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Creative Studio Lighting

Lesson 7 of 12

Snoots and Gels

Lindsay Adler

Creative Studio Lighting

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

7. Snoots and Gels

Lesson Info

Snoots and Gels

We are going with totally unexpected, different solutions involving a wide range of different model fires, someone and so forth, so basically, I'm just going to get started. Um, all right, so what we're going to do right now is yet again, drama, but on a high key background so what we're gonna do, we're gonna light the background light white, like normal, but I am going to go for a tighter headshot, okay? And I would like my male model sees through switching up and what I have on here, I'm gonna point this towards the camera, which queer? Which camera? Don't point the stores? Okay, stacy, right? That'd be perfect, or I'm gonna rotate this towards the camera. I want the camera to take a look at what it is. What I have here is a snoot and a snoot. Like I said, it was kind of your your spotlight or your funnel, more or less for focusing the light and what we've used here is something called cinna foyle, and I should do that before it's basically, black tinfoil comes in sheets, but it mens...

in any shapes that you wanted to, you could slice it on, and it doesn't get hot or melt that's the key, because I didn't know that cinephile existed, so I would try to do something like this, where I was using foam core and gaffer's tape until everything melted at first that smell good like popcorn, and then it didn't smell good like five corn anymore, so it's definitely get some of this stuff. It comes in all different sizes, but what I have here is I've crafted it to be a tiny little slit, okay, a little opening, um, reason I selected a snoot is because how a snoot works is it focuses the light and because it's focusing it closer to the edge of that light, it'll give me more crisp of a highlight. So I'm gonna have you take a seat and I'm actually going to do a dramatic head shot with you here. So the first thing I'm going to dio try not to get crazy tangled here, let's test this, right? The first thing I'm gonna do is I'm not going to use this new I'm just going to get a regular shot of his face and just make sure it's in silhouette that's all I'm trying to do for right now. Yes, I see a little bit of a potential disaster here hey, dave, I'm a little tangled and might have you help me, all right it's closed in a little bit, okay, so more or less this is more or less um it's going to be a silhouette it's closed if you look at it you know the problem is this wall over here is giving me a little bit of a pill but good enough okay, so the next part is introducing this new you get your silhouette and you introduced this new and it's going to have to be much much closer than you think okay you're going to put that highlight right of did I just tingle myself even more get get it perfect I'm gonna put this new really close to his face all right do you see that little highlight opening and it's easy it's gonna be awkwardly close into that and I'm trying to put that highlight on his eyes even though you can see how narrow it is because of how this late works because of how any lights work it's not going to be when you actually shoot that narrow the light does spread out a little bit so you'll steal the scene a second I'm gonna have to adjust the power of my light so that it will match so if I'm shooting right now like a fourteen for that background I'm going to try to make that little bit of light coming out of the snoot b about it fourteen so let's take a shot right here first okay not even close can you pump that way way up from the bus uh wrong oh it's that light that's why okay can you pump that up what's in it ok ok can you put it up is that the light that its people and keep going all right so may I have our meter please I'm going to try to meet her to be close and I'm gonna need it more than that right so let's take a quick meter reading on his face okay and I think I would be okay it's gonna be closer enjoy this okay all right there you go super nice and awkward ok good. So give me a little reading right there yeah just uh well twelve seven ok not bad not bad let's give it a try and twelve seven let's try it and of thirteen and felix treated me okay, good. Now look to the light look into it good and just be totally serious for a sec all right? So now if you look over there behind is going to flip to the next one okay? You can get a really, really dramatic portrait um the closer you bring this newt to his face the smaller that slip will become the further back that you bring it, the more spread out it will become which is another interesting portrait cause what you khun dio is if instead of having it go across his eyes you slip it vertically and back it up it'll more or less put a light on his face. And so what it will be is highlight on the background silhouette around his face and then a highlight in the center. So this works well for interesting kind of celebrity portrait stuff, musicians, things like that. So I'm gonna actually flip it to black and white just to show you it looks a little bit more interesting in black and white for me. Someone shoot one more of those just like that. All right, you have to be serious. I'm sorry. Sorry. You agree? Happy it's. Nice. Have he's good. Okay, and shin down