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The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

Lesson 28 of 29

Film Noir Boudoir Retouching

Sue Bryce, Felix Kunze

The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

Sue Bryce, Felix Kunze

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Lesson Info

28. Film Noir Boudoir Retouching

Lesson Info

Film Noir Boudoir Retouching

this was the image that I like the most for the film you are look ironically it is in the strobe I didn't get the image that I wanted a natural light which doesn't this the period image definitely um the first thing I do I have to flatten this image as much as possible was I dropped down the contrast when I opened it and processed it roar so the first thing I'm gonna do with my clone stanford twenty percent that I'm going to smooth her out everywhere but no differently than I would with a portrait and I have to be a little bit careful they don't over smooth her body because often when you put the textures on or you start judging up to get this beautiful look if it's too smooth it starts to look a bit fake as you can see I'm not too fussy about what I'm removing I just want to remove the stuff that I don't want to see in my image and that's enough um and really I try for two minute blamed because I want simplicity I want speed I wanted to be fast I want it to be efficient what may studi...

o to make money and I don't want to stay at the computer all week I clean up the background a little bit and that's a ce faras I go I can see a little dent on her forehead there where the light is just catching and I don't like it so I'm going to just blend into it and spread that out um now what I'm going today is I pretty much like everything else I could just see a little ghost here um this is a really good time if you have a curvy client too slim there um and they're wasted the same time we don't need to do this with her but it's perfect shop it's a shop that sold for years for me and it sells because it flattest most body types and it really is a beautiful image without necessarily being a pitcher of hair she can do this completely nude um because it covers the brace and it covers the crutch it looks beautiful knowed it looks beautiful with pregnant women they just can't push down on the tummy they just have to be on this side a little bit more and it has I think a really beautiful mood to it that's not good well but it's a little bit more final the underwear being lazy definitely makes it more bidwell then if she wass going to bay completely node then it would be a little bit more finance but it suits the fact that she has such a pretty face so from here I'm going to just open a few multiple images from this and I'm going to open into alien skin fears so before I start changing the tone of the image I first want to pick a filter to see if I can not change the tone if ames can can do it for me um otherwise I'll do it myself but so did that again I keep opening exposure for because I've been using exposure for and exposure five is amazing oh my goodness I don't need to do any more to this image I just love this it has to may everything that's film noah I feel like the tones a soft and magnificent uh I'm going to accept it so it is my go to black and white I definitely have these go to filters that I just used over and over again that I love I feel like it's beautiful if anything I'm going to drop back this highlight and her brat to make it less obvious I'm going to make the bottom level black and white just decent trade it's just so I can take their and in skin layer back to say sixty percent now at the moment I feel like it's a little blow the tone that I'm seeing so I am going to put yellow in there to counter the blue yellow and red counter science to yellow one red and right now I could leave that there and be very heavy so let's keep going I want to I'm going to say that because I think it's beautiful I want teo go to my dodge tour so zero o for dodge and I met ten percent I'm going to follow every line of highlight down her body so go there there and I'm just dusting it anything I can see that sense is a highlight I'm going to follow now let's pick up some here I know that some here and there right now you can't see much here but there is what we'll go there alright let's have a look so subtle but when you say it's dats to jump now what happens is this as I keep going I'm going to dust again it's going to go lighter even still hit these little cute lights here and hit those anything any way you can see light you're painting with more light and you start to get this incredibly beautiful painted look all right so um now she's starting to look very painted and gorgeous so I'm going tio save this with light and then I'm going to re open my image aw names can five uh now I can double filter and I've done my highlights and my tones and the first thing I'm going to do is go to pull it why because I'm now putting my black and white into color tony and I'm getting by light time faces color times so I am going to work my way through and find what I like this is delicious yellowed again one of my go twos uh that's beautiful but it's taking away from my film noah it's putting it back into a silhouette which I could have just shot um so is that so maybe I should just show the silhouette because look at that that it's so beautiful I really like a ll that yellowed is beautiful let's have a look at the fading tones and c so what the fated tones are going to do is brought back my film the while look even more this is magnificent also is that you know the hardest thing about aliens can oh is trying to choose one I'm going to take the uh aging off this dustin scratches I very much like this look it is a little bit to see be time for me so I'm going to bring it halfway back towards black white so really just is a black white with a warmer tone the dax have faded back so you'll see a little bit more detail on they're here and it's enough for me to be more of a fine at image and if I go back to say there that's why I'm happy I'm going to say seventy percent I'm going to flatten that and hear anything that I could really complain about in the sewage that I would prefer would they um I'm going to bring her here back up so I'm just going to create a lamb ask where I can take this down take off my top player I'm just going to create a little bit more light in here because I didn't put I'm I should have put a little bit more reflector into the here but this is where people say just using here light but I don't want to use it here light it's you know enough to use this drive anything and I'm just going to erase back a little bit of light and the here now at this stage the more I dodge on here body the more painted lee she's going to look so at this stage I could keep going so I'll just show you is an example I think I've done enough that I'm going to go to the dutch now and I'm just going to keep dodging so I'm just going to keep swiping all the areas that she has a little highlight in everywhere I've got my dodger team percent everywhere she has a highlight on just going to keep rushing back up in a just gives an entirely different look that you can't get from filters and it's just like painting highlights painting with light and as you can see as it's coming up I'm just hitting these lights and it's just making it look really rt and this stage now I can decide how much light um I'm putting in in him when to stop and I really love this and then I'm going to say this and decide whether it's to see via turned let's have a look at what we've done well first image was when we dropped it into black white um then we put it up put a fist dodge on it put it into our first filter and then we set it to go up and then we came back and refilled to that and now it's more painted lee and it's got more even light but the highlights had been bought in in photo shop in the state does the other way now you could just shoot this a silhouette but again very significant difference in the final product film no and it just looked really great on paper you know where they're black some old and then the highlights and mold but you bought the highlights up dodge so just looks more painted lee so when people say how do you get your own medicinal painted later is how I do it umm of course if I just wanted a beautiful silhouette I would've lifted in the first black white filter and you know because it was still beautiful like that

