Making a Window


Hack Your Light


Lesson Info

Making a Window

What I want to do right now is we did that can you show the black and white image that I did of the girl that I mean this kind of style there it is so that's a little bit bigger saw fox so it wraps a little bit more and that's why you've got some nice light we've got a nice loop light you see that um kind of front above you see it's a little falling off and this was shot in a room just like this so there's a person walking around back there and there's a kitchen kind of back there it was just at my friend's house marcos house so they spent a lot of time and he's italian and he cooks up like octopus and stuff and no tentacles but that it is close light source not very powerful um and you're able to get that kind of a look pretty much anywhere you don't have to really be in a studio and I'm just like I started thinking about that and look at what a perfect way to d'oh you know bridal portrait if you have three something like that only I just love to get a portrait of you we haven't done ...

that you know it's usually not that bright even go out in the hallway of the you know reception or something that just stop down low ia sells you got the power you could do a lot of stuff this thing what I wanted to do was can we get the red in here and then let's put that up if we can I'm just going to create a new anything you want and I'm going to create an environment and this is what can we look at that other picture while we're sitting this up so I walked into my friend's room have the headboard window white was coming from the one you see it it was just kind of a diffused cloudy day when the light was pouring in and I was like, oh, it just looks so pretty you know, those kind of days the fall offs really nice here's the problem with what do you think I shot that out like what's my I sl is pretty I mean it's him in there because it was a cloudy day it's not a bright sunny it's really diffused lighting what would be my idea? So probably high maybe eight hundred eight hundred so like so what's my happens you're gonna be don't look at it like yeah for four, five, six, right? Okay? And even then I'm clicking and what do you think it looks like there's a lot of ambient light and it didn't it didn't quite look like when I'm looking at it and I'm like I need to make it look like I look at it here's the other thing it's a fashion image there needs to be sharp it's sharp from here all the way back to their so you want to go to see oh, yeah well how am I doing that and guess what I can blow that up to a billboard it's iess so one hundred so what I need to do is I need to make a flash look like the natural window light on and not be so you know, it doesn't really look flashy it's just kind of there wake up if the coffee so we're going to use this is the headboard I'm just going to try to recreate this somehow okay um you guys see over there there's my window oh, that means no window yeah there's a window I see a window because it come on I see window one nice I see that look like and I get my reflector there's like a reflector thing for years here yeah let's bring that out just for giggles the big one? Um, no, we've only got a few just not that now I'm talkinto humorous what's in that bag it's just a silver thing. Yeah, that that thing reflector ok, well, let's try to mimic little bit can I pull this like, just over there thank you and we're just gonna point it like back there all right let's see we got going on all right uh let's make it a headboard ready because we're gonna be down on the ground oh my god that was heavier I thought it was gonna be where that that's what I want whoa ok so we chip it yeah let's ok where's my window kind of coming from out of the blocks some of this stuff so I'm just going to go how about there that word okay real quick we have time for this he mystify the flash really quick newsflash complicated no not unless you turn it on okay speed light flash okay what's what's the one one thing it does it turns on it off here's on inland power on off what's the second thing it does makes you can turn it up we're down power what else does it do that's it it turns on and off you can change the power what direction does flash going in a straight line straight line late that's it and what can we do with that straight line we can modify it we can focus it weaken been that we can shape it correct so who plays pool there you go what happens if I hit that light up there it's going to bank right which way's it gonna bake? Yeah which way am I going that way? What if there's a big window which was the window just kind of about right there it's going to move this because we're going to get some were shadowing I think but let's see what happens we'll see what happens before and I'm one hundred percent flash and I think I'm getting this stuff could be ableto turn it if I got a more powerful flash I could crank it and get faa but way don't need it I mean and kind of look towards the flash we like to look towards the window you're gazing off I'm used to my camera focusing change it about to stop brighter or less than