Crappy Lighting: Dappled, Backlit, and Overcast


Conquering Crappy Light


Lesson Info

Crappy Lighting: Dappled, Backlit, and Overcast

Dappled light is when on somebody's face there is a highlight and shadow it's kind of modeled light. Sometimes it can be really beautiful. And eric has an example of that. The fashion photographer in me, I shot this for an editorial, and I'm like, let's just rock the dappled light and has high contrast and on her face and take a look pretty, but not usually like here's. Another example of when it works. Well, um, you want explain what you did here. Yeah. Okay, so this this photo right off the bat was to dabble. It looks like this there were highlights were clipping her face, and that was really, really dark shadows. So I kind of basically played a little pool game with light here and had the light coming down from the top bouncing off that giant scream. Jim, you see the guy holding their the reflector with the silver reflector, bouncing it back down to kind of fill in the top of the door and everything over there to get some direction to the light because she was kind of directly in da...

ppled shade. And then I've got another assistant in the corner with that smaller reflector we talked about just trying to light her for face to even out the light on her face, so by kind of tweaking the existing dappled life I still maintain the dappled light in the clothes which led to the environment but maybe wasn't so extreme as like I would for a fashion application because they're paying me to see the clothes you know so I can't be blowing out the clothes that kind of ticked off at me and so from everyone else's usual applications for something like that if you have a situation where your subjects they can't move um from where they are and it's going to be dappled light if you can build in some with a reflector building some more light to try to fill in some of those shadows that's going to help you out I usually just move them if I can take control of the situation and all right so here's a dappled light situation she was standing underneath the tree the leaves were blowing and so as the leaves blow highlight would come on her face and then their nose and so you have a couple options if you can't move the person you can either block out the highlights or defuse them the reason I included this slide is what I want you to do is look very carefully at her hair the picture on the left she looks like she's in the shade and there's no light on her hair the picture on the right you see some of that soft light wrapping around and generally I prefer the one on the right cause she looks like she's in the environment. That kind of cut and pasted in the shade. So that would be the difference between the two. But there's been situations where dappled light. I didn't have anything. I found a piece of cardboard. I didn't have anything to work with. I just held above their head. It would give you the example on the left and there's a lot. You can do me no hears the example on the left and we've just blocked out overhead. So see how there's not really. Any environment on her just looks like she's on the shade. Not what I prefer, but you can add a little bit of a reflector to build the contrast back in. We're gonna look at examples like that. Something finish the last two we have here, strong back late. I am going to be talking about this in several sections about kind of focusing in strong backlight. And these are the problems you run into. All right. Lens flare. Uh, of course, if you think it's a problem. You know what? Lens flares very in vogue right now, but it's technically, a failure like you're not supposed to know, you're not supposed to have the light coming directly and hitting your lenses that lowers contrast, but both of us incorporate a lot of lens flare as a stylistic choice. But it's technically a flaw if you're going to be old school about it and you would see when you're actually looking at the lens, you would see the light hitting the lens bouncing around. So what? I had an assistant on shoot for something if they could just stand in the way the sun from hitting my lens that would get rid of the lens flare there's a couple different ways that also have a lens hood on lens hood will do it. It doesn't save you, though if you're shooting into, like at the sun it's not going to save you, but well lot of people and I'm goingto admits this I'm like, oh, len's had takes up space and it's awkward, and I like get rid of it like I got to get rid of it, but I don't put it in my bag, but when I'm shooting in a backlit situation, the results of not having a lens hood if you're not going for creative lens flare, it looks muddy and flat. It just looks like a muddy picture without a lot of contrast doesn't even sometimes doesn't even look sharp, so adding that lent lens hood brings back a lot of that contrast and sharpness to it. So that's, why you would want one of those if not have someone try to block off that light when eric and I have shot together before, he's held a reflector, and I think that was the ad for the class is he was actually holding reflector that wasn't blocking her. I wanted a lot of light, and I wanted her to be heavily back like he was blocking the light off me, so it wasn't actually shining on her. It was just a kind of shade the ones um so that's, how you would handle lance, where one other thing you can do is well is with composition. If you put the subject in front of the son, you had the lens flare, they're duplicated there, actually acting as your lens hood slash person blocking the sun and used to with the composition. Um depends on if that's what you're going for, so when you see my examples later, you'll see that difficulty focusing, um, I know that you have a couple ways that you that you handle this, um I will be talking about something called back, but in focus I'm in a little bit because what I will do is I will move my camera so that I can get something and focus, okay, I'll try to block out the sun, or I'll move so that the sun's in shade and I connection lock focus, maybe on on the side of her body, and I used my back, but in tow, lock that focus in place, so if I recomposed, I can shoot in its days and focus, you can actually still do that with your main trigger, but what would happen to me? And sometimes I'd like, let go of it, or I would would need to, like, grab a different exposure, and because you know what? We'll talk about this because your exposure and you're focused around the same thing. If you're holding your focus and they want to grab a different exposure, you can't so that's why you need back wouldn't focus, so we will touch on that as well, and the difficulty achieving correct exposure backlight is one of the very, very few situations wherever flip well besides, in studio, where I flip over to manual mode, but I still most of time use africa priority and exposure compensation, so we're going to talk about all of this, but if I just give you the overall description, this is what my camera gave me when I just pointed at the scene um, not with spot metering if I was just doing evaluative that's what it gave me if he tries to remember average out everything in the scene too great, so it just kind of put me everything in the middle, okay? Um when I did spot meandering, so I meet her just on her it way over exposed, and it brought the sun back into the scene because I