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Creative Studio Lighting

Lesson 8 of 12

Sideways Clamshell Lighting

Lindsay Adler

Creative Studio Lighting

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

8. Sideways Clamshell Lighting

Lesson Info

Sideways Clamshell Lighting

Now we're gonna do a totally different lighting setup and this one is interesting because it is flat light so we're going to totally different direction for this particular it's let me help them move some stuff real quick thanks guys all right, so let me let me describe this what we're going to do in this set up what is required what you need our two even size soft boxes he doesn't really matter which soft boxes you have because different ones they're going to make different effects if you have to strip banks is a lot of people have to strip banks because they're going through back even highlights those actually worked great for this. What you do is I called this sideways clamshell so we're going we might covered clamshell is usually one light above one light below well now I haven't sideways so it side by side on the person's face so this is completely flat light. What I do is I put the two soft boxes side by side in fronts and I have a narrow slit to shoot through. I shoot through a ...

very small opening and what that does is it creates completely flat light on the face but really cool, funky catch lights and that's what I like, I'm really shooting it for the catch lights that's why also it looks cool with strip banks as well because we'll have kind of two sets of vertical small catch lights on dso I'm goingto recommend even size soft boxes and even power it's kind of what you're going for there and I am going to also light my background white because this is a high key setup usually high key set up is because it's so what we're saying you're trying to achieve happy, bright, high key that means no shadows flatter, light less drama and so for me, if that's what's going to be flat like that, I'm gonna let the background as well to match, so let's raise us up a little bit since she's sitting up on a high stool good and I know you guys might appeal to see this, but I'm going to shoot through an opening like that big and I put the lights really close to her face so on with this even closer and I'm going to make her probably feel somewhat awkward, but like in the best way, right? We're making art here and it's going to almost look like cat eyes perfect, we like it because she has light blue eyes, so this is going to look even better because they're just glowing, glowing, light blue one thing, if anybody has a lens where maybe your shooting ah fifty and you can't quite figure out why it's not working fifty millimeter lens has a wider field of view and so you might be trying to shoot and because of fifty millimeter will have a wider field of view than, say, a seventy or two seventy, two hundred you might not be able to cut out the edges of the soft boxes so when you're shooting this I recommend trying to shoot with a little bit longer lands I think in eighty five years you works well my seventy two hundred usually works pretty well but if you're using the seventy, two hundred something you might want to make sure you change is often on the side of these lenses they have a full and a limit you guys seen that? Okay, I'm on the side of lenses like seventy two hundred's there commonly used by sports photographers so when they put them on lim what the limit is saying is okay in the first two and a half meters in front of me I'm shooting sports I don't care about the heads of the fans in front of me don't focus on those and screw up on ly focus past two and a half meters so it actually helps you focus faster and it doesn't confuse your camera but if you say don't focus closer than two and a half meters and I'm shooting here you will never be able to find a focus so that's what you usually want to switch it to full if you're shooting portrait's limit officiating sports and I see that all the time like I can't figure out this lighting setup usually it's what's your lens is switched on I didn't have to take a reading of this for me and just notice like yeah, I can click a few times and figure out the reading but I would think it's nicer to be even remotely close and then I can tweak from there all right someone you're good ah minute twelve seven that's fine with me and that should be pretty good for that background. Awesome and let me take a look I might I say twelve seven and I don't change my camera to twelve seven let me see let me change that back say say that and then I don't even pay attention to what he just said I'm gonna open this up just a little bit more and for this because it's meant to be high key because mints we hae ki I'm going to shoot instead of twelve seven went over expose it cut it's meant to be over exposed a little bit so let's shoot it which I have ten on this one take a look at that so it's very glowy and is there a way could you please presuming on catch light center eyes you think, daria so what it will do is it almost create a cat eye and it'll create like a little split down the middle but the reason I was saying do we have any cool sunglasses is this isn't really relevant to this exact shot but if you wanted to do a loki version like say you wanted