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Inside the Home Studio

Lesson 16 of 31

Lighting Setup in the Living Room

Tony Corbell

Inside the Home Studio

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

16. Lighting Setup in the Living Room

Lesson Info

Lighting Setup in the Living Room

so I think that we can go forward and watch the next video and we're going to be setting up the living room as a studio correct right okay we're setting it up with the forethought of a family that we're going to be photographing in that room in the next little piece the first part is setting up to the room for the studio okay let's roll it okay so let's set up this portable soft box here on these here just stretch out you want to pull that open their fees have spring clamps in here and what's your that camera you can just push that down and they lock in nice and easily and then we're gonna put it in inter diffusion panel and there's little snaps here wei have a cover and this just elastics around the whole thing if you khun I'll hold this corner here why you stretched that one thank you grab that corner there nice quick and easy set up with silver okay and we're gonna mount the head in here that lines up on their twists on on walks okay and then we got it okay so we have the soft box b...

uilt here I'm goingto powered up and get it on the stand here and let's power it on down let's set it the main light I haven't meter this yet but just enough but I want this for sure about a minus one below what I'm seeing over this I brought it set up initially at four point also just part that down to three point oh and there'll be a good starting place um so what we're using you know I haven't talked about this this is the b r x five hundred ellen chrome the rx um really powerful little light with a lot of controls and it's just a really simple clean system that I use a lot inside the box there's one big thumb screw we can loosen that and we can rotate the the box if we need to but working with this I'm I'm gonna kind of position this if l'm halfway between where my subjects are in my background that I'ma shoot it straight across toward me and let a little bit of it hit the background a little bit of hit them on the shoulders and hair a little bit just kind of separation within the main line of course would be the big the big the big boy over there so yeah that's gonna be great let me find the remote make sure fires yeah most strobes runabout eight amps maybe eight and a half nine am side as they fire but there's a steady they draw less than eight so there shouldn't be much problem if possible put them on different circuits if you're using multiple lights in the fear and set up so the biggest issue with power is a cz john just mentioned we got if you can split circuits that's a big help most most of the strobes that are made for studio work aren't a problem at all but you can get yourself in real real trouble with incandescent lights or known his hot lights because they draw a lot sure you get a couple of thousand watt light bulb you're in trouble with that you can really blow cem cem breakers in somebody's home and it's always a frustrating thing that happens when you're on a location it's not here's but for the most part these flashes were great and home they work final one ten so all right let's start setting on initial exposure here and we're going to start talking through this is going to say for we have european customers to a lot of these have self switching so if you change the power cord they'll work in a two twenty system also and I think that does kind of speak too uh the quantity gear that you again um you know there's always good better and best every brand has good better and best and as you get to the best it's just more features yeah you know meter yeah let's try one right about right about there where you are is gonna be pretty close let me raise this up just a bit and we'll take a look and see where we're going to position our family here just a second but this is going to give me a little bit of light on you and on the in the room in general it's just fire one right there april half oh that's good yeah okay so just for fun yeah turn around him that guy right there let me see what we got there eight five six in three five six cents so okay so that's minus almost minus one okay I think that might do it just for fun would you just measure the background right in the middle of the background is same the dome right at the light for a second let me just check that for go ahead once more five six point seven scene okay so that's great so we're still minus one so we're about eight and a half here yep so that's about five six and a half there so we're minus one in the background minus one on the on the accent light ok good so what that tells me in terms of reality with the incident meter that backdrop is going to be one stop darker than it truly looks to my eye that's why that work because I'm shooting a day and a half and it's measuring five six and a half so it's gonna be one stop darker great good that'll be perfect let me get set up move where I go grab our family here shortly sounds good thanks ok so jon let's do this toe to start with let's bring those two stools in the play uh I'm just looking at I'm thinking head heights I'm gonna need um let's see if I have mom on the side yeah so let's bring that let's bring a little a little bit closer here and let's put that one right about here and we're gonna let dad straddle that one and then I'm probably with the kids yeah just kind of like that and put mom and there and I'll put put the kid right behind him we'll put luke right back there let's try that yeah let me just fire a test out of your face real quick just to just to double check it let me get down here and probably the trigger too yeah people yes so for me I'm using the others I'm using these ellen crone b r x five hundred's uh which you're my studio lighting now of choice for most situations I'm using their sky port transmitter because of couple of things for one I've got himself in separate groups and I can power like I can power that one down if it's a little bit too bright and I compare that went up it is not bright enough um and that can also of course triggering from here so they it's a radio that goes from my camera position and it works really really well so let me just set my exposure here my I s so I've got to change that I'm sure that I saw one hundred um and and I'm going to set my color balance my white balance today life these lights are really pretty daylight balanced pretty true pretty truly daylight balanced let me just get a shot here of johns mug for a quick second and check my exposure great my exposure is exactly you know when you use your meter the way I use my meter and rely on it uh it never fails me I always get what I expect and do and I follow the rules in other words I do what my meter tells me every single time I take a picture ever and I don't miss and I watch people struggle with their files and retouching and postproduction and trying to save bad pictures all the time it's never been an issue for me because I live and die by my meter so for me this it's pretty important that we'll talk a lot about like quality but for me I've got also spent time unlike quantity looks pretty good okay I think we're ready for a family so let me just follow that part up just a little bit the meter comments I know so many pros that aaron business making great livings making great pictures who don't use a light meter and that's fine that's okay I I want to make sure that every time I hit that button I'm dead on I don't want to hit it and then go okay let me just adjust this just a little bit power that down or let me open up a third or close down a half stop or what I just want to hit it every single time I hit the button and I cannot do that and maybe it's just me and maybe it's because I have no formal education but I can't work in an environment within which I don't know what's gonna happen so for me I have to know what's gonna happen every single time I take a picture and that meter guarantees me because I'm all calibrated I'm all dialed in I am on my my my businesses color managed my monitors their color managed my printer's mike everything I'm also dialed in that everything just works the way it's supposed to work so there's never any guesswork and I think if you do this long enough and if you do it often enough you'll come to the realization that that does seem to make a whole lot of sense a heck of a lot of sense so I hope that computes okay does that does that bring up any questions from anybody here yeah sure I guess just a little bit you you've talked before about how you started out in portrait's and then you made a transition into more commercial work did you ever find that working that way that's strictly with the meter did you ever find that that made it more difficult to really get into a flow when you're working on something that's more of a fine art or a little more creative as opposed to the commercial portraiture production so it's a good question I think to answer the question the answer is not no no not as long as it was clearly not a found moment but it created shoot and once I do get into the flow once I know that at that x amount of distance that light's giving me f nine f ate the third which is also after nine if it's giving me after nine at that distance even if I move it all around the place as long as I keep the same relative distance