Skip to main content

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 45 of 49

Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building


Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 45 of 49

Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building


Lesson Info

Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building

This gets my image most of the way there. Unfortunately, there are a couple of small issues. One, I said that I messed up the sky a little bit. I lost a little bit of color right here. I'm just gonna grab a new blank layer. Sample this color here. Option click, right. That paints this over things. I'm just painting this blue color. Right? Change the blend mode to Color. Color's filled in. That one was easy. What about this? This doesn't fit the period. Not great. Unfortunately it's very, too modern of a building. What am I gonna do? I'm gonna steal from this over here. I'm just gonna flip it. Okay? So, I'm gonna select more than I need and I'm gonna copy it. So, I need to Copy Merge. So I can go back through and I can copy the original layer, but I find that when I'm just on any rando layer and I need to copy what's visible, Command Shift C, Control Shift C on PC. This is called Copy Merged. It copies whatever is visible in your selection. So that when I hit Paste even though I had jus...

t a, that other layer selected, it gave me this. So I like Copy Merged a lot. Command Shift C. I'm gonna hit Free Transform. So Command T or Control T on PC. And I'm gonna Flip Horizontal. Bring this right over to the edge and line it up. I'll lower the opacity so you can see it a little bit more clearly. Maybe something like that. Okay. I just want to clean up this stuff a little bit. So nothing's really poking out at me. Let's do a little bit of this. I think that looks okay. Easy enough. I just need it for the ground. That's all I need it for. And I'm going to hold down the Alt or Option key and click on the mask button. That immediately creates a Hide AlL mask. Then all I have to do is zoom in. And this, let's bring that opacity back. I'm gonna give myself a relatively similar edge. Now you can also see that the tones don't quite line up. I'm gonna fix that in a second. This comes across here. I'm just gonna even this up a little bit. That looks good. Okay. So, this replaces, let's get rid of some, a little bit more of that. I don't like that, there we go that's better. Okay. So, this gives me the new edge. But unfortunately, this doesn't match. Our trusty friend the Clipping mask allows us to adjust, undo. The Clipping mask allows us to adjust only that layer that's immediately below it. So what I'm gonna do over here, gonna zoom in a little bit, make it a little bit easier to see. Is we make it a little bit brighter. Something that looks like that. Right? So that got me tonally pretty close. I mean there's just a little bit too much color in it so I'm gonna do one for Color and just bring that saturation down. And now, very easy. Two little quick adjustments blended together. This whole process, me going at full speed, what you just saw. I mean other than waiting for it to load up and copy and paste, this is about five minutes worth of work. To erase something on top of the other thing and swap that background out. And it allows you to go from, you know, here to here or there for the most part, right, to here in a relatively short amount of time. I'm waiting on it to merge it and line it up more than anything else. And I think it totally is passable. Okay? And that would be how I would put that image together.

Class Description

Most photographers get comfortable with the lighting setups they use, and tend to shy away from trying new or different ones. Pushing yourself to incorporate new lighting techniques can help to expand your photographic style. You don’t need to buy more lighting equipment to start thinking about how the light is appropriate for what you’re shooting. Learning to see and light a location or scene and bring it to life in your images takes an in-depth understanding of lighting, direction, and creative vision. Join Chris Knight, well-known photographer, instructor, and author, to learn how to create cinematic lighting that allows you to be more innovative for your clients and yourself.

Chris will explain:

  • How to think like a filmmaker but apply those ideas to a single image
  • Motivated lighting and how to incorporate the techniques into your creative vision
  • Framing and layering for your images
  • How to use direction and guidance to achieve a cinematic look
  • How to enhance the cinematic lighting you achieved in-camera through post production processes

