Lighting Set Up


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Lighting Set Up

Well, we're back and we are going to have some fun today we're actually going to be working with a live model, but before we get into that, I'm going to show you how to put together a home studio, lighting kids and actually it's a soft box it's a constant light source and it's the easiest thing to work with. So what I'm going tio set up is this light on this stand? So you've seen the light over here? This is a constant daylight balanced soft box on a stand, and it may look a little intimidating. I don't know, maybe some of you have worked with home studio lights in the past or some kind of studio light. Now there are different kinds of of life that you want to work with there's the strobe light like the flash it's, like the flash on top of the camera that we talked about earlier today, and then there is constant light and constant light is just that it's constantly on and it's a great light source to learn with because what you see is what you get. So what we're going to be working wit...

h today is the's lights, and I'll just show you what it looks like inside here before we turn it on thiss is a soft box. With velcro this's a soft box that's silver on the inside and what this does is bounce helped bounce this lie around in this little soft box here of the bomb and I just took off what's called a diffusion panel and this is just like that the fusion panel I was using to defuse the light earlier except that we use it over the soft box here to make the light look nice and soft so what I thought might be helpful for everyone if you've seen studio lights like this it's like ok, great. Now what do I do with it or how do I work this thing? I thought I'd start with the very basics and that is putting one together so you can see exactly how it's supposed to be put together and it's easy to use because you can just plug it right into your wall socket at home, so I'm gonna go through. I just have everything over here on the sofa and I'm going to go through setting up the stand first and then setting up the soft box of putting in the light just so you know exactly how that works, and then I'm going to have one of you come up and do one too, so I'll do it first and then one of you can come up and I'll help you do it or you can so that means that you really have to watch now it's kind of a test you have to watch what's happening so here is ah light stand and I've got the three legs this is how it will arrive and there's a little knob here on the side that I'm gonna loosen up and what that allows me to do it's kind of pulled these legs apart a little bit and I apply some pressure appear and pushing push this down now when you're setting up a light stand I know when I started assisting someone a long time ago I wasn't quite sure how to do this I thought, well how hard can it be right it's just a light stand you just put together and set it down when you start doing it it's like well, wait a minute that's it's supposed to be like that or is it supposed to be like that or how is it supposed to be? I have found that you have the most stability with a light stand if you set it up so that these stability things right here are pretty much parallel with the floor now I've seen some people set up white stands like this and that's okay if you need a smaller footprint because sometimes these legs take up a lot of room but it's not going to give you the most stability so if you really want stability and you generally do because when she put lights on here you don't want them crashing down so once I get that it's a place I want and I just take the sole knob and tighten it back up like so tidy righty turn it to the right will tighten up and here on the top I've got two other little knobs and what this does is it allows me to make this tolerance about a six foot, um stand, but right now I'm just going to leave it at that height because what we're going to do next is with soft box on it you got that about the stand this is about where you want it to be a make sure that's heightened ups with stable. Now every lights are gonna be a little bit different depending on which one you decide to purchase, but this particular light set up is it's going to come in the box and it's it's going so you're going to take it out and look like this it's like, what do I do with that thing? Okay, well, this is actually it's a light socket and it has a soft box around it just like you saw here and now I've got to put it together and they're a couple different ways you can do it one way to do it is to take all these little kind of wire little wire things or four of them inside here and each one of those fits inside one of these little pockets here on each corner of the soft blocks so you could have someone help you? We could set it on something, but right now, what I'm going to try to do is put it together holding it. And I have found that if you're doing it by yourself it's a little bit easier if I pushed down on this little socket ring here it's kind of on a spring if you can see that. Well, socket ring. I'm gonna push it down and it's going to kind of open up the soft box. So what it does is it sort of pushes all these out it's gonna look kind of weird at first because I've got to push this ring down over that. Ok, now it's looking really strange. What do I do with this thing? Well, now you can kind of take and sort of been these and fifth and into the pockets. And this is where I found it's helpful. You may want to sit