Studio Lighting

Lesson 6 of 18

First Shooting Session on White Seamless

 

Studio Lighting

Lesson 6 of 18

First Shooting Session on White Seamless

 

Lesson Info

First Shooting Session on White Seamless

uh we're ready to shoot all right we have heather our model our first model today uh getting ready we have brandy our hair and makeup artist on set waken bring that monitor down just a smidgen but just light ambient there we go the horn's kind of hit it I'm in my studio now where my where my looking where here here I am I'm in my studio mode now so clients coming in the door the studio is clean the fridge is packed with all different sorts of sodas diet it's and regulars way have snacks out we've got some music playing we have the lights where we want it we have some some of the lights and soft boxes set up ready to go so when the client walks in the door they are greeted I am in the service industry that is how I see my job um I am here to serve my clients if they're walking in the door and they're a little bit nervous about a photo shoot I want that environment to be inviting um I want them to walk in and feel comfortable as soon as they're in the door there offered if they need any ...

help with their stuff can we get stuff from the car from you um can we help you with your bags were doorman basically uh drinks are offered can I get you a water or a soda diet something or another um and wei have a place for them to come and sit down and we're just going to have a chat you know and just talk and get to know each other uh in my head I'm nervous I'm kind of like I've been pacing for an hour I'm trying to think ok what am I going to do today what am I going to shoot sometimes I have it all planned out and then the other nine out of ten times I don't I'm just sometimes winging it um and I fall back on what I know all right so we've got our white seamless set up heather let's have you come on in I have a little drop cloth set up here uh just have you kind of wipe your feet there and let me just have you step on in here and what's gonna happen is you're going to step in there on that's about perfect right there um I've got some technical stuff I got to do I gotta get my light set and I got to get my exposure and all that um so just kind of hang out these aren't important pictures and once we're like okay now we're going um I'll let you know all right it's kind of hang out er you look great that's awesome so I let my client know where I need them to be where I need them to be standing I talk through my process listen I gotta get my light said I got to get exposure found I've gotto find where my light needs to be on and on and on so they know what to expect they know okay I need to be standing here um we're working with heather who's a model so you're kind of used to being in front of a camera rights not your first time would you say your second time all right so new emerging model so you're not like I've done this a million times right so kind of new to the industry and all of that all right so I have to be good with my direction all right now I could be freaking out in my head about okay what am I going to do what am I going to do what I'm gonna do um I can't never let him see you sweat right and don't let him smell you sweat either they should put that in there so I have to go ahead and get ready now we're starting with the fifty inch soft box flying up on a roller stand with a boom um just cuts why the fifteenth soft bucks it's a nice light source um I am going to have it flying out just straight over top of her it's going to be this kind of frontal light coming down one thing I'm going to be looking for is dropping a shadow under the chin I always want to drop a shadow under the chin as we're shooting more and more and more I'll be talking mohr specifically about light placement um specifically what I'm looking for I'm not going to get too heavy into that now because what I want us to concentrate is just right now finding good exposures were not going to worry about light placement so much we're not going to be talking about four hundred billion modifiers that we could have upped their way just want to start simp opal I start every photo shoot like this it's typically that fifty inch soft box we call it big momma don't call bien hmm say I want big moment because somebody else will get on the phone from the back office right so but uh we fly big mama up on a boom right over top it's the same kind of thing I just I start every photo shoot their photo shoots or are an organic process way we've got to get heather kind of into the shooting I've got to get into it gotta get it in your head right so if I walk into some lighting scheme I've never tried before where's my head going into my technical I'm not talking now I need to be talking now in a classroom environment it's like talk talk talk talk talk talk talk talk it's a little bit weird tomorrow's shooting I'm going to kind of be putting you guys in the internet a little further out of my head and be concentrating here more all right but now we're just trying to lay fundamental foundational stuff down and that's exposure all right all I'm worried about is aperture we're going to start without a flash meter and we're just going to figure it out from here so uh you're standing in a good position would come forward just a little bit more and I'm going to set up on eos let me set this up real quick e os utility I'm gonna bring up the remote live shooting we're gonna go manual focus for a second here's what I want to talk about real quick