Live Shoot: Use Reflector to Enhance Natural Light
Let me see, so ... Go nose this way a little bit. So, I'm sussing out his face and his angles. The guy's got jawline, he's got cheekbones, he's good lookin'. Nose. Nose this way. So I gotta decide which side I wanna shoot, but since the light is over here, I want you to face them. Okay, do you see the shadowing on the side of his face that's away from the window? Put the- We're not gonna be able to put the ... Put this, bring this over here. (audience laughs) I'll move it a little bit. I'll move it a little bit. So I like shadowing up guys, I just always have. I do it with women too, but with guys, I can create- So I need to leave this open so that it gets enough light on it so that this background still goes white. But, I wanna show you how I'll set up a little move to make some shadows even ... shadowy. You see that? Is that negative Phil? That's my buddy Phil. But now he's in a bad mood. (laughs) Alright. So, I'll use the black to create a little denser shadow on the face. The coole...
st thing about this is that I can give him a little kick, without- All my lighting- like I said, I look in natural light for things. I like to watch the light on faces and then I try to emulate something similar in the studio. So, so I got ... It's crazy, if I bring this black up here- Let's just bring the black. Look at the difference when I put the white on him. I'm gonna let you guys see this. Let me flip it around, v-flats like you wouldn't believe. Alright, look at the difference now. You got it? I'ma show you really simple way to make a really really simple picture that's kinda cool. So let's just shoot a couple, and we'll keep our settings the same. We'll shoot Aiden. And we'll give him ... Jam your forehead out a little bit more. Take that silly look off your face, what are you doing? (audience laughs) Alright. So now, see all that shadowing that's going on in the face, right? He's faced this way, he's away from our source. So what I'll do is, I wanna try- I will angle the camera ... Turn the body towards the windows and then nose towards me. Turn your shoulder a little bit less. Take a tiny step this way for me. Come forward, come forward. Don't pay any attention to this. Come forward a little bit and a little bit down. There, right there. Settle down, go back a step. Alright, good, that's it. Imagine there's a hook in the top of your head that's pulling you up to the ceiling, jam your forehead out. Down. I think I have that same shirt. That's cool.
Do you like it?
Yeah, I like it. Well, if I have it I like it, yeah I like it.
No, I'm not trading. (laughs) I'm not trading. Tilt your head a little bit this way. Forehead out more. So you went down like this. Do this. Yeah, you didn't watch my video, obviously. (audience laughs) Jam your forehead out like a- Yeah, there you go, Nose towards me a little bit. Hold that. Hold that. Hold that right there, that's fantastic. Good. Now since I'm so side lit, I'm starting to get his nose so I'm watching the highlight on the nose and I brought his nose back a little bit so I get some light in the eyes. So what I'd like to do ... Is now, you see how there's a little kick? That's from the board. All you need are a couple v-flats and a window, guys. C'mon. Now let's put some negative fill in, and then we're gonna make sure light- He looks really good- It's kinda like splitting the light on his face, right? I don't know technical terms, but people have told me it's called split li- Split lighting? (audience laughs) Something? I don't know any of this stuff. Yeah, but do it like this so I can move it. Create that L. Alright, look at this now. Stay right there, and ... That's it. This is beautiful, that's it. Stay right there actually. And I'll use the seam so I don't have to retouch the seam. I'm gonna keep the seam beneath his head, and sometimes I'll crop into the top of the head if I want to. Jam your forehead out. You're gonna be doing that all day for me, get used to it. Practice during the break, please. (laughs) There you go. So watch this, now I brought in my negative fill--
Uh, you blinked. Alright, jam your forehead out. That's good, Aiden. Jam the forehead out more. Yeah, like that. There you go, good, good. I need you to squinch too, look at me. Yeah a little bit. Not that much, you're squinting. Squinch! No, squinch not squint, you're doing this, I want this. Watch my eyes, watch my eyes. (audience laughs) No no no. No, that's squinting, stop that. (laughs) We'll work on it at the break. He needs a little tutorial. This is not a squinching class, this is a lighting class. Guys, look at this. So see the natural kick I got? You guys, how awesome is this? I feel like I need to warm him up though, don't I? He looks a little cool to me. I mean, he is cool, you're cool, but ... And I feel like the light went down a li- My tents at 11? No, it's at 1.1, okay. And my white balance is goin on its own, all over the place. Where'd my white balance go? Here it is. Let's just warm him up a little bit. Guys, I always do- I know people are gonna ask, but I always shoot on a calibrated monitor and then I adjust by my eye and