Lighting Demo: One Light Setup


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Lighting Demo: One Light Setup

So what we're going to dio in within this segment is we're going to work with a model and we're going to have her come in and we're going to light her just kind of hanging out like on the living room chair like you would and we just happen to have a great day backdrop back here but you know, a lot of people have walls that were, well, they're solid color or maybe you just you've got a interesting background you want to incorporate in something in your picture, but the message here is that you can do this in your own home, you don't have to have a studio to get some great looking shots um, so we're going to set up those lights and I'm going to show you the difference of using one light versus using two lights and then eventually will work into using three lights, so it's kind of something to think about number we talked about the quality of light falling upon your subject and the direction of light where it's coming from will be working with that. But one other thing I wanted to point o...

ut that's kind of fun is I use this sometimes on a long extension cord and if I'm doing a photo shoot of, say, kids around the house and they're playing around and I just don't, you know want to keep moving to stand around I'll plug this into a long extension cord and have someone help me they hold the light just like this and I just run around the house and shoot him and they just kind of hold the light up and down and around so you can do that too I mean it's wasn't specifically designed for that but you can do that so you want to get creative with the things that you purchase and you know find out all the different things you can do with them they don't always have to be on the stand all right? So what we're going to do is plug well let's see, I guess we'll plug this one and so I'll give this one back over here you think were there and bring this one in so what we're going to do is set up kind of a lighting situation that's super simple to start with it's always good to start simple and then we can get a lot more complex but actually it's all going to be pretty easy um I have this one raised up kind of higher going to bring it down just a little bit and I'll play with that in a second so that's one and I'm going to bring this other light around and we'll actually will have to light set up and then we'll work with one and then to so if we could have our fabulous model tammy step in hey, tammy, how are you? Nice to see you and tammy tcu has a microphone I do korean sing karaoke e I think you want to do that. All right, bill, does anyone know any good songs? Because this could be fun. All right, so tammy is going to be our fabulous model and we're gonna have tammy sit over here in the chair and just envision as if you were home in your own living room and you were playing around taking pictures with a friend or family member and tammy just happens to be, you know, really she knows her her business here she knows howto be in front of the camera she's got on a great color combination it's kind of fun to play with colors so tammy, I'm going to just have you come right back over here and hang out on the chair. Oh, looks fabulous now I love her red hair and it's really kind of popping against the grey and the colors too that we chose tammy brousseau. Tammy brought quite a few different color sweaters with her and I was looking at them back in the dressing room and kind of knowing what the colors were out here, where I was already trying to kind of help plan what would look nice out here color wise so we've got, you know, color in the flowers s and the blue and then the neutral chair it's always good if you can try to find something neutral to shoot in but, you know, work with what you have just kind of pointing out you might want to think about that is so what? You have someone where, according to the environment that you're shooting them in so she's got great red hair, great coloring, beautiful skin and she's got a nice colors for this environment. I'm going to turn off one of these that was already off. I'm gonna leave it there. So right now we've got two lights set up, but only one light is on and I kind of turn this away just so you know, one light is on tammy like so and I just have a kind of set often side here it's almost a forty five degree angle. Not quite. And you can see the light on her face. No, it looks it looks pretty. It's kind of nice and soft there's no it's coming on from the side a little bit, but it doesn't look super directional just looks nice and soft. Now I'm just going to show you the before and after, so if I turn it off no light, turn it on and then there was light, okay that's really lighting up the scene one thing you can do when you want a light someone like this is kind of play around with where the light is position and also do something called feathering feathering is memory showed you you could, like, loosen up one of these knobs in the side here move this around feathering is where you can kind of bring the light back and force like this were built to smooth this out of the way where you could move that back and forth and affect the quality of light on her face. So if you can see it now, I'm just the light doesn't have to be blonde, you know, right honor directly you can kind of move it around and observed the light that's falling on her face. So right now, if I wanted to create a kind of more shadow on this side, away from the light, I