Skip to main content

photo & video

Studio Lighting

Lesson 5 of 18

Setting Up White Seamless

Zack Arias

Studio Lighting

Zack Arias

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

5. Setting Up White Seamless

Lesson Info

Setting Up White Seamless

we're going to be just dealing with aperture this weekend for the most part we're going to lock our shutter speed into one specific shutter speed that's going to be our sink speed and mine is just a little bit covered that yesterday we cover it again quickly uh r I s o is going to be locked in on dh er we're just going to be dealing with aperture the reason that we're only dealing with aperture is because flash happens in such a fraction of a second shutter speed really does it matter doesn't pick that up um it's the amount of light coming through uh the aperture so if we have an aperture open to two point eight uh that's letting a lot of light through if we close down our aperture to f twenty two that's uh just a small of mount amount of light getting through the lens when that flash fires it is a certain amount of light all right so we want to control how much of that light gets in through the lens to the sensor and is captured uh we can go underexposed overexposed the plan is that w...

e hit proper exposure that's what we're looking to do all right so um thea other part of the equation so let's say we're gonna lock in it about one twenty fifth of a second of a second um my five demark too which is what we're going to be shooting for the most part today uh may pick up my nikon and shoot with that as well but the five the mark two has a sink speed which is the fastest shutter speed you can use with flash of two hundredth of a second but when you're using and something that's not cannon base they usually say to drop down one hundred sixtieth of a second and I have found with the alien bees that were using their flash duration is pretty slow so I usually bring that down to one twenty fifth of a second or else I'll get this farm taking a photograph I can have this little bit of an edge vignette if I don't drop that down to about one twenty fifth on aiken will take some example photos to show you what I mean we're going to be at I s o one hundred nikon shooters you khun goto s o two hundred that is the native s o on the nikon you can also drop it down to l one point o which is a low which is an equivalent of s a one hundred some people say that you lose two or three stops of dynamic range because you're cheating the esso value I've pixel peeped I s so one hundred and two hundred on a nikon and I can't see this massive degradation of the file so I asked the one hundred and then changing apertures as needed and changing flash power as needed so flash power wait remember from yesterday were gonna have full alright half quarter eight sixteen and thirty second power this so full half quarter eight sixteenth and thirty second we can actually take on the back of an alien be weaken slide that in between these four fine tuning but like I said yesterday why we're using the alien bees because it's a great value to get started with they aren't the best lights in the world they're not always completely consistent and exposure shot two shot to shot they are also the color temperature when you change power settings by a stop or two khun the color temperature of the light can change that's kind of an issue with it but for two or three hundred dollars for a pretty good flash their great value for the money you can spend a thousand dollars ahead eighteen hundred dollars a head I have far more consistent results between exposure and color temperature you're spending a more money for it you kind of get what you pay for right so we're going to be dealing with flash power going up to full and on the alien beings coming down to the thirty second power we are using the alien be sixteen hundred bailey and be eight hundred and the alien be four hundred and as we said yesterday the difference between these two is one stop of light and eight hundred has one more stop of light available at full power than the four hundred does the sixteen hundred has two stops more light available than the four hundred all right so if this was the power range of a sixteen hundred it'd be something like that the eight hundred would fall into this range and in the four hundred would come in something like that all right uh yesterday I also suggested if you're looking into a studio lighting setup where'd you get started it would be one of these one sixteen hundred and two eight hundreds and that is what we're starting with on our set here this morning we have a sixteen hundred uh alien be sixteen hundred up in the fifty inch westcott soft box appear and we have two alien be eight hundreds on either side of the set here so we're gonna be starting with three lights on this set this morning um wear going to go from taking a white seamless from light gray or dark toe white and doing as much as we can with that one simple background all right one other thing to other things really to other things that were going to be taking into consideration and and what's going through my mind I try to speak out this is going through my mind this is something I'm worried about this is something I'm thinking about is the inverse square law all right now then the inverse square law I won't get deep into it but way have our light here I'm not a draw over very well all right we have our light here and as the light leaves its source coming out of the flash head with soft box the umbrella or whatever it falls off over distance and inverse square law states that light diminishes over distance uh it as distance doubles the light falling on the subject is reduced by seventy five percent okay so as you doubled distance away from the flash head double distance then you are losing seventy five percent of the light so if I'm at two feet away from my subject and I moved my flash four feet