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Mark Wallace: Position of Light

Lesson 9 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Mark Wallace: Position of Light

Lesson 9 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

9. Mark Wallace: Position of Light


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Mark Wallace: Position of Light

I wanted to show this picture really quickly because the the creative life banner has had this image posted for months and I wanted to show exactly how it was created this is actually a behind the scenes picture of me making this photo and there are three lights in this photo are gonna learn about how to do that the the light behind me look small but it's actually six feet wide it's a six foot wide by four foot tall soft box it's really really large and I'm actually standing in front of it and the light is going around my body and hitting the front of this model the the second light this big square soft box right here this is what is getting a highlight on the models shoulder and her hair but that photo originally was sort of dead didn't have much flair to it so what he decided to do that third light the really small round light there that light isn't falling on the model at all it's shining straight into the lens of the camera and so it's just there to create some lens flare is someth...

ing that you would normally avoid for this shot I wanted to add it and so I have a before and after shot here so the shot on the left there's the shot of just the two soft boxes and you can see it's just sort of flattened flavorless there's not much going on but by adding that one light shooting into the lens we added this lens flare and it just gave it that little extra punch of of what needed to happen so sometimes I'll use a light and it's I'm just shining it straight into the lens like who's j j abrams right that's the guy that does that all of them so that's that's how that was lit so I didn't wantto pass up have her seeing this shot for so long that we have this ok we're going to do a demo and we're gonna have alexis come back out and really what we're going to do we have about fifteen minutes little bit less and what I want to do is we're going to talk about color and light because we have a little bit of time to do this and if you have see right there we're going to shoot this with um natural light and we're goingto need to kill this light right here so we can make this work we were doing the reason we're using constant lighting by the way instead of strobes right now is I want us to think about how light looks and how it can shape it without being caught up in how you triggering that what sync speed and how you meet a ring and all that kind of stuff we're going to get teo we just want to look at light just light so forget about all that other stuff meeting and all those times that things I'm sorry here it goes uh take it okay so yeah this is gonna be pretty crazy so what we're using here we're gonna have you look straight forward this way cool well I'm going to hear is I'm going to build it in fact I'm going to use even a smaller like me and you these you go when he's even a smaller like someone just like to be even punchier even punch your yak and you plug that in for me I'm sorry to do this teo these lights are very very bright very bright okay um no we're going to soft walks in a second okay so this is very very punchy light and I'm going to move it to the side so we have lice contrast here we go later we're gonna learn that this is called closed loop lighting here we go feather that just a bit okay yeah cool okay yeah use your hair on fire yet no my hair is on fire all right so we're going to shoot this tether and let's make sure we're all good to go it's all good yeah all right we're gonna do a portrait here and I am shooting this with an aperture value of two point eight I'm just using my built in meter and the lens cap is on I saw we were going to do this in there we go the camera is all right so here's the image that we're going to see what have you hold this thank you and here is the image that came up watch what happens when we convert this so this is color this color temperature well we need to fix that in a little bit but all I'm going to do with this image is I'm going to take it from color black and white in fact I'm going to create a virtual copy really fast so we can we can do that so I'm gonna go here convert this to black and white we'll increase the contrast just a bit all right so let's look at these two images side by side what you'll see is that this image in black and white looks pretty good right so the color image there we don't really like that it just it just feels that's really orange is not so good but as soon as we make that go to black and white it's so much better and this this monitor over here is not to contrast east so the blacks aren't black so much I need to teach you about like oh we have to talk about the black point that's not set right but the quick demo is converting at the black and white conceive our bacon when we do that now what we're gonna do is we're going to take this similar setup so john let's get that soft box back on here we're going to almost the same lighting but what we're going to do is we're going teo use a small soft box on here what the soft boxes doing by the way is the light is coming through here miss hitting a couple of diffusion panels so as it travels through this when it hits this there are a couple of things that are happening it's going to spread the light all over the place it also takes the light from a small light source to a much larger light source so are effective size gets larger and then also because this has walls to it it's keeping light from spilling all over the place we're going later learn the difference between an umbrella and a soft box and one of the big differences is he walls and how we can control the light so that gives us a nice directional like okay someone throw this in here and also the thing that I'm doing I'm going to try to keep this as a vertical soft