Basics of Studio Lighting

Lesson 1/1 - Basics of Studio Lighting

 

Basics of Studio Lighting

 

Lesson Info

Basics of Studio Lighting

It is my pleasure to introduce to a creative live photo week studio here john cornyn cello who is teaching the basics of studio lighting you guys know john cornyn cello? Probably as uncle john here at he has been lighting assistant and many of our classes but he is a lighting expert. He is an amazing photographer and a master of photographing pyro technics celebrations. Welcome john cornyn hello you thank you. Take it away. Okay, uh, first I'll let you know that my monitor in front of me is not working exactly writes I'm going to refer to notes a little more than I normally would. So don't mind me if I keep looking over here because I can't really see this monitor either. I'd also like to mention to people at the start here don janadi who's been on here before was recently in the intensive care for a few days and his home resting now and I just want to send some good thoughts to him and one of the people I was really looking forward to working with here's peter hurley and he had a medi...

cal emergency with his mom and he's off with her so it's like two people, send some love and good thoughts towards peter in his mom so big thanks to everyone, a creative life for giving me the slot a couple of months ago, arlene mentioned you can do this photo week thing and I just spoke my head and said ok, one two classes and she said fine and that here we are so I want to talk about student lighting and understanding how it works I'm not going to tell you how to light things photography is a world of compromises you've seen what fifty, sixty instructors here and we're all going to say do things differently but what get out of this is to go out and find your way of doing things I want to challenge you a bit they want to encourage you want you to go out and try things yourself you know we can sit in these classrooms all day and look at stuff and we could read books and that's not quite enough go out and try it uh let's see here um let's see let's talk about quality of light here um says they said it's not about how light works ah define quality what do you think of when you hear the word quality? Anyone in the studio audience here? Yes. When I think of quality I think of something that has lots of value high value ok and that's sort of the definition I started with maybe something more along the lines of different types yes and that's where we're going hear from the dictionary the standard definition quality is this general standard of greatest something there you know what? It may be its value and the like, but here in photography we're really talking about hard versus soft light. Uh, they could terms of duck in terms of good in bed will go too hard and soft all latest good. You know, it's, the quality is hard that's fine. If that's what we want, it's not bad light it's, just hard light so don't think terms good and bad for your light we look at the line between the highway in the shadow, the transition area and that's where we decide what type of lighting system we have here. So I said we have hard, medium and soft hardly does strong contrast deep shadows here you could see the no shadow is very strong. Changing the distance of the light from the subject doesn't really make much difference. So if we have on camera flashes there so small whether it's close to the subject far away from the subject it's still going to cast a pretty hard shadow. Then we have medium light soft boxes where we I have a soft box and close the great shadows. Air graduated distance is very important the closer the late, the softer it's going to be there's your move like back it's going to get harder, but unlike a small light, you you there will be a difference in the distance and when I say closer in its as seen by the subject you know I can take a forty inch umbrella and put it right here and it's close I can move a ten feet away and now it's a small light so distance from the light to the subjects what we're talking about then we have soft diffuse light there where there's no contrast and no shadows through this particular example this was shot with a seven foot umbrella right over the camera so it's a totally flat light so here's all three images next to each other we have the hard light soft light and totally diffused shadow lis late um so as we mentioned, we have larger, small, harder, soft. All light is good. Um examples of the small lights, air camera, flash flash lights. If we brought this there's a small late the lights we have behind us or big lights the larger light sources creates softer light when they're in close ah, test I have is to take away your light put your hand out in front of you. I mean, we have these studio lights here, aiken block almost all of them with my hands, so there were actually pretty hard there cast some shadows if I was going to this soft box here I put my hand out here it's covering just this areas the lightest coming all the way around it and so I can tell it's a soft light when I moved back to here and I put my hand up uncovering that whole bucks so a mistake I often see with new photographers because they get a small umbrella or small soft box maybe a sixteen by twenty or so and they set it up ten or fifteen feet away from the subject and wonder why the light doesn't look much different than their on camera flash so when I often joke with my subjects when they come in I hope you're not claustrophobic because I'm going to have the lights in right outside the frame as tight as I can get them so what we see when we look at us that a subject if we see diffuse reflections we see light bouncing over skin or eyes or hair and that's ups says they would call the diffuse reflection as opposed to a speculator reflection a spectral reflections like there really highlight on the nose here diffuse reflections described this subject that's what we meet her for it's what we actually see the spectacular reflections our reflections of the actual light source so the value of diffuse reflections is consistent it's our basic exposure they follow the inverse square law which we'll talk about in a little while the spectacle reflections they're the ones we want to control they're highlights glare, mirror like reflections you're actually seeing the light source balancing left, you're subject to your lens, they stay the same brightness, no matter how for the late is away and which may seem like that's opposite of the inverse square law. But we'll show you how it actually follows it still again, I apologize that we're using notes here, so we're talked about transitions and the edges that where the magic occurs here, we see these two lines here a black and white to define the subject and the shadow when the transition goes smoothly with we say we have a soft light when it goes hard, we have a hard light, hard to find edges no graded shadows, no shadows. We have all sorts of choices depending on the distance we put our lights, huh? So controlling the light and selecting different like minded fires, we can control the transitions, the bigger the light source is seen from the perspective of the subject again, this after the light remember that that eight foot doctor bank from one hundred yards away doesn't work. I was talking to someone the other night, and they were saying how they got a sixteen inch beauty dish for their soft light, and they put it forty five feet from the subject across a river, and I'm seeing I think you're just losing power I don't think you're gonna see that much of a difference in the quality like hitting the subject from that so we'll talk about light sources the sun is the most obvious light source even though there's a studio class I want to talk about the sun it's massive in size but it's so far away that it's a small light again you could block the sun with your hand but on a cloudy day you get much softer light where the clouds become this light source when we talk about what the source of light is, we always talk about the sub the surface of like that's closest to the subject so like in a soft box the front of the soft boxes now the source of the light not the light that's in it we can't do anything really to the sun itself it's it's large we can't bring it in closer and we don't want to bring it in closer that would hurt nature we have clouds and overcast days the cloud layer excess than the light source then and it's a light all around us semi cloudy day could give us really nice quality of light a totally overcast day maybe actually too flat I said that the light the sun is still the origin alight but when the clouds are there the late this clouds become this light source if we don't have clouds, we can use screams to block the sun and soften the late it's sort of like taking one of these type reflectors and go pop and we could block put this in front of a light and this becomes the light source instead of the sun