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Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats

Lesson 6 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats

Lesson 6 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

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Lesson Info

6. Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Natural Light Overview


Live Shoot: Maximizing Window Light


Live Shoot: Use Reflector to Enhance Natural Light


Live Shoot: Back Light Your Subject


Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats


Live Shoot: Utilize ProBoard with Natural Light


Continuous Lighting Overview


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats

I wanna get my shot waist up, and I wanna do it so I don't get this, I wanna do a trick, I'll show you a trick. I'm gonna do a trick. It's just a little trick, but it's one I really like. So that you guys can see me and I'm not in the cocoon, I'll show you a trick. So what you do is you get this as close as possible to her and you shoot with both of 'em like that and then you get the V in here. Can you just, I see your bra on that side, yeah. A little bit further away than that, John. It's too much of a, it's blocking. It's gotta be open a little bit more like this. You just gotta be careful that your angle, no it doesn't have to be that, you need it like here. This has to be like this and this has to be like that. There we go, all right. Let me try that. All right, that's pretty good. This has to be, okay, all right. So I've got a gap between here. What I do is I setup my shot. If I want less distortion and I wanna get head to toe, I'm gonna go 70 on it, let's see. Oh I like this. And...

if I'm at 70, then that gap does not have to be as, and I'm good height-wise I think. Hold that, that's great. Hold that right there. That's amazing, I love it. Hold it right there, perfect. Hold on, let me. I gotta open up just a little bit to get these outta the frame. Try that. And again, if I'm white on both sides, then I'm gonna go into Photoshop, I can just get rid of these, too, if I wanted. Let's see how much light they give her. That's beautiful. Don't move a muscle. I can work with this. What are we saying? We were saying she was really blown out. I just added light. I'm going 16th of a second F4. 1000 ISO still. I even like seeing the yellow thing in there. Stand up and sit back down so it's not so static. And I'm still blown out looking, brought so much light in that I'm really blown out. Now I'm gonna go down in ISO because I can. I'll got to 800, I'll go 5.6, how's that? Let's try, let's see if we can darken her up a little bit. That's great. Hold on one second. In times like this, if my focus is set, like if I'm focusing on her, if I know that she's not gonna move, I set my focus, I could do a cable release, and I could be right here and I can direct her here. I'll do that with my subjects, too. I use it with kids all the time. Kids, they're crazy running around. I do a lot of kids catalogs and stuff like that. I do books for a couple designers every quarter, every season, and so I like using the cable. If you see videos of me shooting kids, I'm usually on a cable release. That's gorgeous, Leanna. I feel a little bit high. Again, I like shooting low, I don't know. I've been getting lower. In my old age, I keep getting lower. I don't know why. Let's try, let's see. So we get the focus. I don't think she's gonna move much, so I can just hit it. I wasn't even paying attention to her. I went too dark, right? Don't lean that far back. There you go, that's better, good. Now she moved forward, right? I went too dark, she moved forward. I still wanna get a little bit more light on her, so I'm gonna get these even closer to her. I'm gonna pull them out as Vs like this. Oh, wow, it makes a huge difference. We're gonna look at all this. Sorry, guys, I know you can't see her. It's killing you. She looks good. I'm gonna get these even closer and now I want you to watch the difference between the move I just made and the move we're making now. Let's see it. This obviously, I'd have to do some retouching or I'd have to move in closer, which I would probably move in closer, but look at the light. Look at the way it took down the, look at the highlights now compared to where we were at. What did I just do? I used those V flats to bring the light into her. I love it, this is more my work. This, from before. Let's try and keep it zoomed in. See if she's moving around in the frame. Look, see, that's with the V flats out. That's with the V flats closer. Look at the difference, that's like a stop. That's even more, that feels like more of the stop. All I did was get those V flats closer, and it's beautiful, soft light. Now all I have to do is, if I want to get it head-to-toe, I'm gonna have to adjust the, look at this. I mean this is still a cool effect, but it's certainly not this, and it's certainly not this. This is gorgeous, come see this. That's the other thing. You want to show them when you like it. She doesn't know what she got. (laughing) That's what you're getting. Cool. So we can move the body around a little bit, maybe put only one arm back there. Try moving a little bit, mess with the face. See, I love this on you. This move, like your parents hooked you up. (laughing) Right? Right in here, I love it, I love shooting that. So the only thing I wanna do, right now, this is the moment in the shoot where I would be like, I got it, I got what I want, I know my lighting, my settings are good. Now I just go crazy, like I'd shoot fast, I'd have her moving more, which we will do. We'll do some movement, she can move. Then I might take 100 shots of this to get one. Maybe one, and that one might not even make it in my portfolio. I'm really picky. Sometimes I'll take 200 if I really like it. That's once I get to this point. Obviously, if I wasn't teaching, I'd get to this point a lot quicker. I would have gone straight for this, I know that. Remember, I know that because I got my base built. I know that if I do this move, this is coming out. I know I'm gonna set it up like that. And yeah, why don't you try that, look over here. Try that, I like that. I'll move around the subject more. I'll figure out the shots so that I get something cool that I like. That's it, and you know what I'll do? Just in case I hit the edges of these, I'll make 'em both even 'cause you can see in this, I got the black on that side and the white on that side. At least if I'm gonna hit the edge, I want to be even. It's the same thing, it's just flipping the black. So we'll try and do this. Stay like that, Leandra, that's good. I can work with that, that's good. We're head-to-toe. Let me just see. I'm gonna move in a little bit and zoom out a little. There we go. That's pretty, good, hold it there for a second. I'm gonna go back in and move my camera. I'm gonna go back in and get my focus. Lovely, hold it there, good. It looks a little bit darker to me, so I'm gonna open up a little bit more. Since it was a lot of time between that one and the last one, I went 60, 5.6 or did I move my settings? I didn't think I did that. Let me see, I'm going 60 at the 4.5, how's that? And you know what? I'm actually gonna open up because I don't mind the depth of field, and I want to move a little bit. I want her moving a little bit. I'm gonna go 2.8 and I'm gonna go 100th of a second and try it. Actually I'm gonna go 1.1, 25th, let's try that. I'm gonna have to look at our exposure. It looks good, that I really like. Now, I feel like if I wanted to, hold that, that's great. That's great, right here, good. Hold on, let me just. The one thing about being on a tripod if I have to set on my focus, I usually keep my focus point in the center. You'll see me going like this all the time. My clients are always going like, "What are you doing?" I'm like, "I'm focusing, it's fine." But I like to do it because I like to move my frame every shot. I don't need to take the same shot twice. If I don't move her, I'm moving my framing unless she moves. If she moves, I'm not moving. I don't take the same shot twice. You guys are doing that. I'm telling you you're doing it, you gotta stop. And any of you that put this thing on burst mode, you gotta stop doing that, too. (laughing) No, I'm telling you. Yeah, I