Shoot: Grid Spot, Defining Color


Lighting with Gels


Lesson Info

Shoot: Grid Spot, Defining Color

I was curious how that would look if you swapped out the desistee for a... maybe a grid on the pro photo, and pulled it back? We could try that. Just take that red light out. Whenever I try to use a grid spot to make a really hard, focused light, it... Whenever I want to make those really bright lines, even in a still life situation, when I'm teaching still life, and I just want to cast some shadows, this is the closest thing to a hard sign. They make it for strobe, too. They make 'em where you can stick a strobe in there, right? But I do think as this is a great source. I just, I like how it's falling across his chest and everything here, so I want to shoot that, too. (shutter clicks) Just the vertical shot's really nice right there, right? If you want to add a little bit of hair light right there, we'll get a blue gel lined up. Yeah, let's hit that. Would you have to shine the fact with the magnum? We'll look at it with just a grid spot, but you'll see that it's, one, reall...

y hard to see what you're gonna get, 'cause when you pull the modeling light that far away, you don't really see the shadows so well. And two, it never gets me the hard, straight lines that this does. It's kind of like when we put the soft box there, just, something else happened, right? You got that hair light coin'? Yeah. All right, I changed this thing out, but I was trying to... So stoic. (laughter) Hey Chris? Yes, sir? Could you, I just want to try to keep this off that background right there, so I'm going to use my hand as a flag. Just shoot one? Yep. Look right at that camera. Yep, light's hittin' his eye. (shutter clicks) Yeah, I'm just takin' my hand and I'm kinda' bringing it right here by the light, and just shapin' that away from him. My hand will-- (shutter clicks) I have a question. Yeah, just go back to a question, yup? How would you go about taking away the lines on the background, and allowing the lines to only be on him? Yeah, I was just trying to do that with my hand, but what I need is a black card. So, I'll show you. That's real easy. It's another flag situation, or gobo situation, so I'm just going to take this black card. Could be cinefoil, too, but we're going to use a black card. We're gonna go in between... these two lights. Now this is gonna-- (shutter clicks) The closer, wait, wait, are we there? Yeah. I didn't feel like, yeah? Close, it's getting there. Yeah? (shutter clicks) I'm just coming on this back wall, can you even see me over here? Can you see? Yeah, okay, cool, right on. We gettin' there, Chris? Yeah. I'm just gonna flag this off. So, I'm just making a giant barn door, and I put this on a C stand, and just rock it over here a little bit. Are we there, Chris? Yep, one more. (shutter snaps) (shutter snaps) Chin up just a bit. Right, a little lower, right there. (shutter snaps) Good. We're still getting a little spill? Yeah, I was closer here. Okay, right on. I kinda can't see... Like, in a perfect world, I would get Chris back there. Chris, go back there. (laughter) Why am I in the corner with a black card, mumbling to myself, when I've got help for that? (laughter) Chris, bring the card closer to the light. Yep, and open it, close it. Open it. Just really exaggerate it, so everyone can see what it's doing, right? So you see what he's doing there, right? Huh, and you know, what I'm gonna do, actually, I'm just gonna pull this back a little bit further. I think that's gonna work a little bit better. He's just gonna do the open, close thing. And it's confusing, 'cause I'm getting a second shadow from one of the room lights, but (shutter clicks) I think that's it. Right, that's it, right? That answer your question? Yep. All right, so flags are helpful there, right? My other thing, my exposure got a little jacked, but were there any other questions? We want to just look at that grid spot quick, and see why it wouldn't work, okay? Right on, let's kill that for now, yep. And that light in general is called the fresnel, when it's got the glass lens. It's a French word, F R E S N E L, fresnel. But a good hard, crisp, punchy light. You can take that soft box off that, Chris. Yep. (machinery creaks) Yeah, and the class I teach at college is called Lighting Control and Manipulation. And I think it's a kind of strange shot we're talking about, but I think it's a scenario that could apply to many other things, when you're thinking about photography. You're just trying to cast shadows and cut light, you know? And why, you think, sometimes, if this is my light, and I put something right here, it should cast a shadow. Really? But if we want to cast the shadow, it's probably gotta be this close to your subject, and not way back here. And I see kids struggling in the studio all the time. They'll have some weird gizmo in front of their light, and I'm like, "What are you trying to do?" And they're like,'cause they're a little scared of me, as you can imagine, right? (laughs) I'll come in their studio, "What are you doing in here?" And they're like, "Aah!" And I'll go over it with them, and usually it's that distance of the go between, the gobo, usually needs to be closer. All right, gonna read it for us? Mm hm, five six three. Okay. (shutter clicks) Huh, weird right? Just not as crisp, right? On the background, it is where it's right against it, right? Like, right here where the thing is actually touching that. So, what does that mean if I want to get those shadows on our man Godfrey here, right? It's like I gotta stick his head right next to it. You want to just stand up for a second, just jump up. And, gonna have to lift. I'm gonna have to change my light a little bit, Chris. Sure. All right. You want it closer? I don't, I'm just trying to open these up a little bit. I think I want it a little bit omer From the side? No, I want to get these lines to shine on him, so just straight back now. Yeah. I think where that sandbag is. I think I closed them all the way up, didn't I? Do you ever use smoke or dust to add to ambient light, when you're photographing? Yeah, you know, and I've had some issues with, I love hazers and foggers, and I do use them. They can set fire alarms off, and make a mess of places, so you want to check that out. I was once shooting Jack Black and Tenacious D, and we had this smoke machine going, and the fire department showed up, and there were these alarms. It became impossible to work, and I didn't have much time, so that shoot kind of got away from me. But, I do like them. I do, I think vape cigarettes can be a very small solution to that phenomenon, where they're not gonna set off a fire alarm, so I would say if you want to DIY that, especially some of those vape pens can blow crazy clouds of smoke. They're a good way to do it. Yeah, that happens from time to time. I do like backlight and smoke. I do use that in some pictures, yeah.

Class Description

Color has a way of making the ordinary extraordinary. In this course, Clay Patrick McBride will explore the power of gels. He’ll show how to light and create dynamic images by balancing and accentuating color.


Vitamin Dee

Great class if you're wanting to learn how to work with gels! This class will take you through the process step by step as you build your shooting playbook. I enjoyed Clay's honest and simple approach. Clay and his assistant, Chris, make a great team as they show how gels work and show you what not to do. They make learning fun!


Enjoying every minute of this class.

Doug Richardson

I found Clay's classes and teaching style worked very well for me. For example, Clay's method of first testing one light in a multiple light set-up and the adding the other lights one-by-one was great. I recommend this class for anyone working to add different lighting styles to their work.