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Creative Studio Lighting

Lesson 3 of 12

One Light Setup

Lindsay Adler

Creative Studio Lighting

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

3. One Light Setup

Lesson Info

One Light Setup

All right, so I taught this before on creative live if you seen but I'm bringing it back by popular demand because you always want to know the one that you like pure white skin, red lips, red hair if you guys seen arrived on that, people think it's a whole lot of photo shop it's only a little bit of photo shop if you do it right in camera, you obviously have to start off with a light skin model first and like she is ideal oh my gosh, I don't think she's been outside of long ago we were in seattle, we're in seattle it's okay thiss one she hasn't it doesn't matter should be outside anyway, so really fine I was going to pull this stand over here. Well, it doesn't really well, thank you. Can you put the stand over for me this way? Sorry, I'm usually have okay, I have the spider holster is what I use and I have on my side, but I didn't want to mess up my dress. S o I was a little less practical and a little more stylish that girl's nose like any high heeled shoes ever basically all right, s...

o we're going to do white skin and red hair and so she doesn't want charity has red hair, but we're going to do a little modification on this okay, so what this is is this is called beauty box, and so we're going toe box her in with white reflectors, one underneath the chin, one on the left and one on the right, and right now we're using white reflectors because if you and silver, it adds back, in contrast, what we're probably going for is no contract because we want creamy, smooth skin, so if you add silver now, it's bringing back the contrast were trying to go the opposite of that. So you have white reflectors and we box her in the closer the reflectors are to her face, the more we reduce shadow, this does not look good with somebody with a wide or heavy face, because we are lighting everything and so usually someone with a heavier face. You raised the light up and you use a little bit of shadow to help make their face look more slender but she's beautiful, and I'm just going to go for ah high impact, interesting lighting here someone raised my stand up just like that, I can box her in if you do not have a trife lecter, do not worry, you don't need a trife lecter to pieces of white foam core energy very, very similar on you could just have her hold them if you do not require um heard opposed with her hands now when I put this light in the centre now it catches and it bounces around so it's nice flat even light and structure and a little bit more such pretty good and how can you put your dress hood over your head case now she's gonna look like a little bit oh now she looks like an alien with this head thing I like it it's good it's your good alien is it okay so my mom my makeup bar tonight we always tease we picked the girls like we'll bring up a package of models will go oh that alien because we love the girls like that big eyes and like the you know like really super pale skin they're awesome she's like sweet dave can I have the meter again and if you will just put that in front of your face for me we'll do a quick test on the light you might need to reach around that I okay perfect okay all right perfect. You know I'm not sure they're exposed to the screen or not so we'll see and white exposed for the screen I'll take a look at how this looks right so yeah I cannot expose for the screen then perfect okay, so you'll see in this picture people are like oh how do you make your skin so it well there is I mean it's somewhat in photo shop but it's mostly in camera like kirsten already looks completely pale what you were doing photo shop it is online created five retouching um class that I did in november and I also believe I covered it and my photo shop we class but basically you pull out color in the skin you over smooth it with image gnomic literature on dh then you add contrast back in because if you just pull out color they looked dead you have to add contrast back in so if you do want to know how to do that is on I think two of the creative lives that I've done in the past a swell all right so this is ah one light set up that's super cool you know and you don't need it has high impact has high drama and by the way beauty dishes for many different brands aren't that expensive maybe the professor brown color wants you know though that that's that's comes to the territory and by the way I love I love my bronco nypd okay, but all the different brands have the beauty dishes so that's a one light set up um you could use silver the silver is going to be something a little bit different to that so um what I'm going to do is I'm gonna show you a couple more ways to add drama and then we're gonna add a second light oh, by the way I want to switch it I could have silver underneath white fill all that jazz okay so you were beautiful did you see? You see how cool you look you look like a pale white I don't know super teacher I don't know how I like it okay, so the last for the next part that we didn't talk about four direction of flight we talked about distance by the way be dish I like best between three and six feet after I'm further than six feet my bucket the water spread out too far so three and six feet for a beauty dish is ideal beauty dish is not something you want to use for photographing more than two people really cause after too many people then it's it's only letting a couple of them then you spread it about too much and it's missing the contrast so soft cocks for groups of people or there's also these things called parabolic umbrellas which is what they used to like a lot of people but if you see movie posters where there's groups of people those people are composited they weren't shot together they were shot with a bt dish and then and then stuff together and photo shop so to give you an idea all right, so we talked about that distance we talked about height let's talk about the last distance changer the last distance is on the axis left to right? Okay, here's how I think about it when I want something beauty high key happy any of those words come to mind the light should go more central, more in front when I used the words dramatic, dark, sad, mysterious the light goes more to the side and it can go to an extreme so when I photographed the light front and center, a lot of beauty shots are it's it's what they called the paramount light you give her a butterfly and I hate using too many words which should give you an idea paramount like it's going that light is straight in front of the subject. That reason they call it butterfly is when they raised the late up high enough it makes like little butterflied shadows under certain people's noses. It doesn't matter it's the lightest centered, fair amount like they actually called it that because of paramount studios new suzette light so you look cool factoids, right? All right, so, um, light more in the front is going to give you or even float and look at her cheekbones beautiful. Okay, but you wouldn't get that with light lower anyway so late more in the front hierarchy happy, more beauty as you pull the light off to the side, it gets more dramatic and so if I pull out the only other name that I will tell you is when you pull the line off to the side far enough when you get that little triangle of light underneath her eye it's called rembrandt lighting and that's the only name that I would have you know it because you're looking for that little little triangle of light it is very, very dramatic it's very flattering and you can add reflectors so if I don't want dark light if I want that rembrandt now that little reflect that little lot highly under eye you can also fill in the shadows a bit and still have the triangle still have the drama but not have it fall to black be really dark so got rembrandt and then people like okay, so that's what the drama that I can get and that's about as dramatic as it gets well can also raise the light up raising the light up adds more drama, but you can also pull the light even farther to the side. So this is where we get into what's called people call it short light and I never I don't know if they need a better name for it in that because I'm like what do you mean short cut? You know, I I don't need a better name for that so shortly is when you actually are taking the light off to the side someone should there really isn't light on her face and so okay there's lights up top please know that like that light on her face is not president if we're trying to block that off ready you really just see kind of a little bit of split light it's not really nice what I'm gonna do is I'm going to turn her so you turn that way for me turned towards the light however is roughly comfortable okay, so now what you'll see is she has turned towards that life that's been taken off access that is how you get a ton of drama because now the shadow side of the faces towards the camera so all that shadow usually when the lights in the front is at the back of the head or