Using an Additive Approach to Lighting on Location


Commercial Portraiture


Lesson Info

Using an Additive Approach to Lighting on Location

we're on the third set up of our kind of commercial assignment today right so we did the first one second model now we're onto the third individual portrait of what we're going to be photographing today at the end we're going to do all three girls together in a group shot so this is the last one of the day so I think we can get a little crazy with this portrait in particular so when I first walked into this location uh I saw that wall and we managed to get two different setups out of it we could come back there later for the group shot but I also saw like these amazing windows right so my first kind of thing that I'm thinking about is like yes I'm thinking about where to place the subject we've kind of established that but I'm also thinking of like what can I do the environment to give it life we're in seattle it's overcast it's raining outside no surprise there right but what we can do it since we have all the studio lights at our disposal is being kind of like little light ripped thr...

ough this window as if there was a nice golden sunset right there that we weren't fighting with time because you know magic hour is very short so what we can do is pretend as if we have some kind of light coming through the window that's what I kind of for sea with the shot I'm just kind of thinking out loud here planning it out we have this awesome rumble seat from I think it's an old antique rumble seat from a car some kind of tractor it looks like um so I'm not saying this is exactly where we'll place the thing but um maybe more or less around here I'm thinking about approaching this with the main light if I'm going to be shooting like around this area perhaps it's best to like come from here so I get the shaded side toward the camera my personal taste not everybody's personal taste but I liketo light things little contrast in a little more dramatic so I could be like you know floating around here it doesn't work out we'll change the light we'll tweak we'll get it right the other thing that I'm thinking about is if if I do decide to rip a light through this window um it might make sense to put the key in the main light on this side because we might see the backlight coming from here right so same thing we're doing before is the shaded side of the face is going to be this way so we'll be able to see the back light more now I'm not sure what we're going to be able to do with these battery packs but if we are able to get it at a very high power um we might be able to see a little bit of flare in the lens which could be good little flair all right so the other interesting elements to make this setup different fromthe last as we also have a heyzer machine killed can you let her rip for a second so you can see what's going on here now let's see what this does give us a little give us little puff all right well it takes a little while okay so basically let's think about how this shot looks this is not something where I want you know big hordes of smoking it's not something that I want to see a lot of texture and smoke instead what I want to do is give like a nice kind of like wough to this entire area so that we can't really notice it in the camera except the light trails so if I am blasting light through here I'm not saying we're going to see light beams but what might happen well we might see some beams but what might happen is those particles of light are going to get caught in the layer of haze on set right so we'll be able to see where the light's coming from now this is a haze or machine oh here it is okay wow camera's okay so so so this is a haze or machine what makes it interesting is that the the smoke is like this very kind of like white layer right you can kill it for now that's good thank you for the demonstration it's like this nice layer of haze over everything right however this is an expensive machine if you want to get a similar look for cheaper in america we have halloween canada we also have halloween just after halloween all those cheesy haunted house special effects go on sale so I remember when I started off I went to a department store andi I went and saw that all the smoke machines were like twenty dollars on sale so you can get one of those thirty twenty dollars like cheap little machines and it just means we're gonna have to owe wafted more so this machine is specialized because it's putting off this thin layer of fog but if you have a fan you can put the smoke through the fan and it will spread it out more and disperse it right so we want to kind of diffuse the hes all right that's on a budget if not we have the machine right here but that'll do you can also do something called wafting okay uh I like this world because we make fun of people on set anyone who is wafting becomes wough man if he has assistants becomes walkman junior all right so this is someone who gets the hazen's wafting in a way and the idea of that is to break up the actual texture of the smoke so becomes this kind of like unison see this wash we kind of let it settle right through the camera we're actually not going to see that we have a heyzer instead it's just more just to show the light beams coming through okay that's the goal of this setup but before we get there let's do things one at a time let's place our model to see where she's going to sit on day we'll start with the main light so I'm not going to worry about any any backlight or anything like that one thing I will mention is that we are going to be putting the backlight outside so I'm kind of thinking ahead here and these are the lights that I'm gonna bring outside um I mentioned this now I do want to do things step by step but it is going to take some time for us to get set up outside so I'm going to go through what I'm going to put out through the window and here she is everyone say hello I forget your name already lisa okay so we had lydia lisa terra all ending you know if you could sit there right now okay so more or less we'll start it here with the main line um let me finish this play I'll be with you ok so the lights outside that were going teo bring I'm going to start with just the beauty dish coming through the window all right I think would be best to start without the grid because what's gonna happen is if we want to pretend like the light outside is our son we probably wanted blasting from all directions so we can start with that if we feel it's getting a little too crazy we'll radio and tell you to throw the grid on okay the other thing is if we find that that's not powerful enough I think one light will be we always have another light on standby remember that the soft this beauty dish is softening our light and it's not throwing it as hard as something like this will so if we feel like it's not ripping hard enough will you swap it with this or doubled up so we have two lights kind of coming from the same direction and that's just for a matter of getting more power okay but we'll worry about that later but I just wanted to show you these on set because outside we don't have a camera okay um so murph if you wanna get on that and at least start setting it up but let's keep them off for now and then um you're on a radio okay so we'll tell you when uh when to switch it on let me give you a sense of placement so if I'm gonna be looking this way if it's kind of floating around like this window pane here that's good but we'll let you know if there's any changes but let's start it there in terms of proximity from the window we don't want to press it all the way up against the glass because what'll happen is we'll see the actual shape of the dish