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Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Lesson 12 of 30

Shadows, Highlights & Light Metering

Tony Corbell

Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

12. Shadows, Highlights & Light Metering

Lesson Info

Shadows, Highlights & Light Metering

Yesterday, I kind of hit, we started off a little bit technical, and then we went through the tools. Uh, and then from now till we get to the end, as we sprint toward the finish line these next couple of days, we're going to a lot of shooting. We're going to a lot of of sort of the right brain more than the left brain. But I wanted to go into a little bit of science, just a little bit of the science of light on how light works and how highlights in shadows were tied together and how the world of contrast governs our life. I mean, everything that we do photographically, we're governed by by physics, basically, and people sort of forget that, you know, but physics is a big part of what we do. You know, photography is all based on that whole thing. I talked about with the log rhythm with the with the the log, rhythmic curve of the way it all works and it's really an interesting science if you kind of dig in just a little bit, um but I don't want oh, I don't want to scare those artists tha...

t you know, they don't want to know the technical stuff they're artists, you know? And I think that's great, but you do need to know a few things when something doesn't go right or when you've got one frame left or your battery's almost dead and you're and very high end paying client is standing next to you and you better pull this off with this one shot you can't miss it and so that's why I felt the need to try to sort of learn this stuff, I have no education none uh well eighth grade twice, but you know, other than that, that is that is my education I never went to college and always felt really intimidated by people that were more learning and people that have numerous degrees and went to all these schools and stuff, and for me, fear is a great motivator. A semi friend nick vidro's one time said fears and one of the best motivators there is and I was afraid of failure if I didn't find a way to educate myself and so I listened to everything I could I went to every workshop, every seminar I tried to learn the tools as quickly as I could because I was afraid not because I didn't know how I was going to survive I'm still a little worried about, you know, there's, just a sense of fear about the career. So, um, but I do want to talk just a little bit about this and let's talk a little bit about light and shadows, and I brought some to my favorite models out here today. I've got my my flat, dull white model, and I've got my black shiny model, and I want to talk about these, and we want to spend a couple of minutes talking a little bit about lightened shadow and con in the world of contrast, once you understand a little bit of how this kind of works, then you can you can go a lot further with what you do and how you approach your photography. I think so. Let's. Think about this way. Let's, start let's. Start by saying this is the sun a large source or small source? What do you think? Small, pinpoint source. Well, actually, it's the biggest source there is, but it's been conveniently located ninety three million miles away, which makes it a pinpoint light source. So a pinpoint life source produces what kind of shadows? Harsh shadows, hard edged shadows and they do appear so harsh. So and what about the highlight? So do you think it produces small highlights? Speculator small specter high let's think about sitting I always use this is a reference. Think about sitting at a red light behind the sixty seven chevy pickup with a chrome bumper. And you get on that right? That just that incident angle to the sun when the sun hits that bumper and it reflects back in your I'm just being and as being used to say, it marks the plaque right off your teeth, right? So so it is because that light is so small and concentrated to such a small area that it's creating hearted shadows and small, very bright highlights. Now cloud moves in and a cloud floats in front of the sun and when it does that highlight all of a sudden starts getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, and as the highlight gets bigger, it also gets less bright at the same rate that its size increases. The size got four times bigger. The highlight itself became one fourth is bright law the inverse square, it's, it's science, it's physics and the shadow became one fourth as sharp. It became four times softer if the size of the source increased by four times doesn't make sense. Okay, so so, taking that concept into the studio let's talk about this, let me move out of the way here let's just put this just put this black cup up for just a second, john let's go ahead and bring this guy. Let me just make sure that modeling is on full let's bring him over here and from from this from back over in this camera position you'll need to zoom in pretty close to be able to see the cup. I'm not sure how much these lights were affected, but we may be okay there let me kind of get over just a little bit. Yeah, ok, so he would go in and just tip it down quite a bit and bring it around in fact bring it around toward me, john bring it this way a couple of feet a little bit more little bit more. There you go right in there. There we go. Can you see from from from the camera's position over here. You can see that highlighted how that highlighted painted a real nice soft highlight down the cup and you can you can kind of see that it's not it's not overly bright if I move that high that life source even closer and I don't want to block your camera but the closer I get it to the cup, the larger the highlight is and the larger the highlight is the softer it becomes, the less intense it becomes. So what that tells me is if I've got a small or any kind of a shiny dark object the larger source that I can use, the less bright that highlight will become if I start back in this light up john king just this back and stay at the same angle just kind of backed in fact toward me a little bit more and as it backed up as it gets smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller that how it is concentrating to a smaller and smaller and smaller area and it's getting brighter and brighter and