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Live Shoot: Natural Light

Lesson 7 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

Live Shoot: Natural Light

Lesson 7 from: From Capture to Print

Rocco Ancora

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Lesson Info

7. Live Shoot: Natural Light


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Advantages & Pitfalls of Printing


Demystifying Color Management


Understanding Bit Depth


Best Color Space to Work In


Importance of Image Capture


Live Shoot: Natural Light


Live Shoot: Studio Lights


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Natural Light

Okay so what I think we are going to do now, we're gonna shoot, we're gonna do some things and you're gonna see the color checker in action. You'll see how we work with it, and you'll see how this becomes such an integral part of managing color from capture to through final print. So, we're gonna bring a model on, lets welcome her. And it's Jessica, how are you doing? Good, how are you? Welcome, this is Jessica, take a seat. We'll just, give us a second to bring everything into play, and we'll do some shooting. I'm gonna start things very simple. I'm gonna use lights just filtering through the window, so what we're gonna do is perhaps, switch off our studio lights. Oh, look at that. Most of you see that green shade come in, all of a sudden, yeah? Then after awhile, no more green, the green is gone, isn't that amazing? So here we go nice beautiful light, light direction, just get you to turn your head, perfect. I'm getting really gorgeous light, but once again that light has a color...

cast on it. So I work with this in two ways. The first thing I'm gonna do is take a shot to determine my exposure. Because the last thing you wanna do, you shoot a color checker, with bad exposure. Because it's going to affect your color reading. So I'm gonna get that histogram looking exactly like I want it first, and then we will take it from there. So, I'm just gonna switch this off, because I don't want the strobes going off, so lets have a look, my ISO higher up. Okay so I'm shooting with a Nikon D5, and the 105 1.4. So I'm shooting one person here, I'm gonna go for a nice, beautiful, shallow depth of field. Can you straighten up a little bit more, Jess? And I got the spot metering happening in my camera. I'm going to meter off the face, there it is. And, beautiful. Just eyes down a little bit, that's perfect, just hold it there. Good. (camera clicks) And lets have a look at that. That's pretty good, when I'm looking at the histogram of the raw file, and even what I'm seeing at the back of the camera, have a look at that histogram. She's correctly exposed, but that background, which is moody, dark background, is quite dark, okay? So what I'm gonna do, from this point on, is I'm gonna open up a little bit on my exposure, just to get it looking the way I want it to look. Remember, it's about the histogram. So, two-thirds of a stop, lets have a look at that. Chin up a little bit more, that's it. Turn your head more towards the light. That's good. (camera clicks) Okay, we are still moving it to the right. I'm gonna still open up one more time. The other thing that's also very handy to do, is to shoot inside your camera with highlight alert. So you're making sure as you're opening up and opening up, you're not over exposing your image, and you're blowing out your highlights. It's one thing to push that histogram to the right, but sometimes that background isn't gonna get light on it, unless we throw more light, and then lift that histogram that way, okay? So think of it in that respect, as well. So, lets have a look, so that was, yet 200th of a second so lets open up just a one-third of a stop. (Camera clicks) Good, lets have a look at that. Yeah, that's pretty much how I'd want the exposure. I'm not gonna open up a little bit more because, now it's the fine balance between what's happening here with the highlight, and what's happening into that background. That background being just the model background, I'm thinking already about that final print, and how it's gonna look because we are going to work on these images a little bit later in this program. I know that it's not necessary to have structural detail in there because there are none. So in other words, that depth of field because I'm shooting at f2, is gonna be quite soft and quite beautiful and quite milky, so it's gonna give me a really nice beautiful effect. So once I've done that, what we do now is I'm gonna take the color checker, and we're gonna get our model to hold it. So, I'll just get you to open that up. And just hold it. The important thing is that, she needs to hold it to where the lights coming from, okay? Now, lets do a shot of that, good. (camera clicks) It's like a passport photo but it's necessary. So let's have a look at that. Okay, and there it is, and I'm just gonna put my camera down, and I'll show you how we work with this. Now, what I would've done now if this was a normal shoot, I would've taken that shot and then I would've got cracking, I'm gonna shoot. I don't have to worry about color, I don't have to worry about anything. So what happens in here, is very simple. The glasses come on because this is the serious part of the segment now, where the glasses come on, and we do color critical work. We take the eyedropper, there it is. Let's zoom in to this first, whoops too much. Let me just set this up. Okay and we just, there it is. Fill, okay. So here are, now have a look at the preview on the left hand side, as I go to a midtone, you see how we warm the image up? And as I go to the warmer ones, I'm cooling the skin down, and as I go to the right, I'm warming the skin up, okay? Now, aesthetically, it's