Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Lesson 22/32 - Shooting with Silver & Gold Collapsible Reflectors


Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers


Lesson Info

Shooting with Silver & Gold Collapsible Reflectors

Okay, so lets talk about silver real quick. I know we want to run through these as quickly as we can here. I just wanna make sure that we hit each one. And kind of beat it up a little bit. On the silver, in a situation like this, I did talk about the silver that I would put on the face when I'm using a beauty dish, or an Octa. When I'm doing a kind of a glamour look. So I will do that. I'll also use silver in the hair quite a bit. So in this case, without adding a second light, I can use the silver back in that corner where John's standing. John's so good, he always knows where I'm headed next. He's just been doing this awhile. It's great. What I'll do here, I wanna raise this up a little bit. Yeah, maybe something like that. Good. And you can probably pick up a piece of that back there. So, let's just turn your head, Stacy, this way again and your eyes right here. Perfect. So, I'm looking at her eyes. I've got a really nice catch light in her eyes. Right at about ten or eleven O'clock...

. If her eye was a clock. Does anybody know what a clock is anymore? (laughing) Does anybody? I have friends that's kids don't know how to tell time. They've never had a face dial watch. It's, they don't know how to tell time. What? (laughs) What's a dial tone? What? (laughs) Okay, so let me zoom in here a little bit. Great, great, great. Your chin up just a tiny bit and your eyes right here at me. Right about here. Right there. Perfect. Don't move, don't move. Good. Now, John, get in closer to her quite a bit. And can you step a little bit closer to me? And in closer too, John. There you go. And then bring that up a little higher. And tip it down just a bit. Right in there. Stacy, just turn your head this way a bit. Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, turn your head. There ya go, perfect. Right there. Great. Now move that out real quick, John. And let's do the same thing without it. Good. Okay. So we'll look at those two and compare those two together. Let me zoom back out. So, here's the last two. There's without the silver. And there's with the silver. It doesn't have to have direct sunlight to be effective. A white reflector in that position isn't gonna do very well. Because it's hard to reflect soft light with white. But I can reflect soft light with silver. And I can do the same thing with gold. Real quick, let's try the gold. Let's put a little bit of gold in her hair. She's got great color for adding warmth into it anyway. So, we'll just put one up there real quick and compare it. Then we'll move on to the next thing. Here we go. Good, good, good. Same thing. Kinda bring your head around just a bit. Yep. Right there. Oh, that's good. And one more without it, John. Great. Good, okay so now we got those comparisons. Here we go. And here's the fun part. So there it is without and there it is with. I don't know what's right. I don't know which one I like better. Might be the silver. But the good news is, you've got a lot of options. And that's the whole point here. There's just a lot of different things that you can do. What I would like to do is, let's bring in the silver from down below and let me just drop this guy down. I'm gonna put this, turn this horizontally. This is a little two by three softbox that's really really useful. If you are gonna get into the game of doing any headshots for people, portfolio shots, things like that. This is a real nice size because it's easy to work in a small area. If you are working in a home studio or if you're working in somebody's office, it's very difficult to take a three by four or a four by six softbox into somebody's office or their home. You are knockin' stuff over all the time. And it's just really really, you're looking for real trouble with insurance. (laughs) Somebody's gonna get hurt and there might be a lawsuit. But with this little size, it's a good little size. But you really do need to work it in pretty close to a face to be its most effective. So, if I'm gonna back up and shoot full length, I'm probably not gonna use this. But, for this kind of stuff, this is a great little source. So, let's bring it around front. And a little bit back away. Yep, probably right about there. Maybe even another half step. There we go. And I'll take that up. Kinda like that. Okay, here we go. Test. 11 even. Okay. We're getting pretty good at this guessing game on exposures. Alright. So my shutter speed by the way for those of you that are sorta new at this, in the studio, my shutter speed really isn't important in the studio. I'm shooting right now 125 at 11. Yeah, I'm shooting 125 at 11 which, I could shoot a 60 at 11. I could shoot a 30th at 11. 60th, 125, 200, it doesn't matter. You won't see any discernible difference at all. Unless there's a lot of ambient light. Then you might see an issue. But the shutter speed has not a lot to do with the exposure when you are in the studio. The exposure is based on the aperture and the flash exposure. Shutter speed is just taking care of ambience. Well there's not enough ambience in here at 11 at ISO in this room to cause much of a problem. So, I can get away with it. Yep. (male audience member) Do you wanna touch on sync speed? Yeah, I will Tony, you have a bonus material that is a chart. That shows when you take your light meter reading what f stop you go to. Since we're talking about exposure, could you actually walk through that for some people that are new? Yeah, I can yeah. So thanks for bringing it up. So, when we were shooting film, and especially with our previous generation lenses, we had click stops on our apertures at full stops and half stops. And it was pretty much 60th, or uh F8, 8 1/2, F11. Now that's where the click stops were. You could get in between those click stops and get 1/3 of a stop difference. But with negative film it really didn't matter much. 