Lighting and Framing within a Shadow
we're going to start getting crazy because now we're going to be using one light to create a shadow while we use another light to chisel out our subjects. And first, I want to demonstrate this technique from actually an image that we captured in photographing the bride in the Wedding Workshop series. We're gonna break down the technique because I'm gonna then take you onto our engagement shoot for lighting three, where we're going to do something a little bit even more crazy. It's going to be difficult, but it's going to be something that's fun, and it really opens up your mind into what's possible. Let's go dive in. So let's put a grid on this as well. And let's actually put a grid probably on that one, too. So grab two grids. You can do this with one light or with two lights. It's just gonna be a little bit of a different effect. We're gonna play a little bit while they're continuing to get ready, get another shot. So I'm gonna place this right here. It's going to be top down. Raise ...
it up, aiming right towards her face. Turn this on and we're gonna have this be so that's Channel B. This is going to channel A because this is our main. Okay, so let's pause here and it's actually break down. What's happening with this setup? So we have our bride right here, right? And you'll actually notice that our backlight is set up directly behind her and it does have a grid on there, and it's facing her now. You would think normally that we would be shooting in this direction, so we're gonna shoot towards her against that back light. You can do that. It's a great shot as well. But we're gonna hold on for one second, cause we're gonna do one other thing. So we're adding a second light on this side, and this light is going to basically create a pin light that lights her directly and again. There's a grid on that flash. Now what you'll be seeing is we're actually gonna be shooting the other direction. So my camera is going to be right here, and I'm actually aiming into a frame that's on the wall Now. This frame is glass, right? So what's going to happen is this light is going to flash, and it's going to essentially create a shadow onto the wall, and that shadow is going to be in the shape of our subject. This light is going to light the subject brighter than the background that's behind. And that's going to force a reflection in the glass that we have directly in front of us. So we have a shadow, and then that reflection is going to be visibly seen. And we're going to shoot into it to capture a really cool environmental portrait of our bride where we see her shadow up on the wall and inside of that painting and reflection, we see her lit up as she's getting her makeup done. Let's go in, keep watching the video. Okay, so this is a channel to a It's an automatic zoom. Okay, so that's gonna go straight towards your face. That's gonna be in the background. Let's control both of these. Now, what I'm gonna do is get an exposure. So let's switch this on. I'm gonna go to 1/8 power. So we're 1/8 power on B. Now, we're gonna go to 1/8 on a and we're just gonna do a quick test shot and see where we're at. That's perfect. Okay, so you can see that we have that exposure right there. So when we're shooting in this direction and aiming towards our bride, we simply have that to light classic setup. We have a backlight and a main light, and that's a great shot in and of itself. So let's keep watching there. And what I might do to is let's take off the the grid and let's balance it. I'm sorry. Take off the gel and this balance at daylight. So let's leave the background a little more warm. Let's leave her a little bit more neutral and let's just take a look. Okay, So now, instead of shooting directly at her, what I'm actually gonna do is turn into this window or turn into this this painting and can you flip me into the 35? Actually, there is. Okay. And then the goal here is to get her to be bounced off the reflection of the wall. We need to actually have her lit up brighter. Okay, so all we're gonna do is move this flash. I'm looking at the flash, and I can actually see it off the reflection, so I'm just gonna move it over. Okay, Kevin, Let's, um let me see if I can actually see that. And this is gonna be the fun part. So, Kevin, I want you to lower that flash a little bit. We're gonna project a shadow of her face onto the wall and light her up. So right now, my flash power is low, so we're just gonna go up to one half power in the front. Let's go up to a full power in the back and let's see how we look. Yeah, there we go. Be able to lower a little more and angle it up. Let's see it. There it is. That's it. Okay, So, Kevin, come back now. And Lulu step in and just go right there and do one more spray. And then can you guys move the tripod thing right there? I don't have that. I'm gonna turn my body so I'm not caught in this frame. We're gonna focus right on the window. That's it. And now go ahead and spray Lulu. Perfect. At this point, you'll notice that I'm still stuck in the shot in the reflection on the frame. These shots are not easy. to set up. It usually takes me around five minutes to set up one of these shots when I'm not teaching or doing anything else, and I have practice doing them. So don't try and execute this on a client. Shoot for the very first time, Go and