to do this for a guy what I have done for guys is instead of using soft boxes used to strip lights in the front okay? The reason is the soft boxes or broader so they wrapped around the face more and give even soft lighting all the way around but for guys usually went a little bit of a harder edge so when you take two strip banks it's narrower and it doesn't wrap around so they'll have more defined jawline light doesn't wrap around their faces much so what I'll do for guys I'll put them in cool ribbons or whatever aviators and then you get these two like racing stripes more or less in the sunglasses and I'll use that to make an interesting photo and I'll shoot on black um they're these lights that I have they're called late bars that um franklin make sure you grab me a light bar back so I'm just gonna show them late lor and these air very very high end awesome modifiers this is something you would likely rent um what it does it is a gorgeous mix between a strip bank you know the soft boxes and barn doors because the actual light itself, the tube or the light is a tube, so you get even illumination like a strip bank, but it has barn doors on the front and you could just bring it over. I'm going to show you one. I've gotten really cool pictures when I lined up to these side by side because it will give you more or less the racing stripes, all right? And we face it towards them so they can see so actual light itself is a two I like those nice is that's, good that's how I feel about it, and and becks just said me too. This is her favorite because what you usually use this for is amazing control for even highlights on the for beauty shots. It is definitely might when my feet was my favorite back room light, but it's also more expensive, but that's not usually how it works, but any way you can focus it down and then create kind of racing stripes in the eyes. So I mean, maybe I could take one more beauty shot here, so you can see and I think the lights or maybe a little low, because that center is more or less even with her face, and you can tell bye see, you can see the shadows under her eyes a little bit like right there it's more because it's kicking up so you can actually see this whatever that is you can actually see in the photo just a little bit barely so I'm gonna results up just a tiny bit and it's supposed to be flat so I'm not trying to go for, you know, huge about a directional light start one more like that good I'll take yeah, so you'll see now it's probably a little bit more directional see anyone over expose one more half stuff there you go. Okay, so watch the directional light change if you can watch it when it switches, you see a little bit more shadow underneath your chin and a little bit more direction so it's it's a little more shape to her face and then if I put the there's different results, different effects and let me just do the, uh that they're not super edgy sunglasses were dissembling of this he's wouldn't be the edgy sunglasses that I would choose okay and look up good and had a little bit too sorry the other one right there. So imagine the strip lights with a guy you'll see just two gigantic highlights on the face and in the glasses, so it's cool it's interesting if you don't have to even size soft boxes, you won't get the catch lights in the eyes because if you use umbrellas, it's not the same effect. It's just different quality of light, but if you're just looking for the really large flat light on the face like this, if you have a large octa box or soft box, if you can boom it out more or less just right over your camera, it'll give you that same flat light, if you like the flat light look, the reason that I like this, if there's anyone out here who doesn't do fashion so you're like, okay, it's, nice and flat, light boot. Who cares what I use it for? All the time was photographing children here's why? Um, if I have these lower to the ground, right and I had that little slit in between, um well, there's, a couple reasons was really good. First of all, no matter where they turned, the light looks good because it's a giant wall of light, which is super, I'm not good at directing children. Look, I'm not very good at that, so was great. I could just click it no matter where they ran to. It was good light on their face, but the other thing that was really nice is because they're just a little split in between it's more or less boxing them in okay it's like keeping them that way and they're not confused they're not looking for mom or dad what we would do is we have the lens between those two slits and so all they can see a bit of a person is my lens where I am so they're looking at me most of the time and then I would use I had this little puppet that was a dog and when you embarked on old macdonald whatever but I would take that and if I could put it right above or below my lens that's all they see because they just see banks of light and so they're looking up and then little kids sitting down looking up they're catching all that light in their eyes and it's just big glossy huge catch lights it looks great on kids so if you photograph kids and I've ever like the light's never good or they're running around they're not paying attention I found that this one save me a lot of hassle and I got some really nice shots I tend to like it however