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Setting Up a Home Studio

Lesson 11 of 11

Final Q&A

John Cornicello

Setting Up a Home Studio

John Cornicello

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Lesson Info

11. Final Q&A


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:12:01
2 Backdrops Duration:13:28
3 Lights and Modifiers Duration:17:29
4 Setting Up for Headshot Duration:24:00
5 Shooting Headshots (Troy) Duration:26:46
6 Shooting Headshots (Trin) Duration:34:18
7 Q&A Duration:17:06
8 Beauty Shoot with Trin Duration:38:39
9 Q&A Duration:16:02
10 Group Shots Duration:32:14
11 Final Q&A Duration:29:06

Lesson Info

Final Q&A

Uh, steven g is wondering how you go about metering the power of combined strobes. Um, is it a shoot review reshoot kind of process? Yeah, I don't usually meet her that much. I'll just look at it on the back of the camera or bring it into the computer and look at it. You know, I'm working in the same space at the same distances with same lights all the time. I know I'm usually going to be in the f eight eleven range if I were on full power. If I wanted to go down a little more from this, I think we shot this one in thirteen years that both packs almost all the way up. But I know I could just bring them down, uh, it's, more of a feeling, and you're working with it a lot and get used to it. Could you summarize the cost of maybe in general of the equipment that you used for the for the group shot for the group shot. Okay, so, uh, it could be done with one pack. I just have to pack because we're so far away. And it was easier than running cables here. So it's two head so it could be a pack...