right so instead as a starting point say like this hand is michael is a glass let's be at least like this far away just so we can see it's spread give it a chance to spread its wings okay all right so you're gonna be on that outside that's good let's start with our additive lighting process first thing is is deciding where subject is going to be in what our frames gonna be don't have a camera in my hand but we kind of like look and see like what's going on here okay with lisa so she's sitting on the right side of the chair a less side of of the chair but it is also right that she's there let's see what happens just like maybe relax and like look at me here let's see what we can do with the with like the composition right so we could come all the way this way and like see the windows behind her we might be able to get a different variation and like frame her head like within the brick if I came low we could hide like those ugly switches behind her back okay that might be on option but if we're really blasting right through here what might be the nicest is if we purposely get a flare coming into the lens and we're kind of like just using the window as a negative space and we have a flare coming from that direction that might be a good starting point for me again I don't know where this is going to go but will we start there and see what we can get so let's put the main light first um killed let's start with a beauty dish a white beauty dish with no grid now both of our other setups were software octa bank kind of sources the reason why I'm using the beauty dish in this set up is for a few different reasons first one is just like and show myself using something different okay second one is let's think about what's going on with the haze all right so we're going to fill up this area with hayes and what might happen is we desire light trails coming from outside but we might not desire the light trails coming from the main light okay so if we had something so large like the octo bank what might happen is we might get some flares like coming from this way showing that light to me that might look a little funky because this is a beauty a beauty light and outside is more motivated so instead I'm choosing to use a smaller source which is going to throw the light harder and hopefully the hays won't register quite as well if we had a big soft source we might see like a wall of lit up hes coming from this direction so that's kind of my thought process of why I'm using this at least starting with it might not look good my switch but that's at least where I'm starting with now so this beauty dish is really interesting modifier it comes in white and it also comes in silver difference is the silver just throws harder and throws a harsher okay so since we're kind of using it as a beauty light way want wife my preference okay so let's get this set up let's see kind of more or less where she was going to look and lisa I'm going to warn you that at first we're going to just be like testing lights and then once everything set up then I'll give you like some actual direction just like fix your bangs just so I can see okay so that's not going to get in the way of any white she doesn't really have long banks I know leading from the sides not gonna be too much of a problem let's get this living let's walk it up close so we have the better quality I think yeah around there maybe back it up a bit just so I have an option go wide something like that let's lower it looks like a little too high for now and long for these tests more or less if you're just looking into the lens so we can see the reflection or either catch light okay so uh let me grab my camera here first thing that I'm going to think about is what is going to influence the shot the most in this particular set up is going to be the aperture for me it would be nice to get these windows a little blurred so not everything is in focus again I'm thinking about how this will become more painterly with a shallow depth of field so I think like what we're shooting before like five point six somewhere between four and five point six might look nice for this setup because also we don't want to like completely blur the background like out of existence okay so I think just as a starting point let's say like five point six the other thing that I foresee is that if we read the ambien and it's too too bright we might have to throw and then d filter it okay because I'm already at the lowest I can go in terms of s o and shutter speed can't increase it because in our lights won't sink okay first thing I'm going to do is just do a reading for the ambient light first okay so before we bring any lights in let's just see how this is reading and how this is looking jesse this is all tethered up is it okay cool okay let's see how this is looking uh killed kim just do me a favor and hide the hayes were a little bit more behind the chair okay so looking at my light meter it looks like we're probably going to be a little over exposed on the background but let's see it coming in and let's read the history graham first that's funny hello alright so actually no it doesn't look like to overexpose it looks like we still have some detail um we have some detail in the glass let's read the history graham okay so it looks like there's a few things over exposed in this area if you want to cover the maths over looks like we could come down a little bit so what I might do in this case to get even shower let's say I desire like an f four what I might do is like put an andy filter uh in my camera so let me get this here let's grab the two stop andy two point six no let's let's let's keep it off for now so this is a point six nd filter point six is sort of on archaic term it just means two stops okay point three andy filter would be one stop point six to south point nine three stops etcetera et cetera what this is going to do is kind of like putting sunglasses over the lens so it's going to darken everything overall hopefully not put a color caste hopefully not adjust the sharpness too much so if we were shooting it like a five point six but I think we want to go even down in that so this would bring us way beyond a four but let me see here it's still too dark I want I want to crush us even more let's just put this in and let's do it just because in that test shot I noticed that the windows get brighter as you look upward so let me just kill this by two stops and see what we have so that's a five point six still haven't changed the aperture I just want to see what we're getting first and I'm gonna frame or of these windows in this competition is going to be like a whack attack but let's just see uh what were looking like here okay so it looks like that to stop exposure looks like we're getting no blown out highlights let me see if I can get away with coming to a four and if we get any more things blown out up there okay okay good so it looks like we're still all good reading the history graham there's like a few things peking but it's not too bad that's me looks like a pretty good starting place and we have a slightly shower depth of field again this is just reading the ambient exposure before we go on like with the main light so now that we have that we have heard like complete darkness it means that any decision that we make inside here for lighting is going to influence her full on so there's very little ambient light affecting her face because she's turned away from the window no window on that side maybe just the white bounce wall okay and just so it's not confusing this light is non existent I don't want anyone to think there's something else going on out there okay so caleb my aperture is a four but I have a to stop andy filter in