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Shoot: Harley Man with Three Light Setup

Lesson 17 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Harley Man with Three Light Setup

Lesson 17 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

17. Shoot: Harley Man with Three 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 Three Light Setup

What I want to hear is about is grungy of a portrait as I can get and so we've already done a three light approach yesterday but it was little bit of a soft look right? So this is going to be really edgy now there's a couple ways I could do that one is get smaller modifiers or back doesn't want fires up but also when I take my overhead light which is the front one and I had just my value up and down the darker I get it the edge here it looks, the more value I give it, the softer it looks as a general even though the light started the same position it kind of it kind of feather the look by by my power output so I already had cliff in here just a couple were quick tests but cliff rights harleys and he's also a martial arts instructor and I'm sure he's beat up a few people in the alleys here between here and tacoma and he's a tough, tough dude. So he's the perfect subject for this and he's got this leather jacket on that's just like oh man he's got all this texture so even in camera is go...

ing to look amazing now when I go in the photo shop I'm going to even make it more of a grunge look but so cliff, why don't you come in here and he's got a helmet? Well, maybe try to, but first now let's, just just use you with your jacket and your headband, and and we'll make it look like a million bucks to get in front of here and let's, get the camera in position and we'll get the light there normally, in a stoop, my studio, I have this stands on wheels so I can really roll around. And but, you know, it's so funny is I've only had that stand for about three years, four years, and so when I bought it it's not that expensive. It's, you know, an avenger stands on my website under my equipment, the model number, but I thought, why happen for thirty years, twenty five years I've been moving this stupid light, and but on wheels is that makes a lot easier. So depends on where you work. I live in a nineteen twenty four house. I finally got stands with wheels just slide across the floor because it'll that level. Um, all right, so what was our rule of thumb? Two foot modifier, two feet three foot modifier, three feet five foot modifier five feet is a good starting spot. Now I do this this portrait a lot, this scenario with a beauty dish type, you know, twenty four inch modifier but we're going to use the thirty six inch and it's not a big difference there because it's my middle light my zone three light so all its lighting is this part well, maybe down here a little bit. The edge lights are lighting that along here so the smaller the modifier the more fall off you have good or bad? Now this scenario that leather jacket's gonna get lit and I can always been yet dark it down burn it down a little bit in photo shop if I wanted to keep the face really glow that's what I like so I'm a portrait shooter I'm a porter shooter to the core so almost every picture I have I can't I'm thinking about the person more than anything else that's my goal is to get that person toe look like a superhero so even I do backed up portrait's now stuff I still even wanna do fashion beauty I'm still kind of a portrait shooter and so that's just can't let go of that uh that's okay, so some people might be more of ah backed up, but the person environment you know I like in your face so if I have my camera here of the twenty four seventy lens on here full frame, if I'm at about twenty four twenty eight millimeter I'm in heaven so how can I get away with I get this e mail all the time how can I get away with shooting a portrait so close? Well, a couple things one is I know kind of exactly where in the distance this has gotta be a twenty four millimeter get too close it really stretches things bad I also know that if we're going to get clipped across his arms it's going to make those arms big right now but in this scenario that's not gonna be a distraction for me big arms because he's the tough dude right? So even if he takes his jacket off and he's got his arms he's gonna look tough right that's what I want I don't want the nose to get really big but it's not really, especially on our own horizontal vertical or get toward the edges of the frame things start to stretch a little bit this is actually a pretty good lens it's really sharp corner to corner it's the new twenty four to seven seventy cannon lens but you gotta be careful when you get to the corners it's always going to be a little less sharp than in the centre but he's going to be pretty well centered in this thing so let's take a look at this and I did cheat a little bit we shot about three frames three four frames before we you know so but normally I get pretty close because I know my lights I go half power in the back this is usually about an eighth power or sixteenth power is a good starting point. I don't care necessarily what the output in terms of ratios are on my life. I don't care if people ask me