away from my subject I just lost seventy five percent of my light on the subject it meaning it was reduced to one quarter of what it was I have one quarter of what it was at two foot right now when we think about doubling distance one foot two two feet our next doubling point is four feet our next one is eight feet away our next doubling point is sixteen feet away so what happens is close to the flash head are light is falling off rapidly and then starts to fall off less rapidly further away because up here distance doubled from one foot to two feet but back here distances doubling eight feet to sixteen feet so that change that happened in one foot up here as we get further away from our light source that distance that change is now happening in eight feet of change sixteen feet of change thirty two feet of change instead of one foot all right so when I start talking about inverse square law let's say I have a white wall over here uh it is white I want to make it grey or I want to make it darker and darker and darker still then what happens is I have a subject here close to my life and so here's my light source the light hits the subject the light continues on behind the subject but as it continues on its falling off falling off falling off falling off falling off falling off tow wear this back here goes to stops darker three stops darker four stops darker depending on how I place my subject either close to my light so if I have my subject here and I properly exposed for them this close to the light light is falling off falling off falling off falling off falling off this may go four stops under exposed from my subject thus this white wall goes darker all right now if I want this wall to come up in value and not be so dark let's say I put my subject here like they're this far away from the light so the light gets to hear I expose properly for them the light continues on but it's falling off gradually at this point because I met such a far distance from my light so this may only be a stop or less then my subject so if my subject is properly exposed here and this is only a stop underexposed from them that is lighter so it makes sense you following along with me all right so inverse square law I don't come out here with a measuring tape and a graphing calculator and get my buddy at nasa on the phone and you know a protractor I just have to know that we'll light is falling off rapidly close to the light and uh it's falling off less further away from my life so as the photographer I come in let's say we have someone with dark hair and I have a white wall I have to make the decision of okay they have dark hair I have a light wall if I make that that wall too dark maybe their hair just sort of like just bleeds into the darkness and there's not a defining line so maybe I want that wall to be a little lighter so I have a nice defining line that they're not just like falling off into shadow somewhere um if they have blond hair light colored hair then maybe I say well I'd like that to go darks of their hair kind of pops off of a darker background that's going to tell me what this relationship of distance from the flash to the backgrounds going to be all right the further I move this flash back here and I keep them close to it the darker and darker and darker and darker that wall goes because by the time this exposure is made that that faraway is darker all right so that's going through my head another thing that's gonna be going through my head as we set up a nine foot role of seamless is my focal length on we'll shoot some example photos of this nine foot role of white seamless is great you can do tons and tons and tons of stuff with it it's just a great overall background a half um but if you if you're shooting on it it you you're always gonna want it to be wider all right um so one aspect of optics is the longer your focal length the more background subject compression becomes so if I go up to this here's my frame and I want to put my subject here full length and I go up with a wide angle lens wide angle lens will expand perspective it makes the background look further away that it is so my white role of seamless will show up in my frame like that and I have my person in the frame the way I want them framed but with the wide angle lens expanding perspective I'm going to see the edges of my set we'll show some example photos I can control that a little bit better by going more telephoto so I go fifty millimeter seventy millimeter eighty five millimeter hundred millimeter and what happens is it compresses perspective so I can have the purse in the same place in the frame this is why I'm a photographer but my frame is now filled because my set is outside of the frame and I know you may be going home all right we'll shoot some examples and I'll show you um get the most out of that nine foot I'm usually shooting seventy millimeter eighty millimeter or so on which reminds me dan we'll need thie eighty two two hundred out just in case um I need to go that I am shooting the five demark to today um I also have a nikon d three on hand I'm shooting the five d mark to uh with the twenty four to seventy two eh to start I haven't eighty the two hundred to eight on hand to go to in case I need more of a telephoto um length I if you shoot the d three in the five d in studio under controlled lighting um there's not a a massive difference between the two really where I love the five d over the nikon is in available light situations there's just something that the five he has with skin tones in available light that that just straight out of camera uh just a little more buttery you just put it on some toast um then the d three the di three's a little colder little harder but I've done side by side comparisons the thing with why I'm going with the cannon is uh I prefer to shoot tethered with the cannon thin the nikon nikon is tethering software has always been buggy on me cannons tethering