in black and white so they're going to shoot in black and white just to show you these are this is for beauty but it's also if he wanted to do maybe ah high key headshot so I'm gonna have you no glasses for good I'm gonna have you d'oh a smile picture looking a giggle get those perfect as a perfect giggle shot okay we'll see you in a second and so this is a good kind of high key portrait now nice clean looks good in high key black and white something like that and any modifications you have for whatever modifiers you have it's fine um go for soft box strip banks those usually worked better than like the two beady dishes doesn't do the same thing yeah I mean I'll give you flat light but then you just have to point source catch lights versus large illumination on the eyes it'll work if you're just going to the flat light part of it just the catch lights won't match what is the smallest soft box that would work with this set up um you could use really small soft doctors like um I had twenty eight inch square ones that worked fine but then you just can't zoom too much further back and you're gonna have to have those lights really really close theater thing is don't unless it's for kids this doesn't look good full length because it is just flat light so far back you mitch mr catch lights and it's just flat there's definitely a high key happy headshot photo and that's that's all it really is good for um but yeah smalls offices are fine just the bigger it is it's easier to get the gigantic catch lights what did you say again? One more quick question from photo maker again, what types of clients would do usually have this type of flat lighting for? I've used it for head shots, right? And I've used it for children, right? And I've used it for beauty, so any and all of the above, and I've also used it for male portrait, but that's when I had the stadium like bars to create a kind of the the interesting highlights, and then the light bars because they're so focused will have ah, kind of more rugged edge of the face, and you could actually add to back room lights like we had in the beginning so that the jaw lines carved out. But then you got the two strip lights in the front, so it makes for interesting catch lights and highlights I just makes him match everything so lindsay's some questions are coming in about speed lights, photos by fry would like to know if you can do the same thing with speed lights and then code talker asked about speed lights in the soft boxes if you can create the same look yes, okay, how's that that's a great answer. Yeah, I liked that, uh, there's there's, lots of modifiers for soft boxes, and it would be the exact same thing you just might not be able to well, I mean, you'd have to have one, two, three? You mean you have to have budgets relates, but I have a bunch of strobes, so something okay, okay, so you guys are going on this one? E j what's up next. Okay, yeah. Wanna grab those for me? All right, so what we're going to do in this one is going to be another beauty set up, and so we're gonna unstrap you for a second. See, it works like she doesn't think she can get up likes little kids like freaked out or they just runnin topple on everything. But you use sandbags and then you hope that they don't topple on everything. Ideally so, lindsay, if you had those soft boxes and you put one above and one below that's the clamshell, okay? Since yeah, instead of doing the soft boxes side by side, if you do them like this, that would be clamshell. Um wait, before you go, I just set it up. It's easy enough to do okay. This want to see what the clamshell top and bottom looks like. So I might as well set that up. What you would need is you would ideally want to have one of these on a boom are, but I don't right now, so just keep that in mind okay, so we're just gonna do that while I have it set up because he might as well so while I'm doing this if you want to grab what I need for the next one okay? So ideally the top one which is going to be this one you want it on um a boom arm so I'm going to raise this up I don't have it on boomer yeah it's okay, as long as he doesn't fall on her like all right, so let me give you a little discussion about clam shell here. Um could we have a floor stand for anything like that? All right, I'm gonna I'm gonna support here and talk about clam shell for a second. All right? Clamshell is a very generic term used for when there's a main light above and I feel like below what you can do every combination of clam shell light you can imagine so let me give you some examples okay most commonly would I've used is a beauty dish above to define the lay on the face and the light below the chin I would use a silver reflector that's like the most common of my clamshell light and base the reason's called clam shows it's like this is a clam and their heads a pearl in the middle basically uh so we've had beauty dish with a silver reflector and magazines a lot I see beauty dish and a light bar or a strip bank underneath, you'll see like a circle within a circle and then a little strip below the eyes. I've also seen beauty dish with a mirror. The mirror actually becomes its own light source because it's so reflective. So I've seen that, um I've also seen soft box above soft box below soft box above silver reflector below I've seen