Shoot: Beach Lighting


Lighting Essentials Workshop


Lesson Info

Shoot: Beach Lighting

all right what we're going to do here is we're going to use one light one single light we're going to create a situation that looks like you were shooting at the beach so let me think a little bit outloud what beach lighting looks like can you imagine do you ever shoot someone at the beach with them looking at the sun no you turn him around right so they're backlit if they're backlit how much brighter is the sun than the four person in the foreground here two and a half stops right right but what are they being lit up by the sand pretty much every beach ago two there is white sand then we went to galveston one afternoon and put an end to that theory galveston stand is brown kind of like that wall there so it doesn't balance much light but most everyplace else white sand or from light gray san celeste bouncing up so we have phil from the front and a very bright light from the back right okay so what we're gonna do here is a spy basically the same thing and we'll probably go to the fifty...

john we're going to take this guy right here is it black on the inside we're gonna open it up uh this way and put it right on the inside's gonna create a great big thing that blocks out half the camera guys air going what's he doing he's doing this right here all right brett same thing on this side like that all right good good and bring it over that way just towards the wall a bit more this way this way this way right there all right bri right about there and brett let's get that thing above her just a little bit more okay straight above her centre right right there okay video guys are going okay we have her if you want to take a camera back around and there you can actually see what we've done we've surrounded her with white cards it was just going to say the internet was wondering what exactly those white boards were if you could kind of thes are thes are foam core boards that you can get him in like sign shops or art supply stores is the kind that have black on the one side white on the back there they're everywhere in my studio I have probably eight or ten of them these guys have about eight or ten of them to we use them all the time they're very large white tools for lighting and then the flip side being black make some great they're two sheets here too for by eights and they're taped together in the back with white with black gaffer's tape mine has got blackout first tape on the back and white gaffer's tape on the inside because I don't want any seems to be showing okay so we have a uh these things are basically taking this umbrella light that's back behind bree here over her head and converting it into the sun we now have this area right here is now the beach this is the sand we're going to take the exposure and not from the sun not from the top of her head but from right under her chin we're lighting her with all this bouncing around and bree I'm gonna have you take one step back frank adair good and that looks that looks great this looks just like the sun coming over the top deflation so one hundred ok thank you it were on abby that's why all right and I reach right and you try to stay out of the range of mass like work come from behind sorry let me know when you're ready from behind the model and stand right there really twenty two oh sorry I'm gonna also four hundred eleven wait go we'll do another one here say when and I'm putting it right under her chin so it gets no good we get no light from the top light when you're doing this kind of thing is very important that that light be behind her far enough that it's not bringing light down across the bridge of her nose if it's too high here it's going to come and put put her nose in the light dangerous thing to do very difficult to fix in photo shop very difficult so we've got the light behind her was thinking uh that was eleven you were right on living there was you're gone all right and we're going to start out with the basic the basic shot which is right about here and we're going to come right in there like this good it's nice you don't we probably should do take it off tungsten alright you're going to see there we go it's a vory blue day are a hazy day out there on the beach go back to groups daylight all right right here it's good what you're and pigeons thank you and we'll do this just like this and one more break right there good okay now we're getting a little bit of spill from the umbrella wait I want to get a shot of the video of you always spill but look at the face not terribly complex pretty nice and smooth look at the hair light up here looks just like the sunlight that's why call it beach lighting call it anything you want on dh this looks really nice in here scott very open eyes look at how the modelling comes on here yes it blows out it would on the beach too he really would where does this wouldn't become a problem really blonde hair really blonde hair will get so bright on the top that itjust becomes like this little glowing things for that take a piece around cardboard put a little piece of like uh um coat hanger and mounted right out of the picture right above her head and it's enough to kill enough light to bring that top light into into uh into range on a very bright blond or someone like me no no because the light just the lights everywhere right so all you're doing is killing this speculator but all of this is going to drive enough light under it anyway so it's still bright just going to kill this a little bit of speculum ok so we're spilling back there guys that we have rigs his bill try rotating umbrella yeah let's rotate it down a little bit good now I'm probably now it's probably going to flare which is good I'm shooting right into it yeah no that looks pretty good one no actually we're going we're going to fix the flare with adding one more thing this is a this is a terribly difficult I'm sorry it's not terribly difficult to do but there are some challenges if we tried to do this full length we end up having to open these cards up so much that we start to lose that whole feeling so this is for me this is kind of a three quarter head shot kind of approach so that means I'm take that white card right there sir and we're just gonna set it right here now we're gonna open it up from the bottom okay andy and you want to grab another one the card will quick the white card there's another student's understanding and brett give her here give uh if you could sit down on the floor and hold that up just like this down there so you could be sitting at bree's feet you want to sit in chapel where men belong right of course all right all the way down brett seen dad set then this one's gonna go up just like that all right so what I want to do is take two shots one with this one one without okay good right there that's nice good reaching up a little bit right there okay that's with and without all right now the question is going to be can you do this with a speed light well of course you can absolutely you can can you do this with a home depot like absolutely you can't you can do it with a home depot