Blair Bunting: Light Meters - Not As Boring As You Think


CreativeLive NYC


Lesson Info

Blair Bunting: Light Meters - Not As Boring As You Think

With this uh with this speech what I intended to do was originally show you a lot of images that I too um but we can't show that many because of celebrities and a lot of professional athletes that's most of lead are that's mostly my collection so what we've done is on my website we've posted all the images under if you go to the main page of black bunting dot com there is a creative life section um and if you also go to black bunting dot com forward slash creative live in the future if you're watching this later um you'll be able to see the images I'm talking about because otherwise I'm referencing an image and you probably are like never seen that that's like that's awesome so who I am I am pretty basically an advertising photographer um I shoot mostly tv campaigns uh she for discovery channel's the deadliest catch mythbusters river monsters um she lost sports campaigns as well a lot of professional clothing um so most of time uh I don't really need to rely on, you know, catching the ...

moment I'm creating the moment I'm in a studio just like this but a bunch of lights trying to make something happen um I've been in this career for about six seven years uh unfortunate to work together with a nikon apple pra photo it's iconic um photo flex uh I guess the best part of the job is at the end of the day it's a very relaxed job my mom still thinks I need to get a real job and so that's how I know I've actually made the right choice on this one um known for pretty much my lighting and that's what you guys are here for today um things need to be out of camera uh this profession has got a little bit uh washed away with getting things out of camera and then fixing them in post and so really at the end of the day it's a balance and so might I tend to lean towards uh saying needs be correct before we actually delivered to climb I got obsessive light young um I'm kind of a nerd and so the physics of it kind of enthralled me um I wanted understand light how traveled I understand the particles and how they actually reached our subjects and so that really found its adaptation uh from this is really odd in college I would take showers to study it relaxed me enough I learned what I took in our learned what I actually read out in the shower so I decide thank you so much. Um I decided I was actually going to start learning light in the shower which this sounds odd but actually has quite an interesting adaptation um if you think of it like it is principally, you're going to have a source and you're gonna have where your subject is and it's going to be brightest, that source and that's going to fall off not unlike like a shower. If you take a hot shower, he stand right up next to the head on the hot shower is going to burn you if you stand little farther back. It's going to be just right unless you're my wife and it's just gonna burn all the way through. So I got my idea of of my concept or my visualization of light from if you have a large shower, head lights, a little softer hates a little bit less. If you have one of those really narrow kind things, it's actually gonna get you a little bit harder because it's more concentrated, um, it's the one thing that is true about the physics and the fundamentals of light is they're always the same. You're not going to have anything change the that's, the great thing, being very technical, I can set something to be exactly what I had in a previous set, and it will be the same if it's different it's because of myself and I need to figure out what I changed, so whether or not you're using one light, which is a pretty easy standard. Well, it's pretty basic um and I've used up I mean, you can use up to, uh I think the most I've ever had on said is I used fifty lights for a car I had to set up that we had run out with one hundred thirty six lights for a single car, but at the end of the day the cost was a little bit too much we're looking at over a million dollars in lighting alone and so we went with fifty but I mean, if you have that luxury in most people don't know I understand that, but if you do have that luxury, you need to know the core principles still apply you have fifty lives you have one light it's still the exact same thing happening um so the topic light meters is is actually kind interesting they called me and they said we'd like you to speak for creative live and uh so that was cool I was actually on said at the time and, uh they said, what would you like to speak about and I kid you not I was holding this and I was replacing the battery and I kind of whimsically just said lite manners um I was kind of expecting george from there to be a little bit like how about you talk about your theory or anything like that um and he said that's great we'll do light meters and so here I am talking about light meters um but at that it's important it's important to learn how it works um pretty much this is uh this is an l three fifty eight this meter got me every single shoot from uh from the very first time he has let me down it's my this is my original ad meter um from two thousand two or two thousand three I've used it every single time it does everything I needed to do can I see your um this is actually spectacular it's someone in the audience had one of these I kid you not uh before the shoot I called so iconic and I said I'm speaking about light meters and so they sent me out the prototype of this and now either lost it on the subway or it's not my place today I really don't know so yeah thank you so much, man I appreciate it um this does turn on sweet um this is your future right here uh it can do there's a lot of things that you need of a light meter um but there are a few things that are vital you need to be able to tell your exposure and you need to be able to tell um what should her speed usually steps? What matters to be able to discern you're lighting um these two things do the exact same thing uh shorts the comic's gonna love me for saying that but at the end of the day if you're on a budget this is good this is a very good light meter um but here's the thing this is the future so I think that what you can do out of this and what you can do out of three fifty eight this is by the way is the four seventy eight year are mutually the same but this is where the industry is going remember when we excuse light meters that didn't have screen a readout and uh and then all of a sudden this thing came along you like those sweet I can see that there's a number on it awesome. So um future and good job for stepping into the future. Ok, now I'm going to just the the absolute fund private all there are so many people that tell me that you do not need a light meter anymore that digital has taken over that that no longer is it needed on set it's an obsolete item and that's wrong um it's too much of a generation going on right now in photography that's fix it in post and that's kind of a sad progress um that's saying that you're going to work