Shoot: Softbox with Window Light


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Shoot: Softbox with Window Light

What we're going to do now is play around a little bit with window light and window light comes in all varieties as faras maybe how bigger windows are in your home, where they're located, you know what direction they're pointing oftentimes north facing windows could be really nice because you never really get any direct sun that way. So it's always this kind of nice ambient light here we're in seattle and it's kind of a gray day right now, and so we've got a lot of nice, indirect and a bright light coming in through these windows. Aaron, would you want us to turn off these lights on this side or are you good with how did you know? Maybe a couple over there just we can get more of this true light over here, okay, so what's happening right now with this particular lighting situation? If you're in your home in front of a window it's kind of it's kind of a great day and it is almost like quarter of three in the afternoon in october, so the lights a little low in the sky right now, we don't...

have a lot of it, but what what is happening now with this window lights as I have her back towards the window? I'm just getting some look at her hair she's got some nice hair light going on so I know that that's already kind of working like this second light did here for me, naturally that so that's that's the first way, we'll start, I can kind of move her around also weaken, try different setups, but right now I think what I'm going to do is I'll just have a light kind of off one side like this. What you want to pay attention to also is if you are so far chair, whatever you have, someone sitting on is close to a wall you want to pay attention to if you're lighting it that you don't want shadows on the wall that's right behind the person you're shooting because that's just not a good look and photographs get step stool out of here it's cool it's folds up flat. I love that. All right, so we thought about the color here and maybe tammy, I'm gonna have you kind of sit out on the edge of the couch. There you go. So if you have someone sitting down, you want to make sure they've got a little kind of shape going on in their body you want don't want to just like plunk on the couch, so there has to be some kind of visual interest going on there and you think of an s curve when you're posing someone when they're sitting down or even standing up, remember I was telling about you don't wantto stand like this to the camera, you want to put your weight on your back foot? So you got some shape, same thing with someone sitting down so instantly, she just sort of crossed her leg and about creates kind of an s curve and some visual interest, so if I was going to photograph her there, I could come in from this direction and I can put the light pretty much anywhere I want I'll check for exposure because the light now has changed a little bit and I may have to change my settings. What I might do is just shoot in p her program, that kind of automatic, that sort of special special way to shoot if you want to make things a little more sophisticated and just regular old automatic p for program allows me to get in and the camera just the exposure for me. That's nice, the camera just to exposure for me, and I don't have to do anything I don't have to think about shutter speeder aperture, and I can tell by looking at the picture here on the screen that my shutter speed was at one eighty eighth of a second and the aperture was three point five. So that's actually those are pretty good settings for taking portrait remember we talked about you don't want it any slower than one sixteenth of a second shutter speed if you're gonna hand hold your camera usually even with image stabilization or vibration reduction in some lenses that will allow you to shoot maybe a stop or two darker stopper to slower one sixtieth is a good rule of thumb ok, so we're back to tammy and she's here on the on the sofa the colors are looking great I love this whole this whole coral and kind of lavender violet and the teal green so what I would want to do is I've taken a shot of her kind of hanging out sitting on the couch I'll come in and take a tight shot just five zooming and remember by using this longer telephoto aspect of the lens it actually is a more attractive focal length too and try turning your face a bit more towards the light towards that way that's pretty even more towards the light a look how things have changed on her face just from the way she's turned her face okay tammy, turn your face all the way to the right the other right yeah there you go she started friends all the way to the right and this is kind of away from the light so we've got some shadow on one side of her face and I would probably I would reframe it that way if I were going to frame the shot, I wouldn't frame it this way because she's looking out towards the ends of edge of the frame that's really not a good way to put anyone in a frame to have them looking out the edge you want to give them looking room within the photograph now look at that I just change the composition and it automatically kind of it feels better gives her space toe look called looking room now let's turn your face more towards the light turn it more to your left kind of slow. There you go that's nice and just when you got to start looking over to the light that was pretty look towards the lives it's always it's always nice. When people look towards the light, you can see the catch light in her eye and the light is really pretty on her face. I'm going toe now zoom out a little bit and incorporate mohr of her body in the shot. And now you can try looking right at me on the next one and just kind of keep your face in the same general area that's pretty and it's almost like, you know, we're having a conversation even though I'm looking over here in this screen does I can't see mine on the camera, but it is if we're kind of having a conversation in this picture so if someone were to look at this picture of you they think oh wow, so we're sitting in