a little. Get rid of her little higher it's. Like right there. Sick look at that. And if you photograph him straight on because the lights turned to the side, we'll get a shadow from his nose so that so I'm going to turn him back. Slight ready, and I'll look into the light right there on its little movements. I think that just write that. And then I would do one more words pulled further back vertically. If I can do this thing, rotate way. Go. Okay, so look straight onto me. Perfect. Just like that. See great, I have to open up troops moved up a little bit right there, has that ticket close on a little and so I just tweak more or less I just do this tweet back and forced let's check this next one and can we make the big black and white one pop up let's try one more lot will be the next one yeah something like that and so did I not I didn't give you a j peg to make it go black and white I was trying to make it pop to the j p because right now it's auto correcting to the color so let me just out of j peg if anyone's following that what I'm saying is right now I want to show you how I would shoot it which would be black and white and because it's in light room it's auto converting it to the correct color and I wanted to be black and white that's what I'm trying to demo you so let me to see if I can he changed this this is coming from such and in bakersfield california who asked doesn't moving this nude around change the exposure and would you have to okay you want to say that it doesn't no no it's okay really fun okay so let me as I tweak I'm going to give you quick story and then I'm going to give you an explanation whenever I'm in my studio when I set up a fashion shoot I'm making up my light pretty much every time I'm just like let's, try something new I'm going to use new modifier I'm going to use a new ratio of lights I'm going to use makeup it's new highlight anything on and it's all made up like I'm not looking at grams I'm not looking and making it up so what? I usually dio started my chute have my assistant sit there on a test and I tweak it a test and I speak in a test and I shoot probably for a good twenty minutes before I get the light right and then I switched the model over even if she's like halfway through makeup and I tested on her to see if it looks okay and then I let her finish her hair makeup for them we shoot and usually what I dio is all shoot the model maybe three four different ways I'll sit around with my team and we'll look at it and figure out which one we like best so one of the commons before the break was like they like seeing real life is completely true like I will tweak for twenty minutes but more or less once I get it that its sign and it stays but things like that if I want to move the light back as they move the light back it will get dimmer so I need to do one of two things I need to power up the light or I need to open up the aperture on my camera. But here's, the difference is between the two. If I open up the aperture on my camera, the background will look lighter because I'm letting more light in all over the place into the background might actually start to wrap around and actually get kind of blown out. Highlight so ideally what you would do if you had to move it back far enough and you want to pump up the power you change it on the pack because in the ratios will stay the same that's what's changing if I back it up and I open it up now the background in comparison will look much brighter. So those are the things you need to figure out whether you want to change it on camera or change it on your packer on your head depends on how much it's affecting the ratios of the light, including the background. Well said it. Thank you, let's. Try this again now, so it won't auto correct. Here, that's okay, we'll leave it for their treachery there. Ok, good. Let's, try this one on for this, but in the middle. Okay, good. There we go. Okay, so it is not, but chris pilot, you would probably expect from the opening, but it's your cnn but it still makes for an interesting dramatic portrait something a little bit different the closer you move the late to the subject the more crisp it will be the further back that you move it the more diffused it will be says I want a closer more dramatic you've got to move it really really close try one more okay, I like this one this looks like kind of like a mirrored water reflection I feel like this next one looks like if maybe it was a swimmer sienna second looks kind of like a reflective water pattern on his face so it makes for an interesting photo you can cut out circles and shapes and all that stuff okay, but as you can tell still a little finicky and I can't get that chris blind that I'm trying to get if you want to go the cheap solution is what you do you try to make that hole is crisp and this small as possible but if you have money or if you want to rent there is another tool made specifically for that so can I have the pico spot? Okay awesome. So the pico spot projector is what is made for this purpose it is functions kind of like a for now light meaning it focuses there's actually a light uh lens in the front here so depending on how I dialled this I can focus what it's projecting and what you d'oh this specific one right here that I have is the bronze colored peak alight with pico spot projection um and what you do is you get apertures which you put in it and actually