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Environmental Portrait Photography

Lesson 17 of 48

Shoot: Create Intentional Shadows

Dan Brouillette

Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

17. Shoot: Create Intentional Shadows
Working with studio photography lighting is just as much about the shadows as it is the light. Learn how to create intentional shadows using studio equipment.

Lessons

Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction 06:15 2 Introduction to The Environmental Portrait 06:51 3 Environmental Portrait Purpose 13:06 4 Personal Work 18:36 5 Find Your Process 20:20 6 Tethering 18:35 7 Purpose For Action Editorial 05:19 8 Prepare for Shoot 06:10

Lesson Info

Shoot: Create Intentional Shadows

Now the one thing I'm gonna do is kind of screw it all up and I'm gonna have you relax for a second. We're gonna do a couple action shots in studio, so when I was talking about that paparazzi style light earlier with the on-camera flash, I do that a lot of times with the Profoto at the B2, because I can hand hold it. I happen to have my own personal B2 back here. And then I fill that in with one of these big umbrellas, cause there is gonna be some fall off, and that will be our last light set up. At least that's what I say, but I keep looking at the clock and we have time, so why not keep playing? And we're gonna go back to the white type of background. So, actually we are going to do two things. Brock, I'm going to have you stand back on the seamless, about, so don't lean back on this. This is not a wall. That happened once. Someone thought it was a wall and ended up through the seamless with everything ruined, and that's not good. So, this is not a wall. Stand right where I'm at. I'v...

e been lighting him from this side a lot, so I'm gonna light him from this side. So stay right where you're at. We're gonna do one harsh light, where we're purposefully gonna throw a shadow on the wall. Now, the thing about shadows is they fall opposite the light, so the more our light is centered, the more that shadow's gonna directly behind him. But if we want the shadow to go off to a side, we need to move the light a little bit. So I'm gonna put it about right here. I'm gonna put it up pretty high, because I want that shadow to fall down. I don't want it to be directly next to his head. Same thing applies with the height of the light and shadows. And then we're gonna fill it in with this, but just to show you, I'm gonna start off with no fill. We're gonna shoot at F-8. And we are going to cast a shadow. Then we're going to move that light slowly back to the center position to show how to get that kind of an on-camera flash effect. F-5, we need to go up. Another third. To F-8, so we're good. All right, so you can stay right in there. I'm gonna have you turn just a little bit more this way. Yep, head right towards me. And then hold that ball down here. Perfect. (shutter clicks) So, I don't like how far away that shadow is right now. We've got two options here: For one, it's at an awkward distance. We either need to move farther away from the backdrop, which we can do, so take a step away from the backdrop, because that will give more space for his shadow to fall away. And I can also keep the light over here, so his shadow will kick out of frame. So, as of right now, I don't think we'll get a shadow on the backdrop if I do this second shot. Could be wrong. So, it's close. I don't mind that as much, especially if I were to get, turn your head that way once. (shutter clicks) Chin down a little bit. And if I move this way ever so slightly. (shutter clicks) So it's just a different look. Now what we can do is get back towards the backdrop again for me. Like right almost so you're as close as you can get without, you can ease your way back there. And we're gonna make the shadow be an actual part of the shot, so it's gonna fall almost directly behind him. So Brock, I'm gonna have you stare right at the camera. Yep, just like that. (shutter clicks) And we didn't change distances, so that, I don't know. That's art people. All right, we'll reconnect. There we go. Actually, that was the previous image. One, two, three. (shutter clicks) All right, so now you can see we've changed where that shadow goes. If you want that head shadow that's falling below his chin to not be so prominent below his chin, you need to lower the light. Cause that's gonna make his shadow go higher up. And these are all things that I do when I'm experimenting in the studio, photographing myself on the tripod. It's really thrilling. One, two, three. (shutter clicks) And there we go. That shadow's slowly going. It's just a matter of what you wanna do. If you want to move it to the other side, do this. One, two, three. This will be less distracting, because it will be on the opposite side of his face. So there's all that type of stuff you can do. This is kinda more that on-camera flash feel. One, two, three. (shutter clicks) I actually like that quite a bit.

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • Confidently create environmental portraits
  • Light any portrait, indoors or outdoors
  • Compose strong environmental portraits
  • Cull and polish high-end images in post
  • Develop a portfolio and marketing tactics

ABOUT DAN’S CLASS:

Create dramatic images anywhere by mastering on-location scouting, planning, lighting, and composition. Join professional photographer Dan Brouillette in a start-to-finish course on the art of environmental portraits. From planning and scouting to post-processing and portfolio building, gain the skills to shoot high-end portraits, anywhere. While designed for environmental portrait work, this class is also for any photographer that wants to create better light, on location.

In this light-intensive course, learn how to craft environmental portraits using photographic lighting techniques working with both natural light and studio lighting equipment. Work with multi-light strobe set-ups and natural window light to turn difficult lighting conditions into beautiful light. Then, learn how to mix natural light and studio lights for dramatic effects that complement the scene. By incorporating light in new and inventive ways, Dan will help you push the boundaries of your portraits and improve your workflow.

Finally, work with culling and post-processing. Learn how to polish images using a combination of Capture One, Photoshop, and Alien Skin software. Then, gain insight into building a portfolio and marketing your work to work in editorial and commercial areas for environmental portraiture.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • Budding portrait photographers
  • On-location portrait photographers
  • Photographers eager to learn on-location lighting
  • Photographers branching into commercial and editorial work


SOFTWARE USED:

Capture One 11, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, Alien Skin 2018

ABOUT YOUR INSTRUCTOR:

Dan Brouillette's high-end editorial style has lead to work with celebrities from Anne Hathaway to Scarlett Johansson. A commercial, editorial and senior photographer based in Nebraska, he's known for giving everyday people the Hollywood look. His previous work as a lighting technician helped him build his signature style using dramatic lighting techniques typically used for commercial work. With an insightful and easy listening teaching style, he helps photographers learn to craft with light.

Reviews

Julie V
 

I had the chance to sit in the audience for this class and absolutely loved it. Watching Dan create amazing images from start to finish in front of us was so inspiring. I've learned so much from this class. It actually gave me the confidence to start playing with lights in my studio. It was really useful to see how he sets his lights and how he can easily mix ambient light with artificial. I also love how he focuses on getting the image right in the camera to only do light edits after. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn more about lighting, shooting tethered and editing efficiently!

a Creativelive Student
 

I love this guy! I so appreciate his honesty while he is explaining his thought process, admitting that his “shoulda/coulda/woulda’s” - which I experience ALL the time. I am now going to dust off my light meter and start using it on location as I’m convinced that it works now that I’ve seen Dan’s class. I enjoyed the detailed way he sets up each light individually, checking to make sure it adds the amount and quality of light he wants. Definitely recommend this class - especially for those people who have experience using studio lights and want to see how they can be used to get specific results. Dan’s clear, simple explanations, his unabashed humility, and his sense of humor made this a truly enjoyable way to spend my time learning his methods.

a Creativelive Student
 

Dan is an excellent instructor! He's completely transparent with his thought processes, from technical to creative. He doesn't waste time horsing around or getting off topic, but is structured and sticks to his outline. Every minute watched is on topic, and is understandable. He's sincere and likable. The course is great for anyone interested in this genre!