gonna come down to what you think looks right, there is no set rule, the skin has to be this particular shade. Because it's crazy to think like that, we're all different, we all see things a little bit different. But we know that if we cool down the skin too much, she's just not possibly gonna look right. At the end of the day we want to clean this nasty green caste that's kinda coming through. Let's click on this one here. I think that's, that's made a difference. Yeah, we can see that, okay. You can see on the left hand side is, shooting in order with the white balance, that's what you got. And the minute I clicked on to, one away from the middle, because I've found the middle to be a little bit warm, and mind you, I'm making these decisions on a laptop which most likely isn't calibrated, but these decisions later on when you seem them made on a beautiful 27 inch Iozo that can display the full adobe RGB 98 color space, you know beautifully calibrated, you'll see that you can even fine tune this further. This is about understanding the concept, of how we deal with the color itself, and that is so important, okay? This is what I would do, and then I would just continue shooting. So now we are going to do a series of shots, so we have some content later to play with in photoshop, and of course, at the end, in the printing process. Okay, so lets have a look at that. That's beautiful Jess, I'm gonna step right back, because I wanna get a little bit more of what's going on here, ill take these off, thank you. That's beautiful. Right there, chin up a little bit more towards the light, good. (Camera clicks) Yeah, that's awesome, lets have a look at that. I'm just going to fill, again. Yeah, we'll just get rid of the side panels, maybe so we can just shoot. Yeah, it's looking, it's looking really good. So with a natural light shot, I mean for me, when I'm shooting, to be honest, I will take always the path of least resistance. I'm seeing beautiful light coming through the window, I'm going to use it, I'm going to utilize it to the best of its, to the best of my ability, okay? Later on, I'm gonna turn some strobes on, we're gonna do some stuff with flash as well, but it's the same sort of principle, okay? So Jess, just keep turning your head that way a little bit more, that's it, and eyes down a little bit. I'm gonna come in a little bit closer, for a closer portrait, gorgeous. That's it. (Camera clicks) Beautiful, eyes to me, good, (camera clicks) straighten your head up just a fraction. Good, that's nice. (camera clicks) Okay, what I'll do now is I'm just gonna bring in a reflector just to kick in a little bit more light, so that once again, these shadows here, I'm just gonna introduce a little bit more information to them. I can darken them down in post later. But I'll just, I rather have the information there, if you like, so lets get a reflector. Just behind there, that's it, lets bring that on. So what I'm gonna do with the reflector, is were basically just bring the light from here, into this section. I don't wanna bring the reflector here, because I don't wanna fill this area up totally, I just want the light to sort of kiss around the back of the side. So lets bring the reflector in and see what we get. So probably about there so, we'll get you to hold that while I take the shot. Unless I can move really, really fast. So lets have a look at that level. Beautiful Jess, nice, good, gorgeous. (camera clicks) Nice, straighten your head up a little bit. Good. (Camera clicks) You're seeing that nice kick of light. It's gonna give me separation, so stay there. I'm just gonna move back, we're gonna do, we're gonna do a different angle of this. That's it, great, just cross your legs one over the other if you can, that's great, good and bring your arm back, the other arm, your left arm, your left arm on your dress. Just on the side of your dress, and just pinch your dress gently, that's it, good. And just turn across, that's nice. Just always towards the light, beautiful. And let's bring that reflector back a little bit more, that way, great, good good good. Beautiful, great. (Camera clicks) That is fantastic. Alright, I'm just gonna change lens, so just give me a second, I'm just gonna go for a 24-70mm lens, okay that's beautiful. Just eyes down to your shoulder. Just drop that shoulder a little bit, and just bend that elbow nice and relaxed, and bring your left hand to the front so I can see it, that's gently pinching that dress, gorgeous. Straighten the head up just a little bit more, just to more to tilt it more towards your left. That's beautiful, good. (camera clicks) Hold it there, (camera clicks) and eyes to me, good. (camera clicks) Yeah, we will do one with the reflector, so that we have it. Yeah, that's gorgeous, yeah let's do that. Amazing, just bring the reflector back, just a fraction. So yeah, that's it, good good good. Nice. (camera clicks) Good. (camera clicks) Just relax the shoulder, again. That's it, turn your head to the light a little bit. Good, bring the reflector back, that way. Yeah, good. (camera clicks) That's nice, Jess, one more. Good, eyes down. (camera clicks) That's it, good eyes to me. (camera clicks) Relax the shoulder again, gorgeous. Good. (camera clicks) That's nice, that's gorgeous. Okay, very very good, that's exactly what we want. I think it looks fine, now let's do a couple of different shots, we'll work with some flash now. So we'll bring these blinds down, we can turn the studio lights back on because we are going to be shooting faster shutter speed, and it's not, the ambient lights not gonna be an issue.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Rocco's Photoshop Actions
Rocco's Printer Evaluation Files
Color & Luminosity Seperation Action