half a cz good on set anymore that you then you would have had to and that you're going to train save yourself later um by correcting everything in photo shop and by getting a client and exposure that was halfway good and that that's that's sad but it is it's just common progression um there's there's a downside to this um that obviously if you are working in an advertising career and if you have an intention to you need to learn lighting because there are going to be our directors and creative directors that sometimes they're going to be okay with things but when you get on a large shoot and when you actually start to get to ah level of success are level where you're expected to deliver every time and it's not really an option um they're going to want to see an image on set that is close to uh what they're going to be using in their campaign they don't wanna have to think ok, what could this image look like if it was good they want actually say okay, I can see where I'm going to put my type on this I can see where we can actually go with with adding copy to it they want to visualize their image while they're right there they don't want to have you get back to your studio are back to your house after you've traveled home and manipulate the images and then deliver to him something that's been really, really tweaked compensate for what was left behind they want to see right there and so lighting is critical it's it's nevermore important now than it was ten years ago twenty years ago it is just as important. Um some people like to use lcds some people say okay, I have it in the back of the camera this looks kind of like what I want I'm going to put all my faith and teo until what that shows me l cities at this point are pretty good they, uh they can tell you pretty well what your image is going to look like what your final product is going to be but and, you know, I guess at the end of day that's not a bad thing if you if you're fine with your final product being pretty good that's totally cool um but in order for it to be dialed to specifically where your camera performance the best you have to use a meter um, there are even darfur's that that I've actually known and and that our good friends that will go on do lectures and workshops that say light meters are not needed thrown away or sell them and actually use that to buy something else like photo shop I don't know, um, but I think even those guys as good as there are kind of misunderstanding what the light meter's to do so excuse me give up the biggest part of this whole thing um and then I work my way in light theory and all that kind of fun stuff a light meter should never talk to your camera you should never hold this up to subject take a reading and and set your camera um that probably goes against everything that most people have taught you and that probably goes against everything that light meter people even say but for how I actually do my work I've never taken the light meter held it in front of a subject pressed it and said ok here's how I'm going to set my camera um most fundamentally basic and I guess this is kind of the long definition but a light meter exists to tell you that your image is within the diamond dynamic range that your sensors since the noise ratio accepts um that's really complex it's not hard I'll explain it um for example like actually I'm going to get my white board here actually really stoked by the way they have a white board um camera oh this is really gonna be rough sorry my drawing skills are absolute horrible subject that's a person by the way hands okay this's uh yeah this is a really big guy football player I should all at least that's what I meant to do exactly um we'll just do regular light uh huh one right here right here and then two right here and then one right here one right here and then one of the base okay, basic letting ok here's the thing not so basic I know um but principles this should be like a little cage right here because you hold up a meter in front of this person right here and it says you know eight at two fifty to fifty by the way greatest shutter sink speed ever unless they're using large format eighty to fifty what does that tell you? Camera tells your camera eight to fifty ok, you said that dated to fifty that's really great if every single subject you ever shot was eighteen percent gray but it's not um really? Okay let's say wow turning thing I kindly go about this let's say he's a professional football player and he has dark skin there we go that's pr I'm sorry that's that's that's acceptable that says that eighteen percent grade he's going to look a little bit like a ghost um or let's say he's uh you know, really really light skinned guy eighty percent great he's dark so this light meter right here using an in camera does nothing in its told you I wish I had a bigger racer um it's told you at the end of the day that kind of a false read sorry kleenex or something can actually wipe this port off sorry freaky guys I real fast um you've used it to set your oh sweet you used it to say your lighter your light meter but what you've really done is he told your camera the wrong exposure for what you're actually looking at I'm sorry thank you so I'm gonna keep this like right here here's what you should do is take the camera of the question subject he's got a little smaller now um well just do you regulate are we cool with four lights that good? Okay, now we actually have a situation where no camera what a light meter does it tells you the ratio between this light with this light with this late this like nothing else you then take that ratio and you dial your exposure based off your subject because of the day you're photographing your subject not the lights. So your light meters saying ok um let's go with like a basic setting you know use this sedate therefore there should be five point six oh my god my writings terrible that looks like sixteen five point six um eleven eleven uh what this thing is saying ok, if your camera can accept three ranges are three stops of dynamic range you're within it you're safe. What you do with the camera is kind of tio um when I'm shooting like a w s catch or uh like a river monsters even I shot that and I hope you guys have actually seen some of the images otherwise I'm going to be like referring to images that you're like I imagine it you know claire we remind people where they can go online where they go so it's your website slash oh yeah so if you just go to blair bunting dot com today um there's a creative life section in the future if you're not watching this live which you should have been black bunting dot com forward slash creative life all one word you're sorry about that now thank you um so if you're using a campaign like a like a river monsters daily sketch they want grit that says ok I need to actually need to kind of push this camera towards his it's high igh esso and and actually create true noise um I use a boy I love nikon and I only used good people here um there's nothing wrong with cannon and don't clap for that but I need to have the file that has a