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Shooting in Small Spaces

Lesson 6 of 7

Color Casts and White Balance

Jeff Rojas

Shooting in Small Spaces

Jeff Rojas

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Lesson Info

6. Color Casts and White Balance

Lesson Info

Color Casts and White Balance

We do have color casts if you look at this image that's a black wall and looks blue because a light because of the way that things were refracting inside the room itself is a bunch of red furniture. When you're shooting on a really, really small space color matters, he can't be winds ago about what you're trying to photograph, because if there's red walls, you're gonna have a red color cast in the room because in a very small space there's no distance between your subject and the background in the walls and everything that's there, so you're gonna have the influence by all these things? Mix light is going to be extremely apparent in that small space you have all these different parameters that you need to fix so color cast their unwanted tio tense inside your photograph at the end of the day, all it's going to affect his white pounds it's going affect the way that your camera photographs and what it seem if you adjust accordingly lighting, bouncing, light off walls and even close effec...

t your color past. How many of you have photographs and body where they were in green shirt and you wind up seeing green hues under their face? Those are things that you can control, you know, rust? During the men's portrait workshop, I gave everyone a styling guide. The styling guy did something that I do give clients and make sure that they know at the end of the day what's going to happen if they're wearing the wrong thing because I don't want green cast under the skin I want red cast under the skin you need to educate your clients your clients aren't you you don't know these things you're not going to hear these things these are things that I make sure although I'm speaking to you guys these are things that I'm literally telling my clients close effect the photograph itself if you wear a blue shirt more than likely if we're shooting in the wrong situation you're going to have a blue hue underneath I'm not by no means am I a fashion stylist I am wearing bright orange shoes and a green shirt I'm not fashionable whatsoever but I can sit there and learn from the silence that I work with you know incorporating the things that we learned from fashion and then it goes back to the scientific reason behind why that happens so what is color caste do inconsistent get skin tones right so your cameras and done at the end of the day are ons are so much more prepared for color casts in your camera when my eyes in a room like this my eyes literally adjust whatever room temperature this unless you have your camera in all don't even then you know it's always a variable it was the wall red is the wall blew all those things come into teo play is it going to be the right white balance or whites gonna be white and gray is going to be great or a gray is going to be like bluer light red or the wrong color temperature so you fix that? We want to make sure all the colors of cracked whites or whites grazer grace we have two major options that you can use you have the color checker passport directs, right? You have the expo imaging expo disc white balance filter those were going to give give you a chance to go inside her setting and be prepared to photograph right back. What almost that's a tongue twister, right white balance try to say that ten times fast I could make sure grazer grays and whites or whites that's analyzing the situation of the room I can set a custom white balance to the specific situation that photograph if you and that takes three seconds to basically set up inside the photo itself next life have you been in a small space and you have fluorescent tungsten or daylight tungsten daylight fluorescent it's terrible because you're gonna have one side of the person's face tungsten one aside a person's faith face in daylight and it looks terrible it's too wrong white balance is there's nothing more infuriating now as a photographer, when I walk into a restaurant or store and they have like mixed things, I'm like someone needs to fix these things why would you do that, too? May we all go through that? Eliminate one of the light sources that's your easiest solution? I'm not trying to overcomplicate things here I'm trying to make them easier for you. You can use an expo disc to make the right white balance in those occasions, and people tell you, you know you can use let's, say gels to your speed lights to make sure you're compensating for these things. Honestly, the easiest way that you can accommodate for these things is to eliminate one, because then you're only focused on one light source and one color temperature you're not trying accommodate by throwing extra things in potentially getting something wrong color your wall we discussed either getting an expo disc, we're getting black paper, so these are obviously black, the flat's it's very inexpensive to buy black paper and put it on your wall. If this is your own studio, for example, you in a small space. So think about this logically we're in an eight foot by eight foot space and all my walls airway and I grab my light it's, a very large light source and a photograph my subject everything's, a giant reflector in that room everything because it's a white wall on the left side, right side back, everything is bouncing around. I have no control over where the lights going versus, and I'm not telling you to go home right now and go paint your groom's black because that would be awkward like you just walk into his little black room. Like what you guys doing in here? Um, just even just a temporary solution getting either black foam core black pieces of paper don't get black garbage bags because you'll start balancing lights everywhere, so make sure that it's a very flat plane have you been through that it was like thinking of it from the standpoint of reflections and so plastic reflects light, but you could go purchase. Um, um, black fabric? Absolutely something like that as well. Absolutely anything for a cheap solution. I grew up in a family that it was like if it's free it's for me, so don't go there. Color casts visually if they're red walls he's the type of color cast they were starting to see they're bouncing off into that specific area. When you looked at the photo of our studio, he saw the black wallet still reflecting light. If that was a blue wall I'm it's literally bouncing at my subject if it's a giant blue wall it's acting is a giant little piece of paper we'll see that in a moment when we're photographing in person but for the purposes of this just remember this little diagram ford same thing you know now my color caste is behind my subject but I'm gonna start seeing a wraps have light around my subjects shoulders if they're wearing something like a white shirt and to read background amount of services and the red sleepover or maybe on the sides of the draw lines those are things to consider and if you need practice in any form of photography we have interns at the studio this is exactly what I do because models are expensive very expensive and finding models sometimes they flake out sometimes things happen so I have one model that can always use and rely on and that's our wonky I'd model with one eye and I'm honest like it is plastic it does reflect light very well however you can see where the highlights are pretty easily because skin isn't unless that's really greasy like under these lights you're not going to see many of that where the highlights are with this kind of mimics actual skin in a way with with the grease that if somebody naturally had those greasy spots I just contradicted myself going to go back and say that again if you have a model that has flat make up, you're not going to see is much highlights your normal average person. I've asked recent highlights and that's gonna help you, we create this thing's, so I use her a lot and it's funny when I went to my clients because they're like what you're doing while the models are getting ready. Well, my