Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 38 of 49

Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot

 

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 38 of 49

Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot

 

Lesson Info

Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot

This gives me what the image starts as, right? This is where the perspective of the image is. So what do I do to an image like this? How do I really fine tune the development process here? I'm gonna spend most of my time up in this basic module. There are obviously a few things I'd wanna retouch on this, like I'd wanna clean up the edges of the hair, which are illuminated by the rim light. I've got this thing right here that's showing, which I don't want to show. Kind of get rid of that highlight on the arm. Those are easy enough retouching things. So we're gonna concentrate on how we can make a few adjustments here pretty easily. So, I'm gonna start by flipping on my guides to see where my clipping is. And I have clipping in the dead center of the lights that are flaring at camera. That's not the most offensive thing in the world. I can obviously bring that down if I want. But this there is a haze in the air so you can kinda see that it's affecting contrast overall anyway. One of my f...

avorite things to start off with when I'm processing an image is to see about getting an auto setting on my limits of the range of the histogram. So I like to stretch out the information to the best of my ability. And so, a quick and easy way to do this is to come to your whites and blacks here and hold down the shift key, and when you hold down the shift key and you double click on the word, it will stretch out to what it believes is the auto setting for that. And you can do this, obviously, across the board but it's not always right, it's not always right. In fact, the blown out white values tend to mess with us quite a bit. It's not always right and it sometimes can go a bit too far. It's nice to have as an about. So I'm gonna back that black off just a little bit. I actually liked where the whites were a little bit more glowy and ethereal so I'm gonna bring them back. And so that'd be kind of where I'd begin. So I now have a pretty real black value and I have a full white value, so my histogram runs that entire spectrum. And that makes me happy. When you are shooting Black Pro-Mist when you are shooting haze machine, it regularly will affect your overall contrast. And so one of the ways you can make it not look as hazy is by bringing the shadows down or the blacks down and it stretches out the histogram a little bit more and it gives your environment a little bit more of a, it brings it back to the real world a little bit. Like the actual contrast of the world, but you still get the flare and the appearance of lights. It just becomes aware that you can move around it. Okay, so I'm gonna come in here to the shadow slider a little bit, and I'm gonna, again, I'm gonna bring that down 'cause I actually like this darker edge to everything. I think it helps with framing, it gives me a little bit of staggering of depth. So if you remember when we were talking about, excuse me, when we talking about staggering depth when we were creating that cinematic look, it's that varying the lightness and the darkness throughout the foreground, mid-ground, and background. And in an image like this, she is my foreground, the edge of the stage is my mid-ground, and what's happening here is the background. And she is light, and this is dark, and this is light. Light, dark, light. That's how you create the appearance of depth. Okay? And so this is giving me a little bit of even an optic, it almost looks like a vignette as well, like you get the dark edge over here, to the dark over here, this is dark, and then it just kinda creates this cool vignette. But we have a little bit of added visual interest over here in the corner. Okay, so let's take a look at maybe recovering the lamp values ever so slightly, I think that looks really good. Yeah, I like it a little bit brighter. Okay, cool. That looks nice. So, here we are before and after. So far not a huge difference, but we've brought a nice bit of contrast back to that image. You can mess with the overall contrast as well, but, you know, that's totally up to you, I find that I mess with it very minimally once I've messed with all this other stuff, but you know, sometimes I will. Exposure, I ... Is one of the first things I'll adjust if I have problems with it, but since I felt like this was about where I wanted, I didn't have to tweak it too much. One of my go to methods for manipulating exposure is using the plus or the minus keys. And so based on which of these sliders you have selected, plus or minus will change it. And the way you toggle through your different sliders is by using the comma and the period key. That toggles through these, and so I leave it on exposure, and so the plus or minus changes you in one-tenth stop increments. And it just allows me a very quick and easy way to dial in that exposure. I find that to be really useful. That's my quick way to just equalize out brightness and darkness of images. So it's looking pretty good. Now, I'm going to ... kinda change the color temperature of what's happening here a little bit. I actually think that this particular light over here could have been a little bit warmer. It wasn't warm enough. So what I'm going to do is add a radio gradient over here, something that looks like this, because light emits like a circle, right? And I'm gonna come to my effect, and I'm gonna to increase the warmth, and I'm gonna increase a little bit of magenta, to add me that reddish color, so it's a combining of like a reddish color and a yellow which makes orange, everything is orange. Here is is without, here it is with. Okay, and you can make it as flarey as you want, you can saturate it if you want, you really have a lot more play in something like this than you might think. But, I also believe that the difference makes the light a little bit more harmonious with everything else. Okay? All right, now another thing that I'd probably tweak is I would really mess with the vibrance and the saturation, I would also come in and mess with the color here. Now this is a very constrained color palette. There is yellow, orange, and red. That's pretty much all there is in this. So, all I want to do is balance what that looks like. So vibrance tends to work around skin tones, so unfortunately orange, red, and yellow are all skin tones, so affecting vibrance and saturation are going to be a relatively similar thing in this particular image, clarity didn't do anything for me too, too much. And so I didn't really change those values all that much but I am going to come down and take a look here at my HSL section a little bit. And it doesn't hugely matter which of these you start on, it really is entirely up to you and I regularly bounce back throughout all of these, but I'm gonna be dealing with the first three colors here. And so what I generally do, is I just grab my slider, and I rock it back and forth, and I see how I like that it affects the image. I think maybe if I go a little bit brighter it looks good. Same with the orange, a little bit brighter, and then the yellow, yeah, I think a bit brighter. I think that looks better. Okay, and that's just the brightness. Then maybe I'll come to the saturation, and I'll do the same thing. I rock it back and forth. Where do I like it to be? Is the color too saturated? Is it not saturated enough? I'll regularly come back through and I'll also maybe do the hue next, so don't feel like I'm going luminance, saturation, hue is the order you have to go, but here's where like if you want to make the color look really different, you can, or do you want to make the color look really the same, you can. This is kinda the idea of where production design comes into play, what you want your colors to look like. I like a little bit of variation. Orange is usually where the skin tones are, so if you need to do a tweak to the orange skin tones, that would be the place to do it. I think this looks pretty good. It's a pretty subtle change, but I've left everything in kind of that reddish gold color. Okay? All right. So I'm going to bring this into Photoshop, I think this is a really good place. I think it's in a really good place. Before and after. And again, it's not a huge difference, but it is definitely better.

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.

Lessons

  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

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.

Estefânia Silva
 

I'm not a fan of every single instructor on CL. Some of them can't teach a class without trying to project their own egos. Chris is an amazing exception to that. I really end up learning with him even if my personal aesthetic preferences are different from his. This class really focus on basics such as lighting, basic gear, production and practical execution. This is about more than cinematic/low-key lighting. I really recommend.