what it is on its own see if I can hook it to this son I can actually see what I'm doing can you ever gone all right? So what it actually is is if this is just the light it is a regular light but you add this to it and it's a lens in it if you guys can see all right and so that makes it kind of like a snoot but then at the end of the street remember how I said the reason I like this new is because it kind of meets at a point and then I can project that well this goes ten times further by putting a lens at the end that I can focus so you would get this adapter the bronze color one is the speaker pico spot projection projection and goes on a peak alight um pro photo has the multi spot same idea so what you do is you buy these and by default it kind of has a circle but you can buy apertures and so right now this will project a circle on his face do you have one of those perfect or what you do is you can go to be an age or whatever place you shop, and these are roscoe go, boz, okay, would they usually use them for his theatre when they want to make it look like there's leaves or a window in the background? They projected up on the background that's like the the theatre for now, lights that they would have. So you buy these and they have them in every shape pattern you can imagine there, blake sixteen or twenty dollars or something depending on what spot you have, there's two sizes there's an a and a b just make sure you buy the right size for the projector you get. Um, and also there are lots of websites where you can have custom ones made I don't maybe you have a client who wants an edgy shoot with their logo projected on their face. I don't know, but it exists. If you wanted something, I once saw a really cool when they cut out a merriment marilyn monroe face, that would be cool, like for fine art nude, I think like to project that on the back or something? I don't know getting creative, right? Um, one of the questions I get all the time is what's the difference with this and using a projector like an actual projector for projecting up on a wall, there is actually a really completely different quality of life it's very different so first of all, a lot of times, even with high end projectors, you'll see picks elation you'll see kind of a little ragged edges and then also its output of light so I can have this be a crisp spot on the face where it's really I can make it be f sixteen to match in f sixteen background so it's easier for me to do light on the face to rim lights on either side like the background I can actually integrated into my studio set up, whereas it's much harder to do that if I want a project on the face with a projector, if I just want to do a projection like take a picture of water and grab my normal projector and projected on the subject and put them up against a background that's fine and I've done that before, but it's a different look I've shot several beauty campaigns where it was shot like this because the quality of light had to be chris so what's actually see how this works in action put this back on take him in to fiddle with good perfect hi dan okay, okay, so there's one place on this head that you put the aperture in we go and so I don't have you guys and see what can you see how it now it projects a circle on his face okay? And at the very end I can focus that circle or make it more diffused you're bigger or smaller than we goes pretty crisp the closer I bring it more crisp it will be all right so let's take a shot like that and it can I have ah meter reading event because otherwise I have no idea where it's at that's why I'm taking you don't even have an idea of where to start with double check okay, but that's perfect it was at ten and I am at half ten perfect okay, so great at me. Okay, so give me an idea and this is what and don't this is a little place highlight, but we'll we'll be tweaking it. So I used to see these campaigns that people would do for beauty where there would be like a slit down the I and I tried to do it and I couldn't do it or I'd see like patterns or one of my favorite photographer's solvej sons bow he has this entire shoot that he did if you look up it's soul they and just now it's just like fashion editorial of something he did these beauty slash nude shoots where they had these forms they're called kind of curled up and they had polka dots projected on them and stripes but you can tell it's not done with the projector it's just different quality of light this is how he did it and the only reason I figured this out is one day it was slipping through brown color catalog I'm like why did no one tell me about this um so it is really cool and I could bring the light really close to focus okay I'm gonna blind you all right and let's close down my leg a little bit it was going to guess on this one okay so you're able to see you khun get really cool and graphic and edgy here and let's throw in a global they're so cool I mean imagine what you want to do the one that that becky's um backing my my assistant and she wants she's beauty what she was going to do is something where perhaps you put makeup on the lips the toilet's actually dave wanted to do that and becky wants to do polka dots I mean like it's cool because the light itself inspires a shoot and it's not often that that happens but how the light functions actually inspiring for how they want to shoot so let's take out these apertures