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Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 10 of 27

Building a V-Flat Window Box


Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 10 of 27

Building a V-Flat Window Box


Lesson Info

Building a V-Flat Window Box

We're going to use the v flat, and we're going to cut this one a little bit. So do we just need one hundred one and then the knife and the tape measure maybe a sharpie. So what we want to do with this particular one sorry is too create a window that we can shoot through. That way, we can place the reflector directly in front of her mom. When she sits there and we shoot through, it becomes almost like a like a ring light that surrounds her. But it's like this a beauty like that bounces right back in the face. Almost no shadows. It's great for, you know, make up ads and things like that when they just have perfect skin. And they want to highlight this makeup job that they've done trade for seniors and things like that. So you never know when you might want to shoot through something with the light bouncing directly back into their face from the front. Okay, again, it makes use of, um, simple, cheap tools. We probably only need one light to make this work one little speed like boom. And t...

hey will have a little window that we can actually patch up, so I want to measure down. We're going to use this later for another project coming up, so we're going to measure down a foot. This is an eight footers want come down a seven to seven one another six inches there, sixteen to eighteen inches down, and then I want a window about there's a tape measure. How much? How much is this right here is about eighteen, uh sixteen, seventeen, eighteen so let's go thirty six inches from the top down, plus another six inches makes forty to forty two down from the top. We're gonna make a little mark and that's, we're gonna cut a little window in here so let's, see that this way couldn't get measure forty two down. So if you could make a mark, we should probably see this year and doesn't have the exact again. I'm just kind of basing this on what I know we're going to use this for a little later. Um, I'm going to make a window right here to shoot through. No, when you're shooting through your window, we never know exactly how much space you're going to need paying what lens and how far back you may be right up against the winds, or even have to step back a little bit, so you may want to cut your window a little bit smaller and then try a few test shots see what lends you can't abusing and then you might need to expand it a little bit to make sure you have enough room to true through it so we'll just start with a small window something about like this basic enough horizontal it could be a vertical as well and uh it gives me not that much room for the next thing you should be good all right now we gotta cut and you know I'm not measuring off it doesn't exactly when spot main thing is leaving myself enough room you kind of figure if you're in the studio or wherever you're shooting if you're gonna be on a stool and sitting how high do you want to be also your model if she's on a stool how high is that going to be so this window gives me about that height this is the window we're gonna cut out right there actually is open that up kate that I cut right through this standing just don't stand behind it um so I figure if the models here and she's standing like a shoot through if she's sitting on a chair she'll probably be boom right about in front of window which is about what we're looking for okay? So caitlin are you clear cutting commencing cutting so where's my line there it is I'm going to go down right about there down to their last one down here put pushed that through to my side caitlin actually should have cut it the flap over it could go either way but private it this way I'm gonna leave this actually and we can reach us re taped this actually baby just his billick's I wanted to fold the other direction but leave this as a actual portal window that we can put some tapes that we can close the window back up so that we can still use the v flat in its full form later on so we want to use the full white on the other side they could just fold this little window back up and patch it then that's white you never know, right? But then we use it here we're gonna fold this down like that shoot through so all I need is little black piece of tape right across there and we do have the tape to actually start right where it's gonna go so that you can fold down no it's all right, just go cover halfway on each side of the board perfect free there's our window ok, so now we can shoot through that like that daniela let's see, maybe we'll use well since we do want to get you a little bit higher on this one let's see if we didn't hurt how about that opposing stole kate? Can you grab the store we had so the idea here for this light will be similar. We'll bring the light behind her, but this time we're gonna hit it to the front of this board, which means that we're going to get more of a front soft phil bouncing back into her face. And if we wanted to even put a reflector underneath here, that would really bounce some light to rise, maybe that silver. And we even try with our trife lecter thing we made here, put that underneath here and see how that works, but we'll try it as it is, and see if that's gonna be too tall or about right. So let's see if you were to just kind of yeah, there's some basic finish, a little talk. I need a regular chair. Where is that one of those regular chairs like these ones for apple bucks? You got a couple bucks? Yeah, booth perfect. We'll play throw this in there later and still have it. That adds to it. Okay, so I'm going to shoot. Boom right through. This is just for a tighter head shot. If I come in closer, obviously and get a little more space, I'm going to go with an eighty five millimeter lens to start with give me a little bit of space switching over here to an eighty five if I wanted tio get closer to the opening that have to use like a fifty millimeters sixty millimeter which may or may not give me the background that I want so from right here I can be this close and basically see through my window pretty good so that's probably good for a starter all right make sure you could see there make sure you get turned flashes on ah caitlin did you grab that flash make sure they're both turned on the power on the flash in the flesh itself and we're gonna put that behind her just slightly off to the side good ending it right boom to there and is that power pack on is their lights not press the power in the top of the pack in the very top of the pack itself there's a button expressing testing can remove that slightly up I'm gonna just my flash a little bit higher more backs like this little more front light I wonder from your face take a peek here at again I didn't check the exposure anything I don't have a light meter except what's in the camera so we just fired off on and see what we