do a test shoot, practice with it until you get it and then take it onto a client shoot where it's only going to take five minutes, maybe 10 minutes at top to set up. Hopefully, they're doing other things. So they're not just waiting around for you. Let's go back to the video. So tilt this back so it comes up. There you go. Then we shouldn't be able to get it. There we go. All right, So I'm sitting here because I noticed that I had caught the reflection as well, and it's really difficult to find another area or angle to shoot and get the shot. So what I'm gonna do right now is I'm sitting on the couch, so I don't see myself as much in the mirror. And what we're gonna do is go ahead and get our focus. So I'm focusing in the same place again I'm focusing on the reflection of the window because that's about where our bride is. I'm switching this to manual focus now, and we're gonna hold this out and then take the shot right about here. Also switched to a slightly wider angle lens as well. That's perfect, Stephanie. Just look happy and pull her. Pull her strands back a little bit. So we don't get the hair kind of coming down on the shoulders. But that's solid. Perfect. Your any Perfect. That's fantastic. Okay, now we got it. Now I know it looks like we did a ton of work and post to remove the shadows of the reflection. It wasn't it took less than five minutes. Honestly, it was selecting the entire right side of the frame and doing content aware fill and once again, just doing a little bit cloning in this area, the reflection to remove everything cloning from above and below, essentially to kind of grab the frame and pull things in. Very simple, very easy to get to that final image. Now, let's take the same technique over to heathen Gina for a conceptual couples portrait. Now it might not be your cup of tea, and that's totally okay. But what this technique does demonstrate is how we can transform any scene whatsoever. So take this and make it your own, because after all, we are shooting kind of in the middle of this rundown downtown area under a concrete bridge, and we can still get something really fun and interesting. Let's go check it out here. Ask Ask him your questions that you had right here. I said I was literally gonna say, as a joke, could you make this spot work? I don't think we're actually gonna stop here. Yeah, yeah, we're gonna make this spot work. So what I want to do actually is throw one of their shadows up onto the wall and then frame the other person inside of that shadow while they're doing something cool. So I'm thinking of having you actually like doing like a cool, like jumping shot in your suit, and we're gonna light you up inside the shadow of genus. So what I want to do is I want to place a grid on this guy. So that way we're not casting a shadow up Gina's entire body, but rather just kind of on her torso. We're also place a ground to this guy because this is gonna be our second flash. You're set to a right now. Right? So we're gonna put this on B and heat. This is gonna light you. Mhm. What's your power, Karen? Eight. I'm gonna put this at a nine, so this is about 31 seconds. 35 seconds. That's about, uh, 15. So half power to one quarter power. Mhm. Okay, we're gonna do one just static one where you're not moving. Now, let's just have you, um, looking straight and let's get him just jumping inside of your shadow. Okay? So let's see here. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Okay. Now, all we gotta do to get her image sharper now is you've got to back up a little more. So let's just come out there. You go right there, See if it gets okay. Now she's sharper. She has to come towards you a little bit. So go towards the flash. Um, a little bit more. You can go all the way to the asphalt. Yeah, right there. Okay. Let's get you in the right spots. Okay? Yeah. So you're gonna look straight ahead. There you go. I want a little bit of space from the elbow to the face. So kind of like, bring that hair there. You go down a little bit. Chin down a little bit. So we get that perfect kind of shot going right across. Open up the right shoulder a little bit. There you go. Let's test her shadow. Okay, Now, Karen, you gotta get a little bit lower to throw her shadow up on the wall a little bit more. Let's try that a little bit more. There. Now, can we get your profile a little bit cleaner, So let's see There now, Heath, you're gonna jump right inside of her shadow right there. So let's see. Step over this way. More. Let me see it. That's the spot where you're gonna jump, Okay? And you can kind of jump towards that light. Yep. Okay, here we go. Everyone ready? Gina, can you give a kick to the hip too? So let me see your the shape of your hip. You know what? Let's have you turn the body this way, So turn into the there. Now bring the hand up and then turn so you're looking out that way. Still. There you go. There you go. Bring the hand. Extended. Like down. So there you go. You're cold. You okay? Okay. Bring this elbow out more, and then it's like, exaggerate the hip. There you go. Right there. Let's see what we got. Oh, he step inside a little bit more. There you go. Yes, Gina, that's it. Just turn the chin. Now. That way. More, More, More, More. And I'm gonna put all the hair on this side. Can I pull it right behind you? Okay. Perfect. Let me see