Cinematic Lighting


Commercial Portraiture


Lesson Info

Cinematic Lighting

everybody tuning in and students here this is terra okay I work with terra what how many years ago long time ago I put this girl through production hell basically yeah we worked together on a music video and you played the girl being chased by a tiger a real tiger mind you really it was really a long time ago the music videos benjamin bates the artists and the song is forever running it's still in youtube that's true is one of the early video shot on red but yeah she's being chased by a bloodthirsty tiger and they got the tiger to run by throwing meat on a pisces metal and an attractive the tiger hopefully to the meet and not myself which was interesting so that's how we know each other so we've been through thick and thin so this setup should be actually a walking safe walk in the park I'd say okay so basically what I would like to do here with terra is approaching this photo shoot in the same way that I'm photographing some of my recent portraiture which is to say like a very simple ...

portrait still kind of atmospheric and dynamic but simple so we're not going to over complicate things for make was very natural right so one of the things that I've been doing a lot of my most recent work is finding like a really simple background whether it's a texture or whether it's a color or something like that and just really concentrating on the light and the face so really breaking things down simple now as away just to make thiss flow nicely it's ah simple set up so it'll be like one of the first that we do today on beacon tweak a little bit we might get to the point where one light looks good and then we might have to fill it a little bit right we might get to the point we're adding backlight and all this kind of stuff but the goal is not to be technical and the goal is not to use a million lights will do that on other days the goal is just to make a really nice portrait so we're on set here okay when I first came in the creative life space all this set I was like oh look a green wall we can totally use that there's nothing special about it is just a green wall and knowing what I know about portraiture we can hopefully get an engaging um and engaging would you say glance I guess look from terra and yeah we can work with light and see what the best position is for one light I could see how we can tweak that an augment it to make the best portrait okay so the first thing that I'm thinking about when I approach any photo shoot before I think about even putting on one light before I think about anything is obviously where the subject is going to stand and where they're going to be so for this is very simple because it's like all kind of the same we could get a great background or we could get a green background I saw in this wall like there's like a little bit of like paint chips coming off from where we hung the print so I'm gonna have you stand terra maybe like right here in the middle of the so go ahead back to the wall here okay so usually when I'm shooting stuff I like to use a test subject right so when I'm shooting a celebrity usually in this stage of the game I'll have someone stand in but because I know terrorist patient because I know like made a tiger chase after her like weaken for the sake of this lesson we can have her stand here while I'm tweaking usually this is not the case right and amusing like caleb or jesse to stand there and hope they look like the person that I'm photographing okay so we're not doing that set tonight so here's my approach with lighting again what are we going to start with first audience mainline okay cool so today let's let's fire this up caleb today we're using these really nice banks light bikes called kino flo and the reason why I've really liked to start working with these lightly is because their constant light source so most photographers use flash that's I'd say what ninety nine percent of my work is flash photography but recently I've been really liking constant light because it can give us a very nice interpretation of exactly how the light looks without having to read it with a light meter I was just meeting inside the camera but more importantly seeing how that light falls on the face and the shape that is giving it so with that said we know our subject's standing more or less around here right so caleb let's throw that up at an angle that I would normally shoot at typically I have a rule of thumb for when I'm placing a sort of beauty light is I like to be a little bit higher than I level maybe by like a foot a foot and a half something like that from the center of the source right so if using a knocked a bank and the flash was in the center I like to like come a little higher what that does is give us a little bit of depth pointing down right so the light doesn't look so flat like it's coming straight eye level it's creating shatters down shatters shadows downward giving us a little bit of drama okay now also to be noted here we have jesse my pal who's going to be digital checking could you give us ah little walkthrough of what exactly we're tethering herewith into your computer and what's going on so we're tethering cannon by the mark three I'm tethering it to capture one seven and we're tethered by usb to two regular usb and what it is is I'm kind of like his second set of eyes so I'm constantly looking out for any sort of exposures under exposures is framing um just just pretty much an extra hand for the photos and can you tell what's happening with the cable when I would actually take that ah um so as he takes the photos they pop up into my screen that can pretty much read the photo I can color correct it I could even adjust his settings for my from my computer so it helps out him a lot for instead of having to always look at this he's looking there I'm looking here I actually have this wild really connected to my ipad as well so he can actually just take my ipad just run away and I can stay here and he conducing sometimes he'll go and he'll leave it in places and we got to drive back the next day and pick it up so essentially what we're doing here is we're tethering into the laptop so that we can back up as we shoot a lot of the times we get to do this on commercial shoots it's not the case for when I'm traveling like there's no way that's gonna happen like in a rugged environment you are we tethered for those sort of scenarios I'm shooting two card but there are some advantages of shooting tethered first of all is becoming a lot easier because a lot of people owned laptops and this is just a standard usb cable andi it's going into the software capture one so it's giving us a really nice interpretation of what we're shooting not only with like the composition and beyond with sea of bigger but we're also able to read the history graham a lot easier than on the camera we're able to color bounce things and shoot them as they come in so one of the tricks that I like to do on set is I have a lot of eyes watching me today we have a lot of eyes wash me also but on a commercial shoot we have clients there who are looking at the photos as they come in so we can give them the either the laptop or the ipad and they can kind of oversee the shoot as we go and not everyone has to be around like where we're actually lighting cause that would clog our set right so with that said anything that we shoot today is going to be tethered into capture one okay so going backto lighting here let's see what we got caleb so these are the kino flo banks this is called a diva light it's a really nice flattering light source you can tell already we've added a layer of diffusion on it and that's just to make the light soft there right so these are already soft to begin with they're sort of these I guess fluorescent tubes whether daylight balance going through a nice soft diffusion here this is a good starting place I think for a beauty light so because we're using constant light we don't really have to test quite as