Building V-Flats


Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear


Lesson Info

Building V-Flats

The flats are kind of a studio's standard, and they are something that you probably will only use in the studio if you're going to go on location. This is a lot more portable, of course, because it folds down, but v flats are basically giant foam core boards, and we're going to take these suckers together so let's, go ahead and leave this now, and you want to make a v what's what's called the flat, and we're going to do that simply by taping with white duct tape across the center, and you want to make sure there's enough. The only key to this is to make sure there's enough extra tape so that they can hinge both directions. If you just tape it tight together, you're going to squish the corner, the edges of the board. So we're going to the white duct tape, and we're going tio grab those pencils over there. One of my little, uh, helpful tricks for putting this together is to put some pencils because it gives you enough spacing in between here before you tape and I just pop him out, so jus...

t grab a couple of those. Kate is going to help me and just lay them down, so I'm gonna just drops and pencils in the middle of the boards to give me some spacers like that. I mean kind of sandwich the boards together and then laid on our white tape on one side these boards have black on one side and white on the other and we'll see if we're going to successfully taped this v flat nice roll by the way so you can do like caitlyn zone is doing one little piece at a time and sometimes that's a good way to get a position before you place the final taping down there um I usually run mine over the top a little bit so it goes to the other side as well to kind of give it a little protection and then we want to run one down the whole length as much as possible soared to do here is oh, I'm broke it well, we'll do that we'll do it this way ok? Come to me come to me come to me oh notice I make her get into the awkward position instead of myself okay there's that and then we'll lay out one more I'll get off with you pull that off helps to have friends in low places for this kind of stuff just lay that down squish that together right now we'll whip it over way remove our pencils if we didn't take him into tightly and will lay some black on this side so they're black deaf black death like duck black anything oh find me sorry gaffer's tape is notoriously hard to extract so this was not the right girl. Take that with you. I'll say we're much better this time is a team that worked all right, pull it taut. Make sure is lined up for you. Rip it off. Just hold on, just pull it straight. Line it up. Okay? I'm gonna hit my side down goodlett you know there's your beef lot. Okay, so there should be should give enough from to hinge and you can see the potential that sucker, right? So again, something great for your studio. You probably don't have a car big enough to put this in you d'oh those you could drive hummers there's something you know, big, huge fan but it is great in the studios, these air four by eight sheets and we're going to cut some of these apart, make others things with him too. But the beauty thing playing v flat is they work very similar little early as far as the quality of the light. Big soft window light great for reflector, phil um, softer even than what we had there. This make much softer light, but we can also have two lights and won and weaken, like from the back and that's kind of how I like to use the v flats is to say, daniel we're going to bounce light into here instead of shooting it threw it right so she's sitting there were sitting a similar shot that we were doing before um I would bounce my flash so here we could use one flash back here and if you want caitlin grab my speed light kind of position it and we're going to cast it over her top of her head so that some of the light from the speed light actually spills onto her hair creating a little edge light hair light but the majority of it's going to hit this boom and just create this big soft light coming back at her face so it's still going to we're not going to put any phil look what that looks like without the field lights will still be somewhat directional still should have some shadows and then we can add a second of the flat we hear if we want and created justice all super soft kind of beauty like kind of looked from the two well as well so again we're still just just using one flash we'll make sure this is out of the frame bring this sucker up probably there and have to play it to resume a little bit because you want to set this so the majority probably pretty heavy zoom on this because I really want the majority of this boomed hit that just a little bit to skim the top of her head and if you get a huge hot spot here and not enough there either need to raise that or tighten your zoom on the speed light in the head. Ok, so camera camera thank you. So I'm going to set the zoom on this thing right now is, uh currently a twenty four come on a zoom it weigh in francisco full on two hundred millimeters that's the extent of what this sb nine ten will zooms the two hundred millimeters, which is concentrated as it possibly could be in there. And I don't know, obviously the power word is I don't know what it's going to do, but that's part of the fun is to find out where you're at, so I'm gonna come right on the edge of my flat, speaking to that on fire and we'll see what we're we'll get some of that light cast back oh, nice not too far off, but look at the beautiful a little hair light now that we have and the bounce light is gush pretty pretty close, but we need to do is to rotate your soldiers just a little bit more open to me like you're kind of leading for would like would you do right now just kind of pushing me in for just a little bit, yeah, nah it into the right to service lately so I don't even change the settings on the light side like it love that rim light hair light coming on to her um beautiful soft on her face and if you guys can weaken scooch if you want um I'll show you in a minute here very, very similar a little bit softer than the one we use with this scrim, but the beauty of this is we have the hair light that separates the chair and her hair all still we're just using one light so so simple and yet beautiful in its effect so well let's reveal this and then we'll throw in another v flat there's another one caitlin and start getting ready that's already made you do that okay, so you can see now the effect of the the edge light the hair light um the the soft and still want the shadows want shadows but if you want more a beauty like no shadows, we could do that to buy just adding another b flat listens already taped up this's the worst part to demonstrate because you guys can't see anything closing her up on this box hears of caitlin, can you grab the front of this b flat that I have here so forman and yet we're gonna form a little box around and yelling, so basically I'm for myself a little box to shoot through we can push this front face forward a little bit and get back to where it was kinda like that it's me my film and that up a little bit there should still be able to catch that speed light he's in a box she's in a box coming around this around this way so all I'm doing is just kind of mentally going through where this lights gonna throw what it's going to hit um right as I'm thinking about this the things that are going through my mind is thinking about ok so this flash is going to boom mostly hit there it's going to throw a little spill there but also it's going to spill this way so how can I soak some of that up right before I had this like this in which case this extra spill is going to just be wasted go off on their some opening that up so now I can see that this light boom is going to hit some of that that's going to bounce back create more phillips got hit boom there create more phil and when you say there can't that wall of the flat yes so what I mean there is the inner wall that's white on this side is going to get caught with the left of danielle that wall it's the phil light so that's going to catch some so we stood have a pretty even feel maybe it's still little directional um depending on how much of that catches but the main light is still that wall over there right so that kind of were angling these to adjust how much has bounced and thrown back onto her we'll just try it and play with it if we need to like you said you need me to kind of pull grab your knee and just kind of hold on to one knee and just like that yeah perfect escape oh your professional model aren't you yes all right course ok so now we've just softened everything up a little bit um more you know the shadows are softer on this side of her face will scroll back and forth let's just pull this out of the way here so you can see we're not going to shoot too many of this play out in way more things to show you someone just pull that back so you guys can see we're looking at okay so it's not as dramatic as the previous one and that's again when those things were you know do you want it with more phil or do you want it more dramatic go back to the previous you know I like the lighting a little more drama less phil that's just softer softer light tends to make someone's face like a little bit fuller you know she's got a pretty average face it's not wide it's not tripoli fins she can work either way but um when it's less, phil, the face looks a little bit thinner when you have more phil, when it's brighter, it looks a little bit fuller, but again, she doesn't have full face. We've got here coming down, so that's, how that works so nice light, beautiful again. All we're using is one little speed light and a bunch of cardboard. Okay, could you do much better with that when, with hundreds of dollars in pro gear, probably not look let's. Stupid is the stuff. Stay around, but actually pros usvi flats all the time. I mean, every from annually which, down, down, they used the flat side of foam core. So that's awesome way to go.

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.