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Shoot: Harley Man with One Light Setup

Lesson 18 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Harley Man with One Light Setup

Lesson 18 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

18. Shoot: Harley Man with One Light Setup


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Shoot: Harley Man with One Light Setup

So what? I'm teo is infact I photographed clifton tonight with this light against the barn. But let's have you come forward here and this is gonna be a tight shot little tighter. So we're going to start with this and then we'll see what happens. So this is going to be in your face one light and I hope my background. I want my background to get about a fifty percent gray. So we'll see what happens here. I may have to move the whole set toward the white here in a minute. But let's, just go here. Okay? So this is like in your face portrait one light we go a little higher here. So is off. Okay, here we go. Right about here. One, two, three that's gonna be a little dark because that was the value of my lite with three lights. Is that crazy? Doesn't seem possible how dark it is because I had my edge light's coming in and also think about this those edge lights are bouncing off the surface of this which actually give you increased value of of illumination. And how do I know that? Because one ...

time I forgot to turn this one on the pocket with her was not turned on and I was just shooting the edge lights into here and I look great and then I went increase a little bit down and nothing was happening like what? But I know that this becomes a reflector so what's that tell you you could actually go and do it too light but kind of three light look, it is crazy okay? I have no idea how many clicks I just did not enough all right one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nine, ten that's one stop let's go another half stop here we go too much. I want to get this really moody look here with a fifty percent grey now went way too far okay, but we're gonna get there faster and you could get a light meter out I've got it one, two, three here we go I think we're about getting close. Okay, next one should be about right? Okay that's still probably a little bit more than want one to three but the backgrounds getting pretty good I think I want a little more shadow someone raises up that's when we'll be about three four inches but let's see what happens here we go okay, now we're talking now we're talking ok so I in photo shop I can add a texture like an old stucco type wall because it's a fifty percent gray so let me explain why that issue equipped when you have your blending modes in photo shop you're blending modes have a certain purpose now I'm not an expert in bloody modes if you talk to someone that's usually like gravel designers people that do type all the time you know that a certain blending mode if you take a black and white type so you have black background white type you blend a mode certain lenny mode will punch a hole right through the black and will reveal the white or the opposite overlay punches a hole through gray fifty percent grade so if you have a background that fifty percent grey all you do is go uh overlay and bam that texture will pop right through the on ly challenges is if you have any fifty percent great and you're on about my subject that's going to show up with a little mask you just paint right out so hopefully we get to that but that's a really simple idea grey becomes just like in photoshopped becomes an element in which you can punch a hole through very cool visually that's pretty close to percent grade I'm not now you could probably take and measure it but I'm not going to do that that gets technical yeah okay so let's try a few here all right, give me that look again come on there you go. Yeah, so I get a couple of those let's try let's try this let's try the uh one of those okay yeah let's just do a cap on it to see what happens and you know we could do to we'll do this first with with with a coat maybe take the coat off so it's just kind of a black with harley symbol so my goal here is to show you my process what what's going through my head as I'm shooting right? I'm just playing but when I have someone coming to my studio I always say welcome to my studio today is gonna be one big experiment even though I got thirty years behind me it's still a big experiment that's the best I could do already so that looks like that looks pretty good too. Ok, now try well, let's do it let's do it with your hands crossed over let's just see what happens if I could do one like this. I am lord just a little bit. I really want this one to be more kind face porker but let's just see what happens. Lean at me a little bit focus here we go. So have one like that. Um let's go back to hands on your pockets. I think that's better just kind of relax it there and zoom in a little tighter here so this is gonna be there you go right there. Yeah, it's kind of smack dab right there especially when I could do through a photo shop and the grungy a little bit of grunge look that could be a really clean look okay, so now if I take that with you take the jacket off jacket off it's nice to have him um I don't really think about it don't think you know I don't think I don't think about it and people hit the email me all the time it's a good question because someone may ask it susan but I don't use mauling lights there's a couple reasons why? Because I did a lot of battery pack systems in the field back early days and you don't want to run a battery because my life is you run your battery down also it gets hot you know it we're in tears on your strokes so think about this I'm just gonna tell you if you have a molly light on this strobe and you run it for five hours a day in a career in five years you think that the one that's not