comes nice and close and soft I'm really good at holding these um other studio tools that do that are soft boxes, umbrellas v flats which your big pieces of foam court take together in a shape of a vp watch anywhere the lighting classes you'll see those off all the time um to go the opposite way too too narrow like down we use newt's and grids here we have ah, a great grids come in different degrees of light so if we had the front camera on you could probably see me through the grid. Just see as I turn it off to the side I start disappearing so the grid just let's like go straight through it and just softens the edges. They come in various degrees usually ten, twenty, thirty and forty. This is a forty degree the ten degrees a very tight and very much narrower light. Find out where we are here um so another tool we can use a snoot so it's newt is a metal tube that goes on the front of the light and that narrows the light even mohr he's seeing the bottom road the last three you're done with the snoot need to see that it's a much tighter pattern than the grid grids air really nice if you have a soft light beast to want some reflection highlights in the eyes you can set up a a soft light like this and then put another head with a grade right in front of it hitting the subject and it'll just have some sparkle to the eyes let's go onto the inverse square law who don't want to get to meth medical on everyone here I want to try to simplify this as much as possible but the rule says the intensity light falls off with the square of distance what does that mean it's a tough when so yeah that's an example if you take a light it's two feet from the subject and move it back to four feet instead of being half the distance half the power it's going to be one quarter of the power because the light is moving out and two dimensions so you have an eight by ten printing have a four by five print how many four by fives will it take to cover that eight by ten anyone now going before so because we're going in two dimensions hopefully this here I'll give you a little better understanding of what's what's going on there so the light from a point source hits the subject when you double this into the subject the light goes and has to cover four times the distance instead of too so the light goes down to a quarter power um let's see, does that help make sense of the of inverse square on what's going on there? Um typical technically inverse square first to a point source of light like a candle flame or something like that? Um once we're in the studio we put modifiers on the light it's the modifiers actually gathered the rays of light and send them out more parallel so if you were to test a soft box at two, feet and four feet it's not going to be quarter that's let me see it from my notes here where we have um so but the point source of light spreads out as it travels at some point that being becomes so wide that the middle rays become straits of the sun sunlight is the same around the globe. Now if you're at the top of mount everest the bottom of death valley it's still the same hard like the same amount of light, the distance between those two compared to the distance of the sun is very minuscule, so the same amount of light is hitting you there except that through there's atmospheric things going on clouds around the mountains as opposed to an open desert but typically, the mount of lights going to be the same, uh, let's, see, on a clear day, the light hitting downtown seattle and mount rainier, which is about sixty miles away, is the same that's because the late this son is so far away that its rays are parallel. So here's, where I took the test in the studio, I measured a light from a two by three soft box here, a two feet and exposure was f eight so with inverse square moving back to four food expecting exposure of that four, but it actually came out to about between four and five six, so I just want you to say, when we talk about inverse square it's point source, you don't have to remember the whole whole thing because in the studio we really have a point source, even a camera flesh, you know, it's a inch by two inches or so, it's still a little bigger. So the big secret of inverse squares you don't have to memorize the formula. Just remember that the closer, the latest to your subject, the doctor, the backgrounds going to be so does light really full up in intensity? It does not. If you're out on a clear night and airplane flies above, you see the lights from the plane. You're in outside of downtown seattle or any large city you look across the river at the city, you see all the lights from those buildings so that light is still reaching you it's just that it's it's spreading out that has no effect on you because it's getting wider latest energy it just keeps going and going what's happening is is it spreading out as it leaves the light source so we can see lights off in the distance, but they don't have any effect on less because they're they're so distant? Um, so as I said, the diffuse reflections follow the inverse square lodge and with late further way its power drops off dramatically and we talked about speculate reflections before those highlights on the nose and on the the cheek or on the forehead of a subject um they're the same brightness no matter the distance between the late in the subjects that how does that work out size what's happening here when I have a hot light, a small light and I bring it in close, the reflection on the subject becomes bigger and it becomes bigger in an inverse relationship to the distance, so instead of the light intensity change in the size is changing so it's just working in backwards like as if the subject was the light um so to recap um let's see the inverse square law tells us how to control the overall scene contrast and lets you control late on this subject separately from the background, etc he said here that we move the light source closer the size of speculative light increases, and this is will help us control things like catch lights in the eyes or reflections on products. If we do product photography and we'll get into some examples of that and a little bit so bringing in the close of the light closer spreads out the reflections angles are a great one. If you've watched the class we did yesterday with andrew, screw vanni on this pretty much describes what we're doing here. We had seen the second example there, where we had the light above the set was glassware, and we had the camera and the light was going right into the glass and back into the camera, and we're getting this horrible glare on it, and what we did is we took the light down further, like the second, like the first example here, but we left the camera where it was so the light bounced off the glassware and went under the camera and also we had clear glass, so the problem here originally was the light went right into the glass up to the camera because it was hitting at the same angle by changing the angle the white skinned underneath the camera s o just remember the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection so quiz time how do you make the background darker when the subject in background of fixed in relationship to each other you can on ly move the light with like closer to the subject we move the light back away from the subject anyone here uh, closer you move the light to the subject the darker the background would be okay hurry would agree good lord it's over you okay, what was that said? I learned that from you. Ok? So let's talk about putting the soul into effect knowing about light tells us how to control it in the studio especially in small studio spaces lights are far away the same light hits the subject in the walls fills in all the shadows if we move the lights and closer they fall off from the background we can like the background separately from the subject so it's all about distance and we'll get into lunges later we're going to find distance is a big thing there um photography is all about compromise is, you know, shutter speed versus have stopped versus I s o relative distances between cameras and subjects between subjects and background so everything there's no right and wrong I want to get that across to people you know go out and try things it's it's up to you to decide if you like it or not you know you um I want you just encouraged to go out and do things but do things on between your jobs you know don't experiment along in clients time um you can ask my wife kim is sitting in the back here in the middle of the night osama wake up in those lights on and there's manikins out and you know something hit me and I got try this idea before you fall asleep so and what were you doing something always reading try to learn every day that's why I'm here for photo week some learning a lot from all these other instructors I figured young you know a date I don't want to something is a failure you know I just got open learn something new so just