Shoot: Film Noir Style with Female Model


High Impact, Low Fuss Lighting


Lesson Info

Shoot: Film Noir Style with Female Model

I have my lovely female model all right? So I'm actually going to go ahead and get rid of this light out of the equation this beauty dish for a second. All right, slow this down and a publishing use your chair as a stool here you go, this's for you. All right, so we're going to go for super high impact here and I'll have you take a seat for just a second. All right? So now the vert how I would do this for a girl would be film knew our style like just thinking that exact same set of ignoring this light for a second it could go ahead for fitz and have this is that ten degree grid again? Nice and high really focused on her face go even higher like, give her a little bit more drama and then I have that back room light on, so I'm gonna turn my camera still on black and white monochromatic stoop a little straighter. Okay, so it'll start to give you a little bit of the film noir. Look, let me go a little brighter and this is if you notice see how it's too dark on her chin. Ok, so a ten degree...

grid is so focused that if she could lean a little bit that way, like literally lean your whole body like she's out of the light and then lean back this way ok she totally out of the light there so is such a small space to work with grids or not what I would use for a moving subject or a group of people it's for tight beauty shots drama or where they're not moving that's how I would think of use of grids so this needs to go just a little bit there we go little bit lower good all right take that shit again looks good you'll see you're starting to get that film noir feel a little bit but that back late still not bright enough so when I think of film you are film noir is all about like really bright highlights focused like dark shadows super contrast it doesn't quite have the contrast that I would want so I can turn this later or you can move it in moving a light and also makes it brighter and that's the hold inverse square law thing but just know I brought it in closer it's going to be brighter well what I want to check and I always turn off my main light because I want to make sure that none of that backlight is on her face or none of it's casting like weird shadows because I'll get that a lot for women when they have their hair down I'll take a shot and you'll see streaks across their face because the light is parsing through their hair and there's not much you can do about that except for change the angle or try to put more hair on one side so that it's thicker so I've got a better highlight that I want there he turned this main light on good so we're starting to look again more film noir and feel but let's say that's still at this point I just want what the late to be a little more focus it's actually really focus let me take a look a half like a half hour of you watch how much late fall off we have here the lady is really just on her face there's almost none partway down of her body so it's still is nice and dramatic but if this wasn't enough for me, if I really wanted just really focus light what I would do at that point is bring the light even closer, that bucket of water the closer I can bring it the more focussed that'll be if you have a smaller group which I think this is the smallest one, right? Yeah. Uh if you have a smaller grid, you can switch to it but I mean, this is very tiny grid thank you taken bring that even even closer and now I'm gonna have even more dramatic light on her face and I also want to make sure that I'm not lighting at this point I want to make sure not pointing to fart or forehead because that'll go really blown out and I gotta have it kind of centered on her face right there should be good cool alright so looking very dramatic very film noir but let's say for whatever reason you're doing the same shot back the flight up a little bit and it's just maybe just too bright on her forehead you want I wanted to be a little bit more drama you can't focus it anymore they're actually a lot of things you can do, so can I have a strip of senna foil like a big strip cycle and show you a couple other things we have here where's that oh, and then on the piece of actually grab this sorry I'm stepping off stage I got both of these, uh ignore the shape I was doing a shoot last night and we made these for the shoot but this is a piece of foam core, okay? It's not doesn't have to be like this. She um one thing you can do is if her our forehead was too bright, you can use a black piece of foam core or black cloth or what's called a flag to block light off to create more drama, for example, that didn't break easy, okay all right so what I can dio that actually can take this piece of foam core and I put it between my subject in the light and it puts a shadow on her forehead so nobody moves so the camera can see this real quick get ready and I can cast a shadow right there. All right, so this is good if you're trying to have nice tight focus light for instance what you want to know is if you want a crisp defined shadow you bring it closer to your subject if you want more of a diffused shadow and just dark and down the top you bring it closer to your light it's the closer it is your subject the more crisp it will be all right so you got kind of got that feel so would you do that for one stuff for me have you just and I'm going to one before and one after real quickly give a quick test. All right angle it's a little bit better. All right, we do one more. Okay? Let's have a flag right there good. So before and in the flag darkens it down and you can go so extreme for example that I mean you could even like try to make a light come through a shape that you've cut out of a piece of phone poor for example um or you could have one coming from each in every direction it's a little bit different than just darkening it down in post because it actually changes the shape, the grating and the texture of the light when you do that, so try one