much we can get a kind of visual interpretation of what's going on right now so killed can you do me a favor walk that light up even closer to where terrorize okay and let's see what happens to the softness of the light as we go back and forth so I'm going to be a pain in the ass let's walk this back and forth and less like look a terrorist face and let's notice what's happening keep keep keep going back there are other light sources kind of polluting our scene just because we're late here but more or less most of lights coming from this source so this shadow on our nose in particular is very harsh right now now come forward caleb again okay as we go it kind of like softens out we've got their like this really nice quality you're like standing so still it's kind of worrying me okay do me a favor and turn your shoulders toward me and then looked that way so that looks like a nice quality of light from my eyes let's see what's going on in the background okay so kind of like the killing lincoln example that I gave we have our like close to the background so the shadows there it can be something ideal and it can't be non ideal depends on taste right personally I like seeing the shadow on the background like photography one o one sort of tutorials might tell you to stay away from it I like seeing it because it connects our subject with the background even if it's just a single color but terra can you please step away from the wall and killed can you move the light with her if we wanted to fix that always have to do is take her away from the wall and I might think about adding another light source behind her right so I would my add another diva light behind her just so I can control everything in layers so the backgrounds let individually okay and then I have my life for her those are two separate things so let's do a little test let's just shoot a portrait with one light and let's see what we kind of have to work with tear if you could go back to the wall and if you could think that light and um and just go straight on to me that's fine now the first thing that we have is I remember people asking about white balance right what do we do when we're white balancing the camera well because we're tethered into capture one we can have a kind of like cool trick to make sure we have like the best white balance there it iss okay so we can use something called a great card this is not an official great card is going to make a lot of people cringe and roll in there and laugh but this is called the j k great car jesse can you tell me how this came to be so I became really innovative one day and joey has said hey want if you have a great card once you just use this tape which is way needed it on set we need to have a great card so we made one so we made one and use it since that day and everyone comes up to in the hill what what is this but it's it's works just as good and about thirty dollars less yeah and it's mine so what this is used for is we need to tell the computer what is true gray in order to find white balance this is a little dirty it's not really going to give us true great but will get us close enough and also I like despite the companies that charge like hundreds of dollars for those great cards let's just use this in spite all right so what we want to do is for the first test shot is we want to show the computer what is true gray because what jesse khun do on capture one is used the eyedropper and balance the white balance to that so the reason why this is important is because sometimes I'm shooting advertising where there's a product involved maybe it's a person like holding a bottle or something like like that and the colors have to be true to how they actually are if we over light and get the white balance wrong then that means the product is being represented in the wrong way or even like if we're doing a clothing shoot like the clothes is reading is the wrong color so we have to sneak in a white sari a great card reading at the starting of every shoot so that later on and retouching weaken color bounce this way now the other thing that will notice is that right now we're shooting constant light so if we're shooting strobes like we're going to do tomorrow I will probably have to test and use a light meters to get an accurate reading however there's a light meter inside my camera right it's a little thing you look through that goes like this okay so what I can do is kind of get close to the reading just with the first test shot so the first kind of workflow that I'm going to do is let's get the lighting correct I'm going to give terror not much direction at all we're just going to set the license if she's a test subject once that's locked down that's what I'm going to start like working with her and say oh turn your shoulder this way this way I'm not going bother about that for now let's just let's get let's get the technical stuff out of the way caleb would you do the honors so let's do it let's do a little gray card test careful with that killer okay so looking in my camera I know this is a five d so I can get away with shooting like esso four hundred and I don't even have to worry about sink speed because there's no flash so I'm getting a reading that's equal to like let's say I want to have a shallow depth of field of like two point eight and four hundredth of a second and that gave me a pretty good reading let's see and on the computer I know this screen is a little hot um jesse can you show me the history graham on this laptop okay so that looks pretty healthy to me looking at this on that tv screen this is not a calibrated tv screen so I'm going to actually depend on jessie's monitor toe look at the history graham which is can you hover over that so people can see this is the tones of the image ok if I weren't under expose this they'd look a lot different if I were to overexpose this they'd look a lot different let me give you an example of like a bad history gram si okay so it's going to be completely messed up under exposed let's look at the graph there on the top left so what happens is we have like a lot of information loss so it's just not registering right that's called an unhealthy hissed a gram is completely crushed to the left side where the shadows are if I were to do the opposite and completely overexposed image there it is all right the history graham would actually shift the other way right so now it's sort of like peeking there we like losing data so I know just from my meter that I wanna have a nice healthy hissed a gram even when shooting raw jesse can you go to that image again and tommy the exposure later the latest one the good one four hundredth of a second what is it four hundred yeah ok good so I know like that's a pretty good starting point so jessie can you click around on the screen with eyedropper and just show me color balancing away from gray so if we didn't have that great card that's what it would look like and you've gotten the eyedropper and capture one and you're going to click somewhere on that card that reflects like a nice medium gray right and then it kind of like balances are tones perfectly for us this is extremely important also when we're shooting with skin tone it's is because skin tones are so hard to get right if it just too much red they look weird too much blue they look weird so great cards is also good when shooting people okay so that looks like a good starting place I think for the great card everything looks good I think we can keep the settings on so jesse while I shoot can you set capture one to keep putting in these settings as I go okay so let's look at this light with our eyes now that we have that kind of figured out caleb with this light can you kind of like pan it on and offer and let's see what we're going to get here so that's a bit too far come back what we want to do is we want to kind of feather the lights so she's getting feather it away a little bit snake it maybe even a little closer let's see what happens if we get a bigger catch late watch