software is always done pretty well we do have ah light room three set up that we could tether straight in delight room um but I have not done that a lot I don't plan on learning any bugs in the system here at this class so we're gonna use cannons uh e os utility don't shoot tethered a lot I'm doing I'm doing mohr I'm typically just handholding and chipping on the back of the camera um that's usually how I shoot but for teaching and for those of you on the internet um we're going to shoot tethered so I want to take a picture and I'm gonna walk over to the monitor and we're gonna look at it in light room all right because if we try to take the cameras and zoom in on the back of the the camera we could well do that sometimes but it's not quite the same as ah full screen here's the picture here are the problems with the lighting here's how what I need to fix or here's what's good with the lighting and so on and so forth all right so we're just dealing with aperture and flash power um our sink speed uh is going to be one twenty fifth of a second we have a lot of lights on in here for video uh video uh we need more light these aren't this isn't being shot with you know canon eos mark for nine are sub paragraph three cameras um so they need more light uh then then I need for for that but I should be ableto overpower their may come times where I say you know what this is so bright it's it's mixing in with my lighting um I need to turn the overheads off all right um so we'll turn the overheads off and for those of you watching everything kind of goes dark um I'll shoot my pictures and we'll bring the lights back up this is farm or light ambient light then I'm typically shooting it I typically keep my studio space old darker than this a couple two or three stops darker enough to see enough to focus enough toe move around your eyes adjusted it's just a little bit lower an ambien light then what we have under video shooting conditions all right it's a little technical note about that um yeah questions well we just wanted there was some questions in chat and on twitter just a a brief explanation of what tethered beans brief explanation of what tethered means let's pull this baby up way uh we have our cannon here and we have a usb cable hook get up to the back of our computer and for those of you switching I'm moving over to the eoe s utility so we have the eoe s utility set up right now I can control the camera from here so I can change my apertures I can change my eyes so I can change if I'm shooting to the card plus the computer I can shoot to just the computer um and I can pull this up to remote live viewing and I can have a live view here on screen uh we've been shooting a lot of tabletop products stuff in studio recently um and in this remote life viewing to a second monitor has been awesome because what we've been doing is we're shooting lay down just taking clothing laying it down styling it and we have the five d actually flying in over the set over top of it looking straight down and we turned live you on for our stylist and as she's styling she could be checking the monitor to know exactly what the viewpoint because she's here styling thie cameras at a completely different view point so she could be watching a live preview from camera that's a really nice feature with the live you um so um I can come in I can check focus ah and all of that so I closed that out I can turn this around I can also control my camera while I'm back here as well so I can shoot from there or I can push this big button focus failure when we turn that off and fire a shot and then I have the light room set up to be watching a folder so canon eos utility is sending every picture that it shoots to one folder light room is monitoring that folder when it sees a change in that folder it automatically imports it into my light room library and there's the shot we just took so typically I'll have um two monitors if I'm shooting tethered I'll have two monitors one has my eos utility with live you and all of that and the other one has light room and so as I'm shooting from one screen I'm seeing it start to pop up in the other if I come in here and turn the manual focus take a picture from camera way should be able to see it pop up here soon and there it is nice and out of focus all right so that is shooting tethered other questions again from the chat room so you're talking about a little bit about shutter speeds reviewing yesterday do you set your camera to rear curtain for flash or rear cartner front kurt that's a good question do I set my camera to rear curtain sink um just a quick explanation if anyone doesn't know what that is when your shutter goes off there's two curtains there's first curtain and the second curtain rear curtain is the second curtain sometimes it's called second curtain sink sometimes it's called rear curtain sync and what happens by default first curtain goes up and is soon as it's up and that sensor is open fires the flash and then here comes the second curtain second curtain sink it opens and just before end of exposure before the second curtain or the rear curtain starts to go it fires the flash at the end of the exposure now we're going to be at one twenty fifth of a second and so we're curtain front curtain really doesn't matter another little technical note the only camera that I have that will rear curtain sink with a pocket wizard is my nikon d three my cannon fire uh mark five what ever nine three thiss thing is um it does not rear curtain with a pocket wizard and rear curtains sink or second curtain sink is really only important with slower shutter speeds fifteenth of a second eighth of a second half you know half a second basically what happens is if you're on front curtain sync and you have a one second exposure with a flash and somebody's moving across the frame so I'm going to move across the frame here we go shutter opens flash fires freezes my action and then I keep