clients for getting ready and I can prove what I need to do, and then I just throw them in there like, ok, and I have to spend twenty minutes figuring visiting with lights, so I'm going to use somebody in person today. That's what I really do wanna buy myself and that light create these images, same ordeal, I I didn't need anybody. It took my my my camera, I walked over there, I practice for a little bit. I went back to the client, chatted a bit mom went in there and I got it right the first time in their mind, because in reality was like the fiftieth photo, not fiftieth it's like the ten photo, but that's it for the technical aspect of thanks any questions so far? We definitely do have some questions, so we're going to jump right into those on this kind of covers everything that you've already talked about. S o jeffrey bourgeois and one of the people wanted to know what about using curved angles in the corners to compensate for the scene what problems could that cause ah the first thing that comes to my mind his footprint right because you have less space in that specific corners if you're talking about making literally a rounded a corner it would be nice for white edges of the background and creating a white seamless and I'm thinking as we're going through some logically thinking about this situation getting that light on the subject we're going to have a nice wrapping light if you can figure out a way to wrap around the subject but you have a smaller footprint so I have to now think about my angle of you have to think about now I've shorted out so think about this sixteen squares if I cut one of the squares off I have less room to work with for lynch dress so those are factors I'm thinking about if I was going around my corner ofthe uh we have someone who asks if you had a small unfinished space at home you wanted to use for a photography how would you build it out? What types of fixture lights and color of paint for walls it's a great question create your ideal small space that's a great question so I think it really it's subjective to your type of photography at the end of the day if it were me, I would want full control of life. I want black walls, so although it would be creepy to my average person, they'd walk in there like what's up with this room, it's it's a good basis toe have a nice controlled form of life. There are other photographers who may debate and say gray because it's a very neutral tone and there isn't much bouncing around for my style of photography. I like dramatic lighting, so black absorbs like so I know that any given angle in a smaller space I can absorb light that way and it wouldn't have to put a black the flat every single time gray wouldn't go ahead and bounce around like less than the white light would. We would have a more neutral color and tone, I just ultimately, if you're trying to get something high key, maybe you want something that's, a white room because in the light bounces everywhere and it would be a very soft four of life. So it really depends in this style of photography that you're going for everyone in the room here I was wondering about honeycomb grids, the degrees that you use, like if you have a go teo or specific scenarios for which ones and then also to like, so if you have a a set that doesn't have duplicates you know, like mix ingrid's I guess it's a good question so these specifically wanna grab these that I have to speed like because I can just read it off of this so this bottom one is a forty five degree grid for speed like this was a twenty five degree grid when you add these two together believe they're a sixteen degree sixteen degrees I'm right I like being right sixteen degree grid now when I'm in my studio as much as we're having this conversation about technical and scientific science and technicalities I consider myself a very creative photographer I don't consider myself a very technical on there a lot of times where I'm looking for solutions but I'm not necessary looking for the mathematical equation behind these believe or not all this information that I have given you runs in the back of my head every single time I take a photograph but I'm not judging distances and angles and things like that I'm basically, um cooking without knowing the exact amounts I'm not grabbing a cup but I've been I've been grabbing a cup for so many years per se that I know what a couples like I can put it in my hand, put it in and dump it so it really is what I'm judging as the light that's in there and I think that as you start practicing is a photographer you start being that way and you start getting into environment where I know that I don't I shouldn't grab a seventy two hundred lens I know that I should probably shoot something like a fifty or thirty five in that specific space I don't need to think about this but as you practice makes it again you're so tense your question the grids I have a bunch of variety agree it's in my studio I will literally grab whatever's first in my mind sometimes it's which is what's available you know you look at the settings that I have in the specific cameras there's like four five cameras in there because here's what I'm doing what did I bring today? You know I have I haven't my my apartment I have a cannon five d mark too I have a samson any x one at the studio I have my mark three in any x one and every now and then for commercial jobs I'll rent out the phase one and it really add to what I've crab you know I'm not thinking about I need to just use this I'm looking for what's available to and this is why I have an iphone well I was supposed to have that in my back pocket sorry um same radio whatever is available to me at the end of the day. Any other questions so far yeah I've got one more here from online and I think we want to get shooting just a quick clarification for the if you wanted to paint a room, what aboutthe ceilings would you also do black for your style should you do it the same as the other walls or something different? So this is that this is a moral standpoint so growing up my grandmother always paint the ceiling and it bothered me because there's always the same color and I'm used to a white and every other house it was from my actual studio I would probably go with black if all the walls were black and then it would be the darkest little room in the house but I know that I have full control of life but again, if you if you're photographing you want high key images, keep it white if you're photographing you want neutral a newsroom, I would paint it gray because ultimately if you're in that small space and you're bouncing around like your ceiling still gonna bounce off lights a giant reflector up there that's great okay and then the quick final questions let's look one users and for three other people want to know what about shadows? This is the big problem with having subjects close to a wall it's a great question, so in theory, if you take a larger form of light, you should have less shadows and as you're shooting with smaller light forms and this is the holes the high key loki small modifier versus large modifier if I wanted to eliminate the shadows I want to move my subject from the background itself or use a larger modifier so if I was going to photograph a subject close to a wall I want a large soft box behind me second kind of dilute the background itself so what science space where they're shooting in are they shooting something like a ten fifteen square foot space and not a houdini style eight foot because nobody actually has an eight foot by eight foot square space watch I'm going to email later I have a four by four foot I shouldn't coffin so if you should go in a larger space in that I mean sure you know why not you want to use a larger soft box toe dilute the background shadow cool it wasn't your catching teo I think it's about time to get started shooting let's do it okay so now that we've discussed this section this is currently set at a coffin so I'm gonna open this up a tiny bit so this is ahh currently see my grandfather's a carpenter this is one my mind works this way I know that's five ish feet so I need to open up about three and this is why his angles were always off so you guys