what I shot out there you know now we're starting to get it to look like that's kind of like a bright day coming in if I'm shooting it f four and I want to make it a little dimmer like the image a little bit darker we're gonna white raise the fc correct lovely three two there you see that's a little too doom and I was up seven so and I'm not meeting now I've got it and that's that's kind of the look I'm going for is a little bit less you know that was I think yeah that's enough seven and turn it right back down it looks kind of brighter and then let's look at the info you know this is this is we're gonna kill me well you're my mr groom can you guys see that you know, this is where I kind of just threw rules out the window. Oh, cool and there's my history um here's like almost no brightness, you know, I'm completely cool with that because that's a look I'm one, you know, it's I mean, so look, I wanted for history and go toe, but went above that it would look like a bright, sunny day it wouldn't look like a cloud and kind of overcast day with a little spot of light coming in on you know, what would my history and looked like on her face, you know, let's let's see that? I have no idea, it's still a little little area oh, my god, I got to stop doing this. I'm not focusing right? Yeah, it's still dark, but yet it looks okay, right? So, I mean, I'm one of these photographers even doesn't even trust the history and that much, and I'm probably going to start getting ripped, you know, what's the other what's, the other thing that I always get asked chuck what white palace to shoot, you're gonna hate me again? What a white males don't shoot! No shoot auto! You know I'm shooting raw, I you know what I understand if I'm if I'm doing a lot of like, same set stuff over and over and over and it's the same thing. And I just think it I understand getting a correct white male in chinese and expo disc and stuff like that. But each one of my photographs is unique, sort of. So auto, that seems to work for me. And then I said, I'm gonna mess with it anyway and that's why she tends to shoot a little cold. I like shooting cold because I found that warm skin looks a little meeting and seriously it's, like the shadows are a little heavy. Um, my friend david williams pointed this out to me and some of my old pictures. He was looking at somebody like chuck, good pictures, but everything looks a little media, your skin tones, like kind of heavy, and I'm like, you know, he's, right? He goes, if you thought about shooting colder because it's easy to warm stuff up and make it look natural. It's really hard to cool stuff off this back when I shot j peg, but it always stuck with me. I'm just kind of shoot a little cooler, you know, I'm really influenced by, uh, thomas, hard bitten is a painter from kansas city in his pictures have very muted looked to him, but they're also very bold in vibrant and it's it looks de saturated without being be saturated and that's kind of that's always stuck with me when I went to art school back in eighty something and those images I like that color palette fashion tends to be a little cooler sometimes and I don't know it's just kind of what I gravitate to we got any questions for this last part? Thank you so much. I'm sure we can jump in teo some so that's kind of the foundation of lighting and we're going to take this now apply it with whatever I do it's like where I need a light here let's bounce it let's, I need a window. You know, we could make something look like broad daylight in the middle of the night if we've got some walls and whatnot and trying to make it look pretty natural like window light like some of tony stuffy shot yesterday but now I'm just was in the wall. Did you position this light here? Just randomly or did you come visit? I imagine in my head a window there. There it is. I played pool because she was sitting there. I kind of banking the light back to her if you think that if you put the light closer, would it be more intense and it was I'm sure it would be a little bit brighter and but I wanted this israel soft window. Yes, we'll put it closer, it would probably focus more and then what? It bounced a harder shot are you know the shadow would be different. It be a little bit different, but I doubt it because it's a huge light source because it stop becoming a small light source it's becoming the whole wall, it makes sense. So it's still a big light source? We're just talking, I think moving a little closer, I'd be able to get maybe f a I don't know if it would change much as faras what she looked like a ce faras the softness of the hardness of because it's just a big, soft it's like putting a huge octopus or box right there, or opening up a bunch of windows on a cloudy day and you aimed at high so it would be coming down at a forty five more or less sort of, because I like those kind of shadows. And she was on the ground and it's soft. This is very soft. You can only see any I mean real hard shadows at all and it's short, light and a short life but she was looking at the light I mean that's.

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...