run as a model life going to be a little bit less wear and tear than the one that's been run with a mind like you bet heat kills things so I know that I'm gonna my my strobes their last longer when I don't run a modeling that's just me someone could channel is that I don't know but that's just me um the boxes I've had him you know get hot and destroy so there's a challenge and I want it I want it destroyed my gear but people ask me when you have a monitor light on your the colors in your eyes close up and you get more color you get more different definition of blue eyes or whatever and that's true so but I don't really I got it but people say but you don't know my life because it was the money like your your eye peoples are dialing that's what I was trying to say right strict and by putting them modeling laid on me john nobody is talking about so if that's a concern you'll turn them on and lights on or you get a flashlight you go hey buddy and shoot it in their eyes go peek and shoot so I'm just gonna bring that up because someone going to ask me that question they asked yesterday they did okay see um so but but mike the reason why I ask that is there certain things that you're going to be paying attention to that I won't there's certain things I pay attention to that you won't that's the beauty of it so ears I don't really think about one, years being chopped off you know or whatever so but you may be when you point that out to me I might go maybe I should start thinking about you know that or eyes people's dilated all those things so now for outdoors those eyes going dilated now um someone told me about a cool trick that when you're outdoors and you have a model have you ever had this you're outdoors and I like this and so I just fact I just got some I bought some of westcott has those flags a black flag you put on the stand it's flexible you know, getting just the angle and so all you gotta do is bring that over just out of frame and block right here of your model and it helps relax your eyes a little bit so that's a little trick or you have an assistant hold something just cause that all that glare coming off the sky and things so those are things that you can think about when you're shooting as you get more you know, experienced but so let's do a couple here with your shirt off um okay, so let's go down here right there good and then let's go a little lower so I'm looking up now what I just dio I lowered my camera right? So my shadow's gonna grow just by the fact that load lord my camera so I'm a lower that down to match my camera and that's a pretty clean portrait right there again before photo shop and all that but it's a pretty clean look that I think just drop your chin a little bit right there give me a little bit of a look come on man you're wearing me out driving me crazy or you know what may I get clipped a laugh again you know there's a time when maybe that's the thing so give me a big old laugh ha so you never know you never know I don't usually go the laugh side very often you look at my portfolio I don't have a lot of animated people laughing and I've had people ask me that are you kind of look like a depressed photographer well no I don't know think sometimes I don't think about it it's just the way it is but that might be your personalities are your vision have people laughing animated our you know every models different so I'm thinking about those things and let's do want it I want to show you guys one of his arms crossed with without a jacket so do your arms crossed and we'll make you look a little bit you know like your mr tough guy here okay, now you're going to believe that you just a little bit right there right there k hole on focus right there one two, three but my camera's sliding here is I do this okay again do this kind of just fall asleep fall asleep look away I should look away just give me a look away here, okay now look back at me yeah beautiful and I'll do that if I feel someone's maybe a little stiff I just they look away when you feel right turn at me look and it's usually have a little more relaxed look the generally the portrait that I use for my mom I blogged I sent out it was shot with one light now you think of all the modifier options that I have what would I use write a beautiful soft light to make me look ten years younger no I used a standard hood so I'm gonna show you the look that I did is just one hood and sometimes we might do this I don't know if I'll do it but I can put a little diffusion on it but I did not do that let's just do this and I'm gonna get this now we're ok well let's go back to my rule of thumb five foot modifier five feet three months out of fire three feet a to put modifier at two feet so an eight inch modifier and how far well I can't quite get it eight inches but I'm gonna try to get it as close as I can because the bigger the modifier relations the subject of softer light or the smaller the modifier in relation to a subject of suffered light so what I'm doing is I'm taking a really small modifier and moving in really close and so in theory if you take the angle like I showed in my last workshop here this could be like a five foot modifier in terms of perspective and angle so that's the cool thing about photography and modifiers is that I could get a kind of a neat look out of this now since I haven't shot anything in terms of exposures and um you know it's going to be tough often and so let's do this way need another apple box because we're going to be pretty tight let's see how far we go in here so we're gonna bounce a little light in there okay all right cliff okay so I'm still at seven point one same settings I s so one hundred two hundred their second I'm at four point four watch right I don't even know if that's close but let's see what happens okay so move this down and tell until I say stop lord down like a blind yeah right there