Shoot: Daylight on Roof Part 3


Natural Light Control


Lesson Info

Shoot: Daylight on Roof Part 3

You know it's it's um you know I said all the time I'm not a genius here into stuff uh the only difference between me and some photographer is all screwed up more pictures you know, that's it um I have made more mistakes and most photographers I know and when you continue to do that you learn and you know what works and what doesn't work because you have tried it and screwed it up before and you know it's not a good feeling but again the good news is we're not surgeons and we're not trying to save somebody's life we're just taking a picture so the worst that can happen for us in our little world is you know, you got to do a reshoot you know you don't have to leave town or are called in your malpractice insurance you just we're just taking a picture so if that's the worst that can happen that's not bad, you know? So it's not brain surgery yeah that's kind of what I was thinking and of course now all the rest of us get the benefit of all those mistakes so we appreciate you making all the...

se mistakes so I know and I did and every workshop I tell this joke about all of us have at some time or another we've all open the back of a thirty five millimeter film camera with film in it and you know we've all done it and everybody knows this and then you slam it real quick, right? Well it wasn't stupid that you open the back of the camera with film but it was pretty stupid that you think you're fast enough to close it you know sorry floggings already done you're done don't don't get a hurry um where is shawn? I think I'm gonna get shawn over here sean this is gonna be kind of a goofy picture I don't have much space to do this guys I'm sorry I don't have an ideal spot to illustrate this you're not gonna like this but I need to get you on the ground and that little corner of that shade that's shadow right there yet I want you just however you can get just sit down there with your knees going that way maybe and scoot that way as much as you can and good yeah that's pretty good turn turn to me just a little bit. Let me just look at you. Yeah, right right there that's it that's it that's it right there turn your face this way just a little bit right there. Okay, so there's a couple of things about subtracting life. One of the things about the idea for using subtracted light is to sort of make light appear to come stronger from a direction and if you think about it, taking light away is always good thing it's always better than adding light too I think I think the picture gets weekend if you fill the shadow and too much great cinematographers all agree the cinematographers out there in the world are all about you know it's not adding but taken away that sometimes will will be the reason for the success of the picture does that make sense so I think we have to at least at least talk about that as a psa tractor of light there's some things that we can do to kind of help that process along one of those is let me where is bobbie let me do this let's get where did baba go do me a favor and uh I'm gonna get down on the ground here and I'm just going to stay down there for a while so do me a favor and just take a reading of his face aimed it right at this open sky put the light don't right under his chin right yeah that way win it thousand to eight now roll the thumb will you give me for just that? Some will not the big deal that little wheel right below that right there that's good. Yeah, good no you give me f or something around at four so you get this on there we go so now I just decorating there and just roll that around till I get f or something okay, yeah there you go this roll the wheel five hundred f or what? Huh? Okay, perfect five hundred perfect perfect, perfect that's one third above that force that's four point five great good to know so what I can do here there's so many different configurations and things that we can do one of the things that I like to do is get in here I like to kind of get on his level so I'm gonna do this kind of work I need to get down here where I can see what I'm doing so I'm just gonna come in here and do a portrait of him real quick here we go here we go good one good one good one great. We'll come in a little tighter right there. Good. Let me check that. Let me just look at this. Mr graham looks pretty darn close right there when I look at what I'm checking to see if I've got the shot you guys I'm not checking the picture as much as I'm checking the history ram you know here's the thing about looking at the the damage preview sometimes that image preview your camera can be set off a little bit that preview you khun bump that up and thump it down right so it's not always calibrated at zero it's not always calibrated to match the file so be real careful about trusting it too much makes sense. Okay. So old bobby, bring that panel in. Sorry. Yeah. Grab that black panel and I want it dropped in right behind his left shoulder. Is there room? They're not stand. You guys stay on this side right there. Can you get that in behind there at all? Go ahead. Do this. Yeah, put it in an angle is to slip it right in there like that. There you go. There you go. Now go ahead and sit back up a little bit. Now turn your head to me a little bit more right there all of a sudden what that's just done is it's taken it at least of stop of light off of the shadow side of his face. All of a sudden, we've got contrast because now the light is even more evident coming from the forty five from the other side. Okay, so, you know, I think about the first joke that I ever heard as a kid. How do you how do you carbonell a fun out of a john piece of granite? I'm gonna dress, you got a hammer and a chisel and you chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant sorry, it's the first joke I've ever heard in my life, but the point of it is you're removing stuff you don't need right here, I'm taking light away that I don't need and in doing so I'm adding more of a drama to the shot. I'm adding more dimension