brighter the highlight is don't talk about light quantity yet we're still talking like quality here but now as it's backed all the way back here now that highlight is very, very pronounced it's very, very bright and in fact you can almost not see through the highlight. So think about that in somebody's catch lights in their eyes think about yesterday when we did those two pictures with the soft light and the hard light so we got a small speculum catch light that was so bright you couldn't just a small white dot and then as we put the big source on our face that highlight in the eye that catch light in the I was big and it was less bright that's the law of physics guys and so what that tells me is a zoo working photographer in the studio I need to be really aware of this if I arbitrarily grab a light stand and just back it up, or if I grab a life standing, just move it forward as I move the light stand closer or further away from my subject, I am making subtle changes in three ways. I am changing the brightness of the highlight. I'm changing the size of the highlight, and I'm changing the sharpness of the head to the shadow no matter what anybody might tell you, no matter what you might read the on ly way too soft on the edge of the shadow is by increasing the size of your source. You want soft shadows that make your life bigger or move your lie closer still, in a way you can do it well, somebody would argue, and so we're going to photo shop. Yes, you can, and I'll be having dinner six and you want and that's that's the way this works understand all these controls that we have that can be done at the time of capture. They can be done when we pull that trigger and understand what all you have that's available to you, and once you get it all done and you're ready to go, then you take one meter reading and your first time your first pop bam, you're done, you've got it. There's nothing more satisfying than to see on the back of your camera and to see in your print exactly what you had in mind and you didn't have to fix it, there's nothing like that feeling and it doesn't always happen. I make mistakes just like everybody else. Usually I'll leave a nice so up I have done a night shoot don't have a nice up around sixty four hundred, I'll step in the studio and I'll take a meter reading and I'll take my first pop and I've gotten, you know, glowing girl because I got to change my mind so, uh, those kind of things just happened, but for me, this is this is a key part of what I do and this is a real key integral part of my craft is knowing this highlight in satyam stuff now let's put the cup appear less the white cup and let's just talk about the shadow in fact, john let's do this. Can we can we use? Yep, let's use a smaller and make it a little bit more speculative. Let me just move this out of the way and we'll just plug this in real quick excuse me great, so let's, just get this guy and I'm looking around the side little bit so you can see from my cameras taking position so if I'm over here shooting this way, you can see I mean you have a can account for these overhead lights in the studio, but you kind of squint your eye down for those of you that are viewing at home if you can just kind of squint and look at that cup you can see that hard head shadow you can see right where that shadow edge comes in coincidently from over there as I change this light just the distance of this thing to the stuff in fact can you move us back so I can go back with this as well? If I move this forward, the edge of that shadow becomes more pronounced sorry it becomes less pronounced it becomes a little bit softer because I've just made my life source bigger. So now now you can see that soft shadow edge right there it's a little bit soft and yet this is a really small source it just happens to be really, really close to the cup but again don't get caught up in the exposure that's different we'll talk about the exposure in a second get the quality of the light that you want then measure you're quantity of light always doing that order and you can't go wrong if you'll take and adjust to the quality of life that you're trying to achieve, then you take and measure for the quantity game over you win you don't mess up, you can't lose okay, so now if I want to make that edge sharper and more harsh then all I do is keep on keeping on the same access and I just bring it straight back sorry for the beef kill that I'm just gonna put well, it's still beeps so if I go back to here now that shadow is much, much more sharp that shadows really hard and shadow you can see it down in the lip of the cup if europe I enough you can see down in the cup just a little bit you can see that hard edge right in there right inside the lip of the cup so basically it's this size of source of any given light sources relative to its distance to the subject we live in a world of sighs relative to distance my my soft box there my three by four soft box that we that we used yesterday will be using today that is a three foot by four foot source that's a pretty good size source, right? Well, it is if it's pretty close to someone's face but if I use it, if I'm photographing a family of ten and I have to back it up twelve or fifteen feet it's a pretty small source you guys get that right size relative to distance it's. Why? When I have to do a big group like that, I need the biggest lights on hand. I have the biggest sources. I have the biggest light shapers I have because I know that I need to soften those edges of shadows. We talked about all the tools yesterday, and one of the things about the umbrella that we talked about was that umbrella sin light everywhere. And in doing so, it usually produces a pretty hard ed shadow. So that's why? When you're doing a big group with an umbrella, you better use two or three or four umbrellas so that they can counter each other shadows so you don't have shadows on the faces from one direction. There's not really another way to do a group of one hundred fifty people. I mean, you would need a light source the size of the gym toe, be able to pull it off and have soft quality lights. So you do the best you can and you fill in the shadows with with a big group. But with down with one or two or three or four people, man with one medium size or a larger soft box, you can make magic happen and you can do it all day long. So simply too, and you can see your results