it doesn't hit her in the face all right and see what's happening walk away this way we could get a little bit more dramatic and dark on this side okay so we're doing all this with one light I think that's a pretty good starting place so was just the one light let's see what kind of exposure and what kind of a portrait that I can get with this in plates this might be good like that might be all we're doing but after this we can kind of tweak and add in another variable like a fill light or we can have a step away from the background and at a back light so with this set let's see what we can get right now okay so I'm going to do one more test because she might have liked moved in proximity to the light let me do another quick test before I start working with terra and let me know jesse if that is an exposure okay this is looking really nice and the history graham looks pretty healthy there's some activity in the shadow but we actually have a shadow in the image itself right so that's fine on the sharpness don't don't worry about it because like messed it up okay so again one thing that I'm shooting with here is again the cannon five d mark three I have a fifty millimeter prime lens on my experience with with lenses is kind of interesting I think ninety five percent of my work is actually shot with like fifty millimeter prime lens or the equivalent which is the eighty millimeter on a medium format camera which if you do some mathematics because the censors larger works out to the same as a fifty this is the focal length of choice for me for a lot of different things that I'm doing because why is that well because wide angle lenses make things look distorted okay so especially for portraiture it would kind of like warp the edges that's not like the most flattering thing on somebody's face but also saying that I feel like lenses that are too long often take us out of what we're shooting so what I mean by that it's if you use something with like really long lens it feels like we're like removed and not on onlooker in the frame you wouldn't really be able to tell the difference in something like this but on a location in the background it just something to do with optics because we're used to the human eye right the fifty millimeter lens is somewhere to the human eye so in a sense we feel like we're here with terra and not too far away that's my lens choice of why I chose the fifty millimeter ok so everything looks good the shadow on the wall doesn't bother me after I get a few variations of just this what I might do is fill in some of the shadows with another light so killed if you want to maybe get that crap while I'm shooting okay so now my personal rule is now when the gear is set I don't want to like talk worry about lighting any more I'm just going to worry simply about posing so kind of behind the scenes we decided tara should wear like something nice and simple right she's got like this like nice black shirt on exposing like some of her chest and arm it's really nice thing for a portrait shot so we could photograph her like straight on right that might be very interesting or we could kind of work with her a little bit and we could see what happens if we get a little variance so perilous see what happens turn your feet that way away from me out too far come back toward me and then with your shoulders from that way look at me where I'm photographing so terrorist train she's done this before if I was working with someone who wasn't like quite as experience with terra in terms of moving I would be dictating these things I would say like put your chin up pull your shoulders this way so let's pretend you're not so so so good okay so so let's turn your shoulders away from the camera okay exactly and let's bring your chin here toward me and let's put your eyes on the lens and let's see what we can get here okay perfect uh maybe just put your chin down a little bit and turn your head back toward me slightly and chin up what I'm doing is I'm looking to see how the light actually falls on her face and getting a bunch of them print stuff let's see okay that's good let's turn your shoulders this way toward the light so the opposite of what you're doing and let's see it turn it a little bit more toward me it's too far and just straight on with head don't lean it let's see okay let's see what this looks like a swell so I'm noticing on the background but there's kind of a shadow which is making some negative space so I'm going to get a few different wider variations okay I think this is good for now let's review these pictures and see what we're doing right and see what we're doing wrong before we move on so jessie can you flip through those backwards for me and let me have a look nice so we have like a very moody kind of atmospheric light going on it's a nice fancy tools man all right so let's go through here let's see what's going on so we have like a very dramatic light her shadow is coming in on the right because they're light is camera left um kill let's get that other bank fired up and the other interesting thing is these kino banks are completely dimmable so they're not locked on one power right we could kind of turn it on turn it down so let's pretend like in this set up we wanted to fill in a little bit of these shadows coming from this side right we could do it with a reflector or we could add another like what we're doing now kind of try to match this one but on the opposite side and we can fill in some of those shadow so caleb could you set this up just to mimic the kind of position that that light is in there another thing that I'll throw out there just what held saying that up is it's extremely helpful for me tohave like hands on deck I come from a background of just doing everything myself right running here fixing that light adjusting this you can see like the people I work with kind of like you know all the things that I like and they know how I like working can we get this light after enough or let's flag it or do something okay um so the people who I work with know what I like to know what I'm doing and it allows me to like just engage with the subject in this sense I'm like explaining things on creative live but if I was on set right now we'd be talking with my clients making sure they're getting the photos that they need and everything is going smoothly because the worst thing is to be photographing like running around and adjusting things that's how it all have to start but even if you have a friend who's not that knowledgeable letting you could train him in a couple days right so you might have noticed I had it like a quick thought in the middle of that whole process where I noticed we had a little bit of light pollution right this happens all the time on set so let's let's pretend like this is really so let's pretend like we were on a location where something else was polluting our set I looked up I saw this spotlight it used to be on the photo that used to be on the wall and I just noticed that it had to be covered because it was like making this nasty shadow so we brought this light in this one okay so I noticed when kill brought in this bank like put a nasty shadow on that woman I was like oh no what do I do well we just covered it with a piece of black crap there it isthe could also switch it off but I think it's because our set we'll just leave it leave it all good okay so let's look at terra here and killed can you fire up that light for me okay so let's put it on equal power with this bank here they're both four hundred diva lights and let's just watch terrorist face I'll say another way so the audience can see what's watched harris face and what happens to that shadow killed can you take uh take her down all the way all right so there's the shadow and bring it up and we're kind of filling it in now right so what we can do is be like kind of very careful about what we're doing because for me I do like ah sense of drama and I do like shadows but maybe not to the point where the details like being