you know I said I changed my focal length let's say this will be fun all right I'm a twenty four millimeter on my focal length and let's say I want to fill the frame with heather this is fun all right I want to fill the frame about like that with her all right see all the set pieces and all the extraneous information that I see but she is full length in the frame everyone catching that yeah all right now that's twenty four millimeter so that is expanding perspective as I come back and I zoom two seventy I can't at this silly but I can fill her in the frame again like that but we don't see the set pieces any longer because I'm going telephoto all right it's just outside of the frame right there just outside of the frame right there but I can get this to the point where that background is filling edge to edge whereas I go in closer and fill her again in the same spot seeing all the crap we see I got a nine foot seamless that means I'm going telephoto I'm backing up I'm coming back here and I'm doing like seventy millimeter or longer probably this is seventy millimeter right now as I get further back I start to fill in I start to get the edges a little bit more I could go with a longer lens uh this is seventy millimeter right now I could go eighty five I could go one hundred millimeter and and compress that perspective if I need to some more all right all right off with who are so the earthquake all right you got to start somewhere I'm at one twenty fifth of a second I'm in I s o one hundred I am going to change my white balance to flash because that is what I need to be on I'm shooting under flash I have no idea what the power setting is on my alien be right now no clue I don't know it was set up yesterday not quite sure everything is about aperture today right so somebody give me an apple to setting for all right so I hear for I'm going to set this two four and I'm just going to take a picture I'm gonna put it back on auto focus and take a shot and everything fired all is well all right can we see the back of this camera here so we have all these blinking highlights I'm not trying to take that background pure white nor am I trying to take her face pure white as well right so at f four let's pull this up and let's go to our light room computer waken see that we are over exposed all right um her face is overexposed uh background is white we're not trying to blow it white I'm expecting it to go a little lighter great so we're over exposed by a stop or two stops that was f four so let's go to five six let's just start there five six all right so we're at five six heather you're doing great you're just kind of standing there that looks good we're getting closer camera close up if we could get a little closer I'm losing some blinking highlight it's on her forehead and chest that's still a little over exposed for me all right I do not want to be losing any skin detail whatsoever so let's go on up to f ate fate perfect right there that's good take a shot and now we're getting into an exposure where we want to be play all right we have that no blinking highlights so f eight looks to be our proper exposure right now looks pretty good so uh let's take a look at this picture let's go to the light room computer and what we have going on way have pretty decent light coverage head to toe uh we have this shadow going down behind her we're seeing a little bit of texture on the floor and a little bit of the code move right here got a little bit of texture here that doesn't bug me too much if I wanted to smooth out this cove right here this uh I would just pull that paper out more make a larger radius okay ah what I'm expecting to do right here's maybe do a little more of a head and shoulder three quarter kind of shot I could bring my light around to the side and drop her shadow off over here I don't mind shadows there's sometimes this thiss idea that well you have to get rid of shadows I don't know why that is I love shadows um but shadows need to be part of the composition they need to be deliberate like I'm deliberately showing a shadow all right we're starting simple we'll get more into more advanced light placement and all of that as we move on all right what we want to do right now is simply get our exposure so you're doing great let's see now let me have you just kind of bring your hands together alright perfect and rotate your body just a little bit that way that looks good and you're gonna bring your face back to me just a little more right there all right so one thing I'm thinking I'm not going to shoot straight into the shoulder it's gonna be a bit of a turn um I am just starting my direction and sometimes I tell people to do something just to tell them to do something look down at the ground why has had a great shot I don't know but I need to let them know to do something otherwise they're just going to freeze look at the ground ok and now look at me okay look out that window okay look at the bird okay come back to me um and I'm just watching like oh that's a nice angle let's work that for a minute okay now turn the other way just lots of direction not all of the directions are for the specific reason I must have the shot but it's too just let the subject no that they're doing the right thing they're doing what is being asked to them if I stand up here and say okay do something if they're not experienced posing in front of a camera what does that mean stand on their head right well stand on your head you know like if you want someone stand you've got to tell them turn this way turn that way don't