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Exploring Low-Key Portraiture

Lesson 3 of 15

Bringing in the Subject

Chris Knight

Exploring Low-Key Portraiture

Chris Knight

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Lesson Info

3. Bringing in the Subject


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:12:53
2 What Is Low-Key Lighting? Duration:11:11
3 Bringing in the Subject Duration:05:01
4 Lighting Patterns Duration:19:21
6 Giving Your Light a Job Duration:12:07
7 How to Create Separation Duration:06:58

Lesson Info

Bringing in the Subject

So we're gonna be talking about a few different elements of of working with the subject, and we are going to be digging in to lighting patterns in controlling shadow and everything else. I think it's It's really important to address a couple of other characteristics, which are the elements of personal style and making subjects to fit your style and how you style for the lighting that you use. So, first of all, personal style is an important characteristic of any kind of portraiture. If you are and personal Cell extends, MAWR extends to more places than just the way you like. It can certainly be an element, a stylistic component. But there are other things that are gonna lend themselves to personal style. And it's It's usually a lot more than just the way you like. It may be the kinds of subjects you shoot. It may be if you like to shoot people with character or people who have young, flawless faces. It's it's, there's a There's a total range of the ways in which you are going to captur...

e your subjects. Now we don't necessarily always have the ability to choose, and so that's the other part of this. You have the omen of personal style. You have the work that you are going to create for yourself, but you also sometimes will have to make subjects work within your style. And so how do you take something that you do stylistically and apply it to other people? This is also something that we have to adjust, and and so the things that we use are not necessarily going to be a one toe one. Translation. If you have a certain face type that lends itself to a certain kind of light, it may not work with another face type. So what do you do to make that work? And the answer is, it depends. It's it's It's this adaptive process, and it's about, you know, that there are there different. There are different mentalities when it comes to the way you like you. You can either make a subject fit your lighting style. You can create light that is solely about the subject called purpose. You know, the subject driven light. I think there's a Gregory Heisler term, the subject driven light, which which I think is great. Then then you also have something I think that's a little bit in between where you can have a personal style and you can shape and adapt the light to fit that I've got. I think the 1st 5 or six images on my website, I hope they feel like me stylistically. But they're all done with different, totally different lighting setups, but they feel stylistically similar. And that's kind of the really important part of this is. It's about making the light work for you as the person who's creating the light in shaping the light. My so it's having a subject, being able to pick your subject versus being hired for a job, maybe, and making those subjects work within your personal style. Now the last part of this living we have to address is going to be styling for the low key image now. Low key image, All about dark tones. When Paul came in, he brought lots of different wardrobe options. This is actually the sweater you showed up in, Um, but I brought other options. Um, and the reason I opted for this is I wanted something with a little bit of texture. I like texture. The background has texture. The sweater has texture. And I also have a jacket because I wanted a structured collar. That's just a stylistic element of something that I like personally. So we're gonna be using that later from we actually get to the shooting portion. For now, we're just gonna talk a little bit more about lighting patterns. And I don't want toe torture him by making him wear a peacoat and a sweater inside just yet. But But for now, I wanted to go with something that wouldn't be distracting. So several of the sweaters that he brought were a little bit lighter in tone, and I wanted something that wouldn't necessarily distract from this. And when you have an overly dark image and you start bringing in bright elements, we know the I gravitates toward those bright elements and I don't necessarily want that. So everything is really about reinforcing where the eye needs to go for May. Okay, so that's that's why we have to think about why styling components are actually very, very important to this process, and it doesn't have to be overly complex. This is a sweater that he brought with him. I brought my own coat. These are different things that we can use. Teoh work for the image

Class Description

Embrace the dark! No longer be afraid of shadow and murky tones. Explore the low-key portrait with Chris Knight. Learn how to maximize the detail in dark imagery through lighting and post-production. Chris will take you from concept through execution covering simple (yet effective) lighting techniques as well as tethering tips with Adobe® Lightroom®. He'll also discuss how to develop the raw image and retouching tactics to make your image appear powerful and purposeful.


Brenda Pollock Smith

Thank you Chris Knight and Creative Live for another excellent class. I appreciate both the actual shooting and post instruction. Right before your eyes you will see how simple applications of light, shadow combined with post production can create gorgeous, dark images. Chris has a great relaxed manner, easy to follow while offering a ton of tips and tricks. I can hardly wait to try my hand at producing some hauntingly beautiful images like Chris.

a Creativelive Student

I don't have a ton of time to spare and largely catch segments of courses on short breaks. One of the things i like best about this course Chris's ability to communicate so effectively and efficiently. He covers a lot of ground in not a lot of time, but the course doesn't feel at all rushed. He's just a good speaker/instructor. One of the other reviewers mentioned that this instructor brings no ego to the stage, and I have to agree. He's a confident and competent instructor without being obnoxious. Rock solid course with terrific instruction. I will definitely check out more of Knight's classes.

jos riv

The detail and order in which the information for this class was presented was just perfect. It was like a perfectly prepared meal with each bite more delicious than the last. It had exactly what I needed to move forward with some of my techniques. So glad to have the class so I can enjoy/learn over and over.