down and just put it on your legs like so and you sort of been these and stick him inside each one of the pockets and make sure that it's secure and this also I just want to point out it's got velcro all the way around the box so if you're sitting down it's going to maybe stick to your clothes don't be alarmed it happens and just kind of been these and stick him into the little pockets this is one way to put it together I've also put it together by trying to stick these into the pockets first and then pushing that little rain down either way and aaron a quick question from gel which brand of soft bucks are you using right now? And well, I'm so happy that you asked me that question because I am using the fda west cards erin manning home studio lighting kid which I just happen to have a box here in the studio someone could run it over to me I'll show you what it looks like when it comes in the box and thank you for saying that because really I should have fully introduced my little friend here before I just started putting it together thank you so much. Our fabulous danielle was my model in the last segment thank you. This is the box that it comes in and notice that my colors but it comes basically with these two soft boxes to stands and I have an educational dvd in here too and usually retails for somewhere around three hundred dollars so it's you know it's not a lot of money to spend on a studio lighting it's pretty sturdy and stable and the fact that the light was trying to show you second is daylight balance fluorescent it's great because it mixes with daylight it's that same color temperature is daylight so in a while we're going to do is open up these curtains and actually work with lights with the daylight coming in through the windows so it's kind of a nice additional light you can use to pump up light and other situations too all right, so what I've done is I've put this together I'm breathing kind of hard right now he just left it at the box I just put this together and the soft box looks like this now inside here there's a socket for the bulb you can see that and what's been provided with this to help with safety is a little ring that you once you push this down you can put this little ring it just kind of screws on right over the socket. What it does is it prevents this from accidentally maybe popping out because if this does if you don't push this little ring down all the way, it could pop off when you have the bulb in it and that's not such a good thing the bulb might break and you don't want that ok, so also on here is the little place where we're going to place this on top of the stand and there's also a little knob here and you want to make sure that it's pulled all the way out so it doesn't the little screw for the knob here is not getting in the way or are putting it on the stand so now I'm going toe like this and just pop it on the stand and you'll know that it's fitting correctly logo pop pop all the way down you hardly see any gold here at the bottom and now I'm going to go ahead and just turn this knob to tighten it up and this way if I decide to you know, pick it up and lifted or if I accidentally grab this and pick it up this will stay on the stand although sometimes and we'll do this during the course of the day if I want to move the light around a little bit I just kind of loosen this up so I can move the light boom boom boom like that we'll look at progress already so here we have the stand we have it's off box next comes the bulb here's our fabulous bull but this is a daylight balance fluorescent bulb it's not the ball that you buy at home depot this is a special photographic daylight balanced person bulb that's higher quality it maintains the color temperature it's just it's a great ball that it comes with two bulbs in the kit if you happen to break one than you can by other ones but they last for eight thousand hours that's a long time compared to what are called hot lights now there's another constant light source out there that people have used for a long time they're called tungsten lights or hot lights and they actually are very hot they also provide a constant light source, but they've been kind of sometimes a little dangerous to work with just because they can get so hot. So if you've got kids running around in the house or they fall and something burns, you know you don't want that especially to if you're shooting pictures of babies, you don't wantto fry them with hot light so it's a good thing to use daylight balance fluorescent lights just because they're so cool they're cool and groovy at the same time so you just I'm basically just screwing this ball right into the socket like you would any other kind of light bulb so that's in now I could use it just like this if I wanted tio if I wanted to kind of ah harder light source but you know since we have the ability to soften it and since soft light looks so nice it does come with the diffusion panel and it has little velcro all the way around it, so it just fits right over like sue and you just pull it over each corner. And there he had a little soft box set up. So that velcro that was pulling at my sweater when I was putting it together. Now I just pinch the soft box on it and it's done. Okay, so one other thing I wanted, we now turn this around. You want to be able to control the light and to do things with it. So I mentioned that if you kind of loosened up this little top knob here, you could kind of move it around that way, but there's also another not here on the right. It's