know you're doing it. You're out there, you're doing it. Now the good thing about this camera, we can zoom in, we can crop, and we can great stuff. Let's go to my move. My move is horizontal. Let's go to my move and let me come in and I'll go, and I'll do something like this. I'll get those out of the way. I'll come in and then, oh, wow, that's just, if she looks beautiful, don't direct her. She looks beautiful, but I went, wow, I like that. Alright, hold on. I went a little fast. I'm at 2.8, I'm going 2.8. I'm at 1-1/6th of a second 'cause it looks a little blown out to me. It actually looks gorgeous. Let me just get my, that's it, hold that. I need the grid on in this thing. Gonna turn the grid on. Beautiful. Beautiful, Leandra. Do one where you're looking off in to the distance. You're gazing off into the distance lovingly. (laughing) Never ask them to smile. There's no reason. Hold that, hold that. Why would you do that? Don't ask 'em to smile. Beautiful. And she's got a gorgeous smile. So guys, and now I've got her laughing and she's moving a little bit. I'm at 1-1/16th of a second now. I used to shoot at 60th of a second all the time. When I was shooting medium format, I couldn't go above 200 ISO and the thing would fall apart. I'd been shooting, shot me in format for awhile. I was at 60, so I have all these people cracking up and all blurry. I want to do a coffee table book one day with those, but it's cool, but everybody's like, "It's unusable." But it's like, "It's my art," but, you know, so usually you want to get them looking more interesting. That's beautiful. Chin down slightly, good, gorgeous, amazing. I love the light. Guys, are we getting shots or are we getting shots? She looks phenomenal. Let's zoom in and see. Come here, Leandra. I love the fact, did you see the reason? Whenever I know I'm back lighting somebody, I'm immediately going for the hair up because otherwise, we're not gonna get this beautiful wrap around her gorgeous face. One moment, I love these like, this stuff. Look at that under the chin, too. That's cool, amazing. Pretty cool, I mean, beautiful. Make sure that jawline comes out. Try five more shots with the hair down. Put the hair back down and get back in there. So what did I just do? Imagine that's your client. I covered myself. What if the client doesn't like their hair up? I'm just covering myself. I got what I liked. Now, obviously, I'm not gonna take up the time in the creative live, when I'm live, to shoot. You guys get the lighting. I'm not gonna shoot a gazillion shots of this to really drive it home. Actually, don't touch it, let me see. It just looked good the way you did it, so let me just see. We'll just shoot, hold that smile. Take it soft, that's it, I'll take that. There you go, good. Let me just see. Yeah, the hair looked good, so I shot it. She was messing when I was like this guy doesn't have the thing, and it looks good. Don't forget to jam that jawline out, I need it. Do some standing, lose the stool. See, covering myself. What did I just do? Cover it, just get it done. She's tall. That's it, there you go. Go back into that thing a little bit. Scoot, let it push against your body. Scoot this way a little bit for me, and then just shift your hip or do some sort of maneuver that would look good for like a portrait, just do it. (laughing) Most of my stuff is just to make 'em laugh because if you get the laughter, they'll chill out and you'll have fun with them, and even leaning against that, you get some really nice light wrapping around. Use your hands into the silk a little bit, yeah. No, just, like, maybe, yeah, maybe, like that, maybe like that, but push against it and then shift your hips a little bit. Try something different. Just one hand, maybe. Oh, forget the hands on the silk, forget that. That's just (laughing). There ya go. And who wouldn't want to get her natural smile, right? Beautiful. Leandra, come out, good job. Gorgeous, and now I got some really nice soft light and I got the kick on the cheek and I got it without. Look how beautiful this is. If you can't tell me that you can't run or begin a business without lighting, I'm here to prove you wrong today. Everybody's got a window. Obviously, that's a very big window, so the bigger the window, the better. It's awesome if you really have a big window and beautiful light coming through. However, you can work. I mean, the window that I had was three panels that were like this, so it might have been that wide. You can work out of a pretty tiny confined space. Alright, cool. Aiden, we gotta fire something up now. (Aiden laughing) We gotta do something. Go ahead, go ahead. Yeah, Pete, whatta ya got, lay it on me? You said you were shooting film black and white, and then everything starts switching to color. I mean I shot color, too, but I processed all my own black and white. I taught myself how to print color as well, but I would get the processing done at a lab and then I would go print, so I did both, but it was just when it went digital, I was one of the first to go. My question is if you're thinking, do you think in color now if you know you're gonna do a shoot that's gonna be black and white? Does that affect your overall reflector choices? When you think in color, are you making different lighting choices? Or are you just Not really, no. screw with that afterwards? I'm just shooting it the same way and then trying to create a looking in black and white with the conversion. So guys, when you convert, you should do it consistently across your work so that if you are converting. I happen to be shooting color like a mad man these days so I very rarely convert and create that kind of look, but when the clients ask for it, my retouchers will do it. I'm not opposed to it, but I don't give them notes or anything like that, and if I put something on my site, like I'm gonna show you a shot that we're gonna discuss a little later, or tomorrow, that is black and white that I converted, but you've gotta figure out your conversions and make sure that it looks consistent from one shoot to the next and give it a really good look if you're doing that. But there is absolutely nothing I do differently in terms of the lighting or thinking about black and white. Unless I know I'm only gonna shoot in black and white, then I might consider the clothing or way something looks or the person, or who I'm-- Are you concerned about like silver as opposed to white reflectors? No, to me it's all the same in terms of getting capturing the image. Image capture is the same. You have a question from online real quick. Describe what you're focus points are or what focus program you're using on the Cannon. What focus, I'm just using front button, center focus point, I'm real simple. I'll move the focus point around. If I'm shooting a similar shot to this, I might move the focus point up to the face so I don't have to move the cameras much on the tripod and leave it there. I like the fact that you can hit the button and real quick, you can move the focus point around, but I always do one focus point. I like having one and I like to reframe a lot, so I'm always moving the camera. You guys, as you get into the rhythm of this, your clients, the other thing is to keep yourself constantly rockin' and rollin'. I don't want Leandra in there sittin' like, I don't know what to do. If I was fumbling around with the camera and not shooting her, it's gonna be weird sitting there for so long. Now you're not in front of any lights, so it's a lot easier, but when they're in front of my lights, like the continuous lighting, you can't fumble around. You don't have time to fiddle with any of that stuff. That stuff is all the technical stuff that is done by the time they get in front of the camera, so you gotta develop a system that works for you. Whatever's quickest and easiest and doesn't bother you. You don't think about it. So for me, it's easiest, it's front button, focus with the center point, I'm easy, and it works for me. I tried the back button. I didn't feel comfortable with back button focus. Some people are like, "No, you have to back button focus," and I'm like, "You have to back button focus. "I don't have to back button focus." Everybody's different, all right?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List
7 Peter Hurley Discount Codes