just say do something because that means everything and it means nothing and then that is even more confusing god all right so heather is paul I am short all right so I if I'm going to shoot up at someone it's going to be a dramatic shooting up at someone not this kind of zach is too short shooting up at someone so I have a step stool or an apple box this's an apple box it who gets me up a little higher so that I can shoot I want to be above her eyes basically all right so I'm above her eyes with shooting position perfect and then other let me just have you kind of just tilt your head over this way just a bit good perfect right there all right we're still a f eight we're still checking ah make sure exposure looks good brandy is on set to take a look at hair makeup if she needs to make any decisions on that I'm taking a look at my history graham let's go to the light room computer my history graham looks good and this is a good shot watch this I'm going to go up to to fiftieth of a second I want to shoot a little siri's of pictures here different shutter speeds good you're staying right there two hundredth of a second one sixtieth of a second one twenty fifth of a second and let's take a look at these let's go over to the light room computer real quick when I talk about sink speed this's to fiftieth of a second this's going over the two hundredth of a second it's supposed to sink that so this area this black area right here is the second curtain closing before the end of the exposure way go to two hundredth of a second and right here this little area right here in the picture you can't really see it a one hundred percent this little edge vignette ing is two hundredth of a second we're going to go toe one sixty eighth of a second seems to be gone at one sixtieth no it's still there bit watch watch this edge right here this is one sixtieth of a second I'm going to go toe uh one twenty fifth and it goes away it's a little tiny slight little bit and you know how I find it is after shooting two hundred pictures and going what is that why is why is there this feathered eh john edge of when you see two hundred thumbnails and you see the feathered edge on every single one of them and you're just like crap what is that and then you go my sink speed I thought I was safe at one sixtieth but really I need to drop the one twenty fifth all right different cameras you just do a little test like that if I was shooting with a faster flash duration head up there I'd probably be okay two hundred or one hundred sixtieth of a second with the alien be it's a little bit slower and supposedly with einstein's that's going toe I might go back up right but she's not flying through the air or anything like that right so we're pretty good all right so I have a nice medium gray background it's very simple it's very clean I have the shadow underneath the chin that's giving me the definition around here that I want I have a good exposure uh it's consistent I'm not blowing out skin tones up here in the forehead um it looks pretty good and now I can be shooting all right so I can come back and I'm going to move my f point up close to her eyes that's good right there and let me have it just kind of like hands on hips just a little bit right there perfect and you're looking off this way just a little bit in fact just take a little bit of a step when I need tohave my subject move all right what I do is I I stand with them and I say what I need you to do is just take a little step this way I demonstrate how much of a move if I say I need you to take a step this way I make that step all right or if I just need a scoot I just do it myself so they understand it's just a little scoop all right or I'll say I need you to tilt your head in this direction right I don't say tilt your head to the left um I just mimic like just mirror right here so that's perfect right there good actually and I'm gonna have you looking in this direction a little bit more keep looking around right there perfect hold that and then just bring your eyes right back to me good so that first direction was to get her face off to an angle next direction was to bring her eyes back I had her face where I wanted that to be and then just bring the eyes back to camera I have the option of her looking off camera than the option of her coming back to me constantly giving directions when I'm working with a female client my personal philosophy is I'm hands off I don't go in I don't touch my female clients I stay very professional if there's hair and makeup on I could go brandy I need you to run in fix this if there's no hair and makeup or another female um john set then I will say uh I need you to direct there's a flyaway right up here take care of that for me okay um on then it's just I just start going out and I'll look at the picture and I'll say oh you look great or I think you're going teo like this I'm not gonna go damn you look hot I don't say that to my female clients or I think you're gonna like your eyes in this picture I'm not going to look at them ago your eyes they're so gorgeous in this picture I'm not there to get their phone number right if they hired me I already have it but anyways so um if I was on t tl as I change composition my my meter is my my cameras trying to read different tones and different parts of it may actually start changing exposure as I change composition I am in manual mode all right so as I come in and change composition looks good right there perfect chin down just a little bit little more little more right there and then looked down at