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Shoot: One Strobe Portrait with Textured Background

Lesson 27 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

Shoot: One Strobe Portrait with Textured Background

Lesson 27 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

27. Shoot: One Strobe Portrait with Textured Background


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Develop your Artistic Vision


Learn Strobe Basics


Which Strobe Is Best For You?


Strobe Questions Answered


Balance Strobes with Ambient Light


The Sunny 16 Rule


Choose the Right Modifier for Strobes


Lesson Info

Shoot: One Strobe Portrait with Textured Background

We're gunna get and go with a... We got this really cool wall, so we're gunna walk this out, we don't even need to take to take it apart. Wanna grab that? And then, I thought would try... Since we already have our light set up. The overhead light. But I'm a little nervous, because I've shot a lot of different scenarios in my lifetime and because this is so shiny, I'm a little nervous that this is gunna be like a big hotspot on the back of, you know, this background. So let's shoot that but I have as a back up, just in case, I have my crosslight over here, a softbox set up so that, in case it doesn't work. So here's what I do a lot; I'll have a subject come in and I think, my go to light; overhead light. I do a picture or two and I go, it aint gunna work. I got my back up scenario over there. Which is crosslight or another option, right? So plan a, plan b and so lets do this. I would say, it doesn't really matter. It's about, all the same. In terms of me being positioned, would it be be...

