Skip to main content

Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Lesson 19 of 30

Shoot: Lighting Effects on Vintage Items

Tony Corbell

Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Tony Corbell

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

19. Shoot: Lighting Effects on Vintage Items


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Mono Lights & Pack Lights Duration:29:32
3 Light Controls & Shaping Duration:30:36
6 Tools of Light Q & A Duration:13:59
8 Shoot: Painting with Light Duration:26:01

Lesson Info

Shoot: Lighting Effects on Vintage Items

We do have the chance to do things everyone's while that we might step out of our comfort zone and try and I can tell you to get started with this if anything that you have land around your house maybe it's a collection of some time maybe you have a child that's a barbie collector I'm a beatles memorabilia collector I have more beetles remember bit of anybody I know uh well there's a couple of guys that are bigger than me but they they're really nuts I'm just kind of just sort of touched a little bit but so but I've got these pictures around my house where I've taken all my beetle things and set amount I've done these tabletop setups kendall collections and it's great it's fun and I like and I like that sort of behavior so so we were talking about this vintage thing and we're the the ladies on the staff here we're putting together our team for tomorrow's fashion hollywood glamour shoot that were done tomorrow and she said you know we're going to put together props and I said who then I...

want to still life with all the props so they brought in all these things and that's what this is going to be on the table over here so that will be our first shot we're going to do that then we're going to do a kind of a space age kind of a high tech watch shot that I needed to watch anyway. So, you know, moment, that's a bottle of watch this week, but it'll be fun and it will show you some nice speculate control. So before we go that direction, you guys have any questions or anything we've covered so far. You guys have been exceptionally are exceedingly quiet today, and I'm not sure if you're asleep or if I'm covered it also. Well, I'm just magnificent instructor or if you're just so lost or you already know that stuff, you just want to get on with the good stuff. I just don't know where you are, so you have to say something occasionally, bob, who hasn't said anything yet today? Um, ok, we're good, we get caught up. Ok, then we're gonna move on. So let's, take a look at the set over here. So first things first, john let's do this if you don't mind if you can and even if you did from where I am over here. I'm liking the set up pretty well and I didn't just a test shot and I, under exposing a couple stops, is to see my set up there. I think the light needs to come. Up and over a little bit more, I do like it coming from behind interesting thing folks I've learned over the years that I seem to tend to like my picture seem to tend to what I tend to like my pictures better on something like this when the shadows air coming towards me as opposed to the shadows going away from me there's there to me there's a higher impact them a little more strength in the in the textures so I tend to do that you're getting pretty close there and then this slide that thing forward a little bit more a little bit more little bit more little bit more now you cook a little bit more even right in there so let's let's get a reading right there and I'm probably gonna under expose from that and they were going to add a secondary light to this so and I think and again some of these little things better that are pretty simple to do and you can make your own little postcard there's all sorts of things you can do with different collections. There you go. Perfect. So this one this one didn't find right? Is that off everything else off? Kerry okay, good, good, good. We want that to be office makes sixteen and a half okay, so it's sixteen and a half that's what that tells me that if I shoot at sixteen and a half exposure will be true but it was good but I don't want the exposure to be true. I want the exposure from this life to be a little bit under so I've said a sixteen and a half I'm going to probably twenty two maybe even a little above twenty two with this lens I think I can get above twenty two yeah, I can get up I can get up there with this lens this is an f thirty two lin's what? Lindsay this's this one is a tamron ninety mill macro and the reason for that is in the event that I do want to scoot right in there and do a little close up on some of the widgets in here but I've shot and tested this lends quite a bit I've got all you know, cannon up just optics, of course, but there's a couple of tomorrow melissa have that I liked a lot and this ninety has become one of my favorite little lindsay's it's a great street lands to its way for walking around and then if you want to zoom in for a one to one macro it's a pretty simple a simple thing to do, so I'm pretty happy with it, so let me just shoot this and make sure that I'm good and and under and uh well just double check that and so I should be a little dark yeah and so the four in the foreground the areas in the front of this is all everything is a little bit dark and that's what I want I want that all to be a little bit dark in fact can we you can you reach the parrot all get nowhere me maybe way an apple box on that side you could probably use that power actually maybe britain could reach that power can you stand up and turn that pulls down too yeah there you go that does it pretty simple yes I'm going to open that up now a little bit so you were probably right it should have been won so I'm just gonna hit that take a look yes so this is kind of what I'm talking about so it's now we're kind of getting closer to where I want this is not anywhere near the final yet this is just setting the foundation of of sort of overall phil kind of a light to give me the effect the overall effect now will come in with that and we'll put a warming filter let's just type a little bit of a warming