her living room kind of having a talk and maybe you want to lean forward is about a ziff you're about to tell me something so let me tell you about you know this so you want to think about ways that you can position people that might look engaging in a photograph any time you can lean forward a little bit, things look a little more friendly as opposed to someone leaning back and maybe just with your right arm maybe bring that further down a little bit there you go that's nice and I'm just kind of just kind of playing around at this point, but now it's now I could take a picture and I've got thiss whole blank sofa next to her why would I take a picture like that with the whole blank sofa next to her? Doesn't that picture say something to you like I want you to come over and sit down on this sofa next to me? Sometimes you want to take photos that have a message in them as if someone's looking at it, thinking what would well what I like to do with this photo maybe I'd like to be there too or I'd like to come sit next sit next to her on that sofa or maybe you want incorporate other things were going on in the room I see some great flowers over there and I want to pull those into the side so just look around the very edges of your frame as you're shooting to incorporate other things into the picture that might make sense so let's try something else maybe what let's see what you want to do first I always like to do that with people that I take pictures of did you see what are they comfortable doing something as they come up with things I could never even think of what's a nice and you have someone that's directing you too much you kind of shut down creatively so I like the person in front of the lens to kind of show me what they like to do and then I can tweak it from there and that looks nice so that's great she's taken advantage of the full length of the sofa and right now what I'm seeing in the corner of the frame see that little black and white thing the left hand corner that is my step stool I could either take the picture and do a lot of photo shop later or I could go over right now and take this out of the frame this is going to save me hours later if I decide I want to do that so think about that when you're taking photographs it's it's not always about oh, I can there's a joke that we have or photographing, whether it's video video or stills fix it in post meaning fix it after the fact in photo shop you don't wanna have to do that. I really think you should try and capture the picture the best way you possibly can while you're actually taking it doesn't have to be later when you, when you want to fix it and photo shops, I'm getting cords out of the way and making sure that, you know, those over there aren't in the shot and just kind of framing it, looking at all the edges, that's nice, so that's that's really lovely, I mean, she's got she's laying across the sofa and unable to capture this shot this way, and it gives me a lot of leeway, so I could I could come in, say, from here and capture her full length notice I'm not cropping her feet off or anything else and almost like we're having a chat like ha ha ha ha! Let me tell you about this and she's got this great look on her face that she's happy and hanging out now I could if I wanted to tell it's a little story about this area, I've taken the the the wide shot, maybe I'd want to take more of a what we call a medium shots I'm coming in a little bit closer and this time maybe look towards the light. So that's, what a difference that makes just depending on which way she's looking. Look at that. All the light on her face looks so much prettier, and I could come in now and maybe even do a detail shot. Maybe you're holding the tassels on the scar for something, and I could come in um, almost as if you're looking at the tassels on the scarf like maybe she's, the scarf designer that we talked about, and I wanted to come in and capture a close up shot and just kind of hold it right there, and I'm gonna close, so I had to pull back a little bit because only get position that shot that's life, I had to pull back a little bit because sometimes focusing with the lens when you're looking through your view finder might looks like things aren't that in focus, and maybe you're too close to the person with that particular lens to really get a focused shot. Because lenses have a minimum focusing distance some of marseille three feet, you can't get any closer than three feet with some lenses. So you want to make sure if you get into close of things are looking a little blurry, try moving back a little bit, and that might help might help with the focusing. So here we've got kind of a close up shot, so if she were a scarf designer and we were maybe doing a blogger for her or maybe a brochure or something where she wanted to advertise what was going on or how fabulous her scarves were, we've got kind of a close up shot, one of for her wearing it, and then one of her hanging out there on her sofa, and we could have other shots two of maybe piles of scarves or just things like that. So think about, you know, there's, a story being told just by composing your shot different ways, your shots differently and which way you're turned towards. The light makes a big difference, and I've got that nice hair light on her hair because things were being lit up from behind with the window light kind of nice. Okay, this is great. You can let go that something else, which we're not really set up right now to show you this, but another way you might work with windows. Is. Have someone turned their face towards the window and you are over by the window, photographing them with the full window light falling on them. Right now, I just have window light. Lighting up her hair is, if that's, another say, studio light. So, in essence, I'm using a daylight balance soft box here, which is giving me nice light on her face. And then I've got this window light behind her, that's illuminating her hair. So a couple things to think about that you can you can play with when you are photographing, 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.