Ratings and Reviews

Roberto Valenzuela

I honestly consider many courses to be great, but optional. However, this course by Rocco Ancora is a MUST! It helps the photographer complete the circle of being a photographic artist. Our job doesn't end at the edit, it ends with the print. When your clients can hold and enjoy your creative vision physically, that is when the magic of being a photographer happens. I have been so fortunate to travel the world teaching and meeting some of the best photographers in the world. That being said, I can say with confidence that nobody can teach this combination of Photoshop retouching / fine-art printing better than Rocco Ancora. I believe in this class so much, I traveled to Seattle to attend this course to be part of the live studio audience. I have never done that before. But that's how important I consider this material to be. I am so happy I took the time to go and learn from the man himself. Now, I will get this course to watch it, dissect it, study it, and practice it. Very excited to see how the knowledge in this course will propel my career further. --Roberto Valenzuela

a Creativelive Student

I was fortunate enough to attend this class in person and got to experience Rocco's prints in person. The quality is absolutely breathtaking and a game changer, Learning these skills will really help my business in a number of ways. In the past, I have had a difficult time convincing clients to purchase typical lab prints through my studio, as opposed to buying them through Walmart or Costco where the quality was "close enough." Rocco's method that he shared in this class creates three dimensional images of unmatched quality and images that just jump off the page. The knowledge from this course will empower me to help run a sustainable business and thrive as a photographer. You would be foolish to not learn these methods and incorporate them into your business. Highly Recommend!!

April S.

I have invested time into learning Lightroom and Photoshop, my own gear, and my particular photographic style, but the one thing I am really lacking is a solid understanding about preparing an image for print, and the various print options (e.g., paper types). When I saw this course come up on the CL schedule it caught my eye immediately so I RSVP'd for the live broadcast. I was at work when it started and couldn't watch at that time. I do listen in from work sometimes, but after 2 minutes of listening to this course I realized it was one I really needed to watch closely and focus on. So, I stopped the stream after a couple minutes and bought the course. I have never done that before. I always wait and watch as much as I can in the initial broadcast (or rebroadcast) to decide if a course is one that I really should spend for. I knew right away though that Rocco was presenting the very information I was lacking and needed, and I wanted it! In addition, it was clear to me after looking him up online that he's a consummate professional with lots of experience and his delivery style even in just the couple of minutes that I listened reflected that. I already have X-rite ColorMunki Display and Colorchecker, a good monitor, and I have a photo printer (Canon Pixma Pro-100) but I'm lacking that technical understanding of color and know I'm not using my resources to their fullest. I use my Canon Pixma to test-print images before uploading to the print service I use. My method isn't ideal since the service uses different printers and ink, and paper depending on what I choose, but at least I have a much better idea of what my image file will give me in print form. After Rocco's course I believe I will be much better equipped to prepare my images and choose the options best suited to each image. I'll still test print if only because it's fun to see something on paper, but I expect the results I get from the print service to be much better once I really know how to put this knowledge to work for me.

Student Work