tter here or over here? Here? Have Ryan up against like this? Does that work? About this position? Alright, so Ryan, let's try that. We'll try the same light set up over head and let's... I do a lot of stuff up against garage doors. I'll actually literally take a model and we'll walk the allies. Find old doors, brick walls and this is a perfect size modifier for that. Especially if it's made by Joel Grimes. (crowd laughing) Alright. <v Participant #1>Joel? Yes? Joel as you talk through this set up, folks had asked in the last one as well, can you talk a little bit about getting rid of glare or avoiding glare with glasses. Okay so... Such a common question but as you're approaching in this with the strobe and all of that. I don't think we have glare on here. We didn't but how did you do that? It's called magic, it's the beauty dish that does that. It's special beauty dish with non-glare glass built in. It's really about the position of the head. <v Participant #1>Right. That's it, I mean, glasses can be a challenge. And sometimes it's the make of the glasses. These are a little more curved I think, but... I didn't spring that extra 30 bucks for the anti-glare. Yeah, well if you, sell a few more albums. (Both laughing) No but it can be a problem but, a lot of times I'll move it. I'll move the light a little bit to adjust for the glare. Some people say, well you move the glasses up and down, well that looks kinda funky sometimes. But you could do that. So let's just take a look at what, I'm gunna shoot really wide here just for kicks. And I think I could just fire it off John, my trigger here, so let's see what happens. So I'm about the same distance, here we go, one, two, three. Let's just take a look at what this is gunna give me. Alright, so I'm a little over it, well because my ISO ended up at 400, so let's just go back here. Sorry I got ya blinking, one, two, three. Let's just see what this looks like and you know what, I don't mind the glare or I guess you call it the... There's a little bit of a hot spot behind him but it's not bad. What I'm gunna do, is I'm gunna tilt this down. So watch this, I'm gunna tilt this down a little bit. So now, my vignette gets a little more natural around him. Alright so let's go back up a little bit. Right about there and now let's see what happens. Ready, one, two, three. So, I'm liking this okay so it's giving me that grungy wall in the background. But probably I could maybe lower my light a little bit and also, in this scenario, if we don't do our stitching, we don't have to do our stitching on this one but let me see if I go... I'm going to go a little wider here. I'm at 24 millimeter here. And I'm a little high so normally when I lower my camera, what do I do to my light? I lower it with me, yes. So let me get in position here. Like this, and we'll lower the light a little bit. Okay, so let's see what happens here. I'm just gunna take a look at my lighting, my glare. I'm kinda moody, you know. That might be too wide, but now in this scenario too, I'm a little hot on his forehead, we can fix that, but I might have him move a little bit, right? So let's say, I'm not gunna go with the HDR right now. I'm not gunna go with the stitching. Let's get a little more character him, maybe he's like, you know. Give me a little more of his graceful moves here. Just a little more character, ready? (mumbles) dancer There you go. Yeah but you can, you know. It's not like it's just, he's staring in the lens. Okay so that did not come up. There it went, alright so I'm gunna lower this even more. Okay, we'll lower this even more. That should bring that vignette down a little bit. It looks like, trimmed his head too quick. There we go. So let me just take a look at my light there. Yeah, and I could say, maybe I'm a little bit too hot. And I'm at 160 ISO, so let's go back to 100. Here we go, so I didn't change my f-stop. And, so that might be just a little too dark now. But, I kinda like it, so let me zoom in a little bit here. Let me zoom in a little bit and let's see what we got. Now, lets see if we can bring those arms back in, the tats a little bit, okay. Ready? Zoom in, one, two three. So that, and then now, you see now you see the glare, on the glasses, cuz he went way his head back. So we gotta keep the head down a little bit, right there. Okay. Yeah, and I'm a little dark so I would... Let's just go, let's go back to ISO 160 here, we're just gunna fire it off. There we go I like that, I like that yeah just keep going. So now I can just watch him and just move up a little bit here, a few different things. Go a little wider, so I'm just... Are you guys seeing this stuff? Is John, do you have to click each time? Yeah we're clicking each time. Okay, alright. And so we do have a little bit of a glare on the... See when he went wide there, I mean he threw his head back? That's when the glasses show up. So, but that door, it's got a lot of shine on it. Now let's go back. I'm gunna show you a little, let's try one little thing that could solve a lot of the glare in the background. I've got a big source of light, two big, actually, a couple. What happens if I take my shutter speed down a little bit? What's that gunna do to my overall shot? <v Participant #2>Bring like the... It's gunna bring up my ambient and soften it up. So let's do that. So I'm gunna go down to, let's go down to... Let's see what's gunna show up here? Let's go down to 50th of a second. We'll start there. Okay so this should soften up the background a little bit. See what do those look like? See how it came in, the detail came in the sides a little bit more now? See that? Good or bad, I'm just saying, That you go back to the other one, that's got a darker vignette and this one has more of the that's not a bad feel right there. I actually kinda like that and that softened him up a little bit, you know overall contrast. And I know that the monitors are gunna be a little different than the back of my monitor. It looks pretty clean right here. And it depends on... Let's say he said this is for his album cover or whatever and so I might ask, you know, are you gunna have type on it? Type on the sides, is it gunna be square? Is it gunna be like a CD case? Do they even do CDs anymore? Some people Some people do yeah. You know, vinyl definitely square. So I might wanna think about; is this gunna end up in a square format? So right now, I could trim the sides and still end up with a really beautiful square format. The other thing we could do right now, I didn't ask you this earlier. Do you have tats all over? No. No, just on your arms? Okay I was gunna say, we could go really, you know, do the shirtless thing. But you know... It's a different (inaudible) Yeah it is, okay so I'm gunna go up here. I'm gunna try one with this wall the way it is and I'm just gunna go right, just... Catch his beard, just below or kind of a tighter shot here. Okay ready; one, two, three. Let's see what this looks like. Okay and so I feel like I'm a little bit over on my exposure. But, he's a little more into the intimate. Let's go darker here, ready, one, two, three. (clicks) Yeah, and then just drop that chin just a little bit, right there so I don't get the glare. Maybe bring one hand up, just bring one hand up in the picture here. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... Let me get your elbow in there. Okay, now a lot of times when I get athletes to this point, I might just tell em, you know get mad at me, or whatever. Here, I dunno what I would do is... We could try something, do that where you're looking down like that. I just kinda like, no, just drop your head. Drop your arms. This is kind of a cool look right here. So he's just kind of... And that beard is just kind of like this big cicular... That's kinda cool there. So just, now what I'm doing is, I've got the safe shot. Now can I get something a little bit better? Right, can I just get a little more character out of him? That actually works pretty good. You know, what if you did this? Hands on top, so I could see the tats, you know? Right there, so now I'm just trying to play enough... Yeah lemme go wide on this one. You know, I'm just trying to do something that's a little different to where I know I've got, I'm taking a risk. I'm taking a risk now, and I'm going okay, that might be more, here let me show it to you, that might be more, something that's kinda cool, right? Yeah, you know, we want him to end up with something that he loves, right? And so we haven't done anything looking off to the side yet. Yeah look at this. Okay. Now let me ask you another thing. Would you, could you jump? I can jump. Do something like, jump. Lemme just see what I can do here. And I'm gunna go for it, here we go. Tripod's off the side. Okay, now let's go and I'm gunna see if I can get you to do something crazy, ready, one, two, three. That way I have to go... That's kinda interesting. I can go this way, okay so let's try this way. Ready, one, two, three go for it. Now I got you a little too high. Do something where you're arms are out and whatever. Let's try it. Go for it, yes. Now, I'm gunna chop his feet there. But I'm gunna take this,and go to ISO and I'm gunna see if I can get your feet in. Okay and I really should be moving my lights but here we go ready, go for it. There he goes, he looks like an athlete now. Yes, kinda crazy. You know, so I'm moving, I get going into the crazier crazy because I've already got the safe stuff. Does that make sense? You know now it's worth taking the risk it may not happen, but it's worth taking the risk.

Class Materials

Free Download

Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Bonus Video - One Light Portrait

Ratings and Reviews

Christopher Langford

I love Joel, even though I'm not a big fan of his style. He's a great teacher, really down to earth, and best of all, humble. He's a true professional and knows the business. Even if you're a seasoned photographer, I believe you will pick up some great tips throughout this course. What I enjoyed most from this course was learning Joel's thought processes and how he takes on challenges.

Dana Niemeier

After seeing Joel at Shutterfest 2016, I am a fan. He is intense, but that is inspiring. I especially like the segment using ND filters as I live in Florida where bright sun can be an issue! His teaching method sets the student at ease. You see him make mistakes and then figure them out! Makes us believe there is HOPE for us in the learning process! I also bought his commercial photography class as an add on. Great to see him work and think on his feet. Thanks CreativeLive for giving artists this platform that reaches out to artists around the globe.

Gilbert Wu

I did enjoy the class despite not being used to the American product placement culture. The British say “the proof is in the pudding”, Joel’s pictures are fantastic and create drama. He has the eye. I like his very down to earth approach which is far better than many youtube photographic charlatans. Apart from the techniques he shared, one very important thing I learned from this class is “Be an artist and not a technician”. If you want to learn from people who can take better pictures and more confident and experienced in his/her work than you, Joel is one of those people.

Student Work