covering it all again angles control reflections moving in the lights closer let's a separate things from the background really world example here we have this some statue head here and the first one the lights at forty inches away that I'm with the light into twenty inches away to ten inches into five inches you see the exposure stayed the same knock down the exposure to keep the consistent on the statue but the background falls off differently there's only one light being used here so again is the the lights back here it hits the subject it's the background hits everything in the studio evenly so bringing the late in really close on ly the subject gets late uh here we are using our friend here and our friend does not have a name so I don't know if the chapman wants to come up with a name for for our model here someone people in the studio here but they can take some suggestions you know I was wondering if your mannequin had a name no time okay need to name her okay everybody there suggest your name for john's mannequin and again this is a single light at what we have here I can read my own thing here ten inches twenty inches and forty inches from the subject you see the light on the subject stays consistent and the background changes but you can also see them when the lights further away there's more highlights on the lips it's a little brighter than on this one here and in the eyes a mannequin is not the greatest thing to practice on the skin texture is not quite right the eyes are going to show catch lights well but you know sometimes when it's all you have it's a way to get started but if you have friends and family bring him in what from some photo sessions and have fun with this stuff so as we said, this is often confusing to people when they get started you know that bringing in the light closer makes the overall scene more contrast e we're saying the void and closest soft but the scene is contrast e so it kind of sounds counterintuitive so we could see here this is actually the the edge of the soft boxes in here it's only a couple of feet away and the background of the rest of the studios start to go dark as they back the light out it just spreads out and covers everything you get harder shadows where we have this really hard no shadow here compared to appear and so it's it's softer and contrast it at the same time it's something that really need to think about for a while light in close the subject soft but the overall scene is hard and this is just a close up of the subject from those last two pieces note the speculum highlight on the cheek of the subject on the right compared to the smooth the transition on the left so over here it's hard to see in the studio here but I think you'll see there's a really hot spot on her cheek here and this one that the hot spot spreads out and just becomes softer and makes it overall glow on the face so I getting makeup, you know, get the light in close and towards the front um we always say we don't like on camera flash because it's flat but it's not that it's flat it's that it's small and hard and causes the shadows in the studio doing beauty were almost always lighting from right over the camera were lighting flat because if you remove the light to the side it's going to pick up any imperfections in the skin as it rakes over it. So we do this big, giant soft straight on light, so you know, like at three camera position is not bad, so putting it all to work again um, we lower the exposure to get the correct diffuse reflection. We've cut the power of the light and we lower the speculum reflection. So let me explain what's going on there when we're far away, we have that tiny highlight it's the size of the light and it's the same brightness as the light. When I bring the light into here that reflection it's become bigger it's still the same staying power intensity as the light, but the light on the rest of the subject has come up, so I need to stop down, change my shutter speed or whatever to bring exposure back, so I've lowered the exposure of everything together and now that highlight is nowhere near as bright as it was when this, when the light was back here, so it makes sense to make sense to folks out there. Here's another real world example, if you're shooting products. Um, here we have this really shiny can, and when I had the light again at forty inches away in this first one, you can't read any of the text in the highlight and it's a really bright highlight on the the cap of the bottle. When I bring the light in closer to about twenty inches away, you're starting to see some of this text in there, but it's still lost. And then when the lights in a ten inches, you see that there's a highlight there you have the shape showing of the bottle, but at the same time, you can still read what's going on behind it. So the stuff we're talking about applies tio portrait of shiny skin or too shiny products and let's, go to some questions on what we've done so far. Okay, does anybody in this to do have a question first? Yes. Can you go back? One slide? Yeah. Okay. So for the for you to be able to read the text on the last one in ten inches away. But the client still wanted the background to be brighter. You would just had another light. And yeah, I tried to make this class simple. It was mostly one light things and that's what I would also what don't get want to get across is by having the lighting closer. It gives us the ability to light the background separately on the first one if I hit a light on the background that's not going to change much of anything. So if I got the lighting closer in the background, even pushed further away background would go even darker. And then I could put gels on it. I could put a snood agreed or whatever to get some shape in it. Put some go, bos go betweens so leaves or things like that that will project a pattern on the background. So the light and closer gives you more options for your background. All right, john, there are a couple of questions. First, we have some suggestions for the mannequins. Ok? Jonah and, uh, cindy plain jane and lola and you have to sing the song her name is I don't know if we get some things in here for things dumpy, I like this one sunnah the goddess of light and that kind of appropriate because you are the master of light so he'll write some of those down for me and I'm not going to remember right now they're no problem on and I appreciate the singing thing because almost everything I say or people say to me triggers a song in my head and sends me off on tangents going no no no get stuck in my head but I'll sing it and I'll make new words to go with what we're doing here so move me away from them through the music all right questions sure great. All right the first question of is from kilman who asked so when you bring your light and closer do just the power of that light to help with the exposure yes, I guess and adjusting the power if you're using a strobe it's easy you can dial it down if you use in a hard light it gets a little more difficulty there because most hard lights when I'm saying that hard likes hot lights on dh incandescent bulb of fluorescent tube our led panel's led panel's tend to be controllable uh but say we had a hot light like this you know if I bring it in it's going to change the quality of the light I don't want to do that I bring it back and changes the quality of light so what we can do there uh could have student to come up and hold this for a second. Yeah. Come on. I want you just hold this right right about here and I know what that camera can probably one step off to the side of that camera so we can control the intensely bringing in a little closer here we have the anti can move the light back and forth because remember, this is the this the source of light that's lighting the subject so I can control the power a little bit by moving this in and out. So that's the way to control that there, but I'm a studio stroke person that should be it for this time we'll get you up for something else again. I really enjoy the flexibility of strobes in the studio because you can dial them up and down often when I'm doing a portrait I have an aperture that I want to shoot at and I have a lighting distance that I want to shoot at, so I want to keep those the same shutter speed doesn't come into the equation with strobe because the shutter speed just opens a camera then the strobe itself is the shutter, so my only choice then is the power of the light and I said the strobe aiken dialect down with other lights after move him around and I may end up changing the quality of light so I hope that answered that in a somewhat roundabout way. Absolutely did. All right. The next question up this from steve o, who asked, do you change the size of the light? According to the subject, to prevent any unwanted spill? Not really. I tend to stick to a couple of lights. The two by three soft box, which we have here. And this is a soft later usually have a