there so let's use are like on let's let's find something that works for the test and again we use a light meter on the first set up but most people don't have them so we'll do a few tests instead so using your knowledge what would you say that reads in it you put it to a four putting to afford just because this is a beauty dish so don't throw it oh and I need the pocket wizard I set this to afford just because I know that this is a beauty dish and it'll throw it pretty hard on dh so even though he put that indie filter on it should even out it's also very close to the face couldn't wait to kill this white outside just so you could do one thing at a time does anyone have um okay oh there it is it's off as magic okay so um killed if this is place where I'm gonna be fighting it too much so let's walk it this way slightly okay good and walk a little closer to her okay now just use your discretion and tell me if it's pointing at her all right I'm gonna get dirty again there it is okay so let's see again I'm not really worried about composition or anything I just want to see if this is going to give us a nice quality of light on our subjects face this monitors not owned by the way okay well not bad for a first guess that looks too it looks like we stage this but uh that was that was not bad so looking at the history graham and everything it seems to me like this is a really good starting point um it looks to me like we have a little bit of ah reflection on the glass but I don't want to worry too much about that yet because I know that light from behind is going to be like unleashing from the background so that whole and glare might be fixed off with our other light first okay so let me see how this looks okay cool okay so let's do a quick test with no cto so we can compare the difference when someone radio murphy and tell her to turn that that light on outside and fresh air the power this is on a four which is affecting our subject but remember we want to light the blast from outside as well as is going through a window pane so let's tell her to put it on like a five perhaps just as a starting place so it's a little more powerful than this one oh what is it seventy alright tell it tell it just put on half power so it's easy to find and someone's alright that's so that's so awesome I feel like we're just communicating telepathically using my eyes is probably not a part of that but look let let's see ok ok not bad not bad for a start so can you compare those two shots a jesse the last two what's going on here okay so on the top version the light has not flashed on the bottom version it has flashed so we're kind of pretending like there's a son outside right um there's a few things that I want to do differently about this image the first thing is I can still kind of see the shape of the beauty dish it's not so parent here because the gammas on that stuff but on this monitor I can actually see like a circular shape right so that's gonna have to change so in order to get rid of that I'm just gonna have murphy outside let's have her move back let's say like like four feet that way and it's already happening this is like telepathic um the other thing that I'm going to say is it would be nice if she raised her stand up by like a foot and a half because then we really are pretending like the sun is up in the sky but before we do that the other thing I want to do is change the color of the light from outside okay so we can pretend like this is a sunset or sunrise and we can actually change the color of light to something warmer to kind of like tie the image together so can someone radio her to put a layer of cto in front of the light and it is outside right she's got that okay perfect so that's going to change a little bit of everything for us in the meantime what we can do is let's get that heyzer warmed up because that's going to change the look of everyth thing um who is going to help with the hazy that's you you're heyzer man for today nice also do we have someone who wants to like help us walk stuff do we have ok wolf man there it is can we give him something teo oh it's already ready okay perfect so here's what would be nice is if you could stay off here and just sort of looked at after the hazers turning on and off and try to keep the level the same if you my friend want to stand from here your job is to sort of even out the hayes okay and you can do like this there it is very technical okay and it's just to help like spread it around a bit you won't be too happy to do that the whole time don't worry okay so let's let's let's fire up this this heyzer and let's let's get us to a good level here um in the meantime while the room is filling up perhaps this might be a good opportunity to take some questions from the class first any questions looks like everybody's pretty good I will just keep moving on through the day no questions at all bright bunch so you could create this okay yes I'm just curious how much cto you're choosing to put on the back light okay good question actually there's just a half stop of so the same thing that we're using in here to make the lamp look like it was turned on just my go to thing half stop if we wanted more orange we can put a full stop on but this is a good starting place another questions so question doing that we had earlier today that we were waiting for this is how much of just using natural light is there in commercial photography the commercial photography does anybody use just natural yes there's tons of people he's just natural light for my own style it's not really my go to thing but there's tons of tons of commercial photography this isthe naturally just people who shoot things and interpret light different for me uh dave be from hawaii is wondering if you could clearly defined your use of beauty light and motive light beauty light and motivated life fine it that's a good question so the best example is actually right here let's define a beauty light versus unmotivated way so the motivated light source in this setup would be what's happening outside okay that's we're pretending that it's something really like its influence from something real like a setting sun it's motivated because we're pretending that it's something a beauty light it's just something we do for someone's face okay so yes there could be like a really perfectly shaped light source sitting in front of somebody but really what we're trying to do is pretend um we're just trying to light up the face in a flattering way so that's why it's called a beauty light in this set up that we did earlier with the lamp ok our last session the motivated light would have been our lamp right because it's there it's in the scene there's something motivating us to shoot light that direction the beauty light would just be the huge octa bank which was just doing flattering things to our subject so that octo bank is not motivated there's nothing on that scene to tell you that the lights coming from that direction that's what I mean excellent description thank you well should we get back to set things this this looks like it's gonna be like a good level here okay so there's been two changes since we last took the photo a as there's like a nice fine layer of haze here and b we change the color of the beauty dish by adding a half stopped layer of cto on it okay let's do a little test and let's see what we're getting now and again everything you're doing is good hopes ignore that it is okay ignore that one okay here it isthe so let's see what's going on in the setting now okay it looks like we have a thin layer of hayes I think it's at a higher level now let me take one more shot here can we point the haze machine so it's not coming out here but instead