One Light Wonder

Lesson 13/21 - Shoot: Bare Beauty Dish


One Light Wonder


Lesson Info

Shoot: Bare Beauty Dish

You know sometimes when we do like I say we're in the laboratory and we're experimenting right? When scientists experiment, sometimes they control the amount of variables right? So that everything isn't all over the place. Like if I go moving the light all around and I start moving the camera all around. And the (mumbles) all around. It kind of confuses people. So I'm gonna keep the light consistent, 45 degrees right. Like it is right here. From our subject. Our subject will be about here. Let's just get one of those stools right over there. Right. You know. I'm gonna keep it like a medium distance between like my subject and my... And the area or my light. So what does that look like? Yeah, yeah. Yeah sure. We'll start with the raw light even though we looked at it. Maybe we'll start with actually nothing on this head. And then just put the reflector on just to see what the difference is right. So. I think I wanna come back and see this shadow a little bit Chris. So maybe this light c...

omes over a little bit. Yep. You know. Cause it's not just light we're making. It's always shadows we're making. I care about the shadows. How they fall, the intensity of them. Yeah that looks beautiful. Alright so. Who has a model? I got you guys. I got you. You want to come up? You'll be here for a while. Remind me of your name. Holly. Holly. Come on up here Holly. Alright have a seat. So one thing we want to do Holly is just kind of keep you a little bit consistent right to the camera. So we're comparing the same photograph over and over again. Chris gonna read my light. And... Eight three. Eight three. Let me just come down a little bit. You want to stick it at eight. Yeah keep it at eight. Eight one. Fades gray right? We said that. Eight one. Alright. I'm getting that Chris I swear. I believe you. Is it bottomed out? Okay. Five six eight. Oh really? Damn you. We're just trying to get it on the exact even number. Eight. Eight okay great. Terrific. Alright. Can you move that computer away just a little bit? Right on. Alright. How we feelin Holly? Yeah alright. Chin down a little bit. Perfect little bit, yeah. Back a little bit. Alright cool. Back a little bit. It's always a good thing to practice is just like working on that Rembrandt shadow right? Because it makes you mindful. It makes you kind of work on this triangle of light under the eyes. I'll try to work that in the shots you know. Just like a classic... Oh was I on eight? Put me on eight Chris. Underexposed about four stops. That's not what we're talking about here. You're there. That's it's own thing. Huh? Uh huh we're there? Yeah. Okay cool. Right in there Holly. Chin a little bit this way. Thanks. Great. Alright beautiful. That exposure look right? Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna bring it up just a little bit. Oh wait. Boom there it is. Was it not? Yep now we're there. Okay. Alright cool. Right on. So this is raw light all by itself. And we're gonna go into that reflector next just to see what that reflector does. Yeah. And I'm just gonna shoot it from out here. Let's see how that works. Yeah that's working. Alright let's start with the reflector out there. We'll go the other way. So that's barebone. Nothing on there. Looking at the light. Looking at the shadow. Looking how it fills the background and then environment. And let's just remember this because this might seem like minutia right. But this could very easily be. Holly you could be an architect right? You could be sitting in a beautiful mansion. And behind you could be the designs for the most fabulous architecture in the world right. So we're in a studio. That's a great piece of paper. But we could be anywhere right now. And we're not just looking at how that light you know shines on her face. But really how it fills the room. How it shapes the room right? Cause many times your gonna be working in those sort of places. Reflectors on there. Is it flooded or spotted? (man mumbles) Flood okay cool. Can we read it again? See if it changes the light any. Cause many of these things are gonna focus our light. Brighten our light. Change our light, right? Eight nine. Eight nine. So that's giving us a stop more light right? So that reflector that just seems like a silver thing we're putting in front of the camera is doubling our light right. Why is that important? I don't know about any of you guys, but sometimes anybody working with mono lights with batteries. Right. So once you put a battery on something you bring it on location right. That battery's gonna have a limited amount of life right? So that reflector's gonna give you a little bit more kick right? That kick's gonna get your battery a little bit further. You with me right? You understanding me? You smell where I'm coming from? Do you know where I'm coming from? Okay right on. Right. I swear these seem like little things, but it's very helpful right? So this is 11. Giving us a stop more light. Right on. I'm just gonna start it out here. Right on. And just compare those two. Just to see. Right. So that reflector's just focusing our light a little bit more. Changing a little bit more. Giving it a little bit more shape. I'm gonna walk it in. Right. And we're just kind of. You know. And walk it in kind of tight here. 11 all day right Chris. Alright set to 11? Alright great. Eyes to me. Great Holly great. Okay. Yeah alright. Beautiful. Alright so we're just gonna continue to rip through modifiers. Let's throw another one up there. Let's throw a strip bank up there. Beauty dish. Whatever you want to do Chris. You take it. Let's do beauty dish. Let's do a beauty dish Chris. It'll be awesome right? It's a great modifier. Yeah it's a classic go to modifier. The people love the beauty dish. People love the beauty dish. Let's just talk about the beauty dish. Your friend the beauty dish. Oh it's got a giant grid on it now. We're going to start it without that. Right. So what is it doing? Once I stick the head in here, what is it doing? Just tell me. What is it doing? Anybody what is it doing? Reflecting. Reflecting how reflecting. Bouncer. Bouncing the light around. And