lost this is a better representation of what we're doing here so caleb let's see dial it down there's no kind of like rule of thumb as like what the ratio should be so let's take it all the way off and what I'm going to do it since we're using constant light is I'm just gonna watch it with my eyes and just see what's going on with the shadows with strobe this a little bit more tricky but let's see what I'm looking at the shadow on the wall there let's let's dial it in crank it up a little more I would say that's about good ok the other interesting thing was happened with terror is in her eyes now we can see to catch lights right because we have to light sources from the front so it actually might work in our favor just like that fifty cent picture that we're doing have a little bit more life in the eyes yes we could see the main light from the beginning but now we have like to kind of sparkles there so it's dial on such a low power that it's not influencing our contrast too much but it is filling in the thing so tear if you could go straight on to me again and let's just take a quick test shot jesse what I want you to do is compare this one to a similar photo with just the one light on okay thanks just hang tight for a minute let's see so if you could compare that last picture is the one where she's like turned on straight let's go back exactly yeah okay so looking at these two images side by side we can see what that feels like did we still have a lot of nice contrast in the image except now the shadows are filled in okay feel like looking at my taste killed I think we can actually dial that down I'm looking and it seems like a little too flat so let's take it down a little more okay and let's see what that looks like I'm going to do another siri's of shots like this okay exactly tear if you just relax your mouth a little bit perfect if you want to like lean forward slightly but put your back more against the wall exactly let's see what these look like and again let's turn the shoulders away from me and then this way um so I'm looking at the light in her face I'm making sure everything stays very consistent okay those air good let's do something else now so let's pretend like we don't like that shadow on the wall and we want to add in like a little backlight or background light let's get this other bank fired up and what we can do is let's move everything in the same ratio that the model moves so if you want to step forward terra let's have you like right here and let's move these two lights with her like the same kind of ratio thanks man and caleb if you wantto put that light in and let's have a little bit of a back light or rim light coming from this this side here if you want to rotate that bank so it's vertical can you zoom in to the I on that jesse just so we can see the two catch lights so jessie's got zoomed in here my focus isn't great on the shot but better focus here just just going a little bit here there it is so looking at terrorist face we can see the two catch lights one is obviously much brighter than the other but that's because that light is more intense and the other one's still there giving a little bit of light to the eyes we looked out cause terror has like nice bright blue eyes okay so this is going to be good let me see what's going on with these lights here yeah so again remember when we're using a main light it's most effective and you can see the back light more if you put it to the shaded side right so I'm looking and this light is greater intensity than this light so it seems to me it's going to be much easier to read um if we put a backlight coming here from this side should we move this giant gear thing even even if you just you know caleb the strong I don't don't underestimate him they're not gonna go even if you just put it like right there that's fine man he's just showing off for the world so strong always so strong you're so good there it is given up for caleb adams all right so uh let's turn them all on all four banks so what's interesting about this light it's aquino float for bank and john down there can actually determine whether he wants to on or whether wants four on right one two four yep so was great is like these air on dimmers but we can turn different banks on so killed can you point that at terra from behind as more of a back light I also think we should use the same rule of thumb that we were using for the main light so let's walk it up higher all right let's bring it up to a point which is still we're pretending like we're from eye level now for those of you with like the video feed looking here we noticed something interesting now we have like sort of this leg separation on terrace hair right and on her shoulder because we added that light and john can you turn that on and off for me and tear if you look forward just so we can see like before and after there okay there it is that's all it is because terror has dark hair caleb let's walk the light just a little higher I know you're going to be fighting that other light of there but let's just get it off a little bit so she has dark hair and I'm noticing it's really intense down here so we're just kind of even an out I think that's good so let me do another test the other thing is this soft sources like bleeding onto the background a little bit so it might read his little darker but we can always add another light just for the background by itself so let's do a quick test and just looking forward tear away oetzi hoops ignore that one hold on let's see that this is looking like okay pull that last one up on the computer and could you compare that one to this one so if you see the two examples up one has fill light the other one that we've done just has the back light the rim light on her separating her from the background you can see what I mean now about how she looks disconnected from the background right because before she was kind of leaning against it everything's on the same plane but now we've kind of like stood her off right so each photograph kind of has different uses depends what you want to do with it but me personally I prefer where we kind of like started off here because it seems to me more like an intimate portrait which is what we wanted to go for but looking at this the other one on the right looks a bit more technical and just for the sake of the demonstration it step by step so guys let's put on this last one just on the wall by itself so we can control that separately so if we want to point this away from terrorist other shoulder and let's just try to get it just on the wall by itself essentially what we're doing here is we're lighting in sort of layers so that we can control every single thing as its own variable if we didn't have this many lights we could use bounces or ricky's flags or do different things like move her closer to where we're photographing but this is just a good demonstration of many different things kind of like turning on and turning off so let's just watch with their eyes when they fire this thing up thanks okay and if you could do me a favor and just turn that on and off just so we can look at her eyes what's going on with the background all right so let's see the back light on and off okay let's walk a little closer to the background just because it's so it's ah low light it's not doing much let's walk it in okay we lost the main light again but don't worry this is good this is not a bad thing we can always macgyver it ok cool so now we can only see things in different ratios let me take this test shot here nice portrait of terror let's see what this looks like jesse could you compare that one to the last one that I took this one so looking at those let's pan it off the wall here so it's not so hot on this side looking at this image it looks a lot hotter on the left side so we can kind of pan it away get it more even you could even probably walking toward this bank a little bit just to get the position correct okay let's see that now there's also like a weird pattern