the floor in front of you and then open your eyes to me perfect excellent um I love that little trick look down click tonight focus I'm holding composition and then I say bring your eyes to camera and as soon as those eyes come to camera I'm ready and click because that look is natural I can look up at you eric I'm just and we just connected you and I or I could come up and just be like suddenly it can go dead and I'm just staring at you that's kind of weird but I've learned that from watching professional models sometimes you'll see models they looked down and look up look down and look up look down and look up all right so I'll have someone look down or look aside and then come right to the camera and its I'm focused I'm ready I'm holding a soon as I see eye contact click all right so it's like this again you're gonna look down good right there and look right at the camera perfect I was a little slow on that looks good bring it bring it in here the arms and just kind of crossing are perfect I'm just bringing her arms in I'm gonna just include that a little bit frame brandi's going in brandy's also wiping her feet and she goes in um since we're dealing with paper we're going to shoot a couple more of these and then I'm going to make that background darker going to think inverse square law and then we're gonna blow it white we're going to start bringing in more lights and we're gonna bring in some stuff called pile board here in a minute so that looks great right there all right I do not want to shoot this picture let me shoot this one that I just said I don't want to shoot where I'm cutting off her fingers watch this pop up light room computer who is the loading gets out of the way loading thiss area right here I do not crop people at anything that bin it's so I don't want to cut fingers off I don't want to crop it the wrist at the elbow at the knee ankle all right I'm going to crop maybe midway in the arm forearm upper arm thigh shin those air cropping points I will naturally crop too but this would upset me if I shot this picture um and I cut the hand off it just looks uncomfortable everything's looking good hang out right there you want to try shooting a really low position and I want you kind of looking up this way all right so I'm having her look up which is stretching her chin and neck up and I want to come lower and shoot that kind of shot something like that and just bring your eyes back down to me perfect and then you have me do this let me have you rotate your body that way almost like a full profile so you're like facing that wall right over there perfect and then I want you bring in your hands forward like this like you're slowly laddering soap but stay in motion all right if you have someone doing something like this with their hands and they stop it freezes so you just stay in motion I learned this from a shooting deejays hip hop world I don't know what it is as soon as the deejay gets on set palms go together flat and they just do this back and forth at home but I was like okay that's something I never know what to do with hands what what do you do with hands they're just not weird to pose right and so that's kind of cool right there then perfect yeah you're coming back to me and then brandy on her far side from camera can we just bring her hair behind her ear so I want a clean line around her face yeah very willing to push it back just a little more perfect right there it looks great good on how you're going to kind of lean your head down thiss weigh just about there it's we'll live with it perfect good face around this way a little more actually just kind of looking down could keep going with your face a little more a little more and then just that shoulder that's close to me roll it back just a little bit so just burn just turn your body just a little bit back to me a little more right there perfect and you're looking down great and your right leg forward just a little bit right foot forward there we go excellent just trying to make a nice you know shape and a suit in this and then heather I just want you to look right over here at me perfect ten down just a little bit that looks great okay take a break shake it out all right if I just spent a lot of time like posing don't move your foot here move your chin here do this do that do that and pretty soon that gets tight so get your shot and then say okay shake out of it and then you come back to it you compose someone to the point where they just get frozen all right so way have our grey now what I want to do is I want to make it darker all right so we'll make it darker I'm going to grab a shotgun mic close to the set shotgun mic close to the set and I'm moving it hear that we're good all right so inverse square law mmm mmm mmmm mmm I'm probably coming that way with the boom of course wherever you go I'm gonna put a light there that's just murphy's law of shooting isn't it all right I'm gonna go ahead and move this we're on a roller way have this roller sandbag down here at the bottom of this uh give it some stability and what I'm going to do is now bring this off to the side a little bit more and I'm going to get her really close in to the light so that its falling off pretty quickly I just want that background to go a little darker I'm not gonna take it black just yet but I just wanted a little darker so let's do a nice little silent on me have you come forward when a separate her from that background a little bit more on and I don't have one of these kind of booms and my studio that you can control it from back here I