Live Shoot: Side Lit Client Portrait
Let's see, let me see if I wanna change this thing up. Let's do this, you can keep the reflector for a second but here's what I'm gonna do. I'm actually gonna have this and again, I don't know if this is gonna work, you guys are learning at the same time as me. But I'll do this often in my studio where I get a look and I'm pretty happy with the way it's coming out but I want to try something different. Again, because I know that this is the only light affecting the exposure. I like the front lit look but I'm curious to see what would it look like if I kind of have this at a 35 degree angle and light her that way. So maybe I'll have it here. And we're gonna test this thing out and see how it looks. So, gonna keep doin' the same thing, I'm at F9, 160th of a second, ISO 100. Very nice, take another one. Perfect and one more. Perfect, all right. So take these three, we'll go back to the computer real quick and evaluate. Every single time I changed my lighting set up, I do this. I'll take t...
he shot, I'll walk over to my computer, I will look at it to see how's it coming out, is the exposure looking good? You see you get a different quality of shadows, catchlight will look a little different. Sometimes, and this is one of the big reasons why I tell people to try different lights because if you have her lit this way and you like the way this looks, and you go home and you're like, I want to try what Miguel just did. And you put the lights in the same way, it could be that the picture doesn't look good, like it might come out terrible. So you have to be able to experiment and play around with moving the lights from side to side and try to find an exposure that looks good for you. So in this case, I kind of like the way that this side light looks for her cause it really kind of narrows the face, it's really flattering. I'm gonna change my lens so that I'm not doing what I typically do all the time and shooting with one lens the whole time cause I'm comfortable. So I'm gonna force myself, because I'm on Creative Live and I wanna give you guys maximum shooting value. So I'm gonna shoot with 90 Macro, the one that almost cuts people when you pull it out of the bag. So the Sony 90 millimeter 2.8 Macro and I want to show you guys the difference between shooting with a lens like a compared to shooting with a Macro. So of course, I'm at 90 mill, compared to 55. At 55, I could be here and I could get that longer shot. If I'm here with a 90, same spot, here's what it looks like, which isn't bad but if I wanna go with a, like a similar type of framing, I have to back up. But let's zoom into this really quickly so I can show you guys. This is at 200%. See if I can get to 100 here. This is at 100% zoom. And so this is a scenario where you have to ask yourself, do you want to capture that much detail? Because you gotta handle all that in Photoshop afterwards but yeah, so I'm actually gonna back up but I'm gonna try to frame this shot the same way that I did before. But using this 90 millimeter Macro. Again the settings are exactly the same. And I kind of like this setup for one particular reason which is that you have the light modifier in the frame, which you might be looking at and saying dang, Miguel is such as newb. He's got his light modifier in the image. And once again, I will tell you, there's a program, it's really cool, it gets rid of stuff. And I'm gonna show you how to do that when we get to that particular part. Very nice. Excellent. So we take these shots, I really love that. Let's actually take the silver reflector and kind of fill in from the other side. So often times, I'll try to mix things up, I see how it looks and I actually love shadows. People ask me all the time, they'll say Miguel, what about the shadows in the image, it's a little bit too dark. I love shadow cause shadow adds that dimensionality, it adds drama, it adds mood. I can lighten shadows. So for example, in Capture One, if I say well, the shadows are a bit much, because of the dynamic range, I can go ahead and lift the shadows. So it actually, I mean I can go way crazy. I mean it looks horrible if I do it that way but a slight bump in the Shadow slider and you can actually bring out detail. But we have John and he's got a reflector and so we're gonna fill in some shadows here. Very nice. This looks really, really great, you're doing a great job, nice. There we go, perfect. And I want you to mirror me for a shot real quick. I want to do one of those, yeah just like that. I want you to keep vibe-ing off of that so do one like that and turn to the side, keep mixing it up, just like that. That's beautiful, hold that. Excellent, there we go, perfect. And again, because I have the electronic viewfinder, I get a two second preview in my eye piece that's showing me what the picture looks like so I don't really have to guess, I don't have to chimp. I can see that these images are coming out exactly the way that I want them to look, it's awesome. Beautiful, hold that. Actually I'm gonna cut in close for one. Looks great. Excellent. Very good, tilt the head this way, there you go. Very nice. And then change the hand, kind of wiggle it, yeah there you go, awesome, very nice. Anytime you're posing somebody and if their hands are static for awhile, they get like, a dead hand. So their face is looking great but their hand is like, ehhh cause you know, you gotta move it around, shake it out, go ahead and keep shooting. So while these shots are coming through, any questions from the studio audience? On lighting, posing, any of this stuff. Does this make sense? Are you guys feeling like, you can go home and you could do exactly what I'm showing you right now without having to fight too much? Cause if not, there's a question, I need to know it. (laughs)
I just had a question about the Phottix light that you're using, what circumstances, environment, would you be using the higher powered light over the lower powered light? Do you really need both?