light that's pretty isn't this great look at this you don't do it head shots like this folks and uh believe me like I say the only people that I've talked this thing I'm not the only guy doing it so it's not don't I'm not saying this is my big secret a lot of people do this lot of people don't know now you do and quite about eight or nine other people um believe me it really changed my way of working a lot with photography because I think this is one of those moments for me ah ha moment that I started realizing how subject centric really wass that if I could surround my my subject with light like this it would be amazing now how does it change we have in our up there in our strobe we have a bounce umbrella if you want to bring the light that's on her shoulders if you want to bring that down a little bit so it's not quite as contrast ing try a soft lighter so instead of coming with kind of a direct umbrella light you're coming with the diffused light it won't kill it you're still hot because why is her shoulders hot let's go back to something we talked about yesterday why are her shoulders very hot here this surface angle of incidents angle of reflection what is that it's a speculum I'm hitting the top of her shoulder and catching a reflection of that light source that's why it's bright there those air speculators all in her head and everything changed the one oh five into a tight headshot on this so after this we will set up a wall of like okay on we get uh ian over here yes yes yeah johnny and thank you guys right up there bring chin up this way but they're good guys take it up just about six inches right there good shin over this way right they're beautiful elissa like that break take it up just a bit more right chin up it's a bit this way right come back to me slow keep coming keep telling right there all right okay we're good I came in really really close because I want you to see what the eyes do okay in fact do you take a couple questions yes absolutely right while we're waiting for these to burn and I think it probably yeah there we go uh kelvin c is wondering for this setup doesn't matter if it's a reflective or shoot through umbrella absolutely not you can actually swap swap sides places there you know you can use I've used soft boxes shoot through umbrellas now you shoot through umbrellas with speed lights I like that look I've used scrims actually put up high one of those around screams that we've used here and use that on I've used soft later and I've used window like so I've used it all yeah doesn't really matter it's all it's all good um she's ready to listen here where's listen hiding okay you're gonna come right out there elissa now look at the look I want you to see her I'm actually coming really close on a list of eyes so you can see look out breeze eyes you can see the color of the blue and you've got some beautiful catch lights in the eyes right okay she's much taller good up up higher bread because I'm really tight right good right there yeah yeah yeah right right there come back come back right there part the lips good hold on for second book with this does with with her isn't that pretty wild huh you just made me say well and that pretty now you start producing head shots like this for actors and actresses and models and your in your field isn't mean that you always have to do the same thing but like I say I shot every model in phoenix for over about a year time because the agents loved that look so that was that was actually good year if you get a chance actually know what I'm gonna try to come in really close because her eyes do something different than brianna's did yeah so come way out and get that I just hey look so bright you got to get down because you're probably killing a little bit like hugo thanks sir right there in apocalypse now just a little bit coming coming coming up eyes right on me thank you dear that's I love it I love about that kind of life you like one light it's important that I keep science one light but because we understand subject centric lighting which means are our subject reflects what we put around it then we put stuff around our subject that it can reflect and recreate the light that we want come question yeah a question from sean rules and what were you looking for when you asked the model to put her chin up a little bit um open up her eye when when she had her chin down I was seeing less eye because of the angle and I don't know if you guys noticed that iran but she's got really pretty eyes see both these girls have like hypnotic eyes I want to see him so when she kept her chin down I was seeing less of a slice of the eye then when she brought it up she also has um gorgeous lips nice to be talked to in the third party like you're just you know that's right there you go uh she has beautiful lips so when she's down you want to come to step in will shoot one when you're down and when she won up says so you can see the difference what I was looking for and meanwhile you can ask me a question okay and bring it down right there beautiful I'll bring it up park close right there okay so now we'll put those last two side by side if we could even see the different shapes of the eyes yes if you don't happen to have a twenty foot ceiling could you work nights at a lower scale oh sure we actually do this att the workshops with two round reflectors member earlier today you asked me why buy too because we do this same lighting with two round reflectors that's why I sort of was hinting at there's going to be times when you want to of them right here yes absolutely forty eight or forty three round forty three round forty three round coming up you've got the area to shoot through and then maybe a little card or something up here or a piece of foam core below piece of foam core above and the two rounds on the side absolutely do it all the time I love to do that this with daylight now here's clue you don't have to be in bright son to do this this actually works in this shade all shade is ambient light you khun surround your subject with these white cards even in the shade and still end up with a beautiful head shot like this why who wants to say why you're giving the body something giving the face something to reflect gets all you have to do it doesn't matter about the life you don't have quite the the bright light overhead light source but she'll still have if the skies behind you you'll still have a rim light across the top of the head absolutely yes a couple more questions is from aaron p how would you modify this set up to shoot a man I don't wanna fight it all to shoot a man absolutely yes I do I don't put the lower card under the chin for a guy where brett was down here in the nether lands down there kind of school screeching down I don't do that for a guy because for men I don't mind the dark line under the chin I'm okay with that on a man that that would be the difference you'll know what clamshell lighting is to um umbrellas bounce umbrellas coming together it's not an umbrella and a white card that's not clam shell as classic beauty to a clam shell looks like a clamshell two umbrellas for women I