a much larger knob, and if you just kind of pull it towards you like that allows you to bring the soft box down or up here's a cool idea if let's say you've got a dinner party going on and you want to make sure everyone looks good in the pictures that you're taking, but you don't want to flash at the dinner table and you don't want to like, be dragging lights around and sickened, sticking them in people's faces. What you can do is just tilt this light up. Two if you have a white ceiling and it's not you know thirty feet away like most people have the eight foot ceilings and there's some rendition of white you could just point this up towards the ceiling and the light bounces up on the ceiling and bounces down and everyone else it looks beautiful because once that light bounces up to that big white ceiling becomes a much bigger light source and therefore much softer so something to think about it that's what's good to know about playing with this little knob here on the side so I'm just going toe bring it down about there and then tighten it up a little bit so it stays just like that now you have a cord and this is what you just plug into the wall and it does not take up much power I think it takes about eighty five watts um you know in your home plug so if you if you plug in a bunch of these it's not going poof break your circuit breaker anything because that that's what did happen to me one time I plugged in a bunch of hot lights not daylight balance where a fluorescence but actual hot lights into all my plugs at my home toe light something and I completely you know push everything just like everything went out so I tripped the circuits this does not do that and it actually puts out equivalent each one of these it puts out an equivalent of about two hundred sixty watts of light, so when you're looking at professional lights sometimes that's how they're measuring them how much light they they put out on someone so how bright things they're going to be for you so with the combination of these two lights it's equivalent to a little over five hundred watts of light and that's you know pretty basic lighting to start with good things to know if you're out there looking at lights because you want to make sure whatever you're photographing that you've got enough like to cover it now if you're photographing I'll say sports or people jumping and moving around and things like that if you're shooting in a dark room you may not have enough light for that so this is really something more for people that are if you want something that's totally it sharpened focus for people that are sitting for a portrait it's for boosting up the light next to a window things like that so that what happens and you plug this into the wall so where is my power core? Thank you very much. We're gonna plug it into an extension court thanks daniel and there's a little on off switch right here you can see I'm just gonna go poop and then there was light o there you go and it's it's really nice pretty lights I mean you're all looking even more fabulous and you did a few minutes ago. All right? So I can pointed at you and I can also raise it up so the little knobs that you see right here in the front I could just usually work with the top one first. So now that's up and now if I want tio aiken raise it up even higher by undoing the sole knob on the bottom and just pulling it up and sometimes it's a little sticky, you just have to kind of work with it so I might pull it up to about say that high now when you start bringing lights up kind of high like this because they get a little, you know they're a little heavy on the top, teo, sometimes you you may want to be careful if you've got kids running around and you know they might not this over it's still pretty durable and because it's got this soft box and everything in front of it it's probably not going to break it's not going to catch anything on fire because it's not hot, but you just don't want to be damaging the things you just purchased or one so it's a good idea tio put like a something to hold it so we have we happen to have some sandbags here on the set? Thank you well, in a sandbag is just that it's ah, it's what a lot of professionals use it sees little canvas cases and they're filled with sand and we just use them to place over things that we want to hold still, so you'll often cds on movie sets or photo sets. They're good to have their kind of heavy to carry around, but, you know, you can store them away and then fill him up when he need tio. But sandbags are really handy, so now this is much more stable. If I wanted to keep this in one spot and let's say, if I wanted to put some light on you over there and I I could kind of play around with, you know where I positioned this and I could do something kind of like right now, just to photograph the four of you fabulous students I have here. If I were going to photograph you and wanted to just pump some more light on your faces, I would not have this super close and maybe pull it back just a little bit. So the light would travel in a greater greater wits distance kind of angle. Then I could kind of cover your faces and just have a nice, soft lighting on everyone's face so it's a good way to photograph a group if you have some other ambient light going on in the room which we do right now we've got lights here and a little while we'll open up the windows and have light coming in from there so that's kind of the basics of setting up one of these lights and it's pretty much the same with with