'Cause the lab's gonna make a print and they can make it a little bit brighter, a little bit darker. When we started shooting digitally, and then we started getting our digital light meters, everything started changing a bit. Now everything in our cameras are in 1/3 stops. Right? And everything, there are numbers that are foreign to us. Ya know, if I say, let's say my meter reads F8.0 and 3/10. That's F8 and 1/3 to me, but to my camera that's F9. Because F9 is 1/3 of a stop above F8. F10 is 1/3 of a stop above that. And then the next one is F11. So, it's in 1/3 stops, F8 and 1/3, F8 and 2/3 equals F9 and F10. So, that chart goes through that in some detail. And talks about that a little bit. Not everybody knows their apertures that well yet. When you get up to the higher apertures even, 11 and then F13, then F14, then F16. Those are 1/3 stop increments. So when you look at your light meter and you take a reading. And it says 11.7. Some people look at that and go, "Oh, that's 11." Well it's not 11. It's F14. You're gonna be off by 2/3 over exposure if you don't close down to F14. There's a lot of confidence in your abilities when you do have a good understanding and a grasp for how all this fits together. I see so many new photographers that have such a great eye, that can shoot so well, but they don't know how they're getting it. They just have a great eye. And they hope it works. And they know that if they put their camera on A it works, So, but I applaud the effort of their vision and some of the creative things that I'm seeing now. It's a really exciting time for photography. But I wish, I wanna encourage everybody to understand the craft. Understand a little bit about the behind the scenes stuff that's working. How it works. Because you might get yourself in a little bit of trouble when you have to perform on demand and something doesn't go quite right. You've gotta be able to troubleshoot it. And you have about ten seconds to figure what's going on. Or how to fix it. We used to learn our apertures and distances with a tape measure. We would get a steel tape measure and put it on the ground. Right? And so if you look at a tape measure, if I start here and I pull a tape measure out 20 feet. Well, if you look where F, you look at 11 feet, and then go to 5 1/2 feet, that's a stop difference in my light fall off. So we learned distances in shutter speed, I mean distances in apertures, with tape measure. 'Cause we had automatic, I mean, we didn't have automatic flashes. Everything was manual. We had a guide number of one to ten on one of my flashes. Which means at ten feet, ISO 100, I shot at F11. And if I backed up to 15 feet, I had to open up F8. If I moved into 7 1/2 feet, I had to close down to F16. We don't have to do that anymore. It's all done for us. But you do have to know how it works, I think. And especially these apertures. This is important stuff. And so when you use your light meters, really look at that and make sure you know what that number says. And use the appropriate aperture for it. You can't go wrong. (woman) Thank you. Yeah. It's good stuff. And a lot of people just don't know it. A lot of people do. A lot of the pros that are watching, they know this stuff. But a lot of people that are new to this don't know. Okay, let's do one without it first, John. So, we've got F11 here. (John) Yep. Stacy, let's change you up this time. Let's spin around this way a little bit. There you go. Perfect. And lean over toward me a bit. And bring your head to me just a little. Right there. A little bit more, a little bit more with your head. Yeah, great. Nice, nice nice. F11. Good, great. Now, I like the position of the light, but there is a, we've got a pretty dark shadow under her chin, under her nose, under the eye sockets a little bit. So, I wanna open all that up a little bit. I like the position 'cause I like where the catch light is in her eye. If I raise my light, or lower my light, I'm gonna get it in a position where I might not be as happy with the light quality. But I might like the shadow better. So, instead of that, let's just bring in the reflector. And let's bring silver in and talk about the difference. We'll do silver and we'll do white both. And let's just talk about the difference. So as we bring in the silver, there you go. Right like that and just bring your head around a bit. Right like that. Little bit further this way. Your end just and inch, John. That's it. Good, good, good. Right there. Woohoo. (laughs) You'll see a whole different picture here. And it has a whole different feel to her face. It feels like the light is just heavy on her face right there. It feels like the light is just weighing her down. And then, this just lightens it all up a bit. Right? Now, that's silver and it does add quite a bit in the eye. And it's a little bit, if you feel like that's a little bit too specular, then let's try white. We'll put white on there and try it. But the position, I think the position of it from down below coming up. I think it works pretty good. Okay? You've got the white side up. Way to go, John. And you're in my picture about an inch. There you go. Good, bring your head around, Stacy, just a bit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, this is it. Big time, Stacy. One more. We're gonna get a big smile. This is it. Come on, Stacy. Woohoo. Good one, good one. You guys are supposed to help me hoop and holler occasionally. Hoop and holler, we're hooping, we're hollering. Okay, there we go. So now we got white. So, ya know, you've got some options here. Silver. Nothing. Oh this is, oh that's white. There's nothing, there's silver, there's white. And white with a smile. Okay. Look at her lip, look at her bottom lip. Look at the highlight on her bottom lip. And as we roll to the next one, right here. Look at the highlight when she smiled. When she smiled and her lip stretch out a bit on the bottom, the highlight got bigger. Isn't that interesting? You gotta watch those little things or you might miss 'em. 'Cause now that's the little tickle for something that I might do next Thursday. I need to know, I need to be on the lookout for that. When people smile, watch that bottom lip. 'Cause I might change my highlight. Okay? The thing is about all of this, you guys, it's not the big stuff that'll kill ya. It's the details. It's the little stuff that'll kill ya. And you'll look at it and go, "oh why didn't I think of this? I missed such and such." After they've already gone. And there's some of that you can fix in Photoshop and in post. But, let's try not to do that anymore than we have to.

