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Creative Studio Lighting

Lesson 10 of 12

Seven Light Setup

Lindsay Adler

Creative Studio Lighting

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

10. Seven Light Setup

Lesson Info

Seven Light Setup

The leading set off I am doing here is not mine. What I want everyone to know it doesn't matter if someone else has done it if you want to do it, do it like lading doesn't belong to anyone. I absolutely nonstop looks through fashion magazines look at advertising. I looked everywhere and I tried to duplicate the lighting. Now you're saying, I'm not trying to duplicate the exact content or the pose or the hair and makeup or anything like that, but lighting doesn't belong to anyone, but you make it your own. So the lighting setup that I stayed here late last night to figure out was by a famous photographer, joel greenberg, on dh I've seen this style became really, really popular and commercial photography for portraiture. I've seen this done for stephen colbert's been photographed this way, and I've seen john mccain photographed by her this lighting and also animals and a little bit everything, and it is just a really interesting lighting setup, but it takes all this, ok? And so I thought...

I would cover what really? Okay, why the heck would you want to ever use something with seven lights? What is a different look that you would actually get from seven lights and someone to take you through that? And I'm gonna explain what each light is doing and why? And then we're going to take a look at how it looks. So hopefully you guys had a chance to take a look at her work. So you know what we're talking about? All we did is me and my crew. Last night we looked at a photo and built it piece by piece. Where would that highlight come from? Where would that high collect come from? Is it soft? Is it harsh? Okay, it's harsh. So it's got to be a grid or it's got to be barn doors. What is this? Catch lights in the eyes? How many catch lights are there? Is there a highlight on the background? So we just piece it together, so I'm going to run through that and I'm going to have my lovely and turn back you be my model. Okay, so the first thing that we're looking at are the catch lights in the eyes zooming in on some of her photos for the catch lights in the eyes you always see pretty much always see at least threat three catch lights in the eyes of her photo does know typically when I zoom in and try to analyze what they were it's a ring light on the camera. And usually two umbrellas so there's an example for those if you were thinking why have umbrellas and lindsay hasn't covered that today? Well, she uses them I just I just choose not to and I know they're not one of my favorite late sources but that's what she chooses because I don't shoot them I was looking over lighting set up last night I was like, well, I don't have umbrellas to shoot with, so my solution for the three catch lights would be ring light on camera because you can see that close up and on either side beauty dishes what she does is she more or less flattens out the light in the face and then uses the ring lights to create the highlights kind of give it a little bit of sheen because when you're going to think about like that's, the late that's flat on it reflects straight back into the camera that's why a lot of times with a ring light the reason you might use a ring light is let's say you have a beauty shot with a lot of reflective material like maybe it's really shining literally glitter eye make up you might use a metallic substance like that has a ring like because it really makes it glitter, so what oring light does is you've got a little bit of flat light on the face, but then it brings out more grit and more texture and more highlights because it bounces off the face straight back into your camera so I've got the two beauty dishes to flatten it out a little bit on and to create those funky catch lights and the ring light for the main light. Now the key thing about her work what you see is there are highlights everywhere highlights on the hair highlights on the neck hot highlights on the shoulders so what I decided to do and this is not exactly her set up it's the same look and that's what I want encouraging realizes if you're achieving what you were set out to do, it doesn't need to be identical as long as it looks similar to what you were trying to achieve. So what I did is I took two barn doors equal distance, equal angle to either side of her, and so what this does is because they're higher up a little bit higher up it lets the side of her hair and her shoulders it lights a side of her hair and her shoulders here. But in joel greenberg's photos, the very top of the head is also lit, so basically it looks like a even halo of light surrounding the entire subject and then the guy of here, I've got a nine inch silver reflector dish um with a ten degree grid these barn doors are not grated they're just have a very small angle focus here I have my beauty dishes about even I didn't have to exact a silver and a white one, I can adjust the powers to match, and then finally, the last light is a gridded nine inch silver reflector with a five degree grid to put a little bit of a halo on the background because there's so much light here, that background will go gray, and I wanted a little bit of a halo because that's what she has in her in her lighting setups, so we just have it sitting on pieces of gaffer tape on the ground pointed up to add a little bit of a halo, so let's, take a look