One Light Wonder

Lesson 19/21 - Shoot: Clamshell


One Light Wonder


Lesson Info

Shoot: Clamshell

So we're gonna do like classic clam shell lighting. Anybody know this sort of lighting? You've done it before, right. Always looks money, never gonna let you down. We're gonna start the the straight up beauty dish as our main light. And we're gonna light it much the same that we lit T-bone from before. Could you just fix this cord so it's not so. Yeah, cool. Great, let's just put a little mark, or somethin on that floor, a piece of tape anything Chris. Okay, cool, so our main lights going to come from the front. Great, you got your light meter? Yes I do. Eight. Eight even? Okay great. Eight point one. Okay, great. Cool, so many times I don't know how you guys work, but I think a big mistake people make, is they just throw up a whole bunch of lights. And they start just, they don't know what lights doing right. So, you do that sometimes? Yeah, okay. So, I start with one and I then I add em' slowly right. So this ones F eight. F eight's great, it's our main light. Sometimes not a...

lways, oh I don't even wanna say that. Okay I don't wanna misspeak here so. We're gonna add our second light. We're goin' up like straight up, hardcore, most beauty sort of style lighting there is. I'm gonna turn this one off. And just read this one all by itself. It's just how I like to do it. I should bring some power on. Okay. Gonna need some power for that Chris. WTF, dude? Right on. And we have our third light. Third light. Cool, that ones, we have power for that one too. Right there, yep. I need the other side of this. That. Tighten up co. (laughter) There you go take this. Good alright. Now you're steppin on it clay. That's alright. No I can't get to the thing. Okay alright. There ya go. Alright. Clowning on me. Alright, come on. No matter how long I hold this button, It will not turn on when Chris is not plugged into the wall. Alright. Alright, model. Great. Alright, make this one F eight. This is something that people, I need my dry erase board. Right. So this is, this is key. And this is like, something that I think, is this a good spot for this? Is this good for you guys? Okay. So you gotta know these things right. Like they gotta be part of your consciousness right. So my main light right now is here right. And I'm positioning my fill light, my fill light is always less powerful than my main light right. You guys with me there? You got that? Right so, if my main lght's here and I want my fill light, my fill, to be minus one stop. Where do I gotta be Doug? Where do I want to position that fill light? Minus one stop, talk to me. Minus one stop, without an equal power So my main light's F eight. Oh F8 yes. Your gonna want F five six. Yes that's correct five, six. A lot of times, people think, if I go this way, your stomping down on the lens it seems like less light. Right, you with me, Right. You think right, if go from F eight that's making it darker. This is more light. Right. If I made my fill like F11 it would be more light. You with me here? Many students I teach think the opposite way. So we want it to be less powerful. This is less powerful, and this is gonna be more right. More strength in the light, more intensity, more energy right. So, fill lights gonna be less, it's gonna be on the right side of this whole diagram. Just important to know. Now my edge light, say I wanted my edge light to be a stop brighter right. That would be up here, in an edge light or hard light. Right you with me. It's gonna be more intense right. I'm gonna over expose that edge light too, so it's brighter, we'll look at that right. But this is important to get your head around, cause' many, many people think like, this is darker, and it makes sense right. Did anybody think that, anybody confess that? No, thank you, alright. You're confessing thank you, I appreciate you being honest. Yep, alright, is that out of the way? Right on, so we're getting this one to 5/6. Your right on that mark. Yep. And one thing that's a little bit critical, is like, you know, setting a good mark for your talent. Like when we have the lights this close, if they're moving six inches, it's gonna change my exposure real quick right. So we set a mark, lock down a mark. Yeah might wanna tilt that down just a touch, or walk it in. Let me see your eye. Yeah, great okay. 5/6. Even? Yeah. Okay great. And we'll read em' together. One sec, okay, you ready? Eight. Eight even, okay, cool. One stop difference between our light. F eight, five six. Clam shell lighting. And it's gonna be like a little bit like that beauty