looking at my subject. I don't use a gray card, I don't ... I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, It'll get you faster to where you're going if you're not used to doing it by your eye. However, I really think if you're calibrated on your monitor and the person's in front of you- the gray card is not going to tell you that his skin has a little green in it. So I need to bring up the tint a little bit, I just brought up the tint, right? Gray card's not gonna get me that. So I need to go in and- cause I wanna warm him up and I wanna- you got a little green, did you eat this morning? Are you okay? No I'm kidding. (laughs) (audience laughs) He looks great, he looks great. He's perfect for me, he's got great- Now, I love that shot, right? The thing that I love most about it is that I used a v-flat to create a kick. And I've got the shadow. And it's kind of Rembrandt-y, right? Isn't that what's it's called with the thing right here? Isn't that what they tell ya? Yeah. I love it. I like that, now if I could just get this guy to squinch. Alright, let's do a ... Let's do, let's do nose this- Oh he got the squinch down, he practiced. Jam the forehead out towards me, jam the chin a little bit- hold that, hold that. Watch this, I got a little subtle kick, I got a nice squinch, I got a good angle of his face. Look at that light. Just- what's the Walt Whitman quote? Who learned something this morning already? Who learned something? Put your nose to the light and the shadows fall behind you. What just happened? There's learning going on here people, c'mon. I love it, and that's a good look. And he learned how to squinch. Nose back to me, nose back to me. Chin down, chin down, chin down. There you go, jam your forehead out a little bit further. Hold that. There you go right there. I'm at 125th of a second F4. Get that forehead out, I don't wanna see any of this action. Look at- come here. Turn to me. That- yes! (audience laughs) Can you do that please?
A little more subtle than that. Alright guys, so we've got ... A bunch of options for you to play with, a window. You're playing with a window? A simple window. That's it. Now watch, I'm gonna- We don't have direct sunlight here, but I'm gonna defuse it anyway, we're gonna go even softer on this light. And I'll bring in that Matthew's silk that I use that is gonna just roll in here and we're just gonna try it and see how I- if it fills any- I mean, we've already got ridiculous soft light, but this is what I want you to do if your window faces south and you have direct sunlight in, all you're gonna do- you can take a sheet, I used to use, I went to- where'd I get those things? I used to go to fabric stores in New York and get fabric, I'd look for fabric and I'd just throw it up, it doesn't matter, just something that beats that light up. Bring that Matthew's silk in. Let's bring that over here. Let's try and keep it so that you guys can see. Aiden, let's move back a little bit, so we can bring this in. You need me? Alright. Now I love this thing, I use it anytime I have it- I have it set up in my studio, I use it for a lot of different things. It is big cause I bought the 12 by 12, but you can buy a smaller one, but it covers the entire window. Just get that- slide that all the way- yeah. Yeah it's okay, we're good. Oh wow, look at that. So look at that, that just beat up the light, right? Alright Aiden, come over here. Stay right there, bring it that way, bring it that way. Go that way, yes- go back similar to where you were. Right about there. Come over here. Go back towards-
You wanna come toward me?
I wanna go towards you, yeah.
Yeah, John, come toward me.
Okay, come back over here. Step a little bit this way. That's about where you were, right? So I probably lost- I should be using the me- See now I could use the meter and tell ya what I lost on that. Whatdya think I lost, half stop? (audience replies) It's a one stop screen? Probably lost a stop then. (audience laughs) Alright, I'll try one stop. Let's just, let's just, let's just go back to 60th of a second. Aiden, you're perfect, hold it right there, don't move, I love it. Look, eyes right here on my finger. Hold that, I love that. Hold that. This is cool too. Don't worry about that. Aw, it's amazing light. Guys, you can't beat this light. Now watch, if I wanna open up those shadows a little bit, I got my trusty reflector. Aiden, eyes here. Nose a little bit this way. Jam that forehead towards my fist. There you go, hold that right there, I love it. Good, look at this. Huge difference. You can create any kind a- I mean, you could start a business with this. No problem, I did it. And it's really nice, have you seen these? Hold on. I personally like when guys have jawlines and cheekbones like his, I like to accentuate em and wrap light around em. Stuff like this, this is cool. So you see that subtle kick right there? Let's go full screen on this. See this subtle kick? That's my work. That- I put there. I put that there- did you see me put it there? Right? I'm responsible for that. I'm also responsible for how dark that shadow is. Right? Huge stuff. Huge stuff. Alright, Alright, um ... Aiden.