keep it the same for men I lower the bottom one anybody on the internet want to see what a clamshell looks like I am sure they would just okay alright internet we'll do a clamshell quickly let's do a clamshell sorry could waken keep just could re summarize for people who was kind of the whole setup here and what exactly have going on in terms of the light up they're in the boards and light big white card like the distance is not not what they are but where they are where they are we try to keep the cards in his close is we can but you'll also notice that they're opened up and accepting that light back there the question was before can do you need eight by eight feet of cardboard to do this no this is I would say probably optimal for this look but I've done it with little pieces of foam core half this size yeah could we maybe swing that open we've had difficulty seeing it sure did bring open yeah and and and by the way I've done this with home depot lights as well absolutely now it's one home depot light put upon boom shining down but it just filled up that thing it's probably so eight hundred two point eight a sixteenth of a second but it absolutely works folks works with anything because and why does it work call go back to my whole theory it works because it's subject centric because we're providing something for the subject to reflect we're not thinking light and we're thinking subject out of the question yeah actually quite a few folks in the chat room are wondering about glasses if people wear glasses in one of these shots how would you get the reflection out we have her glasses john cornyn cello or brett right there okay spring this back in let's bring that one back out a little bit so accepts more like keep going right there right about there all right you're gonna love this guy's right there good on dh we'll get uh thank you sir she's not just a little bit more right there bring it should now about right there I don't know if you were expecting this but how is that why is that all the glasses air reflecting all the light we don't have any complexity in reflection it's absolutely pair glasses I hope there's an ah ha moment going on out there least one or two because yeah this works really great when you see some of these classes shots this is what you're going to see and you're going to think how did they do that look in the eyes and you'll see these big panels of like we've taken all the complexity off the glasses and I think people are probably saying wait how did you do that okay I didn't do anything different we just same setup we just basically blocked off now if I don't block this off up front just the one quickly right here got glasses on toe hold a phil card you're worse than I am alright chin down a bit right there no actually I think that was gonna be okay to know it's okay I wasn't say sometimes if we don't block the top will actually get a little dark line between him but apparently no these air fine with the way this uh this one's working on her isn't it also a part of the angle of incident because the light it there's nothing they're stinking light directly all actually if you look really close the entire glasses is a reflection what was what we don't have on the glasses is the glare versus the non glare we've got a reflection all the way across the glasses so we'll have the break come on that's worth the price of admission right there on just let our audience I know that these are the exact same v cards that were used in su prices workshop here just a few weeks ago soup rice touch these video cards I like these cards he's so pretty and she's a great photographer yeah clamshell next and then well since we'll be clam shell will go right to the wall of light and then we break for whatever the break so we got two more set ups right we got time for that I'm sure we do bree you wantto quickly top do eh over and under clamshell says something really dramatic ok cool thanks big can make a hair bigger thanks I like big hair questions western no questions yes oh let's get you some more questions for this beach set up what if it was a bride with a white gown it's like I said it's harder to do if it's full length I really must say that if I start doing this full length it start looked starts to look more like two sidelights because I've got to get such a big opening in the front starts to look like two sidelights and it becomes kind of unwieldy for me I call that beach lighting because the very first time I did it was a it was a shot a girl in bikini which was always really the method of testing way lights right what you doing I'm testing my lights no it was but I call it beach lighting because of the the hot spot on the head and the way it looked looked just to me exactly like somebody at the beach so but again three quarters so a lot of folks and I'm not sure if it's just that they can't see close enough into the eyes are are talking about this last setup and no catch lights some people are saying no but there's a catch right there there are yeah can you guys get a shot off the screen really close of the eye or wonder if somebody back there running computer could just blow that bad boy way up so you can see the eyes there are catch lights there's their square panels that you see around the eye but there's no hard catch light and again I go back to I don't care where you go yeah thank you very much perfect yeah there's a you know there's enough of a catch like tio to do it but I don't I don't care about having a single break catch light again I've been doing this for professionally for nearly forty years I've never had a client ever say for is the catch light or why isn't there a wire there to catch lights or all of that stuff I'm just amazed looking at that close up again that there is no glare that was the scariest hardest thing for me was photographing people with glasses so this is the worst the price but that's because I'm a professional letter that's right but that's because I had uh brett was already primed with some trick classes that uh brett was staged policy beer hunter has a question if you could explain that what's been the difference between bouncing the light off a reflector and giving the subject something to reflect same thing we make the reflector bright so the brighter we make the reflector the brighter that skin has to reflect the reflector so if we look at this shot and guys back on the computers if you could pull this back just a little bit yes all we see here on her face is a reflection off those white cards now she's matt she's powdered down so it's not a bright reflection but that's all we see she is one hundred percent a reflection of the cards around her because her her skin is what I would call semi efficient it's it's not shiny like like a bowling ball or something made out of plastic but it's not matt like for so it does catch all of that that light so she is one hundred percent a reflection of the light around her same winning what they uh why I think I don't use the terms bouncing the light because I'm not bouncing the light in my in my world my world is subject out I'm providing something for it reflect