come with the light let's just take a look at another one so we're gonna put this one in can its line pattern e stuff you know just randomly picked it sixteen dollars okay, perfect. Alright, good and right there is great and let me open up a little see found a little closer. You can't exactly see what it does until it's all done let's try this and see if I can focus it a little bit. There we go. So now I know if you could see it went from being really soft lines you see in that shot to now I've been able to focus it to razor sharp and it's based on the distance of that and lens and I don't know, I just twist it until it looks better so that it looked really cool try one more of those perfect. Okay, so the question comes down to for any of the lighting setups that I'm doing in the afternoon. Its overall utility like what do you use this for? Are no depends what you want, it's cool so you guys can see in that one and you can rotate it and I can pull it back and I could have it light whole upper body what I'm what I'm thinking that the next time I'll use this for would be for fine art nudes were the next time I use this, so I got it focused let's try this and I'm going to have to open up a bit more or turn up my late take a look yeah and you back it up and it doesn't work anymore so I would say would have to just be really close like that all right so we've got a spot projection on the face of like that one um what I'm going to do now is show you how I'd modify it maybe for a cool women's beauty shoot okay so I won't have you step out for a moment may have are you alright so to go over as a summation I lit the background at around asked me to take a seat right here I let the background at around half eleven it's f fourteen and then I use this light and tried to put it around f eleven f or two king but because the person is far enough out from the background they're not getting any spill in that previous shot so they go silhouette and the only thing on their face are the projections you want to use a peak of spot projector you can use the apertures that come with it or you can get the roscoe go boz and I think the ones for the brawn colors or size eh and anything that you want so let's take a look at a beauty set up I'm going to do here before you do that I just wanted to give you a little shout out from somebody in the chat room called number one fan underscore ma I knew my mom says thanks for taking good care of my daughter. She loves you guys. Well, thanks, mom way love lindsay a cz well, I knew it was my mom my mom checks in at least once every created thing she does especially the time where it was retouching my dad she was trying to protect dad because I was re touching my dad's double chin who's in front of how many tens of thousands of people it was funny. Hi, mom. I haven't seen mom in a while because I've been traveling, so try to see her soon. All right? I'm gonna put my aperture back in ok? So I have a couple of things here that I'm sharing that I haven't done yet and I want teo so I've got two things that I'm teaching you today that I'm just this is candid I've never used them before in my life, but they're things I've been meaning to do so I learned how to do them so I can use him later and share it with you before I even do it so here's one of them I saw this shot where there's all these gels on the subject's face but then they were lit perfectly with regular, you know, regular daylight balance light on their face so trying to figure out how they're gels and how you would get that focus and I was like right has to be a pico spot. In other words, it was lit correctly with regular light here and then gels everywhere else. So what I have is I'm going to take to silver reflector dish is I'm just a regular silver reflector dishes, and in them I have ten degree grids, so I'm trying to focus. I don't want the lights to go everywhere I'm trying to get focused grids, and then I've added gels and I just picked colors and layered whatever I wanted in other words, there's, no rhyme or reason, I just wanted to have a blue and a pinkish joan because I thought it would look cool. All right, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to let her face with a gel, and I will have them lower powered so that when I have the peak was spot on her on the face, when I have that light turned up higher, it will overpower the gels. So where that pico spot is, it'll only show the light from the pico spot, and the jos won't turn that an odd color, so I'm going to just place thes and we're going to let me see if it's true about the modeling like here, um I'm just saying exactly what I would do honestly I would just figure it out like I'm not I'm not that's helpful or not but this is what I would do it go okay let's see you got a jill over here and I got my pink joan and now let's put the pico spot kinda in the middle of her face and I'm gonna turn off the back lights you guys unplugged the back light so I'm gonna shoot it right now against black I think and I'm just going to give it a test and I do know roughly what my nico spot exposure was kept in the same places before so now I'm just trying to do is figure out if these air overpowering then I'll turn him down if they're not strong enough we'll pump them up I'm going to try to get a nice circle in the middle of her face let's test this started this and I'm definitely I was shooting black and white