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Shoot: Corporate Headshots

Lesson 16 from: FAST CLASS: Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

16. Shoot: Corporate Headshots

Lesson Info

Shoot: Corporate Headshots

So let's just see if we if we wanted how we could modulate this light. I mean, if we just kind of bring this in here, what kind of brightened up a little bit, you know, just like that. Just kind of just a little bit of a glow. Kind of a low blow. You comptel kind of how this might be affecting her face by looking at the low catch lights in her eyes. And if you see that low catch like this is generally speaking, gonna have some measure of influence. So But also fill boards, air Phil boards, they're they're wonderful. These guys, these air, try grips, snap down really easily, okay? And they pop open. So pretty nice to work with very kind to the face, you know, you can diffuse light, push it, pull It reflected all that sort of stuff, But it's also it's passive, right? Like the If I have it down here and out of my frame, then it's not gonna have that much effect. But if I bring it in, it has a very palpable effect. But what have I done? I've constrained myself compositionally so they fill ...

board is effective and it's nice and it's lovely and it's wonderful. But also, you have to be aware that you might have to go from a passive kind of a fill to an active fill, which would be flash that you might deploy on your behalf. You have to be chameleonlike when you're on location. As a photographer, you you sometimes have to be a field marshal like get this, you know, on radio. Get that you have to sometimes be a psychologist. I've actually counseled on occasion a couple of major celebrities who are like, very nervous about getting in front of the camera had a walk up and down the hallway with one while she chain smoked, you know, and she was so beautiful. But she was so nervous about being in front of camera like you're one of most beautiful people on Earth and you're worried about it. This is not just nuts and bolts and F stops and shutter speeds and and light stands and all of that. It's a job that involves a great deal of human relations. You have to be, ah, person that can talk to people and sort of draw something out of them. All right. So let's do eyes a camera here now, like Callie set me up as he always does. We have a starting point. What we try to religiously do is we try to zero our cameras when we're going out into the field. So he lets me know where are our baseline is? I'm a I s 0 200 right now to 55 6 on manual. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna get out of that immediately. I know where I start, but I'm thinking like aperture. Priority might be the way to go here. Anybody can predict out aperture priority might react in a situation like this. All right, So could you kind of maybe just get a little more of aggressive pose? They're kind of, uh, lean forward with your shoulders. Kind of. That's it. Lovely. That's beautiful. Okay, Kind of like an on the boss sort of post. All right, So aperture priority behaved predictably. If you see this, her skin is a little blown out. Why? Wearing a black jacket? She's got a black shirt. There's a black wall back there. There's black computer screens. Aperture priority is part and parcel of the machinery of this camera. It is very predictable in its responses. It's going to see that field of black, and it's going to react and say, Oh, I want to make it great. And so hence this exposure will kind of be a little on the hot side, so I can correct for that. And I can actually add a little I So I'm gonna add a little bit of I s O right now. And I can correct for that by introducing. I don't know. Let's call it minus one. My shutter speed will get faster. Beautiful. All right, now, I've got her reflection in the computer screen. We can't put imagery up on the computer screens because of commercial sort of licensing sort of stuff. We can't have. You know MSNBC on that there or something like that. So I'm gonna kind of live with that. I'm really just showing you what I might be able to do here. We're in available light scenario. All right, So, um, let me come in here. I'm not like in kind of the apple and all that sort of stuff. That's at F 5.6. So let's see if we can kind of get rid of that. Can we come in with a fill board here? Okay. All right. You feel good? Yeah. Did I disturb you? It looks like you were in a dream. States. You're right. OK. All right. I'm gonna come in tighter on Brittney. Okay, Beautiful. No. Nice. Okay. All right. Now, that looks, that's nicer, but it looks a little bit under. Let's spin you this way. Just a tiny bit. Okay, Uh, come towards the window. There you go. Good. Nice. All right, Now you can go right underneath her right there. Flat. Nice and flat. And now, lift. Up, up, up. Cool. Cool. Too much. Come back down. Can come back down, kid. Good, Good. Come back down, kid. Good, Nice. Good. Look, look, look, look. All right, so that's a minus one exposure, I think at this point now, getting closer to her. What have I lost? I've lost all