it. Yes. Okay, Heath, you ready to jump and action. Jump. Oh, that was it. That was the perfect spot. Do that again. Money. Now, Heath, you out, Gina, hold you so he'd hop out. I'm gonna turn off. Be We're gonna get her silhouette on the wall. Do you not want that chin more towards the wall. There you go. Right there. Got it. Okay, so I'm gonna take your silhouette, and so we get a perfect one layer over his jump, so check this out. That's all. That was my favorite jump. So then you're not even gonna see the other shadow behind you. Yeah, I was going to see her form right behind. That's really cool. To be fun. I've given you guys both exercise files from the wedding as well as the couples portrait session. We're gonna work through both of them honestly, for the a couple of Porter session one. That was a conceptual shot that did take around 15 to 20 minutes to kind of piece together in Photoshop. I will explain through what we did on the final file. Um, but let's actually work from start to finish through on the wedding shot here because it's a little bit cleaner to kind of begin with. So let's go ahead. And with this reset out, honestly, we don't have to do that much to the shot. To get to the final. I'm gonna show you how Photoshop is going to do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. It's gonna be really nice. So let's do this. Let's go ahead and dial in. And again if you have the preset Honestly, for this one, I would just put in that backlight, that backlit shot and we get really close to add a good amount of contrast but let's do it all manually so you guys can see how we're going to do it. So the first thing I'm gonna do is go ahead and add in some blacks to kind of add in our just get a little bit of extra contrast into the shot. We're gonna go ahead and add also a little bit more clarity, and I'm going to raise the exposure just a little bit. Sorry, that was contrast. We're gonna raise the exposure just a bit right about there is. Good. Now I could end up pulling my highlights because the thing is, I want my bride to be a little bit brighter. But what I don't want is for the background area to be brighter. So what I'm gonna do instead is I'm actually gonna pull my whites and my highlights down a little bit in the shot. We'll add a little bit of extra contrast to kind of rich, rich, rich And is that a word? Ricin? We're gonna ricin. I like rich and better than rich. Okay. Right about there. And what I'm gonna do instead now is I'm gonna select a brush and let's go to this Dodge highlights. Now this is one of the again one of the presets. But go ahead and click, pause and dial it if you don't have it. So it's raising exposure highlights. It's dropping shadows and whites a little bit, and we're going to zoom in and actually just paint this over our bride. Now what this ends up doing is essentially lifting highlight tones without really affecting too much else beyond that. Okay, so the end result is that we don't have to be super precise with how we're painting this on. And if we wanted to, we could even add a range mass. But to be honest, it looks pretty good just the way it's coming on right now, like the way it's added in. So let's zoom out and see if our brides kind of highlighted. And indeed she is. Now I'm gonna go ahead and add that radio filter, so let's go ahead and drop into our burn brush and pulling a filter. Is that a dot on the image? I think it's a dot that's funny. So we're gonna pull in from that side and also burn in from right to left to kind of just pull that exposure on the right side down more. Now, I know it looks and it feels like we have a lot to fix in the image, but I'm going to show you how Photoshop will make pretty quick work of it. So what I'm gonna do is just dial in the exposure a little bit higher and add a second layer of vignettes. I actually want to create a slightly more moody version of this image than the one that we kind of originally showed. I'm gonna darken it down a little bit more. I'm kind of just dodging and burning locally to sort of create this right now. Kind of rebalancing out, leaving it on the warm side. I like the warmth to it. Let's go ahead and do one other thing to I do want to kind of see if we can auto correct this just to fix the and straighten out the frames and everything that it does a good job with it. Um, so with this, it's good right now. Let's go ahead and take this now into Photoshop. President, control the or command E. Okay, now we do indeed. Get this. This has to be one of the flashes or something. Just reflecting right off. It could be. You know what? It probably is? It's probably my lens catching a little bit of light and just reflecting right off there. So let's do this. Let's press control J to jump everything to a new background, you know, just so that we're we're following procedure here. So controlled Air Command J. Um, And now we're gonna work on this background. So let's do this. I want to show you just how crazy the content aware fill can be. So what I'm gonna do first and I have a couple of different ways that we can we can kind of get here, So let's go ahead and select this entire right side with that rectangular marquee. Now, I'm going to press l to select my lasso tool and hold shift to add to the selection, and I'm going to go ahead and select around the lens itself. I'm gonna go shift