this thing that looks like a piece of provolone cheese in the middle is not provolone cheese. And if you suck on it, it will not freshen your breath. Right. I don't know what I'm talking about right now. No it's just taking all the direct light away. The straightest lines of light. Bouncing them around. And using a very broad light. That broad light gonna fall, feather, fan. And like marmalade spread differently across your toast. Milk toast. Yes. So why is it white? Softer. They're silver ones too and that's gonna be what? Hard right? Soft, hard, big, small. It's not too complicated. Lights kind of, you can dumb it down. You can dumb it down. Right Holly? You with me? Yeah. Little high five. Oh yeah, okay. Is that pointed at you Holly? You might need an apple because. A little bit down. Yep. (Holly mumbles) Alright so we haven't changed the power at all right. When it was raw, it was F8. When we put that grid on, F11. When we put this on, I don't know. I'm thinking it might be five six. This might be subtracting a little bit of light. But we'll see. Four six. Four six, okay. Can we go up just a little bit and get an even number on there? Three tenths or something. On here? On that. Yeah. Think I got it actually. Okay. I'm gonna do this all myself. Four six. (mumbles) Oh I made it too bright. (mumbles) Oh boy. Can you do it all yourself? I can. I need a half stop up on that. Can you. I can do it here but I'm not 100%. Alright. Give it to me once again. Alright. Okay I'm gonna call that a fake. Alright we're gonna start at five six. So it is, because the light it's focused not as hard, not as direct, that white beauty there's subtracting some light from us. Definitely making it a little bit softer. And it's a huge difference in how it's falling on her. Am I at five six right there? You are at five six. Okay chin down just a little bit. Yeah perfect. And let's just compare that to that last regular reflector right? So this is gonna be huge difference in your light. Like if you wanted to do beauty light, why not use a beauty dish right? Just sort of makes sense right? It's got a lot of shape and contour to it. Gonna pull it back and see how it falls into the room. Also you can see how much broader right? It's a much broader dish. How it's falling on that background and stuff like that. Which we'll see in these next two. Alright. Boom, boom right. Alright. Cool. Yeah I could be a little bit straighter on that. I'm sorry. Let me just fix that out right. That looks a little bit wonky. Sorry people. I'm a little bit crooked. That McBride he's crooked. Alright. So pretty huge difference to how it's just falling in the space too. Right how broad it is. How wide it is. It kind of kicks light a little bit everywhere. Right. I do think like a very intoxicating part of photography for me was when I just found a beauty dish and I put a grid spot on it. And I found like oh my god. It was like a fortune cookie or something. Like I found something I was really looking for. Yeah throw that up there Chris. Yeah. So I just like this. It's painterly. It's very focused. It's very... I don't know. It's got a good punch to it you know. Hitting you Holly? You good? Yeah. Okay. Right on. Okay cool, down a little bit. Yeah that's great. And this one more than others, it's gonna have like a real sweet spot. Like a center spot to it. Cause that grid is really starting to focus and shape the light. So it comes a little bit more critical how it's aimed. And of course once we put that black honeycomb in front of it, it's gonna subtract I don't want to curse right now. It's gonna subtract a significant amount of light. (laughs) Four nine. What? Four nine. Four nine, okay. Right on oh. I think I got you in that Chris. Right on. Yes. We see how it lights two people. Oh great. Alright yep. Let's just check that from the wide. Medium tight. Uh huh. It's hard to see my my Rembrandt shadow/no shadow right? Cool okay. Great, great, great. Alright. Yeah let's just compare it. This is no grid spot. This is grid spot. Very different lights you know. Beauty dish, great investment. Throwing the grid spot on that. It's going to really give you two diametrically different lights. You said you we're gonna shoot some older men. You want to put some more texture on them. I would strongly head you in this direction. Or some gridded sort of smaller source. That's gonna give you that texture you know. And also just take a look Chris. Can we go to the wider version of the two? Yeah. The widest version. No grid spot, grid spot right. So look how it's subtracting and focusing a great deal of that light right. Really taking it away. Any questions here so far? Any questions online? Just a quick question. One second. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Strip bank. Question. Are you pre-visualizing before you meet with a client? Cause you've got this entire toolkit of images you can create. And then so when you're in you're, you're good to go. Well. Many times... I do a great deal of stuff right? I don't really have that thing like a lot of photographers have. So I'll ask clients what they're responding to you know in my portfolio. And ask them to draw out a moot board. I like it when it has a couple of my own pictures. I really don't like it when I get a moot board of bunch of other photographers pictures. You know what I mean? I can't tell you how often I've had moot boards with pictures of James Dean. And I'm not photographing James Dean. I'm photographing just some schmoe. You know what I mean? Like you want James Dean, give me James Dean. And isn't that our challenge that we have to make people look. You know like you guys definitely look like a rock band early on. Like that's our job to kind of elevate and bring people up right. So I do, there is some usually some conversation there. It depends on the client. And sometimes it's just like, maybe have a plan. And throw that plan out the window and just improv with what's there. You know I can't tell you how many times I've-- cool we're there? Yep. Yep. I can't tell you how many times I thought I was going to do this and then I ended up just seeing some beautiful available light over here and being like, "let's go over there D." Let's do it.

