Subject Centric Lighting: Bowling Balls


Lighting Essentials Workshop


Lesson Info

Subject Centric Lighting: Bowling Balls

I still use a light meter for a lot of things because I'm very deliberate what I do I don't think that that I can accept things being a little off I want him to be right sure we can fix a lot of things in photo shop and all that stuff I understand that but um I just wanted to be right as as from a standpoint of a craftsman you know it's a personal pride kind of thing so I do use my meter I will tell you that after you've used a meter for as long as I have you khun pretty much guess the light pretty close um I think I missed the guests in here by what I have stop have stop so you can start to see it if we have time a tsum point um asked me about my um brett weston story uh I'll tell you about meters um okay so my my fundamental idea of uh subject centric lighting is that light does the same thing every time our subjects change and so I think to illustrate it with the the easiest way to see it I'm using two bowling balls here using a white bowling ball in a black bowling balls so the sub...

jects are different but I'm merely using one light it's the same light so to see how it's drastically different on something should I take the shot journal okay we're all set yeah like I have to look through it okay there we go and you can see uh if he's coming he's coming up all right you can see we have two bowling balls here one with the speculum very visible and one with a speculator not visible it's not there at all is because the speculum on the white bowling ball is the same color as the true value off the bowling ball which is white white on white no differentiation if we look at the black bowling ball for one thing what is the black bowling ball doing that the white bowling balls not doing it's reflecting the white bowling ball white bowling ball is not reflecting the black bowling ball it's like it's not even there so the two subjects are vastly different in how they present the light back to us we have the highlight here which is the the speculator and then we have a very fast drop off from the speculator too the bowling ball which is black and if europe close to this you can actually see there's a little bit of tone here in the black to it so on every subject that we photograph we have a speculator or a highlight and then we have the true value whether it's skin tone or or read or ah sweater or whatever you have the true value and then we have the shadow and the shadow is the area where light is not reaching where everything makes a difference is where they transition fromthe speculate transition to the real tone of the of the ball the true value of the ball is sharp what does that tell us about the bowling ball is that a fuzzy bowling ball we know it's not a fuzzy bally well we know it's a shiny bowling ball because this is what shiny does and we've learned that like I say since we were four days old we've looked at things and known that they were shiny known that they were soft we know what a teddy bear is soft when we're little look at a silver chrome teddy bear may not have been something that kids really wanted I kind of probably would have wanted one I was that kind of kid you look a little smiley face um you have the changes we call them transitions and those transitions are what tell us about the texture and the shape of the ball we know that the bowling balls round we know the black one is no way around right if I did this to the white went over here not would we know it's cause it's a bowling ball but we really don't see any cues within the bowling ball that tells us it's round so what would we have to do to the white bowling ball to show that it's round wade have to create shadow or create some darkness around it so what did we would use maybe a black card on this side because the bowling ball may reflect the black card john did we bring them yet black reflector we're over here look at this look at this bowling ball in the side by the way I see that look at the beautiful room here and that great that's just the wall over there which is behind the bowling ball I'm gonna walk over here you can see the wall is behind the bowling ball right so what that does is it presents angle of incidence the light wall back there hitting the edge of the bowling ball and coming back into the camera there's no greater easier way to show it on right there angle of incidence that wall back there becomes this edge right here so when we're lighting somebody and we want to get an edge light do we put the light here maybe we can also put it way back there and glancing off them so let's take this black card here let's bring it in right like this see if this works if we've got enough reflection off the bowling ball to get black to work live television folks would not test this yeah yeah we got it in the picture but can you see the difference between here and here he said it's not a sharp difference it's a gradual difference but we definitely have a brighter bowling ball here right down into here and we've raided over this is darker because this white ball is starting to pick up that black card it's doing what it's reflecting it is that what's called negative lighting it is and it's something that I want to have you think about something determined we use all the time a little bit differently we always call them fill cards the column phil cards we use the word bounce cards like we're gonna bounce some light I'm here to tell you that maybe that whole idea bouncing light may not really be what's happening what we're really doing is providing that blackball something dark to reflect and by providing it's something dark to reflect were thinking subject out bouncing light is this in if I could bounce light I should be able to like that bowling ball up with a with a fill card to one side if I could bounce light right I could put a white phil card over here in bounce light we have a little whiteboard because it doesn't work way can't bounce like we need to provide something for that that face the bowling ball the shiny whatever to reflect so if I take this over here and I'm gonna get a nice lot of light on that card there take the shot look look at the bowling ball when it comes up and you're going to see a big white reflection over there okay question is did I bounce light or did I just do the same thing I did up here and give that bowling ball something bright to reflect because I did it with the black card on the dark side of the boat white bowling ball it only stands to reason that we do it over here the only time you could bounce light is when you turn it over you use the silver or gold side because then you have a surface that does refract the light back and you are bouncing light but when you move the gold side if you don't have a direct light source you don't really these don't really work right you ever get one of these out in the shade and try to do it doesn't work in the shade the white side works in the shade but this doesn't this needs a source to hit it and bounce off this is something that reflects this becomes a light source this becomes something for the subject to reflect and understanding that means that when you when you go and make a photograph of anything whether it's a wine bottle or bride you have to think how is my subject going to reflect back to me what I've done with a light what kind of light should I use because if I use a small speculator point source type of light I'm going to get that reflected back talk about re deconstructing a photograph what does it look like we're going to bring a ah young lady out here in just a few moments but at this particular time I always kind of say look light does the same thing every time and once you know what light does you never have to guess it again I used a string leader was wells famous string meter it's not really mine I got it from the movie industry a long long time ago I got to do still shoots on b movies actually was a a bunch of movies that went straight to drive ins do you remember drive ins b movies and they made about six of them and I was the the guy that did all the stills for all six movies it was about two female fbi agents who would do everything they could to get out of their clothes from saying oh he's running let's strip down to our lingerie terrible movies but they ran on this thing but I got to do the stills they don't do that anymore they use a video assist could catch they use video assist I would stand there in front of the camera and shoot stills off the set because if they had to come back and redo that shot like that ever happened on those budget movies they would at least know where everything was that paper cup was there etcetera everything from that shot was stored in a box and they would pull it out for shot so I got to learn and I got the see how the lighting directors do it they still do it tonight that have a chain on the light take a meter reading with the meter that's fine but if the chain said differently they want with a chain because the light does the same thing every time

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.