in the sides of the cheek so you don't really see it and if you take the lid off a little bit for rembrandt you get a little bit of shadow here but now I've actually basically turned her sideways. So now that rembrandt is towards the camera all that shadows towards the camera so you'll get a nice kiss of light there and I can keep going. I can keep moving the light further and further and further so it's just a little highly on her nose, so think of it like this when you're saying dramatic and dark and shadowy the more shadows you see the more dramatic it iss, which means the further you take the light off to the side or behind the model, the more dramatic it gets and doesn't really matter what side. So let's, take a sample here. Now, hypothetically, this is a case where I wouldn't necessarily need to meet her if I kept the distance the exact same cause we're measuring for the highlights a gift, the distance and change and I didn't change my pack with power should say the same, but I didn't move it back a little bit, so you could meet her again. Let's, just grab a shot of this just like that. And on a portrait level, when you have your subject turned this way, they tend to look like some place over here, and then you just see the way to the eyes, so I usually will give them a point to look at. So we just look your eyes of right, kenna. And so now you can actually see her eyes versus just the whites, which usually looks creepy, calling you an alien increase pc. I'm not I'm not really meaning that. Okay, it's, just like just like that take a look there was a question that came in from a new dubai and I know him. You d'oh d'oh he's a regular in the creative live chat room um and he wanted to know about the distance from the background. I know it doesn't necessarily matter when it's just a black background, but if we could talk if you could talk about the power of the lighting or absolutely definitely so the distance of the background what I'm trying to dio usually is put the lights more into planes meaning like if I have them far enough from the background, I don't want my main light affecting my background cause then I can let the background make it do what I want if it's too close together, then I've got to consider my main light and how it affects the background I'd rather just keep him separate make the black black cause she's further enough out light it if I want it lit. The problem is some people don't have ceos that big and I didn't either, so something that'll kind of help is try to pull your subject as far up from the background is possible and what you don't want to dio is that's when those instances where you don't want your light really far away because then it spreads out and hits everything if you bring your like closer it's going to be brighter on their face and darker on that background because by the time the light reaches that background it's that water spread out so it's just like with the bucket if I had the bucket right here on you and I throw it, okay, it's going to be significant weather on your face and in the background will be. But if I back up really far both of the background and you word similarly, not what? Do you know what I mean? Uh, so it's, that would be a consideration for the background. If you can put them on two different planes, get your subject out away from the background, then that'll make it easier on you. Then you don't have to worry about those dry spots are having the shadows on the background that you don't want. So I would say I tried to have my subject eight, ten feet away in my studio sometimes it's further if I want, because I can look at a new studio, my last to you. That wasn't really the case, so kind of excited for that let's. Try this again now that we're all cued up here. Good. Perfect. I love the nice long neck there. So my favorite things about models see if it worked. Okay, so now you have, like, a ton of show that's as much shadow as you can, you can get room light, but if you want actually have her light lit, so it shows her face it's more of a portrait, then that would be something that's ideal, which is completely different than the last one. Absolutely, completely different and see how you've got like, a little bit of phil on her ear if you could see her ear a little bit, you are probably getting a little bit of bounce from that light over on the great wall, which ends up being like a little bit of phil so springs up a very important point. Anybody with small spaces if you're trying to get dramatic fortunes and you're looking at every single one and they don't look dramatic, it's probably because you have a small space with low ceilings and white walls because those white walls and I didn't get this at all when I had a to do space, those white walls are acting as gigantic reflectors, so something like this if you have a white wall right here, you've got a gigantic you made an eight foot by whatever that lady's going right into its reflector. So what you want to dio if you want an easy solution without having to make your studio into a black cave, because that was something I was doing, what people do with paint? You should do black that's not classy looks really dark that's what I thought because my studio space I had one wall that I started to paint black it did not work on my space I have seen it look really elegant but not mine so uh what I did is I got v flats or bookends what they're they're drinking and they're just large pieces of foam core they're usually four foot by eight foot tall and then in a v something like that um you can get materials for that out like a home depot is well, a lot of art supply places carry them there's a place in new york that I just went to, um in brooklyn um care of what it's called but they had three flats that you could use okay, so, um what you would do is he would line the walls so that the black side is towards the subject and just put them off whenever you're trying to go for a more dramatic shot I hope you have more defined shadows. All right, so we had our very first thing which was quality a light fingered one modifier you had the second thing that we're talking about was angles and then the third is intensity what intensity basically means for this is the whole ratios how strong is that light and more importantly for set up like this how strong is that light compared to other lights in the scene how bright with those other lights be so for a shot like this, maybe if I want to really show off the length of her neck or I want to add sheen to her hair, we add another light and so by adding another light, it usually adds a little more dimension a little more depth to the scene um, I think this looks fine, you know, with solid black it looks very elegant, but for a lot of portrait it looks a little bit more like, you know what you're doing when you have a hair late because what happens and this was a big problem that I had all the time with my business early on is that I do a high school senior portrait of a guy who had dark hair. I photographed him on a dark background I didn't try to go for drama and have rembrandt in the mom would be like you can't see his hair it's all blended in and so it's that extra that hair light where that x backlight that defines a subject from the background you can have a hair light from the sign which would be more of the jaw or for the neck and a little bit of the hair or you can have a light more from above I'll tell you that usually I go for letting the jaw versus laying in the hair on ly because it's more contemporary is more in two thousand thirteen lighting versus traditional portrait lighting there's not one rare another that's right but for me I'm going for commercial on what pace myself that would be delight on the job so this is going to be turning on this backlight here I got it becks look here turning on this backlight good ok? And so I am turning on barn doors and so you'll be able to see late on her neck laid on her hair and it separates her out from the background and give a little more dimensions I'm gonna take one shot of her turned for short light for drama let's take a shot here perfect just like that for effect and I'm gonna have you face forward for me and I'm going to go back to my rembrandt light here could perfect something like that great and so now ifyou're looking that highlight I'm gonna have you just put this down if you don't mind so wanna show are actually just take the whole thing off perfect so when a show is going to light her shoulder her neck and her jaw a bit and it gives some definition and a little bit more dimension to that photo so extreme at me perfect so this is very much a look that would be something I would do for a dramatic portrait for a magazine because you would have a dramatic late on her face, kind of in rembrandt. And then that highlight defines the side of her face, her jaw line and her neck, and see how from without that it's, a lot more of a production value. It's different it's, kind of quite an elegant and dramatic without that room light without that, that light on the side of her face. But now, it's much more production, much more snap its two thousand thirteen commercial.