and it's sort of also helps define why I use no fixed phil light in my studio. A lot of photographers, a lot of studios have a phil light that you know again I'm internationally is defined as non directional, non speculator and it's. Usually not, it can only be non directional if it's in line with the camera. So if it's indeed in line with the camera and up high that's fine for some studios. But for me the problem with that is what you see is not what you get. I can't what my visual, what I see on my client's face is not what I'm gonna get in my file. So that's, why I don't use a fixed feel like I turn that thing off and I use a reflector because then what? Then? It is a true was he wagged what I see is what I get so it makes it makes a lot of sense to me and it kind of keeps me on track for receiving exactly what I want and there'll be no surprises. There was to be an old holiday and add no surprises that's all I want, I just want no surprises. When I when I want to hit the preview button, I don't want to go whoa, what happened there? That's the last thing I want to see what I want to go oh, yeah that's exactly what I had in mind. And now go ahead. Morning, tony. Thank you. Now you're just mentioning about more multiple umbrellas for a large group say you're mentioned yesterday football team, right? So thank you, really. You mentioned yesterday a football team and using multiple umbrellas for a large group of, say, one hundred people now I went ahead and I thought that seven but I'm fell yesterday, so who? So I have that and I've got a four foot would do what I need exactly the same size, assuming that the son, you know, it was everything was balanced. What I need to have the same size would it be a care if there were two different sizes because the reflector would be heart e think it be ok if they're if they're different sizes? I mean, it all depends on the job. The one thing that we've identified with the seven footer, which is it's a truly a remarkable tool, you need to be holding onto it pretty tight outside because your assistance will fly away, they that thing will become airborne in a heartbeat and you know, I learned a trick from a texas friend of mine photographer named doug box who said any time you're outside with an umbrella he says just loosen your knob the top knob on your light stand and I said, why would you do that? He says, so when the wind hits your umbrella instead of blowing it over and breaking it it'll turn it it'll automatically just turned itself in the wind well, it's annoying but it's not breaking you know so but number allows side is a challenge it's a real challenge any big light source is a challenge, which is why so many photographers of are using speed lights outdoors speed lines they're great and listen, I haven't talked about it much in here this weekend I will but I'm probably not going to shoot with speed lights in here this week as much as I could, though, because it's still a light source and it doesn't matter to me if I am using a continuous light my studio strobes, my bones or my six hundred units my candid six hundred feet lights I treat him all exactly the same I threat the sun exactly the same I don't know differentiate from any given light source it's just a light source for me I'll do what I want with that light source, you know it's funny there's let me let me pull this this white board out, john, if you don't mind, just pull that bored out of my illustrate something real quick and we're going to get into we jump into some more meat, a ring, and then we'll take a couple of pictures of our model for the segment. Uh but but it's interesting to me. How how? As long as you do know where the shadows are falling, what the highlights are doing and you understand the exposure you really can pretty much do anything that you have in your mind. You don't have to settle for what is you can make it whatever you want it to be so real quickly, let me just let me just make this point, so I'm the world's worst drawer here. You know, if this was a balloon and we were trying to to illustrate a balloon and there is the highlight of the balloon and of course over here we're going to have a shadow if I indeed want that that highlight to be softer and I want the shadow to be softer if I increase the size of the source, of course what's going to happen in is my highlight covers a larger area and my shadow is so much softer, it's just it's, completely softer and it's no longer hardage so the shadow in the highlighter absolutely tied together now here's what's interesting leonardo davinci in some of papers that were found he had seventeen, sixteen volumes of of books that he wrote uh sixteen times fifteen of which have been lost family members stole them, other people stolen they sold them up. This is from the fifteen hundred so who knows where they are but there was one that remained in one but that was found and there's an and it's been compiled into a little booklet called a treaties on painting t r a c treaties on painting and he's got one segment there called light and shadow and what he said was in order to produce depth in a painting you need three brightness levels. Okay, you need the true brightness of your subject and then you need to brightness is that are not true one that's brighter than the true brightness and one that's a darker than the true brightness. What he told us in that statement is that we've gotta have true brightness which is right there we've gotta have brightness that's not true, which is right there and we gotta have a brightness that's not true which is right there in order to produce depth, shape form texture, dimension okay, so what he's saying is you've got to have all three of these things and then you have death great how many of those are you in charge of you're in charge of two of them. I'm not in charge of what you look like you are I'm not in charge of your skin tone you are I am in charge of what I do with this and that that and that I can do anything I want with those highlights and shadows I can make the shadows sharper's I want I can make it a soft I can bring in a reflector and make it almost not existent. I can make that highlight enormous or I could make that highlight small and sharpened cutting. I can do anything I want with the shadow in the highlight. But one thing I cannot muck around with is that you better look like you look or I fail. You're in