structure that looks like film um and that's why I kind of gravitated towards come um so when I'm on set and I need to actually push it towards a grittier look I'm very comfortable just taking the esso and throwing it to sixteen hundred I'll throw it to sixty four hundred on a regular basis on a d three acts that's right at the edge of its boundaries but at the same time it creates an image that's closer to film whereas the noise structure and green pattern on the can and I just kind of found to be too much of a mosaic um but there's still nothing wrong with shooting that um so this one right here deadliest catch will say this is a random person uh what you would be looking at is okay I have an aperture that I want to shoot it at for the depth of field that actually comes back behind this so held as constant aperture plus shudder steve what you going out with someone said that exactly so we're going to do is you're going to take your eyes so and said it where you want it to be now you can set your eyes so high and then all of a sudden it's too bright enough to dial it down or you can set your lights low and all this and have the highest so that's grating so that's where you need to actually approach it you don't want to approach it so much they say here's what it's red at at two fifty I'm going to just settle for the aperture um now we the hardest part about this though I don't know what a key light is yeah what does assume some people don't think that's a it's a it's a mainline okay what I think of the key light is the brightest light usually on the subject for the most part okay nothing wrong with that anyway lt's okay your key light and this is my approach so there's nothing wrong with anyone with how they think on this I always feel that your key light should be your most important land on set does that mean your brightest it sometimes does but not always um your key light is the essential light to the set it is not a variable it is not always the biggest not always the largest it is like that has to exist for your subject to be illuminated the way you want it to be and everything else has to work around it um there's kind of aa few things that you can go into determining it determining your keep if you have something you said brightest light we'll start with that if it's your brightest light on set what do your kicker's on the front of subject okay, so it's the brightest light that hits your subject in that manner it starts to become if you have like a beginning light set if you have a beginning kind of uh alien beings that we'll just go with a lot of these um pro photos probably killed me right now it's those foot flex but sorry alien these if you have a set of those and you have a four hundred and eight hundred and you put the eight hundred near key that's going to be a really bright light but does it matter if your your your four hundred isn't able to actually fill it and that's where we start to get into something called knowing your contrast ratio um this is going to come into play a lot today so I don't know why I'm always to kind of drawing an umbrella for this one but just I guess bear with same kind of thing same exact set by the way if you're taking notes this is the easiest lighting set up to do right um your key reads in at sixteen if you can only get five point six of this you can't use it so say this little guy is maxed out a five point six your key is him because you actually have to tell your ratio around him he's not getting any brighter um I don't know why I put foreign here but it just raises too wait anything you want have this guy eight so you're dialing around this guy this guy's air keep because this guy is so bright that he's actually not equivalent in any way, shape or form to that your key is the most important light on set to make the image within your sensors dynamic range um let's go for the first set of questions while I race this off something go for it coming from a generation that didn't use light meters except for seeing what I've seen on creative live where donald go and click it right in front of the guy's face when you're saying I've got five point six on this light I've got eight on this could you be a little bit more specific as to what exactly you're talking about at that point frankly thank you not a problem not a problem sir um ok when I mean five point six I mean your meter is read reading in at the exposure of eighteen percent gray being five point six with that light at the given shutter speed oh, boy that's really really okay, we'll try one more time on a very, very fund scale um ok sorry I'm drawing the same thing over again but I will get your point I guarantee this this moonlight at two hundred fifty uh shudder catalyst like nine equals five point six in order for the camera to read eighteen percent grade so this light right here may read eight which means his brighter which means your camera has to close down another stop actually hit eighteen percent grade because your camera at the end of the day your cameras not saying oh my gosh, you have a really, really gifted football player in front of you or oh this guy's a fisherman know your camera at the end of the day is saying what do I make thank you. What do I do to make this entire overall scene equal? This one neutral color like bland like it is eighteen percent there's nothing exciting about it what do I do to make it all legal that do I have to open up or close down? So if this is going to be reading at eight, that means the entire scene right here is going to be very bright in your camera saying oh my gosh too much light coming in close down or if this little bit of light right here it's saying five point six that means cameras to open up more sorry if that's a trial that one anyone from their net yes, we definitely have questions coming in oh that's not good um we have david who's wondering says I noticed that the spot meter is not on the new light meter for wedding in portrait photographer is it better to spot meter the scene? I don't do weddings and I don't do portrait I do portrait I guess so I'm going to try and give you my view on that my opinion bear with me is devon devon ok, if I'm going after a specific part of the subject and I'm actually measuring it for the camera to be set off of the exposure I would use a spot meter I would actually put in, you know, whatever that three degree and I'd actually look at a part of their skin and I would say I would like to that to be it my key part of the exposure I want that to be within, uh, camera so I'd said at that spot um you guys know what a spot meter are like the little viewfinder, whatever they're called are on the light meter's you can actually look through him and you could say ok, skin right here eighteen percent or skin right here in exposure for what I do uh spot made or not so much because very, really and probably never am I actually looking at the subject and saying this is where I actually want them to have their part of their skin and exposure I'm actually setting everything for the lightning around and then dialing it from there I