gel over this guy just maybe a little bit more more dense their omelets here so here we go right here sir there's a full kit yeah so maybe that fool like maybe that one and we'll stick that right over the top of that and I think we're gonna be in pretty good shape here and it's a hard line I'm keeping it as a hard line because I want that like to become a harsh I want the shadows want to able to see those shadow those on the air do so shadows but we're going to do this a couple of different ways we'll use it we'll do it well I looked right at it and I can't see anything you know anybody here okay so power wise where yet two point zero and what was that one up there that's two point zero so put just counting down one ri oh I know what that's a soft bucks so you take it and to your right now take a reading with that for me on just get it pointed at you just tip it down just a little bit and what you can already see that with the with you unplug it and so you can spend their yeah one of things that you'll find is that when the with the umbrella reflector that shiny silver on the inside that lining is secular aziz you get as you just melted your eyebrows around can we maybe just coming from the side a little bit just for their sake yeah where do you write it off there yet right their spine eight and a half okay eleven from the top kate so that go plus one one and let's take a test and take a look at it to see what we see, what we're getting and you see how this front starts to fill in just a little bit and you'll start to see that starts opening up a little bit. It's not we're not quite there yet. I think I would like to let's turn the power up on it. Okay, higher and then back it up a couple of steps on ben, I'll show you what we're gonna do next let's back up just a bit more. Yeah, yeah, yeah let me take another look right in here we're getting close, we're getting close, but I do, but I didn't need to move it around. Sorry, because it's going blind in fact, if you guys want maybe I hate to move you guys and I'll get killed by somebody you can't move your ok sorry it's just gonna be brushed. Don't look at this like let's just take a look at that. So we're starting to get kind of close, but it still isn't quite there yet. So what I want to do is create some some shadows um let's do let's do two things let's look at this first and then we'll do the state next we're going on individual products we created this saying a little while ago where john this took a knife and basically it's a piece of falling for the first safety way basically just cut some holes in this thing is called a cookie in the motion picture world they call him cookies because of the only guy named coco loris and then this technique and what you've got is you've got several different options here ages of where it can go and how you can use it so yeah he's just going to put another one in right there yeah there you go tony while he's doing that can you tell us what you're looking at here while you're building yeah I'm looking at I mean overall illumination from the top down and I'm going to come in and fine tune everything before we get anywhere near a final uh but what's curious about what you're looking at at each step of the process of top flight the top flight is just to give me a base foundation it's just give me a little bit of a foundation of some illumination in fact I'm I think it's still a little bit too bright I might want to take it down another stop this guy is giving me like direction and it's and it's kind of kind of lighting things up and given given the picture a little bit of a little bit of life okay, now, when we introduce the cookie, we put the cookie in place what that's doing and here's here's the thing that's funny about a cookie. I've got three different things that I can control. I can control the size of the holes I can control the distance of the cookie to the light and the distance of the cookie to the set. So let's move it closer to the set and what that does is makes the shadows sharper and it makes the streaks mohr evident. But I do think that I want to maybe if you don't mind break, can I power that down? I'm not sure what power it's on go ahead and take it to the bottom if you don't mind and let's, just take a look at that and let me just see if this cookie is startinto show up in here a little bit, okay? So that's starting to come in, but I'm not exactly wild about it quite yet, but I'm getting closer. You guys can start to see I'm go ahead and go backto horizontal here for the format somewhere like that and just for fun, let's do one with that light let's do one with that like I don't want it completely off. I see I've got a couple of light traps in there so you can start to see you know it's funny when you start doing this guy's you'll start seeing little telltale things that you like and things that you don't like the more you start zooming in and looking around and driving around like I'm losing some of those darker feathers so I would probably take the time I think this dark purse that's on the right is a big light trap and I'm losing the purse I'm not going to have the texture that I want across the person so in that case between the purse and those three those other two feathers I might want another light right here just to skim a little bit of light on there just a wake those up just you get the idea just to wake him up so we can do that pretty easily by this brand live number three and in this case we're gonna blink you know we talked about this black we talked about the black aluminums of black aluminum foil so let's use that and let's wrap this around us snoop this down and send some light right toward right on that side what we wanted perfect this someone that'll get your power perfect thank you thanks. So I'm just gonna bring this got right in here and on this time get this guy put together like that I'll start closing up the hole a little bit and I'm just going to smooth it down and figure out where I want it now to do this what's really helpful is to turn off the morning light but I'm just not tall enough to do it ok, so it's gonna be the light the bunny