moving for one second blur blur blur blur blur end exposure so visually what the picture looks like is I'm frozen by the flash here and the blur goes in front of me and so visually we interpret that as I was walking backwards rear curtain sink shutter opens blur blur blur blur blur flash clothes so visually I'm frozen here by the flash and my blurs behind me like I'm hauling tail right okay other questions question aliens back okay so my question maybe premature I was just realizing maybe I should wait ask question but it has to do with like if you don't have the the space tohave the fall off from where your light sources tore the background is but you still on background to be darker maybe it's like the question asked yesterday is thatjust whenyou would gel the light source you have to just like no no no I know what you're saying so you have a small space yeah right so I currently have all this space right we have what sixty feet here something I could put a light way back there and I had could have forty feet of fall off but you're shooting in your bathroom in your shower right so you don't have that kind of space it takes distance when you think inverse square law you have to think distance and there's no cheating distance so you can you congenital your flash with neutral density and light falls off exactly the same way inverse square law is independent of flash power independent of amount of light it is if it's a full power or if it's a thirty second power it is still falling off a tte the same rate so if you are in an area where you only have four feet to get the person off the wall then you're not going to be ableto have those options there are times when you said well I want that in my eight foot by eight foot spare bedroom you can't have that right they there's always a compromise as a professional photographer your number one your number one job description is you are a problem solver and you say I only have four feet inverse square law you can't change it so you want a darker background that's the point when you put up a darker background on that's how you would handle that I think things that any other questions quick one one thing I run into problems with quite a bit and I'm sure other people do as well as I quite often will hit the dial on my shutter speed while I'm shooting uh you got any good tricks toe to stop that from happening other gaffer tape over the dial you can you could gaff tape it um so we get a little piece of gaff tape uh photographers don't use duck tape don't use masking tape don't use whatever used be professional and used gaff tape all right so you can like on the can and you can turn this off so that some wheel doesn't roll but I always have it on if I know that I'm under controlled situation and my light's not going to change and I I don't want my exposure to change and I'm fumbling with my fingers and thumbs a lot which I do you can take a piece of thumb piece of tape and just put that over that I'm on ly going to do that when I'm I have some sort of like production line firing line kind of next next next where I know that I couldn't mess something up um typically I'm just trying to keep an eye what I always end up doing is pushing my sink speed the wrong way my shutter speed and I get over my sink and I'm firing off and then suddenly ten shots I've got half my curtain covering up my subject like hold on I got to go and redo those last ten shots um and I'm and I try to stay conscious of my display in the viewfinder constantly watching my numbers because it's easy for me to bump um so yeah gaff tape uh will be a good thing to have on hand yes go for it wishful photo and twitter says uh you mentioned the us can utility for cannon is there a nikon counterpart uh there is a nikon counterpart it's called nikon capture uh there's also one um I've seen scott shelby used that's goods stuff in build or uh I have to look that ups sorted and build stall and build boat that's ah guy in europe made it and it's a free tethering capture software that uh works with an icon and cannon on guy here that it's really good but I think it's a free download uh I have not used it in the new light room three um you can tether straight from light room and I've used it both nightgown and cannon uh it's not quite the same amount of control over the camera that you would have with nikon capture oreos utility nikon capture works it works but I have I've had enough buggy things go haywire with it from time to time that it's I have less buggy things go on with cannon then I do with nikon um and I prefer especially if I'm teaching live to the internet I'd liketo have fewer bugs going on in my system so that's why I decided to use it that gun's not free either nikon is not free you have to pay for it cannon is free it comes with the camera nikon yes in and shot is asking is there a pocket wizard on each flash head or does one trip all the heads currently we have pocket wizards on all of the flash heads we could easily set this up with one I would probably what I would do is I'd have one inside the soft box which it's actually hanging outside the soft box um one on the soft box head and then put the other ones on the optical slave and let the soft box fire the others so I could get bye with just two pocket wizards the background lights will be on opticals now currently if you zoom in on those there are pocket wizards on those but you don't necessarily need to there are times if I took a grid spot and I made a little tiny little just cone of light on my subject here those won't see that and if I'm trying to fire them all at the same time when I put a grid on my subject then those won't see that flash so I would have to take maybe take my pocket wizard one single pocket was there put it on a background light when those fired than this one would see it but just remember if your optical slave is not seeing the other flash it will not flash all right yes hang me again