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Tony Corbell: Live Demos with Lighting Tools

Lesson 19 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

Tony Corbell: Live Demos with Lighting Tools

Lesson 19 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

19. Tony Corbell: Live Demos with Lighting Tools


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

Tony Corbell: Live Demos with Lighting Tools

let's give tessa over here and let's bring that life let's bring that light on and I think we haven't I think we have enough power we can bring it to this side just a little bit yeah that can go from perfect right behind that's perfect grab this little sip of that test I think I'm gonna put you know I have some more travel yeah good good good good good let's put you right about here and I'll move this over this way a little bit something like that great let me just let me put a little reflector on that real quick so yes oh these things just ban it on um and you get pretty pretty used to doing this after a while except for when you're on live camera and I'm gonna turn down the power this a little bit so let me change that lamp there were some nasty down pretty low so now I've got it on relative brightness so wherever I have the power button and let me kill that beat because that's pretty annoying there we go okay so let's just let's just consider here that I'm working with tessa and I'm...

shooting from over here let me just raise this up and I'll get back over there in position so I'm not too worried about what we see on her face yet but I do want you to understand one of the main points and I'm trying to make here always be sure with cords and cables make sure that you're really cognizant of where they are one of the guys that I used to work with was a real stickler for details and one of those was make sure that there's cords are never doing this giving and not do that and for me it just always has become habit to reach around and just do that so they're not after hanging you know because somebody's gonna trip in the dark you know and it's always a good idea also I'll put a chord under the leg of a c stand so that there's not a loop like that that can grab a toe so small subtle things like that also we were talking about this last night when you have to raise a light up like this raise the top section first raised the bottom section last because it raised the bottom section first and you need more travel you can't because you're not is way up there and you can't reach it so it seems like well yeah of course but when you're a fresh new twenty four year old photo student going such an idiot and everybody's looking at you funny because you lower the lights stand down then put it back up well I have to I have to be honest the tripod the leg on the lens thing that was like oh yeah like you got me on that one there are subtle little things that we all do you know you just have to you have to pay attention to the the small funky little fund details of our craft so so working with a reflector now obviously we've got a lot of light in this room and so were not I'm not trying to illustrate the point too much but I will say in the case I'm just going to move this this kind of just have I just wanna move this guy over just a little bit further if I can just moving another foot I'll be good that's great that's perfect right there great so tessa let's put you right there so consider my camera is here and I'm shooting back this way and I've got a test since he's being lit from one side this way so let's turn you away from the light a little bit little bit more good all your weight on your left foot yeah that's your right foot point right in me yeah it's perfect perfect perfect and bring him to me just right there fine great okay so here we go we got to forget all the overheads for the video but we got our main light coming from forty five degrees I'm going to have a catch light at about ten o'clock and right that's what divinci told me he doesn't even know he told me ten o'clock but he did so that's what I'm going so now I want to put a reflector over here and I want to open up the shadow on this side of her face over here at this case and for years and years I did this where I would bring my reflector up like this and you can see it it'll innit when you'll see this when we get into shooting but you'll see this lighten up the side of her face right so this is just another tool with that tool to open up and I can control with my distance I can control how much of that is being filled I can control how much of that light is opening up that shadow but here's something that nobody ever taught me and that is the prep for the proper placement it's easy for me as a replacement of the reflector I always would just put the reflector over here sort of next to her and bring it up the problem with that is if I do that and and I started seeing this in my work as I started becoming a little bit more critical and I had a little bit more of a critical eye and what I found was there was a little black strip or not a black strip but a dark strip running down our nose and I couldn't figure out what that wass what it was was that life is coming around her face and it's creating a certain amount of shadow on the side I was filling from here this was becoming a secondary source from over here but it was it was like on think about the tip of the nose it's like light shadow oh another life and that would be the lesser value but still it was another source and what I learned that day when I sort of really identified this was looking at this life like what is going on with this dark area I realized what I was doing I got light number one I've got light number two even though it's darker it was like number two and so to fix that what I had to start doing was bringing my reflector considerably forward so that this this light and that reflector on the shadow side