Shoot: Indoor Light Continued


Natural Light Control


Lesson Info

Shoot: Indoor Light Continued

No we've got another option and we can do to I've got her pretty close to the window she's up here where everything's coming in at a forty five let's do some with her right against the wall just flat so let's just go ahead and move right back against that that brick wall quickly you went to you went teo thirtieth of a second you could have just turned up your eyes so I could have yeah don't yeah you're confident you have the tripod and that's gonna be the way on no problem yeah and in a perfect world I probably would have gone up with my eyes so to eliminate the worry of her moving that now with her that distance I probably will open this guy up now because of the angle of the face now I knew me and now I do need some more light come in at this angle you know something like that so now let's take another reading I'm still it four hundred and I'm like him working at wide open you guys I really I really have become a pretty big fan of shooting it at four so again at four right now I met ...

a fifteen four so four hundred so fifteen f or so let's do that let me come in a little bit closer here and I like that shadow the soft shadow on the wall which is why I wanted to do this I want to be able to bring that shadow in and have it be to my advantage just get this set okay so fifteen at four here we go I s o four hundred everything's looking good she's looking good he looks a little scared but otherwise he's looking pretty good fold your arms for me dear just bring your arms up and there you go good good good I want to do that same picture that's going to be a little hot on that monitor I forgot sorry sorry sorry um it's through this way do me a favor let's I love exactly what you're doing but I want you to turn that way to do it a little bit more that's it now when you bring your face around I'm going to bring your face around a little bit more just passed my lens right there that's it chin down a little bit a little bit more feminine that's a little bit more elegant looking there we go good good good great let's do that same thing but let's get a little smile at me on this one here we go bring your arms a little more this side like towards it and that's it yeah there you go yeah yeah yeah good good little smile on this good one yahoo and I'm going to the same thing I was gonna zoom in a little bit close from the face right there good, good, good, great so you can see that we've got lots and lots of options that you can do with the window there's there's things that we can really pull off here because it while it's stationary we don't have to be now you will find there is there some limitations on what you can do based on the room that you're in based on the size of the spaces within which you have to work that's a challenge that's a real problem so you gotta you gotta deal with that sometimes, but for the most part you've got some options so that rust along those lines omar from new jersey is wondering what are some techniques for shorter or lower windows that are not at forty five degrees? Do you get unwanted shadows from normal height windows? You don't you don't get unwanted shadows but you do get light that comes straight across your subject as opposed to coming down and so for me I would always take these black these panels like our reflectors I would take a black one and I would block off the bottom half of a window just block it off with a black panel you know we gotta quit saying black reflector that's uh that's like saying, you know, reliable for ari there's just some things that you know, uncontested divorce you know, there's a whole lot of those things that you just don't say but it's not really a black reflector as much as it is a black absorb er you know black gobo so tony this window here is beautiful because it's kind of ah broken nights look to it if you kind of hard to miss this wonderful yeah sure, but what if you just have playing glass windows in that sun is just blast well if the sun is coming through you've got to find some way to defuse it period I don't care how you do it shower shower curtain get a piece of fabric goto camera go to the fabric store, go to any fabric store and just buy some white taffeta fabric or there's a lot of places to go anywhere near the water and appear you are certainly goto a sailcloth company by ripstop nylon that's why it's translucent and we'll stop about a stop and a half to two stops of light and that's what you need you've got you've got to find a way to correct it though you can't just let that direct light sort of come in, you know? So okay, that makes sense we cut we cut up over there ok ok so I wanted I do want to try something here I'm gonna front like outfront light hand and put her on the sofa in just a second but I do want to try something I hadn't thought about it just now we've got one of those fabrics that's a kind of a shimmery it's white but it's almost silver but its not quite silver can you see if you can dig that up I can't see that from here but I think that's probably it yeah that's the one I think that's no no that's that's not it it's one of those and it looks almost silver no it's one of the ones it's like a soft silver how about that one right there no the other one right there that's it that's it we'll use that one so so what I want to try to do with that is I want to do something I want to shoot from