have the old school kind you have to just manually rotate it but I tell you what after having this one thiss weekend that's like next on my wish list um this is a nice boom all right so bringing it in closer it is now closer to heather than it was before and I could even bring it in a little more I'd like to keep my rollers off of the paper if it all possible swing them in here smack her in the face with my soft box way go now we're getting somewhere thank sir all right so this is physically closer to her all right light is still going to hit that background back there even though it's pointing in this direction um it's going this way but if I walk back to this background right now here I can still see the face of the soft bucks and if I can see the face of the soft box that some amount of light's still going to come out this way all right it's not this it's not like a tunnel of light that on lee comes out from the edges that never goes off anywhere else but now I have it closer to her what do you think just happened now that it's closer I need to take a picture and find my exposure I need to stop down I'm f ate right now that was fine at the distance I wasn't before but if I come in and take faa let me have you rotate this way just a bit now and let me get shorty upon this apple box perfect right there and just bring in your eyes right to the camera get take a look at this roaming camera couldn't get this for a second way to go to uh roaming camera view here we go all right blinking highlights right so I'm over exposed used again by a stop or two I met f ate already let's have a look at what's going on with my flash power so you're doing great you're just hanging out I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing all right but you're I'm gonna look up here and I am at half power half hour I'm let's say I'm two stops overexposed so I'm going to go from quarter power eighth alright that's gonna knock two stops out of that so I got from quarter power or I'm sorry I'm a half to quarter toe eighth now with uh sometimes there's a uh feature on lights called auto dump capacitor inside that head right now is filled up with half power I just changed it to uh eighth power to stops the capacitor is still half so I either need to hit my pocket wizard or hit the test button up here and now it's dumped and when it comes back up it will be at eight power all right and get to know your equipment even your light so you could just put a hand up here and you know which button to hit all right yes you can let me get one shot real quick and then um we'll have you take a break perfect so rotate for me just a little bit this way and just kind of bringing your hands up again in front here just kind of thing perfect right there good head tilt down just a little bit this way come over this way right there perfect and come up the light room computer and we have good exposure all right a little more of a sidelight but take a look at you if you want to step off for just second goal right now is going to just stop step off for just second and be back all right let me bring up stay with me on my um light room computer and I want to select these two and compare them way get rid of this down here all right so we have a light grey background and it goes darker inverse square law she's a lot closer to it so by the time that this'll light if I moved her back tio here and I'd probably have to rotate this back to her just a bit but I could put her here and as the light fell off it would only be a stop or so from from her and this would go lighter but I bring her a little further away and I get this in closer to her and I could make that darker but I had for her in this one light scenario I don't want to make this background here on the darker ones so dark that air hair just bleeds off in shadows right so um this's the kind of stuff that I'm just start with right okay I'm getting there my my equipment's working I'm starting to know my my client or subject um and my brain is starting go okay now what's next dan let's go ahead and grab a sheet a tile board and lay it out vertically and get our two other lights in and our cutters so and just walk on it at this point I'm not worried about the paper now we're bringing this stuff in called tiled bored because what I want to do now is have this background go pure white and I want to take my pocket wizard and throw it on the floor that's a key that's a key to being a good photographer it's taking your pocket wizards and throwing them on the floor as much as well I'm coming back with the same light set up that I had earlier just flying big momma high up overhead well these things happen and we're going to start bringing in two other lights because if I want this thing to go pure white I wanted to go pure white we're setting up a light on each side of the set alright so lights going up on each side of the set I want an even um even like hitting that background on this is my philosophy of shooting on white seamless I am going to light background separately from the subject all right so I have two lights dedicated to the background all right dan bring those all the way down teo bring it down to thirty second power back there we'll start with them on a low power setting and then bring them up is needed so when I have this in let's go ahead and bring this on and to hear we're going to start with a single sheet of this tile board if you want to know what this is for those of you watching live goto my blogged at za'darius dot com that z a r I a s dot com and there's a a picture on my