that would be totally relevant to everybody let's switch this back okay okay so I think my blue is too strong we turn down my blue for me it'll be the next one that shows up uh yeah do something like that and I'm looking and this one over here my uh my pink is not strong enough so I'm gonna bring it in because I could do that bringing it in or turning it up let's test that okay, okay. I'm liking what that's getting closer to what I want take a look you see in the next one and by the way everybody when I'm all said and done I'm going to take measurements of everything to letyou know power output but this is more or less this is what I do could you add a jo onto that back and grab any color you want? I don't know if you have a grid but I'm thinking I'm looking and her hair is blending in so how about I add hair light from behind I build and this is what my sheets look like like who I want to randomly pick another color that doesn't look like pink alright it's addison hey and I have to layer multiple colors maybe like green because I think those air to light so right now they're grabbing yellow but the yellow so thin I'm guessing it won't really hold the color that's more of like the yellow oranges tend for me to be more like color correction something like maybe a green or it's hell yeah hell, like tried greens and blues mixed so I'm gonna let that and I can see right now already if I shoot it without um without telling it you'll see a hair light and right now it's gonna look really, really bright but because I don't have the gels on it when I put gels on it it's going to cut down the exposure by a significant amount so let's lairson gels on there and she's added a grid add ingrid's cuts down on light let's add some more how you doing? Oh it's warm okay? Is that a good thing or bad thing? It's a thing that's the thing again all right, so it's just that right there is perfect thank you and I want to maybe bring that bring that purple and just a little bit more a little bit brighter little bit sicker ok and you might have to bring in a little closer it's tried green I blind you guys and she's just a little okay, maybe something like this and I'm thinking it's is going to think for a couple but I'm thinking instead of green eventually I would maybe turn it's it's hell so it all stays in the same kind of hughes and I'll probably lower my life just a little so it's hitting her lips a little more s o I'm likely great they're a header sticker lift your chin up a little bit, some thinking something like that and I'm definitely planning on doing this here we go, this will be good I'm definitely planning on doing this for the fashion editorial and how I would think about doing it is that would light the blue on one side, the purple on the other and the teal in the background, and that I wouldn't match her makeup to those hughes. So maybe the makeup would be teal makeup with pink lips or something like that. So you used the colors of the gels to tell this story, and I think I'd also turn up this main light on her face, just a tiny bit overpower that was let's share. One more. See, there you go. All right, so what I did just then is they felt like you could see a little bit too much purple on her face. So by turning up my main light, the pico on her face, I make that brighter. So went from f eleven deaf thirteen, so I had to close down after team, but I didn't change into the other lights, so those stained, darker, so something like that. So this is my creative pico spot there, and if you want to switch it up and add a pattern on her face, you can, um, but I'm thinking this would be a color based beauty editorial, hands matching colored jewelry, maybe gems, something like that, because the gems will pick up any color that are on it, so even if they are um crystal gems they'll become blue or they become pink because we'll take on the qualities of whatever is illuminating them so it'll actually be a picture all about color harmony based on the gels okay dave will you take some measurements so we can give people some numbers what other kind of questions related to this are there I'll try to give some numbers here so lyndsey have a question from bell and I'm not sure how much you want to get into the inverse square law but that would like to know how does the white background come out black in the photos okay simply my bucket doesn't have enough water to reach my throw that far was it because right now I have a noodle and my noodle head such a little stream it's just eating her face with it but it did figure more specifically basically by the time the light reaches the background I'm exposing for her face the light so close I have to show like shoot out like I'm shaking like a fourteen whereas if I wanted that background to be lit I have to put a light on it where I would they wouldn't match it's going to go solid black so yeah bucket this's off topic but if you wanted to soften the edge of the pico spot it's I can't see it because the report you could on you can focus on one focus it d focus it I'm seeing which direction I'm not sure if I'm going the right or wrong direction, but I can't seat over the gel let's test this I don't know if this guy I think this got softer wanted either way, that u turn it will get softer one of those directions. The other thing is, if you want it, they get harder, softer. I can't say that for I'm a bit smaller, okay, so if you