at what this ends up looking like, and then we're going to go through and give you numbers, and then hopefully I can answer some of your questions, but before I go into that, just know that, like, if you didn't have barn doors, if you had a silver reflector dish and a grid, you could do the highlights with a silver reflector dish in a grid or if you had the silver reflector dish, you could put foam core over and making equivalent of barn doors for sharp highlights on either side um, appear maybe if you didn't have a silver reflector dish, you could use a snoop to make a highlight or even maybe a grated saw fox if you taped it off to make it a smaller light source I've used beauty dishes here if you didn't have a beauty dish you can use umbrellas which are inexpensive and easy to get a hold of if you didn't have that um I would also get maybe you could do silver reflectors something like that small silver reflectors might work on the back you could also use this new or a silver reflectors looks like you could make do with what you have so let's take a look at what it was like thank you alright so jill's very very famous shoot that she did uh it's really funny and kind of evil she take little kids give them lollipops and candy and then take it away and then photograph them and they're crying and they're hysterical and they're miserable and tears and they look so like absolutely under the world is coming it's really funny no that's bad of me to say that it's really funny um so anyway we're going to make becky here be really sad okay we're gonna test that she's always happy my issues like we're the happiest people I know ok let's do this okay look look sad perfect okay you will see in a second and dave can you turn down that back highlight a little bit just a little bit see becky's really, really sad and so what I would do is I'd look at this if she needs faked here is anybody gonna puncher just getting I think um okay so you can see those top highlights give her highlighter on the side of her face I think the highlight on the left is a little strong from turning it down and that's hop ah grated light I think should be stronger so dave can you lower it and this is what I do I set it up roughly and then I tweak I could turn up the power but I'm gonna bring it a little closer to her head and just lowered a little bit so what more of a halo above the ring lee is what's giving her that texture to her skin and then the last part of it is the the light room or photoshopping part if you look at her image is how they look kind of hdr ish is what you want to do is you want to pull out vibrance an increased clarity because what it does it makes the skin look cooler and then it gives it more texture so I take another look at this really said I think he's looking pretty cute here okay now make known I squish your face okay good it's a good space squish okay, so overall you'll see that this is very similar to her light and I'm just tweaking and following what she did and taking with the catch lights in the highlights and breaking it apart but that's very much her style it's very like dill when she photographs this light is um let's see how the free set that we kind of worked on um well the way the light is not some really serious light it's kind of cartoonish because there's so many highlights it's clearly fantasy so it looks almost like an illustration because nowhere in reality would you have that many light sources those crazy catch later great perfect and then lighten it up a little bit late up just a little bit and exposure uh maybe a little bit less you know, something like that you know and that looks kind of like her sounds a little bit dark and in the shadows there what yeah, I wanted her to set up she usually makes the background look a little bit blue like there's all these weeks but it isn't quite matter reason the catch late so people can see the catch late for me okay um so if you look closely at some of jill set up she'll have three four sometimes I've seen five or six catch lights alright so before we do measurements do we have any questions on that want to see and you guys right here do you have any questions on the overall look? It looks pretty similar right too we see the two ring lights reflected okay, yes. You see the two catch lights and then the ring light in the center you doesn't really look like a ring light you can barely see that actually is a ringling oh, I got it so the dirty dishes so those are the beauty dish and the ring light it's less about usually when you photograph for the ring late you're trying to get the catch light that's not really what it's about here for this it's about having a light source straight onto the camera so it kicks back and that's what gives her the highlights here see the texture in the forehead? You wouldn't get that with a light that isn't trying to reflect straight back in that's what's giving you those highlights and that's how her pick her subjects often looks shiny almost because of that ring light that's that's the quality of light that it's from and the beauty dishes really they are lighting her a bit, but they're more for interesting catch lights where is the ring light still the main source of light? You're a good little model backs okay, so questions you go into a photo shop and remove some of those cash lights where you actually like three or four catch lights good question, so do I remove those catch lights? It kind of depends, but I never dio me personally it was like in beauty lighting when there's two catch lights will do all the cosmetic