over in this position shooting back toward the window I can't do that so let's put hannah let's put you right here for just a second um let me think about how I can't do this can I do what I want to do well here's a good way to flop on international tv let me just try something I've never tried before just had an idea what if I take that center one and block it completely off if I do this yeah well that open all the way from london if I can get her turn back toward mejust turn around I want to see it that way scoot scoot scoot scoot scoot scoot yeah and I'm wanted if I could get enough light back to her face to where those guys will give me that hatchet lighting on the sides and if there's enough of a known from the reflector to give me a good exposure on the face I think there is and I think this might work and I think it's going to be a heroic effort and if it fails it was bobby's fault on it was his idea it was a stupid idea and he should never have thought of it but it feels right here you're gonna have to get in front that sofa you guys get like over there in front of her yeah like right in there and can't get one of you guys to come down help her bread maybe one of you guys help help him hold it from on both sides and put in the same forty five degree that butterfly kind of pattern and so we suspended so one of you get on this side guys let's just get one of you over here on this side of her and that one yeah so what you want to do now is woman yeah that's yeah you're getting the idea there you go. We're just trying to bring that light back into her face get the idea and so I think this is either going to succeed wildly and the crowd will go wild or everybody's gonna infect korbel is such an idiot don't ever let him come back okay fifteenth of f four fifteen for fifteen enough for exposure okay andre says where to go tony give it a try to see what happens this exact this is exactly what we all need to do way got astride okay guys here's what I need you native you're a little close to her by half step come toward me half step oh there you go horizons came to laugh look at me kiddo guys now just do this for me you two boys what's this tippet that watch oh too much go back go back go back go back go back go you were better rock or you were actually left you alone in a tiny bit dear let me look at you. Yeah, I've never done this. This is bunny holy moly georges at home watching this going I'm gonna kill that korbel drop your channel quarters to rec director yeah, yeah, yeah yeah well sparkle in your eyes good, great. Hello, who's. Your photo, daddy now thing that's too hot on that screen. Let me close that. Let me let me fix that on the screen there just for viewing in the studio here guys let's do it again. We'll fire off a couple more these real quick right that's it right there right there right there, right there, nobody moves holy toledo you look good, kiddo. I'm like annette and then we can come back and then we can find in the saying all day long we can bring back in another reflector from below there we go. We could bring in another reflector from below and we can fix this and weaken you can clean it up, but the thing is, light is lighting and all you have to do is understand that there are some foundations and some things that work some things that don't work, but you've got to get out and try some stuff and, you know, you got an experiment and this is one of those things where it's like oh, that might work, I wonder. Well, let's, just try it and, you know, I think it'll be okay. I think here looks pretty great manners little hot, but I think I think it's gonna be okay and online. It's probably looking pretty decent hope yeah. It's definitely looking decent, deanna math photography says if you're the photo daddy than happy photo it is father's day tomorrow? Yeah, on everyone says got well, looks good. We're getting just general wows out there gorgeous love it well, we would prove a drop I mean, definitely with that life coming from his high, as the boys have it I would definitely put in a reflector down below then tow open in fact let's take time let's do that real quick let's just make it right so that we get a good shot for her so go ahead and put it right back where you had it and then let's put this guy from down below and tony is the is the line of the shade in the back bothering you at all oh I'll fix that later yeah I mean this is not this is a test I know I'm coming around the front here well actually you don't need to be out front you need to be right in here somewhere and just kind of work that up until you see it starting to make a difference you guys if you can move away from her just a half step and now kind of way went back and forth yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah like that turn your head to me just a little bit just a little bit this way just a little chin down a tiny bit and your eyes right here and just a little smile just a little not quite that little one more one more oh that's good I'm gonna darken this just a tiny bit stand by stand by we're almost there we're almost there we're almost there here we go who okay that's better I like that better yeah good guy would do that okay so on this one it's doable it's possible we could but we could pull something off there okay um questions this is a good time for questions and you guys here in the room everybody okay j r jones gary from the uk tony would use a video liketo