Yes, very good question. So, you have a 360 watt head and a 500 watt head. For me, anytime that I'm trying to shoot at a higher aperture, let's say if I'm shooting at F16, chances are I'm gonna want to 500 watt Phottix head because what's gonna happen is, at 360 watts, it's possible for me to shoot at F but I'm gonna have to have it at a higher power, which means that the refresh rate is gonna be a lot lower. So I'm already a slow shooter as it is, like I take my time, you don't see like, 50 million pulses coming out per second. But if you were shooting at a high aperture and then you try shooting quick, the flash won't keep up with you. 500 watts you're able to shoot at a normal pace and the flash will keep up with you the whole way through. So for me, if I'm shooting outdoors, 360 watts is plenty, especially when you have high speed sync and TTL, it is enough to overpower and light pretty much any scenario that you'll run into. And I particularly like that light because the battery pack that comes with it, it's super lightweight. Like it's, I guess I should probably pull it out of the bag, maybe I'll do it for the next segment but the battery is very, very small, very compact so that would tell me which one of the two lights I would bring out with me. For all intents and purposes, for studio stuff, I tend to stick to the cause I'd rather have, like once I put that up there, I really don't want to have to take that down and change the light so yeah, good question.
I had a question that had come in from Chris who says, do you ever use just continuous lighting like a Rotolight, is there something, a reason why you choose to use the strobes verses just continuous light?
Yeah that's a good question. So I do have continuous LED lighting. I have on occasion shot with those lights. They do have their place however, for my style of photography, I can tell you that there's a couple of things. So in order for you to have a light that would allow you to shoot at F16, F11, those LED lights have to be very bright, like very, very bright and so you'll run into an issue where you are photographing someone and if you don't believe me, stand in front of one of these lights one day and they are super bright. So you're gonna have someone that is standing in front of this light, that they can't see you, they're literally just being blinded by very powerful, very strong LED lights. So in order to get this style of lighting, you need to have a pretty big LED panel. Like the ones that we have lighting us in the studio, Kino Flo's, they are like big LED light banks that are able to light someone perfectly. But if you have to stare into those for periods of time, you're gonna be hurting. And so I tend not to want to subject my people to that torture. So using strobe lights is great because it does have a really strong pulse of light but it's every so often, as opposed to them just staring at the sun basically for you know, hours at a time. Using something like the Rotolight, I have the Rotolight Neo and the light itself, it's like this big and it's all LED's, it's by color so it changes temperature. So it's a great light but my big thing is I need big light sources with soft modifiers and you can't add modifiers to most of these LED lights. So do I use it? Yes. Can you do what I'm showing you with those types of lights? Not optimally but I guess you could get something semi-similar but you won't get it at F16 with an LED that's that small, you need mega lights, like a Kino Flo or ...
Builds the expense too.
Yeah, they're expensive. They're very expensive, I mean a head lik this is gonna be $800 to $1200. If you were to get just one LED bank, like a Kino Flo, that is able to do what this does, you're gonna be spending like, three, four, five, six thousand so it's a lot more money. And it's a lot more uncomfortable for the subject. The good thing is, in that scenario again, what you see is what you get. So you can move the lights so you can see how the lights are affecting the shadows and the highlights on the image. So there are advantages to it but yeah, I would pick this 10 times out of unless I'm shooting in a scenario where I can't bring this with me. Then I'll bring an LED panel and go with that.