on the wall but okay let's see what that looks like cool so looking at this example now jesse if you could just tell by the way so the students can see as well is like now we kind of have everything in layers and we have the back light on its own light okay we have our main light on terror we have something filling in the shadows and we have a light coming from this way separating her from the background so basically all those steps is what I'm thinking about in any scenario it could be something for when we're just against a simple wall or could be in a very elaborate set those are kind of the thoughts that are going through my mind and the steps in which I'd take when approaching something with this additive lighting style okay um I think it be nice to take some questions probably about where we're here because what I can do is pretend like this light is completely messed up but maybe we should take some questions but where were you talked about the difference between you know bringing her off the background making her seymour removed from that crown versus more connected with it and say there's different uses for them what are some examples or not examples but more like a general thought isto win you would use he's got it so I mentioned to reiterate what you said is that we removed her from the background I said there's uses for this and uses for when she's against with with the shadow a lot of the times in the entertainment work and advertising them doing were photographing like on a background on a seamless right this might mean that were cutting it out later okay for different uses maybe compositing or it might mean that we're just giving it to syndication right where people cut out and change the background so if I wanted to light something that's like more clean we would probably want to stay away from shadows because they're very difficult to photoshopped out if that's the place for where you're going however just as like a portrait on its own um the reason why I prefer against the wall is just because it like works together like one frame so I feel like it's kind of like why is this person standing there there's a green wall yes that looks nice but just to add another element to the portrait it's like that shadow is kind of like a subject in itself so portrait by itself my preference is personal preferences I like seeing a bit of the shadow for other uses I would get them to come off the background to save us time later any other questions from us actually from the internet interweb all right from the interwebs adrian far over in england is asking you what attracts you to shooting a portrait shot in landscape as opposed to portrait our orientation okay I actually shoot both to me to be honest what dictated it is actually what terror is wearing so let's look at her shoulders right this is kind of this is a good question because people like I'm doing a portrait why's he doing this right I kind of like didn't even think about it it was just going on in the back of my head where can you pull the first version jesse where were against the wall like the first thing I did before I started mucking around too much with lighting just like one of these yep perfect so something like that why did I choose like this kind of format landscape is because I looked at her shoulders and what she was wearing and I thought that suits a landscape format because it's like filling the frame this way so it was it wasn't even like I didn't really think about it I just sort of like put the camera that way not saying that it couldn't work in portrait but maybe something which might work a little better for a cleaner composition it's like let's say do the thing where you turn in your shoulders this went looking toward me then like all the sun we're like in portrait orientation now so for me I'm kind of looking to see what has a sense of flow throughout the image what things are on the scene that indicates how can then frame my camera all right next question is from a cheek off and ask it seems many of the changes that joey is making is based on terrorists features dark hair for example so how can he make these changes beforehand if they're so specific to her how could I make the changes could you make any changes beforehand before actually going on set and adjusting her there yeah so I mentioned a lot of times before having a test subject right so you can step out of line you're probably like baking under there all right give yourself a break we mentioned a lot about working with test subjects right so what I like to do when I'm testing is choose a subject which is similar toe what we're told what what were photographing so if I'm going to photograph someone with blond hair I'll make sure like the test subject standing in is there so that I have a better idea of what's going on but different things happen all the time things change sometimes I have a setup where have to photograph multiple people inside of it so in that case it's just a matter of having the lights on different layers right so suppose I photographed hair here and a blonde came up and I had to photograph her in the same set up had no time to change lights around I know that that backlight is going to influence her herr mohr because it's brighter so since it's on a separate channel and since it's like on a separate pack I would just just dial it down in this really simple change all right we have a clarification from mark you know alright so his original push was how can you move remove the light from the eyes without affecting mood and he said I mean reflecting light from the key knows how can you reflect light from the key knows without without affecting the mood he wants to get rid of the catch lights well let's do it right now terry do you want to stand in ok so to remove the catch lights if you desired it it's just a matter of position right so we just have to raise them up past where we're going to get the reflection in the eye so all we have to do is let's let's tear this up guys and tear if you want to look at me forward here so we see the cash light and in the eye just just take it all the way up and okay that's good and we're going especially see it on kay lives okay and now it's pretty much gone we do have some catch lights from these lights over here but that's fine we can understand that we cannot see a catch light from here so if I wanted to get rid of the catch light if you desired it just move the white up higher out of the way s o that example with fifty cent is great because I like the contrast of light coming down like angle that down a little bit and let's turn this one off um so just tell toh tell healthy back down so imagine if we're in a scenario where we wanted to show like really edgy light coming down right so let's get that up like really really high caleb something like that now I think that's good and walk it in a little closer to terra okay so let's say like that was kind of the quality that we desired on her face were photographing her in a different scenario where like we didn't want a beauty light we wanted something like influence from above look what's happening actually right now without us doing anything this one's off the film lights off but we do have kind of what we're doing with fifty cent right now we have like a little bit of a catch light here since it's farther away it's reading as a really low power so we have that kind of call the on terrace face but we're still have like this little sparkle from out here so if this light wasn't on if it was totally dark we would have no catch light and arrive but here we've gotten rid of the one from the main light bring it down again caleb let's see it come back in it's gone bring it down bring it down and right now I can start seeing it in her eye that's a reflection from this light here awesome and you can step after they're against well it's a little bit after three thirty do you want to keep going with questions or did you want to keep going here let's take a few more questions and