ing two heads or two model lights the low land of cost say to alien before hundreds there about two fifty each, one hundred dollars for the umbrella hundred dollars for the software. So five, six, seven hundred plus a couple of stands, so eight, eight, fifty, nine hundred dollar range plus sales tax and all that fun stuff in the background. Okay, if he had, the background stands, goes up a little more, but you could fake the background some other way again. People talked about putting a large muslim taped to the ceiling taped to the wall. So this ways to save money throughout their as the field bear studios was wondering because my spare bedroom has the same dimensions as the first room. I'd like to know if you didn't have the adjacent room and start a shoot six people in this room, how would you shoot? It would be really tough. I have to have the background against one wall my back against the other wall. They still want to shoot it with the brown of seventy millimeter lands. If anything shorter, I have coming in closer to you and it's gonna get distorted from being close. It would be tough in here. I can probably see do with three people, maybe four people in a room this size or you know, we did this with the boxes. We can stand people who can have someone on the box here. You want a box here? Three people standing behind us there we have five in a more confined space, you know, they're we kind of hit a wall of the five unless, like, that makes it tougher, but if we can stagger them a little bit, we could probably get away with it in here would be tough, but you could make it work, make it work, make anything work. Try question from chris boy two thousand for what one essential item. Do you think that every home studio should not be without for me, it's it's, one of the folk tex off lighters. I feel bad saying that now because I said earlier in the day I went onto being h last night and a couple other sites and seems to be sold out of them and I I don't think it's my fault and blaming peter hurley for that because he really likes those too. So it's probably more his fault than mine. But I like to think I had a little bit to do with that train. Uh oh, yeah. That's. Why my favorite go to like a sixty inch? I could do two three people with maybe mohr. Even without a phil, you don't think you get it almost over the camera. It's a little flat but it's going to fall off from the background and still give a nice like so you can go out on the road with, understand one head big umbrella with the diffuser. Throw another question at you. Um, see question from carolina who, uh, think it's, one of our former in person in utah? How do you deal with the computer being right here in terms of a client once to see the raw images? Do you show them to that person? Or do you only show the final product from doing head shots? I'll show them stuff as we go, as I say, I try to get as much. Dunas we want in the camera um so I think the head shot's gonna look pretty pretty good coming out of me you may do touch up some pimples or things like that later but they can get a pretty good idea from it so I'm not that worried about it but I don't shoot tethered usually into the computer so um sometimes people don't even ask about it they just be happy to see it on the back of the camera and yes uh carolina was from utah yes, I know who that is I'm actually gonna turn off that way because it's so noisy ok, but if it's picking up any noise but they leave one of those on in general we break by giving a break because of the noise uh their courts tungsten lights they've got a pretty long life on them and there's fans on these heads that keep them cool too so I don't know I don't pay attention along they're on or off um eighty uh dance for asking an effort to be versatile. What equipment do you use that works well and home studio and also can be taken on location like a wedding reception? Oh shots yeah, I don't normally shoot weddings as a main shooter, but I've done two weddings and set up something like this you know the cloth background and basically that's the same thing that sixty inch umbrella and either the strip light or reflector as the fill so two heads to two stands something hold the back ground up yeah good work very similarly inside and outside the studio let's see, this is a specific question from funky trunk which is I'm shooting in a seriously confined space with five subjects on a ten foot background by twenty four to seventy is too wide and shoots off the background what lens would you recommend in that situation this there's not much you can do there because two to narrow the background you need to back up so that the view narrows down once your once you're in close there's nothing you can do except crop dropped the image later if you can't back up that's a spot where the you know your location is dictating how you're gonna work what you can do if it's a white background you know crop to the white and then head weighed in photo shop to stretch out the background of so but I'm guessing that the people on the ends of probably going off the background uh without being able to move back I don't think there's really a lot you could do there except shoot him individually and strip it together later ivy frames is wondering I'm working in a even smaller spaces like you've really bounces everywhere any tips yeah get the light same as close as possible used soft boxes instead of umbrellas er soft boxes pretty much direct the light so if I was doing a portrait of view here, let me just know we have a light hair on the stand you know, oftentimes when I see someone who's new at the lights they'll set you up there and they've set up an umbrella or soft bucks here and then the lights going all over even if you look at it from here you put your hand up your you're blocking the entire late that's how small the light is remember light wants to be in close to be soft so I would play it from here and from here this is maybe a foot and a half to you even if the walls here there's another foot and half on the other side because of the inverse square law the latest falling off quite a bit before it reaches here and very little time to reflect back at you I mean, I would probably even put a reflector in here to fill this side so I think mistake I see a lot of people starting out is to put the lights too far away. You know, that's the person feels claustrophobic you're doing a good job your subject so nice um I mean there's there's other benefits to bring in the lights in close to speculate highlights on the skin and you know, oil spots greasy spots that really glow because those air like mural like reflections so if the light is back there or here it's it's the same amount of late is