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Live Shoot: Using Grids to Light Your Subject

Lesson 31 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

Live Shoot: Using Grids to Light Your Subject

Lesson 31 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

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Lesson Info

31. Live Shoot: Using Grids to Light Your Subject


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: Using Grids to Light Your Subject

So we're gonna do a set up now that does just that. We're gonna do a little bit of gridding, a little bit of-- we'll do a little bit of gridding to see if we can darken the background while using a grid situation, okay? All right, so we're gonna set that up. So we can get rid of the flex kit and the black matte pro board. We're gonna go back to strobes. We're gonna go over to the Oliphant situation, and we're gonna set this other scenario up. And we're gonna start playing with some grids on some modifiers, guys. I love these backdrops, these backdrops are awesome. Sarah's the best. (equipment shuffling) She let my kids paint with her, too. She's so cool. So Sarah Oliphant is in New York. She's in Brooklyn now, she moved her studio. But she makes these suckers, and they're incredible backdrops. And I think it was this one, I don't know. I don't know if it's this one or it was my bigger one. I walked in one day, and she's painting a backdrop for Annie Leibovitz and she's like, "This one'...

s for Annie." I was like, "Cool." And it was just cool seeing that the way that that stuff's done, and I think she paints all those cool things that you see Annie doing. Oh my gosh, I just broke whatever board that is. So guys, I wanted some props and some stuff. I just created a little scenario here. I think camera, we're good with it. Alright, so I'm gonna have you standing on this board, and yeah, and stand in the center of this, and come forward a little bit. Yeah, maybe like right there, and we'll see. I might have to do, I might have to do some sort of... I gotta figure out a modifier for a key light on this, guys, and what I wanna do. I like that little sucker, and it's got a grid on it, so we're gonna do that. That's the OCF two foot Octa, little grid on it. Then we can manipulate it with a grid on, and what we're gonna do is we're gonna try and see if we can make that background go a little darker by not hitting with as much light. Even though she's really close to it, so we'll see what we have to do to do that. And on the soft part there, what's the back is that silver or white? It's white, it's white inside. And it's got a baffle in there, too, I believe. Does it have a baffle inside, too? Yes. These things are so cool 'cause they're like pre-made, you don't take that thing apart. You just open it and everything's in there. And then you put the grid on it, so we got a grid on there, we're gonna keep our grid on here. I might actually... (equipment shuffling) I'm gonna actually, let me see. Maybe I need a little bit of separation between her and the background. Come off this wood for a second. (sighs) John, just do me a favor and grab that wood and let's push it forward like a foot. (wood sliding) Keep going, keep going. Yeah, try that, all right, good. All right that's fine, it's just hidden under. That's where I want it, let it go. That's good, I'm gonna be low so I don't know if I'm gonna see that, oh no I am gonna see that. I am gonna see that. (wood sliding) Let's move it back a little bit, that's fine. All right, stand on there. All right, so I've got a grid on here, right? And I got a modeling light, and I'm gonna... I'm gonna be able to see precisely where the heck this sucker's gonna hit that. So I can do a couple things if I wanted, I could do-- you see that? Look at this, you with me? Now, see how it creates a shadow 'cause of her? So I could tighten it up like this. Now, the thing that's coolest about Sarah is that she already built a vignette into this backdrop, so I like it, I don't want to over-- I don't wanna create too much of a vignette on it. Let me just hit it a little bit, that's good. And we got... Again, we're guessing, right? We're guestimating, is that what we're doing? What's our base setting, we're gonna start at the beginning. So I'm gonna start middle range with the key. I don't have any natural light to worry about, I don't really have an aperture situation that I'm concerned with. Yuen-Ling, come forward a smidge. Just because I want to get her shadow, you can see it over there, I don't know if you guys can see this but you see her shadow is there. I'm gonna