more before you want to go on to diffuse it a little bit. What this will do is that cuts down what he's holding it's just a piece of diffusion paper and so how you see uses in college to put in front of lights when I had them turned down as far as they would possibly go and I couldn't get him any further cause would cut out light or if I wanted to just socks in the light a little bit, but what it allow you to do when you're photographing somebody is just cut down. How does that one have stop number diffusion? Sure s o a lot of these pieces of paper, they'll cut out like a stock alight and you could cut out that stoplight just from the forehead. So let's say perhaps you have a bold subject or lately haired subject on their head uh, you could use that if you're using dramatic light and there's just a break highlight, you can use that between the subject and the light and it will just cut down on some of that brightness and some of that sheen just a little bit all right, so let me take one more shot and, uh, will you give me let's? Do you can just do that money let's see if I can get it to do something good and bring it a little closer to her a little closer, good right there. So I've actually popped it through and I I tweak this a little bit, but we've actually made a tight shape on her face if you didn't have a grid and you didn't have anything like that, that would be your way around it is to try to focus the light using a cut out, and I'll help you get a little more focus, but the other cinna foil, the other thing you could do all this crap in the other thing you can do it well is you can make a snoot so you can actually focus the light by wrapping sin of oil. Maybe I shouldn't have asked for it a little bigger, and we're kind of pinching together to make its new and so you make a little opening in the front. Yeah, thanks. Thank you. Yeah, I would actually like to know and to other people what kind of tape is using attached the senate foil gaffer's tape, which is the greatest invention ever? It don't really expensive like for, you know, not that satan wouldn't absolutely melt that is a great quest ction so I don't even need at this point the grid but I left it in there I'm gonna point at you guys okay? Put rated you okay? But I can focus this light and give myself a makeshift snoot, for example and I'd probably crafted a little nicer than this, but right now I mean, this is going to give me if I want, you know, just that highlight on the middle of her face, so if you don't have grids and you don't have any this new or you don't have something called spot projection or a multi spot or for now are all of these things you can actually make your own, and so I could put just a slit of light any great how's that we'll try that one and, uh, I would totally have to meet her this to get the correct exposure listening gonna open up a little it was totally out of focus up woman so I could get myself tight, dramatic light on her face and I opened up so I'd have to compensate by turning that backlight down, but okay, so nice dramatic light looks cool fool, I want to show you one other funky thing that I do with grids I'm going to grab, we're going to do this in a non traditional use of gels, so one thing about grids and the silver reflectors isn't really focused like and typically in the past when I've used yells I used them to fill in the shadows I give myself color in the shadow part of the photo uh but I discovered something that's cool for beauty that you can actually hold it between the animals that color work lindsay, grab another color can actually hold it between your subjects and the light and put like stripes of color down their face. So let me see which one will actually do it. Did that work with you? None of these things doesn't look, just try that. Do you think going to stick on this one, but just the blue I usually use magenta I don't know why, but okay, yeah, that works perfect. Let me switches back to color and I'm going to grab my seventy two hundred cause I'm gonna punch in for a tighter shot so I've got it right here. All right, so what he's doing is he's holding the closer? He told it to her face the crisper, more crisp, the more crisp of transition it will give you so I have to improve lee good to hear any more good one more great so I can do funky color transitions just by using a gel in between a crisp light if you do this with a soft box or a beauty dish it will not work you have to do this with a silver reflector upgraded light a snoop or something and you can get really funky like I've done it before I'll take multiple colors from multiple directions and made it high key beauty try uh see ah I just got blue uh no, I just got read a little bit more, right? Edison uh focusing funny jerry there looks cool looks pretty say so just give me like, a little bit of color tone, okay, so let me dio something else dramatic the whole point of this presentation is drop by high impact so I wouldn't talk about my version of something called checkerboard lighting I don't I didn't make up that name right? That's the name what will you tell me what it's really called that? Okay, awesome. I totally made of this name and I don't really know what it's called. Um okay, so the idea and it's kind of kind of yeah, well, um yes back there though. It's kind of yusef karsh ish but not okay. Um so what checkerboard lighting that again? You tell me what this is supposed to be would be you light one side of the face of there's a highlight the other side of the face of there's a shadow then against the highlight side of the face, the backgrounds dark and against the shadow side of the face, the backgrounds life so what it gives you is dark light, dark light and it just looks cool for more dramatic portrait's so I'm going to start off by using my beauty dish here so I'm waiting I have to give myself highlight shadow side of the face it can't all be even for this to have the same impact so I am going to do just that and oh gosh, let me untangle my man so I made all right