being reflected back to the camera so when I bring in the light here, you could stop down quite a bit and have a darker image and that darkens the highlight too um a lot of people don't take that into consideration it's it feels like it breaks the inverse square law because even though the light is in closer that it's the same brightness because it's a mirror reflection but what's happening there is the light is bigger, the latest spread through across the face it's bigger in the eye so it's still the inverse square where instead of the lake and dimmer it's getting bigger so it's the safe that's just backwards of the inverse square, so bring the light in and you could stop down more. You could get a darker face and that'll also darkened the highlights when the light's back there highlights is going to be just his break. We need to open up because the light so far away so that gives you this really harsh looking light on the face. So bring the lights and close and you probably don't have to worry so much about the backgrounds are the walls and the surrounding great there was a question earlier about how do you make say we weren't using the white men were making we were using a black how do you make that darker that's that's really tough a black paper still has some reflecting ts to it um if you can get black velour black velvet or something that's light absorbing as you're black and black velvet is expensive you know it's probably twenty dollars a yard so it's it's probably not cost effective if you must you really doing a lot of black backgrounds you wanna really black background that's in a time where you're going to need a large his niece because you really want to separate the the subjects from the background with an individual person that could probably do it now I can let you hear with this light coming across your face here feather across and not having the background it's gonna go pretty dark but as soon as we have a couple of people here and I have to turn the light more into it it's going to reflect off the background into the camera so getting a black backgrounds more difficult than getting a weight background carolina is wondering if you ever photographed pets I photograph friends holding like little poodles snakes and things like that but I've never done actual portrait's maura's the accessory where is the accessory yeah or someone just happened have to pet with them all like cute let's do a picture of you but I haven't done formal you set up a pedestal and put the animals on it and you know I don't work a lot with animals or kids you know it's like actors they don't work with animals and kids stage all the time right? Some for somebody else uh let's see the question wass what caution from star picks what's your favorite f stop for portrait it's assuming you could adjust the light lighting appropriately yeah let's that's another thing to talk about is you know, a lot of times you want a specific f stop for a look like somewhere around five, six or eight or eleven and with a power pack or studio strobe you khun dial down the power to get the aperture you want without moving the light because when you move the light closer further way you you change the the look of the leg changing the look of the image so you want to get the late where you want it and then you want to die with power to where you want it. As for favorite f stop, I keep thinking I want to go down to half to eight or four to get this really soft, just eyes and focus, but when you're filling the frame with the face even at eight or eleven step the field is very shallow, more shallow than you're probably expecting for that number so somewhere in the eight range in fm shooting a group of people and actually go into eleven jewelry asked me a couple of years ago I would've said oh to wait two five six and then I wonder why I have for the people in the shot or out of focus and you know so yeah it's a it's a close in head shot I'm going to being afraid or eleven so and even then I probably won't get the years and focus georgie porgy is wondering if you have ever shot with the three stand backdrop that's twice the width in expressing I haven't um I mean they do make wider seamless paper usually comes and only a very limited colors maybe super white, black and studio gray it weighs a ton I wouldn't be able to set it up on myself and maybe because of the size of this room I never be able to do that so um way back in the eighties I remember working a large studio we needed to do a large group and what we did is is ran the seamless this way you know, start from one instead of rolling it down rolled it out across that cut a piece and double stuck to the bottom to to bring it out so I have made a wider background that way but in a very large studio with like three or four people working on it isn't something one person can easily set up you know a small team to do that. And would you recommend that technique of folding the paper from left to right to cover that middle stand well in this one way, actually, I think tape gaffer taped to the wall in the back of the studio. Um, you know, having another stand in there, I think it makes it more difficult. I can see if there's a crossbar that had another hole in the middle to do three across. But then you wouldn't be able to put the paper roll on and you have to find some other way to attach to it. So it seems like it's getting complicated and try to find another way to do it. But keep it simple. A question from philip royalists who is from joining us from windsor uk does bringing the soft box real close is john, as you suggested, leave two very large catch lights. Yes, I mean it's according to the size of the soft box. But I want I want to see those catch lights. I like a large catch light. I don't want this this little dot there, uh, little dot me reminds you beat out squinting in the sun so I would like to see the catch like a square or round. Uh, my preference used to be square, but I infected talked into liking both of them because because I like the round lights just for the way they cover the field, so but but, yeah, it makes a large soft a larger, um, catch light, but less bright eyes explaining when when it's in close the reflection back to the cameras, the same is that one is far away, but put your flow with the power of the light because we're in close, so that lowers the brightness of the reflection. So I think it's a win win situation, bringing that it all in, but getting personal taste very good at asking people question from stephen, do you do anything to break the ice with new clients and what are the sum of things that you do to engage or interact with your subjects? But that could depend totally different subjects of its way have