could bring it closer to make it smaller and then unfocused it to make it softer. Cool guess, um, as a side note, if you're wondering what I'm doing this, I have really bad eyesight. So, like, I'm looking over there and, like, I have no idea, even though it's in the back of my camera and I could just look, they're probably make more sense. Hey, what other questions related to that? All right, well, this is one from scottish who has scott in tennessee. Would you ever use a pico spot on a boom to center the spot on the face and shoot from under the spot? Yes. So basically what you're saying is if because of where she is that is not a perfect circle because I have the light off to the side so it's going to kind of wrap around or features and it won't be perfect circle but if I try to get the light as a perfect circle it's going to be in the way of my camera so if I'm boom and out on a boom arm right over top of my lens, then it will be a perfect circle and honestly, that's what I plan on doing for my editorial when I shoot it save it boomed out I want a perfect circle just around her lips in her eyes and then everything will play with the colors I change and where I put her hands so let's just try it when I moved in front a little bit try right there ish take a look keep your hand up girls off there good and a little bit more to the right there. Good. See if that worked. Okay, good. You'll see. And this is with the d focused or unfocused projection in the middle so can you can kind of see the beauty editorials screaming to be their pink lips, blue eyes like it, and then again not green jell o in the hair probably teal, but for me that's, that's screaming, I should allot for sync magazine that, to me, is think magazine editorial if you don't know that think magazine is kind of cool, funky and a lot of colors so let's do those measurements if you don't mind eso anybody home if you want to get out your pen, we're going to give you the power outputs over here I have layered ah blew in a teal gel on the front right in the front left. I have one magenta, joan and the back, right? I have to green but I'd probably do too feel for color harmony so let's take or reading of and which when you when you first? Sure, sir. In the back. Okay, so the back highlight that we have right now. All right, right away to the test button. Oh, maybe hit the test button. Wake up. Yeah. Yeah, alright. So it's f sixteen on that back highlight, which is because they remember how I said I would like to shoot off eleven if I were shooting at f f oceania f sixteen already that highlight would have to go even stronger. Have to turn up even more. It's it's about the ratios there. Okay, so have sixteen for that back highlight next one, um good and what dave's doing? There we go what dave's doing with his hand it's he's blocking off the influence of other lights with when he has his reading so he has it so that right now the way he blocks it will on ly read the front left right front left light okay with that one sure of course are you okay seven o on the front left which makes sense it's much dimmer and since I'm guessing my main exposures on her face for this projection is probably around f fourteen sixteen so take a look at that that's perfect dave all right and I could just turn this a little bit you got it my test buttons little funky at fourteen on the main light and now I can turn this away go ahead and let's get that blue light okay okay teno I'd have afflicted teno okay and I wouldn't necessarily go set things up like just to that I would set him up and just make him look I want it and I think that does come with practice so not saying that would necessarily good right away but yeah I'm looking at this picture look I totally see the editorial I'm going to dio I see it's right there perfect okay yes so just a quick question from johnny ella again how many stops typically or cut on the gels do blue gels cut more stops of light compared to yellow or red gels or does do you ever double folded gels the answer to well, there's yeses and okay, so different jails will completely cut out different amounts of light. Absolutely if you look up the jails, I have here a believer, roscoe, we're the ones I usually use a roscoe on their site. They have the specs and they will tell you how much like they cut. But the reason it doesn't exactly matter is because your meat oring so it's it's already cut it's not like you have to calculate that in your head, but if you want all the specs, it's all there, for example, if anyone's ever use like the cto color temperature orange to try to balance some time, we'll but I used to do before digital, you know, sometimes it was helpful to know how much light was going to cut. Now I just I meet her and it looks right doubling gels. Yes, although on these these silver reflectors I'm using for this presentation are nine inch silver reflectors, so I can't really double the gels on this size reflector, but with the kids that I have at home or not, these lovely, amazing kid sees the squirrels that I rent for bigger jobs, but I have a lot of sense, okay, it's the sense of kids are they're kind of entry level kits. They're awesome. But the silver reflectors that come with those are like four and a half, five inches. And I can double up on those because they're small enough and I will double up on those.

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!!!