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Demo: Accents & Filler Light

Lesson 30 from: Powerful Portraits using Body Language and Lighting

Stacy Pearsall

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Lesson Info

30. Demo: Accents & Filler Light

Next Lesson: Tailer Your Light


Lesson Info

Demo: Accents & Filler Light

Alright I'm gonna go fishing. (students laugh) You've got glasses, this will be fun. Alrighty. I'm going to move this over here. Have a seat right there. Should we do our introductions again. Stacy. Nice to meet you, Angela. Did you say Angela? Mm-mmm Okay, it was very quiet. Sorry. (students laugh) Be you. Okay, I'm fine. Okay cool. Alright everybody so we're going to go through some demos about accent lights. First of all let's start from the very beginning. Tenor and tone. You've spent the last day and nearly a half with Ms. Angela Blair. (students laugh) You had to be there a few segments ago. Um.. So.. Where do we start? high key or low key? high key high key, why? oh can we get the mic for you. High key High key Why? 'Cause she's nice (laughs). Okay, so she has a bubbly personality? Um.. Oh she said no.. Mm.. (laughs) What is bubbly? Bubbly? Uh-huh Like somebody who's high energy. I didn't get that vibe from you But.. No. Okay. (student...

s mumble) What's that? Not high energy Not high energy. So is she a positive low? Yeah. I think you're a positive low as well. Okay. So, maybe will do a modified high key. Okay. Cool. And how about harder soft light? (students mumble) Soft. Everybody, that seems relatively unanimous except for on the back. He's like put it hard on hers. (students laugh) Payback's a bitch. Okay so we're gonna go soft light. Um. Right. So. High key is defined by having a lower ratio between light and shadow. With that, we're going to illuminate the backdrop but we'll also have the main light falling light falling back as well. If we're going with soft light, I also need another volunteer but when I get there, we'll work that out. Let's talk about.. How you doing? (mumbles) Okay. Yeah I'm fine Alright. When we're talking about the classics or the fundamentals or foundation of the light based on Angela's personality Where should we go? Do we want front, shore, broad? I'm thinking front (audience mumbles) Look at the cheekbones and when I get her to smile when I'm talking to her cause I've seen it happen. Those cheekbones just go boom! Right? Um, and, I would also say, what do you think about, should it be something from underneath maybe, or do we want to do a hair light? I think if we do something from underneath, we are going to lose this glorious jawline. And I can demonstrate that to you and how that would happen. But I definitely think we want to own this hard earned lovely grace. So I would probably put it, did you just smile? No you didn't. I would probably put the hair light on that. Should we try it? Okay. Let me get my backlight situated. And.. Remember this morning, I did the example of holding up the handheld light. And as I held it closer to the paper, the pool of light was more intense. If I back it out, it spreads out more everybody see that? So if I wanna have a nice even illumination on that background, I'll back it away a little bit. What I'm going to do is I'm going to angle it behind her, so that actually hits well relatively between her shoulder blades would be. And then, I'm going to mirror that with another light. Ooh God, that was really heavy its got a sandbag on it. I have a hyena. That was hernia. You guys aren't in the mood to laugh apparently. (students laugh) Tough crowd. Okay. As you can see, I'm putting it in line with the other light. And, you can see as I bring it back, now it's creating a nice even cool light behind her. Making sense? What would happen though is that I don't want to bring it around this way, cause now it's spilling. Remember I said spilling? No no no no no no no no no no no. I'm gonna bring it back. And I'd say a good 45 degree angle. Something like that. Okay. Do you see what's happening here? The light is bouncing off the light and coming back and spilling on to her neck as gauche. This will happen. All you can do is get distance between her and that light. You can also flag it a little bit. But still gonna fall for between the 2 flags. Oh. What are flags? Thanks. Good question. (students laugh) Flags are basically anything that you can put between the light source and the camera. And this allows the stoppage of those light rays bouncing off anything and moving forward. If you have the light moving directly toward your subject, like a rim light, or a hair light, and you find that you're getting those little circles, those mechanical flares or optical flares on your pictures. A flag will prevent that from happening. Cool? That's a flag. Boop. Alright. Let's do some paramount lighting. You want me to do that? No. Oh okay. No. (students laugh) Just a suggestion. Okay. Paramount. Where should I position the light? Front? Good. Okay. And, right now the shadow is falling just under her nose. If I were to raise it up, it's gonna increase that shadow distance. But, look at the cheekbones as well. So I'm gonna come back down. That's a good cosmetic commercial light right there. Even glowing. But again, I'm thinking 2 steps ahead. Because I've already had interactions with her, and I love her little leakages of smiles I know when you're at your kitchen at home. Like, dancing around and singing. Oh. Don't lie to me with those eyes. They're dancing around and singing and being a total jolly. I'm going to situate it so that I have those cheekbones accented. See that? But I'm also being very aware not to cast unnecessary shadows on her eyes. I don't want her to look like a villain. I wanna just amplify her assets. Now, things about glasses and, this is key, some