of her face becomes a continuation of that so it's almost as if that light just goes all the way around and keeps going eople call that wrap around light we'll always hate that term because light doesn't wrap like can't bend like goes straight until his water then it condemned but until it hits the water it's going in a straight line so rep around like that I don't buy that at all and I've heard it from video guys I've heard it from still guys sorry and I don't I don't buy it anymore and I used to dance around and say well yeah kind of is like no it's not it doesn't wrap doesn't ben but by bringing that reflector up here what happens now I can move in such a way that when I bring it into place and you'll see this as we shoot when I bring in the place now that life is changing the density of her shadow but it's doing it as a continuation of that light as it comes around the face and now we are truly sculpting her face and we're sculpting the features of her face does that make sense hugely important hugely important okay so now I'm not a huge fan of the gold I am a big fan of the silver but on ly if used as a as a reflector below for a shot like that you see that highlight in the bottom of arai are you referring to the image in the center the one in the center and you can also see a little bit of it there but it's not as prominent as I put it in that one right there and the idea what that is to open up the shadow under the eyes under the nose under the chin that was primarily what the what the goal was there if that makes any sense and you can see you can see that because of the placement of the beauty dish those cheekbones are strong but they were almost too strong so by bringing that silver down below it kind of calms down that that drama from being quite so pronounced so let me put that I want to put the beauty dish back up if I could let me pull off this quick hot ha I can live with that on there we've got a question from a new pin to buy when using a silver or gold reflector does it actually change the color temperature of the light reflected part of the subject the gold yes the silver no the summer's pretty neutral with gold will you can it can kind of mess with you yeah and and to me that's why I don't like gold on the face it gives me an unrealistic look so I kind of try to stay away from golden on the face even outdoors I mean some people will say well it helps neutralize the blue cool sky on a share on the shades side of a building well maybe but it's a little bit too heavy for me in the face but but I sure do use them but not your face I'm gonna turn this modern light up quite a bit higher now and we can see let me put this in the position and again just like with the tripod is jim mentioned when you're using a life always try to find a leg to put under the life shaping device if it's a soft box or the beauty dish I want a leg directly underneath it to help give me added stability okay I don't want the weight to be between the legs because it can go over to easily but if the weight is right over leg can go over makes sense okay so I'll drop that down just a little bit more weight yes oh so the beauty dish I might put it in the position kind of like this let me just move this over I might work with it and a position sort of like that you're good right there you just fold your arms and then depending on where I'm cropping this might then sit down just below here and distance wise it's a pretty it's a pretty subjective thing where you kind of like the distance for me the distance is sort of either by because I'm brilliant or because I'm lucky I'm not saying I do know that I like the reflector with distance from my stand to my model what like this see that distance that's a perfect distance for me because now I got a reflector and often with depending on the light stand you can just rest one part of it on a knob like that and if her hands aren't in the shots he can't even hold one corner of it or you can put on a little table or in a small standing clamp it however you want but what this does is again just like on that shot there really opens up under the eye under the nose under the chin all that the whole region gets kind of opened up a bit and it works really well and that kind of the angle that you like to hold that eyes that kind of a slightly inclined angle it kind of depends it kind of depends on how close it is to her because if it's too close that angle can be a little bit too sharp the one right here behind me here I think that angle was too high I've got a pretty high and and it really did block up the shadow underneath and I'm not sure that I'm not sure that I am not sure that I've quite got what I wanted them close but I'm not quite sure this is the first time I've seen these prints I just shot this stuff I've seen these like this yet so this is the first my first view here but I think that that would not be a little bit dense shadow I probably go back and re edit that a little bit maybe open the flash had a little bit since I missed that when I shot it but it's probably on my strip of exposure because they're usually very those things a little bit of that big thanks the white house for these images yeah they did a great job this stuff what's funny about these images I uploaded these a week ago thursday last thursday had eleven fifteen they were in production by twelve they were in finishing by two fifteen to twenty they were finished and packages at three forty I think not truck at four and therefore thirty by forty that that kind of turnaround time that's what white house does the's images are turned like that and there's no cut off for christmas you need him like the day before we before chris you're going to get him the next day they're going to ship sometimes love just good people nice folks I just love it one way get to work with cool people and they are genuine isn't it funny how how how our world is we all like