Shoot: Beauty Dish with Male Model


High Impact, Low Fuss Lighting


Lesson Info

Shoot: Beauty Dish with Male Model

Let's make it super super dramatic with a guy so I'm gonna have you step out for a moment kind bring you over great so I probably wouldn't like a woman like this but I wanted to high impact having take seats perfect okay, so for him this looks fine okay let's say I want to go super super crazy dramatic on the shot okay that's that's you know that's kind of un interesting I want something a little bit more all right, so if I raise this like up really, really high what I'll actually get and looks straight at me okay? So you're gonna look a little criminally okay? I'm just warning you little criminally okay all right, so it looks a little bit more dramatic, ok, what I like about it is that really carved out chic bones and deep set in the eyes but there's no catch lights and it's really heavy so the variation that I would do with a guy as I could actually still do clamshell light but now the reflector is creating the only catch lights will have so we don't actually care when we look at por...

trait we don't actually care where the catch light comes from from as long as there is one so if I raise this laid up because I want just crazy drama as long as I have a light here or reflector from below then we don't mind as long as there's something uh let me just get this a little bit more center occurred at me good chin down even more all right we're gonna make you look really mysterious okay I'm just gonna shoot from this side just a little bit so this is going to be definitely a typical but it gives you like mystery okay so this is it if you saw um what was it called the movie les miz if you saw the posters that were advertising dead like anne hathaway and whoever they would have a soft box really high up so there weren't catch lights in her eyes at all but then she have a reflector or a strip light or something below just to give her a little cats of light but they had it so low in the eyes like he has here that for her it almost looked like tears or whenever you look at movies and they have a villain or they're trying to show someone who's aggressive or who's thie agitator to a situation they would light them like this and so you see these you know c'mon on movie posters and it's like oh you know how did they do this crazy lighting it's just they they played with the angles a little bit all right so while I have him here uh a little variation on this as well is going ahead and right now he kind of blends into the background and it doesn't quite look like a movie poster it's it's missing smith in something and so what I would do is I would turn on my back lights okay, how I typically do this let me see if I can get a floor of this a little bit clear on what to put this on so what I usually do when I turned on my background lights those lights back there is I actually turned off my main light because it distracts me from seeing what those air doing I want to actually see where those highlights are being placed so we can't turn on both of them and this will give me three point lighting uh, I think it's perfectly all right, so look great at me. Great. Okay, so I'm gonna just take a quick shot here the main light is not on okay, this is just the two back lights. All right, so what it will do now is what I don't like about this pic of the previous picture was no jawline. Now when I add those back to rim lights, it gives me jawline can we float back to the previous shot like I like in that that I've got this kind of mysterious look in his eyes but then there's no there's, no jaw so now what? I'm gonna do them to combine them to get that aggressive look over here what we're using right now the two lights that we have are just those silver dishes and it's sorry for those in blinding is we just have it full power here. Um I I might modify the lights a little bit because I don't love that highlight on his nose so what I'd like is that like when I don't have the main line on because I can see that so look straight at me and john can you feather that in just a little bit okay good and then pulled pulled out people the whole light back just a tiny bit yes and then well and then I'll do the other trick okay, so he moved it back I still have light on the jar line but look now there's no light on his nose anymore but I can still have the nice jawline so now what I can do is I can combine the two of them so I can turn on my beauty dish good. I can raise it up a little bit, but even that looks pretty good and I'm gonna under expose its tiny bit more. All right? So I can of course you were in a movie poster would be a little more post processing but you start to get that you know, that gritty look that like if I turn into black and white he'll look a little bit more villainy even all right so these this is essential three point lighting and for anyone who's wondering how I get the exposures what I usually do when I meet a ring okay when I'm trying to figure out uh the ratios between thing if you meet her which honestly for these shots you can kind of just go to taste um if you meet her I usually start where the power of the backlight like when I meet her it is equal to the power of the main line and then I just go up or down from there because with a professional athlete for example um I I'm going to have you stand up for a second with a professional athlete where I want to really show their muscles and their