the blackness. So now the meter is reacting in what you might refer to as a really tried and true way. Sorry. Single was on single. I swear to God, I was you know, let's take maybe 1/3 of a stop out of it. Okay, Cool. Beautiful. And that's actually really pretty light. That's really pretty flight. That's minus 1/3. Um, I'm in single area A f. I'm dropping that cursor right on her eyelashes and the cameras grabbing quite well. And we have just a very quick, nice, available light portrait. Okay, so thank you very much. Relax. OK, so I'm going to do an aperture priority test on F four. I s 0 was gonna look at the scene. This is de facto a little bit wider. Obviously. That was a headshot. What? I just did. This has more of a scene. She's in that window area. Okay, I have some of my equipment in the back off the room here. I'm not gonna worry about it so much, Okay? It is what it is. We can maybe lose that silver Phil board, though, because that's kind of like, sort of glaring. So now you're seeing what you are seeing right now is Britney, framed up by the window looking very nice computers gives an indication of a workspace, that kind of thing. We're cleaning up some of the background area. They're all of that sort of stuff. OK, but again, aperture priority. What's the camera reacting to the cameras reacting to all this? Okay, all these windows, these big, beautiful windows, which were my slight source just a minute ago, are now not my enemy, but they're working against me in terms of making a viable exposure. So let me do a couple of things here. Okay? Andrew, could you do me a favor and let's actually take that umbrella and let's bring it past my camera? Sure. All right. So to 50 That four. She's framed, you know, relatively decently. But now those windows air blowing out. So let's stay an aperture priority. Let's work our way through this scene and aperture priority. I know. Yesterday I said, Let's get rid of aperture priority and let's get a chain mawr certainty eliminated variable and that's always a good instinct. But for the sake of teaching at this moment, let's stay an aperture priority. So how would I get those windows to work for me? I would get those windows to work for me by drawing down the exposure, which would mean going into my under exposure dial here and dropping in. Let's call it two stops. Let's go to F eight. Beautiful. That looks absolutely wonderful. Stay with me. Yeah. Now I'm gonna 400 at F eight. Okay? Now I've got the windows. I got the windows as a graphic. What is the price you pay for that? You lose the rest of the room. Okay, so there's probably kind of a middle ground here that I'm gonna have to establish or attain. Let's maybe not. Make it like, once two stops. Let's go toe one stop. Stay at F A 200 of a second at F eight. That's brighter and more reasonable. I think that's more reasonable. What is a big friend that I have right now? This wall. It's a huge expanse of white wall. There's lots of flat, wonderful, kind of creamy light coming in here. This little flash bounced off this wall could give me an equivalent kind of thing. Let's do Let's do a bad picture first. Um, sorry to do this to Britney. All right, So, Green Green. We're talking to this SP 5000. I have a camera, right? And it's blasting. It's gonna blast its way towards Britney. Okay. And there you have it. OK, but I would submit for your consideration that the light that I've just introduced is way too harsh. You see the shadows on its It's a decent enough exposure. Mechanically, I've made accurate photograph, all right, so blasting this light at her. There's a psychological disconnect, right? Because the information and feel of the light that's swirling around in this room is flat, flat, flat. Okay? And I've hit her with a sharp light and that is discontinuous with the existing feel. So let's do the incredibly arduous thing of that beautiful Britney looked absolutely wonderful and thats much, much softer. If you look at that now, I'm gonna brighten it a little bit more. But the shadows air No, where's near a sharp in his heart. That's because I did a small experiment here, in size of light Source went from a tiny little light source to a much bigger light source. This wall enlarges it dramatically. Now let's see, I think from the audible of that light, what it cracked at me was that it still has a little gas left. So let's go. Plus one on the light alone, just the light, okay and Now she's How about that? She's one stop writer. I put one stop in It is one stop brighter, you know, simple, clean, effective light. Is it? Is it amazingly articulate? Is it astonishingly revolutionary? No, it's flat light, but it doesn't appear or events itself, um, express itself as flat light because it's off at an angle to her. If this wall were right behind me and I washed it this way, then we'd have a classic flat light scenario, almost like a V flat scenario here it being off to the side. It has. I have a chance to articulate a little bit, give some shape and shadow to her face, which gives her face volume and direction.

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