backspace, and we're gonna try and get crazy to do content aware there is a good amount of texture right next to it. And so Photoshop actually does a pretty darn good job of just removing it for us. So now all I'm gonna do is select other areas that kind of have, Well, a little bit of repeating texture, like this spot right here. Shift, backspace. And go ahead and press, OK? Yeah. Okay. We're gonna do the same thing here. Shift backspace this go around. I'm gonna do color adaptation, See if it can't blend the color just a little bit better. And it does. Okay, I'm doing the same thing and just kind of repeating to sort of fix the different areas of underlying texture here in the image. Nice. Now we can use the You know, a lot of times I would think of using the patch tool, but for some reason, in certain areas like this, it doesn't do that great of a job of repeating that kind of pattern over this area. One of the things that we could potentially do is actually use frequency separation to separate the texture and just basically paint the texture kind of over where we want it. And if we wanted to take this an extra step and kind of finish it out, that might be a great option, but I think we can get to a really nice result with just this. So let's just keep going and kind of selecting these areas. Kind of allowing Photoshop to do a little bit of the heavy lifting and fixing these textures and patterns. Yeah. Okay, now, I'm honestly pretty good with this the way it is, if you want to do any other tweak here, here's a little idea for you guys. I'm gonna show you guys to just basically create a new layer, a new blank layer, and we're gonna sample from the layer below. Now we're gonna do is at a very low dose flow. We're going to use the clone stamp tool, so press s sample from below and use the clone stamp tool to kind of even out a little bit the texture in certain areas. Now, I know this is destructive, but what we're talking about is essentially the pattern on a wall, right? So this is very much just kind of a painfully sort of pattern. So if we just paint a little bit more of this texture over it, I don't know what it's. There we go. It's not a big deal, and it really kind of ends up working anyway. Okay. The same thing down here, this is starting to actually look really good. Okay, so the only other thing I might do is I'm gonna go ahead and do this. I'm gonna select my rectangular marquee again, and I'm going to go straight across the bottom of the frame. And now I'm going to allow Photoshop to again remove and let's do this. We do need to do content aware over a new merged layer. So let's go ahead and press all control shift e to create that new layer. And now let's go ahead and do the content aware fill. We'll leave color adaptation. Turn on and let it remove that baseboard from the wall. Okay. Makes very quick work of that. Now, let's go ahead and zoom in. Let's use that same marquee tool. Select these two plugs same thing, and now select the actual great itself. Okay, And now when we zoom back out, we have an actual image that's very cleaned up. The only other thing you might want to do is you might choose to essentially blend this texture down here. In addition, we can actually remove my shadow a little bit more from the image. So if you want to remove my shadow, it's actually pretty darn simple. What I would do is the same thing that we did earlier and just kind of clone. So I'm just gonna grab areas of like this this, uh, curtain right here. And I'm just going to bring it down and paint directly over and make sure you bring your flow up again this time all the way. We're going to paint right over to remove my hand. Okay? When we get close to this edge, let's come back to it for just a moment so that we can kind of fix it up a little bit better. Okay. All right. Same thing here. I'm gonna go ahead and just clone from this part and work down, okay? And remove that. Yeah, we do the same thing and just remove the texture from the camera itself. That's good. And then doing the same thing over here, So I'm gonna go ahead and keep doing that. I'll let the editors kind of speed through this a little bit, so it's a little quicker for you guys once we get to the face we're gonna sample directly above again on that frame, go ahead and drop it in and remove my face. Kind of keep pulling in. Kind of keep blending. Okay, All I'm doing is kind of like blending the curtain up a little bit. And I don't know what this reflection is down here, but I'm kind of okay with that and where it is. I'm gonna go and select this area right here. See if we can't just content aware that guy out that does a good job. We're gonna go ahead and select some of these areas where there's a little bit of transitional edge this right here, too. And let's just see if we can't get our clone stamp. I mean, yeah, our patch tool to see Paschal, for some reason has a hard time with these areas of texture like this. It can't quite blend them properly, even when we select sample colors that are that are really nearby. So I'm just gonna go back to content where, Phil and let that do the blending. Okay, collaboration is turned on. That's pretty solid when we zoom back out, Actually looks very convincing. Okay, If we wanted to bring our feet out. We could do the exact same thing here. I see. Well, okay, so now with the