sixty inch. I brought in this one here, which is about a thirty six inch it's smaller just because it was easier to bring into the studio and fit into the smaller studio here. But I may feather them off. My feathering light would come two in a little while. I mean, just turn it a little bit to vary the size. So if you're looking at that light, maybe from that camera straight on this thing's about thirty six inches of across as I start turning it, it gets narrower so the light can pass in front of the subject instead of right on the subject and ever given my software like doing that too, we will cover feathering in a few minutes. Excellent. Next question up is from a nuke over in dubai who is a regular here, it created life. Wondering about speculator highlights if we need to have a speculum highlight is it better to keep the light away from the subject if you want to get this really strong or you may add another light to so doing multiple lights I may have a said with before with a grid I may have the soft light in really close here and then in front of the soft light I may have a tiny late that's either gritted or another small flesh or something that's in front of the soft bucks it's aimed just at the eyes or wherever I want to get that that bright sparkly light so I'm a mix hard and soft lights together there but if you really if you want to have people with a bright nose and break forehead and break cheekbones move the light away and though they will light up but you have to deal with having ever your shadows to everything in photography is a compromise absolutely and experimenting terminal time all right question before we move on to the next subject chris photo are is asking if you could please further explain your eight by ten versus four by five analogy it's a great visual sure he's running are you saying that the eight by ten is equal to half power and then if we move the light source back the eight by ten inch equals no power point of light camera at the floor here you have just got four sheets of paper here. So if I have one sheet of paper and I double it to two, it doesn't cover well for what they believe. This is an eight by ten and this is a four by five. It takes one, two, three, four, four by five to cover that eight by ten area. So that's what? I was trying to get out there. Wait, pop. That too that slide real quick. And they're so make believe the light was hitting a four by five subject. And then there are the back you say that's the background so by doubling the distance of the background and now the white needs to cover four times the area, not twice so becomes one quarter of the power when you, when you double the distance instead of expected half catch lights always a fun subject. Are there rules about catch lights? If you go to camera clubs, there are competitions there are and I think, you know, it's not my thing. I want you to find something that works for you. Um, but some people rarely think about catch lights, but when there isn't a catch light in the eyes of his subject, eyes lose their glossy sheen and look kind of looked dead. So we always looking for some sort of catch light if we don't want them to be missing but customers don't come in and make a request of you or I want this kind of catch light in my eye you know they don't even know that that they wanted or not if just if you gave a photo without it they'd be probably disappointed um other photographers love to look at catch lights you know go to a camera club competition everyone saying well there's three catch lights in that I and that's not natural engine boys in the natural here in the studio you know we can have three catch let's look at the high end fashion magazines you may say ten catch lights and someone's I you know I don't I don't think it's something to really worry about how many there are as long as it looks good and then people talk about round or square so has anyone here have a preference for rounder square catch lights? No no we have to get people tell me that they want round catch lights and for a while there I thought I really didn't like around catch lights but I've decided I don't like small round catch lights I like the big ones like from the from the soft lighter but I also really enjoy square rectangular catch lights I think they're more natural here's some examples here um we have the two by three soft box we have a beauty dish we have the large soft lighter and then soft box set up like it is here now with some lines across that of tape again, if you so andrews class yesterday we use that soft box in the middle of the class we taurel the tape off because it was showing reflections in the glass where but but for eyes, I really like it when I think of catch lights, I think of windows, you know, old master paintings, they didn't they didn't have lots of lights, they use windows and doors, windows and doors are rectangular and they're bringing me in a have sketch board here in case we have to cover a little more of this. So again, no riel choice on which one it's up to you, you know, use the catch light you like, so there are no rules on catch lights, but it is one of my favorite subjects also, what with outdoor people say, well, the sun is round, but the sun is far away, and if the sons and someone dies there, probably squinting and we're not going to see that catch light anyway, so I think a big open skies and that's kind of a rectangular also so that's why the rectangular lights seem were natural to me but again that's up to you it's just a reflection of light in the eyes you know other places we call them reflection um so yeah that's I said the round catch lights and small ones like the beauty dish one back here's that's what I don't like it reminds me a department store um portrait ce like where did that come from? Who put that in there? Okay, I've been looking at this on my mom's wall for forty years or so and then we see those those two hard catch lights there and maybe that's what's driven me away from liking those little round catch lights I must have been about six there. Um catch lights on products are called reflections here we have the same set up with a soft box and with an umbrella two things you'll notice on here the soft box has these nice clean edges the umbrella you can kind of see the light stand the whitehead is in there you can see some of the ribs of the umbrella and it makes a small light and the background is the same distance away on both of these the difference is umbrellas spill a lot more light off to the sides with soft boxes controllable I can tell the soft box a little bit away from the background I want to make it darker but these are pretty much both straight onto that bottle take your pick of preference I hope you all like the soft box over the umbrella but what can I say? Uh lighting pattern lets you have any questions on that section there and there's always lots of questions for you I love taking questions so ok, so tough to little who was also a longtime u great of live what about reflections in the catch lights? Uh sometimes I see myself in when I'm shooting in the catch yeah, I like that it's my way of getting myself into the photos a little self portrait photo bomb it's a photo bomb opportunity I like them myself. I like being able to see myself in there sometimes will blow a picture up there there I am all right and love with light is wondering if there is a way to avoid catch lights but if you don't I um yeah we'll get into, um lighting patterns and admit it and maybe by by not having the light and front writing from the face I put the light up high enough. You know, the eyebrow ridges going to block the light from hitting this or if it's off to the back or the sides we had from the sides and maybe just have a phil card in front we'll probably lose some some catch lights, but photos without catch lights tend to make the eyes look dead so I think it's an important part of the adding sparkle too but you know we'll show you ways to avoid ah good question from a c m eighty one from arizona it's christina from arizona and wondering how if you could talk about or show how tio get the catch light off eyeglasses so that's when they catch light becomes I I will wear we'll actually talk about eyeglasses and a little bit you know the thing that I think I think that yes, the other john from seattle here someday we're going to team up together john gringo and myself and do a q and a thing like this I'm looking back bigger back and forth and yell at each other and have fun with it but basically it's that angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection so the closer the light is to the camera is going to hit the eyeglass and come right back at you a couple of ways around that is a giant light and his closest possible so it just fills the whole eyeglass france the whole lens with light and if it's in close enough it's a speculum reflection that's going to go down by bringing the lighting closer or eternal