a lot of the props around, you know, just have someone is really stiff come in and just kind of give him this thing and tell them t to make some noise with it, you know, and just get them laughing and get their mind off the camera plus it away, you just encourage people to play, yeah, yeah, actually, yeah, you're making me laugh. Oh good you know I just like you want them to forget that the camera's there you know just wanted like I'm trying to do here I want to look at the audience once in a while there mom's probably not working or watching she's ninety two and doesn't want anything to do with computers of course you'll tell me why don't you tell me why did you make me watch? Because you don't have a computer a question from johnny d in ireland do overshoot through screams for full length portrait she threw screams oh okay nothing camera lighting through scrim um yeah I have like a seventy two by forty and scream that you could put a white translucent fabric on there instead of a soft box it's a cheap way of doing a soft box type of effect and it actually gives you a little more control because you khun with the light closer to to the screen makes it seem like a smaller light moving away you know the scream becomes the lights for them for talking about the size of the catch lights in the inverse square and like the scrimmage now the light source and it's being illuminated by whatever lights behind it so you can put two or three lights we hunted for even light we collected from the tops of the light falls off towards the bottom so there's a lot you could do with screams we also ve flat sometimes make avi flat where one of them is a scream and then the other flat so you can control the skill of laid off to the side's or did not hit the camera but guess for full and stuff that can work really nicely uh todd is one green if your mom you brought her a few moments ago do you think she would rather you be a photographer rock musician I don't know I've done both in high school I did play music and I play keyboards in the lake but I don't know she was she was she was a good mom and that she never encourage or discourage you know just whatever you want to do is up to you she didn't you know you have to be this you have to be that so I had a really good time growing up with her so did she mind the noise on the keyboards you never seen tio but I had a practice with headphones a lot two and we'll practice in other people's houses you live in an apartment growing up so I didn't have to have the band over to rehearse uh question from sam was when you were when you were first getting set up did you, uh, work with anybody locally to share equipment here? No um not really I mean I had a lot of the equipment I'm coming in uh I've worked with some of the strongest groups here in seattle or the flicker strobe ist groups and we've done some you know we do these things called garage shoots where we'll use local university garage to set up stuff chase actually did that once he rented a hair plane hangar for us and we had about a hundred people out to with about ten setups he rented a bunch of strove equipment and the like and we just slept people go around shooting different sets so you've done it that way, but for myself I'm used to working on my own I'm an only child and you know I don't want to share, you know don't have happy to share it with people around me know but, um I just like having this stuff here and available to me so what would you say that's kind of we've gone through all the different things that you have in the studio home with sergio today and john you share you sure? Yeah, but for two teo go back and kind of summarize if you are just starting out with a home studio where would you recommend people start? We said, you know one thing before, but I just thought maybe well, you need a couple of lights stands a couple of lights of a large modifier for the light um camera lenses camera, huh? Possibly a tripod is a sad don't usually use a tripod but I did my best to use one today. Um yeah, once I started the day with the you know, the fifteen second executive summary you know, um, one alien behead one speedy trying head pro photo, whatever brand it is with the sixty inch uh, soft lighter and I could do ninety percent of what I usually want to do with that and get more complicated from there started adding lights, but I think they're a great start when maybe one reflector and no, we didn't talk about collapsible reflectors. We talked about the pieces of foam core in the light, but there's also another for for portability. These things work better. You know, this one happened to be silver and gold tend to use white and the dull silver side very rarely used the gold side. Could you talk about when and when and where you use white versace silver versus the gold, huh? A little bit the weight and the dull silver just corner. How much late? I want to bounce back. So, uh, you know from that light there probably fill in my face a bit, but if you go to the gold, I mean it's it's, a totally different color balance I that's two yellow for me there are once that air stripes of mixed silver and gold and might work a little better uh these are always fun to hand to someone and asked him to fall back up but it's just especially the big one that night seven yeah, I think it's five by seven foot that were used once thes thesis in the studio I don't use him that much because I like the phone core is easy to set up a clamp but if you're going out on location, this is much easier to carry around than a four by six feet of foam core victor muss er from oxford in the uk lou I'm really cares about john's thoughts on shooting film given your pre additional experience do you think underappreciated nowadays? Do you still shoot it? No, I don't I don't miss film it all I mean, I have a lot of friends were really into film I don't miss it I took about fifteen years off from photography when I first got into computers and doing typesetting and got involved with all this in adobe and started working there on um I carried a point shooting a little olympus camera with me a little cannon pointed shoots, but I never really did a whole lot with um um then digital came about I did go back to thirty five millimeter with film, but it just better no, it wasn't I was never a darker in person I printed for other people when I was in new york and I did really well at it, but I never wanted to do my own darkroom stuff uh talked about starting out in high school I liked the process of taking the pictures not one these people got wowed by seeing the stuff come up in the developer to me that's what it's supposed to do? You know, let's go back and take more pictures for me photography is a process more