don't know if that one answer that one but anguish next question going hear from tim our athens who's running whether you're talking here about reflective or incident readings um this would be incident because you're actually having the initial exposure of the light versus the takeoff of the skin for the subject. Um ok, so I've talked to you about lighting people um I also lied a lot of cars um just kind of going to go through this and show you how I do what I do um they're going that's a spiffy low carb um the background behind this when it is actually very interesting and it's part of why we lived this way I was with a friend um who had a nice car collection and there was a storm in arizona and I had literally a light not even an official really late at a soft box and so the friends uh said why don't we photograph some of my cars way can't really go anywhere you don't really in arizona we don't drive when there's like sprinkling rain because we'll crash were very very good at driving the web um said why don't we like some of the cars and so how do you do it you you can pretty much you have one light so your ratio gets determined by reflection um with this one um you putting cards to reflecting on the tires you actually conduct your ratio a little bit but you have one light your determination of exposure becomes one that's very incident and subject to time of exposure um this right here is a minute long exposure um what we can do with this one is you can pretty much you can take one night paint line of the car for you can actually um you can pretty much feeling on the tires so let me throw you diagram for this one oh this is really bad quickly uh it was not accurate what's right is one more time there, there. Car car done. Okay, so with this one, you have a line of a car, a shoulder, you're painting the car, you have one light. So what do you do? You actually find the shoulder of that car? It's the same principle is using a large soft box. You find the part of the car that you actually want to have highlighted the most. And you're going to like an awesome ballerina dragged the light down that car and it is actually something that is more choreographed than anything else. So if the car is right here, I don't know if I'm within awesome camera car right here. I'm actually dressed in black with one little strip light, actually holding it over the car, walking as smoothly as I possibly can and painting the shoulder line or painting this and a little bit of that with that, like, this is not the first exposure were shot it's probably twenty or thirty what it is is it's a combination of holding this going over the car, having bounce cards that actually reflect that light to the rims and having that somehow put it all within exposure, your key light and what we're kind of going back with this is now that one light it is subject to how many lights you really do have um with this one you don't really sudden exposure on the camera you said it to bulb and you hope that you are within range and you tell you time it uh oh actually more less paint the car and have it dialed by time this is really confusing and I'm sorry but what you would more or less be uh be doing with this one is you're like painting on a larger scale then sometimes you actually have all the lights he want um I shot this one for the guys that have stoppers way did this video sometimes you actually get to have a studio where you have everything set up you have a large light bank with this one your key and where you actually start off of is determined by how bright you can actually get one of these lights the most important light on this set is this overhead light you can see right here it actually is the thing that glasses out the windows takes the top of the mirrors and goes over the top. Your key is actually this thirty foot sham era I think these are only going to get better as we go on okay, this is your key and this was mikey um I had sixteen pro photo heads or a pro photo heads in this at max I could get I think eleven or have sixteen out of that I couldn't get any more that was the most important like I couldn't move it why can't you move it because you are going off of directional light on your car so that car has to have the exact same shape off of that light you could move it closer but you're going to also take out this because it's going to get washed in by the light so it remains a certain distance it has a certain f stop at two fifty that's the key with this car if you actually saw that exposure before we kind of turned all the other lights on this is dark because if you're coming from overhead the wheels are actually going to catch this shadow line and you're in a black room this right here actually washed out because this part doesn't actually get accepted by the light same thing with the front tire same thing with this gil this skill right here so what do you do you say I found an exposure of my camera which this one I think happen to be I think eleven I so one hundred how do I actually filling these rims and put him with an exposure I can put them in the exact same is this except where they're going to be the exact same exposure I need to have him a little bit darker so everything that supports this light usually would be underneath this light so we'll just call him eleven. These were coming about eight, actually eight plus one. How are one third stop? So now you're wheels or with an exposure you want to paint in these? If you want to have an even line, you're going to have them put in at eight or eleven really with this one, this exposure of the exact same is this skin. So you're looking at about eleven a swell with this kind of shoot, you can draw scum, adam actually it's going to get really complex a ce faras for lightings come outta, but we're going to try it. I had a car one time I didn't do this shoot, but I always kind of thought about this lighting. In the meantime, this is very long, kind of car top thing over here, but it had a bunch of wings that were kind of here and actually had one does parsley right here I looked at it as a form. You want to see the line of the car, so you always with a car, you're always going to put this large soft box overhead. But how do you actually paint in the wings? You actually come in with strip lights and you actually want always equal the plane of the car where the light meter comes into this is you could not tell anyone that this light right here is the exact same as the car line if you lived in your camera you can only do it with light meter basically at the end of the day the whole thing of cars tell you it's close but it's not close enough you wouldn't actually entertain an art director if you had a car that was lit and you kind of doubted in through your computer or three l city people okay so everyone who's like still with me here um cars of the hardest part I kind of want to get them out of the way because there's only about twenty percent of us they're ever going to shoot one and I kind of figured that it's going to be the boring parts so I want to spend the least amount of time on it