image of this point, if you wanted to stop, you totally can. Now the only thing that I might say is it could potentially be worth doing is you could actually extend the line of her back sort of straight down. Okay, so if we actually copy that and we just kind of paste it, like right here, we can actually kind of extend this down and let it sort of fall off towards the end of the frame. So I think that might be worth doing. Let's go ahead and make that adjustment. And what we need to do now is kind of see if we can't get this and because we might end up tweaking a lot of this. Let's go ahead and make a selection here. And let's see if we can't get that color. Adaptation and content were filled to do most of the work for us, actually does a pretty darn good job like in this area. It's really close. We just need to re sample this and let it go for another go. Let's try turning off color adaptation, get more of the texture back in. Okay, we're getting there at some point. I can just repair this manually, but I'm going to keep doing it until we can get a bit closer to where we want it to be. And now, at this point, what I'm just going to do is go ahead and press s to bring up your clone stamp tool. And now we're going to paint with, maybe, like, a 15% flow and just kind of go over this area and blend. Okay, This little area right here, we're gonna go ahead and just let that handle and let it handle the imperfections in between things. Okay, Something doesn't quite work. Just go ahead and control Z or command Z to undo it and go back and do it one more time. All right? The last thing I might add, a layer to burn down the image. Now, you can save this out and go back to like them to do this. Let's do in Photoshop. This go around is because we're here, and, uh, you're going to show you guys something different. So let's go shift backspace on a new layer to fill that layer. We're gonna fill it with 50% gray. We can switch this to overlay as the blending mode. For some reason, it didn't pull it in. So Photoshop lets go and go to overlay. And what you'll notice is that nothing happens. That's exactly what we want. Because now, over that layer, we're gonna paint in black and anything where we're basically painting and darker over that middle grade. So middle grade is going to show up at all. Anything lighter, The middle gray is going to dodge the image. Anything darker, the middle grade will burn the image. So what we're gonna do is put in like, let's go 5% flow with a black brush, and I'm just gonna start kind of painting now. If it comes in too quick, then let's go ahead and reduce this to 1%. And now I'm going to paint over these edges to sort of darken those outside edges where I want this to sort of fade a little bit. Yeah, okay. And kind of end up matching this natural vignette that we have on the other side of the image. I'm gonna even add a little bit more on this side. Yeah, and then it kind of just pulls everything into the center. And I really like the look of this. I'm gonna go ahead and burn a little bit more along the outsides bit here a little bit here, and let's see. Yeah, that's looking really cool. I like that. So now we're gonna go ahead and save this out. So here is our original rah. Let's go ahead and just make a copy of this so we can reset this and see what it looked like before. And here is the final image that we've created here. So looking up close before and after, not too crazy. I find those images to be really fun because something really dynamic and unique, something that can win you awards something that will definitely wow your clients and make your work stand out from everybody else. Now, I do want to briefly go over that other image real quick that I'm including the exercise files with. I'm gonna walk you through how to do it. I'll be honest. Uh, this shot in particular, like the shadow shot, is not anything too crazy here, but this version of it where I have him essentially jumping inside of her shadow. It was kind of a conceptual shot that I wanted to try, but it's a very difficult shot to pull off. So what you'll notice is the shadow on him is being projected onto the wall as well. Now, you can leave that if you want to, stylistically. But when you see the final image so let me go back to the actual final image. Okay? So when you see the final image here, you'll notice that we've actually removed that shadow. So here you have the shadow itself. Here you have the final image, and here you have a different shadow with his shadow up on the wall. Here's what happened. Trying to get her pose and shadow perfectly on the wall with him and the shot was difficult. So what I ended up doing was actually removing him from the frame and taking this shot. Then I added him to the frame and did this shot. Okay, so this shot was for him. The other shot was for her. Then, essentially, I took those two shots. We layered in post and we cut him out to place him over the background. So let me show you how that would look and how it work in your exercise files. I have included. Yeah, the raw file. And I gave you the JPEG file for the background, which will totally work. Fine. But basically, this raw file, all we're going to really do to this is turn into black and white. I'm going to go ahead and add a little bit of clarity. We're gonna brighten this up a bit, okay? Adding a little shadow and kind of get some around here where you have this. This look. Okay, so let's go ahead and just take our previous settings. And you can, actually, dollars if you want to. So 1.75 negative. 