tighten up this little spot on the grid. So normally, I'm either using grids to what? To avoid light, to darken backgrounds, or to keep that spot on it. So we're gonna try it both ways. So let's go with like 7.0 on that? This is direct, this might be a little hot. Actually, I know it's gonna be hot. Let's go 3.0 on that. Let's do our guess shot, 7.0 outta that thing. It depends how close I get it to the face, but again, we're gonna go to 100 ISO. We're gonna go to one sixtieth of a second and we're gonna go-- I know you guys are gonna say f8, you were, weren't you? (crowd laughs) Were you gonna say f8, f11? It's gotta be around there, right? All right, let's give it a shot. Let's go with the... 70? Yeah, 24 to 70, love that lens when I'm doing portraiture. Got it. Good, all right. You're doing great, just try some-- You can stand like that, and then we'll start to move. The model can test with me. Like as I'm testing light, I can have her moving until I see something I really like. Now, what's gonna be great about this gridded situation, actually go 10.0 on that, let's go 10. 'Cause I wanna minimize, I want her feet to go dark. Because why, I'm seeing concrete, I got other stuff here, I want everything to go real dark except for her face. I want her face and I'm gonna shoot her in falloff and we're gonna bring this puppy up to like 4.0, and I'm gonna, I'm gonna-- Go nose this way, go nose that way. Which side of your face do you like better? You like that side better? Really? Yeah. Go that way. What is wrong with that side? You asked me which one I liked better. I know, I'm just curious. (laughs) All right, we're gonna go left. It's fine, it's fine, I just like both on you. All right, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna try and not point the Octa directly at the background. So the modeling light's on, so I wanna watch and see. It's hitting the background now, it's not hitting the background now. All right, now, the nose, go to your side, there you go. Why is the nose going that way? Let's see if anybody learned anything. (indistinct crowd chatter) (laughs) All right, you guys know. All right, I'm gonna drop the tripod a little bit. (tripod legs sliding) You guys are probably saying, "he doesn't have to shoot "on a tri--" I like being on a tripod, that's my thing. 'Cause then I can move around, I can make decisions, I can lock it in, I like this whole scene. So, I even don't mind seeing the backdrop. Everything's dark back there, I put this here for a reason. So I could shoot with all this stuff in the frame. I like stuff, I like stuff in my pictures. There you go, good, I like this a lot. That's perfect, just gaze into that light. Yeah, just like that, that's perfect. Let's take a look, guys, let's do a little... A little guess shot, we're guessing. (camera beeps) Let's see if we're anywhere close. Let me just pull it back a little bit because I wanna get the whole scene but I wanna hit this light. There we go, that's fantastic, Yuen-Ling you got it. Hold that right there, let's try it. Let's see, how'd we do. (crowd laughs) Oh my gosh, that was-- who guessed that? (laughter) What is that at? Oh, it's at 10. (laughs) We moved it to 10 and we didn't move the aperture. Who's idea was that? (laughter) You know, you guys knew. All right, everybody can make a mistake. It's a little bit hot, don't you think? (laughter) Hey, I have not screwed up that many times over the course of this course, all right? (laughter) Everybody's human here. And now, but what I learned was, 10 is so dark. Everything outside the grids is going to dark for me. Everything, so let's pull it back, let's go back to seven. Let's pull this back to three, and let's try it like that, it's just too hot. Right? And I still think going from 10 to seven on that at f8 is probably gonna be hot, right? Let's go f11, let's just see what happens. But you know what, go six on that, I don't want the... I might have to bring in another light if I wanna see any of this stuff around, go six on that and let's do it at f8 and see how it looks. That's it, fantastic. (camera shutter clicks) Let's try it, let's give it a shot. Wow, now it's moody. Now it's moody, right? But using grids, now I don't see enough, right? I don't really see very much. So I wanna show you a move that I really love, yeah. I love this move, this is a move. This is a move that I love. And I want you guys, this is absolutely another way to utilize a big light. (equipment shuffling) All right, and yeah, that's the silver one, it's fine. I'm gonna bring in my buddy Phil. But I'm gonna put Phil directly behind me. Phil is gonna just... blow light around me to light the entire scene. And I'm gonna fine tune Phil 'til I see some of the stuff I wanna see there. 