then we're going to macgyver joey right anymore in the studio audience yes we've got one back there um I was just wondering how it would affect you if the model had glasses on if that would change how you position the lights you don't get it so another good example that we can draw today is the danny devito shot right where he's wearing glasses and he's drawn upward into the light laughing so I had actually let that set not knowing that was going to be the pose because I kind of gave him free rein to do what he wanted so we get like the nice ex expression so whether he was like this or like this I have all those shots but our choice was one with the reflection in the glass is so simple answer how do we get rid of it is just change the post right but if we wanted to do certain things with the reflection we could put a grid on the light so we see less of it at certain angles we could also you know pan the light and move it around so we're at an angle where it's not reflecting but the problem with that is you change the quality of light right so if it came down to it and I was like this is a really desirable quality but there's a little reflection personally I'd rather have the nice light on the face matter choice yeah yes sir past mike I know you used constant light on the um what was her name from ford models that issue yeah where else are you starting teo to use that and why well um a lot of the times what I'd been doing recently we've been combining ah lot of video shoots with still shoots right and I've been kind of collaborating with the cinematographer from a very early point where we're designing lighting things together right so a good example is my friend zone a production company called variable for those tuning and you can check other work we are variable dot com it's a great way to use constant light on set because it can be worked into my stills and also double purpose for videos or vice versa right so what happens is is when you use constant light oftentimes you require a huge crew to move it and you need more manpower right so these air simple because we're inside but imagine if we're trying to overpower the sun with a constant light would be like a flash constantly on it requires enormous production cost like generators so that's why flashes air so great is still photography because they could just be on a moment in time so if there's a scenario that allows it and the budgets there to do it constant light is great because it's much easier to toe work with so my simple answer is if there is something where I'm doing a video production where still shoot is combined then we'll use each other's resources and make a more cohesive campaign video instead now I always see like a lot of demonstrations of photographer saying like oh you don't need fancy gear you blah blah blah right we've seen it all before here it is the macgyver table precedents that I travel with it now the thing is is the way that I started eyes very different how I kind of like work now I started off with like not having any budgets not having any tools to use and I needed to kind of to like make stuff from scratch right I had a very like d I y approach for those of you who wrote who reads strobe ist strobes dot com it's a great resource for it kind of learning all these little d I y techniques but yes when I started photographing music I didn't have all this stuff I would often have to macgyver and sort of make stuff from scratch okay so what I'm going to do is like let's pretend like you actually ruined that bank and let's pretend like it didn't uh like it didn't turn back on when you stepped on its let's kill that and what I kind of what I try to do with c I'm going to try to make a soft box or make a kino flo bank using hold on what we have here okay this is gonna be better so I'm going to try to make a soft box out of the cardboard box there it is there's joey's cooking show no uh scissors tinfoil wax paper and gaff tape all right oh and a flashlight so this is going to be our main light source what I'm hoping to do the reason why grab those boxes there was already a hole in it what I'm hoping to do is here watch your faces but blast this light through here okay inside of a soft box usually there's some kind of like reflective material inside so we can do that with the tinfoil and inside the soft box there is outside the software there's a layer of diffusion right so show that diffusion take that off their killer and bring it over here there's something which is diffusing the light so essentially what's happening not necessarily on this bank but on a soft box is the lights flashing inside it's reflecting from around and then being defused by something right so this is just like wax paper for cooking it makes good diffusion also let's hold that up here it is all right maybe not the same color temperature things might get screwed up but working on a budget here all right so let me see if I can make this work but it's been like years since I've done this but it's not that it's not it's not that complicated so the tinfoil we have you know it's all coming back to me now we have the uh muted side we have the shiny side go for the muted side because this is gonna give us away to any wacky highlights all right get this cover the inside of the box with tinfoil with okay right there's one side I think you both know what's proper kill it if you do me a favor and go grab grab that rhoda lux octa bank that I have and let's let's show people that inside of that and how it's not so different from this yeah if you want to tear that off let's let's let's show him what we're building here right so this is a little bit roughed up from being being around the world but essentially that's kind of what we're doing with the tinfoil okay is making that like reflective surface that we find inside of the oc bank and again they were going to cover it with some diffusion so let's see this's going to be something good when I was a kid one of my hobbies used to be making tape dinosaurs I told you guys that I loved jurassic park and like making that ram's with toys but oftentimes I couldn't afford all the toys so I had to make them out of tape so this is where that sort of skill comes in okay let's see I'm just securing our reflective material inside our homemade soft box is got a whole bus see maybe a couple more pieces think that'll that'll do it alright one follow me so far okay there it is now let's see where we're gonna put the flashlight luckily this is a better box and anything I usedto work where there's already a hole here like this let's let's let's pass a flashlight through somewhere near the middle of something like that and then let's tape it and then when you guys give me a hand here just hold that hold that letter for me jesse caleb let's let's put it in right there and I'm gonna like wrap a piece of tape around it this way and then one from the inside you have to be careful with holding this so when you told us keep one hand on the flashlight one hand on the box all right wei don't want I'm barren selves embarrass ourselves live doing it is ok so okay let's see oh there it is let's do one from the inside to do wanna hold that like that for me yeah do something like this just holding it should be fine okay take that all right so now that we have this let's have a look right so why it's going alright it's inside you won't see that will blind you okay flashlight now let's put a little bit of diffusion material over here so that when this light does hit the diffusion material some of it will bounce back in the tin foil will throw it a little harder if we wanted to make something more like a beauty dish okay where is the beauty dish we have that what the beauty dish has is something like there's a little dish here which the light will bounce off of and then uh reflect and then project outward right soft box doesn't have that so it was happening inside of beauty dish if we wanted to have more that look we could even cut a little circle if ten flow or used