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Lighting with Constant Light

Lesson 14 of 18

Lighting Setup: Cinematic Portraits

Mark Wallace

Lighting with Constant Light

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

14. Lighting Setup: Cinematic Portraits
Mark uses shallow depth of field, color temperature shifts, high ISO, and post-production to create a cinematic-looking portrait.

Lesson Info

Lighting Setup: Cinematic Portraits

we're going to create what I like to call cinematic lighting. The reason I call it cinematic lighting is because it's a 16 by nine aspect ratio is normally we're gonna crop to, we're gonna add some grain to the image to make it look like it was shot with high speed film. And then we're also gonna do some fun things with color temperature to bring out the reds and the blues and the image. So Theresa is wearing a red top on purpose because we're gonna play with some color temperature tricks. We really need to have some color contrast. So red and blue are contrast t when it comes to color, it's gonna look really great. So we're gonna go back here. I'm gonna turn off these lights and we only have my little pocket of light. Teresa is in her spot right there. And so let me tell you what we're doing here, I have a couple of lights set up. Just two lights. I have a small nan light forces 60. This light right here is set to a color temperature of 3200 Kelvin. So this guy right here is set to wh...

at you would have a tungsten light. So it's very, very amber light. My camera is white balanced to this light so it is white balance to tungsten light. So this light is gonna look natural in this light. So over here though we have this giant soft box, the soft box, you're thinking what is it illuminating? It's illuminating back here, can you follow me around, this is, this is where Sierra is working. So this is our switcher and our lights and all of our cabling and our monitors and all this stuff. So this is just a bunch of junk in the background. But the lens that I'm using is a really groovy lens. This is an 85 millimeter 1.2 lens. So I am shooting at 1.2, that's a wide open aperture that's going to make the background fall out of focus. Now remember we have the background illuminated By that giant soft box, that giant soft box is set to a color temperature of 5600 Kelvin daylight daylight is really blue and tungsten is really amber. Our camera is set to the amber light so that will look white which means all of the light that's shining on the background, It's gonna look blue to our camera. And so that will make Teresa look correct in a red shirt and the background look blue and we're gonna get our complementary colors. It's really fun. Okay, so this is gonna blow your mind. I hope maybe we'll see. So what I'm gonna do here I'm using through the lens metering, I have my camera set to 2/100 of a 2nd, 1.2 F 1.2 I. S. 01 25. The big wide open aperture like that. I can shoot at 1 25 Teresa is looking right at me and then I am going to just take this photo problemo that's going to come into light room and this is our result. What a cool color contrast. So we have anything that's reflecting back there is reflecting that blue daylight because we've color balance to our tungsten light. And so that is a little trick you can use to create an interesting background, shallow depth of field, a colour temperature that is technically incorrect. And you've got a cinematic look, I can go over here into my develop module, I can go up to my crop like that. I can change this to a 16 by nine aspect ratio. That's what movies use, I can do that. And I've got something really cool. I've got a little develop preset over here called Nicky Nicky blue. I can turn that on now if we zoom way in, you can start seeing this grain that I've added artificially, there's grain on Theresa. And so it's starting to look, I'll hide this little tethered bar. It's starting to look more like a movie would look, it's really cool. Kick out the side panels. I'll turn this guy off. Look at that. We have a cinematic portrait and we're going to play with that just a little bit more. So look right at me, Teresa, I'm gonna back up. So I get a little bit wider shot and we're gonna just play with what we get here. So I'm gonna get a little bit more in the background. That's gonna show up as far as the reflections. I like that. Okay, so I brought that in. There is our last shot again. I can make this look like the other shots by going into the develop module. I'll go and do the exact same thing. I will crop it to a 16 by nine that looks more movie ish like that. I'll go put my little preset on there, which was Nicky, Nicky blue, that adds that grain, all that stuff in the background. I can play with this. I could open up the shadows a little bit if I wanted and then I could kick out these panels and there you have it, a cinematic look, it's really cool. It's one of my favorite things to do. If you just play with color temperatures and do what is technically incorrect. A lot of times you can create something that is artistically beautiful.

Class Description


  • Shape light using specific light fixtures and modifiers
  • Understand the different types of LED lights and the benefits of each
  • Freeze motion to create stunning action photos
  • Mix RGB light to create interesting color effects
  • Work with different light modifiers to get the exact look you want
  • Create lighting setups that fit your style


For years constant lights have been reserved for video and film production only. But things have changed dramatically in a short amount of time. Using state-of-the-art LED lights, you can create stunning portraits, freeze motion, and create video content. You no longer need two lighting systems.

In this class, Mark Wallace explains the different types of constant light, uses hands-on demonstrations to show you how to control light, and creates many of his favorite lighting styles.

Mark explains the different types of light fixtures and light modifiers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing your lights. This class is perfect for anyone who wants to create interesting portraits and videos using LED lights.


  • Beginner to Intermediate portrait photographers
  • Anyone looking to use constant light for still photography as well as video
  • Photographers looking to expand their creative horizons by using new tools


Adobe Photoshop CC 2021
Adobe Lightroom Classic 2021


Mark Wallace is a photographer based in the United States. Best known for his web-based video series Digital Photography One on One and Exploring Photography sponsored by Adorama.

Millions of people have watched Mark’s videos on YouTube, and the numbers continue to grow. Mark has a solid social media following on Facebook and Twitter, where he spends time with viewers and workshop attendees.

In 2014, Mark left the United States to embark on a 2-year worldwide adventure. He visited 28 countries and captured thousands of unique photographs across the globe.

In 2016 Mark decided to give up planes, trains, and automobiles and is now exploring the world on his motorcycle.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tether Tools Pro Kit Discount

Tether Tools Starter Kit Discount

Ratings and Reviews

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Great course very informative and a pleasure to watch love the way you teach so easy to understand and follow through. learned a lot about continuous lighting ty

Alessandro Zugno

This is a very useful class for who want to start shooting video or photo with constant light. Creative Live should make more class on videography.