head away from the light but we'll get that to that more in a little bit great let's move on that okay uh let's see where are we here lighting patterns um I guess every discussion avoiding has to get into patterns they're split rembrandt blue butterfly, paramount again like catch lights your subject doesn't come in and say, hey, I want a rembrandt portrait of myself or I want a loop portrait but you know, we just learned about him here the basic says they say they're split rembrandt loop butterfly, which is also called glamour or paramount it's called paramount because of used by the paramount studio beauty photographers in the thirties and forties for the publicity's stills so here we see split lights pretty obvious just like half of the face the latest is completely on the side uh for rembrandt, the light starts coming up a little higher a little more to the front and it cast this highlight on the other side of the nose across from the shadows like a triangular shaped loop light the lights coming around even a little further to the front. And now the look is this shadow of the nose that comes down here which you want to watch out for with luke lighting here is that that shadow doesn't reach the lip when it reaches the lip that's more of the rembrandt light and you never really want the light to go down below and that's controlled by how high the latest compared to the subject and then butterfly lighting that's when the lights completely around to the front and some people think that this shadow under the nose looks like a butterfly could also look like a bad but I guess bat lighting just didn't sound a cz appealing as it was, the flooding brings away further round to the front we talked about the butterfly thing to note about lighting patterns is refers to the light position relative to the face, not to the camera. This here is like a butterfly light we've got that shadow under there so that camera this is still butterfly light but if I bring it over here now it becomes rembrandt light bring it up here into the front here it's becomes loop light we're just watching that shadow do not hit the nos there getting paramount and over here were split lighting and no matter how we do it that's that's still split lighting. Yes, I remember the light to this subject is determined your lighting patterns and then after you go through all that to tell you to just forget them, you know, it's no, none of your clients are going to come in and ask for these things. More important to me, I think is lighting direction where he talked about broad light versus short light, um, broad light lights decided the face that's nearest the camera tends to make people look a little heavier short light lights the side of the face it's away from the camera it's, generally appealing for most people, tends to be the most flattering I see so if you watch the zacarias classes you understand the eyes to the light, I kind of modified that a bit and say nose to the light good friend of mine, rolando gomez taught me that the light is your friend and the camera is your friend. You tell the model this and just keep your nose pointed between the light and the cameron you're going to be good once you point your light your nose to the other side of the camera say all the light here is coming from this side, so don't want I'm looking this way for that camera over there I'm getting broadly this whole side here and make me look heavier than I really am I'm really what one hundred pounds you know it's but it's just the lighting and now if I turn this way on the slight I get the shadow on this side and the light hits this side of hearings just the short side is letting makes me look a little narrower and lean in, get the chin out and down for it toward the camera that's for you, peter ah, so the short blighting patterns tend to look good on most people um here we could see it on the subject here and we can do that again with the light here who way do this here that's a short lighting pattern to that camera you know that this aside the face goes dark and you're just seeing this narrow part of the face lit over here if I step over here now this becomes the broad lighting and the whole cheek ear nose everything's late and her face looks a lot wider than it does the other way so knows away from the light it is broad light nose to the light is short light tends to be the best but could be different with your subjects so narrow face sometimes you may want to widen it a little bit and we'll talk about that in the lens class too you can back up and use a longer lens to make the face wider or you can light it flatter or to the to the broad side of the face um feathering this is always a good one thrown around a lot what does feathering really mean so if we have this light here that latest is pretty hard on the subject I can turn the late this way and now the latest shooting across the face of the subject and it's catching a little bit of the other side too and it just softens the light and from the camera there you could see that pointing at the subject feathering away from the subject to soften the light so feathering means just lighting with the edge of the pattern of the light internally software. Second, if this was a big soft box here we'd say they were we're kind of lighting the subject with the edge panel of the soft backs coming through the the front panel instead of the direct light so it just softens things up a little bit here example of that the only difference between these two photos is how far the late was behind the subject you know way behind there's more of a split lighting and it just brought the light forward without pointing it towards the subject and it just overall lights the whole side of the front of the face both sides and gives him more pleasing look solving problems eyeglasses again angle of incidence equals angle of reflection and the inverse square law both come into play so let's scooted that camera again this late my glasses is probably going to glare right back into it. I I don't remember if the's glasses have anti reflective coating on anti reflective coating zehr really great convince your subjects to buy expensive glasses but as I move this off to the side here the reflection may go a little more off to the side. Some glasses have more curvature and that's not gonna work light a little bit higher may make get rid of some of the glare on the glasses if this was a big soft box and I brought it in real close, the reflection may cover the entire glasses and then being me we have to drop the power of the pit light because I mean so close it'll get rid of that glare or you can go to the broad lighting when broad lighting your face is going away from the from the light. So if you're really stuck with glasses it's a compromise again everything in photography is a compromise s o yeah, so I'm saying in the slide here turn her face away from the light I think the light large and close adjust the angle, the light sometimes you could take the glasses and just lift him off the year a little bit doesn't look that different from the front, but it angles down so when the light hits it, the light goes with the reflection goes beneath the camera. Some people I know to take two shots will have the subject hold still for one pop off the glass to take the other one and then combining and photo shop jack davis does that he teaches that here and you know it's an effective way, but I don't want to spend that much time in photo shop so well I'll try to do it in camera, but if you're really stuck you can also find out if the printing frames are the style that the ones can pop out of I wouldn't pop it out of the subjects uh frame, but if they wanted to do it most of my glasses air frameless so I can't do that for myself len's choice comes into lighting to the afternoon's class is going to be about lenses but we'll touch on a little bit here. Um here we see there's a spotlight this what did use two lights on this example we have that spotlight behind the subject's head uh late is exactly the same in the two shots. The only difference is the camera to subject distance. I know I put the the lens sizes on there but it's not really because of the lenses it's because of the camera to subject distance that it changed um for the thirty five millimeter shot though I mean with the camera right here and the background falls off darker as they moved to the was the one hundred five millimeter when I moved back to hear now the size of the spot on the background is relatively closer to the size of the head neither one has changed size all its changes my camera position so there's a ten degree spot on the background there said the lighting is exactly the same in there. All I did was moved the camera and we'll cover a lot of that stuff during the lines class this afternoon to take that all in again ten degrees spot against done with one of these grids by their hide behind the grid so when we moved in close with short lines