physique I actually don't want them even I make this backlight like a stop or two more so when we turned up to what's in at sixes let's do seven two okay when I raised that backlight up now what it's going to do is it's yeah it goes on the edge of almost being blown out like almost too bright but now you're going to notice his muscles you're going to notice his physique and this would be like a fitness shot gonna bring you forward a little bit great about half step forward like one more half step okay cool just a little alright let's test something like that and so yet definitely those highlights are bright but he's definitely going towards that like, you look at his muscles, he's looking more aggressive, and it popped out if it's a beauty shop for a woman, and I have, um, a little bit more subtle, I haven't turned down just a little bit, so this is, you know, basic three point lighting, but if you want to save yourself money right now, I'm doing okay with these lights because I have a lot of space and I'm not getting len slur because of that. I'm sure some of you watching her like, yeah, but you don't you get lens flare. I'm sure you've had that experience because what happens if I move these lights in, you know, have toe, but if I move them in because I don't have much space in my studio in the set that I'm working in, I start getting massive amount of lens flare because as it moves in that light's pointing straight at my lens now, one thing you can do to help yourself out is to go ahead and put on a lens hood like that will definitely help a little bit it's a lot of people ask me, why would you use a lens hood in the studio and this is a perfect instance. Because as I'm pointed at him those lights I mean they're directly hitting my lens it bounces around it decreases the contrast in my scene okay? But the other solution would be either to buy something called barn doors or strip lights but the whole point of this presentation is that you don't need to have a lot of extra modifiers to do this so we're going to play where they're sent a foil okay would you help me build a barn door too? So it's really just a tinfoil and you can tear it and you tape it on the outside and then they act of something called flags and flags just they block out like but it's it's your homemade uh barn doors the reason this is better then just taking cardboard and taping it on is because cardboard catches on fire and this is specifically made for I mean it can go directly on a light and it it doesn't melt it doesn't over gets hot but it doesn't overheat that's what it was made for and the other thing is it doesn't let any light through that's how it's designed so will you to do and he's gonna use this cutting it back there I told him when I rip it I always when I rip it always ends up in like little strips which totally defeated the point uh so you can do that as well so check out cinephile you can get that at around love, for example or you can get it at a theatre supply store uh locally to you if you have that and we're goingto the other gaffer state right there perfect. So you could, for example here's that here does let me show you the material okay think tinfoil you could put it on the outside tapes like that you could take it do you mind if I grab it and let's see if my being truthful about that e did it alright, cool. Alright, cool. Um you could make to barn doors out of it and it's inexpensive and you can use it over and over again so you could be this one quick thie other benefit of barn doors is not just for len slur but it is to focus the light. So if I just want like a sliver of light on his face like a sliver of light on the job I could close two pieces together or it could bend this just to give me focus light on the job without having to buy more gear also also about these is when I'm travelling I bring sin a foil not barn doors or not stripped banks because who is the extra space to carry it but you could wide these upper fold them up expanded and tape it on so I think that would be a better option all right, so questions of far on that okay, good, excellent. You look good eye proof maybe one question from bill online how do you determine the distance of the model to the background and camera to model and I will add in light to the model totally okay, so I'll start with the lights the model the lights of the model depends on what I'm trying to do with the light. So for a beauty dish this is the distance I keep it because this is that glowing distance any further back it loses that quality with a soft box. It depends if I wanted softer I bring it closer if I wanted to spread out more evenly head to toe I might bring it back a little bit uh subject to background the more space for shooting on a sleeveless or background like this the better because the more space that I can give him I don't have to worry about having lens flare like it's if he's really really close to the background and I've gotto like his job well then I've got to move those lights back here then they start getting in my photo that I have to figure out how to get rid of lens flare so it's like the more I can separate him and put these in different zones the better it gives me more space to work with so this would be this would be my ideal and this is probably what I worked with in my studio for distances but my first studio was what was it like twelve by seventeen feet wide in seventeen feet deep so I didn't have that same flexibility so I