all time what's the difference in racial between the output of this and that I don't care why is that? Because, john, what help are you? Because if I could measure it, then I always want to go back to it doesn't make sense I don't want to go back to it. I want to let my intuition take over with my subject. So if I was to say that you know the school, what what is it now? And it's on sixteen wants if I said sixteen wants is my output of this light, then I always put it on there and I'm like thank you that's the golden rule it's not depends on my subject in front of me, so let's, get your arms cross there and I'm going to see my boxes in the frame a little bit I don't care, they're goingto come out even if I keep him on a dark background, I just close him out, so so I'm gonna move in here I'm at twenty four millimeter so don't read the book that says that a portrait lens is fifty millimeter seventy millimeter hundred millimeter forget that book just use what fits you and john you were saying you went to cuba and out of all the pictures you took, your seventy two hundred was your main lens thirty five pictures of sixteen, thirty five and seventeen hundred seventy, two hundred so you see, we're very different look, we're different and that's okay, I remember I was doing a picture of a waterfall of my friend I climbed up this mountain, it wasn't even trail, we had a bushwhacking got away the top there, I'm sitting there shooting the waterfall, the grand and I'm looking for steve and he's down on his belly, photographing a flower with the macro lens something and we just hiked all the way for the waterfall is like, yeah, there's a cool flour, right? But that's because we're different and it's a good thing, we're different. We all have shot the same thing and life would be a boring so let's put your arms there. All right, this is one cool look right here. Look at that. I told cliff that's a face only a mother would love, but isn't that great love now, if you did some, uh, hollywood movie stuff for a while, don't you yeah so he's been around he knows that he knows what to do on the front camera but look at that look at the leather look at the um so my edge lights I want to come to right about here no book told me this nobody told me this I just started shooting now if you've got the edge like too far back kills it go too far forward then you're encroaching in this zone and it kind of kills it too so there's that point and I don't know that point until I put him in front so let me take a look here if let's just do this as an example I'm going to increase the power here and show you what that looks like all right, so we're gonna go let's take into, um have stop one, two, three, four five so we're increasing the power half a stop now drop your arm just a little relaxed and right there right there. Okay, so now we've increased the value in zone three right here a little bit let's go one more half stop one, two, three, four, five that's only one stop from what I started with so here we go now watch starts to fill it in now I'm getting teo a maur what I would do for a beauty fashion killer kills the drama, doesn't it so let's do this let's go back to where we started one two three four five six seven eight nine ten website in nine ten and then we'll go down another have stopped one two three four five so now we're gonna go half a stop lower in value than when we started so let's take a look at that now that's gonna build a little bit more drama that's probably close it seems like about close what we had before but that's let's just go one more one more down from two three four five so we're gonna really try to build drama here let's see how far we go so like I said I'm watching still pretty good and photo shop I bring his eyes out a little bit you know but I really and I can think about putting him in the background no street scene you know and now it might be that he's a little bit high on his arms here okay, so on this it's like it looks like this because it's a wide angle lens so just bring it down a little bit and bring your head forward just a little bit okay now I gotta refocus because he just moved and also because he moved I'm his wide angle lens it I don't want cropping right here I want all his arms and so I'm gonna bring it down a little bit here let me loosen this up right there and go here but that's pretty dramatic. Yeah, now we're talking this is looking pretty darn good so I'm looking at things like the shadow on his chin that's important the shadow owner's nose is important to me now I could probably raise the light a little bit. You get a little more shadow let's, look at that. We see what that looks like. But do you see how just moving a like just a little bit can change the flavor? The tone, the mood, everything one to now. Also, when I raised that light up a little bit it's going to get a little darker and value because I've kind of, you know, I brought it away from him a little bit, but that gives a little bit more shadows under things, good or bad as an artist, I would say if we increase my power a little bit one, two, three, four, five to kind of compensate for us raising it up let's, try that. That might be a little better. See what it looks like, that's