Lighting Basics & High Light Portraits


Hack Your Light


Lesson Info

Lighting Basics & High Light Portraits

First thing I want to do is cover basics who's a natural light photographer except for the forensic science you're dead body photographer like it uh one of the things that tripped me up when I was first learning all the sliding was correct mentoring and when we're using more than two lights the first thing going to do is high key portrait's just real quick foundational stuff that's going to lead into other things get your note pads out going to the white bored sizzle vampy um he's done high key portrait in a studio now for real you know what I'm talking about the white background this kind of like the shot right there, okay watched and then after this we're gonna make white black how's that cool first thing we got to do is this draw an eyeball lashes okay, who thinks is five point six brighter than f eleven, right? So there's more light coming in five point six but when we meet her light we're monitoring power and this is the way I remained remembered that I remember one time I was doi...

ng this thing with some students at the college of thought out in we did this and everybody was opposite of what you should do this is where how I kind of remember to do this um he's been awakened in the middle of the night with some eternal light all right, okay, what sizes are people at night let's call it a four how's that okay? So not much light is needed to for us to see correct this would be let's say eleven good someone would go outside it's brighter our people's get smaller so if we had a light ball here right here let's do a little brighter on this side correct? So when we're meandering flash and using a light meter f eleven's going to be brighter that's going to be minus so not as much light kind of makes sense because how we meet her life is by aperture okay, shutter speed really doesn't have anything to do with flash flash happens you know what I don't even know really fast so the ambient light doesn't really the flashes and affected by that we're going to do a lot of stuff like that throughout the day blight amateur and I am so anything that's the sensitivity to light is going toe play into that. So the first thing I wanted to do ever model ready five minutes. Okay, you guys have any questions about this? Because sometimes it's here's the question we're going to do this we've got the white word back here bright I'm gonna have my model about right here and we're gonna light let's say I'm going to meet her her at faa could why faa that's good it's a sweet spot of the lands it just seems toe work I like and I think that's the other thing what's called this course shooting above f to a house that's we're above that for held up five point six you know what's you deaf eight above all day today not all day but um in the studio we have that option to basically shoot whatever we want and you know, most fashion and stuff that I shoot is sharp like go look at your fashion magazines and start looking through pictures actually everybody at home go grab a fashion magazine because we're going to reference fashion magazines a lot um italian vogue if you've got one laying around with graves you guys didn't bring your homework no uh yes they do barnes and noble um but things air sharp things look like photographs that's the other thing it's kind of goes beyond the portrait industry where things look a little photoshopped a little oversaturated a little brushed a little everything and I look it a fashion magazine and even though there they look really nice there's something about him that it looks just like a photograph in one hundred years I'm going to pull that out it's gonna look like a photograph portrait photography tends to look to me a little dated it kind of changes it's more I don't kind of like sports illustrated or stuff that's current you know album covers sometimes kind of have a little lady at that seventies that's eighties where you know picture audrey hepburn black might it still looks like a modern photograph and it will be one hundred years it's just a photograph and I turned the light like that also very suddenly we're going toe that's why we're doing these exercises so we can learn to light subtly perfect example can we go to that one slide ok if you don't look at the bottom stuff it cannot I could say he's standing in front of a window maybe we you know how many lights is used doesn't really matter are we really paying attention to the lighting so much that really it just it looks like a photograph is you can see it's ambient light I just saw the picture we added the rim light to give it that sunny day look because it wasn't sunny so I wanted to look like a sunny day even though it was overcast and cloudy and then we out of the main light to kind of give it that like the curvature on the side well in order to get it so you don't really notice it you've got a meter it properly and understand this is where it comes back to this because if I want you know a half stop brighter I need to know what that half stop brighter isn't it's very subtle so it could be one might be two lights on early here and that's what we're gonna do with all this um and I get off track a lot what was I talking about before all this? I don't know I kind of scattered fashion magazines not clarity so faa here accusing my model yeah come on what's your name julie what's up twenty am rocket ship ready go you go up there I know no bottle rockets we do about a rocket that could be a radio it's only people with I am plaster faa what's my eye so why and also you keep the mic while his way glow well so well why? Because the film box and a hundred said that was good for daylight and that's the best remember the film boxes so I mean I'm in studio go ahead and shoot with the best die so I can I can do that so one hundred what's my shutter speed out yeah todd it does matter for shooting with most flashes yet to shoot at two hundred below right to feel whatever you're six feet it yeah, it depends on cameras some cameras one one one twenty fifth of a second summer once it's in the second summer to fifty of the second but whatever your sink speed this for your camera that's what you shoot out like some of the older night comes their native aya so for this or is two hundred so that's what looks best so a nikon shooter two hundred the new ones that the