charge of that part I have to properly expose that but in the world of like quality that's up to you you you get to look how you look you know it's funny how to me and I want to roll this right into the meter here in just a sec but it's funny to me how many people second guess their exposures with meters might my my my brother in law was my best best friend on gave me my first job in photography and I went toe legos nigeria in nineteen eighty I was brand new was a young photographer and I went to photograph sixty five heads of state now I don't it's a long story that you don't hear how I got this job, but one of the things that happened was the last thing my brother in law told me is like on the plane is now remember their skins really, really, really, really, really, really dark open up a little extra on your exposure and I'm like ok because I because and on off I went and what I was doing was I was exposing for their tone ality as opposed to exposing for the amount of light ahead the problem was on the opening night of this exhibit that I was at the federal palace I've got all these really, really, really dark faces and one person dressed in white who was from the u k and had really lily white skin and I opened up because everybody skin is so dark and I nuke this poor girl, right? So so what I learned quickly was okay note to self if you don't expose based on someone's tonality you expose based on the quality, the quantity of light that is present and if you do that you can't get fooled right? So it's like when you do a group shot well, some people were in a black suit and some people are wearing a white shirt you can't change your exposure based on what they are wearing, you have to change your exposure based on how much light you have that's all that matters with the exposure how much light is there and that was the biggest lesson for me so as long as I can properly place that exposure on that file right there at that place of true tone ality that true brightness of your skin tone or the car or the widget whatever I'm photographing as long as I can place that there then those two aiken doing along with those air subjective, the hot lights and shadows totally subjective that is my one piece of objectivity in the photograph that makes sense did it confuse anybody out there us way? Have anybody going? I'm checking just make sure this guy's knuckles or if that made sense everybody is not, um ok, so so having said all of that, hopefully that makes a little bit of sense and this kind of ties to these guys the cups, I know that with the white cup I've gotta deal heavily with that side of the scale and I know with the black cup I'm dealing heavily with that side of the scale if I'm photographing a white car, all I care about are the shadows and if I'm photographing a black car, all I care about are the highlights make sense when a photograph people I've got both sides to deal with I've got highlights and shadows I'm dealing with what divinci called three dimensional contrast three dimensional contrast all three have to be there. Okay. All right. So now let's get we got that part done now let's, talk about meters a little bit. Let me grab let me grab a couple of light meters here. Excuse me. So I started using, uh, the iconic meters ah, few years ago and I've been having remarkable luck with in particular the l seven fifty eight d r which has become my this has been my workhorse and I mentioned this before. This has been my work has now almost ten years and it's just a brilliant meter and and what they've done is in a very short period of time, they've kind of taken on the world as as the de facto standard in the industry. And one thing that's good about using the de facto industry standard of any industry in the world is that everybody knows it and if you have trouble, people can help you with it and their service centers and there are rental houses and you can ask any photographer I've gotta succumbing three fifty eight or seven fifty and I need help with such and such somebody in the room will help you because they know it if you get another brand they might not but there are other brands out there. There are the brands available. What I found these two b is absolutely accurate, um, provided that they're calibrated properly as long as they are calibrated properly. And now this what I'm about to tell you now it may make the people at sea connick cringe and they might say, oh, don't ever say that again, but I'm going to say it anyway, because I've done this for years. They did a really clever thing about calibration with the sick comic meter, and what they did is they gave us the ability to adjust the calibration personally, so I know that the brightness level of the sun on a bright, sunny day hey is consistent it's the same brightness anywhere in the world doesn't matter from sea level or on top of a mountain it's the same brightness I'm still ninety three million miles away from the stink and son, so I know that as long as the sun is twenty degrees above the horizon, it peaks at its brightness and it stays at that same relative brightness all day long until it gets to twenty degrees on the other horizon ok, long there no clouds in the sky, the brightness doesn't change one tenth of a stop I've measured it many, many times to try to prove this theory wrong, but it's true once it hits twenty degrees, that thing is consistent. Ok, so here's how here's what you're gonna do you remember the sunny sixteen rule you might remember that rule here's how let me I'll refresh you the sunny sixteen rule states that on a front lit subject when the sun is twenty degrees above the horizon you use the I s o that you're shooting at as your shutter speed and shooter have sixteen so if you're dialing in four hundred s so then then set your center speed at one four hundredth of a second and she did have sixteen on a friendless subject earlier exposure will be perfect perfect, not close perfect that's the way the steri works and it's stupid, accurate it's really accurate. So here's, what I started doing years ago with when I got my first iconic I learned that if you push in, I s so I'll try to hold this steady in case you guys wanna get a shot of this if you push in eso won and I so too at the same time what you get in the little window is a little three letter code this is a deejay for adjustment most people that have a sick on a meter and even though