box, but a little bit more sparky and sexy. So why don't you come up D, yep. Leave your glasses at home. What? Half apple. Maybe we'll see how she is right in here, she might just be perfect. Right on that trapdoor, right on that mark. Alright, okay, alright. So I almost feel like, we'll just start without this, swing it in, you can see it built up slowly, you with me. You guys with me, right. Let's get that on. Camera's not on. Not yet. It's on now. And your tethered. Okay. Sweet. Great. So that's PA dish all by itself. Swingin' this guy in. Right, see a world of difference. World of her. Okay, but when I worked for, beautiful let's compare these. Right, Right, so. Gonna give you a great catch light too. Can I get a half apple for myself? Yeah. Right. Give me like straight up good face. Chin down just a little bit. Yeah, good, just turn your shoulders a little bit. Yep that's great. Chin out just a little bit, yep, great. Lovely twinkle twinkle. Yes, good work. Alright, so lookin' cool, looking good. Really, sweet light, like this just won't let you down. You wanna make somebody, and your shootin' Dolly Parton or somethin and you wanna make her look like a million bucks, you know, that's what you gotta do. Dolly Parton has the best quote that I like to use. Like it cost a lot of money to look this cheap. You know, I love that quote. Right on, so what are we gonna build next. We're gonna add a little background light right. Cause' we're feeling like our background, we have this kinda high key, bright, kicking light. We want maybe to add a little bit more glow, and glamor from the background. So, Chris is comin' in with his background light. Any questions right now? I have a question. Yeah. Do you want modifier on this? Yeah, I want full grid on it, wide zoom reflector. Yeah. I gotta it comin right here Chris. Catch. Yes. Alright. I have a question. Yes. What if you don't have a leg stand? You don't have a floor stand. If you don't have a floor stand, you can, depends on how tight your shot is. You can do a regular stand, right. Just keep the shot tight, keep the stand hidden behind, right. I use a lot of these little floor stands right. I just do. I've never just throw my stand on the floor, Yeah. (laughter) but, I'm debating it. Yeah. Stands aren't, aren't that much. So could you just step out for one second, right? So we're gonna bring this right behind her. We're gonna point it at the wall. This is gonna be tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky. Just turn that down. And I don't really know where this is gonna be, so I'm gonna do a little bracket on it and see what works. We'll start at three. Ready, just read it on that back wall. Yep, you ready to test. Yeah I just need my camera, I keep misplacing my camera. Alright good. Do you wanna turn these off? So we just read the one. That would be a perfect world situation. Again, just trying to teach you good practices right, so, reading one light at a time is helpful, right. Ready? Yep. Four four. Okay let's go up two stops on that thing. I wanna over light my background a little bit. I wanna kinda take it, out of that gray world into a lighter, brighter, more fiery sort of gray, right. Eight five. Eight five, okay so that's a half stop over lit. We'll look at that. Come back in. Alright. Now we're gonna turn everything in, right where that X is. You good there? Yeah. Everything's on. Yes. Sweet, okay, great. Does that seem right behind her Chris? Yeah, looks to be. Okay beautiful, beautiful. Sweet, okay. So, we got some over lit action on the background, right. You with me there? Right, you see it's like over lit, it gradated. Now, we can think about that, one thing I don't like is they've been making the mistake here of storing the seam less's on the ground, right. So you see all that texture in the seamless, right? If you store your seamless vertically, you'll avoid some of that, right. Storing your seamless like on the ground will kinda emphasize that sort of stuff, right. But what could I do about that? I could definitely shoot it a little bit shallower depth of field. But I just wanna play with it and modify it a little bit. Let's first, let's just over light it so its white. So turn that up another stop and a half, right. So my background in this situation, we're at F eight and a half, we're over lighting a 1/2 stop. That's the difference between these two, right. When we look at it we see the color as it is. This is over lit a half stop. Now we're gonna over light it, try to get it to go to white. Just to see. And get rid of some of that texture and make it go white. What do ya got when I read it now. Let's see. Again. 