force in the eight hundred have now pushed it down one hundred but you kind of this digital zehr freaking me out but native isil is the best not necessarily but cannon user one hundred dollars so um my sink speed is one one sixtieth of second if I go over that'll stricken little point and what do you guys understand sink speed and high speed thing can I demonstrate that would you like to be my spokes model could somebody bring out my big plane of film which is not ipad right there oh yeah you're good come on okay this is film or digital sensor right I've got to give a shout out the my friend stephanie's little for describing this in such a good way okay you've got to curtains click first curtain second curtain right your sink speed is the amount of time that is open right before this one search to close okay so a one one sixteen of a second it's right is this crosses the start okay s o sixty of the second is going to look like right any thousandth of a second look at this makes sense so if you pop you're never going to see anything five hundred seconds like it'll start the second curtain starts flowing before the first curtain goes by and so whatever your camera this sinks because that's the maximum shutter speed that you can use before the second current start to flow so high speed think with your strobes is a multitude of flashes so because pop up up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up up so it's pulsing and when we use high speed thing that makes sense somebody learned something wait so that's where high speeds incomes and although later on I'm going to try to do a parlor trick we're going to shoot this alien be or some of those high speed thing without using high speed saying checked his high speed sync have a limit no your speed no it's whatever it just pulses with it's something that you know nike honor came in specific or I'm sure sony's get something I don't know if pentax does when I'm sure leaving but that's sink speed so my I s owes one hundred ready for its expensive I know they drop in value like every three months because a new one job in the new ones out of the new ipad what they call the new do I have that I don't owe you something what's up I don't know uh see I don't even know where I'm going with but so too over things are already said before we even go into the thing that I also one hundred sixty unless I'm trying to do something really weird like shooting in two seconds and then taking the camera and going like this, we'll do it. We will do that by in the studio or on a sunny day. Like going outside today, using off campaign on the o c f off camera flash stuff generally. And my son is there going to be some one hundred and I think speed, then all I have to do is figure out how close or far I want my flash, the direction I want my flash. And then how powerful I need my flash. So it's all based on aperture by that way. So here's the trick. I'm meeting her faa. Okay, high key background. I needed a stop brighter than her to make it white. Correct? What happens if I get it? Two or three stops brighter. We started to get a bounce back, okay? And in full amount right into starts to come in a halo. But I know a lot of, you know, beginning photographers or people just starting in on flash that they all the backgrounds got a provider. So we go current current current carrying turned up the power, and then we just kind of chip it, okay? And they see a white background of the gods. This issue that I have shot to dance studios now where it's like all white and the person and I noticed that some of the other studios that shot before me that's what I saw was this kind of hey loing into me and said they're just turning up their lights not really meet a ring and just go on it's like yeah it's a white background and then what do you do? You fix it in light room or post and you drop in that and make the blacks black well let's get it right because you don't have to worry about that so really all you need is one stop really needs a half stop here there's something brighter so if I meet her hurt faa, I'm photographing at faa correct my background light is going to be brighter so I mean they're going to meet her it at five point six f eleven what is it six brighter we need to turn it up even though I'm shooting it see, I've already lost my I'm shooting at faa let's make it a little bit smaller ok that's what I'm photographing it so if I isn't heather eyes dilated right? What happens when I go outside my eyes dilate it's really bright what happens when I wake up the morning and something turns on the light before our eyes adjust it's really bright if I walked outside and my eyes didn't come down f eleven it would be a bribe see and that's where the natural light photographer gets messed up because sometimes you can't see I mean obviously and turn it up but if you just want that stop it's hard to physically see pop pop analysis crank it but entered meter like f twenty two well f twenty two to faa is too bright so and this is exactly why I went over this to begin with was because you're going to read it you're going to think five six is brighter because we're naturally photographer but it's not it's just the opposite because we're shooting at faa our aperture stays there so in order to meter it we got to go for the smaller which means it takes more power to punch through a smaller hole somebody that's got it light bomb went off you see the light bulb went off I know it's ridiculous and that's where our meter incomes and so you gotta understand this before we start going out and doing stuff um can I walk over here and grab my meter dot okay a meter why do we use this? I mean, can't we chip it so we don't have it so we do it right first wins the obvious sites you know we got one light, you know, click yeah it's too bright turn it down click yes we could chip that I wouldn't recommend it because you know do we trust the back of our cameras you know, sometimes we entrust the history and but you know what I mean but it's really effective when we're doing two lights because this is the only way to really read that ratio I want one stop brighter I can't see it physically my camera can't see it so I have to use those here's the other reason I use this um ok here's been out on a shoot with lights we're going to pretend I'm not actually photographing anything okay ready we're going to do a quick get one over on