all stands what you see anywhere you might see larger stands or smaller stands but it's still the same way of putting them together and you'll know that you know, with the stand for instance, if they come like this, all you have to do is undo this and pull these out a little bit and just pushed down and just make sure you don't do that and they don't do that because it's not going to be very stable, okay? So now that we've set one of these up, what kind of point this light away and maybe I'll move this over to the side now one of my fabulous students here in the audience is going to come up and we'll put this together together how is that ok who would like to volunteer? Don't everybody jump up what is going on and give us a chance to shoot yesterday so I think that's right that's right ha ok come on a pawns all right, here you go. You can do this. I know it's good to have a positive outlook right on. Ok, look at that he's got got everything these things parallel to the floor right here is the soft box so just so you know, it's a good idea to kind of give you this ahead of time to try and keep that held down over this because it may slip out you want me to help you with it, will you? To kind of looking out for me? Yes, I am. So what he's doing right now is taking its toll the wire rods that air inside of here we may be tilted down this way people can see and he's just taking the wire ride and sticking each rod and a little pocket in each corner on the soft box doing a great job. So sometimes this could be kind of the difficult part, especially if you're doing it alone if you're standing up but it is it's totally possible look at that he's doing it so he's pushing down on that ring that goes around the socket on the inside it doesn't have to look pretty it just has to get to where it's going, okay, so yeah, so he's going to sit down and do it? So what he did is he got I think the first a couple in before he pushed it down. I was going to put the other two in afterwards. And those of the little rods that kind of form the shape of the soft box. All right. And what's happening is now, he's got a push that ring down and there's a socket in there that holds the bulb. So it's, kind of on a spring so that it can open up the soft box. Well, come on out here because you're already advanced past what I'm even talking about look, too. Okay. So then he took that little silver ring and he's, he has screwed the silver ring right around the socket where the bulb goes in. And now, it's a good idea to try and put this on the stand first. Let's do that. And you just want to make sure that that little screw inside of there isn't blocking it. Fitting over the stand. There you go. Great. Okay. And always tightening it up. And I'll bring you the bull. Well, you did it faster than I did. And it just it's just screws in like a regular household ball and there's the diffusion panel. Pretty easy. So and obviously, but you like this it's, your own, anything that you do you recommend. But just in case people aren't able to get that what are you looking for when you are purchasing soft boxes when you're purchasing these things to start out just as someone who is just getting into camera lighting well I mean every according to make all photographic equipment whether it's cameras, lenses or lighting you want to make sure that it's within your budget because obviously it's you know you could buy lights they're very expensive all the way down the lights that are extremely inexpensive but you want to make sure that it's durable so oftentimes it's a good idea and let's you've seen it you know, other people that have it it's a good idea to try to get into a store somewhere into a retail store and actually see it hands on so you can tell is it quality does it feel lindsay is it going to fall apart when I try to use it and put it together? I mean ordering over the internet's great but sometimes you just you don't know what you're getting so unless you really know the company line or you have to know someone that has won I highly recommend going to retail store and testing it other than that I mean you want to think about what you're going to be shooting so I showed a lot of portrait pse and I like to make the light looks often pretty I like soft boxes, other people maybe they're doing something that's more dramatic, and they want other lights that put out a lot more light, like maybe strobe lights that air that big flash of light, maybe they're shooting a lot of action or people jumping up in the air, and they just want a lot of light in a big space, then they might look at lights that are more powerful, that r strobe lights so just is all about what you're doing and kind of coupled with what you want to spend, but sometimes it's really good to just start off. If you don't know much about lights and controlling the light, get something that you find easy to use that it's not going to be too disconcerting to start playing around with that's. Why one of the reasons I decided it toe work with jay westcott on this is because it's, constant light and it's great to learn with because what you see is what you get. Strobe lights are a little more advanced sometimes it's hard to guess where the lights going to fall, until you look at the picture afterwards. It's hard to tell how things were going to turn out, but with this, you kind of learn as you're going so it's about where you're at, what you want in the end, how but you have to spend hey, the ryans

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.