to you it's not going to change my exposure and I know what the exposures and that's f ate the third so so it never has really hindered me once I get into the groove of a shooting you kind of get into a zone uh but where it gets weird people failing what gets you in trouble is when you start changing the distance will they start moving it closer and take a shot then those moving back and they'll take a shot you know move it over there and take it and then they're like all night trying to figure out I gotta change I gotta fix this exposure you shouldn't have to do that I'm just saying I'm not you know I'm not the end all answered everything but I can tell you that while there are some things in life I'm not very good at I don't ever miss my exposure's not even by a third of the stop and that's not because I'm a genius it's because I just follow instructions really well yeah are you the type of guy that reads manuals oh my gosh only once but I do read the manual I do and I have found that there are things like an r and r c connick meter there's a there's a little feature in the psychotic meter that most people don't even know is in there and I'm going to show it to you live on set here after after you get back in here from lunch and it's just this little ridiculous little simple little percentage readout that percentage readout saved everything about how I worked with flash outdoors because I read the instruction manual I found it one time and I thought well that's an interesting future a better test that and it was like I could hear the music from above all you know it was a moment and a great friend and teaches in santa barbara tim mayer tim and I got on the phone and we were talking back and forth about this and now he's got it all in all of his lectures and I've got all my lectures and it's like this wonderful thing you know so yeah there there are certain things that we that we do uh and thankfully the equipment now is keeping up with everything and but we've got to keep up with the equipment and you have to know what your equipment's capable of doing a lot of people don't know what their equipment can do so so I did appreciate some folks in the chat rooms who were mentioning this henry nj shut out that people should very much be careful with their tripods and making sure that they don't have the little you know sticks the middle punch but yeah that use the spikes that you outdoors for say beautiful hardwood floors so great point henry on dh I'm wonder if you could talk a little bit more about expanding more about the importance of light quality over quantity yeah yeah great great question uh for those that know me know that my my three primary things that I'd like to teach is like quality like quantity and light direction and like quality under the banner of like quality there are several things to keep in mind one is that any given light source size is relative to its distance to the subject on you guys sick of me you've been hearing me say it at lunch at dinner you know all this size relative to distance is a big big key in what like quality is all about and we're like quality sort of factors in of course there's also color and warmth or coolness of like quality but then there's also the controls that we have within but the world of light quality which is additive light subtracted light diffused light and reflected light so we've got those four controls within the banner of like quality and within that I have to understand everything about adding like meaning flash perhaps in an outdoor situation or defusing light whether it's in the studio or on location for example I'll give you I'll give a perfect example I have to know pam if I photograph you on the beach and it is two pm in the afternoon and I've got a pop up one of those guys right the fusion from about a stop and a half transits translucent fabric and if I place it between you and the sun and I so I've got exposure with you with direct sunlight and the background then I'd drop this guy in place right here and all of a sudden a lot of music it's beautiful and I opened up plus one and a half for the loss on your face I cannot be surprised our scratch my head and go what happened to my background my background just got brighter I have to understand that full well that if I take light away from you and opened up for the lost the backgrounds gonna shift brighter and at the same time if I'm photographing you fujiko and the light is coming toward me and I bounce light into your face I add like to your face I closed down for the extra increase the backgrounds gonna get darker I cannot be surprised by that and all of those little details all add up into the world of like quality so I hope that I mean that's a long way around answer the question but like quality is key after I determined my life quality then I take a reading then I measured them out and the quantity of life and then whatever the meter says I take a picture but quality is the thing that I spend the bulk of my time dealing with great yeah questions in here all right well I've got a couple more sure well that are that are in here all right so this is great this is active today and everybody's I'm not asking question absolutely well it's really fun and thanks to rest I'm sure russell's backstage and russ and jam are both helping out were feeding me the best questions feel free everyone to vote on the questions you could do that right there where you're looking at all the questions that are coming in by clicking on that blue arrow all right so this is from side and question is can you explain again why you're saying that it looks to your eye that one stop lower than what is metered this one says I know you explained but I don't understand the concept and still having problem with that and I think it's not me but a lot of us that are struggling to understand it is hard to wrap your head around so let me see if this see if I can see if I can make sense out of it for you um the human eye has the ability to see a very wide gamut of light brightness levels from very very bright very very dark somewhere around depending on who you talk to from eighteen nineteen to twenty maybe even twenty one different stops of light for example in a dark room like right now if I just glance over it kenna I can see under the table I could see her legs I can see that they're dark I can see the black cup on top of the black box and I can see all of that I can see detail in all of that but if I take a picture ever by the time I get to the printed page all that's just going to be dark I'm not gonna be able to see and discern subtleties of change because my eye sees I think of this one this is where I teach it in class my eye sees this much my camera can see this much my prince khun see this much so excited my answer is you've got to make sure that you don't let your I lie to you your I will lie to your I will say oh I can see all of this great detail you take a picture and go why didn't it all look like what I saw right because your camera sees this much your eye sees this much and your paper sees this much so when anytime you hear somebody in a lecturer of seminar or workshops say you need to learn to see the light they're wrong you have to learn to I think the light because you have to think we were talking about this earlier have to think like a camera that was that you have to think like a photographer and think like a camera because it's different than just learning to see the light seeing the lights easy thinking the lights a little bit more of a challenge so I hope that makes sense that answered his question absolutely and I think that just reiterating that is so important and learning how to think like the camera but also that's why the lens choice as we've been talking about is also so important because the lenses see differently then your eyes as well and knowing what you're looking for are especially in relation to the space that you're in right and in like everybody's always used the analogy of a fifty or fifty five millimeter as the normal and the reason it's called normal is because it gives you the exact same uh relative uh vision as the human eye except without the peripheral so if you take the peripheral vision away from your eye that's what a fifty millimeter gives you so you get normal you getting almost perspective so that's why it's called great about one more question of your four we head into the next video where the family actually will come in we'll photograph them this is from richard rossi who's been here all three days so great to be here thank you have a question the first day also that's right that's right s o when you set up your lights for the first time in a particular room do you take a zero black dark exposure first before you start adding lights and if so can you explain that no but I will if the room is especially bright I might take an ambien reading just to see what the ambience is to make sure that when I do use flash that there is no influence of ambiance based on the shutter speed and aperture combination that I'm going to be shooting it if it's a really bright room I might want to sneak my shutter speed up to one twenty five or two hundred you know but if it's a pretty average room or dark room thirty five I mean thirty three sixty there one twenty fifth isn't gonna matter at all so but but it's a really good but but but the answer is yeah you might want to check your am it's just to make sure it doesn't influence especially negatively influence

