Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes

Lesson 21/27 - Demo: Clamshell & Rim Light Setup


Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes


Lesson Info

Demo: Clamshell & Rim Light Setup

What I wanna do next is I wanna go to clamshell lighting. Wanna show you what clamshell lighting does. Typically, typically you use clamshell lighting as a beauty look, so typically you're using it with females, not often with males, but yeah, I've done it both ways. So you're a female and you happen to be standing here, so we're gonna do clamshell lighting. Here's the idea with clamshell, think a clam, it opens up, light comes from the top, light comes from the bottom, and then you shoot right through the lights. Okay so we'll do clamshell lighting for the two front lights and then we'll do hair light for the background light. I like the umbrella for the hair light, it's making me happy, so I'm just gonna move that one back. And for the foreground lights I'm gonna use the octabox and a softbox. And we'll use the octa as the low light. And we'll use the softbox as the high light. Why? I don't know I just wanna try it out. Okay, so here's the, this is gonna be the high light. As in the ...

one that's higher of the two. And where did my other flash go? One, two, oh, there it is. (chuckles) Gotta be able to laugh at yourself. Put that one in here. Super. Great. Sometimes that top box can be horizontal, in fact, a lot of times with clamshell lighting it works best, just spatially and from a position standpoint, if it is horizontal and it's not rotating, why is that? Oh you know why, because it's hitting on the top of my flash. So, let me bring it down here. Come on. Oh, no, it's hitting on the trigger, it's hitting on the little Yongnuo trigger. So I gotta pull that back a little bit. Another learning opportunity. Okay. Sweet, just about there. And then because we want this flash to be the low light, I gotta make sure that my stand will actually go low enough. Well, I've got a big old heavy-duty Photoflex light stand here and it's actually too high, so I gotta switch it out to a lower light stand. Hey, here's one. Now we're running into issues like, will it fall over on me, and that happens a lot in studio photography, lights falling over, so really, I probably should be using, sandbags. If I was keeping this position for a longer period of time. Okay. I'm just gonna pull off the little brass stud, put the brass stud into this one. There we go. And bring this guy down. Lower. And aim it up. Okay. Great. Perfect. So, we've got our clamshell scenario. The higher light, the lower light, and then I've got the rim light, and that rim light I'm gonna bring up higher into the air. And the rim light is at 1/16 power. The lower flash is at 1/16 power. And the upper flash (grunts) I can't see. It's at 1/16 power. So everything's at 1/16. Let's see how it turns out. Okay, go this way about three inches, yeah, perfect, right there. Here we go. This one you can smile, this is a beauty shot. Easier. Yeah. Oh, love the smile. (shutter clicking) Great, fantastic. Ooh! Too much. (laughs) Smile with the eyes closed, there we go. Okay, starting point, right, always a starting point. It's a little bit hot. So two things you need to think about, overall brightness and then how are those catchlights, what's it look like in the eyes, do we need to position them a little bit higher, a little bit lower? I think I'm gonna position the high light a little lower, physically, just so I can get a little catchlight in her eyes. Great. And then the power. Definitely need to bring the power down. So we'll bring it down to, let's go to 1/8, drop the thing down a full stop. I was at 1/16, 1/32. There we go. Even I get messed up with my fractions. That's saying something from a math guy. And this one was at 1/16 so we're gonna go to 1/32. Okay, same thing. Take a picture. Go this way ever so slightly. Yeah, perfect. Nice smile. Love it. I love it. Oh, I can already tell that's better. So let the thing load and render. There we go, let's zoom in on her eyes. Okay, see the catchlights in her eyes? Not great catchlights, but pretty good catchlights, I'm happy with those. Overall, I'm gonna say it's a little bit dark, so I dropped it down a full stop, it was probably too much. Probably should have been more like, I don't know, 2/3 of a stop down, but you get the feel.

Class Description

If you want complete control over the image you’re taking, you need to use multiple flashes. Mike Hagen will take what appears complex and explain how to make it achievable to help get your studio lighting to an elite level.

Mike Hagen will walk through how to build your lighting setup with two, three, four and even five flashes. If you're figuring out what lighting gear to purchase, this course will help by showing you:

  • Camera settings and sync modes to capture the best exposure
  • How to use the various trigger methods
  • The different roles each light plays in creating your image
  • How to shape the light for the most control over your final image
  • How to build your knowledge comfortably from 1-5 lighting setups

Whether you’re shooting portraits, buildings, or products - controlling all the light in your image can improve your photography from good to GREAT. Mike Hagen will teach you how to light and create every shadow and highlight by using multiple flashes in your photography.


Marty Walker

This is really a fantastic class and at an even fantastic-er price. Well worth the money, and is a great help. The instructor does a very good job explaining the methods, light shapers, and effects they create. One of my favorite videos!

Jeph DeLorme

Mike Hagen does a great job of presenting what could be a complicated process in a way that makes it easy to understand and implement. Not only does he make it easy to follow along, he presents alternative solutions that don't break the budget. I have viewed several instructors and various classes at Creative Live and this would definitely be one of my favorites. I have to say, this class would be a bargain at 10x the price!

Tim Stapenhurst

What can I say about this class? Mike is great- not only does he give a thorough break down of all the equipment one could need but he also includes wide variety of price options for those just getting started. Aside from his thorough knowledge of gear, Mike provides an excellent and easy to follow bread down of how to build up the light for your subject. His lesson plan is super easy to follow and very concise as he slowly builds up from using 2 lights to 5 lights. He also demonstrate what I think is a much needed trait in a photographer and that is being cool under pressure, dealing with issues and not getting rattled and simply going back to the basics. Creative Live Nailed it with this class