add extra light or your candlelight to create some moodiness to the image and question from earlier was in this type of scenario would you would you incorporate a stroke as well? Yeah so so first off uh video line absolutely it's become it's become almost a part of everybody's tool bag on weddings now to carry video light for the purpose of the still picture not the video picture and so the answer is yeah sure a video light is really helpful sometimes you just need a little bit of help you just needed one little bit of light somewhere to help on a video like certainly provides that uh so that's big by incorporating the strobe here the answer is yes I would I probably would have done that before I'd have had these guys has to spend that reflector overhead but then you wouldn't learn anything so I gotta take it back down to the root level so but sure the first step would have been let's let's put a three by four soft box up here pop it in and you know I'm not sure that I could get that contouring on the face quite like that, but I certainly could do something with that great yeah tough tootle and best shot by shot from bc canada both wondering kind of the differences between white, silver and gold reflectors and when you use each yeah so thanks and if you want to sit you khun, you can coast for a second um I rarely put silver or gold on the face I will sail on occasion and particularly in a glamour style situation I'll put supper on the face when I'm trying to sort of produce that looked at you know, that elle magazine cover look where you really do want that catch flat on the bottom and all that you really want that face to be creamy, smooth and there's no blemishes and there's no modeling too much no highlight shadow too much it's moved and, you know, we used to have to pay a lot of retention dollars to make that happen. So for me to use gold and silver it's really not very often that you'll find that I use white all the time. I love to use white for reflecting because I trust it and it's not going to shift my color and for me skin tone color is pretty important thing and I don't want to lose that so I'm not a big fan of gold on the face and silver is sometimes guilty of taking soft like quality and making it more speculum than it ever needed to be in the first place so often you take a situation where you've got a really nice life and then you sort of mess it up for yourself by adding silver to the face so you had a question before we move on though wantto make sure we get you covered there it was regarding software that you would use to, like soften their skin do you have something you used to do? I do you know, in in light room you know, in those selective adjustment, you certainly have soft skin as an option and it's basically a minimum it's a it's, a it's, a negative clarity slider, basically, but you know, I'm such a nick software fan I've produced, you know, one hundred plus videos for nick software over the years on tutorials and I lived by that stuff and their dynamics skin softener is the best there is I've tested everything available and it looks so natural it's so simple to apply and it just makes sense so that's for me it's it's, dynamic skin softener that's one that's one always kind of gravitate to, you know, there's a couple of there's a couple of natural things that I do I use usually uh we'll put on there's, there's, there's you can save recipes and color effects pro which is the software from nick that has that and and I save a recipe that I call the two d's and that recipe is dynamic skin softener coupled with filter in there that's called dark and lightened center so it'll just barely darken my edges slightly it doesn't look like a vignette you'll never even know it was done but it barely brings the viewer's attention into the frame it's really helpful little tip so I use that quite often as well okay um okay so let me come around the other side of this thing and sean let's get you over here and panda I think I'm good with you for right now and let's bring let's bring this guy over here hey, you know what? Why don't you do want to do this for me, bobby before you take that out of the room, why don't you bring that background back over here and just turn it around backwards and stand up behind the sofa it's the loveseat let's do that that's good right there and just raise it up just understand glancing you know what? I just change her mind sorry never mind I don't want to that sorry ah girl can change your mind okay, so what I'll do is I'm gonna have you sitting right there in the middle of that sofa just get comfortable right there for a second and let me just check this out right in here the distance is gonna be right there so it of f four I need myself a thirtieth to get myself before one of the things that you'll find when you're doing window light work your exposures stay really consistent they really stay pretty consistent okay thirty four and I was gonna drop this down quite a bit hello okay there we go all right so I'm gonna drop this thing maybe even red in there something like that sorry you guys give me just a second here I think that that with shawn I can get away with doing a lot of things shawn I could have played in that new superman movie and it really frustrates me that he's this young he's this good looking look at that jaw line look at the muscles look at those eyes he's probably nice you know I hate this guy he possesses everything I