okay so do you have one transmitter pocket wizard on your camera and the restaurant receivers or can use transmitters as receivers the new plus two transceivers are there transceiver so they transmit and they receive so they will when when I put it on my hot shoe it suddenly becomes a transmitter when I plug it in to a light it's now a receiver alright so they go either way there times that they get a little confused as to hey I don't know which one I am and you have to kind of pop it a couple times for uh oh okay I get it now I'm supposed to receive and I'm supposed to transmit so there are times you have to pop him and get him kind of cycle through normally you just set him up and they're ready to go uh the older versions they were transmitter receiver yeah and what's nice about it is if you wanted to back up you had to have two transmitters two receivers so four pocket wizards now you khun just have three and that third one could be the backup in the system and you do have to have a minimum of two way get emails I bought a pocket wizard but it's not firing my life a a way a pocket was yeah one two by two and when you order them you're ordering one so put quantity to in your box they usually don't sell him as a kit of two we're gonna set up the white seamless which is a big old pain in the butt um you can't do this by yourself and you're gonna hate life um it's great to have two assistants helping you out dan and I are going to do it we're gonna need a role gaff tape we got an a clamp up there way have a clamps on the sides so I'm going to swing this soft box out of the way so that you guys can kind of watch us get this thing set up um a roll of seamless once you undo that thing at the top you do not want to get hands off of it because it will come completely rolling off the role if you're not careful with it all right um now what's funny is where we're setting up white seamless in front of a white wall all right but what I want is the little swoop to the floor all right I want the swoop to the floor and we're going to start with that and when I start shooting we'll go one light and then we'll put the two on the background we start simple we build it up so let's bring that in dan let's grab some gaff tape and I'll swing this out of the way way alright so let me get up there real quick yeah uh I got it from here cool what's that wei need to just gaffe it to the floor so you have tape or it's coming all right so when you buy a roll a seamless there's usually little pieces of tape up here you can start with it lower and work with it and get it pulled out and then bring up the height weight just go ahead and have it up here we have it on to see stands with the arms see stand arms are extended inside of the tube otherwise you'd wanna have it like a ten foot bar that goes all the way through the tube so I'm just going to get this undone no way we're gonna have this set up beforehand but we figured it be of value if you've never set up a roll of this stuff before go watch it happen I have use so much white seamless that when I'd built out my studio um throw me that clamp all right so it is now undone and it can start to come out what I'm going to do is I'll come down to the floor guide it day and I'll have you come up here to get the ladder I'm putting in a clamp over here what could fall through it that'll be fun internet watch zack busted tail right so we get this out of the way and what I want to have happened make sure all the little junk is off the floor like anything like little gravel pieces little anything I don't want to poke it up through the paper you do not want much camera my on this camera you do not want to set this up on carpet all right you want to set this up on a hard surface hardwoods cement something that tile setting this up on carpet you can do it but if someone walks in and they have a little bit of a heel or anything like that they're gonna go straight through the paper all right so now then you keep dan's going to keep his hand on the roll at all times to break it if it starts to come undone hey khun stop it I'm going to start guiding it down and it looks like we got a good role it's not all wrinkled the edges look clean all right slow down this stuff can get out of hand quickly on you all right slowly letting it out I'm just walking it out to haif hold on one second I'll pull it out a little bit further I figure I have this what fifteen feet or so out that is looking pretty good give me just a little more just perfect right there all right so what I'm trying to do is if we can get the moving cam on the side of this to just see the swoop of it I'm basically making a cycle that's nine feet wide a cycle c y c it's short for cyclorama it's also known as an infinity wall once you light this properly you net or a seamless you never see a scene from floor toe wall go pick up some fashion magazines and you'll see half the pictures in there could be shot on a psych wall or white seamless I've got a little bit of texture fromthe roles in the middle of it I'm only going to see that if I really side like this this piece of paper I can change I want to make sure that it's coming straight out that it's not skewed like this a zai move it back and forth I want to get it as even as possible the more I pull it out the wider I make that transition from florida ceiling and I'd say probably somewhere in there looks pretty good I'm going to take gaff tape and tape it to the floor thea the nice thing about gaff tape is it doesn't leave any residue typically whereas duct tape leaves a lot of residue I tuned into the internet online to watch zack put tape on the floor it was great I hope you're not getting the plumber shot back there camera guys you get twenty dollar bonus if you don't get it get the plumber shot say no to crack I could gaff tape it back there it's another good use of it all right so you can run lets go ahead dan and just run ah hole let's waste tape