Class Description

Learn how to light in any situation. This special 3-day workshop will introduce you to lighting by learning the basics. Don helps you start evaluating light from a subject centric approach — teaching you to identify how your light will react to your subject. Don Giannatti’s workshop is perfect for photographers working to find their vision and their own perspective. You'll learn to use this knowledge of light to create perfect photographs. This workshop is a non-stop, hands-on weekend.



I just finished watching this course, and with teary eyes can say, without reserve, this class has been fantastic! Don's last session would be great to watch in the beginning and the end because it helps to understand his thoughts on being a photographer. The rest of the class is full of great information on lighting and Don is able to explain his thoughts and his processes with ease. I hope I will always think ahead and plan how I want my final results and how I want my subject to reflect light. Learning this was one of my "aha" moments during this class. I own over 30 Creative Live photography courses and this class is one of the top classes I own. I already plan on rewatching the whole class. Well worth the investment! I feel it is not a beginner course, but a intermediate to advanced one. Don has set a high standard in lighting...a goal to reach for...a goal that is possible for each person willing to take the time to learn and practice. Thanks Don and thanks CreativeLive!

Joao Alexandre Paulo

Great class, amazing instructor. Don's able to explain it so good that he makes it all look like very simple. I just have one comment and one request for the CreativeLive staff: When Don's commenting and analysing the pictures or explaining some features of them please keep the camera shooting at what he's commenting :) It would also be great if the way how the umbrellas and soft boxes are set up were disclosed, Ex: how the strobes and lights are mounted. Overall an amazing value for the price.