lacke you know I don't know maybe I'm funny huh I'm just looking back in here yeah that's not gonna work I need to get lower I think yeah I'll come down lord so but anyway I think I think we've got something cooking here with this light quality and with this you know working in the studio you've got so many different things that are possible and what I'm hopeful is that you guys were getting some ideas of things that that you can do that you know in your own environment maybe you just haven't thought of yet you know maybe just haven't thought about doing something yet try something you know if you bring in another photographer into your environment that photographer will always show you something you can do that you know everyone thought of and it's your studio and you've been there ten years but you didn't think about that you know so it's always good to teo commiserate with other pros and spend time with other photographers I mean in my peer group all of my friends are photographers everyone I added people out of my life if they're not like me you know I mean we all we kind of had a little bit bobby if your back over there I just need you to move this background stand out a little bit further it's going to be in my shot just about a couple of feet yeah I just go to the right with a couple of feet that's great that's great good, good good I kind of liken this thing a little bit I'm liking what's happening back there can you see this the way the light's hitting the wall I'm seeing those those twin triangles of light back there so that kind of gets my attention and it means that if I put him in the center that the attention is kind of brought to him so you and I've still got this close so but I think that this will be a pretty good place to place his head right in here yeah something like that and I have no problem with this at all except for the you know the video guy but you know he looks awesome he looks awesome back there that of course is our walsh whom we gave a very special thank you to sit up real tall for me and put your elbows out on your knees a little bit for me yeah right there that's it right there yeah I should be shooting this vertical I don't know what I was thinking trying to go horizontal with it but I was trying to nice nice nice chin down a little bit let your head just straighten over for me just right there good good good little sparkle in your eye just a little smile for me come on good so again I'm gonna close that down just a bit ago let's do that again yeah it's gonna be a little hot so I'm gonna move this over just a bit here here we go that's good that's good don't move get you so in this case I've just brought him around I just brought myself around a little bit so now I've got this these lights are kind of coming in just a little bit and you'll see how they kind of wink into his face just a bit you know, I just think it's kind of fun and again here we are in a situation as that that camera position but their shows you where we've got these two lights and they're kind of flat and they're coming in from this direction if we want to make this a little bit more of a directional shot fine. So let's do this let's close this can you guys open those two up there on top for me? Just open those two and I leave these two closed and we're not gonna we're not gonna lose any like quantity because we're neutralizing it here by opening those in closing this one but we are going to gain some directional in terms of life quality, I think let me see your face this way turn your head right there. Now all of a sudden now the catch slide in this eye is completely different. Everything changed just now, everything just changed and I think he got better so I'm going to go right toward the light source to get myself before I got to go to a fifteenth at four and a third so fifteen at forty third think here we go your eyes right here one more time a little sparkle in your eyes on this one good, good, good good one more time, a little small on this one. Come on guys, we're not we're not making magic in here today as much as I'm trying to just show you as many techniques as quickly as I can to give you to get you moving and get you thinking. And if I can get you thinking here's, our marriage, our shot, you know, I don't know if anybody's done that in the studio here, but we've got this adjustable windows that give us the ability to do some things, so I think that works pretty well. Um, I'm thinking we're getting pretty close to the end here. One thing that I would do in this as well, we got a lot of white space in here in this white walls, in their stuff again as we talked about outdoors earlier, I would probably bring in a blazer is a black panel handy, let's just bring that black up here real fast, bobby, and just put it right here next to his face from appear and let's, just interrupt any light from reaching the side of his face right there and let's do the same picture like, hold it, just hold it right like that. And again, all I'm trying to do is it's more it's maur implied directionality okay, here we go, same thing, good, good, good, great. Yeah, so it's not taken a light away from him at all. But it is giving me a little bit of a more ratio and giving me a little bit more of a shadow. So there is not the shadows, a little bit deeper and, again, it's. A small, subtle thing, you guys. But it is important, I think.

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.