it's like going in this way and kind of blowing off the wall yeah so it's like hitting hitting the brick and like going upward exactly let's like point it right there there it is all right and let's let's give it a minute to fill up in here and then we'll kill it all right I think I think that's good okay so that's a good level of hayes let me come back here can somebody move this monitor out of the way and just just pull it like a little bit that way like a foot thanks man all right let's see if we're getting anything interesting with this haze now okay okay so the haze is extremely subtle but what it's doing is kind of his filling in the shadows of the image that everyone's he was like kind of going on here we have this kind of like milky layer over the set there's nothing too extreme no like like huge puff clouds of smoke he doesn't look like the building's on fire but it's sort of like filling in this area here ok a little bit of light beams here let's try something else real quick let's get her outside toe add a grid to the beauty dish and let's see if we can get a focused light coming from behind so maybe we can see some more light trails actually hold on change my mind one step at a time take a breather okay do we have a great outside instead instead poland what if this let's leave the british as is we have the other light out there right the zoom reflector let's put a great in that so we can see the difference the beater dish is going to be very soft coming from behind and this outside is going to be very harsh let's put a twenty degree grinnin and also let's get her to see teo it so let me talk about that whole like brain wave that I'd just add because I was like whoa okay so step by step okay so outside we have like a very soft source right we have the beauty tips coming in from in wrapping it might be good this might be a place where we're like okay this is the best we're going to get for the day however uh what we could do is we could try a smaller source with a focused beam of light and maybe if we fill from enough hayes and I get wide enough we might be able to see some light trails what are light trails if there is a harsh light outside and we have like these windowpanes here maybe the light will give us a little bit of separation right so that windowpane will break up the light and maybe we can see like some beams coming from here I'm gonna have to switch to a wider lens to see it um killed que grande my twenty four to seventy so again this just goes backto lighting wide first it's outside the case is right there there's already a ring on it too but I have this so we're gonna white for wide um we're going to see make sure everything looks good wide and then we can always go in for a close up on all the lighting's gonna be exactly the same so this lens that I just switched to is in twenty four to seventy before we were fixed on a prime couldn't zoom around now I can like do one of these and see the whole scene so while she's changing the light beam out there we're gonna have to justice if I'm getting a little wider let's walk it back slightly but we still want it close as possible to get that quality let's see like something around here okay I don't think we have to adjust the strength because even on this we're looking like the light is a little hot so we took it back but I don't think it's going to change things too much okay so let me know when she's ready out there oh great car great we forgot again les let's do that in the meantime people are lining and call us out on it gotta practice what we preach okay if you want it if you could get her to just put the pack on full power which is going to be one thousand two hundred watts and can you tell her to turn the beauty dish off I think it is but I just want to make sure okay all right let's see nice about that all right let's see what the difference is uh with this new zoom reflector on outside instead of the beauty dish can we get the haze around again yeah can we tell her to bring it closer to the window slightly just maybe like a foot closer in yeah jesse comes and fixes the miniature all right so let's see what is the his we're going there now it's gotta warm up okay cool so in the meantime let's see if this is giving us the effect that we wanted to outside can you double check with her that the pack is plugged into the a channel who am I talking to who's who's got eyes inside that the lightest plugged into the a channel the dial is flipped a and it's full back full power okay cool all right so let's see if this is gonna work for us if not we'll double it up together okay let's see if we can get anything from this can I just have you take a tiny step that way their camera man that is all right let's let's kill the heads that's a good level okay can we get her to angle the head down outside so right now it's like this if we should get her just to like tilt the head down a little bit so I'm seeing that we're playing there the light goes down I'm seeing that we're getting like the kind of right effect but it's not quite blasting as hard as I'd like so we might have to double it up also and put the beauty dish and then zoom reflector coming from that way if not we're still getting a really nice effect from the haze from this window pane see what's going on here like we get like the nice light beams coming out or not the beams but at least the lightest kind of like caught in the haze but we might be max out of there you see let's get the let's get the haze around here let me know whenever she's good can we get on to remove the grid from outside we'll remove the grid so just looking at that with my eyes I was pressing the test button and like you can see it it's not going to do what we want so I'm thinking that the greatest like killing the amount of light uh which is being thrown on us because because it does have to go through and it is kind of like pointing in an area so perhaps what I'm hoping is if we take out the grid we'll get more of ah burst like the sun and I'm just telling that for my eye just like pushing the test button how you hanging in there lisa always good on their light goes again outside it's in place nice and can you tell her just to make sure it's pointing at my hand right now I'm gonna put my hand against the glass can you get her to like point the light where I'm putting my hand okay cool all right let's see if this gets any better well you see the difference with my eyes whoa there it is well something different happens let's kill the heads real quick okay good so I thought for a minute I was like gonna have to go into a new profession for a minute but let's see if wow that is like really ripping hard now okay yo wolfman get to work let's see if this looks like all right and again lisa don't worry too much about me we're just testing we're going to see what this light does wow all right so she's gonna have to dial that thing down let's uh outside just looking at my eyes jesse do me a favor and capture one uh slide the slider down two stops let's use what we learned before from our little test with capture one okay look at this this is looking good so jesse just slid the exposure slider down and capture one and it kind of gives you gives us like a nice preview of what that light might look like if it was taken down two stops so can we radio out her outside and say let's take that light down to stops and hopefully our next image should match this exposure and we're starting to get like a little bit of light trails and it's starting it's starting to come together more of like how I imagined it now I was a little worried that like oh god what's going on but now it looks like we're slowly getting somewhere also one thing that I noticed is when jesse