cool a little more I'm moving just a bit all right, so good and I love that beautiful light on her face like the beauty dish looks great so I've got highlight side in a shadow side I'm going to turn these two back legs off for a second and just take a shot of what it's looking like and I'm gonna have to for sure probably changed my exposure change old closed it down a little eleven alright so there's a highlight side of her face and a shadow side of her face. So against the highlights I can't can't herr time for her against the highlight side of her face we're going to leave the background duck, but against the shadow side we're going to put a spotlight so if you will to will tryto aim this and I'm just going to put your hair back for me cool we're gonna gonna watch and see where it goes is that one well, this other one's fine you can do it from this one which is easier totally we're going to switch this one all right, so what we're gonna do we're gonna put a highlight back there it looks kind of hollywood ish and let me take a quick test don't blind yourself, john okay, great. So this is why I like the hair back he's gonna give me nice clean highlight and shadow side great so what john's doing is he is pointing that highlight and what I'm going to try to do is I'm going to try to find my angle and have him lining up behind us when you point it in just a little bit to the center a little more good let's try that see if that's strong enough so it'll do it'll give her that glow there this looks really great for photographing men and women if you were going for kind of I don't see it's traditional but an older style look to a portrait okay, so don't what is that called? Yeah ok ok so a checkerboard works it's called checkerboard from now marking that's okay, awesome right, perfect okay, great and if you don't want the light to be so focused you have a call all things you can do you can change the grid which lets the light spread or we can pull it back and that will just the bucket of water lets it spread out a little bit more no problem and I'm gonna pull back just a tiny bit and turn up just a little bit more and he was going he said he was gonna put diffusion on it diffusion on the front just like in the soft walks and hits the diffusion it spreads out and then it's the second one whenever light hits diffusion material it actually the light actually becomes that diffusion material like it actually spreads out onto it so it's another way kind of soften it up a little bit and this would be a so what's the what it will be a massive difference. Yeah, I didn't even know don't even read me try one more without so that'll give me that drama, okay? So I've covered kind of the generals of using a beauty dish you can do clamshell light, but you could go really dramatic and raise that light up and then that reflector underneath becomes the catch lights in the eyes you can add room lights have three point lighting on that we use the grade to populate onto his face in this particular photo on the photo before we can show you how to focus light using grids so you can get almost film noir look really tight grids on the face and bright highlights. And then this checkerboard lighting. So what I would like to do before we switch is, uh, jews gels up this way, so I'm gonna make us bring this light up this. Okay? So let's, talk about using gels. I use gels in the funky way on her face. However, you can also use gels to fill in shadows on the side of the face. So this is what I wanted you to know about gels if if I have my light centered and I papa joe on to this light over here, I won't really see too much, and I can take the grid out. How hot is this? Okay, wait. Okay. So I'll explain it over here. All right? So here's the thing when you light with, uh, say beauty dish in the front and then also in the front, you add another jell in general, that white light overpowers a gel and you just see, like, a little cast of a color. You don't really see that much because the white lights already overpowering it is like that's the strongest like so if you want jealous to show up in your photos, you have to create shadows with your main light because I think of it like water if I soak his face with a bucket of water from this side and then I grab a blue bucket of water, it was already wet, so I didn't stick, and it it doesn't hold, but let's say I shoot regular water from this side. Now that entire side of his face is dry. If I take the blue bucket of water over here now that side of his face will be blue. So I think of shadows. I acquit shadows to dry spots like that's, what shadows are to me. So if I'm going ahead and I want to have, like, a blue shadow, uh, are blue, uh, gel and part of her face. I have to make shadows with my main light first, and then the gels fill in the shadows. So I do this a lot in fashion photography of all shape with the main light get it so that there's just a little bit of shadow may be on the side of the face, and then the gel that I pop in from the side just sucks up in that shadow and nothing more, um yeah, you can use gels on the main light on the face most of the time that doesn't look really successful I mean, sometimes it does but person looks like an alien right like it's all green we're all blue or all red and it looks much more nuanced and you have a lot more creativity when it just fills in part of the face or part of the shadows so take a look at this so this light right now I have off perfect so if I take this shot me open up a little bit more you can see where the shadows are a k not too many right there's a little bit of shadows underneath her jaw line and her cheeks so that is where presumably gel would show up okay, so I'm turning to blend you wait all right, so I went toe add a it's too cramped gaffer's tape for like the blue green let's see blue green okay, so I'm gonna die now I said like alien and green I'm still going to do green because I want to thank you and john let me borrow his gels who's very nice he's the best perfect thank