than the product, you know, that's the interaction of between us is we're taking the picture and it doesn't matter what medium amusing for that uh, you know, so but I have a bunch of friends, but people like creative life were really into film and we would joke with each other about that all the time, but I personally don't miss film I would love to have a digital back from my five by seven view camera, but I don't think I'll ever afford something like that, but, um, what does one of those go for? I don't even know if there is a five by seven back before by five scanning back sir, I don't know you just think of medium format it's thirty to sixty thousand imagine with what a large large back would be, so you know I missed some of the digital film to digital transfer ical that's when I was sort of out of the the photo seen so um yeah for me it's I don't miss it I like the immediacy of the digital and um I like working with it that way so uh nothing wrong with film you know there's people who really love it but I always get into a little fun arguments with my friends about it and you can continue that argument with john we're gonna ask you a couple more questions please before we wrap um people are very curious about you hello? And um you've been doing this a long time who were your heroes when you first started that's all really? And then who are your heroes today? Yesterday when I first started out I was totally commercial I took a couple of fine art classes with david frying didn't jerseys still around is it find our photographer but I just didn't understand or appreciate it we had folks like george thais back there with this oak trees and the white castle photos I remember them so they must have had some impact on me that I remember the images but at the time I don't really think much of it was totally commercial pete turner jamie's l um steve style glitz bob brody um just a bunch of commercial photographers film marco around new york corn I really admired and I weren't big commercial studios for a while now I'm worried to the fine art thing if you ask me my influences now be edward western roof burn hard uh still some from the seventies that robert farber lot of portrait people's abadan I can't think of everyone's names right now but more the portrait photographers in general now where I used to be a total product photographer and really dealt with people back in the eighties yeah and you put some you mentioned earlier that you have about three hundred fifty to forty bucks and you're very hungry people yeah when you put uh reading less together on the forum why would start that was there was a reading list of technical stuff like uh lighting science and magic or whatever the name of that that book is where that will talk about the things I was talking about you know, the distance of the light and right the brightness of the catch lights and things like that um I should probably put together being maybe a list of books of just photographs to look at but that would be great peter but you see what I can do for people with that what is there to do? List what is your blogged blogged a cornet solo dot com or john cornyn chola dot com slash blogged or corn enchilada flesh blood there's lots of ways to get teo john uh before we go I would love to hear a little bit more about what you were current projects are and sort of where where do you want to go with your photography next? Uh that's a tough question I don't have any projects going on for a while I guess I do have a non running thing this friends project where you know, I've got two thousand friends on facebook and try to photograph all of them that are within close vicinity heard f or something, you know, trying to trying to see out of the two thousand friends how many of them have one of my photos as their profile or something like that? Uh, great uh so that that zahn going and um this past year spent a lot of time a creative live and really enjoy that and the schedule for this year's starting to fill up and looking really good so they'll go on my weekends again so yeah, nothing really but I really like this idea of teaching and sharing this stuff so glad that craig and chase got together and put this all together we're actually right around the corner from chases studio but he's down at the community uh see yes down in las vegas so he's not going to stop being today so no surprise guest but you know, he said he'd be watching so chase well john, this has been just what a fabulous day well thinks and just you have so much knowledge and um it's so great when you're always jumping in hoping instructors at all various workshops but it's fabulous tio have no probably went to pepperdine thank everyone a creative life and the folks in the chat room who kind of started this I don't get to see the chat room during the day and there's no recording of the chat room so I don't know really what's going on there but every once in a while you know cater toddle mentioned something going on the chat room they're trying to get you to teach something on that I guess that word made it up to craig and here we are so weii r thank you folks in the chat room. All right? Well, any any parting words focus is overrated you know you talked about soft lenses I do do blur things a lot and you know, motion and stuff like that when I'm not shooting with the stroke but just, you know, enjoy yourself there's no right or wrong, you know there's just different ways of doing it it's personal taste, you know, don't get caught up in reviews online of people telling you your work is great or bad, you know don't don't believe all the hype er don't believe everything you think you know, it's, just just enjoy it off. You know, we're here to have fun with this.

Class Description

A photography studio is expensive to rent — especially if you don’t use it every day. If you've been wanting a studio that's nearby and convenient, what could be more convenient than in your own home? Spend a day with John Cornicello looking at how to up an effective home studio.



John... you are an amazing instructor! Thanks for doing what you do :) Keep up the great work.. and having fun :)

Michelle B

John is a walking encyclopedia of information on cameras , lenses and lighting. His mild manner makes him easy to understand. This home studio class that John has done has inspired me to set up a studio in my home. John teaches if there is a will there is a way and he shows you how. This a great class for anyone wanting to set up a home studio even in the smallest of spaces! Thank you John you are a true creative!!

Vitamin Dee

I love this class, but I believe it's time for an updated version. We love John and his easy, no-frills approach makes learning fun.