we've all lived in a portrait um we've all kind of gone after you know that rembrandt lighting remember lining pre much says you're gonna paint that triangle news underneath there I um it's a standard look um with this one though it's not basic lighting um anyone know where the key is on this yes you're right he is right here um oh boy pretty good okay it's close it's close with this kind of shot it's not like I'm trying to get like a basic exposure I want to actually create a mood like a romance to the image. Um this guy actually is a football player days you and he was taking photography and he wanted actually learn photography this whole shot happened backs and actually, um he asked me if I could teach him how to light and so after the shoot that we had done of basic basic portions were talking like cross your arms turn left turn right like football player portrait's he came to me and he said uh any chance you could teach me how to do this and so way modeled it around him he had adviser that was kind of the key part of this whole shot this shot was to make him look mechanical to make him look like he uh it was less of a football player more of the structure that carried a football um so you want to actually you want to make him look you want adviser to be very non personal so we obviously we wanted it out. You can do this in post you khun go and photo shop and make a nice little paint line or whatever and actually call this whole thing making great and make it look really cool but is it natural there's going to be people that see it and then all of a sudden there's not a light right there this arm doesn't get hit it the exact same angle is this is and you're I can tell you that here I can say this doesn't look normal this looks like every single ad right now that's pretty hyper real that's been photoshopped like crazy um but there's nothing genuine about it so with this one your key is determined by your effect your effect for the entire shoot is to get this visor white so eight foot soft box right in front eight foot soft box guarantees that you're gonna have nothing on this visor it says that the wit that this visor will see is going to be quite a folks off box also says that this entire front of him is going to be living a certain pattern are certain light uh this will be equal to this because of the same flame uh with this one though way did that everything actually can really tell it here's a soft box right here everything from here back solid dark I mean you're kind of looking a little bit of a fade off but what you do you just take one umbrella and we've painted in the rest that's why there's a bright spot right here and fade off its you're still your basic idea what you do is you get your exposure you say I have three stops latitude I have three stops latitude that my camera will accept um that means your camera will see everything that you put within eight sixteen where do you want your exposure? Think of this if you have a camera right here, think of this right here. As do you need to see past this helmet because of depth of field? Do you need to actually have highlights? If you d'oh uh, say he's at eight, this right here is actually about eleven, maybe even minus I have to do is put your explosion right there. Your light meter has to read nothing more. Lightning can not read five point six because it's going to be a way to break your light meter can't read sixteen because it's going to be way too dark? Yeah, that's correct. Sorry, space that so with this one, you have to be able to say this is where his exposure must lie, that soft box right there and this umbrella right here can't be past that this is a portrait of another football player. Actually go question for this one way. Do you have a lot of questions on that always? That is how this works way have a session in florida who is wondering it's kind of more basic question do you meter each light individually or altogether and just take one reading? Um, you have to meet them all individually. Um, usually what I do is, if I have a group of lights, I'll have an assistant walk around we'll have ok so let's go back if you have a subject right here here is their focal plane here is exactly where you're going to expose this should be pretty much this is exactly what your camera wants to read so you have an assistant or if you have a lazy of tyre for myself stand there with the light meter and then you'll have a person go through every single light unplug this one on ly shoot one letter at a time so I'll say I want my key dialed she will be you know if it's a big light or what not and if I'm kicking off a high octo box it reads is eighteen I know that around it needs to support that usually on a napkin or ah unopened page of trip are drawn out a lights kamata lighting scheme mattias should be followed closely because you think very clearly whenever you get on setting all with something numbers catch up it can some kind of time to be a washington actually start to lose detail so he's saying you know soft box up there is your key at eight your fill right here is five point six I know that's within dynamic range my kickers behind should be a little bit high um so you can put them all on and you could pop the meter but that really doesn't give you anything because that gives you a combination of what your cheese what you feel is if you're looking backwards also tell us about your kickers are and that shouldn't tell your camera anything so each light individually questions in the audience way all hanging in here by the way I am sorry if this is like really really I'm trying to make it very understand great but I'm going to ask you a really basic and then ask you really basic understanding the key and because etcetera where do you start? Um do you just decide how strong you want your key to be? Do you start with the mood you start with your cameras sitting in your depth of field and then work around that how do you well you start with your process um you've actually asked that as an absolute perfect timing yes perfectly thank you. I kid you not honestly, my next thing was he based off mood okay, this one right here um I honestly could be a plant on this one. This entire thing was based off of I wanted him to be scary football players and, uh ok. So the original thought was like this guy you meet in the alley way that's really uncomfortable? What is that about about that subject that really makes that intimidating so with this that is an overhead light, the mood was we're going to base everything off this one beauty dish above him because if you ever actually just throw a beautician over a subject if you're wanting to make subject looks scary, do it just throw beauty dish above and they look intimidating, they look very it's uncomfortable your eye wants to see what's going on, but if there's nothing as far as the eye read and you can actually associate with your subject all of a sudden, your image or your subject is very distant. So this one that is your prevalent like I'm actually going to draw this one to these drawings? I'm sorry, I'm trying to make