pretty good. You put that guy, you put him in a background that you know again and all street scene and that is one killer shot, right? So that's, the good news of lighting is I once I understand lighting I had to freedom like you're cooking a you know, a cake and a little of this little of that little of this little that all sudden I have my special recipe you gotta know what to do not what to move just don't throw light out and so this is the fun part now again that phil cards read it is waste let's let's snap a couple because I want to I want to keep this shot I want but I want to try another look he's got a helmet I want to bring it into the picture to let's fire a couple like this just just so I know I have it right in that drop your chin a little bit right there um lean on me a little bit more okay right there and just kind of give me a little bit like oh, come on man I'm yeah I'm gonna take you look at who that's good this is good. I could say that I met cliff on the street somewhere, you know? But now when he dropped his chin this got dark so I'm gonna go back to my original slot here, which is right above the camera now I don't this people say don't you feel like you're kind of dis engaged to the other model? It is this kind of kind of blocked here, you know, but um that's okay, I'll do it get my look so so that's sort of fill in just a little bit now give me that look way mescal back down power one, two, three, four, five okay, so now give me a kind of ah come on there you go. Hey, who stole my fries? Not chin up a little bit right there. Okay, so I think we've got that pretty well covered in terms of um that's good there that is good can't get much better nat cliff okay, so now let's try let's try maybe just having hands on his hips let's try that still get the leather coat now with this is gonna be tough because I got to make a decision do I want all his hands so I go below that where to go up in crop here so let's just take a look and I I like cropping heads right? I don't know why I like it in here. So when you look at my panels I got a subject like boom boom you just sucked right in again that's breaking a rule that probably when I was taught photography you were not supposed cropped heads but I'm going to do it now the other thing I got a wide angle lens so when he's like this his arms were really small so you want to bring the arms not like thiss but like it's relaxed but kind of straight level a little bit so let's take a look here all right do this cliff take um maybe lower your hands a little bit I'm gonna try to crop I'm just going to see just the top of your shoulders here so let's try this on the focus right there and I'm gonna go write like that so it's kind of like really tight cropped in here so I have another look that's kind of my look but here's the problem if I'm gonna lay him into a nice panel what did I just do over here? I got a problem over here now I've had to take in clone and you know fix it but you want to have at least that to the edge so that you can drop him in so I'm gonna watch that make sure that that's in there pretty tight um let's do this on this shot maybe and get away with a little less wide angle because now starting to stretch a little bit on me so I'm gonna pull this up just a fractious and get this back and I'm gonna zoom in a little bit so let me just focus right on your face and I gotta make sure though I get all your hands in the air now uh chin down a little bit right there okay give me a look come on a little less wide angle oh that's good but I missed his lookit I missed the edge over here okay you know I think what's happening is this going through light room it trims it a little bit I don't know I guess I'm still tied over here sorry but I'm getting a little bit tight appears almost like do I crop or not you know it's a tough one so let me do this do one like this lips I'm just missed the top of his head here hold on I think I just trimmed his hair we're going to get that in there okay now in this one maybe um you're a little bit just come to relax a little bit back relax so just there right there okay so now this would be a good one so I have its whole head in there um but I need that look give me that like human take my head off come on ok and then let's try putting the helmet under your arm where's your helmet so we'll just put a helmet like he's like this kind of you know you might just hold the gloves in your hands you know whatever you're the real deal okay let's do this let's take thiss and we're gonna lord this I don't want a lord too much but I want to get it I want to get his jack it may be a little bit of his genes in there so to do that I'm gonna have to really either go super wide or vertical so let's just try this let's just see what happens here. Okay so do you put your gloves your hand but then kind of cut your thumb can you do that? That work kind of like you just kind of like yeah there's my glasses all right let's say we can do here okay so now I just need that hannah comes this arm to come out a little bit just a little bit yeah okay, now this is I'm gonna go horizontal start with just so you see it um but a lot of mega pixels I'm losing but not bad and let's still in just a little bit