that's just what we love to dio we'll just run a whole tape line here you don't have to you could just do the corners in the middle but if we've got people walking in and off this thing way want that now there's uh when you buy seamless there's super white and then there's just kind of like white or dark dick white um this could be like grey like a dove grey on we can still blow it to white um so if you wanted something you could you could get a light grey role and still make it white pop some flashes on it um I know some people that prefer to paint their psych walls or use light grey just cause it adds a little more density it's a personal subjective kind of preference of what you want to do with that but what we have here another nice thing about lighter gray is it won't show footprints quite is quickly so we have this set up and you want to keep people and yourself off of it all right it is paper so if you walk on it too much it's going to tear up and when the floor gets torn up then you chop off the paper and you pull out some more until you get to the end of the roll all right I can usually get out of a roll of seamless two or three shoots if I keep that pretty nice and clean and I don't screw up the bottom of it too badly during the shoot I can have roll it back up and then roll it back out again on my next shoot when you are storing your seamless paper store it standing up do not store your scene was paper flat on the floor what happens is the weight of the paper will settle on itself and it will as you pull it out it'll want want want want want want because it's flattening and parts of it and when you pull it out you see all these kind of flat not creases but the's flat ripples throughout your paper if you store it laying flat you always want to store it standing as straight up it's possible a little bit of an angle is okay just never store it flat or the next time you pull it out your host you have textured pretty textured paper um and you have white seamless for the lack of it so when I have a model walking on we may bring out a little rug or something that they can wipe their feet on if I need to go onto it I take my shoes off and just walk my socks um you can take gaff tape and tape the bottom of someone's shoes uh you have them near the set you taped the shoes you have them walk onto the paper and then have them put their shoes on alright at some point in time it just gets dirty and torn up on dh you're either retouching all the junk off the floor or you just pull out some fresh paper uh nice thing about a psych wall is you paint it and when it gets so dirty that you're like okay this is too dirty you just put a little fresh coat of paint on it and you're ready to go again and you can paint it over and over and over again another thing that people do is use vinyl flooring they get a big roll of vinyl flooring paints the back side of it you need pretty hefty c stands and a good strong crossbar like a two by four that it's like really clamped onto because it's very very heavy uh but you can get a nice wide run of vinyl flooring paint the back side of it bring it out as a swoop and it can be used over and over and over again it's but it's one of those things you want to set up and you don't want to like once you set it up it's up you're not gonna put it up shoot on it take it down because it's seriously very heavy it is the middle ground between having a fully built psych wall and using paper all right um I know a lot of people that before they build a psych while they go to vinyl first all right um for me when I was uh just really getting busy with shooting I was spending somewhere between one hundred twenty one hundred fifty dollars a month on seamless just going through that stuff and that's when we decided when we moved into our next space we would put the money up front and build the psych wall and have a permanent think so ours our psych this is nine feet um our psych wall is nineteen and a half feet wide and eleven and a half feet tall and it comes out from the cove twenty five feet and then drops down to hardwoods so we actually have sixty feet we can go back and shoot back into our cycle if we need it question just kind of curious if you have any thoughts on on the actual curve when you build your sight whether the actual carve it or it is called the um the radius so the radius of the curve uh handy camera this curve right here is the radius all right let's go back over here to the white bored real quick and find my black marker so we're talking about here comes down from the wall I want a pretty even transition mine is a three and a half foot radius three point five foot radius so it goes up three point five feet out three point five feet and that is the radius of it I would say you would want you don't want anything less than a two foot where it swoops too quickly to a two foot radius is the minimum forefoot is going you know three to four feet is a pretty good radius tow have anything more than that you start getting up to a six foot radius if you want if you're going to a six foot radius it's going to be twenty feet tall thirty feet out um and then there are uh you may hear of a cove where the psych wall actually is built into a corner and it coves around gorgeous because you could shoot into it like that this you could shoot into it this way or you can shoot into the corner and have all of this distance right here covered and why they call it an infinity while you if you light a psych wall really flat and you just kind of like tunnel vision in on it and you start walking towards the wall you'll get right up on that cove and not even see it um that's why in our studio we have a roll of like peppermint rope white and red rope that we pull out across the cove and those sticks you know sticks my studio why have all those sticks is that we have them in these little rolling boxes and weaken line them up against the cove so no one walks onto it