block right now of this stuff at home depot and the actual tag on the shelf of what is called called thrifty white board at home depot at other places it's called tile board it's a very thin material it's a solid smooth gloss on the front side of it and it's a brown kind of chip bored on the backside of it alright umm and it's you khun you know fly with it um it's very lightweight it's pretty easy to carry around if you cannot find this stuff uh one alternative is to get a thin plywood like paint or stain grade plywood and paint it with a very glossy white paint on one side what I need this to do is to go white for me all right and we can set up multiple sheets on here when we shoot the band tomorrow we'll have like two or three sheets of this stuff laid out um and I'll tell you how I set that up but we're going to set up just one single sheet for one single subject and here's my goal I'm gonna light that white and I'm gonna light my subject independently from that and then I can come in and light my subject any way I want and if I get my lighting ratio set properly my subject could be wearing white we're wearing black and it's the same exposure kind of like what we were talking about yesterday shouldn't if the light is faa shouldn't anyone standing there b f ate uh yes technically nine times out of ten that is the case there are extremes that sometimes that you have to make changes for but I should be able if we have someone come in with all white have a separation from white to pierre white or if they're wearing black should be able to pop off of the white background but still have detail in the black clothing all right makes sense okay so dan let me hand this off to you now we have these bi fold doors and the's are just your standard by fold closet doors on one side of them they're painted white as I said yesterday everything in my studio must have like multiple uses so not only is this going to cut the light in the background lights from hitting our subject but these can also stand in as reflectors if need be so if I need a reflector I have a standing reflector and if I want to make sure that my background lights don't hit my subject then my background lights don't hit my subject alright now dan real quick uh video crew we're going to try to cut the overhead lights for a minute because I want to talk about light placement with the modeling lights so let's do a test real quick if you can uh knock the two switches the closest to the door down all right uh and what I want video crew is for you guys to see back here on the floor can we see this I'm looking at the monitor can we get a shot of this alright come up a little bit higher if you could perfect right and down to the floor alright perfect hold right there stick with that so I have this background light and you can see me moving it around and basically what I want to do is move that toe where it is little bit overlapping the tile board so I'm in in the background light and I step out of the background like alright keep this shot right here I am not being lit by the background lights now I am I don't want my subject here I want them in the shade of those lights like this all right so going back down to the floor again I come in with my other light and I'm going to move that until it lines up pretty close to the other light you see that line moving if I turn this off you just see one light and you see that line that it's creating I bring in my other one and I want to kind of line it up and it's just overlapping the back edge of this tile bored so I want to find tune it and then the background light is pointing pretty close to centre of the background of the wall back there come in and find two in this side go line up those shadows I'm pointing it pretty much at the center and that set all right so now you can see the modeling light on me as I back up I go into my lights I do not want my subject here I want them just inside of this shadowed area that the's bi fold cutters are creating you can use barn doors you can use uh uh you could use a number of things you can use barn doors you can use flags you can use pieces of foam core whatever you need to do to just block off those background lights from hitting your subject

Class Description

If you’re new to studio photography, or even if you’ve been doing indoor shoots for a while, studio lighting can be a real challenge. The sheer amount of gear required and the inherent complexity of the equipment mean that there are always lots of variables—and lots of ways to make mistakes!

This weekend-long course taught by renowned music, editorial and advertising photographer Zach Arias breaks down the technicalities of studio lighting into manageable chunks so you can get a handle on what you need to do in almost any studio situation.

Zach will cover a wide variety of topics, from how to build a studio to shutter and aperture settings to posing groups. By the end of this in-depth course, you’ll have the skills to tackle any type of indoor shoot, whether it’s in a huge warehouse or your spare bedroom.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build your studio and buy the right gear for the right price.
  • Create and shoot on a white seamless backdrop.
  • Set your ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
  • Understand depth of field and shooting groups.
  • Do head shots with a beauty dish.
  • Use all sorts of flashes, including strobes and hot shoe flashes, as well as modifiers.
  • Handle multiple shoots at once.

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