that I'm going to go what's that I don't know click click this's my imaginary life click almost got it click is this professional ok what what are we selling our clients here's my one little business tip the experience right we all know this so senior photographers especially you know this kind of stuff I come out what's the head bbo spark way bones it's a life form yeah oh and I'm able that and I get it pretty much right you know it's usually perfect but if I'm not I'm like just click we've done it adjusted to commemorate a shoot minimum hey what's going on and we're clicking anywhere haven't do this don't do little poppet oh yeah throw it in your head okay what could be bret michaels bret michaels simon le bon quick quick give me those looks that's and were photographing was what we're supposed to be we're not chipping we've got it right and I've sold the experience that's the other thing is like so when they go you guys actually a professional photographer he's doing something that I've never seen before I remember the first time I you know teacher held this up to me when I was eighteen and I was like cool what's the head on and he was the one that went on he always made sounds cool but so that we understand that so let's put it in a practice really quick okay thank you got it our lovely model wow you've transformed what do I say with a model with high heels? You're still not told theo loathe for fourteen year old girls that their door just you know how do you get good skin with you know they're always like its odors photoshopped in a little no they're fourteen we've got perfect skin you know we make him look like they're twenty six and then they're usually volleyball players that are all awkward and tom boys and they get all made up and they put their high heels on and they feel so I'm so tall and I'm waiting here europe, europe and then put me in some gene simmons stilettos and I'm like him in my hair you know I'm like sixty eight okay, I'm gonna pull the slide over now this is hysterical if anybody is paying attention we've gotto alien day pink of course as my main light and how much for the broad colors? About twelve thousand dollars for some like that one dollars, twelve thousand on the background yeah, I mean yeah, thank you, lindsay for oh my god. I mean, I don't even know what to do with this is the coolest it's like yeah okay, something like that. All right? I'm kind of all over the place meter in my pocket. Alona, come over here and just kind of do a little thing can you turn those off for me, jules and is this on wait? I'm going blind him. I go. Listen, you got quiet that's what? It was bright women. What? You're not doing them eleven six I've got to get it. I want to shoot the fates when we got to do to turn it up or down it's alan closer. Okay, what's shoot me and it's quiet! We need some music going. Chuck chuck a quick one. A shout out from the chat room. Yes, marie three says hi, honey, me and the kids miss you and are watching you now we love you, daddy checks on father's day seeing what did I do? It just shot at one point four so what's it gonna look like exactly they want to show that what not knowing him show it three two plate faa faa it's still a little blown out there you know those fire now there we go you show that if you want to um yeah I want to see something really quick we just getting really bright tracks to june tend to have eyes so eight hundred no, thank you see that? I'm like this just doesn't seem right um and I'm using the camera I don't normally use also so kind of bear with me on this one a little bit let's see what we got here? This should be a lot better. I was just like when we get a look at that what camera usually use okay, hold on thursday say like, oh, made the model of okay, there we go. All right, so that's better as we can see it so I need to make the background white. Okay, so I'm gonna update maybe I need this table here. Let's, uh, turn these on. I break out in a song every now and then for some reason I'm thinking seeming hager I can't drive fifty okay that's like f twenty two so what do we need to d'oh upper down that's definitely gonna be bright listen just for giggles f a f twenty two it's obviously going to bright but let's just see what happens when can we pull this out this I'd have to keep running back okay ready yeah yeah cute you know their nose oh my gosh see it's like taylor winner it's so bright and she's a good distance away most people don't have this in their home studios this much distance are we seeing them ok cool you see how it's like hailing around her hair and I mean obviously it's bright it's white but there's just doesn't look kind of quite right so we're going to go to f what if my faa what do we need to see that ride that should be one stop chucking what's your everyday camera one of the students asked my everyday camera is sixteen five point six ready ready now eleven that one's up something happened I'm like what what happened here? You're awesome that guy knows how to get enough eleven come a little forward you moved in you uh let's see let's remain in her oh my gosh these models hey, that is some serious modeling we're gonna make she look she's not breaking it's not gonna happen and play on this so it's white without having the hailing and we're getting a little because that's pointed up because I was an idiot and pointed it up and and see, I was a little less down there. But there's, your high key backer makes sense. Everybody at home makes sense all you need to stop. Yes, we have a solution yet. Just a quick question. What camera do you actually use? I used a cannon sixty now I just got one. I've been using a cannon five d original classic, I guess is for the last, like eight years. But a lot of my stuff is shot with a film, so use pentax six forty five contact six. Forty five a russian blue beetle mania c two twenty four by five we just my friend just came into aa one of these house of lead till shift bello things that we can't wait to get home and use and I used toy cameras but my tori cameras diana's and what's laying next to me is what I use so but no for the canyon sixty so I love the wifi capability of it, which is great, especially when I'm teaching because I think it's just a minute immediate read it's not transferring anything it's just basically just reading what's on your screen so that works great in teaching my ipad