Class Description

Light is the photographer’s most powerful medium. Professional photographers know how to shape it and reflect it, divert it and redirect it. They can tame its harshness and coax it into a subtle glow, use it to dispel troublesome shadows or highlight a striking moment. 

Effectively curating light during a shoot can bridge the gap between mediocre images and truly captivating photography. All it takes to bend light to your will is knowledge of the right gear, and when to use it. Tony Corbell is a professional photographer and a master of studio lighting. Join Tony for this course, and you will learn:

  • How to use light shaping tools and their specific uses
  • How to creatively use reflectors of all kinds
  • How to use soft boxes, umbrellas, ring flashes, and other unique tools in the studio
Tony will draw on his decades of experience to teach you a full technical understanding of the gear you need to shape light to your purpose. 


Stefan Legacy

Bought this class on sale for 19$ and it was a great buy considering it was my first class I purchased on CL. Tony is an excellent teacher and demonstrates extensive knowledge on lighting and different uses of modifiers. Overall this is an excellent course for any one who is interested in learning studio lighting, this will give you a great detail of information.

a Creativelive Student

This is my first time watching Tony Corbell teach and work he was great! I am a natural light photographer and this class made me think about picking up some lights and umbrellas! You can tell he absolutely loves what he does. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

a Creativelive Student

Important information if you want to be a photographer. Great teacher, good pace!!