slid that um when he when he said the exposure slider down two stops this monitor the little wack but looking here it seems to me that this beauty dish would look better turned down slightly so let's take this down one stop jesse can you slide the exposure slider one stop here so that zero take take take it on one let's get let's get the hayes to the same level as it was before so look at that that's a really nice exposure I think for her skin okay it's not perfect but because we have the light coming from outside we're sort of saying where we can draw our eyes and where we could look right okay okay so she's gotta dial down outside we trains light in here let's see as a test uh what's gonna happen with those changes made okay here it is okay that's looking so much better now ok there it is okay nice kill the uh killed killed hayes for a minute so I think I'm very happy with that kind of exposure now what I want to work on is getting a better image I feel like this seat is completely out of place now that I see it like this can we let's get rid of this and let's get one of those those boxes from the next set that's going to be way better um show me what we got here give me that the yellow colored one if if if you don't mind so I'm looking at this picture and I'm like that's an awesome seat I'd love to have that in my apartment but it's like kind of weird sitting there in the middle of nowhere so before I think about composition or anything I know I'm going to change that seat I saw that we have like this kind of cool chest from the next set up let's just use us now there was three options one was green one was blue I chose the one which kind of going with like the color scheme and the vibe here see I think if we did it like maybe whoa yeah is there a body in there um let's put it like so it's not so maybe like here oh okay I think something like this maybe how does that feel yeah something like this we moved her down slightly but I think this this khun stay more or less the same yeah this is gonna be way better even looking at like my eyes this is like a nicer set it's like why's that share their let's get the hes going again and let's see if this is gonna help us in any way looks like I can go on a wider tio okay wait wait wait let's see some muscles there it is all right let's uh I think that's a good level for hayes let's let's kill it thank you all right and just and just keep wafting in formation and let's do our final kind of tests here let's see if forgetting what we want out of the photo yeah if you could walk it back a little bit I was kind of fighting in the frame there so that's a little bit too crazy with hayes let's let it die down a little bit jessie's gonna move that wanted or so it's out of the corner of my frame thanks man that's good okay all right and if you could take a step back there my friend okay let's see what this looks like now okay cool all right let's stop for a second and let's review where we've gotten tio okay that looks really nice if you want you can come have a look too but okay so looking outside I think that's a nice sunlight coming through the haze is certainly helping disperse the white coming down I see a cord plugged in to the background um not much we can do about that except perhaps we could change the plug and come look this caleb I can hide this outlet with my composition slightly you want to plug this outlet into there where I can hide it that's bothering me there's a few like random cables on the floor if you guys want to get rid of that but looking at light it looks like my main lights great for the subject it's slightly under exposed and it's certainly not like um perfect exposure but I think it's helping right because we have this light blasting from outside so my decision and keeping it a little under is to say like that is are kind of like main light source almost more outside and we can just sort of like phil from the front to me it helps like the whole composition feel little cleaner and a little neater everyone follow me with what I kind of mean by that other than that I wouldn't really change anything I can kind of jump around and change this or that we might decide to dress the set a little bit and like put a few more boxes um killed coming this monitor what if we switch it up a bit there's like a big kind of empty space here but now maybe maybe like just like props him up in the back's just so it's not so flat behind there but I think while caleb's doing that this would be a good opportunity to take some questions and answers about how we got here from m v a g s photo uh wondering joey are you always this column and collective when you're shooting for agent sees especially when something doesn't go doesn't work as you had planned and how do you remain calm it never works this planned so you have to be calm in my head I'm panicking perhaps maybe not in this set up but sometimes it's something went horrible right and there's a lot of eyes watching in my head it might be panicking but can you imagine if I had chose to display that what would happen is everyone would start panicking so if I was on a set and things weren't going so well I'll just pretend like things were fine in my head I'm like I don't know and I do what I'm gonna do what we should do this but if you act that way then everyone is gonna be like why even this set up it's kind of kind of messy in the beginning right things weren't going the way we wanted to but I've done this before I've worked with these tools before I know what they're capable of I know it's a little bit of tweaking we can get it to a point where I like it and now we're very close just want to add in a few more things let's bring that right up against the against the back caleb um yeah no I think we're okay just don't just don't wantto project that to everyone watching because then they'll assume something's wrong nobody wants that he's gonna yes so I probably would equate like halfway through when things weren't working it was pretty cool how you kept calling and you kept working at it at what point do you kind of move onto a different vision if you had an idea and it just totally not well I haven't shot yet all I've done is test light I haven't given a single piece of direction uh to lisa here are lovely model but um how would I move on from it like would you would you at some point decided okay let's try something else the sunlight through the through the glasses and working if you know if this was a total failure um yeah I would I would have to do something different but I mean I don't know what that thing is but I would just do exactly what I was doing here where it's like just try to make the first idea that I had work so certainly like the beauty dish wasn't harsh enough wasn't giving like the kind of sunlight vibe changed the modified so you get what you want because remember the good thing is I wasn't watching you shoot doesn't know like what you're trying to go towards so if it wasn't working out I could change things and just pretend like that was the pink I was trying to go toward but instead what I'd like to do is get the thing that I'm gonna be happy with first yes one more question what would be the difference if you used the other type of light the one you were using earlier versus the beauty dish so if I had used the octo bank here you see in this exposure where we kind of have the light from the sun catching like some of the haze that would happen on this corner of the frame right so we would be out with the c r beauty light since it's not motivated since it's not like really supposed to be there in the scene I don't desire it so instead using a beauty dish is a little more focus unless soft so less particles get caught um