box instead of horizontal so some soft boxes air not square and so they could be horizontal or vertical and you can get different looks based on how you position that so we're going to blind lex again I am awesome okay raise this up just a bit bringing in nice and close it's pretty cool right let's have this camera ly fast got it thank you we're gonna go in here and I want to set my white balance you really fast just so I have that okay lex is gonna look beautiful as shares does there we go have that thank you and this here it looks like our meeting was just a little off there we go all right so now let's take a look at soft light versus hard light side by side so you see that soft light in color looks much better than the hard light so if we will convert this we'll convert this soft light to black and white as well so we'll take this guy we're gonna create a virtual copy just so you can see that then I'm going to do the exact same conversion really fast sync settings yes synchronize everything and now look at the difference between the soft light and the hard light for contrast so for black and white the punchy light well generally look better I would do some other things with that hard light to position a little bit better but you can see the difference that hard light gives us higher contrast to much more pleasing black and white image than the uh the soft light so that's the difference okay um any questions on that there was a question that came in from miss jen cohen who said can you speak about the shadow her lips ark ark creating on her on the right side of her face and you edit that out or keep it let's see if we can figure out which which shadow she's talking about so you guys can help me vote um so if you know if it's a color or black and white image that she's talking about uh I can ask yes let's figure it out miss jin can you tell us if it's if it's color or black and white that your asking yeah in which shadow is in the shadow this shadow here or is it I don't know which which shadow she's talking about okay well well the color she said color on the color okay let me actually bring up the color image so we can see that okay uh yeah since this shadow right here yes would you edit that out or would you leave that no I wouldn't edit that out what I would do is I would I would change the position of my life so that that is less noticeable that's what I would do and on this for whatever reason it looks and it's weird because that shadow it looks like almost like a a birthmark or growth or something which alexis not have so yeah so let's have you look straight forward so what I would do and let's have this camera be the camera if I'm seeing like some kind of problem there what I could do and this is this is the issue with with sidelight is if you bring something to the side it augments any kind of of shape on the face any kind of like the lip shadows whatever if I bring this mohr on access and what I would probably do it this is bring it on access and I would actually stick my camera up underneath that and then we can minimize any kind of shadows being cast my lips and so yeah I would do something like that so that's that's how we fix that just change the position of light and that's you know what he's talking about earlier alexis got great skin but let's pretend that she didn't we would not want a light from the side because if we did we would have a big issue another thing I could do because I could like from the other side the light from the side and then you'll notice that she has different shadows on the other side of her face because she has crooked smile and so that creates people have different uh facial structures I'm going to talk about your face just for sex so I've worked with lex a lot ok we've worked together for a long time one of the things that's a little bit different on and every person has this so I'm not just picking on lex every person has this but we'll see this cheekbone on lex is a little bit higher and broader than this cheap they're not the same size and everybody has something like that if you and I uh try this just take any portrait you have somebody looking straight forward going to photoshopped slice it down the middle and put the rights together and they left together and you will be shocked and how asymmetrical people's faces are there very very asymmetrical and that's what makes us unique if you have something as a really really symmetrical face they're using movie stars but lex has a pretty darn symmetrical face but yeah even with you know beautiful face like this you still have differences in cheekbones and stuff and you take a picture of yourself and you'll see because you think your face is the same on both sides it is not so my girlfriends and I did that mark and it was scary it is scary yeah it was like the america's most wanted on one tie on then and also one side of your face is very feminine and then the other side is masculine absolute look more like a man in one and you look more like a woman and up on the other it's true everywhere we were doing a demo for a product for seemed like forever for a long time and we would have to travel with do these trade shows and stuff and the shots had to be on profile to do these profile shots over so we actually or in the studio we did a bunch of test shots from both sides of her face to figure out which side looks better based on the light so we're okay to tell me that you're still late now too late now yeah so the moral of the story is when you're doing portrait photography uh you know if you're lighting from one side and you see some shadows that are problematic one of the solutions is just move the light to the other side of their face and a lot of times it just solved that problem it's very very interesting okay or just do we're going to learn something called butterfly lighting you could get away with anything with butterfly lighting so it's sort of the mark that brings about great question from simone in n y c if you're getting hot spots on the skin is it better to move the light or control your settings