to the shot that's what I'm paid to do so that's what I'm doing is it a pain in the butt? Sure is that a great shot here? Know we're on the roof by an air conditioner, but we're gonna make something happen here so what we're paid to do I don't need to hide your elbow your elbows getting hit with direct sunlight there you go, that's good. Maybe you bring that other hand around on your knee that's your arm bend a little bit more yeah, yeah no, just turn your head back this way a little bit right there actually, you know what? Just let your hand hang down between your knees that's it that's even better and turn your head to me a little bit more your eyes right here good, good, good, good, good your eyes up here. Great. I'm just looking back and forth here between these two big difference big difference we don't have a monitor up here so it's kind of hard to see what we're doing but anyway, you get the idea you got, you got to trust us and know that it works so let me take a look here bobby again let's do one more I mean john let's do one more a pair of your eyes right at me here we go good and one more of those a little bit happier here we go good I think it's funny, huh? Here I'm gonna do head hand held one hundred five hundred I think I can hold five hundred wait here we go right there good, good, good nice good. Okay, relax for just a second yeah, that looks pretty good so the idea here is again you know I'm not trying to create a masterpiece in this position I'm trying to make sure I can teach you guys something's one thing that we can do I think the sun is awfully high stand up let me see if it's hitting the top of your head if you stand up in the same spot what are we getting on your face? Yeah wait, what about if we move you're on the other side of that little transformer there if you just put your back right up against her in his lean up against there are you in the shade completely almost is there any room at all? Ah, man there's just no room there at all well here is going to stay right where that's gonna be good bobby where's bobbie, grab that black for me and let's do this let's come over here and I want to shoot into this, and what I want to do is let's, move our black directly overhead flat and maybe get where's. Britt britt kind of gets you to help him with this part if you don't mind, only because I want to make sure that we keep it pretty flat, let me grab this tripod real quick. Um, and what we want to do is, you know, I do a lot of stuff in doorways we're out world where I'll have somebody on the front porch of their house, for example, and if I can put them under a doorway and move them back a little bit, that becomes us of tractor of light that's what I'm talking about here by doing this, I'm forcing that light to come under that front edge doesn't make sense, it's exactly the garage door. Same thing, exactly. Yep, yep, yeah, that that's why you get to voice activated life stands by him in the catalog chief better from there available to cheap enterprises. Get you a blonde, get your blonde and us redheaded life stand you know you're good quick question tony from ether mac, fifty six says, when you're using this subtracted and cutting out some light, why did you not re meter the scene and more importantly, why didn't look so good without a re meter and exposure adjustment because because the exposure was placed, the dome of the meter was here aimed this way at the light that's coming in when I dropped that side over there and nothing to do with the amount of light coming in and how they only had to do with ambient light coming back over it didn't change the amount of light or the quantity of life strike in the face and that is that's a great question because that is an issue that people are worried about sometimes often when I'm working with ambient life, I don't have to re meet her because once I went with I'm bringing in a reflector or from bringing in a black gobo my subject is still receiving the same amount of light I'm just changing the range of contrast that's all but I'm not changing the brightness levels at all okay? Yeah please. So thinking back to your scenario in the garage when you had your door open up the inside of the door appeared to be silver or white I don't even know what color it is details, but it doesn't matter because it matters because label bounce up announced back down alone and no lights going, no lights gonna bounce up there and hit that and come back down now they won't they won't be an issue whatsoever that actually has been a question earlier today is this kind of roof surfaces that reflecting a lot of light back up yeah, yeah we're gonna natural phil on this I mean it's grey and it's got an asphalt feel to it but worry, but we're getting some bounce off of it for sure and that's why when we were doing the fashion he look you weren't looking for phil because we already got plenty of film I'm just I'm just looking for a highlight that that gives me a little zip great, a little something something a little something something a little some, some special sauce you know, tony, I know that a lot of our photographers talk a lot about catch lights you talked a little bit about that. Weigh this up. Catch lights are by definition they are what's known as a speculum highlight. Where should I be looking when I answer this one of the kids here a speculum highlight is catch lighted speculum highlight it's really the only place on the face where where true reflection of the light source exists unless somebody's holding a glass of wine in the eye is the only place you're going to see the truth a reflection of the light source okay, so death by definition is it's a speculum highlight the speculum highlight is defined as the mirror image of the device which created the highlight it's a reflection of the light source right so often and come in portrait photography it's never an issue portrait photography the catch lets you do want a good catch slide in both eyes and traditional wisdom says put the cat slide at one or two o'clock you are ten or eleven o'clock tony