'Cause I got the wood, I made the effort to go get that wood and put that wood there. I wanna see the wood on her feet, right? I got a wooden stool here, maybe I'll sit her on a stool as I build this thing, we'll see, let's see what we can do. So now, I need Phil and I need-- This is really close to her, so we can open this up. What is this at, six? Let's go 4.5, let's bring my grid. (beeping) We'll go to 2.0 on the grid just to see, just to see. I really want you guys to see how that opens up. And we've got Phil, let's start Phil low and work Phil high. We're gonna go low Phil. Lower. Lower, Phil can go low. (beeping) Not that low. (laughter) He went to one, like let's go to two. Let's start at two with Phil and let's see what we get here. That's perfect, you're doing great, you're just fine just like that. I'll start to work with you when we worry about, when we get this scene going where we want it to go. How we doing? Oh, I was too dark, I didn't open up. You guys gotta stop. When you get the settings down, can you shout them out this direction? When I get the settings, yeah exactly. So we can hear them down here. Okay, so we're at, we're at... we're going to 4.0, one one sixtieth of a second, and you think that's good? That's probably not gonna be enough, it was so dark. So I'm gonna open this up. (beeping) We're gonna go 4.0 on our buddy Phil. We're gonna go, what did I put this down to? Let's go to five five. Guys you see, sometimes it takes me a long time to figure this stuff out, too. I'm gonna go two five on that, let's try it. All right, so we've got 4.0 on Phil, the big light that's coming around behind me just to light the scene. Straight light straight at her, right? Then we've got, what is that on? That's five five. Five five on the OCF Octabox with the grid on it, and 2.5 on the other grid, let's try it. And let's see if we're closer. This one's gonna be the bane of my existence. (camera beeps) Oh my gosh, we're starting to get somewhere. Now, I like the grid on the background, I like the light on her face, let me see it. But I need to open up this-- look at how gorgeous that is. Can you believe this? Look at that, beautiful, right? But I wanna open up this scene but I wanna keep that vignette on the background. So what am I gonna do? Phil. Drag your shutter? No I can't drag my shutter, because I'm shooting strobe and there's no light in here to drag it to. Add Phil I gotta add my buddy Phil. And my buddy Phil is behind me. So I got Phil behind me and he was at 4.0, I'm really gonna open up the scene. I'm gonna go to-- now, I don't want it to ruin the light on her (chuckles), what is so funny? Is there something-- Wouldn't you raise your ISO? I could, I could but I don't have to. I have power, I could power up my lights, can't I? I don't have to do that. I'm at 7.0 here, let's see if that-- I'm gonna open up the scene, too. I'm gonna go a little wider, I'm gonna show the-- There we go, just like that, beautiful. Let's see how, is Phil going to work yet? Wow. Phil's going to work. Now, I don't like the shadow that Phil's creating on the background with the OCF softbox, so I'm actually gonna move that out of the way. Bring this over here, get it a little further outta the way. I'm gonna keep you where you are, you keep looking where you were, that was perfect. I'm gonna go back, how's my light? How did Phil do otherwise? I can see the scene, I can see the floor, we're gonna get this out of the frame. (equipment shuffling) Just gonna get it a little bit further out of the frame. And I'm still gonna go a little bit heavier on Phil. I'm gonna go to 7.5 on Phil. All right, here we go. This is it. We're going, we're moving, we're rocking and rolling. (camera beeps) Fantastic. Good. I have to keep coming over here. Guys, look at that. Look at that. Look at that light, how beautiful is that? Can you believe that? Where do you think this line comes from? OCF softbox. That looks retouched almost. Oh my gosh, the screen over there, I'm working on two different screens here. Do you see my screen? No. Oh my gosh. Let me see this. And why is it tilted funny? Let me see what's going on here. When you get the tilt, I don't like it tilted like that. That's better, there we go. There we go, I like where we're going with this. (camera beeps) Hold that, that's fantastic. (camera shutter clicks) So I can move and I got it on a tripod so I can always get the way I want it. I like seeing the wood, I got the wood going. It's still a