to do business with people that we like the butt heads might have better products sometimes but we don't like him so we don't use them that's how I feel about anyway no but let's give go any questions on this at all yet anything you want talk about before we won I have a question on the beauty dish here are you using it to create a little more contrast in her face or is it just more oven even lightning monster I'm both of the above I'm creating a little bit more contrast it is a contrast here source but it is also a source with on her skin and her skin and her it really doesn't nice smooth thanks to the skin it almost gives a milky look to their skin I will be real honest and say you get somebody that's let's say way north of fifty not the best life choice because it's going to be a harsh looking like to their skin and you know what what what do wrinkles appear as shadows I knew you were going to say that I like and they do appear as shadows on light skin but they appears highlights on dark skin so I know that if I am trying to indeed create a complimentary likeness I've got him I've got at least control the highlights and shadows and sometimes with people that are a bit older that have wrinkles those those highlights and valleys that's what they become their peaks and valleys on their skin and I know that the larger the source the softer that all becomes and we're going to talk about that a lot tomorrow tomorrow's a lot about controlling this kind of texture textural features of people's faces and stuff so but I think I think the dish the thing that I love about you dishes with someone like this you can't miss you know you gotta work really hard to take a bad picture of this girl I'm telling you you know really hard awesome and so tony what with sizes on these guys so so the soft boxes that I used that soft ones that I had and that's a three foot by four foot basically great and that is my sort of my go to guy for most things and I've got three of those that travel with pretty much then I've got my my larger it's about a five foot doctor bank which I use which is brilliant but then I've got my big boy which is a four foot by six foot soft box uh which is so forgiving is such it sze traveling with a window light you know it's really great then I brought with me here and we're going to do some shows some shots with my seven foot umbrella I've got a seven foot silver umbrella it's it's a monster it's only but it's only ninety nine dollars tool you could be fined for ninety nine bucks it's the smartest thing I've ever seen best single tool I have and I use it a lot and we're going in fact I'm going to a photograph of all of you guys were going to use one light source and light all of you and I can only do that with this one light source it works really well on then I've got smaller strip lights as well that I've got that I used twin strip lights that I travel with as well as and then my beauty this is they're all same size twenty two inch video dishes and I've got him with him without grids and I've got the socks for the few socks and all the little accessories for them quick question from julie ducks who says I really really want to know if there's a practical use for the black side of the reflector using them salute you wanna talk we're gonna hit it pretty hard on wednesday so beautiful we are talking about for me I spent a lot of time talking about for what I call applications of light I promise I'm coming back talk about four what I call up the applications of life and that is additives attractive transmission and reflective and I've been preaching about these for twenty years and for this attractive I'm one of the few guys I know that uses that black side as much as I do but but but I do it because I learned from watching cinematographers and watching movie makers and what they do is you know they sometimes we'll call it negative phil you'll hear that term is like what does that mean I don't want to fill in the shadow I want to create more shadow I want more negative phil and so we're gonna talk about that especially when we do the full length shot with my seven foot umbrella I want to show you what negative phil does with black and then we're gonna flop it around and do positive phil I'm not here to tell you which ones right you guys have to throw you out on your own you have to live with your work not me but I will show you what all the tools are on what they all do and for me a black is uh if I've got four things I've got black white silver and gold I will promise you all use the black absolutely at least twenty five percent of time I use it a lot we love itself so we'll get to see it in action it creates it creates more drama and mohr directionality to my life without question let's keep going okay so let me think uh this guy off here real quick I mean put I think I'm gonna put on I got it I'm probably here I use this umbrella but I will take off this duty this real quick so let me just pop this guy off and if I could have that too and let me just put a umbrella reflector up and you know don't get too concerned on uh on exact placement of things sometimes we get a little bit too concerned about everything being very very precise some of the stuff is not nearly as precise as you might think exposures are but nothing else everything else is everything else is a little bit of you know not a crapshoot but but certainly there's some room for there's a margin for error built in uh this is a small umbrella and I don't use them a lot but when I do use them it's because I want like to spread over a large area and in this case think about put this guy in here so look at the way I've got it placed here you can see I have the distances from the head to the center part of the umbrella and so if I move this guy here out further that's going to make it even uh larger spread and almost make it a softer quality of life that covers a larger area but