the background is relatively far away it's smaller than the subject and the spot is smaller so I just want to drill that in that the light did not change that this is the same size spot in both of these images so where they're different types of light we can use camera flashes they tend to be small and hard studio flashing strobes I think of the most versatile we can change that now we can put all sorts of modifiers on him they don't get too hot in the studio so we don't worry about fires and the like, which we do with tungsten hot lights we can put tungsten bulbs in some of these soft boxes here and they get really hot this one here in particular has a heavy duty canvas and it says it's made for hot lights but on the list expensive ones you ply out there are kind of flimsy and you can easily set them on fire if you're using hot lights in them fluorescent lights have come on big in the past few years I'm just going to pop this one over here to show you way didn't put the ball bin we'll show this to you later. Sorry about that way left bow about the boat. The first boat that goes in there is this big it's not going to work in an umbrella? It's not go work in a really small soft box. That's one of the issues with rusty fluorescent lights is the size of a woman being able to get him into soft a buck's there's. Some banks that have six smaller fluorescent bulbs in there, but if you want to take him on location, that means taking all the bulbs out, packing them carefully so they don't break and it's just not my choice. I know a lot of my friends used them and are really happy with, um they're nowhere near as bright as strobes either. So there's just less efficiency. So right now I'm still one of the dinosaurs maybe, but I'm a strobe light fanatic led lights are coming on strong now the ladies are nice. You can get a one foot by one foot panel that you can change the color temperature on to go to mix with tungsten or daylight or you can bring the power up and down, but there's still really expensive so it's going to be a little while till so they come down, so if you would ask me which way to go with the studio strobes I use speed a trans how you and have about a forty forty five year old dina late that's still going um you know initial investment on strobes is not that high and maintenance is not that high I mean as I said I'm a forty year old light the flesh to still working you know you get a fluorescent light tungsten lights tanks and lights may have a sixty hour life or so and then you have to replace him in the boat start getting expensive so even though they're a little bit cheaper than strobes to start out with at some point that there's a crossover and they start costing more I think that's the last slide we have in here so I want to take a few more questions with the audience here and then we'll go get that fluorescent light bulb okay great there are a lot of questions coming in of course they require a lot of people around the world john will you cover so much information and lighting this so vast and having a in studio excuse me your own studio is you know so broad do whatever you want it so exciting so lots of questions so the first one it would be from dave twenty ten who asked do you like differently when shooting for black and white? No, I don't myself I don't usually think about the black and white conversion toe later I don't often plan things that tightly that what it's going to be in I can see understand wanting to do that for black and white. It probably want to wait a little more contrast e, but personally, I don't okay next question from jonah wondering, do you manipulate the catch light differently when working with light versus dark colors? No trying to say something, you know? I don't I mean, I guess there are ways to do that. What I worry more about the irs and people always comment about my photos, that the eyes really shine in there and, you know, I just try to find the angle that really makes the iris light up that's something we didn't talk about, and we probably should is the size of the pupils, um, dilated pupils, big, big, black pupils, I don't like there's some people who say they like dilated pupils because when we're in darker, intimate situations or with someone, were attracted to our people's tending to dilate and get bigger so they feel in the photograph that brings maybe some more attachment to the person, but but I just see this big black dot in the middle of their eye, and I go that was shot with a little stroke with no modeling light, you know, just trigger is this thing in my head you know is this photographer again? The subjects may not even realize this but monks photographers we could talk about that stuff so I do like to have kind of a tight constricted pupil with a really beautiful iris around it that's really well lit interesting. So with that actually prompts the next question from eddie t what about using a flash and a soft box but it give a similar effect to a strobe light. Yes and no. Um we can see here in a soft box a stroke ahead. How it's about this off here there's no boldin it's like almost take it off there it is. So soft boxes have these speed rings here and yes, a strobe head can go into their the problem with most strobe heads is they have a pretty narrow projection even when they're set to a wide angle on him so they may not light up the full front of the box. Um, there's just as you see here most studio strobe heads have evolved that projects forward so the light goes out forward to the sides fills up the box, bounces around in the box and then out the front. So maybe putting a softener like a stuff in on top of the strobe may may help a little bit it's going to lower the output of the the light a little bit it's going to defuse it more but it will send it sideways in there but I tend to find studio strobes just a lot more versatile for filling up the inside of a soft box the my favorite light that I use quite often is the's the faux texts off leiter to um or even I always say I don't use umbrellas and then people look at this and say, well, isn't that an umbrella and it is an umbrella but the light goes in here and can use of regular studio strobe or a camera flesh can go on this and we're pretty well the white fires into the back of this and then comes back out through the front defusing panel and just gives us really amazing light I don't have any sponsors but I did ask protect us in this to us so that's why I'm showing this here and what I really like about this that also from other umbrellas we also say but I can't bring it in close to the subject because you got the shift here that's going to stick in their eye chef done screws lite in close to subject solved so that's that's a really great thing there's two models one with a seven millimeter she after one within eight millimeter chef seven millimeter chefs do not unscrew only the larger eight millimeters chest on screw seven millimeter shift is designed for some um european stroke manufacturers that have a smaller hole in it so if you are going to get something like this, just see what size yours is and here I have it actually really that off set up so that they're here is a cold shoe so you can put a camera flesh on there and it's just kind of sticks through here and, like, goes in there bounces around and I said, this comes in three different sizes because thirty six, forty six and sixty inch the sixty inch has been my go to light. I've had mine for probably twenty years and it's durable enough that it's still going and you can actually use this as an umbrella to if you wanted to this diffusion panel just pops off of here so there's regular umbrella and if you like, shoot through umbrella black backing comes off of this too, so it's, extremely versatile. Something similar to this from westcott is the apollo orbs does the same type of things that this has a a satiny white interior. The orb has a shiny or interior, so it might be just a little more contrast the late but it's also, if I was going to use camera flashes, I looked this or or the apollo's system because on those the light faces back into the soft box and bounces around and comes out the front where I don't like the saw the small lights is in a soft box here where it's facing forward and may not like the whole front of the panel so it's a smaller light source than you think you're getting all right thank you so much for explaining like a good showing toe. All right, so I let's crimson hope in the next question of is asking if you can help explain why the size of the soft boxes so important when it and what is a good size for a new photographer who can on ly purchase one he's going with the soft box I think the twenty four by thirty two is a great size here it could be moved in really close to do a face a face shot you could move it back a little bit getting one or two people in there and it's still going to give enough light after this. The next one I would probably go to would