now bring it back up right there right there ready one two three lips okay lost power so we're going to the lowest setting let's just see what happened I may have to put a piece of diffusion in front of it okay still too much so let's go to f holland I locked my have stop let's go down to f ten see what happens is getting there now I'm going to row take this down a little bit so I could get a little bounce out of it so watch this one two three getting there still little harsh so let's do this in the top of that case of that the westcott case there's a big sheet of diffusion it's in the outside pocket on the lid outside pocket the lid let's just put a little effusion on it should soften a little bit and then we should knock it down but it's still kind of getting caught is kind of cool there right now my background I shot this against a white wall so I think that's part of my problem so go against the white wall just go all the way against their let's just do this the white wall goes far as you can back ok the white wall is going to give me a little bit of a bounce and so let's do the same thing and filling around him the backside of that makes sense in the outside pocket the live right there see what your hand wass we'll open it up right there you're hands touched it there you go well that's the best I think that's the only the fusion I have right okay seven foot diffusion but here's going to before we use that before we use that I'm going to see what this white walls going tio okay so let's let's what have I changed? Okay right here let's go right here look, there's a shadow not good. Not good. That shadow's kind of, uh that bothers me a little bit. So let's, if we if we back him toward away from the background, it'll soften that a little bit. So let's, go and slide this forward. Sorry, right about there. Okay, ready? You see how just this him spending we get didn't get dead center? See how just that little bit of change is really critical. Okay, so we got a lot let's put this diffusion on already so let's see how we could do this let's just cook it here like this and we're just gonna go like this, all right? He looks like he's a gangster gangster of love. Hold on, let's back it up just a little bit. I think we just got a little too close and then we make sure it's straight on that look straight on cliff okay? And maybe not so so wide angle ready they were focused. Okay? We're getting there, we're getting there skin closer, okay? And I'm probably a little dark now, okay? And I'm gonna go to f nine. Set it at ten. I'm breaking my rule, right? I'm changing my life stop one, two, three and let's take that was that the last one, okay? Just drop your chin just a little bit come back come back right there in their cake I'm gonna focus on your face I've all right there one two three give me a little bit of ah ah come on there you go and I'm not getting much bound so let's try this still not much bounce you think they'd be more bounce but still not a bad look for kind of a moody portrait then of course we do all the the photo shop to it but look how close I am to see the shadow if I raised it up the shadow gets larger or longer that's only about what two inches right there let's let's do this let's go back to seven point one now I think we're pretty close toe but that that stretched the shadows a little bit just a little bit as a rule of thumb no matter whenever you're doing it portrait you never want the shadow to go past the lips I say that it gets really harsh unless you're doing something that's like an outdoor street lamp look so I'm watching where the shadow is but that's not a bad look I mean he's kind of like that faces and when I do it all the photoshopped to it now let's try one thing since we've now lord or raise the light what happens if I go a little more telephone a little less wide angle here that might be a little better so let's try this we're gonna swing this down it'll bounce off a little bit more so what that does there goes all of a sudden my phil card came in who almost too much right so look what happens just by swinging the angle the light just a little bit changes everything a lot of variables to think about but um anyway so that was another option we did uh thank you, cliff very good did a great job. So what do you think? Any questions on this now? Oh yes. All right. Good question. Okay, um that was great to watch so there's questions let's start with this question chris brown from germany had asked this yesterday and now we have a ton of people asking it so including let me just give some shots here. Marcello lenny and delusions graphics works the questions are would it be possible using the two back lights without the modifiers toe add more drama and edge? And then additionally, what chris had asked was using speed lights a lot of people wanna know if you could accomplish this with speed lights and then x nicer wanted to know if you could accomplish it with a beauty dish so we talk about all the different variables of that okay, if we understand the general rule of lighting which is the bigger the source in relation the subject the sovereign light and how much bounce you have in that influence it softens it it doesn't matter if it's a speed light or if that's a nineteen fifties you know capacitor strobe that you know weighs five hundred pounds it doesn't matter that it's a strobe or a life source or continuous light anything that creates a panel or a source of light the same principles apply how close is it? How big is it? How much ambient light's coming in so speed lights are great options you can put him in soft boxes however they don't put out a lot of power generally so if you're in a studio however that's not as critical because you just put your eyes go up a little bit and you shoot at s o eight hundred speed lights boom do the exact same thing I did now I've got in my car but