one, two, three, four five eyes get a little dark in here just for when I'm backing up here okay all right focus shoot I'm gonna flip it here if I could do that and but what's weird is you can literally it'll change the mood when I flip it horizontal has a mood it's a certain chord progression verticals of certain court it's kind of strange. I know that sounds weird, but watch the difference in terms of what this looks like okay, I'm gonna zoom in a little bit here I did lower the camera tad but now I got all my mega pixels in there I'm not losing um you know so it's darker down here right because my life is a falling off good or bad and I like it because I want the viewer's eyes to go to his face so um let's take I'm gonna unzip this a little bit get a little more like that in fact you got a black t shirt over there but it looks a little too buttoned up and I'm no wardrobe specialist but um I think it's gonna look better looks a little better now watch this even though he's got this helmet and I'm going to because I shot a lot of football players I'm gonna run my framing just like this right here it's only focus I can't go just with the helmet right just like in the middle of the helmet I could get away with that I think composition why see that and and then that's actually looks pretty good to me so give me that look with that one come on yeah chin up just a little bit right there beautiful beautiful beautiful okay, now I'm gonna back out a little bit I'm gonna bring his I'm gonna bring the whole hand in helmet and ready one two three so now I got another scenario so when I'm shooting my my subjects I'm gonna try to cover my bases I don't know later what I'm gonna put him in but see now I've got the whole helmet in there so that's an option um let's do this I can go in like right here and just get a little piece of the and then trim his head like one like this bring your chin that way right there yeah give me that look again come on when I shot troy paula mano I said could you give me a mean look he'll know and I'm thinking this guy's like he's he's one mean guy on the field you know but he's like no side a hard time getting him to give me a mean look cliff no problem bigan tell cliff does this for a living yeah okay so I think I've got a pretty it's pretty edgy now I get people asking me what about these edge lights are they too hot now on the monitor there's which is pretty close they might be getting just a tad hot remember what I said I can always build contrast later it's hard to get rid of it so let's do this let's knock this down john just a little bit let's go let's go down to um one sixty so we'll go down a half a stop on those edge lights and just see what happens so that should soften it a little bit yeah so now there's no not a blow out there I don't want a little blowout because they're building a punch right but you gotta be careful so like I said I could always build it later um let's just do a couple more like that alright go back here and this is the good news when it comes to zoom okay so now once I get that done now I want to do something that's like totally different in terms of if I get the right background and that is let's say cliff is standing there and he's got his harley in the background but he's not looking at me right he's just he's got his gear he stopped he's you know? So let's have you bring your chest that way so shift your legs a little bit, okay? And then we'll fire one off like this during losses and I watched the light on the edge of his face all of a sudden I see that light on the ram there that's starting there you have that native american look, don't you? Okay, now let's drop the chin down a little bit like you're almost relaxed, you know, look like you looking down his relax. Okay, so I want to get a shot like this and that wide angle might be a little too much because what is it doing to that helmet it's making it really big but now let's do this look over your shoulder and your look away back in that direction I love this look it's kind like body gone away had gone another okay it's a little softer over here because he's moved into this light a little bit um but so let's do this if we switched the helmet to the other arm try that that way that helmets not in the part where the distortion is really forcing it to come out so this is where things I'm looking at so do this I want you look downright right here those shoes right there what's this now we're talking now are talking starting to come together right? So he just stand there you know that harley's in the background really rustic you know ali or something and I've got this look listen, we're gonna lose or make a text also let me flip it okay? So let's go right here and even go look more of your shoulder like a really looking past what's the next one thing you should do yeah, but don't look up look down like you're looking down the alley so when I put this in the background oh my gosh it looks really like but think about this too if because we're not in an alley so if we're here there's cars and noise and you know that it's a little bit more like you feel the environment right? But here what I always try to do tell people is to fall asleep like, relax and then look to your