be three by four four by six to four by six is gigantic a little hard to maneuver but it gives it it's like a daylight like shooting with a big window window late yeah, we have a question. Yeah, if you're you should have just one soft light and you gonna I'm sure a group of people you can s o okay, I mean worries justin on where please yeah, that's that's a great question that's where feathering comes into place so let's say you're the group of people here maybe lose another two or three people behind you. A lot of times people will be tempted point the light right at you, so you're going to be really bright person on that side in the back soon to be dark, so feathering this camera be great for this I'm going to put this late maybe here just blasting across so the center of the light is hitting the person at the far end. The edge of this light is maybe hitting you here and hitting the people in the back and maybe put a phil card on the other side, but you can light a group of ten people with one light really easily. This is a smaller size I would do it with. I'd really prefer to go with an octa or with the, um the soft light of the sixty inch soft later and I also referred to the sixty and soft later as an octave that goes to ten for a spinal tap friends and they understand that most umbrellas have six or eight panels. This one has ten panels so it's a little more round, so I really like sock delights because they're round there only eight this goes to ten, but again big light in front here so that it skims across all the faces and kind of evens out so that's the way to do a group with with one light all right, great next question from anoop in dubai again when we used to lights one key and another hair light from the back of the subject how would these two lights be placed? Can it be diagonally opposite? Are both key and hair in light? Or should they be tied to maintain a classic lighting that's that's personal choice when I'm doing kind of fashion a type of things, I tend to put him diagonally, so I put my like my sixty inch soft later here on this side and then I'll do like a twelve by forty and strip light coming from the back on this side so it gives some edge light here a little bit of highlight on the face of the cheek of the people here and this beautiful front light on it but sometimes I'm doing head shots or or portrait ce in the studio where I'm coming in tighter I'll have the soft light here and then the the hair light coming in from this side and it's it's really personal choice and again no rights or wrongs it's all compromise you may try different things with blond versus dark hair people and let's try and try and find out what works for you it's really what I want to get across to people I love that a lot of your light tests have been done on the mannequin so you can experiment it's yeah, I liked america because they don't move and you can see some of the patterns. But as you mentioned before, this skin tone, the textures is horrible. It doesn't really, really match skin, so get get people in front of your cameras much as possible. This is for the middle and night oh, I have an idea let's see how this works or if I want to do a class thing where I've done classes with models and you know they move slightly and it changes the like pattern on you with without your realizing as you're going along. So I think there it's a great learning teaching tool, but there's, nothing beats having real life subject in front of you because you have to learn to talk to your subjects. I'm a stri, introverted person most of the time, which people probably don't? Well, I don't think is the most photo bombing and jumping into other people's photos and the like, but so it's taken a while for me, but you got to talk to your model there's so many people take a camera here, I think I've got a camera in here take a camera there to start working with their models and they put it here, okay, move a little to the left. I don't need you see, you can't do this going on model has no idea what you're talking about. They had a little music in the background there and no one can hear each other in the models. Why? Why you get these old strange expressions of, you know, get to the side of your camera, be able put it down. I usually work with a hand strap on my camera I'm not a tripod person, I own a tripod, you often take it with me places and I'm always sorry I did, but in the studio doing headshots, don't make me take the first shot on a tripod engine just to try it out because it looks professional and everyone says you need a tripod and I think that you know if god wanted you to try party when it made smaller cameras there for the big cameras, which we'll talk about later but you know, don't don't hide behind the camera, get over here, get your mouth open here, talk to people in their engage with them, I'll tell him, come in here, you chin down out forward toward me and just stayed to say things to throw them off, you know and stay things that don't make sense sometimes I don't even realize what I'm saying my own, you know, and I just get out there and just tell people, look at me don't look miserable. That's another reference to peter hopefuls will going well there, but, you know, engaged with your subject that's really practice well, people, as much as you can get your friends to come over here, you know, don't don't even worry about the lighting part just go outside and they like, don't even worry what the pictures come out like, you know, you go for the experience people talk about photography as is it a a product or an experience? You know, are you worried about the final image, or is it the the ongoing experience of what's happening there for me, it's often the experience? So you, for many years of I'm not worried about the pictures, I know they're going to come out good, I've got this lighting thing down and all but it's the experience of working with someone one on one or even ng in groups and it's just having fun with it, you know, don't go in all nervous and it's going to work, you know, there's, no gun, no rights and wrongs just be have everything prepared, study this stuff test at home be confident in your quick man know where all the buttons are on your cameras and be ready to go out there and just engage with the subject. By the time you have the person in front of you, the lighting should have been already set up. The camera settings were all there, you know? You don't want to be take that picture and then looked down, and this is a film camera. Oh, I can't see the back of this, you know, um, so just get out there and practice another question. All right, another question from sam cox and show together long time do you hear on creative live? So this is a question, actually, I always wonder as well, how much time or how many practice shots does it usually take you to get the lighting the way you want? Would you say that the time it needed to become much less with a lot of experience? Are you talking about and lifetime? Or we will put in the time you set up the lights with the mannequin and the subject comes in let's say, practice shots before the subject coming for the subject comes in. All soft lights are pretty forgiving, I'll have things dialed in pretty close to me may take two or three, four, five shots, just seeing the subject's face and saying I may have left from the right side and when they come in I realized maybe there's a curve in their nose and I want to write looked from the left side or something like that so that may take a few minutes to switch over but I usually have things pretty well in place and as I say like a lot of my lighting is sort of you two lighting which is kind of flat so it's it's much more forgiving than than a harsh or more contrast in light but the other one is the lifetime thing and that's where something like creative life really comes in handy. I've been shooting for thirty five years and I look at images I did thirty years ago and they're really great and I had no idea what I was doing and it's look it's stuff from about five years ago on a go that was really bad, you know? And I'm not sure what happened in between maybe was film I was more careful within digital or something like that but over the past four, five years working with a lot of instructors here and working on my own stuff and going back to my notes from from college and I school and still lives my notebooks with lighting stuff in them and the like and I've no I'm understanding it more, you know, it's getting that that deeper understanding of concepts in the like maybe it goes with maturity to I don't I don't know, but I'd say my lighting in the past four years has improved more than in the first thirty five years, and I think it's just cause I was doing it more and always practicing. John, I just want to let you know what people online have been saying. Well, first of all, a blanco says let's get john sponsors prompted, like in a class on lighting things from