the end of this tape roll to make a little circle bounce it off there and then come back to get even softer but for now I think this does what we needed to do that's good for now let's cover this thing with this wax paper here so I think something oh this is perfect okay yeah if you could rip me off some tape we'll save time okay thank you let's put this on like this and I need one long strip for the top by the way joey stephan daniel schwartz says this is so cool he's not shown stuff for one needs the whole team and equipment were worth thousand dollars no he's showing us how he got started and what he had to work with so glad you guys are all appreciating this out there okay cool all right good let's let me get one one long piece on top here actually now I think I think that should be good see I think that's it let's use minimal resources here let's see if we can get here all right everybody so see that their it isthe soft box whoa the quality of light okay so let's look at what's happening here right so this flashlight is not that great of a light source kay it's kind of ugly it's very like harsh source but now that is being passed through the soft box it looks a little bit more diffuse you want to come saying here tara let's see how this looks first two are I okay so it's still pretty harsh what we can do with this is just add a few more layers of wax paper right but see how that's like so much better than just the flashlight right now okay we're getting somewhere not bad right ok let's add a few more layers of this wax paper let's let's put on two more layers of it fuck I mean it's like what have you learned nothing waiting for that guy that's good okay so let's see here so it's something we are going to get with akino bank is a really high output right it's going to be able to throw the white harder than just like my little flashlight here but hopefully we can get something somewhere that we could actually use what with this so let's see now with the three layers of wax paper look how soft we're getting now not bad right there it is so the kino bank used to be here it doesn't look like we're gonna get quite the same output but we are going to get a nice quality up close right so caleb let's let's photograph this and let's compare all right so let's make sure you're staying in the same position as last time come a little closer all right I know where you back maybe a little bit this light I think right there right here yeah exactly okay killed let's sneak that up now I'm gonna have to change my exposure slightly to compensate for the difference of flashlight versus expensive kino bank but I think that's okay let's dio hole on this way should still be time to just give me a second so let's get the position the same as the kino bankers were going to pretend like this is a real life okay so again slightly higher than I level there it is the center of our light source right there is higher than I level it's sneaking in a little closer and let's just see look what's happening here we got the nice rembrandt effect going on let's see how this is different I'm fighting in the corner come back a little bit caleb okay let me see actually you know what it might be the same exposure take a little more of a step back uh your find terra mick and caleb okay let's see what this looks like here once I can killed come a little more frontal to her okay and higher there it is a little closer I still got a little room there go back there it is you're not just slightly there okay let's see what this looks like here okay those those came in jesse ok cool so uh rest your arm caleb and terry you can come out of light dewey do you want teo compare those two how the kino bank look and let's save our power on the light so the color difference change so let's do a great card reading with this light since the the balance of the flashlight is probably not quite as nice as the properly daylight balanced kino bank okay let's throw that in there just hold it in like near your forehead it is perfect okay so let's let's balance the color since we're using something different now there it is very nice okay now let's take one more shot I take that there it is jason maybe this looks better than the keynote wait a second let let let me get a similar frame let's see okay thank you rest your arm okay can you compare that to when we were back before those test shots to get that one up and let's walk backward let's go to this one here was compare the difference okay not bad for a flashlight so let's look at what's going on here the flashlight looks a little harsher um killed throw another layer diffusion on that sucker while we're at it but actually as a macgyver technique it looks fairly similar right um I think we can get even closer I'm gonna add another layer diffusion so it's soft there uh the other thing is is let's kill ebony expensive light here and let's do just just the flashlight and I'm going to go back to the set up terror where you were against the wall on I think that we could make something really nice portion was just this stuff okay so let's turn off anything too expensive here and just use the flashlight and what we're going to be doing again is what kind of will choose a position where it looks flattering on her face and we'll choose a position where we have like the nice shadow here on the wall but nothing to contrast e so let's filled in okay go there let's see the lights on okay so killed walk kind of like for sideways and not and let's see what's going on okay good so on the wall I am noticing that we're getting a little bit of shadow but that's just from this light so that wouldn't be there if we're doing this in a really circumstance so let's let's bounce it out let's see let's feather that no there it is okay cool john can you hold this wax paper yo let's get let's get a little bit of a fill in here shall we there it is one of these all right you're just gonna have to step back a little bit you're in frame that's a point that okay here here if we wanted a little bit of a harsher phil we could also use the tinfoil that's the john to step out a little bit more okay one sec killed I can just see you peeking the corner there alright tear everything you're doing looks great okay thank you guys rest your arms let's see if this looks any good and there it is okay so we have a little bit of like weird shadows on the background but that's just because we have so many lights in the creative live space but I'd say for a flashlight that looks like a pretty pretty decent quality okay so I'm I'm good with this um if you want to do some q and a r that's basically the macgyver set up right here people love this my guy ever set up mass media says reminds me tall napoleon dynamite none chuck skil saw fox skills mary and uh stefan daniel schwartz as well this workshop is also teaching us how to save a lot of money on equipment ninety nine dollars well invested I'd say and already on day one there it is way r we are running out of time do we have any kind of final words or do you want to talk about the day or final words of wisdom for today I think what can be learned from all of this is kind of back to what I was saying is if you can understand one light source then you can apply all that knowledge to multiple light sources so for example when we spoke about main light were saying it's soft it's harsh it's this it's that if we know how to define those things we can create them with any thing right so although this might not have liked the nice output that the kino flo bank had and although it might not have liked the same power we can sort of be crafting as long as we have the knowledge than we can see why in a different way

Class Description

Joey L. has balanced hard work, technical execution, and boundless creativity to become a commercial portrait photography wunderkind. In this class, you'll learn how Joey gets inspiration, organizes his shoots, and processes the images to create the stunning shots for which he has become so well known.