campaigns I look at have two and three catch lights and that's ok for jill style for her particular, she leaves in tons because it makes it even more surreal. You never see those weird catch likes you never see that many catch like you'd never see lighting like that. You never see expressions like that. You'd never see texture like that. And so it actually just ups the fantasy level of it, even more so I would actually just leave it. Um and I would do what he's doing right now is back on that and he's actually creating a preset, you know, trying to mimic a little bit of the shape and there's more things I would do, but I would get a preset. I'm in light room and then every photo I'm shooting tethered would come in with that pre set so I can kind of see it then then I would tweak it later on to fit her cellar. What mark is like, the blacks are a little heavy right now. It's weak things, some question. Lindsay. So yesterday afternoon, like you said, our evening, I watched you actually do this, actually take that image and deconstructed and I wonder if you could actually talk a little bit more about looking at this image and what impact each of those lights is having because people are saying wow seven lights okay so as I look at it right now I see that on either side of her head she's got a right very crisp highlight so and that's that's what it looks like in her style in fact it's almost depending on the photo it's blown out even it is very bright but it's going to that fantasy so what I said is okay set the subject there and I actually set the back lights before I ever set the front lights when I was building us because those were the ones I could figure out pretty easily I knew that those sidelights were probably barn doors or it could be a light with the grid but I understand how to use it for indoors better so that's what I chose to use so I put the barn doors on either side I close them down and I have been a higher angle because if I had a low angle it wouldn't get the tops of her shoulders and it's part of the look I have it a little bit higher it gets the shoulders and the side of her face so I set those and I had that even so now I had to break highlights on the other side of the face but the hair is glow in her shots and so I could get a little bit from raising those lights up but it wasn't enough so I knew okay let's add another hair light straight from above and that's what gives you the glow in the xin kind of in the front of the hair you'd only get it on the sides not over the top without that hair light and so I'm assuming it's a grid because if it's too broad of a light source it would hit her nose and if it's too small like a snoot it might just get a little spot I was the one it's a kind of cover her whole hair so I decided to use a light with the grid to give it a little bit of focus and then on her backgrounds she usually has a bit of gradation basically if that light's not on it goes gray and she used as like a little spotlight kind of like a halo glowy again it's looking kind of cartoonish so I knew that that spot I could be I could use a snoot but I decided to use another light with a grid and I have it pointed up from the bottom so that's what gives it a greedy in versace of its pointed straight at the background it might just make a circle which if that's what you want to do that's fine so I pointed on the ground up and just kind of mimicking the sow that she had it's not flat in the background she basically gives the photo additional depths by adding a light on the background it's all about death and all this late and stuff so I've got the highlights on either side of the face the highlights in the top of the hair and highland in the background okay, now I've got to figure out a way on her face so those I just kind of all matched roughly the same exposure for the hair for the hair lights but I think we're going to take a measurement tell you I think it was around about fourteen something like that and by the way this is this is an example where last night we wrote down all of the apertures and we're testing it because if you're trying to set this up we set this up in thirteen minutes or something like thirteen minutes to set it up if I don't have any idea where to start it's going to take forever so least I could go oh wait it's not after eleven it should have been closer at fourteen so I could everything close and then I tweak so the next part was the main lights so all I did is I looked at the catch lights in the subject's eyes and I saw two umbrellas so I didn't have umbrellas and I could see that they're basically even distance and so I just set up tio vicious because it's the closest thing I had a soft box I would start to decrease contrast and lose some of that crunch and that it's it's not the same catch late she always has a point source catch lights so I put them even distances even height at one point I tried it a little bit lower um to make it a little bit flatter but raising it up can you see on her clavicles and she does have a little bit of directional light so it gave it a little more depth so I raise the late up a tiny bit and it was looking really flat and so what I realized is by taking the pictures is the pewter dishes aren't really doing that much it's more the ring light that's led on the face so I added the ring light to my flash and all it was it was changing the powers between these I would pump up the ring light so I'd get that sheen on her face and then realized too much bring light to flat dial it down a little bit and I was just bouncing back