it's here but just pushing both esos at the same time they're spring loaded, pushing both in family, says a deejay then you have this little thumb will that you can adjust the calibration higher or lower whatever it need ok, so here is how you're going to do it you're going to go outside on a bright sunny day you're gonna you're gonna figure out what I would do this I would dial in I s o one twenty five shutter speed one twenty five and go outside and find the sun and put that dome directly at the sun with no shadows on the dome and take a reading and it should read sixteen point oh yeah yeah good one john for those of you from seattle I'm sorry moved to phoenix eso eso won twenty five shutter speed one twenty five in decorating and should read sixteen most of you will not read sixteen with your sick connick meters most of you will be off one or two or three tenths of a stop if you're often more than that you're probably missing some exposures but mostly my meter let me just look at mine real quick yeah I'm off by three or four tenths myself so what you do is if it reads less a reads eleven point eight well then I just push in and hold in both esos and I pushing the adjustment and I run that knob up and down until until I go like if it's eleven point eight it needs to be plus two tenths so I go plus one click plus tooth clicks and it'll show in the window, and now fareed it again now read sixteen point oh, make sense that calibrates this meter to my way of thinking, I'm now calibrated now, having said all of that, there is another option, which is to shoot the x right color checker passport, which is brilliant, and it will it will bring you into target and neutralize that you all of your cameras and get your camera and your meter and your laptop that everybody all talking and zeros everything in, and it gives you a preset dmg, which is a master file basically of your camera and that's a pretty clever way to go to I've just done this so long, it's just this is automatic for me to do this, you know? And and I don't know what you saw yesterday. I don't miss my exposure to much, so I just do what the meter tells me I'm kind of like that. Okay? Does that does that compute everyone okay? Yeah, I would love you to repeat that. I bought one of those and it owns me. Yeah, I read the instructions so many times and I could not figure out how to do the I s o I would have been dead if my life depended on it so just in two seconds you taught me how to do something but if you could repeat that last thing you just said is that kind of whenever my head okay so so you're going to take a reading with ice so one twenty five and shutter speed one twenty five and you're going to take a reading of the sun you're gonna step by the way I should clarify make sure that the mode setting is on ambient light not flash you need to read the ambiance of the sun so then you're gonna go outside you're going around the sun and just take a reading I just fired off I'm set to channel three right now yeah ok so so you're going west side you're going take a reading of the sun and it needs to re sixteen oh if it doesn't reach sixteen oh then if it's let's say it reads sixteen point three are sixteen months a sixteen point four so that means when you push in I also won and I so too and that little adjustment window pops up then you're gonna have to roll down that thumb wheel minus one two three four until you get to calibration I just roll it down and I just changed the basically I'm changing the sensitivity of the meter either more sensitive or less sensitive by one tenths at a time makes sense most people don't even know it's there right saying with the percentage meter outside most people don't even know it's there we're not going to be going outside but when you use flash outside and you take a flash reading with the sea connick it will pop in the upper left corner a little small percentage number and the percentage number tells you how much percentage of that exposure is flash and how much percentage is ambience and then it's just a simple for me there's only three options for me it's real simple if it's thirty percent that's a fil light flash if it's fifty fifty there one on one and if it's seventy that's a main light flash that's the way I think about it so I just make it make that work for me I try to simplify things because I'm not a very smart guy, so I try to simplify things you know I've got four controls of light additives attractive transmission reflective we talked about that already I've got four tools of light I've got speed, light studio lights, son and ambience. As long as I understand that I've got with with this, I know that I'm everything that I do I've got minimized down to the lowest number so I don't have to think too much I've only got three exposures I want to use with flash outdoors it's either is a phil or it's even or I want to remain like period one of those three so give me thirty percent or fifty percent or seventy percent and that's it I've got to make it simple in my little brain so I know that some of the stuff sounds really technical and it sounds like I'm some kind of his kid science dude well I'm not I'm a guy that just needs to simplify my life and I fight simplified down to those common denominators I don't make mistakes it's one of try to get outside of that why screw up too bad okay, so we know you had a bunch of questions so first of all for people who may be really new to light meters harold c wants to know when you when you calibrate the meter outside using the sun does that calibration on hold for studio use as well? Yes, it does I've basically set the meter I've changed or altered the meters sensitivity across the board basically yeah cool and smitty andy would like to know how do we then calibrate our cameras to our light meter? My camera seems to be a stop lower than my meter tells me I don't have time to explain that that's a great question and smitty md probably a doctor dr smitty that they go online and look at the x right videos they've got some tutorials on youtube on how to do that through their through their check her passport system and is pretty clever and it does it calibrates and sort of zeros out the noise in your camera think about this if you're a wedding guy and you've got three cameras, your cameras aren't exactly calibrated together, but through that system and that question that he's asking you