In this class, you'll learn:

  • How to embrace the creative concepts that so often stay trapped in our heads
  • How to merge cinematic lighting techniques with onset special effects
  • Joey's post-production tips in Photoshop



Are you keen to learn about creating painterly portraits - as much in-camera as possible? Then you likely get how important lighting is. What you may not realise is how little a role photoshop plays in creating such effects: what such JoeyL like portraits seems to mean is: - thinking about portraits - what they are - how light creates them - how therefore to see and manage light "if you can use one light you can use many" - how to tune the image to create the output in your vision. Within this there are thoughts about photography as a business, workflows and data management. It's all remarkably accessible, too. Joey's teaching approach is calm and effective: he has mastered the art of the recap to make sure everyone is on the same page " first we did this; then we did.. then we did..." THe pragmatics of the course - the lighting/shooting sessions - are sensible progressions from one light (including using a flashlight and a foil lined cardboard box) to a multi-light set up. Intrigingly the lenses are limited no. of primes in the dlsr sections; the medium format is well motivated too, and clearly not a limiting factor for creating the desired image look. This course should get bonus marks for going above and beyond expectations on two counts: the portfolio section for people looking for work is v.well done in that a) it exists at all and b) Joey is not just highlighting his own work, but showing the work of others to allow him to explore options in presentation. Fantastic. The discussions of workflow- including data back up strategies - and image processing including print and web - are also sufficiently detailed and rational to be able to test out quickly. Delighted to see this work being done in PS v6 for those who haven't leapt to CC versions yet. It's also rewarding and inspiring to hear Joey say "i don't have a studio" Likewise, though Joey does work with a crew, it's clear they're working as a team and for very specfici purposes - all of which get costed into a budget. There's a lot of questions about the experience of shooting for a client - about the air of calm one has to maintain even if freaking out - to get through these points. It's all very real. WHile joey is clearly very confident about what he does, he's not arrogant, and the confidence is earned and reassuring. IT's clear he's an alpha kinda guy, a little competetive, and working for him (preferring folks who don't sleep - oh dear) may be different than attending a class - but this IS a class and his manner and way of teaching/organising/presenting work extremely well. Because the course is so complete, going not just from a to z but -z to +z it seems, these next bits are small beer: There's a rather surprising section with CL founder Chass Jarvis - but many CL courses have guest teachers bring in guests to add perspective. Here the section mainly demonstrates how gracious Joey is as an interviewer. And because all the other bases are covered it's no loss to have this business discussion of de-bunkings about how to get into this game. In other sections we see Joey as a patient guy too - answering quesitons it seems several times that had been answered previously in the course - while not everyone has tuned in for the whole thing, it's undrestandable why live questions weren't better filtered to highlight new questions - but Joey calmly will indicate as discussed before...and then give the answer. Never get the sense he's irritated by the repetition. While we hear his father as a strong critique his folks must be well pleased with how Joey's doing. This course has no extra materials - and that's ok: the links to the portfolios and software used are all in the discussions. Joey's blog also goes through a lot of discussions about gear lists. So head to his blog for supplementary detail. Overall it's hard to find a more complete course in CL on a complete portrait photography workflow. Scott Robert Lim's somewhat more frenetic but incredibly detailed 10k wedding photography and Joel Grimes Strobe workshops are also v.good in this end to end regard. But this one goes a bit beyond these perhaps in terms of vibe/cohesion (that may be unfair - it's just a feel thing between the three). Some folks label courses as "something for everyone" - i don't know if that's the case or if this case largely appeals to keen beginners who are exploring lighting and thinking about business thoughts, or if more experienced/pro photographers will be gripped by each moment, but my suspicion is that even for experienced portrait'ists it will be engaging at the very least to see how a fellow pro manages a shoot. Excellent excellent offer. With the guarentee, this is a no risk, slam dunk if commercial portrait photography (or painterly /cinematic and maybe earthy portraits) are for you. Thanks CL for bringing this together.

Vinh Huynh

I think this is a great class. You can definitely tell Joey L is a master of his craft because of his simple explanations. He's concise in the way he teaches, demonstrates, etc. The most important thing is his workflow or process he uses while setting up the shot, how he builds, etc - it's essentially a "checklist" of how he likes to do things. Something newer photographers need to know. He did forget a couple of the models' name here n' there, but I'm sure he met them shortly before filming for the day started, lol. This is something you should not do, but he apologizes and openly admits. There are times a couple questions are asked and he has no shame in admitting that he's just "openly thinking of what would happen," but does not know for sure because he shoots in a specific style. For someone his age (younger) who has penetrated this tough industry, you can definitely tell why he's successful - very mature with a great knowledge base. You can definitely tell he sees lighting differently from how an advanced amateur or even semi-professional photographer does... even in the introduction he talks about how important lighting and the quality of that light is. For those who are more advance, there might not be as many nuggets and pearls. There isn't any information on how he got into the industry, how he grew his business etc - with exception to how he feels you should display your portfolio in both web and print format. Overall, I think someone who's looking to get into commercial photography would benefit from this workshop. However, someone who's already getting paid and just looking to advance his or her own career probably already has the skillset that Joey L teaches and is best spending time just studying light. A little about me... I'm primarily a natural light portrait photographer specializing with families, kids, pets, etc. I'd consider myself an advanced amateur and I found this workshop beneficial. I hope that helps!!