silver reflector dish and silver reflector dish, so this is how I would this is how I would figure out what you want to do seances every combination, your main light, the one that's above you used that to figure out what type of contrast you want. So if you want more contrast and more dramatic clamshell, maybe use a silver reflector, maybe with a grid on their face or if you wanted to be really soft and kind of organic feeling you would use a soft box above and then that bottomley you define how you want the shadows. Look how filled in you want those shadows, and it kind of depends what you want to catch light to be. Do you want it? Justo kick like catch late in the eye and leave it dramatic on the face, or you're trying to fill it in nice and soft and kind of flatten it out more or less. So I've done every combination of everything the biggest thing that you want to be careful of okay can you raise this one up a little bit more someone field actually shoot through that that's why boom arm over um what you want you want to do is be really careful that your bottom light is not stronger than your top like the reason that people mess this up is because when they plug it into a pack or they look at the back of the head's the heads will say the same power output it'll say six so above and six o below or whatever it may be a fifty you know fifty per cent you know power fifty percent power below but the problem is and clamshell usually the one on the bottom is actually closer than the one that's half so the fact that it's closer with inverse square law or the bucket is it's getting more water from below and so you'll get bottom light and so a lot of people aren't really perceiving that there is a difference so you've got to make sure you either meter or just know you've got to turn off the top light turned down the bottom light if you want to be flat try to get them metered so they're even if you want a lot of drama on the face for just a little bit of phil you might make that top light stop and a half brighter than the bottom like just a little bit of phil so this is going to be my, uh very little itty bitty space to shoot through um normally what you do is you boom this out over and I don't usually use soft boxes this big my go to setup would be beauty dish and silver reflector or beauty dish and a light bar something like that I'd just say I've seen the light bar use a ton and cosmetic ads recently so let's try this, okay? So we're going to be really creative here and I'm gonna have him just hold it because it's like they have floor stands I get lower but I didn't ask for one I didn't know see that light activated voice activated light stands like those things there super convenience okay, but notice where he is see how that is definitely closer so if I have them both at six so it will absolutely be and I can take a shot of that and show you if you want to see like it's roughly the same okay and a little bit lower dave and I didn't even meet this I'm not even sure we'll just guess here okay, chin down oh, and I've got a hold on black and white again, okay o give me an error can't say tried again same thing dave a little are so when you look at it it's gonna pop up in a second I'm thinking it's not super bottom light, but it's pretty flat and you see that shadow underneath the left eye to the shadow underneath the left eye. The reason you're seeing that shadow is because the light on the bottom is a little stronger because if it were filled from above, you wouldn't see it that shadows actually up, not down. And even if it's not majorly bottomley it's still is there. So what I want to do is turn this down right now. It's on was it ok? We'll turn it down to turn turn them to five so what I'll do is I'll use the main light to define the light on her face. It's nice that it's above causes going to casts nice shadows and shapes and it'll keep that nice and low good look, they're right, and so you'll see it's gonna change a little bit, click over uco, it's it's more flattering on her face that way. But what I want you to notice is this late has very little contrast because you have to soft boxes. It's okay, I mean, expensive what you're going for, um and so what I used to do is I usually d'oh beauty dish with a silver reflector or a silver dish. So I'm gonna have you do one more of those, and I'm going to turn this way down, turn it down. And so right now I would say it started off where they're both a doe okay, this one was a tow. This one was nine o now they rado and now I'm going to try to make it so this one's five six like, keep going darker and darker and much lower a little lower, good chin down a little look, all right, so you'll see, and I only bring it up just a tiny bit more than a little so goes very, very soft and it's more like it doesn't look all that different than the sideways clamshell just flipped on it like it's, not all that different. So if you zoom into the catch lights in her eyes, it's somewhat similar, but you don't want them completely flat, and even when you're going from above, you want a little bit of shape, so you'd have that bottom light not a strong fritz of that, like using the soft boxes is really soft, really feminine there I like more contrast, so I would use a bt dish above.

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!!!