Class Description

As a photographer, nothing defines your talent more than your ability to capture, create, and place the right lighting. Award-winning portrait photographer Sue Bryce joins studio lighting wunderkind Felix Kunze for a lighting for portrait photography masterclass covering the universally most-used portrait scenarios. You will learn how to work with both natural and studio light — so that you are prepared to walk into any environment and take a gorgeous photograph.

Sue, internationally-renowned for her ability to paint portrait subjects with the glow of natural light, will teach you how she sets up different lighting scenarios. Felix, who's worked with the top photographers on earth, will then take the reins replicating Sue's shot — all using artificial lighting techniques he has honed from experience. The two seasoned photographers will take turns shooting, each learning and asking questions of the other in real time.

By the end of this course, you will know how to shoot a variety of portrait styles, including the classic beauty shot, the silhouette, high-contrast glamour, the soft flat light portrait (master that back light!), and old-school Hollywood glamour — all with both natural light and artificial light.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 1

Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 2

Sue Bryce & Felix Kunze - Gear Guide

The Lighting Challenge Syllabus

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Aliah Husain

I loved this course! I purchased it as a beginner photographer, unsure of whether to shoot natural or studio light and how to get the best results. After watching the course, I am fully confident in my ability to use both natural and studio lighting in my photography. And most importantly, I feel I have the knowledge base to be able to experiment with lighting in any situation. I am both grateful and inspired by these two amazing teachers sharing their technical knowledge and a personal piece of themselves. It is clear that they genuinely care about making their students better photographers. Thank you, Sue and Felix!!!


This is the best lighting class I've done, including several in-person ones. Covers so much, and the contrast between and dialogue about the two styles (natural vs studio) was so helpful. I didn't think there was anything at all negative about how Sue spoke with Felix, which a few reviewers said. Clearly she has great respect for him, which she sincerely says at one point, and explains why. Wonderful to see specifically how they both shape light. So many topics are covered. Loved Felix's clear and specific explanations about studio lighting. This class is worth every penny.

Wasabi Ben Kenobi

This was a fantastic introduction to studio lighting, and one of the best courses I've watched on Creative Live. I've only ever done natural light photos, but I want to learn more about studio lights because I'm creating a basement studio. I'm already a big fan of Sue's approach to portraiture. Now I'm a fan of Felix's soft lighting approach, too. In this course, he demonstrates how to replicate natural light portraits with a simple lighting setup. With a big scrim, a strobe or constant lamp, and v-flats, you can do so much! I'll be watching this course again.