and forth between them and so I got roughly what I was looking for so it was definitely a process but I had my lovely team here so we could just like now that doesn't look like oh yeah that's closer that's closer and so he could finally get it to look just right so lindsay speaking of deconstructing the shot there's a question from stuck in texas who says can you two please take a shot with the ring light turned off so we can see the difference sure they've all right all right just make a funny face okay? We're gonna make a funny face was good good funny face okay and then funny face again hope's a doubleclick told on and see did double click no it's all right all right. Nice shot, becks I like it. Okay, so really there's not that much being added by those beauty dishes so there's not that much out of by the b dishes it's much more um added by the ring light but the beauty is more for the funky catch lights to be honest, I think is a little bit of shape to the face a little bit of shape to the clavicle is just not that much. Okay that's awesome. Thank you for showing us that great right, so should we do meter readings and stuff that sounds great. Okay. Yeah. And I do want to ask another question while you're doing that I'm not sure that's fun cool and let's k set this down all right so earlier have careful safety first for the ring so earlier in the last year we were seeing you blow out full in the background all wait now we start the white background but it's gone gray and you just explain again yeah okay how that's a cheese? Sure so there's there's not any lights specifically on the background except for that little halo so tears of the best way I can describe it is if I had her closer to the background and these lights were actually reaching the background it would light it. So if I turned off that backlight these lights are hitting it there's not enough water to reach the background so the background is a dry spot like when you see the shadow that I was talking about before so because these lights can't reach it no light hits it if it was white white when it looks dark is gray and if it has no light it's black so if I did want to try to light my background, I could either add alight to it where I could move everything closer instead of separating into planes and that's what I did by pulling it forward, I separated from the background so like isn't touching the background if you're running into a problem where men I wish my my white background would go gray and it's not try to move everything out away from it so it's not getting wet it's not getting lit or wet from these main lights from any of these main lights and if you notice also just as a heads up, you saw how little the beauty dishes were doing the beating dishes right now are really the only thing pointed straight at that background except for the ring light and the ring light is very small and very focused, so you're not really going to get that much illumination kicking back on the background and then the beauty dishes air turned down so low they're not lighting the background. So there's not really any water being tossed back that direction it's all being read at her and these are turned down low. We can take the readings out let's do really come on. We'll do readings here and davis just blocking. Oh oh, she have it. Okay, this one's four and a half so front left us four and a half front, right? Five o, um and one of the reasons that I change the outfit's a little bit different is one is silver and one is way. Okay, the back left barn door gun. So we'll say fourteen. Okay. Which one you going, harry? Okay, so fourteen on both fourteen on top. So that's, what I'm aiming for, right? Kind of equal highlights all the way around and the back fourteen in the back, so these lights right here our duty to turn down so low compared to everything else being fourteen these were like four or five o and then finally lets through the ring light real quick if you plug it in for me and to take my black light reading or my black like my ring light reading I'm just going to turn this off of her face okay, here we go and let's just take oh god right there, let me see where flee where I was data and I was shooting at ten. Perfect, yes, so it's like a tone I know depending on how close, by the way don't make a big difference if I move in for a tight shot, it'll be a lot brighter than if I step back for a fuller shot, so it has to adjust the power output because I'm shooting right now by the way, the signal one fifty macro lens so that I could get really really nice tight shots. Um and the one fifty is nice compression and because the problem is if I'm shooting a seventy, two hundred seventy two, two hundred felt like I had to back up too far. Then the ring light wasn't doing what I wanted so I can actually get and focus closer with a ring light if I have the macro lens on, which is why I switched the one fifty macro we did it let me tell you the reason I said that is because in our fifteen minutes it was like I clicked it and got it just right just says we're like and ron hey, so yeah, I mean, it takes a while to set up so I'm good with that it was next dave okay, so we're actually going to go over to the black set up and try something different, but I've got him have the move a lot of light so is there any way we can turn it directs some questions in the meantime, so you guys want to carry some lights over that way? Absolutely. And all. State where should I stand so that it's like, where is it? Stand okay, awesome that start in the studio audience. You