Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Lesson 28/32 - When to Use Specialty Light Shaping


Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers


Lesson Info

When to Use Specialty Light Shaping

You know, when we start talking about light shaping, there are things that photographers need from time to time that have to be some kind of strange, odd, little niche products, and there's a lot of 'em out there. There's a lot of niche tripods and camera stands, and customized bags, and there's just a lot of weird, little nichey things that we need from time to time. You don't need 'em all the time, but you need 'em occasionally, and that's what some of these tools are that we're about to talk about. All brands, almost all brands of manufacturers make some of the things that we're gonna talk about, so it doesn't really matter if you're using another brand other than ProPhoto, that's fine, they probably have some of these tools. But they're fun, and they're interesting, and they do things that you can't sometimes do any other way. We're gonna talk specifically about this one thing called the hardbox, then we're gonna talk about the Fresnel lens, the focusable Fresnel, which is basicall...

y, while you can use snoots and grids to change light's spread and make it more controllable in its placement, the Fresnel focuses light, because it's got a lens element. So it's a little different look to that light. And then finally, we'll wrap up with our ring light, with a ring flash, and we'll do some closeup head shots with a ring flash, and you can see some unique things with that that are kinda fun. So that's gonna be the-- Except for the model. Except for the model, except for the model. That's kind of the fun stuff, that ring flash, as we've talked about this just briefly yesterday, there are people that are just crazy about it, and there are people that just don't like it very much at all. It does give a unique, round catch light in the eye, right dead center. It's not an easy, soft source of course, but it is non directional, because your lens mounts in the center of it. The light basically wraps around your lens, so it is as non directional as any light could possibly be, and there are no shadows, except one on the background from your subject, and there's a little bit of a black edge around your subject that gets projected onto the background, which is kind of a neat look. It's not a neat look at all if you don't want it. (laughs) It's a really neat look if you want it. So does that make sense? Yeah. And then there's a lot of other things too, a lot of other techniques and specialty tools that you can use, and unique ways of using tools. But I'd really, and I can't encourage you guys enough to test and test and test. We're wrappin' up here, we're kind of heading toward the finish line of the tools themselves, and I just can't express enough the importance of gettin' in and playin' around and testing. I figured out one time that for me, I wanted to have a soft edge around my high school seniors, and I couldn't figure out how to do it, and I finally figured out one day, well if I turn off my modeling light, turn on my background light, and turn off the cell so it doesn't fire. So in the studio it looks like the only light on is on the background, but when I take a picture and fire my flash with a bulb exposure, my flash fires, and then for two, or three, or four seconds, I'm burning in the background light. You with me so far? Okay? And then during that three or four seconds of burning in the background, I'm just shakin' my camera, and by shakin' my camera, what I'm doing is moving my subject's silhouette around and shakin' the edge of the silhouette, and it's givin' me this fuzzy, cool, cool, cool look around the edges of my subject, and I don't have to use Photoshop to do it. I can do it on my camera. Does that make sense? It's a cool technique and you should all try it. You want your flash to fire to freeze your subject, so the flash fires, freezes the subject, but turn the modeling lamp off, make sure the modeling lamp's not on, so there's no light hittin' your subject, other than when the flash fires, no ambience. And then just burn in the background and shake your little camera. And you can shake the camera, or you can have your subject just wiggle a little bit like this. (class laughs) And it'll do the same thing.

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!!