know that there was never square thing in the house it was all a trap is oid always okay, just be a little it's making little judgment. I'm gonna pull this table back with all these lenses. You stay there. I'm gonna keep one form of light I'm gonna move my stool out. So what I'm doing here? The first thing I said was analyzed environ it is a trap is oid it's totally. The trap is oil so first thing I said is analyzing environment there's things my way at the end of the day, right? There's there's many things in my way, we talked about footprint and this is a way that my mind works and I'm looking at that square grid that we discussed before, so I see standing when you know large space in a large environment, this doesn't matter. I'm putting this in this space, I'm walking around pretending the wall behind me and everything's enclosed I'm constantly stepping over this thing any given point to get around all those factors play into what we're speaking about here. This is to be one I don't have a cord, right? So it eliminates the fact that I don't need to plug something in if I looked at the court, it is taking up space, I will trip and fall, so don't think about it, just this creative thing about its safety, all those things play an important role for what we're trying to do if I had a boom arm let's say I can tell that forward or backward, but it still takes up space in the room itself. Those are all considerations I have, but I'm looking at this environment when I'm looking at modifiers for example, pull this one off there's, a three foot octo box normally says it seemed very big, right? It's a pretty small size off the box until I put it over here. And then it takes up the whole room, right? Your modifiers and you modify choice is gonna be important if I would take this modifier I'm gonna move this separate light here just back here. So if I was at a forty five degree angle and this is about eight feet on the side, if I wanted to be rembert light and that's, how much with my head this is how much shooting space that I have. I can move my subject forward backward and be okay even though, and we're that forty five degrees. Rembrandt, right? So forty five degrees above forty five degrees towards the side, we can shoot some pants. Rembert line now, if you're fit and everybody has different learning styles, so we're talking about generalize examples so there's a lot of photographers that maybe use front line so forty five degrees this way remember that this is an open flight so that I would turn on he's had modeling lights right haven't used yes the bill die quickly we don't need it for much longer we're going to turn on the modern life I'd have to think about now and you're going to work baby a perfect model perfect don't open this and just make a little more evidence two pieces of diffusion going here one two just so you guys can see the difference this's I didn't set this one up together notice the poking safety safety first make sure it's installed correctly guys from new york city I'm very sarcastic teo I apologize for any sarcasm it's a little dry inside my head it was a lot funnier than it really wass that's usually how everything goes okay so it's a perfect sample where's my light where's my if I were to take this photograph we're gonna tech press test but you can see visually it's all across the room say foot, square space right? So I'm thinking about why diffusion material works it's going to go ahead and it's going abroad in light even more than what this is currently it's going this is very contrast if former lives that's going to soften up the lights on but it's still not directing the like where I wanted if I was going to take this out of forty five degrees it's taken member the the photograph that we had the illustration where had the falloff of light fire we move this forty five degrees and I'm not gonna move it up literally just gonna move forward we're now letting the right wall the background and the left wall because it's a huge modifier compared to the room someone press the test button again test go yeah, very broad form of light so in this missive example, if I have a great it's going focus directly on my subject that's also going my background we talked about before about moving that like so say I'll have a great which I don't have a great I have diffusion material I can throw the diffusion material back on and can it for a black foam core that's there are one of the big blue just for the example unless there's black there thank you thank you very, very much to pretend this is black color caste this never happened this is black look at the light and background and a concert flagging things off accordingly I literally can fly everything it's there I can turn my life in order to compensate for that I can block off the light there I could be able to move this light more so towards my subjects side block off the light again right? Because all them cared a caring about where the lightest is my angle of view right I don't care, he said when he blocked it off there there's still light over there I don't really care from focusing and that specific section because I'm not photographing it at the end of day I only care about what the image is going to show so even though this fall off on that side I'm in a black room I've analyzed that this is blackwall black background I'm only focused there that's where my angle view us this's black remember that so if I wanted to go out and photograph of subject in that environment and I'm directing light into their face but I'm still getting because I'm using a grid there's not fall off on the side right? I could easily take a white so this is no white pretend this is what I can now take my white phone court bounce right back at my subject from the opposite side and have a black uh phone core from the side these very small in reality to this whole room and how do I put these things up? I have a small little light stands the same ones that you would use for speed lights just to put on even something smaller than this I've also used like dia y little tiny stands in orderto like gaffer's tape it towards decide to put it there, so if you look at the photograph here as a matter fact, I forgot what companies air from their very small footprint compared to those because I do have this and I can easily throw and gaffers state but that's overkill like those air small footprint I don't have to worry about walking over everywhere and those work that you put the stand also and I don't want to use this giant thing which I would prefer to use this giant thing personally use this the only reason I'm doing this is because I don't think it's a pull tab there's no polls have been thinking about you she spent a ton of time putting this together I'm gonna pop it out same principle beauty for those of you that haven't used the divisions very, very beautiful form of light in the photograph that you guys saw the young lady that hair and that one is shot with the beauty dishes a hairline very contrast to the form of light still soft but pretty relevant so this specific section in this life I can visually see delight follow that light now I'm gonna pop it back on after I spent like thirty seconds bleed off honey, come brit, I don't have the degrees on here, do I? Because I know there's a question about degrees I don't have a degree in here so I don't know the exact agrees way to pop this on this is gonna go ahead and direct lite theo. Only thing I've done has it has a little cabbages, twenty five degrees, twenty five degree grid on this twenty inch white beauty dish. Ok, so now what ever done? I'm gonna go ahead and press test very smaller form of light, this smaller fall off, but in still directing light towards my subject, right? So I could go ahead and move this light around even more if I want to move towards the left. Because it's no longer my angle of you it's directing light to a specific point, the small little changes make it so I can photograph in that small of a space, even with a modifier. Is this okay? If I don't have a grid because these came, get expensive, if damage, and you don't want to buy another one three dollars from core. Block off the light inside small changes.

