Live Shoot: Continuous Triangle Light Set-Up for Women
Alright, so all I did was simply, I, I tilted the camera left light forward slightly. I turned the camera right one on its angle, on its side and, and put it way up like this. So there, you can see a noticeable gap here. And I've still got my fill where it is. I don't like the, I don't like the catch light or the light hitting the subject if I had made a triangle where these both tilt in, like this. So, in my slideshow they kinda look like this 'cause my slideshow designer dude liked it, but I'm telling you I like this like this. So if you have the flex kit I like this, I don't mind this space here at all. Couple reasons why. What would you guys consider my key light? I should tell the key light story. So this is the way I, I'll tell a story right now, it's kinda funny. I was um, I started shooting and becoming a photographer and I never took a photography class so I never knew, yeah, you get outta there for a second. So I never took a photography class and I was like, and I, one of my...
buddies was getting married and he was like, "I know you're shooting. "Would you shoot my wedding?" and was like, yeah, I'll shoot your wedding, that's fine. So I got, my friend was in photography school, and he was, so I was like, hey, would you assist me on this thing, he's like, "Yeah." so we get to the session, and I had um, by that point I had gotten my Profoto Acute QR2400 pack, so I had it with me. And we're at the reception and we're, he's like getting ready to set up lights and he's like, "Where do you want me to put the key light?" And I was like do we have one? (students laughing) I was like, I don't know but put that one over there. Like, I was like I have no clue. I don't know any of that stuff. So I've always joked about it any time that I, this is like for me it's been all trial and error on my own trying to figure this stuff out. And I didn't know any of that technical stuff. But I was like, you obviously went to school for it. Alright, come on in. So which one, now that I know what a key light is, which one is it? It's a triangle, so, and they're all supposed to be even, but go ahead. Which one would be the key light?
This vertical one on her right.
That's right. That's right. That's the one that I consider the key light. Why do I put it there?
Uh, because it looks good. (all laughing)
Alright, I'll, so, most people, whether you know it or not, are more attractive on their left side. Alright? If you don't believe me, there's been studies. Like I, I've done my own study. It's true, right? Okay, so is your left better, do you like your left or your right?
I like my left.
Okay, so go nose toward the key light. What is this what women quote again? Nose towards the light, shadows behind you. So nose towards what light? Key. Alright. Alright, so and plus Leeandryn looks really good on her left side. Let's see and, Aiden, you fall apart on your other side, don't you? Quick. You're gonna see when I get you in here. Go back this way with your nose.
Let me see. No, you're pretty good. Go back the other way. Yeah, that's stronger, though. Do you like it better?
Yeah, I do.
And you know, right?
Alright, the other thing that I do is, I will slightly, if you notice the angle of the top light is in a little bit. It's not flatter, it's just in a touch. These are just moves that I've made over the years of little, subtle tweakage. And what I have to do is, I have to move you a little, we have to actually move this, stay there, because I'm not gonna move the backdrop. Move her a little bit this way. And I'm gonna scoot you back an inch. That's perfect. And I'm gonna shoot her in the top of this triangle. So I have to, I like my lights in frame a lot of the time. However, I don't want my light chopping into her. My retoucher knows how, he really is good at taking stuff in the background and making it look like background again. (laughing) You like that. So, but I gotta raise this a touch. So let me see. There we go. I got beautiful light, now. On occasion I'll turn this one in just a touch. Tilt it a little bit and go up. So let me see how that does. Yeah, I like that. So I'll work like that. So I'm decreasing this just a touch. This is a very complex thing that has evolved over the last twelve years. So that's, you're seeing it live on Creative Block, this is amazing. So I don't know why I love this lighting. It's a little bit more focused for me than the square. I also like the catch light. So let's go nose towards the key light. Let's turn your shoulders towards the key light, too. Try that. Keep going. Don't be afraid. Eyes back to me now. Beautiful. Hold that, Leeandryn, that's great. Good. Good. Okay, so. We have to attach the camera. Hold on. Everybody settle down, it's fine. I know what I'm doing. I will attach the camera before I shoot. That will be helpful. Let's try that again. Drop your left shoulder slightly towards the floor. Hold that. You're gorgeous on that side. Now, let me, oh, there's that pesky light in there. Don't, I'm just saying this because I know that you guys online are giving me a herd time for that. It's gonna be fine. Alright. That looks good. I like your side on that. Go back to the other side. Turn the body that way. Good. Keep going, keep going, keep going. There you go. Nose back to me a touch. Hold that. Just look straight though, don't look at me. Look straight ahead. I just wanna kinda mimic the other shot. So do you see how generally the side that the hair is parted on is just easier to shoot? You get that? This is just, you know, normal. And I'm gonna give you another tidbit of information. 