Class Description

Hack Your Light is part of our special week-long event Lighting Toolkit.

Join award-winning photographer Chuck Arlund for an introduction to innovative lighting methods that result in breathtaking, dynamic images.

Chuck’s methods will enrich the work of a wide variety of photographers, whether you’re a natural light photographer trying to incorporate off camera lighting into your work, a studio photographer wanting to work on location, or a beginner looking to take your work to the next level.

As Chuck guides you through ways to make a photograph you’ve mentally envisioned into a reality, he’ll give you the confidence you need to fearlessly approach approach lighting not as an exact science, but as an art.



I just watched the rebroadcast of Hack Your Light with Chuck Arlund and at first wondered if I would get anything out of the class as he seemed ADD (he warns you he's scattered and a "blond"...LOL) but I stuck with class and by the end was sad it was over. I have a few years experience in photography so I could perhaps understand what he was teaching better than a true beginner. He gave some fabulous points and even demonstrated how you could overpower the sun with one speedlight something I've only seen others do with a strobe or multiple speedlights. He took some awesome pictures without thousands of dollars in camera and lighting equipment. He explained the difference between the portrait and the fashion look. He showed you could potentially go above your camera sync and still get a decently exposed pictured without high speed sync. Best of all he reminded me of the principles that it's the photographer not the camera/equipment that makes the difference, it's all about the light and most of all photography should be FUN! This was one of the most awesome demonstrations of lighting. I would love take a workshop from Mr. Arlund as he is obviously very talented and passionate about photography and knows his subject even is his explanations aren't practiced. Some found him frustrating; I found him refreshing. If you like experimental you will probably appreciate Chuck Arlund.


I have been a pro photographer for 30 years, and I loved watching Chuck and even learned quite a few things. He is creative and enthusiastic, and reminds you to think outside the box and get back to the enthusiasm you had when you first picked up your camera. He certainly knows what he is doing, and he has fun doing it...