get and then go from there okay so abc shooting f two point two at this point beautiful bright soft light but you guys thanks for as f stops on the puff flash power up down move it all around I think it's good she likes a good the exposure is pretty pretty darn close to me it's a nice bright thing which we want we could pry come down a little bit there's a little bit of detail lost in her dress not too much you know, maybe two thirds of a stop we could try it and see um but look at the beautiful that twinkle in her eyes it's just a soft flattering light right there and let's try and take that down promise you get old and you can't see stuff and they also noticed that they're taking they're going to go down two thirds just to see where we're at and you know closer beautiful daniel so we're two thirds down for were we were hopeful we are if that light is that can you check on the back of my flash? Caitlin if it says it's on t t l just make sure it is ok that looks like about two thirds down from the previous okay? Yeah perfect so you notice the reflector we're putting the flash on that side that comes over and again skims her hair makes a nice hair light having the reflector this angle on this side means that bounces see this nice little texture from the phil light onto her hair on this side and then of course the window right in front just bouncing all that soft light right straight back into her face backgrounds pretty good the way it is it's just we just want a nice diffuse kind of pattern but this is that this kind of lighting is is the only time this is not really great if you have something with somebody that really wide face very round wide face it'll tend to make them look a little whiter and rounder she's got great cheeks great jawline beautiful face for that so works works really well but also if they have if they have got exceptional eyes that something that you want to focus on in a portrait you have somebody who has these really pretty eyes make sure you get some close up night nice sparkly I shot because that's something that's a special feature about them and want to make sure we to capture that and this is one great way to do it in addition to those under light under I reflected we used to make sure you do that so don't don't let a client get away that's got beautiful eyes without doing something that's nice and tight and makes their eyes twinkle because that's that's important for them ok so yes I see can a pointing at me just a clarification for a tony st paul where and for billy where is the flash point what is the angle from over on this side you know what is the flash doing over here the flash on this side let me scoot back over here the flashes on danielle's left side so it's just out of my frame that I can see in my camera and the reason is that general and something kind of directional so that it basically puts the highlights on this side of her head bounces primarily the bulk of the flash and handing it over her head so it's hitting primarily above her face above the window but it's also going to spill their everywhere into this board so my primary light source is coming from directly above her face into the board with phil coming from the sides all around you could even soften this mohr by putting another v flat here boxing or incompletely and then this would have to be more or less directly behind an overhead just out of out of frame boom and not just takes away all the shadows of the big soft soft thing and that you know that that definitely has its place as well but this one leaves you a little more a little bit of direction to it. Okay, any other questions on this right here? Just a comment from amelia who who says it looks like this photo was taken outdoors but it's just a cool light. Yeah, and that's one of the things that's kind of cool about this the one light technique um coming from behind is it creates the look of sun really sun beaming on their on their face and its actual something wanted to do as well is to get a little bit that flaring into the lens because you could make it brighten up and even mohr and if we blew out the background, maybe we'll try that right now we'll blow up the background with another flash, and I'll try to maybe get a little bit of flair and look like you're out this bright, sunny day, you know, with sun flare into lynn. So one of the cool things about this technique of shooting overhead if you get that feather right, and it does look like sunlight streaming on the back of her hair, you know, outside which is kind of what you get when you have bright sun, we'll expect to see kind of a little bit of blowout on the hair from the bright sun, but it bounces back an incredibly beautiful full soft light, so let's, do that real quick let's get one more flash, I'll get one mb or did I in that bag take them, but there should be a grill apart right behind you see if you can find that, please gorilla pod didn't mention my grill apart earlier, I didn't brief her on that sorry, and I mentioned this earlier this was actually one of my most, uh cherished tools to have my bag is a grill, a pod and these air you've seen these, of course, but they're designed primarily told cameras and yet I use them for flash holders I find that they work really great little flash and in fact this one I forgot has a, um a flash cold shoe mount on it already because I put this little head this is a special head it doesn't come with the grill a pot but this is from coleman into c b two somebody's interested this little mini ball head I love this because it's a very, very solid when you lock it down it's completely locks out it's well made but the top of it is a double sided head and that you can flip over, turn this around and it becomes a regular camera tripod head you like that you know your camera tripod our camera base plate or flip it over and there's a cold shoes he could pop your flash right into it and that comes with the coleman head it's not part of the grill upon itself so pop that in there weii can put that into the girl part it's a little bit tight fit on this particular one down it's on channel b and we're going to use this as a background light this's kind of cool too because you can you know say you want to hang this over the back of a door hanging on your camera man, you know, hang it right over there sticking on top of him or you put on your head, you walk around you like look on flash man don't better not just getting I wanted that you hurt yourself but primarily it's going to be background light, so we're just going to kind of kick this sucker up quite a bit in the back probably going to put this at um thirty five millimeter for the spread of the flash camera it's on channel b so I'm going to set my receiver that'll be manual I have no idea what the power is going to be others going put it at something and we'll see where it is and my resume is at thirty five millimeters and, um I do want to he would help me out here let's move that flash more behind her and lower down too from the bottom neural knob