hopefully we're back khun re re meter that to the yeah, not quite that much though, john so bring it back straight toward kelsey there go right there that's good it's at eight okay, so good doing that somebody else asked me about my tripod and I'll tell you that I like to shoot with manual focus instead of auto focus for something like this so that's why and the reason for that is now on somebody else asked the son chat yesterday now that I've used manual focus I could just go over here and hit this without even looking through his long is nothing changes I can just look really quickly and see how things look right now they look sort of okay the highlights look like they're a little bit blown out I can tell because that is not a calibrated monitor so what we're gonna do here before we move on is first let's bring in that reflector so to the right side of her originally you said you wanted this to meet her at forward so yeah just go with me on this though sure so bring that out a little bit there you go I'm going to back up because we want more of the dress to be there I came to see how much more we can get in here we really need more dress so kelsey move that reflector back about actually, uh instead of moving it back but we're gonna do is we're going to reflect it this way like that? Yeah so that allows us the the field of view allow us to still reflect but not have it in the shot so I'll tell you when to market in so that is uh just, uh move it this way just a little bit so there you go a little bit more but they're good excellent, excellent, okay, good again, we're getting a really wide shocks we know we're gonna crop alright that's getting close but on this what I what I don't like is we have highlights that are just a little bit too blown out on her face and so what we're gonna do is we're gonna move this we're gonna have a little bit less of feather can you get that right there like that? So I got a little bit more directional life, so we don't have quite as high of contrast we're gonna lower that contrast just a little bit doing me to meet her on her cheek because that's where it was blowing it up still a date still doing okay, still at eight. There we go. So we lowered that contrast just a little bit. Now what we want to do here is we really check this to make sure I think I just stepped on the cable, sir, about that we need to check this so I'm turning off the camera. I'm going to rip out this and then we're gonna go over here the light room now before I do this here's another little trick this there's a card right here already. This is ready to go for a new photo shoot, so we always keep the empties right there if I have a new card that needs to be imported it goes on the left hand side of the laptop that's just our own preference but that's sort of how we keep track of it so we know did I import this or not so what I'm gonna do really quickly here is before I do this michael's gonna have to come out here because we have to look to see if our uh if our images were gonna work um so let's go in here so step to the side so there you go I'm gonna import this really fast um we're not going to show you uh the light room workflow just yet were first setting these lights really quickly I put that in there it's asking me if I want to import all these I don't want to import all these I just want to import last one because that's the one that that works um and I will show you all the settings that we're using here in a little bit not yet though so we're just gonna go in here and check to check to see if we're actually blowing things out or if it's a monitor that isn't calibrated exactly right and so first thing I notice is the white balances is off but these air not blown out these highlights are not blown out so it's uh the monitor that we're looking at isn't calibrated correctly so we can see that we have highlights there we have plenty of room to spare there so that's going to go so the other thing that we need to know from you michael is we have a very horizontal image I'm not sure that we're going to be able to fit it in that final in that final layout so even though this is horizontal still looks vertical so I'm going to give you this image we'll try to keep it is dark is this because then we can put a black mask on and I'll try to shoot wide but in a second list we'll dial the rest listen, make sure you have your thumb drive and we'll start playing with how much how far can we can we be wide right throw it into the template that you have okay, so I think right now we're at risk of this not working we're gonna have to manually shift this and post okay okay, so um let me shoot a couple more but do you have thoughts on I mean, obviously this is going to shift in post because we can't because right now we're framing for the ad we're framing for uh bringing in the other tools table over here over here yeah, right so um yeah, we may have to go a little bit wider, okay um anything we have two shots we have the one that's gonna be on light room and then we have one that's going to be composited on composite right? So I'll go get my thumb drive ready? Okay energy some questions from the internet people wondering is chris wallace asking is highlight blowout check done by looking at the image or at the history? Graham what were you looking at? So we're looking at the history ram and more specifically I'll go to the develop module and right over here at the very top there's this little button that button I push it right now it's got a little white outline on that. Uh if I go back over here to the image, anything that's blown out will glow red right now nothing is glowing red if I change my exposure, you'll see that things start going red so that red is showing us that things were blown out and so I didn't do that because they saw on the history graham that the highlights were, well, there's just a long way from being blown out, but if you're not sure you can always do that and see what's being blown out now we know that we're gonna lose detail in the shadows and so that's what this does if I push this button over here anything that's blue, we'll show up and that means there's no detail there it's absolutely beyond no detail black, but we want that in this ad campaign we want black, black, black really dark stuff and so that's that's how we tell we have these two little things now this actually there is a way to do this in photo shop if you don't have light room so you can open this in adobe camera raw and it became a raw also has those controls to allow you to see if you're blowing out anything are losing detail in the shadows mark philip rawson would like to know is a lighting setup like the one being demonstrated possible with a set of speed lights are large soft boxes like the vertical bank usable without high powered strokes yeah it's totally doable the problem is you just don't have this much power so you're you're um the year duchin you're not going