just worked with whatever I could but senna foil became super important since I had to have him much further back and those lights much closer I had to use in a foil to try to block some of those highlights and I definitely recommend that if you're having lens flare problems in your studio one more clarification about the beauty dish it's not a continuous one right? This is a strobe is well yep this is a service well and pro photo makes a light there it's h m eyes that act just like the ones meaning they take the same modifiers and like the same quality of light but it is a continuous light so they do have that but those are very extent is's like there's a whole different holder from bracket there okay, so that looks great. Um what I want to do is I want to take a step back um okay, I wanted to okay is this weird? Can you take your shirt off? I've got made fun of last time I did this on a creative live and ask that you take your shirt off like they got to you about that jumping was that the last time you did that the last one with aaron right yeah yeah I heard that you just don't care you just jump screen whatever screaming for about six hours that's crazy ada the pictures look amazing like those were so good if you didn't see aaron asis class he did on compositing decompose if you were a soccer in a stadium right is that the ones yeah and the end shot was awesome it was amazing so all right so something else to watch about this light that I wanted to show you is right now I have it just a little bit higher than his face okay there and since he does have abs they will show up but it's not that much like there I know he has more absar than shows in that photo so the higher up you raise your light the more the light will rake down the body like it higher you raise that light it'll cast more shadows underneath his abs it'll give him more shape so it's what I'm going to dio angle this down a bit and then raise that light up okay that pointed at your head okay sure fine perfect and chin up a little bit so it's going to give me just a little bit more shape okay so it starts carving things out I can go even more dramatic all right so let's say that I want as much shape as humanly possible okay rotate this a little bit and I put this right basically above his head okay when have you step underneath? All right, so obviously wei will run into a slight issue when we do this. Okay, so the issue is no light in his eyes okay? It's going to carve out his fix and it's going to give him shape in his muscles but we start getting just no light so what we can do is we can use one of these silver dishes and we can use that to give a spotlight on this face if we want teo so what I do is when I'm shooting I say okay, so my main light let's set the mood of the shoot I wanted to be more dramatic so I wanted to be flattered what like, what am I trying to get my main light to do? So I start carving things out but then it's just just a little bit too much in his face it's a little bit too shadowing so that I could do it even more so tiny but one there one more shot. All right, so now it's giving me like, tons of drama but I don't like that light in this face it I mean if you're going for villain sure that works but I don't think we're going for that so what? I'm going to dio is that going to grab one of these lights instead? Okay, when a plug it okay? I mean, I'll take the help. It's cool. Thank you. All right, so the problem I have with a silver dish, though if I come up front and I liked him with this is it'll totally ruin the entire mood of the shot because the light might fly everywhere. So we're going to talk about behaviors of light and positioning of light, and that goes back to the question who had? How do you decide how far light needs to be away from the subject? All right, so it john and I were talking about this before, uh, you've probably heard me talk about late and the water bucket example a million times, but it becomes really important in this instance, okay? So so you haven't heard it, but well, reiterate it. Um, so light really behaves like water, it really does and that's what? I'm trying to figure out where to place my light and why I need to maybe change in angle or the distance. I'm usually thinking about it as water to help me sort that out of my head. So, for example, if I take this bucket of water and I throw it from here to hit him, what happens? Is it'll probably hit maybe from here to here ok something like that but but don't know what it does is it flattens out the shadows that I just worked so hard to give myself but if you take a same bucket of water to somebody and you throw it from here it's just going to like his face so that's one of the things that helps me decide how close or how far to bring the modifier if I want the light more focus the closure I can get it the more focused it'll be but then I also have the help of grids because at this point it's in my shop and so it's not going to give me the look that I wanted so when I added grid I can back it up and have focused so it's not in my shop that it'll still say really focused on his face well, try ten I haven't I just guess like I there's not really I mean, is there a better way to figure out what great yeah guess good good I like that cool thank you. All right, so we're going to do that. Um the downside is that we have three lights we do lose one of our room lights and so how I usually decide is if there is a like uh main light side of the