little dark, but it's cool. I got the grid on the background. And you look amazing. Thank you. Come see this picture. Now I know why you like that side of your face. (laughter) Oh, thank you. That's cool, right? That's kinda cool, now the body position's a little funny. Let's try some stuff. Now I got-- are you guys okay with that light? Is that setup working for you? Oh my gosh it's so much more open on that than it is on the other screen. Actually if you look at it straight on it's a lot better. It's pretty good, let's try turning off the grid and see what it does, you wanna try that? You see how I'm getting-- turn off the grid. Turn of that grid, just the grid on the background. Just that one. We're still gonna use the grid over here. And we're gonna try this. (camera beeps) And I am gonna put this directly behind the camera. Guys, directly behind the camera, I'm watching the shadow on her too, it changes. See how the shadow's going up and down as I raise this? And lower this on her? So I'm gonna keep it there, look straight in. Look straight in here and let's see what that does with the shadow from the grid. That's it, beautiful, good job. (camera shutter clicks) That's it. How we doing? I feel like I'm chimping. See I still get the vignette on the background a little bit. 'Cause Sarah builds it in there. This is awesome, because of the Phil. Watch when I turn Phil off, watch the difference. This is an awesome way to Phil, it's a great way to use one of these big umbrellas. Watch when I turn Phil off, let's turn Phil off. Phil is off, just look at-- I just want you to see how much. Phil is really, I'm making him work. (camera shutter clicks) You see how much I'm making Phil work? (indistinct muttering from crowd) Now I like that. Right? I really like that. (laughter) Wait a minute, because now I've got a cool little look here. Now let's not hammer her with Phil, let's start to pull Phil back a little bit. Let me see, let me zoom into this and see how this looks. Wow, cool, look how soft that is, too. The nose shadow, that shadow I created, it's a little severe for my work, but I'm actually gonna-- Let's do this, what are we gonna do to get rid of it? What are we gonna do to get rid of it? Now if I want her to shoot straight on, I know if her nose towards the key light, what's gonna happen? Shadow's gonna be-- go back to your nose that way a little bit, Yuen-Ling. Eyes back to me, try that, try that, try that. That's perfect, good, hold that. Just do me a favor, keep your feet exactly where they are and smoosh your knees together. No, your feet just moved. Put your feet apart and then smoosh your knees together. (camera beeps) Yeah, exactly. I'm just kidding. (laughter) Ahh. (laughter) There we go, okay, wait, are we opening up Phil again? Where'd you have Phil? Oh, Phil was off, yeah. All right, let's look at the nose, I was messing with her so she's laughing. But let's look at, let's see maybe before she... There it is, all right, let's look at the nose on this. Look at that, I took care of that shadow. Look how much smaller it got. Guys, that's one of the key things of the whole course. That Walt Whitman quote, nose towards the sunlight and let the shadows, I should know it. (laughter) Let the shadows fall behind you. Okay now I feel like I can do a build. Okay. All right, we're gonna go, where were we? We were at seven five. We were at seven so we're gonna start at three five. I like that Okay, okay. John's making decisions for me over here. (hands clapping) That's good, let's go for it. He's like that's fine, that's fine, but keep your nose towards that light a little bit. Good, get serious, eyes-- keep your nose there, eyes here. Nose a little bit there, tilt your head a little bit this way, not that much, half the distance. Yeah, and then eyes here, and then find a point over on that wall and just, there you go, good. Squinch them, what are you doing? You know I like squinching. She's gonna squinch for me, there we go, beautiful. (camera shutter clicks) Let's work in Phil, did Phil do what we needed him to do? Are we starting to see some detail there? Yeah. That's the shot, guys, is that the shebang? Yuen-Ling, come see this, come over here. Come on over here. (heels tapping ground) Beautiful, beautiful. (giggles) I think it's cool now, right? We could have sat there and worked on the posing and done some stuff and done different stuff and I could have put a stool in there and done all that stuff, I almost really wanna do it. But we got more stuff to learn, so we're gonna just-- We're creeping along.

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