glasses don't have the coating that helps prevent glare. Yeah it's like an anti (mumbles) works all that well. When it comes to glass, oh yours have the anti-glare, well it's not very special. Okay, but anyway. If you do it, if you adjust that light a little bit higher, you can remove that specular. Light angles back at the angle in which it hits. Wow, what does that even mean gosh, I don't know if I've sounded right. If the light is angled here and it hits the glass, boom, its going to go in the same angle in which it hit. So if the light is low, boom boom, it's gonna come right back at you. That's why you end up with glass flare. If somebody has glasses and the light is coming this way boom boom, it's gonna come right back. If you angle it this way, boom, it's gonna go at that same angle and move away. Just raise it up. Just as gauche. Or you could say, can you just bring your chin down just a little bit, then your changing the angle of the glass itself. Making sense? (students answer) Yay! Okay good. Can we turn the capture on please? Right now, I am going to concentrate on just, I'm getting myself tangled. I can um, going to layer light and, I'm going to just concentrate on the foundation of this, which is the main light. (shutter clicks) We're not tryna get that up on the board here in a second? (teacher laughs) Where are you from? Costa Rica Oh my gosh. I love it there. And I got to see a sloth in the wild and about peed my pants (students laugh) (shutter clicks) And then I was like, if I like, i was 300 feet in the air, and like oh mah gah it's a sloth! Oh my god. Like, I almost cried. Stupid. The thing is that, this is like in the middle. So I don't never do this. It's kind of like. But sometimes I think I'm seeing like, you through this. It's okay. (students laugh) I'm gonna. I'm gonna make it work. I know. I'm sure. And I lost you. (shutter clicks) (students laugh) Okay. So I think I'm comfortable with the position of this light. When I'm establishing the mood of the lighting and personality of the lighting for an individual. I'm gonna know it instantaneously if it feels right or not. If it's not, I'm gonna move on and try something new. I'm not gonna make mention of it to my subject or whatsoever I'm not gonna say, um this does not really look good on you I'm just gonna pop this right here, oh shoot that doesn't look very good, let me.. Because the one thing you never wanna do is, you may think it's probably not so flattering when you try it. Don't say that to them! You'll instantly change their body language. Oh god, I thought that was gonna look good on your cheeks but it really doesn't. Wow. Thanks for the confident boost, that's nice. What I would say is, um you know what? I'm actually going to try this for a second. Just give me 2 seconds. And I would just keep moving through it. In the previous segment, I talked about explaining what we're doing. Cause you also don't want to leave them in the dark. If you're having a thoughtful conversation, don't interrupt that conversation to give them a play by play of what exactly you're doing technically. However, if you're looking like you're adhering head lights, and there is no conversation, and you're just sealing there, in your own world fidgeting with your stuff, that's gonna leave an awkward silence. I know I left silence yesterday in a segment, that's the comfortable silence where I'm waiting for a communication to happen nonverbally. Just leaving your subject hanging, as I just did, not comfortable or whatsoever. Okay. So I've established that I want high key in the back, I've got paramount lighting going here. And now, I may actually put a hair light on. Let me see if I can get this going. I might switch.. Okay. (mumbles) What I'm doing now is I'm getting a light stick. No, I'm just kidding. Hair lights go behind the subject, correct? And they're going to go up and they're gonna angle down. What do I wanna do here. It's a process. Okay. So you're from Costa Rica. And what part? San Jose. Where? San Jose. Ohh. (model mumbles) I wanna say that I was in Punta Cana, that even sounds right. (model mumbles) It's what? It's not in Cost Rica. Ohh. But I wasn't from Cana. It was um, Punta something. It was on the West Coast. I had brain trauma. I blame everything on it. I did love it though. And I did see a sloth. And how long have you been living in Seattle? 2 years and a half. Oh. So quite a while. And what do you do here? Um.. Please tell me you read sloth too. Was it for you? Maybe no? No. I'm only kidding. What? Ohh. Many things. Um. I teach Spanish. Okay And um, I have twins. You have twins? How old are they? 14 years old They're 14? Yeah. Wow. Are they girls? Boy and girl. Oh that's a jinx so that's called a fraternal twin, right? Exactly. Okay. Are they anything like each other? No. Completely different. Completely different? Yeah. Who's like you? Um I don't know. They both have a little bit of me and my husband. But.. Maybe she looks like me. Okay But he is more like me. He's more like you but she looks like you. Yeah. I see. Can everybody see what happened there? Watch. (students mumble) So I'm just gonna use that flag to direct the light where I want it to go, and where I don't want it to go. You want me here or should I Just look a little straight forward for me Oh, no. Back toward the audience. There you go. I wish I spoke any other language fluently. But leave it to me I don't only know bad words. (students laugh) Those are the first ones you're hearing, I think? They had to be. Yeah. And where the bathroom is. Yes. Yup. Or how to ask for the bill at the restaurant. How to ask for meal? No. For the bill. Oh for the bill. That's right. Oh. I would go wanna know how to ask for the meal, over the bill I think. Well I teach my husband how to ask for the bill in French. For example. (shutter clicks) So