90% of the time the hair part is on their good side. 90%. 90%. It's very rare that I make somebody flip their hair part. How many of you can flip your hair both ways? Guys that are follically challenged, don't answer this. (all laughing) Hold That! Chin down and out. Forehead out, forehead out. Good. Beautiful. Now I don't care about that little light in the top right, jam that forehead out. You see how the three, the three, and work your nostrils this way. (all laughing) Good, that's it. Good. Go this way a little bit. Hold that. Look here. Eyes here, eyes here, eyes here. It's also rhythm with me. Rhythm and then what I'm gonna say and what I'm gonna do and how I'm gonna be, do you see that I use my hands a lot? So, beautiful shot, very nice. You see how the, you can see how the light focuses a little bit more with the triangle? You got that? So again, I'm gonna go over the settings. We got 30% up top, right? 30 per, you're not messing with my lights, are you? You're at 28, what are you doing? (students laughing) 28. I'm kidding. No it's fine, it's fine. It's perfectly fine. 28! (laughs) and 50 on the bottom. And guys, look at that. Alright. Do, do, just, just, I'll try not to direct you in a funny way so that you could be serious. (students laughing) Turn the body that way. Good, keep going, that's it. Now bring your eyes back to me. Tilt your head slightly this way. Chin down, forehead out. Hold that. Nose that way a little bit more. Keep going, there. I like that angle. Good, look here. Hold that, close the lips. There you go, good. Squint the eyes a little bit. You got it? Oh, I like that. See, you laid it on me. Good, that's it. It's a little bit too much but get the forehead out a little and the chin down a little bit more to open the lids. There you go, good. I like that, good. Okay, cool. Cool. Lips a little bit but I like the angle of the face. I'm working with both you guys. Can you squinch that eye more than that eye?
Can I what?
Squinch this eye more than that, yeah, yeah.
Independent, that's my move.
This is the best thing that you guys will learn on this. This is the best thing. This is just like serious stuff. Good. Good. Beautiful, tilt the head, hit your bangs. Attention to detail right, hit the front one. You're missing the, there you go. Good. There you go, good. Now just think about a thought. (students laughing) That was a Hurley, come on. I'm giving you good ones. there you go. (all laughing) Alright. If you want behavior in front of your camera you need to elicit it. You need to, I'm gonna do, this is what I teach in my headshot intensive, so, I don't know if Ill ever come on Creative Live and do my direction stuff, but um, I don't know, I would love to but , you know I really like to, you know I teach all this stuff so this is the stuff that becomes, this is after your base, you got me? Base is light. We had to get the light first before I said any crap to her, I had to get the light first, right? Right? We're working base first and then we're going from there. Alright, Leeandryn, I think we're good. Does it, can we go to questions? Come on out. Come on out. Wait, hold on. Leeandryn, just come in there for one more. Guys, let's say, let's say, let's say I wanna lighten this background a little bit. You know what we're gonna do, right? I'm not using a strobe so we're gonna use the inverse-square law, right? Okay, let's just bring it forward. Right up behind her. And let's see. So now we're gonna get a little shadow on it. Pull your end forward a little bit. There we go. We're gonna get a little shadow on it because we brought it closer so I'll watch where the shadow falls and see if I like it or if it bothers me. It's actually pretty clean, pretty clean. Stay right there. Hold that, don't move a muscle. I like it. I can work with this. Good, that's it. Good. Tilt the head a little bit this way. Step a little bit this way towards your key light. Did we brighten the background? We also gave it more detail, right? So there's detail in these backgrounds. There's a little bit of detail in it. Good. Chin down slightly, good. Look less concerned for your well being. (students laughing)
What? (all laughing) I just love your smile so I wanna get it out. Alright, so come on out, we're good, we're good, we're good. So if I wanted less detail then I would keep it back and then light it with a strobe, right? If I wanted to lighten it up. Probably do something like that. Or I could put the, I have a flex kit. So I have, when I, for the fourth light on the flex kit I'm gonna give you a bonus round. Let's say that um, actually let's do this. Put your hair clip back in. Let's say we go for a kick on one side. Now we wanna kick the opposite side of the key light. Let's move this back a little bit so it's outta, I got it, John, just settle down. I can handle this myself.