16. Okay, great. F eight. Five six. Backgrounds now 16. That's F eight, eleven, sixteen, plus two on my background, minus one on my fill, you with me here, just how I'm throwin' it down right. Main light, minus one, plus two, right. Should be over lit. Boom, right. Almost white. Let's go up just a little bit more. Another half a stop. Yeah I think, just to make it white. Easiest situation would be to have a white seamless, right. You know what I mean? That would be the easiest situation, but here I'm just trying to get rid of that texture on it. Alright, great. So, that's looking better, looking different. Just show it without any, when we started with no background light, right. No background light, background light. I like that cooky expression, great work. Alright, cool. Now let's turn the background light to where it was where we started, do you remember what number that was? Yep. Yeah. Cool. And let's pan it down a little bit. Yeah. Cool. Right on. Perfect. Good work, good work. Alright, so this is gonna give you more of a grad in the background, right. And if I could go back to my keynote, right, let me just go back a couple. Where are you Mr. Kobe? Yes, okay, alright. So this sort of situation is what we're looking at right? What we're just trying to create that grad. But it's a little too broad where we are. Right. So Chris is just gonna throw a wide grid on it, to give it a different sort of glow. On the background? Yeah, throw a wide grid on it. And again it's like, I think many times when were working in the studio, it's like fishing, you know, we gotta just search for it and find it, like it's not going to be there all the time, like I think ya gotta wander around a little bit, and find out what's working. Do you want the longer lens? Sure, yeah, okay. I'll take care of that you put that right back there. Already there. Alright, great. So I don't really know, let's just turn these off for a minute. You can stay right where you are. And I'm just gonna, could you step out for a second. I'm just gonna turn on this model. Try to get a little glow from it. And one thing I wanna really check now, is that the sort of glow is perpendicular to her, right. So, it's not all egg shaped and sort of off it. So I'm trying to keep this at a perpendicular angle to her, here. Cool let's come back in. Is that right where your mark was? Cool. And why did Chris give me the longer lens? Let's just think about that for a second. Cause' I think that was a good call by him, because he's present for the shot. Right now I'm like getting a lot of paper in the shot. So he's trying to give me a longer lens, so that I'm only having to light an author, or smaller section of the shot. Making a little bit of eases, is that why you gave it to me Chris? That's why. That's why so. He's got his head in the game right, that's a good assistant, got his head in the game right. Alright, we're turning on these lights Chris. Alright. Test. Okay, alright, great. Alright, beautiful. Alright, cool. Great, so let's, Chris tilt that light down a little bit more. The background light? Yeah and come up a little bit with it. That's a half a stop. Okay, cool. And you tilted it down a bit? Just a touch. Came up a half? Mhmm. Alright. And just pan it a little bit over her left shoulder. To the right? Oh to the left. Yeah my left, yeah, perfect. You're at me, come at me, go D, go. Great. Yes, good work. Alright. So that's keepin a little bit more focus, a little bit more grad in changing it. Can we see it without the whole grid on the back there? Right. When it was just the big over lit one? That's the big over lit. Show it. Show it with no background light there too Chris. Sure, so there's over lit. No background light. Okay, cool. Alright so, you see we start to have options. That background light, it's finicky, it's tricky right. We wanna completely evenly light the background. Let's just talk about that for a minute. You can come out for just a second, alright. Right now I got the grid on there right, cause' I'm just trying to light a small area, dealin' with it that way. But if I wanna go like the whole thing, I'd be pulling this here. But I'd also be walkin' this light away, so it's gonna spread and fill that light better, right. So there's a couple things I'm gonna be doing. But classic clam shell, I think it's just, a diabolical, not even diabolical, that's not the right word. But, it's just classy sort of light. And it's like a great thing to have locked and loaded in your playbook, right.

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.