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.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Martin B.

Zack - you're the man inside all of the studio classes !!! I've seen a lot of teachers, which are doing studio classes, but you do this on a very lively manner. I've never seen sudio classes like you do ;-) At fist I like your kind of "Cheap Shots" ... you take great images with a kind of inexpensive gear - especially the one light stories. Most of the other photographers are teaching classes by using a lot of light - you can fix the same shots with only one light *thumbs up*. By my selfe i'm teaching "low budget" stuff, but many people are going the other way ... don't know why. Even the available light is the most powerfull light you can work with. Also my theory fits with your "one light" kind of take this shot. Many people should think about your style of photography and related back to the beginning of photography (Adams, Feininger, ...) ;-) Keep on teaching/living your kind of photography - it's worth it - this class is worth all the money ... and much more !!! Martin (

a Creativelive Student

I'm an alum of both the OneLight DVD and Zack's OneLight in-person class. I pre-purchased this course because I knew it would be amazing. I was a bit worried that there would be overlap from his other course offerings but was pleasantly surprised. I tell every photographer that I meet about Zack, his classes and the wealth of knowledge up for grabs on his blog. If you have never shot in a studio or if you are seasoned pro, I guarantee you'll get more than your money's worth out of this course. Zack's work pays his bills, not the equipment companies. Therefore, he can be up front about his likes and dislikes. Zack also doesn't screw around with people, he's the real deal and tells it like it is. Mark my word, buy this class and get the best ROI of anything else you'll buy this year. Zack has the natural gift of teaching. You'll quickly realize that it's not about the latest and greatest gear, it's about your client's needs and knowing how to find solutions with what you've got. Enjoy.


Excellent class and worth every single penny! I have always been a big fan of Zack both in regards to his quality of work and skill set and who he is as a person. You can watch all the Youtube video tutorials in the world and you will gain some good knowledge, however many are holding back some information they do not want you to know about. This class has taught me so much about lighting where I feel much more confident with the technical side and can focus more on the creative side. Well worth your investment!