guys have any questions? Well, we do online, okay? If you if you do have questions, just let us know. So adrian, far from england? Lindsay asked, when is too many lights too many. Where would you draw the line of adding more? Like so I never shoot with this many lights? It's not my thing, although, like I shot this like, this is really cool I want to do this now, um I never use that many lives, and by the way, this is why I said sometimes renting is a good idea because I mean, how do you know when people have that many lights not money for modifiers? I mean, some people do but not that many so I used to shoot with three but the more like it's gets kind of fantasy and get some surreal so if your style is fantasy and surreal, then maybe you need seven, eight, nine, ten lights um those one photographer I was just on um tour with names lou freeman and she photographed for playboy for a while and what she would do is she would have six seven one of her lighting setups that she did once had sixteen lights because we'll put this way she was waiting each thing carefully so she wanted ah highlights on every curve on one body I'm one person on and she showed the scene and one of the reasons to wizards mirrors in the scene so she instead of being with you is like a large soft axl ate the whole thing she had to use carefully placed light so you wouldn't get the reflections this was before they're really was photoshopped to fix that kind of thing. So you really kind of a general general question hard? Yeah now that isthe but appreciate your answer all right, we have a question from de creative what's a good substitution for a ring light if you're trying to get the same look or is there well there's something called a magnum lee um and it's it's a dish a circular dish that you could actually put directly above or on your camera because the most important part is that that's straightforward light they could see that reflection and texture and the skin that would be the best thing but there are several companies that make less expensive ring lights for this setup you would need to have a strobe I mean there's there's tons of one like stellar lighting systems I have gotten their constant ring light which is really an expensive like two hundred dollars but it's constant I need not constant I need two stroke to match the output so I know that quantum just came out with a ring light that it's really, really cool because you can actually flip it from strobe to constant and you can flip it from daylight to tungsten so you've got a whole bunch of different things in your stroke daylight tungsten sofa ring light something that you'd want that's probably the most versatile solution. I'm not sure of the price point. I just tried it out recently. Um but I know most friends and that's also a rental thing probably unless it becomes your style and then you buy it yeah, so lindsay the questions keep coming up about shooting a big apertures I I'd solace e r in l a photo both would like to know, like shooting at two point eight for example, the studio how do you deal with minimum stroh power being too strong without changing light subject distance? Sure, okay, so what that translates into is if you're trying to shoot it to pointing, ah lot of strobes, you try to turn them down and they don't let you shoot that low because it's still so bright, so you're trying to get two point eight and you can't get it part of what that has to do is the wattage of your lights. If you have a thousand watt lights and you're trying to shoot at two point eight, you probably won't be able to because the light has so much power output in there on that's what happens also with less expensive lights? Because my packs that I have right here are they go from, like one to ten, so basically one to one hundred tents of the stop, so I have a huge I have a ten stop range at tense of a stop so I can absolutely shoot that that's, you know, one of the benefits that's why a pack might be good versus ahead, but anyway, if you're trying to shoot and really wide apertures, I'd look into lights if you have mono lights that have lower wattage, so two fifty maybe would allow you to get closer to that that's why a lot of people also shoot constantly it's a cz well but then you don't have the same control for output so I would go something for trial like it two fifty won't give us much flexibility for trying to go on location in light a scene, but I would try that neutral density filter over the camera if you absolutely have to use that kind of power absolutely and neutral density they they doesn't change the color doesn't change the contrast of everything it just darkens everything down and they also have now for video variable neutral densities you could decide how much you want to cut those are expensive though, so at that point it's like by my lights I feel like they're like a thousand dollars for the variable like three to nine stop neutral density or something like that I could be totally making that up, but I'm pretty sure they're expensive for the very um lt's the ones that are like a three stop neutral density in general those air inexpensive there just filters that go on the front of your camera they actually do also make things that cut down on light for your light, your actual lights taking put gels that are neutral and just cut down on light but e I guess you could do that as well we needed to

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.

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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!!!