Class Description

Space is a luxury that many photographers simply cannot afford. Learn how to make big images with limited square feet in Shooting in Small Spaces with Jeff Rojas.

Lots of photographers begin their careers working in garages, second bedrooms, or even their basements. When you're shooting in small spaces, every decision you make – from your lens to your lighting style will ultimately impact your final image.

Join Jeff Rojas as he dissects the art of shooting in small spaces and shows you how to get a great image, no matter how little room you have.

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Bill Bistak

I'm not sure why so many rip on this class. This is exactly what I needed to know (after I pulled my head out of my rear about wanting highly technical explanations). I do have an unusually small studio and really listening to him taught me loads of goodness, which I immediately applied and earned several awards by doing so. Thank you! Although a very calm video (which I also appreciated), it paved the way for deeper understanding of small locations and how to use them for great portraits.

a Creativelive Student

He had some good ideas like using corners, light modifiers that emit focused/directional light, and dealing with color casts. Showed some excellent fashion portraits shot in really small spaces. Wish he had gone more into shooting in a room with average ceiling height.

Amber Tolbert

I was at a shoot the other day, lugging in so much equipment, and found myself crawling on tables to get the shot I needed. Jeff's course shows exactly what you really need for effective and impressive portraits in small areas, a huge help and my next shoot will be much more efficient and powerful.