could kind of feather it over this way it becomes a little dimmer, a little softer, but you just just kind of eyeball it right now. We're not going for any specific formula is just what looks good to your eye, but now that you've learned about the quality and direction of light, you really know what to look for what's going to look good on someone's face so I can kind of play around with that, too. All right so there's that I can also change the height of the light so the height of the light is going tio bring out different features if you bring the light up a little higher we'll bring it up this high as I can like so and bring it maybe even a little bit closer to her look what happens to her cheekbones because the light is up a little bit higher like that it's provided it's making a little bit of shadow beneath her cheekbone and also her chin so it's sze making things look more flattering let's say and she has a great chin and neck but let's say for instance there was a lot going on here maybe you wanted to not accentuate that you could bring the light up not too high because you don't want this top light coming down on her head but high enough so it creates a little little dimension and form just under the angles on her face so that's our that's looking great um so this is something where we could start with but now that I'm looking at her it's like ok this looks good but I'm not seeing that catch light in her eyes over the catch light that we talked about where it looks like a nice little reflection in someone's eye there yes so now I'm seeing it and it looks really beautiful so my camera is here and I am going tio take some shots and see how they turn out now I just met tammy and we didn't get to talk that much because I was eating lunch but what I would want to do when I was working with someone is you know find out a little bit about them talked to them and let her know how she's looking in front of the camera now even though she's a model and she's kind of used to this everyone needs some kind of feedback when they're in front of a camera you want your you're their mirror in essence you want to tell them wow okay now that looks great now and was you're giving them direction oh you know great maybe move your head around a little bit or lean forward a little bit whatever direction you want to give them but you need to also let him know how it looks well that's maybe that's good but you know what I liked it better when you turn this way direction that you can help give the person in that city in front of the lens to make them feel good and also let them know what to d'oh what you don't want to do is go oh that looks terrible don't do that again you know don't turn that way no no no no no don't do that when you're working with someone in front of the camera because all it does is make them feel bad and you're going to end up getting kind of mediocre or bad shot out of it, so there's no reason for it should just be ah positive thing you need to show them respect in front of the camera there realized person, especially if you're working with models, they're not just objects, they're real people, and everyone has feelings, you know? So they want to know how they look and they want to feel good, so you need to give him that. And so what I'm going to do now is turn on my camera that's probably a really good thing to start with, and I'm nice is a one oo one one oo one class or do turn on your camera, and I'm not quite sure what my exposure's going to be right now, and, um, I'm just going toe I'm going to set it to p for program and just see what my camera gives me and let's see what my my I s o okay, so now as I turn it, so I guess I can't turn it that way, we're not going to do any vertical shots were going to d'oh shots where I'm just kind of zooming in, and just so you know, this isn't how I would normally work my dslr I'd put my eyeball up to the optical viewfinder, but for this particular situation I am tethered to the cameras so that everyone can see what's going on on the screen so it's kind of changing the way I would normally work with my dslr so right now I'm in something called live view and because I'm tethered to the television screen and all the equipment here it's letting everyone see so I'm going to look in the screen and then looking at tammy and this looks pretty good tammy actually you know turn your your face that away it looks nice and try put your chin down just a little bit that's nice we'll see how this looks and I will come up in a second and I need to take it again sometimes you have to take a lot of pictures and when you first start shooting someone it's a good idea to say you know what? I'm just checking my settings right now and checking out the light because you will have to do that to check your settings check the light and make sure that you you are technically ready and you don't want to take too much time doing that because people get kind of bored sitting in front of the camera it's like you got to kind of you know keep it going but right now I'm using a twenty four to one ofthe no twenty four to seventy millimeters zoom lens so I am zoomed out all the way at about seventy millimeters and that's the longest part of this focal length on this lens I'm coming up a little bit closer to her to kind of fill the frame and the focusing point is right over her eye and that's important thing you want to make sure when you take photographs is that you are focusing on someone's eyes and that the eyes are sharp and in focus I mean there's something