Class Description

We only have one sun, so why should we need more than one light? In this course, celebrity portrait photographer Clay Patrick McBride will dive into lighting with intention. Through a variety of live shoots, he’ll demonstrate how to incorporate lighting diagrams into your workflow so you can create setups that you can use again and again.

He’ll cover:

  • How to control your light
  • Creating hard or soft light
  • The importance of documenting your setups
  • Sculpting with Light
  • Removing and creating shadows with intention

By the end of this class, you will be able to create incredible images with confidence and the use of only one light.


KIS Photography

WOW! I was getting ready to go to bed, when I saw this class last night as I was perusing the classes available. Got the notification that it was playing, so I thought I'd check it out for a minute or two. Well, once I turned it on, I couldn't turn it off! As someone who has shot musicians on stage since I was 16, I've recently been interested in shooting portraits of them, so Clay instantly intrigued me! The more I watched, the more I couldn't shut it off, and I stayed up til 5:30 in the morning to finish the course (financial issues, so I can't afford the class right now) This class is amazing! I love Clay's teaching style, his willingness to step outside the box and play by his own rules, and his lighting is awesome! As soon as it is possible, I WILL be purchasing this class! Loved it! Thanks again CreativeLive for introducing me to yet another outstanding photographer to learn from!

Jason Darr

I absolutely loved this. Great instruction, great content and very inspiring demonstrations. I'd highly recommend this course

Gene Tolan

Awesome intro to lighting. I love Clay's teaching style and his personality infused presentation was a pleasure. I highly recommend this course.