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Control Your Fill Lighting

Lesson 6 from: Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Chris Knight

Control Your Fill Lighting

Lesson 6 from: Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

6. Control Your Fill Lighting

Lessons

Class Trailer
1

Class Introduction

04:29
2

What is Cinematic Lighting?

06:42
3

Motivated & Practical Lighting

07:41
4

5 Cinematic Lighting Tips

04:53
5

Low-Key & Upstage Lighting

06:26
6

Control Your Fill Lighting

05:18
7

Show Depth In Your Image

13:24
8

Pre-Production for Cinematic Lighting

22:42
9

Grip Tools: Clamps

08:41
10

Grip Tools: Apple Boxes, C-Stands & Grip Heads

10:53
11

Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear

04:50
12

Grip Tools: Scrims, Silks, Flags & Tape

13:52
13

Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines

04:07
14

Grip Tools: Unusual Tools

04:47
15

Grip Tools: Filters

11:05
16

Grip Tools: Q&A

15:04
17

Theater Shoot: Concept

08:03
18

Theater Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations

08:48
19

Theater Shoot: Lighting Gear

04:27
20

Theater Shoot: Motivated Lighting Considerations

26:47
21

Theater Shoot: Lighting Walkthrough

20:45
22

Theater Shoot: Capturing The 1st Shot

27:37
23

Theater Shoot: Hero Shot

21:47
24

Theater Shoot: Capturing In The Seats

21:48
25

Airstrip Shoot: Concept

05:49
26

Airstrip Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations

19:31
27

The Haircut: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting

13:17
28

Working With Scrims On Location

06:34
29

The Haircut: Getting the Shot

24:28
30

The Haircut: Shooting Plates

08:21
31

Staggered Planes: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting

08:10
32

Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot

08:23
33

Capturing Plates With Talent In Background

16:26
34

Airstrip: Environmental Portraits

07:01
35

Airstrip: Location Shooting Q&A

22:05
36

Using Plates to Create a Pano in Lightroom®

16:08
37

Transform Tool

04:50
38

Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot

09:48
39

Retouching Details in Photoshop®

13:09
40

Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3

06:27
41

Post-Processing Theater Hero Shot in Photoshop®

08:11
42

Creating a Spotlight in Photoshop®

05:31
43

Adjusting Color for Cinematic Lighting

12:28
44

Post-Processing: The Haircut

12:08
45

Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building

05:10
46

Creating a Pano Using Plates in Photoshop®

17:12
47

Developing Cinematic Portraits in Lightroom®

07:29
48

Retouching Cinematic Portraits in Photoshop®

08:57
49

Color Grading Cinematic Portraits in Alien Skin

13:20

Lesson Info

Control Your Fill Lighting

So this becomes the let's control my fill section, okay? So here I have lots of fill on the left hand side. I have no fill on the right hand side. In the next slide, I have some fill. So I'm going to take you through what that looks like. There we go. This is done through two polar opposite modifications. So the one on the left, the fill is controlled through the use of a v-flat. It's just a white piece of foam for reflection. It's brought in relatively close to the side of his face. With the right image, there is a ... It actually uses negative fill. So what I have used here is a black flat brought in really close to the face, and that's absorbing the light. It's making the shadows even darker. Now, if you do decide to use a v-flat, or maybe you're using a secondary fill light serving the same purpose, it's analog control, so the closer it is to your subject, the brighter it's going to be. The further away it is, the darker it's going to be. Then when you want something to be really d...

ark, you bring that flat in and you put it really close. That's generally how that works. That's kind of my in between. Here you can see what the actual set looks like. So we have the v-flat brought in really close. That gives me the lots of fill. You can see that umbrella being held kind of just off axis and behind him a little bit to the left. Then over on the right hand side, I have the fill, the black fill brought in, to make that a little bit more shadowy and darker over on the right hand side. Then we have to build in separation, and this is adding in something like a rim light or a hair light. Call these whatever you want them, but what they are trying to do is achieve a little bit of visual separation on the dark part of the side of your subject. So on the left side of the image, you can see there's no white on the hat. There's not really much on his dark shoulder. So he gets lost a little bit in those very shadowy areas. This becomes our way that we can work around the image being too dark overall. We're looking at a lot of dark images. Chances are, you might end up falling into some darker tones then you're maybe used to when it comes to lighting photographically. You know, we're always talking about shadow detail and preserving shadow detail. This tends to get a little bit darker overall, because cinematography tends to have a few more kind of leniencies in that direction. Now this particular light in the background the one above had, this is a pro tungsten, so it's a continuous tungsten light. It's relatively bright. I've used barn doors on it to just create a very tight pocket of light on the shoulders and the hat. We are working in a really small space with white walls. The idea was all about controlling what the different lights were doing. So had I just put that light up an pointed it down, it would have bounced light off all of the sides of the hallway and made the fill a lot brighter. So by using barn doors to constrict the light, I could really put it specifically where I wanted it to go. As an extra thought on that, that rim light also looks like it's coming from the overhead light. Okay, and it's very subtle. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. You don't have to be going many stops over what your key looks like. But I have just that little bit over here. I have it on him. The whole thing kind of works together, and it feels like it's being lit by what is a relatively complicated scene. One of my other favorite elements about this was a little bit of a stroke of luck. Because of the angle I was at, you can actually see how the light up top is bouncing off the back wall, which has given me a little bit more separation on that collar, and I really like that element of the background. I didn't plan for it. It was just kind of one of those happy accidents of the space. The walls had, they were dark painted, but there was a little bit of a glossy finish, so it caught light at just the right angle. So that gave me that look. As a one extra aside step, which is a little bit of a tangent, with film noir kind of framing, they use lots of wide angle lenses and lots of close kind of more extreme angles compared to how a lot of other filmmakers were making things during the period. So that's why it's shot at a pretty wide angle, kind of low. It's just meant to call back to that stylistically a little bit. I know this is a little bit more of a lighting class, but also things like framing and composition are important things to remember when it comes to these other technical stylistic decisions for how the image is meant to look.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Chris Knight - Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture Grip Quick Reference Guide

Ratings and Reviews

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.

Student Work

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