there there's another one right above where you're doing there the next one up ok that's good to strike that. All right? I want to see where we're at here this okay? So we know we got a little too much power there but the background that the overall soft blown out kind of look we're getting close to what we want that looks more like sunlight flaring in your your lands doesn't it? So I'm gonna take that be the thie hair light background lights actually good I would take a light and dropped that one down a little bit just me two thirds but it's kind of what we want we want that slightly washed and overexposed look too and like you get there you go big smile happy in the sun ah a sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy what happened there ok one more is coming up so he's definitely when you when you start to flare in the lens you're going to lose some contrast but if you're going for a very outdoor sunny will start to pick up these refraction cz here what you're kind of cool just like sunlight we can actually give that contrast and posted light room and make those eyes come back but we now have that flared definitely outside shooting in the sun and kind of a field to the thing too and that's kind of cool for you if you want to blow up the background completely then it'll be very, very white behind us let's just do a quick shot like that uh backgrounds right now on one thirty two power you want to go up, we'll stop sixteen power is there great into it then we'll just try a little variation little more power, more light in the background our looking really like sun coming through the window streaming over shoulder and what we'll do in a minute I'll take these into light room with some of the images we shot earlier and just play with it a little more contrast and we can kind of see where we would take these images go from there okay so we'll move this thing out of here and then I'm gonna grab that speech that back out of the way and what I'll do is right now just quickly will play with a couple of the images from now an earlier if you guys wanna were you okay right here you see I mean the moves good okay so I have this in light room and I'm going to go just jumping to develop mode and then start to look at some of my presets and if you have light room presets already that's kind of cool uh you know they're rolling over the pre set on the left side of your screen here gives you a little preview of what's going on and then you've you know if you have already made presets that's the perfect way if you don't have presets then I suggest making some were buying some perfectly from me but use presets that's really the only only only way to go so I put one here called warming hut which is kind of ah I designed this one to be like an old film those you've used to shoot film, he shot filming it sat out in the sun sometimes and you start using it then it has this kind of these kind of low contrast kind of orangey cash to it's kind of funky, so we'll just play with that because this is kind of weird going forward this portrait, but we also want to then play the contrast because we want to see that I'm or that I can play the exposure just a little bit bring that down, okay, so we're still kind of there, but I want to paint and a little more contrast on her eyes, so in the developed mode, I'll switch over to my selective adjustment brush shortcut cakes that is kevin's favorite tool and use my adjustment rush shortcut k go to contrast and make sure that the contrast amount you'll want a pure sliders here. The contrast is cranked all the way up to one hundred this is where I'm looking at right here if you're on life computer screen, okay, and then I'm going to go over her eyes and just painting a little more contrast get a nice small brush and basically want her eyelashes and her eyes themselves to have a little more contrast to pop through that haze that we've created now if you go too far on your contrast, someone hit her eyebrows just a little bit teeth just a little bit and maybe a little bit more on the hair too if you go too far we can fade the whole thing afterwards it's kind of see building up taking clearing up some of that from the hair reaching that up a little trick here on the top right there's a triangle you click that collapses all the separate adjustments in tow one master slider so now weaken play with the contract that we painted which is that there? Okay, so that's how much we actually painted on her and dial it back to wherever you want so you think it's a little too strong dial it back so it's a nice way to control everything you just painted on even if that painting includes several different types of adjustments this and we just use contrast s so it doesn't require actually we use that but it's good to know you have it let's go and grab one of the other shots from aa before the break so here's another one here nice pretty one with the few guys remember we did this one with the clamshell down the floor gives a really nice shaping to her jawline brings out her really pretty jaw right here in the sides little butterfly lighting under the news and we want to play with some sort of adjustment on that so I'm going to go into my many art collection here and choose something like criminal a creme and then that one turns to warm it up quite a bit designed for outside use but we can use it inside I'll just add a little blue and I want to take away some of the vignette there's a darkening and a vignette too much on the outside to take a little bit of the event yet that I had there and I'm going to use my selective brush one more time and this time it's gonna be use digital fill flash take my brush shrink it down and I'm gonna deb quick little deb and each eye that distance open especially chefs color and her eyes that opens up the color in the eyes it's a little bit there you know we could also try and this one there's a skin softening one but I've got in here yeah, that might kind of nice skin soft it kind of adds a little below to that for there there before after kind of contrast t more punchy or we could just do just the glow soft we go back to the original just had the skin softening and keep it mohr original so that I think the skin soft important to add a little glow and you have to spend time re touching it that keeps its soft but you still have lots of detail on it doesn't change the color too much. It doesn't warm it slightly, but not not too much. Questions on that so far. Make sure we're getting good, perfect here's. Some of the other images we did before the break. Ah, it was a nice one for looking up that one would be want to keep the original run a skin soft on it may be smooth that down, use my k brush at a little bit of contrast, can you bring that on over the eyes, eyes and eyelashes a little bit on the glitch? She's, good to go there, coolio. All right, I think it's all well with tweak on these right now, just to give you an idea of what we could do. Different the's images here, and now we're gonna start making more stuff.