them fun, but they're a little bit on the there's a lot of lights going on on these, um, here's the overhead I'm actually gonna give you both because it's important, most important thing, this beauty dish right here that creates discomfort because if you're looking at a photo and you can actually see the light of their eyes, all of a sudden you're seeing a little bit of aggression. Um, you're seeing a mood of if you I guess, the best ways that you're seeing a mood of instability, there's no knowledge of what that person is you're just seeing the outline of him so beauty this overhead way tried it originally, um the client on this, this shoot said you can't actually see the rest of the person we need to actually like them in um all you got was this outline of a football player that looked mean are looked matters like that but you really don't have any information to say you know, we're advertising the school or what not our advertising who he is so way decided that we ggo trying phyllis in the idea of, uh, of this rim kind of hitting the top of it was carried on into why don't we actually paint the line of him so way started to set up you start with a light right here something is you know, these these kickers um I don't know what other I just computers I guess so now he has a little bit of line down the shoulder of his actual cachet with us is see this hard line right here that's actually a kicker way have that one overhead light that you kind of see his top of his nose hits his forehead it's a little bit of his chin and is actually washington jersey if you only have that you don't really see too much of this information and you see nothing of the face you've seen no eyes and that really didn't work for the client so you paint around the side first off kickers trying to form in the shoulder um set him up right here they're about the same exposure you can tell on this side a little bit brighter because it is closer you also want to create a line down his arm right here because if you have a kicker right here it won't actually hit this so these air all strip lights by the way usually for this shoot about four feet sometimes the king about six feet um this one right here I want to say this is all photo flex medium sized kickers um that's my biggest like kit uh it has enough to actually reach the full side of the subject and the pro photo stuff at the time I wasn't with them was really expensive um their umbrella at the time was more than mike three kickers alone so you do the show overhead kickers right here and what we're starting to see is an outline of a subject if you wanted to be all within the same dynamic range and actually make this little glow you're looking at pretty much the exact same setting this should equal this this should equals this you meet her it all separately though because there's always going to be washed you can always have this thing spill right here or right here and all of a sudden you're exposing with his arm being too dark from there um we have that little rim that comes in behind him hits the side of the face and goes the gel line but the one little escaping factor is this right here the easiest way to get a fill two aa key the easiest way to say I need to balance out this light is reflected um get a good disc if you have a good he likes a an umbrella or an octo box and you have a great reflector like a disk silver or gold sometimes both or big white card you could actually just put that little guy and right here and how you dial this exposure and if you look real close he's got a disk right here you dial the exposure from the distance to the subject so you're actually taking the thing higher and lower to say I want this equal it's closer go back the discus catching this light right here hitting this and then reflecting induced face it's never going to be brighter than this late on his forehead which is good for the subject so distance two subjects determines the exposure questions on this one the statement you made earlier about the eighteen percent gray I understand the camera measures eighteen percent gray but it seemed like you said that the light meter reid's eighteen percent gray as well. I always thought of it is measuring the power of the light in my wrong cause. I've been using the light meter for a long time if you're reading the power of the light but what exposure are you reading it at? So the light meter's should read eighteen percent uh or well what is the light meter trying to get? I guess accumulate it should be reading a specific exposure at a specific uh shutter speed and I so shutter speed, everything kind of gets combined so light meter at four hundred uh your shutter speed at two fifty what do you equal from there? I guess is and so I believe it's eighteen percent it's trying to give you a number to what you should be able to accumulate or what you should be able to reach if you expose that exposure and the thing you're talking about dark skin versus light skin and how that could throw you off understand that with the cameras meter? Yeah, but with the light meter for me in you shouldn't say look one light we're not going to go all crazy with this many lives, but just one light five meter for your face whether your dark skinned or light skin exposure is right on because that's why I'm using the meter am I wrong in that or I know I can change it up and down exposure wise based on the mood I want is that what you're trying to say is I'm trying to get your thought process on the light meaning if you want your exposure to be within the range of the camera okay, I guess the best ways um I held light meter right here we have black subject and the camera said it the exact same thing I expose it says that five point six to fifty he's darker than eighteen percent grade. So you take that picture of that five point six to fifty and he's dark he's very dark, but I need to actually have a skin tone within the dynamic range of my camera were for this for lack of better terms to this subject will just say my camera can expose that one stop dynamic range for the senate to noise ratio is just really not comfortable. He is going to be too dark. However, if I get a ginger or someone of light skin, if you will and I expose he's very bright and I exposed the exact same thing because the media is not going to change the meter doesn't see a black person behind you or white person in meters sees whatever your cameras lights are whatever your light is exposed for a light skinned person, cameras going to say that he was going to say the same thing, you're going to take the picture and he's going to be washed, so you should always meet her for the lights the lighting scenario just come out if you will and then set your camera based off of where your subject is if you want it like true basic at the end of day, a black wall you meet her in the camera says the same thing you're going to get nothing if it is a white wall you're gonna get nothing but blown out you have to expose for your subject on the camera meter for your light ratio in the light meter go ok this maybe a dumb question but