Thank you very much. Good job, nice work, nice work. Alright, what are we gonna do? I might shoot some more, hold on. I'm ready for some questions, yeah.
Wanna take some questions?
Let's get the v-flats down.
We got a lot of questions actually about v-flats.
Where do people get em? How much do they cost?
Alright, so v-flats ... This is amazing, I got a v-flat story. So I went- there was this store in New York called Pearl Paint, and art supply stores have em, this is a really thin one. They come either ... It's like v-flats or gator board, gator boards are a little heavy, it's foam core, and this is a really thin one which is nice because it's light and portable. But in my studio, sometimes I got a fan goin or I got windows open, you don't want em flyin all over the place so I usually use the thicker ones, they just plop and stand a little bit better. My goal- with all my products, My company's HurleyPro, I make products under the HurleyPro brand, it's all studio gear made to move, so my goal is to come up with a portable v-flat for you guys, which is in the works but hasn't happened yet. For now, you're gonna go to an arts supply store, you're gonna get a four by five sheet, four by eight sheet of foam core and you're gonna tape them together. Black on side, white on another. In my studio in New York, I have ones that are black on both sides, and then I have the ones white on one side and black on the other. I use both, but ... Sometimes I use black on both sides because if I've got strobes behind it, that I don't want the strobe bounce around the room any more than it already is, so I use black and black. The other thing that I do is that you can do this: If you're in a confined space and you don't want a- these are big, you can see they take up a lot of room, you can cut this in half and you can tape it in half, and mine I use half. Normally the ones that are in my studio right now set up to shoot are the four by eight cut in half. So I just saved you space and money. Alright? So get them, you tape together, you tape white on one side, you tape black on the other, and you're good to go. And my goal is to make some portable ones, so- cause I really do everything that I do, I do for me. I'm selfish, you know? I make stuff so that I can do a better shoot, and if I can shoot better, you can shoot better. So I'm tryin to make things that are portable and make my life better. I mean my favorite one is the Hurley Pro pro-bags, which- I guess we don't need to talk about this, but this- I'll talk about these later. This is a ... I just don't like bringing sand bags around, it's the the thing I loathe the most. So I developed this bag, which is a HurleyPro pro-bag, and the discount on them is in your PDF, so make sure you get that. Another question, give me another question. You film with water. When you get to the shoot, why would you bring sand? I'm not bringing sand with me anymore, I don't bring- I brought six of those, jammed in my bag no problem.
It's good. I think we have a question right here. Okay, stand up.
Hi, what do you do about reflections if someone has larger glasses like myself, cause you were quite close to the subject as was your tripod, your camera, and then all the framing of the windows, I can just see a lot of that hitting them in the glasses.
Glasses are ... That's the number one question. That came up really early. It's just the number one question I always get is glaring glasses. So, the number one thing is that I do is- I shoot a lot of CEOs and stuff like that, and people who- you know, corporate types that wear glasses- I mean everybody wears glasses, but I know that if I'm shooting corporate people they wanna be shot in their glasses. A lot of people- Like I'm the type of guy that- my eyes are goin and I need glasses now, but I could wear em or not wear em in the shot. I don't care, but normally people that love their glasses, you have to photograph them in their glasses. So you gotta have a solution for this, alright? Here are a couple things that I do: One is, I tell whoever's booking them- so let's say their assistant calls and books somebody, or the person calls and say that I wear glasses, I say bring every pair you own. Every single pair you own, I wanna see. Because, why? Maybe they went cheap on the anti-glare. If somebody went cheap on the anti-glare is it my responsibility to get the glare out? It kinda is, it kinda is. It's kinda like I'm gonna say, you cheapo. (audience laughs) What's wrong with you? Why didn't you pay the big bucks for the anti-glare? You know, but then again, anti-glare's all different. Some, you see them. You get a green hue, you get a purple hue.. Mine, I think there's a little blue in them, but they're really go- I know I'm on camera a lot so I really wanted to get good anti-glare. Yours is- yours- put your chin up a little bit. Down, don't go crazy, stop that. Yours has a little green in it. Yours is great. Go this way, come back to me a lit- it's a little green. Yours is great too, go back a little bit, go nose this way. Yeah, he paid the big bucks. (audience laughs) Who went real cheap, lemme see. Go