20 plus 60 on clarity. There's your settings for that. And then all you gotta do is apply the same settings to this shop. Okay. Make sure that it goes black and white, so you have roughly the same image over here. Now, you'll notice that the background on this shop might not be quite the same. So if you want, you can add a little more clarity and exposure to it. just to kind of get them to blend a little bit better. So right here they're about right now. Let's take the actual tiff file in to show you how we did this. And you can decide whether you want to go through the trouble. It takes about 20 minutes to create this final shot. And that's mainly because we have to cut him out. There are easier ways of doing this, including. All right, let's go ahead and go into Photoshop. We have it right here. Okay? So if I were to do this again, how would I do it? Honestly, I think what would be a little bit easier is to shoot him just like we did with that double exposure. So remember that double exposure. We basically blacked out everything around the subject. Right? So shoot him. Where you black out everything around him, then simply flip it over to screen and drop him in over the shadow image. That would be how I would go about it if I were to try this again. But with this, what I ended up doing was here's our base shadow layer. So I ended up basically cutting him out using the pen tool. Now, I don't generally use the pen tool a ton, so I'm not necessarily a pro at this, But I can give you a couple tips, so check this out. What we're gonna do is just use the pen tool. And when we get to areas where it bends, what I like to do is kind of drop it right into the middle of where our curve is, and then kind of pull it out. Okay, So as you get over here to the knee, for example, again, I would kind of look for that kind of middle of the curve and then pull the curve out, look for the other side where it kind of lands and then pull the curve out. And with a little bit of practice, you can actually get pretty decent. I just looking for these bends and curves and landing the tool kind of right in the middle of each of them. Then, as you get to a little corner, you kind of rounded off and you go and you do the same thing over here where you're kind of looking for those and you're going to go trace around his body when you finish your going to close it off and usually so I'm just gonna close this off so I can demonstrate you're going to right click. And usually I like to go with make selection with a feather radius of one pixel that's just going to give it a slight little edge. You're gonna select him entirely and then basically just jump into a lute new layer. So that's what you see here. Okay, this is literally with just the pen tool and I'm gonna go ahead and, uh, delete that mental object, and you can see that it's not necessarily perfect, but we drop it in and we kind of make corrections over it. So that's the pen tool that that chisels him out. Okay, so we end up with this now. All we do is we kind of zoom in and we see if there's any areas of imperfection given that the shot in the same background, it actually lines up pretty darn well with this background. But there's any, like, white lines or black lines. We just clone those out. Okay, so that's what this layer essentially doing. The next layer is just basically taking out some of the imperfections that we see. You'll also notice that this layer knocked out the lines on the wall. If you can imagine all we do with those lines on the wall, check this out. Exact same thing you guys learned before. Select your marquee tool. Select a piece of the wall. You know, I ideally, you kind of do want it to be a little bit better of a shape. So let's go ahead and press shift l to get the polygon lasso tool and let's drop this down and close this off. Where is our point? There we go. Now, if you go shift backspace and content aware, this is exactly how we got these lines to basically disappear that you'll notice what happened there. Content aware we are. Mode is set to overlay right now, so let's go ahead and flip that back to normal. Okay, So we removed the lines from the wall and I actually did the exact same thing on this line that goes straight across. So when you view this layer, okay, you'll notice that once we add the next layer, actually the same thing over his entire foot. I selected the entire area and selected, and it basically blended it, almost turning it into a seamless transition. And then over that transition, I just painted out that little area that it kind of got wrong and left his shoe in place. Okay, so there's our final image now. This last shot was a bit more work. We eventually did get it to go. But what I'm hoping you're going to walk away with is a better understanding of how incorporating shadows into your lighting can actually make for a very interesting photograph. And when it's shot well, like, for example, in that first image, well, we really don't have that much additional work to do, and we can do our work and get to a final image within just a couple minutes in Photoshop. That's it. Let's go ahead and go to the next image