Class Description

Creative Studio Lighting is part of our special bundle Lighting Toolkit.

Join award-winning photographer Lindsay Adler for an introduction to the essentials of creating high-impact studio lighting with minimal fuss or expense.

Drawing on years of experience, Lindsay will introduce you to the basics of studio lighting and give you strategies to apply these basics in creative ways. Along the way, you’ll explore unusual light modifiers, crafty ways for working with limited gear, tips for ensuring that light is flattering, and more!

This course will inspire anyone ready to take their work to the next level, whether you’re a veteran photographer or just starting out.


Justin Tui

This is my second course purchase from Creative Live amd im a short way in but already love it. Lindsay Adlers style of teaching is easy going and simple to follow along with. Her personal work is amazing too so i feel confident that im getting knowledge from a trustable source. Im definitely going to continue to invest in more content from Creative Live and I rock the podcast everytime a new ep comes out.

a Creativelive Student

I love watching Lindsay work, she teaches with ease as if it were a one on one session. Would love to assist her or at least attend one of her workshops soon. This course was very helpful as well as opening my eyes to a few things that were always there, but just able to see them, thank you Lindsay

Tracy Whiteside

Only 1/2 way through but I knew in the first module that Lindsay Adler is the best instructor!! So easy to understand, great demonstrations, LOVE HER!!!