Yeah, I'm good. I think I can handle it. Just gimme that um, let's look at the kick on this. Can I have some slack? I'm gonna need some slack. I got slack, I'm good. Alright. So this is why I was like, I got four lights to work with, we might as well use them all. And it's nice to create especially, because we like her, I like her left side. She likes her left side, right? Give her a little kick. No I don't think so. I don't know. I didn't notice it. Did we get a kick on her before? I don't think so.
Scooch a little bit this way. Let me see, nose towards me. There it is.
How much power you want on this?
I'm at 22 right now.
Go to, go to, let's go high and work low. We'll go high and work low. I wanna see it, so I wanna see it and then I fine tune adjust it. Go 30. Don't go crazy. Yeah, now I see it. That might be a little hot but let's see. Chin down slight, I love when you put your hair up. I can't get enough of this. Look here. Good, beautiful. Alright, you see that little, see how it gives her a little separation off that background now? Alright? Now it's not gonna happen, it's not gonna happen if the hair's up. This is the other reason why. Can you tuck some of those, the hair that's going crazy, can you see it?
Yeah, I can see it.
See that little highlight? Gonna, there you go. gonna ooze this way, it's fine. That's, gonna ooze this way a little bit, step that way a little bit, tilt your head this way a little, turn your body this way a little bit. Keep going. Go nose that way. Keep going nose that way. There you go, good. That's it. That's it, alright. I'll let you look over here now, chin down and look at, there, there you go, good. Work your nostrils this way a little bit more. Alright, good. Now, how do you like the subtlety of it? I think it's subtle, right? I think it's nice but it gives me a little hint of that pop off the background, right? I don't wanna over power it. Go to a hundred on that. This is the mistake that everybody's making. I can't stand it. I mean it like, let's see, maybe it won't, I mean it's a flex kit, it'll probably still look good. (laughs) It's just like blasting her to smithereens. Smithereens, it just un, it makes the shot unbalanced for me. You got it? I want you to kick your subject subtly. (all laughing) Alright, good job. Leeandryn doing a great job, thank you.
You wanna take some questions?
Drew, we want questions, yeah.
Okay, so we got a couple of questions about different skin tones and how do you light different, do you just turn up the lights or how do you adjust lights for different skin tones?
I usually, the adjustment for skin tone isn't a ton, but if, obviously a darker skin is gonna absorb more light. So I'm usually not turning up the lights 'cause at 30%, how tough was that on you? You were fine with the lights?
I mean it's cold now stepping away from the light. (laughs)
It's cold. (laughs) but the lights weren't annoying you that much.