Class Description

You don’t need expensive gear to make professional quality images. In Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear, Kevin Kubota will teach you how to create lighting and photography tools with affordable and readily available materials.

Kevin will walk you through every step of building your own light modifiers and photo gear and show you exactly how to use them, with live models, for beautiful effects. You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with speedlights and mix natural light with flash
  • Shoot portraits in the studio or on location with DIY gear
  • Set up a simple commercial lighting shoot

Kevin will share essential lighting concepts that will improve all of your lighting choices. You’ll learn techniques you can apply to all the gear you use – whether it is from a manufacturer or your tool shed.

The right gear makes getting your best shot easier. Whether you use natural light, speedlights, or studio strobes this class will show you how to augment your gear with affordable, handmade tools to get even better results.


Geo Montecillo

Super good course highly recommended it will help you get started on a low budget, yet creating wonderful images. Is there a link to west got?

F8 and be there

This was an awesome fun class! So many great ideas on how to achieve various lighting effects on a smaller budget. You will save the price of the course most likely by making one softbox (or whatever) yourself. Highly recommended!

Adrian Martinez

Going into my 4th year of photography, I finally built a photo studio in my home and after purchasing some lighting gear and other accessories, I decided to buy this course for additional ideas - GREAT class! I learned a LOT and was very inspired to be more creative. I especially liked that Kevin didn't joke too much or stray away from the course very much at all. Yet, he was still very entertaining and very informative. I'm putting so much of what I got form this class into action right away! This course DEFINITELY pays for itself - right away!