if I'm going to just photograph just her and I want to bring that light down a little bit then I'll bring the rod down and I could bring that guy in here and now I'm lighting a little bit of a smaller area and it's kind of I'm not going to say it's making it a smaller source but it is it is concentrating a little I'm still gonna have that area lit but it is gonna be concentrated slightly almost like a little bit of a light been yet yeah that you can't identify soft and very very soft beds then yet it is just a little bit hotter in the center then the sides over area okay makes sense okay can I ask a quick question tony denied just a real quickie I've known as a photographer and doing the same set up I've never understood why I don't see the shadow of the light when it's bouncing backwards where does the light actually come out of this set up all around it okay the only time you'll see the shadow from the life is if you photograph a wine bottle okay or something that's highly reflective that's dark okay it's the only time you see it you'll never see it on the face yeah which is why which is why you can get away with lighting someone with these ribs the metallic folding rods the ribs that are inside the umbrella those never appear except they would in your classes okay and if you're holding a glass of of of cabernet they would because it's dark right if it was clear and white water they might not be seen so you have to think about this it's it's almost like working with light tone ality subjects versus dark tonality subjects if I'm working with something of a light tone all of my contrast controls have to do with something dark so like if I'm going to photograph your white shirt for the catalogue for you know walmart wherever you got that shirt it's my job something somebody had to say something but seriously if I'm shooting if I'm shooting a life clothing I've gotta skin light across and create shadows or you wouldn't see texture like if there's fine lines or logos or whatever you'd never see the texture right which is why I want a bribe when you photograph of bribe you an absolute with lots of beadwork you want that bride you've gotta show that main light say let's let's let's do this let's put let's put you right back into position over here for me so if I photographed her and she is my my new bride let me raise this guy just a little bit the letter turned started toward me a little bit right there the last thing that I would ever want to do is to let her like this with a large source or an umbrella of any kind the last thing I wanna do if she's wearing white is toe light flat into her chest because I have no contouring it's just flat sorry audio guy bam he's somebody in there control room this way I don't want I don't want to flat like anything that's white I have tohave shadows across something that's white so I would turn you the other way now I'm skimming light across or I could lighter from if you're if you're standing in that position I could like her from back here skim and light across this way as long as I'm skimming light across white I've got shadows shadows show me contrast and create dimension shaped form texture all that and then now let's converse with them let's talk about something that's black and shiny for example then my highlight is all that matters on the black right chater doesn't matter when a photograph is something black I don't care about seattle but I do care about the highlight and often ah highlight becomes a part of the design element think about think about think about that if I'm photographing a white car I could light it with a speed life because you'll never see the reflection of the speed light in the white car but five photograph of black porsche nine eleven with the speed light what you see is one hot white spot on the hood not good that's why we have these big gigantic kino flows and we've got the studios with big white soft boxes that I can drop down over the hood of a car because then the highlight is the design element for this picture not the shadow it's all that photograph of something dark and shiny makes sense it's hugely important to understand what side of the scale you're gonna work on you know and I and I know that I kind of get on self box a little bit about some of these things and I get a little bit anal some of this stuff but for me it's just that I don't want to be fooled I was fooled for years I don't know what I don't know what I've done for years I was buying houses and cars because I was friendly not because my work was any good you know and then I met this guy named dean collins who said you don't get better what you should improve your work a little bit you could be better okay and I started getting better you know and I think that's that's part of it is you know when we could take pictures and when I judge photo contest and things of this nature you've got to be honest with people when you look at the work you guys say this is great except here's what you need to improve it not subjective tips that's your opinion but object of things that you might improve upon or things that you might just want to look at differently so how did I get over there you guys just said damn there he goes alright let's rein it back in about down that rabbit hole just a quick reminder for let's see was it sight tech who says tony ran through the four applications of light pretty fast three I'm familiar with but what was the fourth after additive subtracted transmission and reflective additive subtracted transmission reflecting we're going to hit these really hard later in the week basically additive when you've got a given amount of light and you're bringing more like to it subtracted I'm taking lot away from where I don't need it or I'm trying to remove light that is giving me a gn pleasing result here's a perfect example of subtracted life think about this tessa see sometimes I give sometimes I'm like