In this class, Chris takes you through his creative process during two cinematic style shoots at two different locations to share with you his behind-the-scenes thoughts, motivations, and scenarios. Chris also takes you through an in-studio shoot to explain the importance of prop placement, intentional set design, and light. You’ll learn the confidence to develop and incorporate new thought processes and get out of your everyday routines when lighting your subjects.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. What is Cinematic Lighting?
  3. Motivated & Practical Lighting
  4. 5 Cinematic Lighting Tips
  5. Low-Key & Upstage Lighting
  6. Control Your Fill Lighting
  7. Show Depth In Your Image
  8. Pre-Production for Cinematic Lighting
  9. Grip Tools: Clamps
  10. Grip Tools: Apple Boxes, C-Stands & Grip Heads
  11. Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear
  12. Grip Tools: Scrims, Silks, Flags & Tape
  13. Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines
  14. Grip Tools: Unusual Tools
  15. Grip Tools: Filters
  16. Grip Tools: Q&A
  17. Theater Shoot: Concept
  18. Theater Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations
  19. Theater Shoot: Lighting Gear
  20. Theater Shoot: Motivated Lighting Considerations
  21. Theater Shoot: Lighting Walkthrough
  22. Theater Shoot: Capturing The 1st Shot
  23. Theater Shoot: Hero Shot
  24. Theater Shoot: Capturing In The Seats
  25. Airstrip Shoot: Concept
  26. Airstrip Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations
  27. The Haircut: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting
  28. Working With Scrims On Location
  29. The Haircut: Getting the Shot
  30. The Haircut: Shooting Plates
  31. Staggered Planes: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting
  32. Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot
  33. Capturing Plates With Talent In Background
  34. Airstrip: Environmental Portraits
  35. Airstrip: Location Shooting Q&A
  36. Using Plates to Create a Pano in Lightroom®
  37. Transform Tool
  38. Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot
  39. Retouching Details in Photoshop®
  40. Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3
  41. Post-Processing Theater Hero Shot in Photoshop®
  42. Creating a Spotlight in Photoshop®
  43. Adjusting Color for Cinematic Lighting
  44. Post-Processing: The Haircut
  45. Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building
  46. Creating a Pano Using Plates in Photoshop®
  47. Developing Cinematic Portraits in Lightroom®
  48. Retouching Cinematic Portraits in Photoshop®
  49. Color Grading Cinematic Portraits in Alien Skin


Bruce Walker

This course is simply terrific, and I highly recommend it. Firstly it arrived at the perfect time for me as I am soon to do a studio shoot very much in keeping with a cinematic or theatrical aesthetic. Secondly it's taught by Chris Knight who I swear is like a long-lost twin brother. :-) There are so many parallels in the way he thinks and works to my own style. So I avidly watched this as soon as it was available for anytime streaming. This is the first time I have made extensive use of the CL iPhone app, btw, and I love how it pretty much enabled me to seamlessly switch back and forth from desktop viewing to my iPad that I carry around the house during the day. I was able to make coffee and still carry on taking in the course, uninterrupted. The content is fantastic, delivered succinctly yet entertainingly. Some material and ideas are already in my repertoire and were reinforced and validated by Chris' demonstrations. But he also introduced a lot of ideas and methods new to me and very welcome. I was particularly glad to see how practical it is to stitch a series of tripod shots into a wide pano. I have been afraid to try that but I will now be using that in my next shoot, for sure. As alway, his post production practices revealed all kinds of tips about Lightroom and Photoshop I didn't know. Negatives. The volume level mastering is iffy. It started out at a decent level then midway through one of the early lessons dropped so much I had to turn up my sound system to compensate. And as I write this one lesson (34) is missing and in its place was a duplicate of the next lesson (35). I expect CL will have that fixed shortly though (I sent support a note).

Jeph DeLorme

One of the best classes I have viewed at Creative Live. Definitely worth the investment of time and money. The pace of the class allows you to learn extra tips and tricks throughout the process. Great instructor, highly recommend this class to anyone looking to step up their creative game.

a Creativelive Student

excellent class in all regards. outstanding instructor with experience in complicated cinematic shoots but who also is willing to thoroughly cover the basic nuts and bolts. i wish all creative live classes were of this quality.