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Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Lesson 32 of 49

Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot

Chris Knight

Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

32. Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot


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

Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot

Let's now take a look at actually getting the shot. All right, so now we've got the talent on, and we're just working on finessing the light a little bit, making sure because we are working with one light source, they don't get in each other's light, and then making the poses, just working through those poses. Okay, so do me a favor, I'm gonna have you, just make sure you lean this way a little bit, so that you can catch the light, otherwise he blocks you. Okay. All right, let's try that. (clears throat) All right, go ahead. (shutter clicks) Good. And lean to me with your, there, exactly. Nice. Good. (shutter clicks) Good. Really good, nice. (shutter clicks) (shutter clicks) Now, kind like you're walking into it, both of you. So, like, lift the leg up a little bit on the back leg, Yeah there you go, nice. (shutter clicks) Nice. Again? (shutter clicks) Good. And you can look at each other, just not with the face. Just with the eyes I mean, turn the face a little, there you go, yep. ...

Good. (shutter clicks) (laughs) And you can smile. (shutter clicks) Good, good, good. That's great. Yeah, nice. (shutter clicks) (laughs) "It's great to meet you again!" When posing for a photograph, especially posing in an action pose, it rarely works. And so if you just give them a little bit of a rocky motion or a slight bit of the motion to do, it's usually a lot more successful 'cause there's a point of impact and it feels a lot more natural. I'm gonna have you guys step back just a hair if that doesn't get you out of the light. Yeah both of you that way. Little bit, yeah, there you go. Good. All right, and now you can step into it. If you need to kneel, this has fabric in it so it's soft. (shutter clicks) It's nice, really good. I'm gonna have you move in just a hair, there you go. That's good. 'Cause I'm losing your foot behind this. But it looks good, the pose is right. The movement's great. All right, and action. (shutter clicks) Good. Go. (shutter clicks) (shutter clicks) (laughs) Now like you're somewhat happy to see each other. (shutter clicks) Good. Again. (shutter clicks) Make sure you don't turn the bag away. I'm losing it a little bit, so just kinda, yeah. All right, go ahead. (shutter clicks) Good. That's really good. (shutter clicks) Good, nice. (shutter clicks) Good. That's great. Great, great, great. Couple more? (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Good, nice, super nice. Hold the bag a little bit tighter if you can so grip it a little bit more. There you go, yeah. Is it heavy? Super. (shutter clicks) What'd they put in it? A cannonball. (laughs) (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Can you try a couple where you zip the jacket up? Just a couple? Good. (clears throat) I know, now that it's, I mean it is a summer day. Okay go ahead. (shutter clicks) Good, yeah that's great. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) And lets get some with the laughing and the smiling. (shutter clicks) The laughing and the smiling. (shutter clicks) Good. Good. (shutter clicks) Good. Good, good, good. That's great. All right, lock into position for me really quick. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Good. Again? Give me the movement? (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Nice. Really good, really good. I'm gonna lock this in place, you guys wanna do a few more interactions? You wanna try the ... the salute? As well? Feet together though. There you go, yep. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) So I'm looking for something that's a little bit different than just the guys standing here, shaking hands, what would they be doing here? And so I had the suggestion, well, let's try the salute. Well, we asked a couple of the guys that worked here, who were both in different branches of the military what would be a common interaction or what would be the proper way to salute and it was relayed to us the saluting wasn't necessarily done. It was a little bit more common, it was a little bit more casual out here. And so you'd get the, "All right," pat on the back, "Good job." You know, you'd get the, "Well done." The handshake, and so, that's what we're gonna kinda gear this toward, just something that's a little bit more friendly and a little bit more casual and less formal. And so again, this is all in the pursuit of trying to be respectful of the time and the period and the subject matter, and trying to make it as authentic as we can. All right, so yeah, you can hold this, if you want to turn around maybe a little bit, and we can try some where you're like, kinda just like, shoulder on the back, and maybe one of you's laughing, or maybe you're kinda like this and looking down, or, you know what I mean. Like you cross your arms? And you just kinda, I don't know if you, you can't. Can you do hands in the pockets? Or maybe up top? Yeah, so put thumbs in too. And then you just kinda do (laughs) and he's laughing on the back or something like that. Yeah. Let's try that. (laughs) (shutter clicks) Good. Go a little bit closer. Ah, but this way, guys. This way a little bit. Yeah, okay, great. Great, great, great. Yeah, that's nice. (shutter clicks) (laughs) (shutter clicks) (laughs) Yeah, sort of. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Yeah, that's, sort of. (laughs) Don't die. (laughs) (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) All right, now switch. You don't have to switch positions, just kinda switch activities, yeah. (shutter clicks) (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Now, shake hands from there. Let me see what that looks like. (shutter clicks) Good. Good, good, good. Yeah. (shutter clicks) You wanna pick the bag back up? There you go. Your, your purse. (shutter clicks) Good. (shutter clicks) Good. That's cool. All right. (shutter clicks) I'm good with this. Okay, so let's ... I'm gonna lock focus here for the plates. Okay, so what I need to do, now that I have my shot of the guys, I'm gonna get one of them back there on the plane, doesn't actually matter, whoever wants to do it. We're just gonna make a couple of quick shots as long as it's okay that we go, we check that it's okay that we climb up on the wing. And then these can come down. Okay? Okay. You kinda got to see the experience. You'll notice I wasn't hugely focused on getting that wide shot just yet, it's really more about the moment between the two of those guys more than anything else. So I want to show you a few of the images that I selected and narrowed down. This is what they look like and there's a few different variations on it, obviously some he's holding it, some it's on the ground, all just, a few different directions, angles, actions, so forth and so on, and you know, that's the frame that I was looking to create. Now, this is obviously a small fraction of what this shot becomes. We have to obviously take into account what the rest of the image looks like, it's a much greater scene. This is just a small portion of it.

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.


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.