body is just relaxed look look and I'll fire couple off here already there you go now look the other way to slip across this way so I just fire a couple like this just go back and forth looking the other way and a lot of times they'll have an athlete like they'll take a step right now the harley you would probably do that but it's like they're almost emotion and their backs curves a little bit kind of nice only doing that angle that side thing but uh very nice. Okay, so now when I get it I get to this stage I think okay, I've got a couple options that would be very cool to drop into a background um what else can I do right what? What weather also have we do have an option we could put his helmet on. Okay. That's possible. Okay, so do want we just spin around look at the background you're just completely the back of you so I'm gonna have him standing like at the alley right? And this forced perspective and he's just there with his I want to see the el helmet a little bit more so just drop it down to your hip like that okay? So we'll do that vertical there let's do a horizontal of it okay, very cool I love this I love this I got some great ideas for this one okay, so that's there and look how they look, how the light is really dark down here. So you have this natural curve? Hi. Brighter here than down there. You got your lights, you see? Definitely what this guy is, right? There's, no question. He's, a harley writer. Tough dude. Okay, so that's an option we've got so bunch of put your helmet on and turn around. Let's, try one with your helmet, and maybe what I'll do is I'll fire one with you. Put it on, so step up, right? Right? We're there, that's, all right? And then what? Just maybe try a couple gets ready, just keep going. You never know. You never know my final place for it. So let's see a couple of these? All right, so that looks straight at me again. Same thing helmet looks a little funny. I mean, I'm not not funny, but I mean, it doesn't quite look as much as you know, um, when I had, but we'll do it anyways, so let's, just try it, but there there's the solution. No, you can't. You don't really know until you try, right? So do you crossed arm thing? I think it'll work there think that was a work here and there's one thing that it doesn't hurt because number one I'm not paying for film, right? Even if I was paying for film it's we're only going to use a couple of maybe one or two shots so I need so I don't have to beat my subject on the ground well, can I ask a question? Yes gabri in the chat room is interested in the you talking more about the highlights on the helmet do those concern you or you work those into the shot I like okay but but anything that's reflective going pick up the lights and so when you shoot like the bike which I've shot chrome paint reflective that's a challenge now that's why I do big overhead lights like the source is coming from the top but he's going to pick up everything we just shot cliffs bikes out in the outdoors with the lights everything turned out really cool but that's hard work um two big huge boxes out there but let's do this let's try unzipping and so you got your hands in your pockets I want to see the break in the jacket let's see what that looks like like that? Not bad. I still think the helmet kind of killed the whole mood so I love the band so let's do that let's put it back on and I would doubt that the jackets like broken um let's hold it again and or no let's take it out let's take it out we just set it down but I want your eyes your hands your pockets with the coat that means the son of a black you know gap yeah this is good I love it lean at me a little bit and then drop your chin right there so I like I like the helmet off but the end you don't know that looks pretty good so other than that I don't know what else I could do at this point I think I've covered all my bases what I might do and there's a couple backgrounds that I have that I'm looking up into an alley way and the clouds are above so I've done this recently on some athletes where a little e r come down and I'll just shoot a really wild perspective okay now now do we you force your body that way so turn your by that way and then let's do one like this now look over your shoulder like you did before yeah see it could be kind of a cool look I don't know I don't know and as a general rule to when you lower your camera you lower your light so let's just do that since I always preach that so let's lower that a little bit now look over again let's just say that's a little better and that might be too much, so let's. Knock it down. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nineteen were going full. Stop down, really make it look edgy. Focus. You know, every time I put my camera down, pick it up. If refocus, I don't ever take it for granted. It's a focus, because if it's out of focus, I'm gonna be so pissed if I have my shot now look at me, right? They're beautiful. Give me a little bit of ah, ah, come on, now, do this. Take one hand, just go because you're mad at me now, the other, after the other hand, do this hand, so, come on. Yeah, you really stick it at me. Come on. There you go, so I got it.

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