in the light in this area and also I want to do something different for this set up thanks just one little technical question are you using manual focus and auto focus in general and then does the smoke does the hazing impact auto focus yeah I'm using auto focus uh this set up could be a mess on my medium format camera since the focus isn't isn't quite as developed as it is on a canon dslr but right now I'm using auto focus uh if this was giving me trouble and we had real light come coming through I might do the classic trick of just like holding my hand block out the light and just try to focus on her face if that didn't work another thing that I could do is use something what we call a focusing light which is just something which we put on her face just so I can grab the focus and then we turn it off so if that were the focus okay we turn on the focus ling I lock it in turn it off and then we can continue shooting great thank you no problem right let's let's let her rip okay so that box here's what I had in mind actually for this thing the placements good but let's put it like right here so it's kind of in the window let's see if you like kind of put it around there let me see if this is gonna look good in life remer not good okay yeah that's really nice so again I saw like the background was a little flat and I know there's like tons of props everywhere so this wasn't planned but I'm just sort of like putting whatever in to make it feel better um can I see the camera let's do a test shot let's get the hayes uh on and let's get it to kind of the same level as before um once we do that then I'll start actually talking and commuting teo like a human being versus a piece of furniture okay kayla a little test shot let's just see what this box is doing uh go back when jessie it's a different level of hayes hold hold on a second okay let's see what's going on here yeah I saw yeah I was like why did everything change so the cto blew away nice I was like what am I doing wrong but at least that's a really good example of how just even a tiny piece of film tiny piece of filter can change the whole look of the scene because now this looks like completely fabricated doesn't it like when it's a white light outside you like yo that's a strobe but we just changed the color isis us his human half us as human beings look at that and go like oh that's the sun that's what we're used to where is this like white light can you imagine if the sun was doing that we would like have a panic attack on planet earth all right so uh let's let him change that thank you jessie okay I'll give this offer I'll take this opportunity to give a little bit of direction to lisa I love how your feet are wouldn't change a thing I just like to see your hands a little more perfect um wouldn't change a thing there it isthe so basically the way that I photograph is that I would like to start with this kind of pose and each time I flash will switch it up slightly I might give you a little direction here and there but just like really subtle movements so I might flash raise your chin up flash change your hands different flash keep the legs more more or less around there and we'll go from there all right I think the haze level's good boys she's good with with white outside okay let's let her rip all right uh can we get this pack out of my way thank you okay let's make sure everything is good before we go on a rampage here jesse do me a favor keats help that screen down just like and see the proper contrast okay everything's good except that box is needs to be stuck in this way more so I'm looking at the screen and like that box is like way too big of an element keep keep going I'm gonna hide it behind our subject that's good does the other side of the box look more interesting doesn't have an opening yeah can you can you swap that out oh yeah that's way better well and just close the lock there thank you sir all right this is gonna be much nicer now all right let's see what we got before we go home ok that's much better perfect okay so this time I flash again let's like swish it up slightly but everything you're doing now looks great perfect so that this is like a great a great scenario because she's just doing like very subtle movements in between each time that I flash so we can get like a lot of variation out of the exact same scene uh let me throw in some feedback if you want to kind of like lean down on your leg and put it back the way that it was before your legs are like a little like too weird for me maybe just sit like a little a little more like normal um bring your knees toward me um your feet are kind of like yeah exactly and if you want extend one leg out longer than exactly and if you kind of perfect okay boys we're going to address the level of that of that hayes do you want to get in there was that oh yeah um lisa everything looks good with that post let's pull that box out a little bit killer see if I get a little bit of separation that good thanks yeah if you could sit up sit up straight that's perfect very nice very nice great let's try something different maybe where you turn your feet this way instead now oh that's yeah that's really nice with the legs point exactly all right we can kill the hayes let me see maybe if you set up a little straighter and maybe put both hands yeah nice so she she changed her pose is that his ear off you want to get uh you know smart idea so I noticed you changed her pose which much fit might favor a more like vertical composition let me get a little wider sea yeah if you want to jump in there and kill it that's fine good opportunity to do a little beat bts photo there it is all right let's get back to how we started if you want to rotate your knees the other way exactly this is all perfect and let's bring the hands where I can see them again if you want to turn your body a little bit more toward me perfect okay this is great um if you just want to keep your feet a little little straighter yeah thank you okay I might take this opportunity now that I've got the wide to jump in with the tighter lens let's grab the fifty yes this lens has the range of going to fifty but this lens since it's a prime is going to look a little nicer right because it's engineered to be at fifty always whereas the zoom is kind of like trying to make it good throughout so let's see what happens if I keep everything lit I know that I already have the wide shot right now so let me jump in here and get a little closer a different version of the same thing uh let me see what does this look like hmm let's see let's kind of come down on your knees again I'm gonna get more of a porch exactly beautiful say something like that ha ha this is a nice composition c m leading the hands in might not be so much up top but something like this let's see just raise your chin slightly oh that's really nice when you kind of like a foot your hands somewhere around here inside the camera like changing these focus points I don't have the luxury of doing this with my phase one camera so this is nice to be able to select her eye for focus right now yeah least all this stuff looks great let's bring your eyes doctor the camera lines perfect and maybe if you had your hand kind of more of where it was around your neck perfect and just relax your mouth little but I see like it's like force close I think you look a little more natural like when I'm standing a place usual just like but just somewhere in between like yeah perfect let's get the level of haze up again boys yeah we're looking really nice how does it feel being on the other side of the camera you've done this before okay great let's kill the hayes I think we're at a good level so now I'm going to go in for the extreme close