nose toward the window, you went cheap? Chin up a little bit- no you didn't. Go up, chin up chin up chin up. Yeah you did, chin up more. (audience laughs) You gotta get the window light in it, yeah. So what I do in my specific set up, I have a way to do it. I think if you've got an enormous window, it gets a little bit more difficult because how easy is it to move that window? And how easy is it to move a light? So you can work a little bit better when you're lighting than when you're working with natural light with glaring glasses. I mean you have to move the subject and there's some little tricks that I do use. One is whenever I have somebody ... And this is getting off the subject of lighting, but I'll do it, I'll let you have it. This is more technique, but it is lighting because the glare in the glasses, so I have them wear the glasses abnormally high. So everybody push your glasses like this. We got a lot of people with glasses here. I want them up there because this is not- this is because I don't want the frames to go through the eyelid. The upper eyelids get caught in the frames. You wanna push those suckers as high as they'll go, right? So you keep em up there. If the person has hair on both sides of their head, like I can't do it, I could do it if my hair was down, but I can't do it with my hair up. You can tilt the glasses forward and just get them off the ear a little bit and it changes the angle of the reflection. That's the real trick. So I do that, but I can't do it- If I do this, you can see that I'm doing that, right? (audience laughs) So it has to be real subtle. Then the next thing you have to go for is getting them in position, doing that, and then looking at your light. What's goin on? Where are the reflections- look at the reflection that's in there and figure out what you're doin. I'm actually gonna show you how to do it with the continuous lighting. We're gonna do it when we do the flex kit, I'll show you what I do. We'll do it on a guy. I'll do guy's lighting, for me that- getting it out is not a problem. But you may have to jeopardize your lighting a touch. You know? You might have to. It's gonna change your lighting just a little bit. But you gotta get it done, your client needs it. Don't take glasses off somebody that wears them all the time. They don't feel comfortable. They're not gonna give you good expression. Like you know, it's like part of your armor, and this is it, like this is part of your whole operation is this, right? Like I feel okay without them because I need them for reading and now I need em for distance and I try to wear them and not wear them, but I'm okay. I'm like shoot me either way. But how many of you feel naked without your glasses on? You're not takin' those suckers off. No. Good question. We're gonna show it when we do the continuous light this afternoon, how's that? We'll work on it, alright.
Polarizer on the camera? I don't use them, so I don't know the answer of whether it would help or not, I've never used one to do that. I used to use em when I was fiddling around with film when I would try to make the sky go bluer or somethin and you spin the thing and stuff like that. I don't know- all my lighting- more simplicity, so I haven't used a polarizer in a really long time.
You said you shoot with a 2470, what millimeter- what focal length do you normally shoot at?
I was at 70 there. For my portraiture my favorite lens is the 24 to 70. That's the one that goes on my camera the minute that I'm shooting something that's ... I mean a headshot is a portrait, but a portrait isn't always a headshot, right? It's a picture of a person, I believe. So I shoot at 70 to 200 at 4 when I'm shooting a headshot and then when I move further back, the 24 to 70 gives me a lot of flexibility. So those that I was shooting I was at cause I was pretty tight, but we're gonna be doin some further back stuff and I'll probably, I might go to 50. I'll usually tell ya, I'll remember to tell ya where I'm at when I'm there. Any other questions from the crowd?
No, I think, do we have any more questions here? Yeah.
Curious on your camera angle when you're shooting a man or a woman or a ... Just that perspective if you're aiming your camera's angled right at the eyes, a little bit above, sometimes a little bit below, do you have a feel for that which you like to do?
It just depends on how I'm framing them. I'm usually, my main thing on camera angle, I do not like the camera to be higher than the person and shooting down on them, so I normally try to shoot very straight at them, very into simplicity and like, straight at em. So if the person's standing up and I'm shooting them head to toe, then I want the center of the camera at like, like right around their midsection. So I'll be down like this to get them into the frame length data. If I'm shooting- well for headshots, for instance, I usually shoot them straight at them, I don't like the camera too high and I don't want it too- I just pretty much straight at them because I think it empowers the person actually if you shoot a little bit lower, even, than high and down is not cool in my book.