can calibrate those three cameras together and you can see where everything back to what is true and accurate and that's always I thought, were after we just want true and accurate, and I don't care if my meter if my calibration says I have to calibrate two thirds of us up for a full stop, I don't even care as long as it's consistent every time I can hit any target as long as it stops moving, you know, as long as this is the same and as long as it's, consistent that's all I care about love it quick. One from j k photography and a number of people yesterday were asking about this. Do you have an opinion on ios light meter aps or there's, a new tool called the luxi, which is basically a little light meter that touches to your iphone and then works on that? Do you have any experience with or opinions about those? Yes, I can't go there, I just I don't think we're there yet. I don't think we're there yet I'll tell you want some some some close friends of mine and I we're all talking one night and one of the guys said you know, for smart we would make a bluetooth app so that if I pull out my iphone if I'm going to take a picture of katherine right here in the front row, I can say john, turn on your camera and are your phone and move your phone right there and I can do a flash here in his flash of fire that's not there yet, but it should be and I just told somebody how to do it but I don't have time to mess with us, so I don't think there's an iphone light meter out that that does flesh yeah, they read ambiance but there were flash and that's and that's part of the problem here's why your camera meter is great in your camera for a location work but your flash your meter inside your camera doesn't reply unless you use in the high end hostile blad digital the the d forty maybe I think it is that six forty five format hossa blood digital is the only carrier in the world that has a built in flash meter, so the answer is boy it's tough toe do this with accuracy with nine dollars app I don't I can't imagine it being that accurate I have one on my phone and I keep text and I keep looking at it, but I don't I don't think from my professional work, I could rely on that as my tool, and then you step out of chute and try to call your client your phone's dead. So you know you got thank you, attorney delta dave would like to know best practices. How often should you calibrate your light meter? I check it all the time. I probably too. Well, not all the time, but I checked it a couple times a month, and as long as my exposure is a good and true and accurate, it doesn't really drift off of calibration. Um, many of you will find that your calibration might be right on, but some of you might be off a third of its offer two tenths or four tents and don't pass out if you are just fixing this, change the calibration and keep working a cz long as you are getting good true exposures that's, what matters and I will visit this is a good time to visit another option here please be careful about using your lcd preview on the back of your camera as your light meter. If you want to use your camera for your light meter, then use the hist a gram. You've got you've got to live and breathe and die inside that history if you are missing if you're missing that thanked on I need that board again I'm sorry I can't get the boarding sure if you if you are going to use the back of your camera to check your exposures don't even look at the pictures the picture of what the picture does is they will tell you through sharp or not and it's great to tell you that all your life's air firing but don't use it tio live and die on your exposures use the hist a gram and the way the way that I've come toe learn to use my history grams it's simply I think about it like this and you guys I mean I know I'm preaching to the choir here on this on this aspect but I just I'll make this real fast in brief I know that a true a normal exposure with a full range file will have a gap on the left in the gap on the right if I miss a gap here and if I miss a gap here I don't have quite the full range image and I'm losing information somewhere in my file so upon the overexposure side if I hope this is a normal say zero exposure if I open up and go plus one here my exposure is going to look my history graham is gonna look like this and what that tells me is there's some more information that's outside of my history. Graham well, crockett describes that as a pipe, you know, all the detail has to fit in the pipe and if it doesn't, then the pipe it can't print that's a pretty easy, simple way to state it and if I go minus so that would be a plus one there and if I go a minus one, hear what you think is gonna look like it's going to look like this and that gap is going to even be wider on that side and I know this tells me I've got some areas they're going to block up don't worry about the peaks don't worry about the height of the peaks that's none of your business that's killed her information. What I care about is here to hear I carry left him right? I care about that gap left and gap right? If I miss that I'm in trouble and with that meter everything that I shoot, I got a gap left and get right when I walked up to that meter that monitor yesterday on her face and I looked close and I could see detail in the shadow and detail the highlight I was perfectly dead on I'm not a genius, I just use the meter and I don't have to adjust it in post and that's what's critical to me I need that to happen every time I pull the trigger. If I'm shooting like that, I'm in trouble because I gotta fix something later it can be fixed later, I'm not saying it can't, but I would have to be stated that I'm not going to fix it later. What's the point of that sorry, so box so bucks I need I need a flashing sign so much time so much time two is with using the history. Graham is that it's history and with the process j peg that the camera gave you write. So if your camera set to neutral, you're going to get one history of your cameras set to a brilliant or saturated colors you're going to get a different history ram so even the back of the camera history am is not, and preview what you're seeing is a j peg it's, a jpeg previous, not a raw preview, you know, so taken with a grain of salt, what you're looking at, it could be close and that's great, but you got that history ram is that's the stuff that's the sizzle right there.