was saying, I want her skin to be correct, so it just blew out everything so is trying to go for something a little bit in between. So this is where I would have my camera on aperture priority, we'll talk about this before of later and I would either go plus to make the picture brighter or minus on my exposure well, to make the picture darker, that's how I work, eric wouldn't do that, he would shoot a man I'm smarter than my camera I like to think someday, so so we're going to have guys around better alright, so very last one before we move on to talking about camera settings. Um, drab, overcast day, eric was actually commenting that somebody when we're talking about this being a bad lighting situation someone's like no drab, overcast day is with you say, yeah, okay, so what was it it's like think it's god god's light yes oh you never want to read the forums on a website but I read someone's post about why are they complaining about dr overcast light it's the best light out there that's what I pray for and it is great because it saw but there's a lot of problems to you get huge huge shadows in the eyes if it's overhead so here's how I'll describe it quality is good direction is still bad okay on an overcast day even though it's overcast and soft and diffused there is still a direction of like the sun is still somewhere in the sky lower or higher and so just like I would on a sunny day maybe turned the subjects back so that the sons at their hair to get good light in this picture all I did is turned her to the side towards the light so I turned her around and had her lift her chin up there's no reflectors, no diffuse there's no nothing. So in other words, when you go out on an overcast day and you're just like, oh it's all being soft light no there's completely different light in that environment depending on which way that person is facing, so what I'll do is on an overcast day I'll say, can you me a favor you just slowly turn around and I'll watch into the light looks better on their face and I'll pose them that way I'll just make them turn around until the light looks good so that's exactly what I had her do here I had her rotate until the light look best on her face no reflectors no diffusers no nothing just saying turn around look up another example is alright if that light is just bad and I can't figure out how to fix it if I can get the person to stand underneath like a porch or an overhang it cuts out overhead light which flattened everything so this is this is how I envision it when I put something shade over their head all the light has to come from in front of them instead of from above and the light from above is what puts the highlight on their nose and the shadows in their eyes. So once I have blocked off everything has to come from the front and it's much more flattering souls in the direction rather than changing the models right and so instead of having her move around I could have her stand underneath an overhang or in this situation there were no overhangs so I had eric hold a piece of foam core over her head I made shade using from court it would work great in a situation like this where it's one model doesn't work when there's a group of people and that's the problem you run into is you're trying to create shade um and just to take a look at this, this is the, uh this is a shot here where she's uh, standing out in front of the overhang and the light under face to see the highlander no shadows in her eyes if she backs up one step, watch one step c how it flattens it out so there is something different, something called open shade, which would be something kind of like this meaning there's nothing above her head she's in the shadow of a building or, um, I don't know there's this cheese in the shade, but there's lights still coming from the sky above, but when she backs up, it's covered so there's no light from above it's all from the front so open shade covered shade there's a big difference between the two when I've been open shade and can't avoid it, I have to have my subjects list their chin up. We're at a reflector versus I don't have to do much and coverage jade looks really nice. Um look through these, okay? And then just your take on it and we're gonna flip to the next thing, okay, so here we go again that's the same thing we're working with um and you get a little more versatility to in your posing if you're willing to bring some of your own flash into it. So lindsay's taking a natural approach and blocking off the overhead light if you don't like the direction and forcing the light to fill in underneath so she just kind of tamed the entire sun. I find it easier to bring like a tiny son in my pocket and pop it up every now and then. That's what we did with the umbrella here, you look very quickly we letting the ambient light to all of the work for us, but we want to be able to shape her. So we basically brought in the flash just write enough to fill up those shadows and kind of overpower the contrast we had going on in the face and I'll give it to you. It looks nice. Thanks. I approve of it. Two different projects. Could we switch to the next presentation? So we're going to the camera settings now, it's a few guys out there in the audience internet where you guys here have your cameras. We're just going to take a look at a couple of different, uh, settings you want to make sure that you have you got your manuals get those too, or we have a quick clarification question from tm photography uh, when they gave us a tip for using our speed like out of focus, assist steam instead of the art of auto focus, this steam on the camera. Did they mean that you don't really use this feud like for light? But just is a better way to auto focus. That's correct turned out our all the way. Turn around so it's not even hitting my subject and just use it for that beam. Because it's more than that on camera one all right, anoop and dubai. Regular hearing. Yeah, you know him he's, a regular here, it created lives. What is wondering? You know, when you have a lot of flashes on set, how many flashes do you need to have to cover an event? And also beauty shoots what's a good number two. Have I do beauty shoots with none? E do events with one. So you really you don't know him at all. But if you've got, um, you really only need one, thank you.

Class Description

Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common crappy lighting scenarios. With the aid of these simple techniques and minimal equipment, you'll be empowered to walk into any setting and emerge with beautiful imagery.


Julie Addison

I thought I understood about light before I took this course. How wrong could I be? I have re-watched this course over and over and I just love it. Quality of light, direction of light - so many crappy light situations. Learning how to actually set a white balance instead of purely relying on the camera presets and learning colour correction by the color checker was also invaluable to me. This course is so affordable. I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as you will get more out of it than you think. I love the way Lindsay and Erik work together. No right or wrong way - just showing the differences in their styles to accomplish the same end result. Well done guys. Now to have more courses by Erik would be great. Again, can't' thank creative live enough and Erik and Lindsay for this course. Love, Love, Love It!!!!