I don't really work with like set off in so in your diagram the two lights one's lighting one way okay because part of it but each life is lighting an arm sorry ok ok so one light you know one lights conflating in each arm my what I guess my problem is I'm how is the background totally black is like if you have a light there okay and so this actually is kind of interesting one background wasn't originally all black there we had might fall off with this one we had a football player right here we had not much going on behind him so light falloff was going to take it to black uh and this actually goes back to kind of my whole pieces get it out of the camera this is the raw file okay that makes more sense it's actually picks allies because of smoke um but in the raw file you see the overall look of the image and actually out of the camera with the I was shooting a phase one at the time and it's a very dark lcd that you pretty much it's kind of suggestion like ok you're shot might look like this because it's not really that accurate at the time so you can see their scaffolding right here there is a box of something that has some kind of writing on it this is what it looked like out of camera um now live tarver's want to show you the ross I think you need to see him because sometimes people really get a photo shopping a raw and making it look great and then all of a sudden you see a picture and you're like that looks just like that out of camera this one really did have to look like that um so you had a very good point light fall off death eventually your light will equal nothing are two your camera nothing and so if you put enough subs are enough space between you're subject in his background you can get black with white you can always blow out a background it's not really that hard with this one we didn't have enough space but in post I hate that word um win in dark in this all up and he looked like that what kind of breezed through these next things um this is lighting based off effect with this shot your key right here is a pain in your face um it's also got a little bit of a film but the most important part is this um we wanted action we wanted kind of that romance that he's actually swinging about this side win and at the end of the day this is a person standing offset with a spray bottle way count one, two, three spray and then I snapped the lights the light will always hit this hit this and it makes it look like I really did a lot, but this is a very easing lighting lighting setup it is one light that you can see right here hitting the face one support light that comes in a little bit right here, an umbrella and then one phil light right here um I could draw this one out for you to what you're doing is you're shooting a light directly into the speculators you're measuring for how that light's going to hit your subject and I wish it didn't sound so basic but office when you're just hoping that this water right here looks good you can always dodging burden, but your key how it interacts with your subject has to still be your exposure and your support or your fill has to keep it within your range. And your hope is that this spray right here is actually going to make it so and here's one other thing if you don't put the light directly between our if you don't put the camera on a subject sorry subject this is the light is a one grid spot pro photo about twenty degree that's hitting this guy at this angle um camera right here if this light does not actually reach this camera's plane spray doesn't get eliminated because it's eliminating different angle so we're shooting it directly here were saying this is going to be f eight everything else has to fill has to be within your dynamic range of your sensor at five point six and your umbrella about the same um that's the question I don't know how I answered a question with that was that that was spectacular um thing is ok these air complex I grew up but the fundamentals of it are very basic um no matter where or how many lights you're having if you put lights that are outside of your sensors ability you're just wasting the light so if you want to say that I want to have four stops of of dynamic range on your subject because of your light you're wasting a stop uh if you're camera takes in three which they do go ahead sir how do you determine the dynamic range of your camera um trial and error yes um so you khun you can read up on it there are like places like the dx so reports that say ok the camerons dynamic range is four point six two or whatever he's a term in the sweet spot by you shoot with your camera you determine where the tones exist that are going to be able to be reached in post um okay let's say your cameras five stops of dynamic range total your bottom two stops are your bottom stop in your top stop are going to be pretty close to god you're not gonna have much information they're gonna be able to work with, um your cameras going to be struggling to give you those highlights at the top in the shadows of the bomb they're going to be crunching and noise. So when I say that my camera really likes three stops or the cameras in general like three steps those are the places where you can actually work with the image where you actually still have latitude or structure that's not going to be pretty much a mosaic so three is a very safe mark um okay, my d three x is three's good the way I kind of determine it? If I'm shooting a subject that's dark I shooed him spot on for my this is I shoot him spot on where I would measure an eighteen percent great reading for his skin because no icons really like underexposed files. If he's a regular skin guy I should have met about point five difference are point five over are under sorry and then if he's a light skinned guy shoot a full stop under where my meter reads are where an eighteen percent great file would read because I want to keep him on the shadows get too close to the highlights and you're risking losing your image um that's kind of the hard part of a car because it's metal it wants to reflect that is so quick to hop out of your dynamic range that all of a sudden you lose all your information and you send it to your reattach her and ask if you can save you at the end of the day. Um six minutes let's go for questions waken definitely take questions from the internet or if you've got questions here way let's go with well, uh ok, let me actually give one thing I really want to tell a story and so this is going to be blair storyteller time um, you guys don't get to see it because it's not able to be shown but goddammit people the internet can sit. There was a shot I did a sandra day o'connor is the supreme court justice and way were supposed to is shooting for the new york times was supposed to have about two hours to prep uh about an hour and a half, actually, at the end of the day after unloading and then I was going to shoot her for an hour and then we're gonna have our take down time um that wasn't the case I showed up at her house this is uh this is the supreme court justice who decided I think the bush v gore