to put a speed light in a soft box of this size it just doesn't have the power to do that unless you're shooting in a very high I s o with a wide open aperture so you won't be able to put a speed light in a six foot soft box and shoot at eight um that that won't happen but you khun yeah you can definitely do this stuff of speed lights you just don't have the power to work with okay let's keep going we have tio howard the screens they're totally crunched so let's go check over here we have all these crunchy screens these they're going to be stretched out and used and made into backgrounds now are these so part of the plan was to make a nine foot nine foot stuff for these nine foot sections that's a question for aaron so how about students for these nine foot sections? Several ok, yeah so we need one of those your winds for the floor phil good. So let's take these now that they're crunched and let's stretch them out so have you guys stretch them out so that they are they've got nice wrinkles and stuff but we need to make sure that we haven't stretched so they're not belong one yeah, the long ones okay, so having sort of stretched out for that okay diane, how is here and make up coming along it's going really well, we just have, um I'm letting her do her own lashes so that we could get it on a little bolder she's a latex allergy so using fake lashes will be tough um so we're getting away with not using them um but she just need lips and then she's going to wardrobe. Okay, cool. We're going to keep dialing in these lights here and we'll keep taking questions as we go now I don't have a card that's okay? Because I had light room uh automatically eject my card when I'm done and so now I will stick this in my camera and then I'm also going to delete the pictures that he just put on there I don't need him anymore somebody's gonna format my card really quickly and now we're good all right, so we're close what we need to do is I wanted to make sure that we have that background dialed in exactly so right now we have five degree grid on there okay? Let's let's change that to a ten so I think we need a little bit more um the other thing that is important is if you're using grids once you have it said keep the modeling light off because right now it's off so it shouldn't be so hot for them to change it out but if we'd left that modeling right on the whole time it'd be really difficult to change that out right now only that does it burn you but it also expands that a little bit so let's let's throw a ten on there and see how that works. Um the other thing uh aaron is that this background it looks like it's got some blues in it so um we'll have to make sure how that looks on the screen but it might change some of the makeup or some of the water way have some blues in there okay? Okay we have that in their get swamped and you put it exactly back where it was right the zoom okay he got stuck in the jungle of screens over here stuck in the jungle of screen right all right so for this normally isn't modeling light on turn it on please ok it's on so for this is going to be very difficult because normally we do this in a pitch black room right now we're in a very brightly lit room um yeah let's let's kill all the ambient light if we can uh john can't get the blinds now what I'm gonna do here is I have to look through the lens and figure out exactly where the spot is right here meant to figure that out and so it's hard to see it with all the lights on and this is a really dark background how you doing still good all right yeah don't forget about the models they're people too so I'm just standing there thank god I'm so tired I need some water all right? We have a much darker room so now I can sort of see exactly where that is and it's important that I looked through my lens so kelsey can you bring it vertically up about six inches right there now to your left stop then I'm gonna lower this just to hear and then bring it stage left a little bit to your right there you go good all right now we're gonna look and see right now it's a little bit too high it's right behind your head it looks like it's uh halo so bring it vertically down just a little bit more okay stop right there and it's really hard to see still needs to come down and also needs to be more directional so let's bring it in let's bring it closer because it's it's not round enough it's yeah, so this way so what we're doing here is is if the light is shining from the side we're going to get a cone I don't want a cone I want a nice soft radiant and so we have to bring that this way so we're getting that nice round pattern and it wasn't round enough for my taste so is to coney like the island in new york okay, here we go. I know they're gonna be coming to you like that all day all right a little bit better but it needs to come to your right a bit more there we go that's it right there lock that down. Um these wheels lock yes, yes, they do. Ok, now once we have everything set so michelle do not move we'll lock the wheels but we don't want these lights to accidentally being bumped because that would be a bummer all right, we're going to turn off this modeling light so we don't fry anybody that's good this's eight right that's what are you doing here? All right, now we're going we'll have to fix that background light again because carly is a different height on michelle but we're marking right now with some strike tape here some gaff exactly um put that exactly where her feet are so exactly so we're doing that okay, good. Now we have this uh dialed in where we have a starting point which is really good now if we check over here going overto wardrobe so john if you turn back on our overhead lights you can see that now we have this huge you're so tall so tall fembots metropolis see, we're going for here normally we have two people holding carly so we don't have anybody fall off and to be really careful you don't hurt anybody but chairs were great and also apple boxes and stuff so she's getting this all looked up and coming down there you cool? So once this is rigged we'll be good um so how far away are we on all this? We still have hair to the right way still have some time here for a little bit ahead of schedule, which is good and so what we're going to do now is before we start shooting carly I'm going over here my check our our schedule here so right now we've crunched the screens we've done this that's all done this is going to be done here in about ten minutes or so um so we're ahead of schedule, which is good, which means that we'll be able to start shooting carly a little bit earlier. And that also means that we'll be able to do multiple wardrobe changes and do some experiments with the lights. Which is good. And also means that when something happens that we don't know about that, we'll be able to fix it.

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



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.