Class Description

Working from home is a great way to minimize costs, but it can be challenging to deal with the inevitable space and light limitations and it can feel awkward to explain to clients.

In Inside the Home Studio, Tony Corbell will help you address the logistical and practical challenges of working from home. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with low ceilings, dark spaces, and small skinny rooms
  • Market and sell in-home shoots
  • Store and organize your equipment.
  • Work with family and client schedules

Tony will help you come up with new ways to shoot in ordinary spaces by sharing real-life examples of home studio scenarios. He’ll shoot formal and candid portraits throughout the entire house, teaching you how to leverage each room for its specific uniqueness.

Inside the Home Studio will show you how to approach different photographic genres and help you make the space you have to work for your business.



Another great course by Tony Corbell. I loved this course. Tony is a great teacher, great photographer and great business man. He's enjoyable to listen to and a great teacher. He holds nothing back and shows how to shoot great pictures even in small shooting environments or on a low budget. I would buy again Tony's courses.

Penny Foster

Wow! Tony is fantastic! So many hints and tips, crammed into this great course. I shoot portraits out of a small converted garage, about 9 ft high, 9 feet wide, and about 19 feet long. Tony has shown me so many ways to make this small space work for me, for which I am eternally grateful. What this course highlights is that whatever small space you have, there are ways of making it work. You need to buy this course and watch it over and over because, every time I watch it, I gain more and more info that I missed the first time around. Brilliant!

Kat Ciemiega

Absolutely wonderful, I cannot praise the content enough. I value Tony's stories as much as the information he is giving away, because it puts the data in the perspective and practical context of the actions we take. Thank you for this class!