really annoying about looking at a portrait photograph and you see that their noses sharply in focus but their eyes are a little blurry so as you're looking through your view finder it's pretty you want to make sure that the eye is definitely in focus now I want to talk a little bit about how I'm framing this if you notice I have her over on one side of the frame and maybe chin down just a little bit here you go and eyes eyes to me nice so the way I'm I'm framing this as she's off to the sides to remember the rule of thirds that we talked about so I've moved her over bit a little bit to the side I'm shooting in the landscape mode in my camera I'm not going to be shooting in portrait mode or vertically because that won't work right now with the way we have it set up I'm also trying to make sure that I don't have a lot of head room over her head look at that that is not what she wanted what you want to do to take the shot and this is often times what will happen is you know we'll set up the shot just like this it's like oh there's the focusing point there's her face and she's right in the middle that must be where I'm supposed to put put the focus right? Well no not necessarily maybe you'd have like a lot of head room that's not such a great composition I want to bring it down a little bit we don't there's nothing going on above her head right now that's that interesting we don't need that space we're not going to put text above it or anything in our invitation to the party if we decide to use this picture for that I'm just the way I'm composing it is important to watch okay right now talk more but talked more about kind of composing it the light we haven't really gone into too much what I could do if I wanted to change my exposure settings because right now I'm in program it looks like even though my eyes so I said it to four hundred so I'm letting in a little bit more light than normal my f stop is two eight because that's what my lens allows me to use but it looks like the shutter speed is showing up is like one thirtieth of a second which is not a great shutter speed to use if your hand holding a camera because it's like you know, just talking and breathing I'm kind of wiggling around and that may create a little image blur in the picture even though you know we've got a pretty decent light so what I would do is knowing that those are my settings I'm looking here in the computer screen but you would look on your lcd screen on your on your camera and say, what were the settings I just got for that automatic setting I haven't program and then I would turn my exposure dial two m for manual and perhaps play around a little bit more with it and I raised my eyes so just a little bit more having to do with this lighting condition and maybe I'll do something a little bit I'll leave it it to eight but I'm going to raise my shutter speed a little bit all rights on playback mood now while impressing playback mode I'm going to move this light a little bit right now I have the light it was pretty close to her it was probably about three two feet away now I'm moving it back and impressing review ok so here's the picture that I just took I changed my exposure settings it's now at one one hundredth of a second for the shutter speed and f two eight for the aperture and the iast oh I'd raise that was one I took before and that was in program mode and that that means the camera was making all the exposure guests in this for me but it wasn't it wasn't a good exposure for one the shutter speed is too slow one twenty fifth of a second is really too slow to handhold so that's why I decided to take matters into my own hands is to turn into manual and try playing with settings a little bit more I raise the shutter speed this is another one that I took in program again she's composed off to the side and the lighting is just kind of its lighting her entire face and that one we had a little bit of the eye flutter and sometimes that's just that's just part of working with your model and not everyone can keep their eyes open all the time so now we talked about a few different things some camera settings exposure settings talked about composition but right now what I want to do is get more into the actual lighting aspect of things and show you really quick errand before you do if you don't mind just for those folks who might be really new to this you know I know that you said that you were wanting to focus on her eyes but then not be looking but not have her in the exact center of the camera so how do you physically do that? How do you physically lock onto her eyes, but then move that focus point away from the center? Excellent question, and that has to do with the focusing points in your camera. So most cameras, now that you purchase, have anywhere from nine to sixteen, even more focusing points, all those little red dots that kind of bounce around on the inside of your optical viewfinders, you're looking through it and what's going to happen is if they're all turned on all those little focusing points and there's a little button on the camera, I'll show you on that you can press to see where you're focusing, points are, and, of course, the specifics will depend on the camera model. Yeah, I just don't know if it's going to work now being tethered, so on this particular camera model, there's a little button here in the upper right it's got little dots on it, so you'll have to consult your camera manual to see where yours is for your focusing points. But find that button because you press it and