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Shoot: Using HDR for One Strobe Portrait

Lesson 28 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Using HDR for One Strobe Portrait

Lesson 28 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

28. Shoot: Using HDR for One Strobe Portrait


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: Using HDR for One Strobe Portrait

Just so I have it, I'm gonna shoot my HDR portrait of a, all the way down, and then we'll call it, we'll get questions or whatever, ready? 'cause I think we're about ready. This, no jumping this time. Okay, so we'll get a really good shot. We're gonna zoom in to 50 millimeter, that's gonna be where my lens is. Okay, and is the ISO set at what? No, it doesn't matter, you ready, are you ready to go? Okay, all right, ready? Go for it. Hit it, see if it works. There's one, two, three, all right, that's the first one. Here we go again. Go for it. Hitting buttons, sticky pad. Okay, we're waiting. Sticky, and now it goes, sticky pad. All right, I guess I gotta send my thing to Apple. Here we go, last set. So under, normal, and over. So at least I got a sequence here. At least I have a sequence of him against the wall, just in case we wanna use that one. So there's the normal, we consider normal, on the bottom. We go to the beard, just above the beard, and then, there we go. So we got, and her...

e's the normal. So that gives me my nine pictures. I'm gonna always run my light horizontal, okay? All right, so we are on, what channel's that? One. So, what'd I do with my glasses? In my pocket. So we gotta turn this to channel one. Hopefully, it's gonna work. Here channel one is on. Channel two's off. And it's moving up and down. All right, that's good news! Okay, so let's go, and... Usually I have this straight up and down, and at completely 90 degrees. Completely, 100% 90 degrees. That's because this distance is further from the subject than that distance, over here. What that does is that creates a gradated, a gradation effect across my subject's face. And so, come forward about a foot. Right about there. So let's see what we can do here. And I'm gonna get this as close as I can. The closer the light, the what? Softer the light. So, let's go here. And let's just see here. Let me get positioned here. It's pretty darn bright, so we're gonna knock it down here. Oh, there's my problem, okay? We're gonna solve that in the future, okay? All right, so I wanna get your hands in there. Let me get my focus point up toward the top, refocus. One, two, three. All right, so let's take a look here. A lot of times I'll bring in a soft, or a fill card. But, okay. What I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna, I want my Rembrandt Triangle, which is on this cheek. Light source here, this cheek is my Rembrandt Triangle. Rembrandt Triangle is caused by the shape of the nose, the roundness of the cheek. And when light comes across, it causes a little bit of a Rembrandt Triangle, or triangle. They call it a Rembrandt Triangle. And so when I teach this lighting, I call it crosslight. The thing about it is, is that I get people emailing me all the time, or saying that it's not true Rembrandt lighting, because Rembrandt had his light at a 45-degree angle. But he didn't have a light; he had a window. If that's true, how could he possibly paint a subject if the wall is running 45 degrees, the window's running 45 degrees? He'd have to be outside the window, looking in. So that's my theory. So, like I said, if you go to school, and they teach you Rembrandt crosslight, or they say call it Rembrandt lighting, they always run the box at 45-degree angles. I think that's wrong. Again, I've been doing this for 25, 30 years. Literally, I've shot at least 10,000 portraits with this light. 30, 40 years of doing this. And so, I've got it nailed. So here's the thing. Right now, he's got glasses on, but on that side of his face, all I gotta do is to increase my Rembrandt look, or the triangle, I pull this away from the background. It's about eight inches, okay? We're gonna shoot it again. That's gonna make that triangle a little bit bigger. One, two, three. Just a little bit more on his face, on the left cheek there. It's gonna be subtle. That's just a little bit more. Now it's starting to look like he's got some lip there, and there's, wait, he's got his glasses, but there's gonna be where that triangle's gonna be, right there. So by feathering this light, it's easy-peasy. And I do this all the time, very quickly. I mean, it's a beautiful crosslight. Sometimes I'll bring in a little bit of a fill card, but that's usually only for a female model. For this scenario, I probably wouldn't do that. Or, if I drag my shutter, we're at, we should be at about 80th. Okay, there we go. If I'm gonna go one at, oh! I'm at F8. I'm gonna go one at 200th of a second. And then I'm gonna do one at 30th of a second. So my 30th should really be a smooth overall... Okay, so there's, that's 80th, no 200th of a second, 30th. See it brings in a little more ambient, little softer. So I don't even need a fill card for that. I can just drag my shutter. But we don't have lights in here that are gonna over, or change the color balance. So let's go a little wider on him, see what it looks like with a little bit, let's try horizontal. This would be, let's see if I can go... Trying to get his arms in there, but... Okay, so you know the rule of thirds? Which I hardly ever use any more. I was taught the rule of thirds. I'm gonna go back to 80th. Okay, look at me though. Look at right here. So, we're gonna go, sorry. I'm trying to get your arm, your, both hands in there. So it's either I pick one or, okay here we go. We're gonna zoom out just a little, focus again. One, two, three. So that is giving me a lot of, ooh! I need to probably go, let's go back to 30th. So I have a little more of the garage door here. Do this, where you're just really casually, you're kinda like, maybe looking toward the light source a little bit, just kinda real casual here. Ready to go, ready? No but chin down. It's gotta be chin, nah, yeah, right 'bout there, okay. So I'm just gonna look kinda...yeah! That's beautiful. And I'm at ISO 100. If I go to ISO 120, no it's 160, that'll get, oops! I got you blinking, one, two, three. Give me a little more ambient, little more lighter. I think on that monitor, it's a little bit brighter than mine. So let's go back down, 'cause I think, I don't know if in the booth, or when they're, people are looking at it, it's what that looks like, but I'm gonna go back to my 100 here. Okay, right there. They're looking at what that feed is? Okay. So let me go right back in here and we're done. Straight on. Straight on. Give me a focus point. Right there. That gorgeous beard. One, two, three. So that's little more straight on there. And if I go to...80th again. Add some dark in the background a little bit. And, so that's crosslight. Crosslight's gorgeous light. It's pretty easy. But I think in terms of what we, I think the overhead light was probably more successful with him on this texture, personally. Now if he's in an environment where you'd do like the big windows to his left, then it really looks beautifully natural, fits in perfectly. In here, it's not quite as natural, against the wall. But, there you have it. Thank you.

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