you still it's what size of dishes? Yep. Twenty inch white twenty in twenty out of this one twenty two twenty yeah, if you were picking between sizes of beauty dishes of twenty two twenty two in strange is best some brands only have like seventeen and twenty seven for me seventeen or eighteen is too small and in twenty seven I don't have is much control it's too big so wrapped too much so that brand your kind of stuff but the rest of them twenty twenty two inch right let's test this I might turn it up a little so so as you can see watch you only see the gel in the shadow and then it kind of washes a little bit on the highlights but really you see the blues in the shadows so if I leave those gels in the exact same place I don't move them at all but I moved my main light in order to give me shadows all right something like this now I'm going to see a lot more of those gels because they gave it dry area for that joel to be soaked up so watch the dramatic difference between the two and I didn't I didn't move or change the power change anything on this so if you're ever trying to use gels and it's not quite working the way you intended you have to remember that your main light is going to overpower those jealous that's going to make it really difficult to show them so when you create the shadow that's where the gel will get soaked up all right so let's see if there's any questions on that one so far fantastic cool um so what I was thinking about doing at this point would be you're good with that, okay, can I have three white reflectors? All right, all right, so the next thing I'm going to dio is, uh, a light like a lighting setup that I became really well known for. Yeah, good for you. Will you be able of bouncing? Uh, jill they used the zulus abounds with your reflector on how different will be for going through a lot so you put a gel on the reflector to try to get color so there will be a color caste but it won't be that saturated for example let's say that I have an assistant in a bright blue shirt that stands right here. Okay? They're wearing a bright blue shirt. There will definitely bleed be a blue cast but it's not going to be a cz richer saturated and you can actually see that there is a direction of light to that that would be more of a like a haze. I think neon like a neon color might show up a little bit better reflected um but I mean, you could do this with two lights like you don't need to have a lot of lights to get this to happen, all right? So let's dial it back because we just had you know we did it couple with two lights couple of three lights I'll show you one of my favorite one light setups so we did talk about in the beginning uh clam shell like so I want to kind of dial back to that for a second I've got beautiful glowing light on her face and there's a shot in my portfolio that I did um that I actually have a bunch of shots where the girl's skin is totally creamy even smooth white blood like this totally even and then like bright red lips or bright red hair for like a pop of color so I want to show you how to get that really even creamy smooth skin these two lights in the background are not on at all so that'll work fine so it two or three will work you don't need all of them okay, so let's take these two so as we showed you before I want to talk about the differences kind the silver one as well that would be sorry. Perfect. All right, so when john was doing this before when he was holding it for me we had the silver and it was really contrast ing and it filled in the shadows a lot there's nothing wrong with silver um I really I actually use it a lot for beauty but what it does is because it is silver it adds more contrast to the skin on it fills in shadows marceau you'll actually like if she had like rough skin on her chin silver would actually draw attention to that because of the way that it bounces light and so before we switched over to white because it was really, really more forgiving and much softer and it didn't fill in the shadows as much so one of my favorite set ups is can I have one more assistant? This is what I use my try reflector for it I'm going teo box her and I would have told that you could just use one for this don't do this I'm going to box her in on all sides with white and what that does captures the light bounces it around it makes it soft because it takes on the quality of these reflectors fills in all the shadows and now her skin is just creamy even and smooth it's beautiful so it may show you what that looks like I wouldn't do one before before shot first I'm gonna have you drop that real quick all right and now let's squish it in perfect and I this's just my technique I used to try to bring him a little closer in the bottom and the closer you box her in I call this beauty box the closer you boxer with in with reflectors the less shadows you see the more even and smooth skin iss so vote separates a little bright going to one more so it'll get rid of almost all the shadows not all of them but make it just really even really smooth and very porcelain doll like so if you don't mind can you stand up for a second? Can I have you come here for a second? Okay, just because this is so this is nice to meet you can take a seat. There's four is for example, this is her look, this is her style and she's got like you got awesome cheekbones, bright red lips and I would see that and be like, oh, yeah, I've got to do that like that would be awesome. So can I have that one more time? The show before? Do you mind? Okay, well, I just kind of stuck. Okay, so maybe sit up straight and relax your shoulders a little good and secure chin out just a tiny bit good and then head straight onto me. Perfect. Okay. All right. And now it's boxer in and squish squish squish close, close, close. Perfect. Yeah, it looks cool, but it's a good luck. Thank you. I just like that. So that is just, like, soft in every direction and creamy smooth skin and I do it a lot for for fashion shoots

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.