you speak French as well? I used to. I can understand and I read. Yeah. Is, um, French and Spanish pretty close? Yes. Yes, they are. Uh, beautiful (speaks in foreign language) (students laugh) Yes, that's the word. (shutter clicks) Oh at least I got one word down. Okay. So your body language right now is saying really quite relaxed. But you got your head down so you're guarding your neck quite a bit which means that you're a little bit cautious. That hair light is spilling on her hair, you see that nice? And we're using that flag to prevent any excess light moving forward falling on her, say forehead or the tip of her nose. If you follow the angle of light, that's where it will go. What's happening very beautifully however, is she has a beautiful neckline too. And even though she is hiding it from me, ever so quietly. And shot you, do you? It's making that beautiful line. Everybody see it? So, I can flag that out. But, I actually like that line. I think it's really pretty. Elegant. Like you. I think you're sophisticated. And what are your children's names? Thomas and Camilla You said Camilla, looks like, did I say that right? Camilla. Camilla? She looks like you. Yes, somehow. It's weird. Cause she has, she has his dad's hair, but she looks like me. And my boy, he has my hair, and looks like me too. But, it's complicated. (students laugh) What do you think about the light? Yeah. It's good. Is the light right for her? Yes. Not dull. 'kay. I'm thinking we want me to lighten the shadow on the neck just a little bit. And then, when I do that, with the help of another student You're her seat partner. Come on up and give her a little bit of splash of fill. How about that? Ola. Light will hit this at the same angle and travel back that same angle. Remember the idea how light reflects on glasses? Same goes with any reflector. So you're gonna come on over to this side. Because the hair light is coming down this way. If I want to catch any of that, I'm gonna want it keep it in that thing. You don't have to hold it, you can keep your hands free. That's what's your friend is here for. Can everybody see well enough? You're gonna come closer. You see it on the neck right there? We're just gonna fill that in a little bit. Drop this down, come back up. Drop it down, come back up. What I don't want is crazy shadow. I don't want to create a shadow. So you just gonna elevate that a little bit until where you kind of put that shadow. Hold it tight. Good. Okay. So I'm gonna come around front. And when I get in position I realize she's blocking the heck out of my shot (laughs) Well it's not just gonna.. This is perfect! (laughs) you're just gonna lower the whole up or outside down Right there. I'm going to actually shoot directly over this reflector. I wanna keep this as close to my subject as possible. Okay. What is it about Thomas that you think his personality is like yours? Um, his, how do you say that. He forgets things pretty usual in usual basis, regular basis Uh, how do you say that, forgetful, maybe? I talked about the 10 frame methodology capturing moments. We could choose of emotion. All of those in previous segments. This is where it comes into play. Analyzing somebody based of the body language. Engaging them in conversation. Being mindful of what, you can relax for a second, work those arms up. Evaluating what we could use of emotion happen with certain topics and calling upon those topics to have that emotion come through. And being mindful that when you're cueing these topics, those thing are gonna happen and you capture those 10 frames of emotion. So you saw how this works. Getting to know them. Talking. Being observant. Mindful of those leakages of emotion that are happening during conversation. Knowing that that's what you're gonna cue on when you're in the hot seat, for instance. And then allowing these things to transpire. Being attentive enough to capture those moments. And I would keep going all day. But I think we should try another one. Okay. Get up and give me a hug. You are absolutely stunning and amazing. Thank you. And I would love to be one of your twins. (laughs) And you are awesome. Thank you for gripping. Now you can add grip to your resume.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

The Foundations of Light (PDF)
The Accents of Light (PDF)

Ratings and Reviews

Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience and absolutely loved this class! First of all, Stacy is very funny and is really good at explaining and showing examples of the body language. I loved learning about how to read people faces and body to know more about them. And recommended the class to my husband who is a therapist for this reason. The other part of the class was so awakening, I never really thought about how having the wrong lighting for someone's personality would bring something off on the picture. Once again, Stacy was amazing at explaining why this lighting would work with one person and not another by showing us examples. If you want to bring your subject personality into life on photos, I highly recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

This class is amazing! Stacy is an awesome person and listening to her teach and review the class concepts was so easy and fun and entertaining! It is jam packed with information on how to connect with talent and clients. Plus you get to see Stacy in action with subjects in the Demo and Shoot videos. I highly recommend this class! I learned so much and feel so much more comfortable and confident working with a variety of people now.

Jovi Jhash

wow, what an amazing class to learn from. you covered all from body language to storytelling and to reveal almost the true souls of the subjects through portraits. Amazing work and thank you so much, Stacy and creative live team. Stay blessed

Student Work