face like if the light was more on this side then I leave the rim on the opposite side because there would be more shadow there it's not me it's not going to look problematic is not going to ruin the shot um but yeah, if you had another light, you could do that you could throw a speed light and make them talk to each other so I'm gonna grab this and I've got my modeling light on and I want to turn this one off. I really need to take a look at what these air said it will take a step back okay with injustice offered you know, but I mean the channel because I got a like a switch so we're gonna take a look at this real quick this like move that okay? So this one so watch with me see if I can pop up that easy to pop out the grid tab okay, get the town is going to show you a real quick take a look at this you just hold it for one second only a little hot, alright, yes, I'm so you conclude as if it's blinding you all right, so if you look basically the light is hitting from the top of his head and it starts to fade off maybe baby at his hands see it's like a little darker there, so if I move the light closer you know now it's definitely dark eyes hands and probably fades like mid mid forearm but it's definitely not giving me a cz much faltas I want so I do the same thing here for this light and now I add the ten degree grid so watch ready from buddies risked the top of his head and then we pop that on and it's just a safe like literally just his face so if any of you have never used grids before, they have a lot of power if you are going for drama like I love grids for drama so something like that and so now I can make sure that that light looks good on his face if I don't want to totally flat like this is flat on to him if I want a little bit more shape we could still go ahead, shape the light on his face and then add that light above to carve out his features. Um grids like I said, they come in different sizes I I tend to find myself using like the really what they call tight grids like the five degree in ten degree for intense drama. So after this shot we're gonna bring in our female model and we're going to do some film you are using grids and again I like grids also inexpensive but they give you high impact so I'm just gonna rue tio um thank you I have a funny story so I was filming with my significant other once and I was getting I was getting filmed and he uh dropped the light on my head while I was live being filmed e forgive him okay, you can step back in here all right and take a half step back all right all right so shape good so I've got shipping seas and I'm gonna have to vary the power of this uh this light is very focused we'll give it a try can't stick a look great here I'm gonna put a little bit right there good don't take a step back by the way um if you see me stepping back I want explain why if I'm here and I take a shot at the show everybody has to do with latin's compression if I'm here and take a shot so they have the top of his head his hands uh you'll actually see the floor and the top of the background but if I could do the same thing where I stepped back and zoom in compresses into the background of the background actually looks closer and now he'll actually fit onto the background okay, so I'm gonna turn up that light a little bit more I'm gonna pop it and I'm like just barely telling us okay, good let's give it a little try here perfect good. Okay, so this is more what I'm looking for we had a lot of shadows in his eyes now we start be ableto light his face independently from being able to shape his body and so I want just a little more I'm gonna turn you that way just a tiny bit good. All right, so in this instance I've got shape on his face on a ship on his body have shaped him out, giving him sheep on his on his, uh, biceps and on his stomach ok, I put a light on his face but by turning him to the sign now I've picked up that backlight on his stomach and so that's going to rake across and give me more shape so there's like a million different things that I can do with these so let me just take a shot, turn your body towards me a tiny bit more all right, I'll tell you in a little less great they're good cool, perfect, I think it's like a ryan gosling post that's what I got from that looking over all right, so then so this shape doesn't exist without the high the late hi that light gives him the shape to his face and in the back room light helps carve him out a little bit so that's what I might do with grids for a gentleman

Class Description

Ready to capture gorgeously-lit images without expensive gear or complicated lighting setups? Join portrait and fashion photographer Lindsay Adler for an exploration of high impact, low-fuss lighting.

In this course, you’ll learn how to achieve a wide variety of visual styles using basic zoom reflectors, a beauty dish, and a soft box. You’ll explore dozens of possibilities for setups that require three or fewer lights. This one-of-a-kind learning experience will give you the tools you need to create dynamic, beautifully lit images -- without investing in crazy modifiers or breaking the bank buying multiple strobes.

Lindsay will be using Profoto gear during this class.



Such a great class- second one i've seen from Lindsay and both were really informative! This one really helped me, i've always liked the idea of playing around and not being too hung up on the numbers- nice to see a pro taking the same approach and getting nice images.