One Light Wonder

Lesson 10/21 - Softbox Set Up #3: Backlight


One Light Wonder


Lesson Info

Softbox Set Up #3: Backlight

I really like, um, backlight. There's something super epic about it. Right? Uh huh. I heard this guy I really love, Larry Clark, say you know, "Shoot into the light." You know, that's kind of the opposite what we're told to do. Like, the old boxes of Kodak film used to say to have the sun over your shoulder. And shooting into light's kind of the opposite. But I like what happens to light when we do that sort of stuff. So I'm gonna check that out now. Yeah, we want to flatten it out, so Let's bring it down more. Should I loosen this? Yep And just turn that? Yeah. And bring it straight down. Yup. Tight. Bring it down here. Actually, it's sagging. I got you. Yep. Alright, cool. So just bringing the light flat. We're gonna put Doug right in front of this light now. All right. So this would be a good challenge, right? One light, four ways, you know? Like, I think that's like a great challenge. Um, or just to find four different ways to make one light work? You know? This is a ch...

allenging light to work with, too, because it's so big and soft, right? It's gonna all come out of it in one particular way. But, that light could go a little bit higher. Come back up, sir. Okay. You two, could you grab those two cards? Bring 'em over. We're gonna walk them into the front of the set. Chris, could you turn that light on, please? It's on Turn the model light on? Alright. Just gonna get this thing out of here. Oh boy, it's like a mosh pit! Right on. Are we doing white or black? White's perfect. Great, thanks. I got that. Alright. You do this ever? You do this in your studio? Shoot into the soft box? Yeah? I love it. Oh I love it! And you got a good bean, a good profile, a good head to shoot some dark silhouettes, right? Okay. Right on. So it's the same sort of thing. We're gonna put him in a box. This time we're lighting him from the back. Right? Chris is gonna, We've got like a little bit of a V-shape going in there. Chris is gonna give me a meter rating. I'm gonna guess. (audience laughs) Um, I dunno. (Laughs) I'm gonna guess eleven. But I don't know if that's even close. Eleven. (Laughs loudly) I'm just guessing! Alright, is that really true? Eleven even? Eleven one. Alright, wow. You were close. Uh huh. Alright, sweet. Yeah, chin down a little bit? Great. [Camera Shutter Snapping] Sweet. It's a little hot, eh? Is it looking right on your computer? Come down a little bit? You wanna come down? Yeah come a little bit forward for me? Chin down a little bit? [Camera Shutter Snaps] Great. Sweet. Yeah, give it some contrast. Give a like, I like it when you're closer to the light, actually. Right on. Great. Um, yeah. Just working on your body. Yes, like this. Actually, yes, this is great. Uh huh, I'm feeling this. Uh huh, great. [Camera Shutter Snapping] Great! Good work. Serious, stern. [Camera Shutter Snapping] Warm and happy, twinkle in them eyes. Little bit less happy. Turn the volume down on that. There we go, great. Alright, beautiful. Alright, so lets see those three shots next to one another. You can come out. Right? Alright, so this is like you've got a blow-out avadon sort of knock-out white. Have you done this one before? You've shot through the back of the light this way? Right on, let's see our third light. Right. Yeah. Right on. So we're getting, you know. Knock-out white, over-lit white. I really like it when all this light kind of wraps around his face. Returns on his face. Kind of does that flair-y cool look on him, which is beautiful. Also, we can get some pretty sick just profiles and sort of strong silhouettes. If you could come out, we'll just take these cards out for a second. Yeah, and let me just see you come over here. Yeah, scratching. Thinking some deep thoughts. Uh huh. Yeah, okay, cool. Alright. So this is, I'll just show you a picture of Jay Z and Kanye from the Oval Office that I shot. Wasn't much different than this sort of setup, you know? Just a back-lit window. Um, yes. Chin down, and you're thinking deep thoughts. (Camera Beeping) Yeah, I'm gonna stop this down a little bit, to f18. We'll see how it looks. Right on, a little bit too much. Give me that small card, Chris? Right? Give me your thoughtful like head just a little bit lower? Yeah? Great. (camera beeps, snaps) Great, okay. We just want the white side right about here, Chris. Great, man. (Camera snaps) Great. Right on. And back it off a little bit more? The Jay Z in the oval office, Yeah. You had the flash outside the windows, Yes. And did you have another flash to compensate? Just a little bit of fill coming in the front here. But it could have very easily just been a white card, right? Okay, and the second question Yeah? Was that photo black and white because the temperature was messed up between the daylight and the flash? No it was all electronic flash. Ah. That was built in a studio. Right? So there's no daylight in there. Um. Yeah, and funny thing you're saying, is like, daylight and electronic flash? Same color temperature. Right? They're similar. They're both gonna be on the bluer side of color temperature. Not like tungsten, right? But they're all electronic flash, you know? But just, just stay with me there for a second. Yeah, we're just noodling with the profile. Actually, look up? Right. I'm gonna lose that card right now. Right on. (camera beeping) (shutter snaps) Alright, cool. So I like the straight-up, just hard profile. Just as an option. Like maybe, looks like Picasso or something, right? Like somebody might be that recognizable. You can have a seat for a second. Um, we should actually just photograph it with the cards in. So stay there, yep. You want me back? Okay. Can we get those cards back, ladies? Card back? Great. Yeah, just get our available light setting here. Yep. Groovy. And just walk that in a little bit, Dee. Yeah, you're in the hot seat there, working so close to, uh, the front row. Uh huh, yeah. Okay, great. And just walk that white board in just a little bit? Thanks, Douglass! Thanks, Douglass! Alright, good good good. Oof. [Camera Clicks] How we looking there? Great. See, this is an example where you don't 100% see what's going on. Right? You don't 100% get it? So I'm just gonna go to available light. Turn off my wizard. Shoot it. Kind of more helpful to see what's going on there. You guys see what I'm saying? Just compare those two? Right? This one is when the strobe was firing by itself which is kind of, I don't see the full set and know what's going on. Here's an available light setup, so.

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.