things so you know you think powerful lady and she is the sweetest so lady standing out in her driveway with her bathrobe and slippers and she says hey had something happen to my my my schedule can you shoot and begun in fifteen minutes it sounds really terrible there is if anything one lighting scenario one lighting set up that is my always go to that I know very well and that I know my lights on um it's probably eighty percent of my shots so if you want to set something up in time we're not even setting up octo boxes in south boxes with all the rods were setting the top rods only so the octo box hangs down and actually makes the form south box the same but we don't have time to put everything in and mounted into a speed brake it so something I've always known and I've drawn this from the beginning but this is how to light a subject exposed for this let this philip one stop and paint a room this is pretty much all of your magazine tire feet this is all of your basic advertiser v that is currently used today this we're just gonna give it enough stuff just so we have measurement here's how we'll do this is equal we'll just set it as this is your keep minus one stop. If you're shooting nikon minus about two thirds stop and this is just going to be plus one stop. This is how you get pretty much every lighting snare you've ever seen. Why? Because all of these exist within the cameras dynamic range. All these exist within the camera's range that you want to be able to manipulate. Later, ellen put a background search and the subject has a rembrandt like, um pretty much how avedon did it. All he did was blow out the background a little more. But if you keep a key light and a phil light within one stop, you have the entire face and range. All it comes down to you is placing the key properly and that's how you get the look or the rembrandt lighting that is most of our advertising nowadays, so with that way, have a couple of questions and then go for it. So a lot of the diagrams that you were drawing rather complex in their setups and multiple lights, most portrait and other photographers are using them any. Do you still feel like a light meter? Is that essential when you're working with less? Yes, um, you still need to be able to tell what your lights are doing if you're using one light, usually no um, but anything more than one like, you need to truly see where that's actually hitting in before you shoot your camera because the lcd is just not reliable to tell you when your shadows air crunched with this one, this is truly the most basic advertising or editorial portrait you can possibly like. Um, you could take out these guys right here, but get a high key right there that actually going to come about forty five and put a low filled that actually counters the key and your gold that is that's how you pretty much can start your path to putting in more lights once you have the face and the subject formed, then you can actually start elaborating on what the subject looks like putting in phil's or kick. I'm sorry putting in kickers that actually shows the shape in the form, but you need to have something that it's still going to hit the eyes she phil and give you an attention. Give your give your viewer of your image something to address the viewer wants to see eyes um if you can't see the subject's eyes like in that football photo, I showed you it's uncomfortable, but if you want them to relate your subject, catch lights will actually tell your viewer that that person is real and so you put a key in a film that will reach their eyes and actually reflect back into the photo and you have made your subject comfortable with what they're seeing good work um let's see, we have a question ready here okay one more time from what you can go a little long if you want to ask more questions got much time we have left thirty one I had a question I've got a question from fashion tv in singapore oh right fashion tv but the best questions are created by okay um rashed b says you mentioned earlier you prefer to use a light meter to get things right straight out of camera yeah whether than enhancing them retouching, enhancing post are there situations where the lightning or can't handle and give you what you want and then you need to rely on retouching enhancing and if yes, what are these types of situations for you? Is there a situation where a light meter can't handle the no um well let me take the back if you have a subject no I actually don't don't believe there are is because yours light meter can go toe sixty four fs one point oh I even some go to f half um those will always being with rick be within range I think the question is whether or not it shouldn't be whether or not you're so your light meter can handle it but whether or not your camera's sensor can handle the dynamic range of the subject so it should always be actually able to uh should be able to handle little thing and by the way I love singing for uh long story tell you okay all right, so one final should be fairly simple question from holly true what about for natural light? Do you recommend the light meter photographer isn't using flash at all if harper isn't using flash it all save money don't get a meter waken do one more go for yeah we'll get these in I was kind of talking told that's venue use light meter and set up your lights set up in a ratio right now in the old diagrams you show like ratio like stops but not two three, three two it's that's you're just your preference or okay this it's very much here that's a good point this is a ratio um this is one to one this is wanted to um arm side this is b one two point five this is wanted to um I ratios are hard for me to think through so I think of it as key should always be zero you're phil or something that supports the key but is not stronger than should always be about negative one. A negative two point are two thirds and your your kicker the thing that paints the line of your subject should always be plus one that should put it within can question something you would do them in f stops or in the ratios exactly. They're they're the same. Um, I just think it is a ratio of f stops, because obviously, keeping it within three up stop saves me. But a ratio of this light is half his powerful is this, and this light is two times powerful than that, so that would be your your ratio, I guess, for that one it's within the three stop ratio, but it's all depending on what your key pulls at zero. All right. Oh, boy, left, thank you so much.

Class Description

In October 2012, creativeLIVE presented an all-star photography event, broadcasting LIVE from New York City! We pulled together an amazing cast of 8 professional photographers from around the globe and from various genres of photography for 2 days of creativeLIVE NYC, a free online photography course!

Each day, we had four instructors speak, shoot, and inspire. We had returning creativeLIVE favorites and new speakers who quickly joined those ranks. To top the event off, on Friday night we had a special live broadcast of Photographers Ignite hosted by Kevin Kubota!