normally is so you're focusing points show up here in the top screen if you have a dslr, or maybe it'll show up here in the back, on your lcd, depending on which can we have? And you can usually cycle through there's a dialogue on your camera somewhere or button where you khun cycle through using all those different focusing point so as I mentioned they you might have a camera that has like thirteen or sixteen focusing point so if I point that it's somewhat it means whatever is closest to camera is what the camera's going to focus on one of those focusing points somewhere around the scene is going to go tpp and focus on that. I don't really have a whole lot of control when I'm using all the focusing points at once it's not really a good thing to use if you wanted to let's say I wanted to take a picture of hans and have him and focus and maybe something over here in front of him uh out of focus if I wanted that that's not gonna happen if I have all my focusing points on because it's going to focus on that because that's closer to me so what I would do that has turned the dialogue and then you can see all the different focusing points move around you can choose one in this area of the frame wherever you want the focusing point to be what I choose is the one right in the middle so I only shoot with the focusing point right in the middle and the reason for that is I always know where it is and I can I can focus on someone, press the shutter button, composed them, I'll focus on her, have her right in the middle where the focusing point is, I press the shutter button halfway down that locks in the exposure and focus, and I keep my finger on that shutter button halfway down and then I can kind of move my camera and recompose the shot and then click so that's how I like to do it. Some people like to work with all the focusing points and they just know they're running around and they just whatever they shoot, they'll know that something will be in focus, but if I'm shooting portrait's especially I want to make sure that I get those eyes and focus. So if I'm using that middle focusing point, I know that I can really I can point it right in the eye and really focusing on that hole that shutter button halfway down, lock it in and then just move it a little bit and then click so that's how I get the eyes shirt. Um, this is one thing that really mess is a lot of people up. Is this this finding the focus point on their camera because you've got the media ring point, which is measuring the light but that's not the same thing as a focusing point, so focus points are different than littering the light and that's one thing a lot of people get mixed up and it's easy to get mixed up but just think focus you know where is my focusing pullout that manual or if you don't have your manual which a lot of people don't because you know you lose it because you're not reading it under the bed somewhere and he moved I don't know but you can go to their website and download it or just goto google and type in like I typed in cannon seventy manual download and it goes takes me straight to the website and I can download the pdf manual right there it takes like seconds and so that way you've got it you can always reference it and go in and find out where are your focusing points and moving around so that you know where they are you have more control again this is the technical part of gaining control over this creative tool that you have here but yeah, that was a good question. All right, so back to the light oh yeah it's the lights okay, so we have this one light on tammy and I had it kind of close to her and now I'm pulling it back and I wanted to just look at the light on her face right now just this kind of a study to see what happens with this light so let's say I've got it up really close to her like this and look at the shadows look a little a little more dramatic a little darker don't they so if I wanted something a little more dramatic and darker I know that I could move this like close and it's going to be bright and things were going to look a little a little sharper I pull it back and now things look a lot softer don't they don't have this harsh shadows of the lights not as bright on her but it looks like the shadows that were there before are not there so depending on the look that you want you can move the light a little bit closer or move it back so this is just working with one light um we're kind of I'm trying we set this up so it would look like anyone's living room so anyone's living room doesn't always have all the space of a studio right sometimes you have to come in kind of close and make do with what you have what I'm going to do now is bring this light and over to the side and show you what this sidelight could look like on her if I wanted something more dramatic something a little moodier I had the light pulled all the way out here it was like soft and pretty and light and now it's like more drama so maybe if this were if tammy were an actress and she wanted to kind of photographs oftentimes agents will ask you for a happy, smiling, commercially looking photograph and then they want something more dramatic they call it a theatrical photograph and this would be more theatrical because there's more drama to it there's more shadow to it and those are just two different styles of photographs and one of the places that you could use those so I'm gonna take another shot of that her with this one light and that's this is what's so important to really get in your in your brain now in the