So if I had gone, if, it depends on everybody's sensitivity to the light, and it there's no rhyme or reason why somebody's more sensitive than the other. I used to think it was because light, light colored eyes, more light bounces around in there or something, but then I get somebody with brown eyes that is annoyed by 'em, I was like what's going on with you? Like, you know, so it just depends. Like I'm sensitive to light whenever I'm getting interviewed or um, or in front of these. I want it 'cause I get shot in front of these a lot during my workshops and I want, the diverted just like, get me outta here, get it over with. And that's the problem I had when I was shooting the florescents, I couldn't dim them. These, I just dim 'em down. So if I need, if I need, normally, you know, I'm adjusting the camera. The answer to the question would be I'm adjusting the camera settings before I'm adjusting the light. Due to eye sensitivity or something like that. And if somebody can handle it, I'll hammer 'em with whatever they can handle, if it doesn't bother 'em at all.
Do you ask them, or do you wait til they say like, "Gosh, these lights hurt my eyes." like what's your,
I can tell, if they're wincing there, or something I usually, I'm really you know, I wanna take care of my clients.
I can also tell if they'll adjust to it and it doesn't bother them that much. Because, like I said, I had more of a problem when I was with the florescents because I really wanted, the max output on those look so much better than when you dial them, you can dial them back a little bit and it didn't give me the punch that I needed at all. So it was a real problem then. With these, when I dial back, it's fine, it still looks really good. But I still, then I'm starting to think about my shutter speed and my aperture and that's changing, usually, and we're gonna work on this, um, we're gonna do a mixed strobe situation, and I usually have to adjust for that, as well. So if I'm using the strobe, like for instance, if I'm lighting a white background, I have my two Profoto's on each side. So now if I start adjusting the continuous I've gotta adjust the strobes as well. So I try and do it in camera instead.
When you're in studio, do you find that you're having your headshot clients sitting or standing most of the time?
I always stand people. I don't sit people. If you look at my old work, some people are sitting. But that was like in the 2002 era. I started standing people in 2003, and I've never sat them down since. I think we just wanna elongate bodies. I sit people down for portraits all the time. But the it adds another element to the clothes and the posture. So for headshots, for me, it's easy to stand them. I can elongate people and I can work with the posture a lot more, a lot easier than I can if they're sitting. Especially like guys with a suit jacket on, if I'm shooting somebody like that and they're sitting, immediately the jacket's like going like this and immediately I have to get in and adjust, if they stand up it just falls perfectly. Stuff like that, but I usually, in portraiture in general I like to extend, extend the body. I'm extending the chin, and I'm extending everything so I don't wanna hunch them. But I will sit them in the chair and make them extend themselves at times, too.
Do you wanna keep going?
Okay. With your square set up, you're shooting horizontal, your camera's horizontal, but the lighting's vertical so you're long lights were vertical, and the shorter ones at the bottom and the top. Is there a reason for that?
A reason for,
Shooting horizontal? What's it got to do with, what's the question got to do with my camera?
I think the question, the question is, it's framed horizontally, right?
You have your long lights initially in the first set up, like vertically
yeah. Instead of matching the framing of the um, camera.
Oh, they're talking about like the square setup?
Why don't I put it like this?
I don't know. I've never tried that. I think I, maybe I did once. Maybe that would work.
Yeah. Well the face is longer this way, right? So,
I think, yeah the face is longer this way but also if I'm shooting down to the body and stuff, I think I'd want the longer, the longer edge. I want the square to be more of a, it's not quite square actually, right? Because the lights are in, and then the top and bottom. So it's more of a rectangle and I want it, I wanna move the body and move the rectangle, I guess. But that's the same thing, that's the same thing if you look at , we have some stuff coming up where, where I've lit stuff differently. I'm always experimenting with tiny tweaks. This is what, this is what, again, to bring it back to your base. Your base, this would be my base, right where I'm stand, and now I can tweak. Right? I know my stuff. I got my go for light, I'm in, I'm rolling, I know exactly what I'm gonna do when I get there. I've got the shot now. Imagine I'm on a shoot and I got the shot that I want and it's done, now I can go hmm, what if I, what if I flattened this light and I do this? What if I do that and raise it up? And then put more power on that and put more power on that, and shoot somebody through this configuration. That's fine, as long as you've got the shot, and the client's willing to tinker. Alright? Otherwise you're doing that with friends and freebies.