Class Description

Get ready to learn how the lighting secrets every sought-after photographer needs to know. Join creativeLIVE for an in-depth immersion into understanding and controlling in-studio light.

Taught by award-winning photographer Tony Corbell, you’ll explore how to work with a wide variety of lighting tools. Tony will explain how a photograph’s look and feel are influenced by the size, shape, and placement of its light source. You’ll learn about correct light metering techniques and the role logic and physics play in metering and working with light. Tony will cover basic, subtle lighting adjustments that transform photos. You’ll have a front-row seat as Tony applies his one-of-a-kind lighting techniques live in-studio as he shoots both portraits and still-life photos.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a new and improved skill set for working with light and achieving jaw-dropping results.


AJ Photography Ireland

Watching this Course from Ireland live, and at my leisure having purchased the course, I cannot praise Tony Corbell enough. I felt I was right there in the Classroom with him and gained so, so much from stunning course. He really does explain the techniques he uses so well and is one of the greatest Educators that I have seen in photography. Worth every Euro ( Dollar ) !.. Thank you Creative Live and Keep up the good work ! Andy Jay Cork Ireland.


I learned a lot from Tony´s class. Very experienced, talented, smart tips and funny comments. Generous on sharing his knowledge. I am passionate about learning portraiture since about a year or two, had bought a couple of flashlights, stands, modifiers and now the most difficult part, to have my wife and kids be patient and let me practice with them. John Cornicello did an excellent job helping with the lights and bringing his own comments too. They both did an excellent match. This is a class I will watch again from time to time. This is the second course I watch from Tony and about the 15th course I watched from Creative.

a Creativelive Student

This is just a tremendous class. I love Mr. Corbell's teaching style and appreciate his levity. Most of all, I value the expertise he brings to the subject matter. After watching the entire class, I have been able to make adjustments to my lighting that I love and feel like I have a better idea of what I am looking for with my lights. This is a terrific value at any price.