jersey shore and sure, I grew up in jersey yeah, northern jersey yeah. That's right, that is very cool. And e d flush our john you are killing it let's see if I can read on a little bit more, but I want to make sure that I'm not tio from your questions here. That's coming up here, a lot of people are wondering, you know, like the basic gear, you know, should I have ah, soft box or an umbrella? As I said, if I was starting out, I would get the sixty inch version of the photo tech soft later, it's like an ocd, a box that goes to ten but with an octo bucks at that size sixty inches, probably three hundred fifty, four hundred bucks, the soft lighters, about one hundred twenty five so it's a say it's very versatile it could become it could be a sixty inch umbrella zacarias favorite light modifier that's there you put this the scream on the front it becomes my favorite modifier you take the scream offshoot through it becomes someone else that likes shoot through umbrellas. So it's it's really versatile, really inexpensive and well built. So that would mean by first light and probably get a reflector you know, pop up reflector let's do that again. Everyone likes that pump, that popping sound so this here you know, we get the software on one side, this on the other side filling the light and we've got a great one light system that's going to work really well. Nice backdrop having backdrop tend to goto fabric stores and look at remnants and pieces of probably need something for to four by five feet of that, the smallest and that's a great start is set up after that, I would add a strip light as my second late, so maybe a twelve by forty strip light that's going to come in and it could be used to separate from the back. We can bring it up a little higher is a hair light depending on dark or hear it light haired subject or you can turn it toward the background and separate the a person from the background with that and I think you can do pretty much quite a lot of stuff which is those two lights john can you talk a little bit about in terms of the power of your strobes and yes yeah that's a great question or you know everyone looks at what seconds and how powerful is your flesh and when I go out to look to buy a flash I keep looking how far in thailand down can I dial it? Um back in the old days where it's using an eight by ten camera and shooting it at forty five sixty four if ninety you know I have three or four twenty four hundred what second power packs and be still fighting it and doing multiple flashes now with digital cameras small sensor lenses that open up to have one point two or so I want to die let powered down so I look for a strobe that's usually in the eight hundred watts second range to speed atran eight hundred thousand a dina light I'm not that familiar with the pro photo in the european brands um paul buff if I starting over and probably take a hard look at the einstein's um but what I like about the einstein's is they have a variable slider on the back so I can bring the power down to like one twenty eighth or so a lot of times wedding photographers tend to like the really fast lines is one point two in the studio I don't like to have both eyes and focus I'm often shooting between eight and eleven when I'm doing a portrait because even want him in and in this close even at f eight it's tough to keep both eyes and focus you know if I'm shooting a wedding I'm usually further away and then I could probably go down to f two point eight of two at one point eight one four one two and get a little little bit of focus or go for that out of focus look in the background but in the studio I tend to want to work at around f eight or eleven so I want to be ableto bring my power up and down but I don't go to powerful on the strobes or it make sure it has a dialect and go way low awesome thank you so much don there's so much content that you have covered today and everybody is those still have one another ten, ten minutes or so we can you've answered so many questions let me see things that I really enjoy or or I could tell you why this camera is the camera that switch me from nikon d cannon back around nineteen seventy three um it's all about the buttons if you look at the top of that this camera here the the shutter button is all the way in the back and in high school and smaller hands and finger would land there and that's where the button was on the cannon, and that was my choice. And for people who are just getting into digital now and never had to work with film cameras, here's, another part of this camera I want to change the film after twelve twenty four, thirty six exposure got to take the whole back off the camera. You got to take it off the tripod if you're using a tripod and you almost disassembling the camera to get to its side, I didn't like that either, so that you know, but when it comes down to camera choice, what I tell people is there's like two or three things. Go try it out, put it in your hand, see where the buttons fall with the menus are like and get the one that's comfortable to you by the time something it's printed in a a newspaper, a magazine, a billboard or whatever, no one's going to be able to tell what camera they came from, even an iphone image could be printed in, you know, full page bleeds and a magazine, and it's it's not going to matter, you know, go for the comfort. The next thing they tell you to find out where all your friends are using and by that same brands you can borrow their equipment you know spend spend less money but it's comfort become come one with your camera I think there's a slide and probably in the next class about becoming one with your camera all right, how about a couple things I want to dio let's pick a model name before we head out of here because a lot of people eventually we had that one the son did you like the sana sunna goddess of light to people like that son of the goddess of light all right, we need to send him a facebook page pronto. Kim can you make that happen and I couldn't stand back there she doesn't have a computer with their now that's another interesting story when kim and I first met in the first time she visited me and found this house full of mannequins and it's like let's with throughout this guy doesn't everyone have unhealthful americans? That is fantastic. All right, how about one last question of what would you recommend beyond? You know, just this class what would you recommend for people beginning any other books? Any other references? What are ways they could become inspired in terms of, you know, money their their best type of studio lining one of my favorite portrait photographers evers gregory heisler and he has a book coming out in october I haven't seen it yet, but I expect it to be it's going to be really fantastic. So it's h I s l e r greg heisler some photograph most of the presidents he's done thousands of time magazine covers probably so I'm really looking forward to that one. Brian smith came out with a book about a year ago on portrait lighting and his is interesting because he doesn't really talk about techniques it's more about the interaction with subjects so that that was a really good way to to go on that because there's so many books out there about lighting techniques um lighting books are up to date books, new ones keep coming out and they all tend to be pretty decent. Don janadi has a siri's of three or four books on lighting rwanda gomez has glamour lighting books that I've enjoyed reading when we get into the lens class this afternoon and I'll complain about all the new books when I'm trying to learn technical stuff, how lenses work and things like that I tend to go to use bookstores and try to find text books from the nineteen thirties and forties when they actually explain this stuff and finish the sentence is so many books since nineteen seventy three something happened under if the editors took over from the authors but they are everything gets explained halfway and they don't tell you the rest of the story. There's. One point recent book that I'll talk about this afternoon. That's for filmmakers that that gets things right. And also john shaw's nature books. I don't know john plugging him or anything like that. I think I met a medic gallery here once. But his nature photography books has the depth of field and let lends perspective and things correct. Always enjoyed his books.

Class Description

How are you supposed to find, create, and capture great light if you don’t know how it all works? Join John Cornicello for an introduction to the fundamentals you need to understand and control the most important element of photography – light.

John will walk you through light sources, the inverse square law, lighting patterns, feathering, catch lighting and much more. If you are looking to switch out of auto mode or simply need to brush up on your basics, this is 90 minutes you won’t want to miss.

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