I've got a question for a lot of photographers that come here talk about catch lights can you tell me your opinion on catch lazing give us your take on it yes so so catch lots are pretty important, especially in portrait photography the catch light is that little highlight that is the reflection of the light in the eye and ideally if you're going to work in the world of portrait photography ideally that catch line needs to be at forty five degrees which but today one o'clock, two o'clock or ten o'clock or eleven o'clock if the iowa where a clock now by definition it is a speculator highlight speculator is defined as a mirrored image of whatever created the highlight that's a speculum highlight in portrait photographer the only place that ever appears is in the eye unless someone told him glass of wine especially a dark wine red wine then you can see that full speculum in the glass, but if they're not, you won't sit anywhere except in the face maybe big chrome earrings you'll see it get that here in commercial work speculum highlights can be used almost as a design element if you will because because think about crystal you look a catalogue with with great crystal and you'll see those highlights and they're perfectly shaped and formed and their beautiful because they are part of the picture they're very important part of pictures so they not only performing the job of the light, but they're also designing aspect so case lights are hugely important and you know, remember as you as we talked about earlier size relative to distance as you move a light source further away from your subject the size of that catch like gets smaller and smaller smaller it becomes brighter and brighter and brighter so a big catch live by having a big light source close big soft catch lights but if you want to catch lives to be crisp and round sharp back your light up a little bit and you'll have it so you've got complete control over those cats lights on what you do with your life source okay, cool thank you. All right, so let's go back to that I won't do one more thing here with this attractive and then we'll get off this roof and we had a lot of stuff to still do on the inside with some window light and some more subtracted downstairs so first thing we'll do is get shown we have shown in place it's gonna drop this black panel overhead bobby were you can we get bobby to hold the other side of this what I want to do guys can you hold this side bobby and I want you guys to hold it down a little bit closer to him bring it off the age and come down yet right in there up a little bit open interest all right in there so what's happening here if you take a look at this basically the way this is position this is knocking off a lot of photographers talk about top light this knocks off that top light by putting this black subtract er overhead it means that that light is coming under this front lip under the front edge of this panel and from my position looking back at his eyes the cat's light in his eyes they're great from back here if I remove that thing I don't have good catch lights at all because that light starts here and comes all the way down to there but now that life is just coming in at a forty five right into his face totally different deal it's fine tuning the light quality that's what we're doing you guys we're just fine tune and stuff here you know so let me get a shot off here so we took a reading. It was five hundred five six, right? Five hundred five six I'm gonna read it one more time and be doubly sure let me grab that meat a little quick let's just be sure because I don't want to miss this measure twice sorry for it was five hundred four, five hundred f four so my meter read to eight point nine that's one tenth of a stop from f or I like it for so I'm not five hundred for in my camera and you look pretty good there, buddy boy. Really good. Just take that in for a real quick that's looking pretty darn good let's do a couple of things here. I want you to roll your shoulders this way just a little bit it is there any way you do a little bit more on bridge? Your elbow appear lets that thing down down below that next one. There you go. Now. Yeah, just get your shoulder a little bit more if you can. Now turn your head back to me right there. That's it good, good, good, good, good. That puts him in a good spot. I'm just gonna come over a couple of inches. Sorry, dude, there we go. Right there. Right there, right there. Perfect, excellent. This is a this is one of those things here turn you had just a little bit, shawn a little bit of a smile on this, and here you go, catch you one more, and here we go, good got you relax for a second, okay, got you relax for a second. It's. We're just talking about fine tuning this work. You guys were just fine tuning photography. We're just fine tuning our light to the nth degree. We're taking every little aspect, and we're trying to make it better, that's, all okay, as mccartney said, we're taking said light and make it better is good, all right.

Class Description

Natural Light Control is part of our special week-long event Lighting Toolkit.

Join award-winning photographer Tony Corbell for an in-depth exploration of how light works and how it can be controlled to create dramatic images.

After decades of shooting prominent figures — including three presidents — on location, Tony has developed a set of tools that will help you shoot confidently in any setting. Many photographers test light as they work; Tony’s methods will allow you to understand and plan light before you even begin.

Tony will guide you through the basics of light quality, quantity, and direction. Tony’s unique methods will resonate with amateurs, seasoned professionals, and everyone in between.


Dave Humphries

Tony keeps it simple and gives good examples, although occasionally I had to pause the video to study them well enough - because the editor was keeping the timing overly tight in a few places. In some cases it would also have been nice to have two shots side by side for comparison, but Tony was great.