Softbox Set Up #4: Backlit Silhouette


One Light Wonder


Lesson Info

Softbox Set Up #4: Backlit Silhouette

Alright, softbox four ways, right? We're gonna move into the sort of modeled, sort of sidelight. Let's pull this card out. Thanks. Alright. So. Yeah, let's just tilt this. What's going on here? It's kind of a little (mumbles). Could you just flatten it out a little bit on that like? I kinda want it to come from this side. Yep. So I want this to actually, let it all fall down, yeah. Square it off, yeah. Just bring this around a little bit more from the side. Would it be better for you if this came on this side of the set? Yeah? Okay. Bring it over to this side of the set for the cameras, Chris. And our online audience. Alright. Want me to flatten it out? I want you to bring it a little bit more 45, Chris. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Lower it. Yeah. Would you mind just changing that cord to the other side of the room, please? Thanks so much. (footsteps) I think we're gonna go with black card. Now the cord comes to the other side of the room. Yep. See it plugged in behind. Sorry about t...

hat. (laughs) Sorry about that. Yeah, I want that cord unplugged, so it doesn't run through my set. Right on, it's alright, yeah. Okay. Right on, right on, right on. No no, yeah, it's cool. Can I just run a question while we're sorta settin' up over here? Can you talk to us, talk to us a little bit about your approach for catch lights and how you like catch lights to work? Yeah, I don't really have a formula for like, a lot of photographers have a way they light. It's the way, some of the most successful photographers in the world have a very particular, uniform way that they light everything. You know? I don't really roll that way. To me, it's like, it's about what's doing right for whoever I'm photographing, so it's kind of more of tailored fit than, so I'm not attached to there being no catch lights, you know? With there not being catch lights in some shots. Other shots I like catch lights. So I don't really have a one answer for that kind of thing. You know? I don't like it when there's two catch lights sometimes. I think that looks a little bit weird. But I could probably show you an example where that's, where I've done that and it works, so I don't know, I don't really have a box that I stick all my stuff into there. Alright, so, let's just bring this one on this side of the set. Right here, yeah. We're gonna use this light as a little bit of a flag, taking off a little bit of light from that background. Right? We're gonna use this one. Just bring it up on the white side. You're gonna come back, yes. Thank you, Doug, right on, alright. So we're workin' this one light four different ways. Yep, just walk it off for a second. Yeah, way off. Yep, perfect. Turn into that guy. Great, right on. Shoulders maybe a little bit more square to me. Beautiful, I like. Kinda bring your hands behind your back. Yeah, yes, this is awesome. This looks good. Chris, I think that light could come a little bit lower. Yeah? Yeah. Great, let's walk him a little bit, you can walk a little bit closer to the light, Doug. Great, I like that, right on. Killin' it with the modeling. Let's give it up for Doug. (clapping) Yeah, alright, let's get a reading on there. Thank you. 16-9. Alright, I'm gonna come, I'm gonna live with that. 22? Mmm-hmmm. Just read it once again. I think I just turned it down a little bit. Sure. Sorry about that. It's okay, you ready? Go. Yeah 11-7. Okay. That's about a 14, beautiful. Give me that look you were just giving it to me. Yeah, that's great, okay. Step a little bit forward to me. Yeah, great. (camera beeps) There is a rule and it's not really like it's a little bit hot, huh Chris? There you go. Yeah, okay. There's a rule but it's not a total rule, that your light source should be as big as your subject, right, so it's not a hard and fast rule. But if we're shooting a full length portrait, something like this is gonna get you there a lot quicker than a smaller light source or an umbrella. You know, if you're shooting a car, you'd use one of these the size of a car, but you know, your light source being as big as your subject. I'm gonna shoot this a little bit darker. (camera beeps) Great, okay. Alright, beautiful. Let's bring in a black card on the other side. (footsteps) Now we're gonna want a little bit more shape and drama to it, right? Yeah, cool. And Chris let's just walk this a little bit back. Sure. The light? That light, yeah. Yep, great. Cool and you can step a little bit closer towards it. Sweet, alright. And let's bring that black card really close to him. This one? Oh, he's got that. Great, sweet, might be in my shot there a little bit, come out. And generally like, when my lights are just creeping in the edge of my shot, I'm kinda happy with that. You know what I mean? That's kinda where I like my lights. Not saying it's right for everything, but it just tends to be where I see the greatest character out of the lights. Right, see when it's clipping in there, it's creeping in there? Right, I'm gonna come down a little bit more. And Chris, I want you to probably bring this down a little bit in exposure. Right on, beautiful. Okay, cool, you can come back. We'll just look at this fourth, actually one available light set. Available light set. Yep, rocking it. Alright, alright, so let's see those four shots. We can wrap this up. They'll be five actually. A little bonus. Yeah, they'll be a bonus. Alright. It is hard seeing yourself like that, right? Yeah, I did, I did. (laughter) I'm glad it's not me up there right now, you know? Okay, cool, can you make them a little bit? Or that's the size they're gonna be, huh? Mmm-hmmm. Right on. Overhead, texture, and also just take a look at how the backgrounds changing shot to shot. You know, you're kinda getting a black background, you're getting, you know, three different, four different backgrounds, happening here, only using one roll of gray seamus so options are possible. You know and you know, one light workshop, it's like, it's great to see just how one light can do a lot of different things. You know, taking the modifier off, it's gonna do a whole different set of things. So within every lighting modifier, depending on how close it is, how far away it is, the direction of it, how we're using the reflective and subtractive lighting, the black cards, the white cards, gonna give us different moods, different feelings. And a different arsenal, and I think, that's the biggest thing I want to underline in my teaching here, is that, you know, we have form, which is all this stuff, all this matter, all this tools, these cameras and stuff, form and content. Right? So form is like that softbox and it's an electronic flash. And then content is like, what do I wanna say, ya know? About my friend, Douglas, right? You know, like how do I want him perceived, what are my ideas? So you're formal decisions, the stuff we use, supports the ideas we have in our pictures, you know they just go together, like two circles, right? Like the Venn diagram, ya know? And in the middle is like where you exist, so I think that's what I got. Are there any questions online or? Yeah, we sure do. So one question I'd like to just start with, a lot of folks out there, Clay, are using continuous lights, so can you give just a little bit of advice, jumping from a continuous light to a strobe? Yeah, there's nothing wrong with continuous lights. I think they can teach us a ton about photography, they're just not gonna give us sometimes the best quality image that we're able to get a lower ISO and stuff with strobe, so I don't know what advice I would give, ya know, but like, I would try to investigate the same things we are. The bigger the light, the softer the light, you know? So that could be even bouncing, if you don't have one of these cards, maybe you're bouncing a light off a wall or something, right? The smaller the light, the harder the light, experiment with distances in light. Just try to understand how light moves and behaves. How it falls off, how it can light a space or not light a space, ya know? That would be, you know, a bit of advice I would give somebody with continuous light.

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.