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Studio Lighting

Lesson 17 of 18

Shoot: Girl in the Fishtank

Zack Arias

Studio Lighting

Zack Arias

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Lesson Info

17. Shoot: Girl in the Fishtank

Lesson Info

Shoot: Girl in the Fishtank

getting ready for this since I knew I'd be a part of it I and I love h dslr tuned into vincent laugh arrays workshop that was shot in the same space and there was this fish tank and has all these fifty caliber uh machine gun shells in the bottom of it and when I saw that and started talking to people here I thought what can we do with this thing way to do that wei have two weeks of safety training print planning prepping no power on this floor I have not let this but we have gone through trial runs ed the editor is a certified scuba instructor wear dealing with water water and a model and electricity this is not something you just go let's throw this together and see what happens not at all like I said this has been two weeks in the planning dry runs have gone through now before we take this over I want to make sure that light is firing hold onto that for me dan er we've got an area here on the floor that is absolutely no power outlets are allowed to be there everything is elevated we ...

have of several oxygen tanks ed why don't you have her just go ahead and pop her head up real quick so she could take a break all right we are firing our light awesome we have natasha john I'm coming right behind you here if you'll go to your left awesome how you doing natasha yeah so natasha is a scuba diver uh she is experienced in this we aren't just saying no let's find somewhere to swim um we have respirators down in the tank we have respirators above the tank we have to safety scuba divers to the side we don't have any power anywhere near this thing we are floating light above it it is safety cabled we've gone with big mama up there and it will halfway be over the top there are also plexiglass er things at the top for support and if anything fell it wouldn't go directly into the water if this boom failed fell it's not going to be directly over it's going to be kind of halfway over um and so if it were to fall it would fall outside of the tank and not inside of the take we have checked everything over and over and over again now before she gets back in the water I'm going to do my light tests I'm at one twenty fifth of a second I'm at s o one hundred I have an alien be sixteen hundred up in that box at full power water sucks light I'm going to take a shot of the tank at full power at f four and it's a little murky um yeah we're ready to fly that over so natasha since I can't be speaking to you while you're in the water you're going to be around here somewhere right and we've already kind of talked about direction your face is a little bit up and out towards the front here and just kind of flowing in a cereal and you just go in there and do what you do when you're done breathing drop that I'll be shooting and any time you have to take breath grab it I work around you in the water you don't work around me the other thing is it's not a heated tank so she can't be in there for an hour while I try to get my light correct way we've got to get this shot and get it done and be done with it I'm flying it over the top so I don't have to deal with reflections on the sides all right all right way coming up in light room all right all right it needs to come over more this way dan if it can be more to the center all right I'm shooting it about I wish you didn't somewhere around half eleven I'm shooting through glass I hope my focus point gets to a point inside the glass not on the glass surface but I'm shooting a half eleven that should be pretty good for me to test on that fish that looks pretty good that popping up in light room I'm gonna work from the back and then I'm going to go closer I'm going to shoot pretty wide um because we're just while the safety part of this and her in the water is not uh sliding off the cuff me shooter get is alright wait ready go for it it's kind of a cool shot that way I could have the tendency to just over shoot if I had those braun colors where I could shoot at uh you know eight frames a second so I could just be firing it off sweet yeah okay that's great to know alright have come up with is a buddha head inside a fish take culturally okay alright ever come up for a second all right so uh just great something came up you doing okay after natasha yeah yeah alright awesome so uh eh a cultural statement just came up of feet on a buddha head might be you know offensive right and wait all right you would tuck your feet and if you were sitting across from somebody for a sense that there were especially in asia and some places so I would suggest that perhaps maybe natasha's head should be can you do the other direction was treated with respect all right that's great to know that's fantastic all right yeah another interesting thing is she has waited way so that she float it's uh she's not just floating to the top but she's kind of she can control her boy and see a little more no there's a guy I know named michael howard let's shut down his website today he's been doing a lot of underwater fashion shooting lately it's just really fantastic good feedback on that last look good last thing yeah that last night was great is there an apple box I could stand out or anything how you doing natasha you good reason I need an apple box to stand on is as I get closer in from this shot at my height I'm getting the reflections of the video lights in the screen just get out wait wait we're all very quiet because we're taking this very seriously you alright alright take a breather up there take a breather were probably good right you all right yeah you testing her bills wait give me a thumbs up way right yeah a ah great I love this one right here we can come up with the light room I love that one now I need some cleanup it needs some post but you know this is one of those situations you take what you can get and you'll work on it cem cem bit it needs a little cleanup in post but I love that expression I'm viewing it at a weird screen resolution so that it comes out for that looks cool yeah this's what it's looking like natasha ah right ah couple more and we're done great no wait have her come up for a second yeah sure I want a director one real quick thing left for you to come down on just be not touching flat onto the screen but you're going to be peering out of it so your hand held those there in a little more you're looking out kind of floating all right kind of outside pressure yeah not cross but needs in maybe you're just tightening up instead of going long you're just tightening up and you're looking out all right you're doing awesome thank you thank you wait down yeah that's it wait all right march over there side to start saying wrap thank you all right we got a little couple things for wrap up and thank you's coming up so um yeah this shot here way got the respirator coming in we can work with that we've got some odd little stuff this is one of those times where it is worth it to me to spend the time and do the postproduction because we're in such odd constraints this isn't your normal kind of shooting thing on so if I say I'm going to take that out post by golly I'm going to do it in post like but I have the equipment all pieces and parts to the photo that I was wanting I'm happy sure either loved a little more light maybe appear on the feet but um I mean it's just again it's one of those like oh wow we have an opportunity to do a shot I don't always have access to a fish tank filled with fifty caliber you know shells along with you know great subject who also when you scuba dive on our video editor on this uh on this production is also a certified scuba instructor we started talking about this two weeks ago we started planning out all the safety considerations we started doing the tests as I was in there shooting today one thing that was going mad in my brain knowing that this was also happening and that the all the safety tests were going on over here while I was going on over there so I was already over there enough maddening stuff going in my head on I had to think about this is well someone asked what's the difference between a professional and an amateur you could just keep it going you figure it out you figure it out on the fly while we had done safety test we've done no lighting tests really I mean I had stuck one light over it when I got here said okay I can shoot water through it but I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to do this yet er dan and I had to talk about it and it was good can you explicitly say do not try this at home do not try this at home all right don't try this at home uh this is uh this is for the professionals all right and it's nothing that I do tried to figure out on my own alright I if I had to just go do it on my own and let's say it was models in a pool there sure wouldn't be with strobes it wouldn't be um I'd figure it out you know but this kind of thing you're confined kind of space electricity nearby you've got to be on your game and you have got to be watching out and it's not about the picture it's about the safety safety first and I'm not even just saying that because that's what the lawyers want us to say that is there's a human that is what you need to be saying her safety was far more important than pulling this off we didn't say anything about this this weekend because if we felt that we couldn't comfortably do this that we weren't going to do it um I was just excited is could be that would I'd have the opportunity to but it was the first thing to go if we felt that safety wise we couldn't pull this off and we have a great crew and we were able to pull it off safety wise so um yeah I know in here I've got my one shot came in tight I love all the murky weird stuff floating around she probably hated it but I liked it I'll probably come in and get rid of these streaks it's going to take a good bit of post production to make final image but the main parts and pieces air there uh jordan thank you so much for pointing out the cultural thing um I like this kind of stuff to just the feet the flow of the fabric you can see me in here you can tell I shot it with a cannon all right

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.


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.

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 (


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!