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Setting for Peter Hurley Westcott Flex Kit

Ratings and Reviews

Hannah Walker

I truly enjoyed this amazing lighting class. Peter Hurley shows you how he achieves his signature look using all forms of light shaping tools from natural light, to speelites and high end strobes. Seeing first hand how the placement of the subject to the light source and your lightning set up is so important to avoiding the hazards of flat light and haze. He teaches you his unique methods and secrets on how to make eyes pop and get the best color contrast without harsh shadows. You will leave this class energized to hone your own creative vision with light and shadows using the methods taught by Peter. It was a privilege to learn from a master like Peter Hurley. Thank you Creative Live for another amazing class!

pete hopkins

Peter Hurley is the real deal. Not only does he know and share a ton of really practical knowledge of studio lighting for headshots and fashion, but he cuts through the crap and tells it like it is. He is very encouraging and serious at the same time. He had our attention from Day 1. and never lost it. *Bonus Gold - You've got to check out his Hurely-isms. They are priceless! Aside from the new bag of industry tools to work from, Peter gave me a real, sober perspective on what it takes to be PROFESSIONAL fashion photographer! And CreativeLive provided the perfect setting as well. The whole CL staff were warm and inviting and the food was great! I highly recommend CL and P. Hurley to anyone who wants to learn from the best of the best! I can't wait to start shooting with my new skill set. Sign up for CreativeLive! Take advantage of all that they have to offer! Build a foundation, own your light, and Shebang!!! You'll be at the top of your game in no time!

Student Work