up just for the portrait I can see like from here to here for you but no that was that was really nice so just let's have the eyes on the lens for this c give me one second okay this could be in this portrait if you want to just uh brush the hair off this I exactly beautiful just relax the mouth again maybe bring the chin up slightly higher beautiful let me see some fingers maybe like arrest them on your side your face round your neck very nice okay cool I think we got this let's go through the images and let's see what we did right or wrong you can look too if you like okay if you could flip backwards for me jesse very nice so even up close we still see the flare we still see that kind of like milky sort of ah effect that's coming from the heyzer on the back light outside go to the uh wider set up jesse so these air with the fifty millimeter lens on right now and these air the wide shots ignore that one go go go back you know what it might be nice to do this set up with a longer focal length if you want to go back and sit like this what I'm going to do is shoot this with the same fifty millimeter fixed lens that I have on now yeah let's let's uh let's let's hayes it up again so I was looking at that and I see this kind of like wide shot and to me it looks nice but it might look good also with a longer lens okay so before when I saw this I was kind of round like thirty millimeters so it's not gonna change that much but with fifty it could kind of compress the background a little bit and look a little nicer a little bit more painterly so let's at least try that let's see I need to be pretty far back um caleb in the frame I could just see the corner of this stand if you just rotate it slightly but kept the light where it is okay a little more yeah and just just walk it back just a tiny bit yeah that's fine cool and if you want to put your legs just maybe like sit up straight yeah perfect let's turn the knees away from me yeah and I think if you put like one foot more toward the box and then one foot out front yet exactly okay perfect right let's kill that let's kill that hes there hes man okay all right so let's see if this looks a little more painterly with a longer lens quick test nice so right now I can see a lot of texture in the haze it looks like the place is on fire so as long as he walked that and just let it well let it set a little bit okay perfect so again lisa just every time I flash we'll just switch it up slightly maybe come down and like how you're putting like one hands on your channel like face yeah exactly that's nice okay cool I think we got this that's good let's let's pause ourselves for a minute and let's uh do a little q and a I think I think we got this this looks good to me on the lens b we're able to get a lot of variation we got a wide shot got a medium and close up all within the same setting if I wanted to switch this up even further I could get her to stand up and take out the boxes and maybe get something different switch up the chair put a stool like a million things that you could do under this light set up so do we have any questions from inside waken tear down outside yeah all right fantastic so let's start in our studio audience that was that was great leese thanks we got a lot of what is very nice shots okay if you want to chill here you can if not you can join the audience and learned a lot about photography oh there it is okay if you walk the way I'd be a little offended yes um you talk just a little bit about your your thought process in terms of dirt directing her directing your subject and coming up with the look you want uh I just like to monitor her monitor anyone that I'm shooting anyone of photographing I'd like to monitor how they are relaxing like look right now that's kind of similar to what we're going for just look it like how they appear and just if you could flip through these as I'm talking and a crash yeah that was a nice time to wrap it up then um I just like to look at how a subject kind of looks when I'm not photographing them when there's not a camera in their face and just maybe recreating slightly augment that that's kind of my go to thing so another thing is like I was looking at her legs and it's hard because she's sitting on a low box so like I wanted to stay away from like things where her feet look like two wacky because it distracts from them from the face so I'm just kind of giving her like a nice post to get a kind of sense of flow through both herself and the image okay let's go to the phones huh alright the fax machines let me get my sony walkman I grew up with sony walkmans they're great um all right so quite a few people have been asking and one particular george a car grew from kenya is there a possibility that you can macgyver a beauty dish are make joey oh yeah salad bowl salad bowl let's let's look at this thing and it looks like a salad bowl as it is get a large white salad bowl because of center out plastic get a white surface like this raise it so that the white reflects that bounces office and then projects at word any surface khun do this the thing that has to be particular is the shape right because this is shaping the white like that my first thoughts out someone's done that before in the internet actually it's like I've seen that somewhere someone did it with salad bowl I have a feeling bed bath and beyond is about to sell out of salad bowls today follow up question to that from zana how can we end it I imitate the sun if we have no possibility to pete put a beauty dish out of the window well you're never gonna be able to get it with a flashlight unfortunately like yesterday um the son is a very strong source is a very hard source there are some things you could do but really I think if we had to imitate the sun we would need something like extremely high powered you could also you could always use if you didn't have studio light with you accessible you know you could use something like an e x speed light from another camera but I don't think we'll be able to get the same output we're getting with this we're sort of like at the mercy of being dependant on shrubs for this but you could frame it in such a way if you really didn't have it you could shoot somewhere where the sun's gonna be there and plan your shootout to be at that time of day so you'd be at the mercy of the re alight you wouldn't be able to shoot quite as long as we did today but at least you didn't have to buy a stroke to do it so you're kind of at the mercy of things when you do that so I think that probably answers uh matrox question from poland when he asked can you achieve the same look using flash guns would it be harder okay so the problem with flash guns or the x flashes or speed lights um is that you're never gonna be able to get the power that we got outside okay so that pack was I believe it was like almost full when we took it down two stops I don't think that there is a speed like that does that power however if you had multiple ones you could group them together in an array and you get flashes you could borrow them from friends but it's very difficult to get that output with that gear do you have the ability on that beauty dish to bring in the inner circle closer to the light you do not but it might be an interesting way to modify the light source yes I have one probably an ebay salad bowl beauty dish but I noticed that it it allows me to do that bring it in a couple of notches how would that if I brought it in closer how would that affect well let's think about what's happening first inside the beauty dish is this lights flashing right and it's reflecting off this and then spreading so you would shorten you would shorten the distance I'm I'm thinking in my head here