it's in my top rack as we've been travelling a small um uh rapid box twenty two inch rapid box thanks twenty two somewhere around there twenty four it on ly allows you to mount a speed light but I was actually going to try to grab that and I forgot but I was going to use that on the shoot this morning so I had a speed light in a twenty two inch twenty four inches modifier and it would give me the exact same look as these strokes it doesn't matter the source of light so long as it's illuminating the interior of or whatever that modifier it's filling up and giving you a full blast of light out that modifier so yes speed lights will work great going back to if I take my these boxes here they're the large thirty six by forty eight ish um inches um modifiers if I go to a smaller modifier the same distance what happens it's more contrast it gets edgier if I put a grid on my hood it gets really edgy because of small modifiers if I back this thing up ten feet will be edgier than it when it's five feet away so it's all about me picking the modifier and how far away it is and then how much bounce I have so here's what I would say anyone who's got to little small say twenty four by eighteen type boxes triumph movement close movement back see what happens you will get a cool look it doesn't matter so don't get enamored by the size sorry the shape of the modifier it's the size and how close it is to the subject that matters and carlos want to know about the grids on the soft boxes there absolutely okay we covered all this on my first workshop but grids are for minimizing flare into the lens they do corral alight but that's not where they're there they actually cut down about a stop of light so if I get in a scenario where I need more power so let's add back those things up ten feet and I go I'm at full power I want a little more punch ripped the grid's off and then I go get a little bit longer lens it's the wide angle lenses that pick up the most flair so I have a fixed fifty fifty one four if I put that on I'm going to have less flare risk of flair than a twenty four to seventy at fifty millimeter so in some scenarios I go oh man, this is a little bit of flair here I took my grids on because I want the extra power or whatever and I'll just take and I'll bet my fifty on and that pentax I know is that pen texas for five z's got I got all fixed lens they do make some resemblance is but I got all fix lenses no flare in fact we've tried to do flare I'm not kidding you my son said let's create flare on purpose we took a light went ban into the lens and we got this great look I said let me grab the pen texted with pin text couldn't get the flare because this fixed lens so in that crazy just the less it makes a difference but the grids are primarily for minimising flare in wide angle lenses, right? Thank you uh great photo mojo on twitter wanted to know are you concerned about the dark background and separation separating his hair later for extraction? Not really, because of his scenario, I can fake it really easy if I was going to get clean, it'll be pretty easy, but yeah, I could have taken and just put a white card up pink and did one or two frames just for but I think on on the on the really dark ones, I would be probably adding a dark, adding the texture, so I'm not going to be on official knockout any questions in the studio audience? He was doing good. Okay, so, joel, I just want to touch on this one more time because so many people have asked questions about backgrounds, and we did talk about it a little bit yesterday, but people are wondering about white vs gray versus black. So the question wass from polic a. I have a question about the fifty percent grey I know some photographers actually was a grey seamless paper is their advantage to using that instead of white, so people just have a ton of questions, and then people are asking about the inverse square law, why does it look black? I don't know how much you want to get into that or okay. If you think about it and I covered this in our other workshop but if you think about it every time I put a change a modifier, the bigger the modifier so let's say cliff is five feet from the modifier and I have a twenty two inch beauty dish well it's not going to say this the twenty two beautiful dish is two feet and I shoot him he's five feet from the background the background would be on a white sweet will be a dark our sailors they call it a metal metal gray if I put a five foot modifier on and put the five foot modifier five feet, that background automatically lightens up. If I put a seven foot on at seven feet, I will get almost a pure white background, so a lot of it has to do with how far the background is or what size modifier you have and how far it is so the further you take your light out from your subject and throw the light onto your subjects and the background, the lighter the background will get. That sounds a little complicated but that's an added bonus or a challenge make it work for me so I have a client and I'm shooting say of a beauty scenario and I have this rabbit box and click in the clan goes way make light in the background a little bit and let's say, I got my edge, lights, everything set up, you got a whole set to go. Yeah, I go over pop up my five foot modifier, backing up a little bit, bam, same quality light now, letting the background lighter so I don't even move. I don't put light on the background in terms of extra lights. I just changed my modifier out in front. So, that's, why I use white, white, is a great modifier to go pure white or almost black. We could've gotten black, pull it far enough away, so great does. The same thing, always starts out darker, so it really doesn't matter. Gray, white, it's. Just what what value do you want in the end, you, khun, just a few tweaks and get there.

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work