beginning when you're starting to work with lights it's not all about just set him up turn amman, take the picture it's about set him up, turn them on and then move them around and if you're shooting someone that's in a hurry and you know that they're coming say to your house and they don't have much time to shoot if you can get someone else to kind of sit in while you're setting up lights and things so that they're not you know, sitting there waiting while you're futzing around um one thing that really and tammy's like so fabulously patient, but one thing that really cuts down on the energy on someone when they're in front of the camera is when you are working with all your technical stuff, you're very focused on it and your intense in making this work and moving lights around but as they sit there they're like wilting like a flower on the fine they're like well so you have to keep the energy up and that's part of your job of photographing someone not only to be observant but to keep their energy up to so right now tammy's being super patient and she's a pro so she knows how to do this I'm now going to focus in and if I can get you to come up on camera and there she is and tammy I'm gonna have you just kind of follow my thumb turn your turn your face that way and then chin down just a tad and now turn your face this way let me see what that looks like I just I'm trying to kind of check out and see the lighting pattern on your face where the lights falling and now turn your face all the way this way and chin down just a little bit that's pretty that's pretty I like that so now I moved her all the way over to the other side of the frame and I had to turn her face towards the light so what's happening now is the side of her face that's closest to camera is a little bit darker because the lights coming around from that other side and this is a lighting pattern that we talked about called short lighting and this actually can help thin out someone's face it's a lighting pattern that a lot of tv programs like si esa and places that like that like to use because it's this kind of a little bit more dramatic lighting if someone happened to have a wide face it's also a good lighting pattern to use, but just something of interest. So just by turning someone's face ok, that looks great and right in the camera, chin down just a little bit that's nice just by turning into the light. Now, she's got a different kind of look going on in her face, so just because you move the lights around doesn't mean that now I'm going to go into review mode and we're gonna look at those just because you're moving the lights around, does it mean that the person has to stay in that same spot? Now? I may change my exposure settings a little bit, because now that the light is closer to her she's, much brighter and I can go in and perhaps raise my shutter speed even more, or perhaps use an aperture setting that's a little smaller, I can play with that and again, it's, like right now jump into the deep end and do some playing we were shooting in program mode, which is the sophisticated automatic mode yesterday and we can still do some of that today but I just wanted to point out that it's it's okay to get in and play and right now I've got the shutter speed of one twenty five and I'm going to use well the different aperture three to see how that looks place okay so right now we're just kind of doing some very simple things she's kind of turning your face towards the light I'm playing with exposure and this is something you may want to do when you first start shooting someone it's kind of see what the exposure settings are that looked good before you get started because when I say get started it's like there's um oh mentum that happens when you start taking pictures it's not like what I'm doing right now because I'm talking a lot but it's you're talking to someone you're telling him hey yeah I'm kind of I'm getting a lighting you know set up but you look good we try couple exposure settings so just bear with me here so they know they don't really have to perform much yet but then you kind of get into it then you start talking to him like oh yeah I love it well that looks really great well let's try this so right now proposing I'm coming in really tight on her so as far as opposing she's had not had to really do any posing shut down just a tad regal it's nice. I changed my exposure settings it's looking kind of a little bit dark. I think I can try and if you use a little bit different shutter speed and try that again and I'm a step back and right now I'm just working with landscape mode so it's a little bit limiting if you wanted to try working in portrait mode that's also a good way to go and you look fabulous. We just lost a little bit of our live you whoops and maybe not. All right, let me go into review let's look at what we have so far and then what I'd like to do is show you just a couple different lighting patterns. So now I've got the light in there and everything here she's turned away from the light. I've got nice light on her hair if there's a little shadow on the side of her face that's turned away so just some basic things you can do to kind of play around, move someone around in front of the light usually face towards the light is going to diminish any imperfections and play around with the exposure and see if you can make things kind of shake it up and make things look a little different so that's just one light now going to show you too

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.