in the camera all right hot spots on the skin are not going to be affected by settings in the camera you're not going to get rid of hot spots on skin by changing exposure where you're just going to get wacky exposures because if you get ah highlight here and it's called glowy I don't know what you could possibly do in the camera and make that go away except for maybe under exposing and then everything is gonna be underexposed and that won't work so there are two things that you can do one is you can change the light modifier um so I'm sorry I'm frying you realizing I'm gonna make you all sweaty um I guess we could turn this light on so yeah you can change your light modifier in product photography to minimize speculate highlights to minimize glare there's a technique called double or triple diffusion and so normally what happens is when you're lighting something that's very very shiny you'll have this a translucent panel translucent sheet of something on a frame called diffusion panel and that will be over the shiny product and then they're sometimes is another translucent sheet and then behind that there's usually a huge soft box and the get speculum highlights to go away the key is to get the biggest possible light source the most diffused possible and what that does is it instead of having a very very small speculum highlight like the dot and I or a really shiny thing on a piece of chrome what you get is that that reflection because the source of light is getting larger and larger larger it spreads out over the entire surface and essentially disappears so on a person if they have glowing heads like me um it's it's nicer to have larger light sources or and the best solution for this hands down get a makeup artist and a make up artist is going to do the right thing to treat the skin to minimize that for years I used to have this person would come out put powder on my head and then I find like I'm old forget it just let me be shiny but yeah treating the skin is is the way to go and in a pinch here's a little theater trick for you if you have somebody that's got greasy skin and they're really shiny go into the public restroom and get the toilet seat cover and that will remove the oil from somebody's face and so I've I've seen a lot of photo shoots and this is I used to work in the theater and actress would just travel with toilet seat covers because it's the same stuff that you get I don't know it's called but there's some stuff that you could get to yeah clay pads yeah yeah there's things things blotting papers but you must get toilet seat covers is the same thing and it's a lot cheaper yeah or free it works and so blocked with si cover things and it's really funny because the first time you see somebody doing that but what are they doing but I don't know if it works and I don't want to know who the first person was it figured that one out who anyway I don't know what the thought process was what the question is do we have all right we have so many great questions coming in I just want to let everyone know that we have so much content to get to in the next three days so if we're not getting to your question right away I'm sure it will be covered so just hang in there I had another question that came in from miss jen cohen who said are there rules for shapes of shadows and highlights on faces I often see a nice cheat triangle in fashion photography is that a style or a rule to generally follow it is a rule it's called rembrandt lighting or closed loop lighting we're going to do that today we're gonna learn about closed loop open blue butterfly all these different types of lighting styles it doesn't just come from portrait photography it actually came from art and the dutch painters so like look at rembrandt and those guys and you'll see all of these different styles of lighting and six called rembrandt like remember it used to paint in this really small room and he had this small window that was really high and they would just cast the shadows and casts a little triangle of light and so because of his paintings we get this thing so yeah there are definitely rules two different styles of lighting and shadows and how we handle that we're going to learn all that and their same rules and styles for seeing photography and product photography and art and all that kind of stuff but since I'm a portrait photographer we'll talk about that before I forget specific to scenic photography and that is don't forget about the position of light for seeming photography so if you're shooting the grand tetons let's say or mount everest or mount rainier or any of those types of things the time of day this season and is going to make or break your photo so we can't change the position of the sun all right we can't do that we can't move it around but what we can do is we can shoot our photos based on where we want the position of sound to be at a certain time so we're gonna learn about the golden hour but if you want to have a really nice high contrast black and white images you need to have a day what it's not over cash going to shoot at the time of day when the sun is low in the sky so it's very directional and casts large shadows and you're going to want to shoot at the time of the year that the sun is in the right place in the sky so a lot of the amazing scenic photographers they actually plan where they're shooting based on the position of the sun during that time of year and so you might have somebody this like I'm going to shoot the tetons but the light is not going to be right until you know march and at six a m we're gonna talk more about seeing photography in the position of the sun and as miss and all that kind of stuff later but I just have to remind everybody that position of light and scenic photography is justice important as position of light in a studio but we have to react to it we can't make it

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Studio Set Up - Learn to Light

Ratings and Reviews

Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.

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