Demo: Side Lights & Background Light Setup


Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes


Lesson Info

Demo: Side Lights & Background Light Setup

I think standing. 'Cause if this is a little bit, When she was kind of, This just calls for like the athletic look, you know. Kinda, Arrggh! You know, this type of thing. And I think sitting is maybe not the best posture for it. So I'll just move this over here. And why don't I have you stand about right here. This funky thing on the floor. Cool. The idea here is we want the light to come from the sides but not illuminate the front of her face. So the lights are gonna be about here. And then I need to think about what am I gonna do with my third light. Okay, so imagine I've only got three. So I got one flash here, one flash over there. Hmm, third light. I could use this. I could use something like a soft box. I could use a reflector up here. I could move the light to the background. So we'll try a few of those different iterations and just see what we end up arriving at. Because we are doing split light, I want both the lights to be the same on either side. So whether that's two soft b...

oxes that are exactly the same dimension or two umbrellas that are the same dimension. Doesn't matter, but you want them to be the same. Well I don't have two soft boxes that are same, but I do have two umbrellas that are the same. So because these are the smaller umbrellas These are the little 32 inch jobbers. We're just gonna use those, and I'm just gonna shoot basically upper torso shot. So I'm thinking about there. Ish. That looks good. We'll grab my other 32 incher which is the ProPhoto. And I need my umbrella bracket. Sorry for all the running around but I guess this herein lies the issue of using lots of flashes on set. Just have to keep your ducks in a row and remember where all of your gear is. And hopefully again, you've got this set up before the model arrives on set so you're not annoying her or her mother who has the paycheck for you. Great. So one, two and then my flash. We'll pull this one out. Pull this one off set. What's going through my mind right now is, I have three different flashes, that are three different power levels. So if I'm doing split lighting and this one's set to 1/8 power, it maybe a different 1/8 power than that one at 1/8 power, 'cause they're different brands and different models. So that's just something else you gotta think about. That's why a lot of photographers like to have all the same flashes in their setup. So we'll just start off here at 1/16. So this guys gonna be at 1/16. Great. This one we'll do 1/16 as well. Just hopefully they're close enough. 1/16. And then, How are you feeling today? Are you feeling like, rim lighty? Are you feeling like background lighty? Or front lighty? Um, background lighty. Okay background lighty. Great. So, I'm using that really low stand but she's standing up. So I'm gonna get my medium height stand and position it right about the right about the position of her lower back. I think that'll be good. And these are the brand of these little low stands is by a company called Creative Light. And the specific model number is the LS22. Creative Light LS22. I don't remember how much they cost but it can't be that expensive. They're kinda small. Okay so now what I'm gonna do is tell you, just a warning, there's a light stand right behind you so don't fall down. And for this one I'm gonna have you basically stand with your feet a little bit apart. The idea is you're an athlete and we're showing off your physique and your form. So we can do this. We can also kind of you know clench your fists and muscles that type of thing. Or if that's feeling a little bit awkward you can go a little bit softer and turn towards the camera. We'll just see how it works out. Alright? Okay go that way two inches. Just move both feet that way, yep. Cool. I'm just trying to get the background light situated perfectly behind her. Alright I notice a problem already. The height of my lights are off. So, let's see how I wanna do this. I'll take this one down ever so slightly. And this one up ever so slightly. Are they close? Okay. Cool. Here we go. Still at ISO 400. I'm at f/5. and I'm at 1/250 of a second. You can start of with a smile but then we're gettin' serious. (camera click) That was a nice smile. Oh! Cool! Alright! So that's basically This is the general look, okay. So this is the side lighting, the rim lighting. And it's done exactly what I want it to do. We've done this nice rim over the shoulders and the background kind of highlighting her muscularity, her structure, her form. But as you all see there's an issue. And that is you can't see her face. So we need to decide what we're gonna do for her face. Well we only have three lights. That's the scenario we're in. So why don't we use a reflector. So I'm gonna borrow one of you all. And have you hold a reflector for me. For this, why don't we use the silver reflector. 'Cause the silver reflector will actually reflect a lot more light back onto the subject. And what I want you to do is I want you to be about right there. Okay? So if you can hold it, Maybe if you can hold it from the side. Like this. Yeah Okay, come this way a little bit. Right on. Now a lot of brands like ProPhoto and what's the other company's name? Uh, Tri- I forgot the name of the company, but they actually have handles in the reflector could allow you to kind of hold it at arms length. You can see here it's a little bit awkward. It doesn't, it's kind of wobbly, floppy. Let's see what that looks like. Go in closer towards her. Walk closer, closer and bring it down three inches. Okay cool. Alright (camera click) You're mean look is not that mean. Okay you can relax for a second. Okay so we added a little bit more light onto the scene. But, you know what? That third light, it's gotta be in the front. Don't you think? I mean it looks nice in the background but the truth is is that we need more light than what the reflector is gonna give us. So, I'll just pull that light over to the front, thank you. And because we like this gridded octa we'll throw it into here. Well I'm just gonna move that background light. Now you can see also having a boom, a boom stand can be very helpful 'cause they can move the stand over here then the boom can hold the octa over to the side. But just for in the interest of time I'll just move a little bit faster and, what kind of adjustment do I have up there? Okay. Great. I got ahead of myself. Put it too high. So if I recall, this was a little bit to high so I'm gonna take the head and point the head down. Of course the SB5000, oh yeah, it goes down. Some flashes do, some flashes don't. Okay that should work. And bring it up. Right there. I actually like that right there. Alright. We'll do one smiling and then I really want serious man. You can do it. Alright one smile and then we'll get this smile out of your system. Yes (camera click) Great. And then we'll do the serious one. Oop! Too hot! Would you say too hot? We'll just put that on my hip. That was at 1/8 power. Gotta bring it back to 1/4 power. There's that 1/4 power number again. I'm sorry, 1/16 power. Right there. Don't want it too high because then I lose the catch light in her eye. And this one serious. You are a kayaking athlete. World class serious. You just kayaked across the Atlantic Ocean. (camera click) and (camera click) That was it. I think we might have nailed the shot. Okay cool. So that's looking kind of neat. With just three lights. Black backdrop. Yeah nice. I like the side lighting. That was a good suggestion. It looks really good.

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