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Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 11 of 49

Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear


Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 11 of 49

Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear


Lesson Info

Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear

Now a little bit less common to us photographers, compared to maybe filmmakers, are the things that I'm going to talk about next, but you will possibly encounter them from time to time. So the one most common one, these are two different kinds of pins or mount sizes, also called spuds, basically, the one that we're probably going to encounter the most is the 5/8th mount. This is called the baby pin, and here's why I say it's all about legos, right? Because all these things are meant to follow a certain universal mount. This is a baby pin, or baby size. This is what fits in here is. This is essentially the end of the C-Stand. Same size. So is this, okay? This is probably the most common one that you guys are gonna encounter. But every once in a while, when you start dealing with huge movie lights, you get the other end of it, and this is called the junior. And the junior is, because this is an adaptor, so it allows you to convert to both sides, which is, that's the both ends. And so may...

be you get the big light. And if you've ever seen the really big stands, where the top has a mount that has a hole in it. That's where the junior pin goes. So it kind of gives you the reverse mount. Instead of the pin is there, and there's a hole on the fixture, it's the other way. It's a hole, and the thing uses a big mount and drops in, and you lock it too. And that's when you'll encounter the junior mount. Again, you're not gonna see it very commonly, but just know that when someone says, hey I need a C-Stand. Alright, do you want a junior or a baby mount? You know what you're looking for. You're looking for the 5/8ths, or you're looking for the 1 1/8ths. There you go. When shooting location, this is one of my favorite little toys. I learned this from a guy named Cliff Hausner in New York, and he's like, this is one of my favorite portable light stand tricks. This comes in different sizes. This one's a little bit bigger. This is the large size. I use the medium size, which is probably there. Right? It's a little bit smaller. This will extend to here, which is super long. Mine is probably a six-footer. I think this is a nine. This is a painter's pole. You can get this at any home improvement store. You can also buy it on Amazon. It's cheap. I mean, they're between 20 and 40 dollars for one of these. And I actually really like it. I think it's comfortable because of the foam grips. I think it actually looks really, decently professional. It looks like a lighting tool. It looks like something that's not, you're not just holding a big, wooden stick. It's got a button it releases. It fully extends. You can hold the light wherever you want. You tend to, like brace it here. But, the downside of this, is this right here is a regular painter adapter, or painter mount. So, what you will need, is something called a Kacey Pole Adapter. And what that does is that converts this mount into a C-Stand mount. And so it just screws on the top. And so you can now use it with your light stands. So you saw in that behind the scenes image, I was using this with a head with an umbrella, and it was just kind of anchoring it into the shot. It's one of these. I think by the time it's all said and done, you buy a painter's pole, you buy the adapter. 40 or 50 bucks for one. And I think it totally looks legit. I think it doesn't look like you're trying to do something. I've seen other photo brands that try to do a similar thing, and I actually think this is more stable, and more affordable than some of the other ones that I've seen. So, huge fan of this. I think this works really well. And the smaller one will even fit into a full, you know, decent sized suit case. This is a little bit large. Like the small one, side of your backpack, side of your camera bag, and it's a really great way to bring a light on location. In New York, we have to contend with the fact that if you are shooting outside, you need a permit if you're putting down a light stand. So this allows me to not use a light stand because you're not putting legs down everywhere. So it becomes a way that you can run and gun very quickly, and take care of that kind of shooting without as much problems. Very convertible.

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.