Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes

Lesson 24/27 - Demo: Clamshell, Rim, One Background Light


Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes


Lesson Info

Demo: Clamshell, Rim, One Background Light

I wanna do clamshell lighting. And with clamshell then we'll do one background light and then two background lights. So, why don't we get someone else up here. You wanna be Miss Clamshell? How's that for a badge of honor? Alright so for this we'll stand, I'll have you stand. Move our awesome chair off set. So typically for clamshell lighting we're gonna use, I like to use the soft boxes and the octaboxes for this rather than the umbrella's. You get a lot more control out of it. Just like I talked about earlier. So for this one, for the high light, the tall one, we'll use the octa. And I still have the grid on there. So we'll use the octa with the grid. And again, that just allows me a lot of control positionally. And I'm gonna pull her away from the background so come up closer to me and walk that way about a foot perfect! Let me get this thing out of the way. You know what, I'm gonna take the umbrella off so I don't knock something over that I don't see. Okay, cool. So this octa make ...

sure everything's turned on. Turn on the remote. This is going to be what I'll call the key light or the top of the clamshell. So I'm gonna set the output for 1/16 power. And I'm remembering back earlier. It seemed like to me that 1/16 was too powerful. So I'm gonna go to 1/32. Just based off of memory from earlier in the day. Bring this guy up. Cool. How do you feel? Good? Good. You look good. Look happy. Okay, there we go. Yep, 'bout right. So I'm positioning it just above her head so that I've got enough space to shoot right here. Then I'm gonna bring in the soft box and put that down low. It looks like I need a different stand for the soft box. And I'll use I'll use my low stand that I used earlier. These are super useful for studio work. So, everybody go out and buy one. Actually I don't think, now that I think about it, I don't think I put these on my shopping, on my Mike Hagen's favorite list. But I mentioned it earlier in the class. Remember the Creative Light, the LS22. Really useful product. Okay, bring that in about like that. And I'll increase the height. Here we go. Clamshell. So this is the clamshell. Nice! You look good! Okay, so for this one, I will put This is that aper light. This is that forty dollar flash that I bought on ebay. It's gonna work just fine. And it's currently at 1/16 power. But again, I think I should put that at 1/32 power as our starting point. So one, two. Our first two lights are set up. Now it's time for the third light. So we can think about what do we wanna do with that third light? Well I'm gonna use it as a rim light like we did before on the Rembrandt photo. And right now I've got that on our beauty dish. It's great. Beauty dishes can be used for all kinds of purposes. In this case it's going to be our rim light. And I've got it right over her head so it's gonna fall equally on the left side and on the right side. And she doesn't have long hair so I don't have to think about illuminating that long hair behind her. If she did have long hair I might think about bringing that light down a little bit lower so it fills in this portion of her hair. We've got our background lights so we're just gonna leave those as is. And we'll start with four and then we'll go to five. Okay, I think we're ready. Alright Miss Clamshell. You wanna smile on this one? Sure Alright Looks like the camera is connected. Which is fantastic. Go to full screen. And again I'm still the same f/5.6 at Here we go one, two, three. (camera click) And I'm gonna take one more. One, two, three. (camera click) Great. After this, I think what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have you rotate your body just a little bit. Hey cool! So what do we notice? Well our background light, we'll start with the background. Great. It's doing what it's supposed to do. It's making our background kinda white. You can see we only have one light back there. How about the rim light off of her shoulders? Good. Happy with that? Okay, overall I'm happy with that too. One of the things I notice we're not seeing though is the catch lights in the eye. We're not getting those catch lights. And so I want that. So how do we do that? Well I need to move the lights probably away from her and closer together a little bit. I might just move the top one down a little bit. We'll see. But if I leave the bottom one where it's at and move the back one back or the tall one back a little bit. Right there. Oh yeah, this is gonna be nice. I can already see I like it. Okay and now, yeah go ahead and turn your shoulder ever so slightly. Great. Super cool! Smile. (camera click) And this time I want you to smile and just open your eyes just a little bit more not that much. Little bit bigger eyes, smaller eyes, bigger eyes, smaller eyes, I know it's hard to follow directions. Okay. Oh! There we go. I think we got some eyes there. Other photographers use the Squinch. You know there's a certain look. I just wanted her eyes to be bigger so we could see the catch lights. Here we can see the catch lights. Ah there we go, it finally rendered. Uneven lighting on the backdrop. So you can see we're gonna need to bring in that fifth light. And then overall it feels a little bit too bright to me. Yeah, I think overall it's a little bright. So here I could either A, go to each flash and go down. Or B, just reduce my ISO and I think it's quicker overall just to reduce ISO. So I'll go ISO. I'll drop it by a full stop. We'll go to ISO 200. Actually 250. We'll drop it by two thirds of a stop. And I'll take a picture and then I'll go and turn on that fifth light in the background. Alright one, two, three! (camera click) and again (camera click) Oh we might of got a blink. We'll see. Yeah, we got a blink. That's okay the one previous to that was just fine. Okay Cool And then let's turn on that fifth light. You can see when you start going to five lights on your set. You might start thinking about bringing an assistant along with you. Voice activated light stands are very helpful. Okay now we've got all five lights turned on. Eh, a little closer. Here we go. One, two, three! (camera click) Nice. I think that one came out well. Yep, nice white backdrop. Um, overall cool. I think the background to foreground ratio is off ever so slightly, like she needs to be a little brighter with the background maybe being held steady. So I would normally come in and increase the flash brightness in the front by two-thirds of a stop. But I think you get the idea. So five lights. You can grab a seat if you want. Five lights, that's important. I'll move over here. Five lights give you full control. Foreground, you get your key and your fill. You can have your key over here, fill over here. Great, the third light. You get to do the rim or the hair. And that provides the separation. Alright. This nice separation between the subject and the background. And then for the background, those are the fourth and fifth lights. And that gives you full control over the brightness of the background and the way that light washes across that background. You know there's a million other ways to arrange five lights. I've just showed you two very basic and simple ways to do it. And it all changes when you have a black backdrop versus a white backdrop. Maybe you're out in the environment maybe you're outside, maybe you've got your kayak and you're shooting an environmental portrait right. It's all different, but five lights really give you the ultimate in control and flexibility.

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