carol think about think about we're shooting on a on overcast day I've got this soft box in seattle you know the day I've been here I know how this works in seattle if it's not raining it's sometimes can be a little great I know these things so the life saw is so soft it's beautiful but it is downward casting right because it's downward casting I got a shadow under here I got a shadow under here and I've got a shadow under her eyes so I can take instead of just adding flash to that or adding a reflector on the bottom bouncing light back in let's take the black let's take this off the sub tractor of like and let's put it over head like this to interrupt all that soft light that's coming straight down from the top and as we move it forward or back we're placing it in such a way that bread can you come up and help me just hold this one side for one second since you're so tall I do remember that about you weii did this on a very hot day that I got some burn now this moving forward about a foot okay so right there so let's think about this if I'm if I'm lighting her I'm looking at this from the side and I'm looking at this front edge as as sort of the interruption keeping that soft light that top light coming down so move that way just a half step a little bit more little bit more now then I'm just lower in my life source down now now it's coming at a different angle to her face that's a lot more pleasing and that's why you subtracted liked so much that's just one of the ways to use attractive light certainly aiken take this thank you I can take this and I've got her being lit by the umbrella on this side of her face and I could bring this guy in all these walls in the studio are light colored this light is bouncing all over this room which is great when you want light bouncing all over this room and it's awful when you don't so you gotta have the black to interrupt the life that's bouncing all over the room so I could bring this up right here and it totally will change this photograph completely change this picture and all of a sudden now I'm introducing more drama now said I'm introducing more directionality that light because I'm interrupting anything else from getting in there so additives attractive transmission anytime light goes through an interruption right so this completely one hundred percent transmission life light has to go through this and it's enormously important that I use this again I'm gonna cover that pretty heavily as we get throughout the week and then the other one additives attractive transmission in the reflective and reflective is exactly what it sounds like you know reflective that's a reflective source some people wouldn't agree nothing but it is lights one in there bounce and running coming back out using a reflector reflective source like that in the studio is pretty important you know all of these tools they all have their only important if you were all one family and you came in the studio for a christmas card photo this week because you know people always wait till the last minute seriously I mean it would be one of situations where how am I gonna do this I can't do that I can't let you guys with a soft bucks not evenly that one umbrella I could let you all evenly and it might be that in terms of placement if I had this thing turned towards you and I was over on one side just a little bit like here and let's say I was just going to like this family up the last thing I would want to do is aim it here because you two guys going to be great I've lost the rest of you I mean you're just gonna get playing light but what I could do is aim it passed halfway I would turn it like you like that and then I might have to power it up but even so I could get even light on lee and I could get the same amount of light on bob by doing this way and just in case people at home can tell from the angle of the light is actually pointing directly at lee which is the farthest person in line yeah you go way past halfway if your light has to be on one side which it always almost always does or it's gonna be in your shot so you know but it's important I think I think this kind of stuff is pretty important that we make sure that any time that you're controlling light whether it's a soft box on umbrella dr banks all that stuff think about that placement and why you're shooting and why you're setting up your literally looking at your subjects and you're and you're going like this okay I get it right about their family now rise just came a life where right there they might not and then again with an umbrella in the studio it might be that if I was just photographing one of you maybe bread I might have you well I'll do with tessa so with tessa here right here I know I've got x amount of light getting on my background but if I cheat just a little bit I know I've got a lot more light on my background and that just makes me more valuable to my client you know and part of it you know it's it's sometimes sometimes it can be a timing issue and it could be an economical issue some people charge by the day for their time or by the hour or by the shot so for me if I if I'm efficient with my time and couldn't get it done especially something as complex if I can get in and get a shot and get out quicker than the next guy should I be penalized because I'm fast and get paid less because I'm paid by the hour I don't think so I think I should be paid more because I was so efficient I took five minutes of the ceos time instead of three hours of him one you guys ready for this yet I mean I got done I'm out they loved that about me that I might not be very good but I'm very fast my parents they're not very good but they're really big you want your pictures a little good make them bigger

Class Materials

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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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