you would shorten the distance from which it is flashing here so it seems to me like this would be I don't know it would just look different how about that I have no idea you should it would it would it would change the shape and it would change the softness and the hardness I don't know what way it would put it because people out there online will call me out on it but I would just say experiments and see what it does differently you could set up something you could put someone in place make sure they don't move and just notice the difference my got feeling is that it would change the hardness of softness of the light slightly I don't think he'd notice a major difference but it might make you feel like you're tweaking something when you're working with make you look real smart yeah yeah hey joey you're known for your cinematic portraiture quality in your images like a lot of people like see that cinematic quality and I was wondering and actually quite a few people are wondering how much of that is reliant on your lighting setup and how much of it is uh reliant on how you pose them and interact and direct them I would say it's a little bit of everything right so I really like the cinematography and films and movies um I'd say in terms of like posing and looking it's more photography oriented because in movies we don't have you know people posing and staring at the lens unless it's like baraka or something like that it's not it's not very common so I think the lighting in stylistic qualities with light and color is dictated by films but the posing is more photography based so once I get from alex black and maybe not in this situation but do you ever use diffusion umbrellas do I ever use diffusion umbrellas I would have to know exactly what he's talking about to answer correctly but what I believe he's talking about is a shoot for on the rela right probably where you have the light and its umbrella and is projected through similar like octa bank I don't use them because I don't think the quality is very nice I think it comes office flat because anything from an umbrella has a very flat light characteristics so I don't I don't use them but what they might do is make very nice lights for lighting a background even so if we had a white wall behind someone typically that's when I'm going and using an umbrella to make it even uh if you shoot through them with the diffusion is just going to make the light softer so it might spread it easier even if you had one you might be able to light an entire background with it but I don't I don't use it it's not to go to school for me thank you uh kind of a three part question from three people that it all relates together one from jerky one from phillipe benedict in austria and one from stephan daniel schwartz how clear is your vision before the shoot do you use mood boards and if you know all us fails if that doesn't work out do you have like a back up plan that you rely on yet to me the preproduction and planning and thinking things out is just as important if not more important than me actual shoot because it's like you're out of ballet and you're rehearsing the dance right so you could do that with things like mood boards as he mentioned wishes uh assembling photos that look the look and feel which we're trying to achieve um that's what a mood board is you can pre plan you can think out your compositions all this I think is really important and there's a lot of things that happened before any buttons are press and to me that thought process is what can separate uh someone starting out to a really good photographers they're spending more time thinking about the shots before they actually try and go out and try to set something up because uh I know for me personally when I'm photographing it's like I'm trying to match that photograph to like what I see capable of my head sometimes it does not turn out as good as how I imagine it sometimes I can do better than what I thought I could do s o completely depends on the scenario but I know that the most successful photographers are able to kind of like seeing their head what they want to achieve first and then it's just it's sort of like uh technical dance trying to get there right thank you more about your style and the question was from russell photos who says joey style feels like more of someone constructing a scene and staging a shot as opposed to observing what is already there that's more documentary is that something that he learned or is that just the style that you always had it is a very constructed and very what did you say was the other word constructing a scene staging a shot there very staged all my stuff is very stage that's why I say the compositions are a little bit more dependent on photography but did I always do this the things no I mean when I was first starting out I was taking a lot of more like photojournalist that kind of stuff and the photos that I took the most from the images that I liked the most out of those set ups were things and where the subject was posed like looking into the lens and we kind of had the subject displaying themselves for the viewer that's the kind of photography that I'm drawn to the most is I love photojournalism I love looking at photographers who do different styles of work than me but for me personally speaking the way like is almost like a painting where it's like I'm going to display this for you as the viewer it's like breaking the wall right like we're looking in here that's that's what I like to do when did you go about making that shift do you think or what were the things was it studying other people was it it was just anyone starting out sort of they have to test and find what they liked best so they have to do like thousands or hundreds of shoots or whatever just a lot of testing and experimenting and they'll notice certain things in their port foil that either they liked better or things which are much stronger then how their other work looks and it's kind of like the matter of becoming a junkie of photography and doing so much stuff and testing this that this it's okay to test and do a whole bunch of different subject matter as long as you're thinking about later to choose what is going to be your cohesive vision at the end so in the beginning everyone has to try everything shoot landscapes you to close up shoot a bug should a person should this shoot that shooting this way and light it this way let it that way and then finally you'll see like what things air gravitating toward toward get rid of all the other stuff pick out those few things that you liked and emulate that path and as you go it will get more and more cohesive and your vision will get better and better this one dream where you go for your inspiration and what do you do whenever you find yourself in a creative rut that's a that's a very long answer because the creative rut part threw me off there where do I go for inspiration um I love watching films all right on going to the movie theater I think it's a really nice thing for inspiration in terms of lighting listen to a lot of music go on trips okay break myself out of the mold um I find that I get in a rut if I repeat a lot of things so if I'm kind of like waking up having the same schedule doing the same kind of shoot than that's what kind of gets me to create a funk so I just like to switch it up a bit and like it was describing yesterday like tests tryto buy something new to move forward if I'm not moving forward and I'm just like sustaining and just sustaining the level that I might and that's what makes me go in a rut so I like to stay on top of things and you know I run a business but I also like moving forward

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!!