closest to me it just it's it's a spring loaded guy so just a couple of times closest closest to me going showing back there it is that's great that's great you need power no money that good to have a tall guy in the I worked with a guy one time and I said somewhere on set and I said we need more he said we need more power and so why do we need more power? He said to suppress the masses I've been around some funny guys in my life I'll tell you it's been a fun life for sure and most of the guys that I run off other photographers and they're just nutty funny guys you know ok, so we're going more miss guy to two point five ok so then I'm gonna take that down then good good call that's two point one thiss ones at four point two four point two oh yeah sorry, sorry that one, two three okay, great, so I need to warm that one little warming dell because I need to add I need to add a hit of warmth on that side okay there on the steps right here oh there we go this's one of those this is one of those pictures that's kind of a building process you start building your way up to it as you go and you start looking at this going ok is that going to be enough is that gonna do it? Maybe those two together might do it let's put those two together and let's just hang him over there somehow let's just clipped them right over there you might be easier to hold him just hold him for a second let's try that and let's just take the shot and see if that opens up the purse and that top feather was especially bothering me so can we just go back and forth between those still yeah didn't open a much so let me power this up a little bit okay let's try that again way that's starting to do something over there I think come on there we go there we go so you see how that's just opened up that that dark dark hole where the purse was and that top purple feather and all that started open up can we zoom in to the center of that and then just kind of driving around like a yeah there you go yeah yeah just drive around there for a little bit what do you think? You see how that works and exposure wise we're shooting at f eighteen so I'm sixteen and a third writes I'm just up above sixteen I like that a lot so yeah the next the next third stuff is if is f twenty then f twenty two okay so now overall how do you feel about the exposure is exposure filled down ours if you feel like the exposure is ok you think it's a little bit low I think it's slightly low too so let's open up you want to go a third or two thirds what do you think? Wait just have to watch for texture way might lose that a little bit so we might have to watch for that and then there's something also john maybe you can move this this cookie a little bit and move it a little bit closer to the set just a little bit and if you move it towards you and end right there so I go back go back go back go back one more right there you just covered the hot spot on the finger of the glove okay, so I'm gonna open up one third get your chills in I'll open one third and we'll see what's going to happen here nobody moves nobody moves a little smile come on, come on, come on there we go there we go I think it's still down. I'm gonna go another third because you know why not? It's free that's my motto. What do you think I'm focusing? No, I'm focused in one third up. I'm focusing one third of because, you know, remember the old rule? About one third, two thirds. It'll fall forward one third in a fall back two thirds. So I'm focused. And at the bottom of that little bottle, the little perv, I think that's a perfume bottle that's where that's where I'm that's where I'm going to write the but the base of that guy and then the focus if I could just get zoomed in and look at that top feather, that would be awesome. Awesome. That dark one of the very top. You right up in there. Is that still working? Or is that time I just losing focus up there. Wonder just just started losing. Okay, so you want opened up two thirds. We lost that that focus so I could go around and power everything up a little bit and bring that power up. And maybe we'll try that, too. But I do want to just take a look at this. Now, I do want to try one other thing to, uh bread if you don't mind one more time would you mind if you don't look at the back of the head and see where it is but the power the main power switch yeah it's on the far right and it's just a toggle and I just want to turn the power off on that light on this one right here and and I just wanted so you just go down one flick just goes into the middle class and then I'm going to try it without that light and see if we like it we might not like it but I just want to try it because it's just uh because just just because because we can I think it needs it I think it needs it okay so we'll bring it back on but you can see that when you get into something like this this is a building process and this this sitting this dappled light and all this this all takes a little bit of time to really work at fine fine details and everybody does want the details I mean you really do need to kind of dig in and kind of work it through I do want to move this around a little bit further and send this light through there think about this because of size of source and all those things the further I move this from the cookie the sharper the shadows become from the cookie makes sense. Okay, if it's cookies appear close, I don't see the edges of the shadows because they're also too soft. But as I come back with this guy back here, well, now we're cooking, so I'm just gonna raise that up just like, right in there. In fact, I'm going to scoot through that hole right there, and I'm kind of looking at the gloves. They're making sure no blast the glass too much. Ok, so tell me, could you actually explain for matthew you what the cookie is doing? What it's contributing to the image all that effective what it's doing is giving me direction of light as if light were coming through a window our tree or are coming through like a window with lace curtains. It's just kind of given me a lacy effect of shadow highlight subtle highlight shadow highlight and it's and it's and it's kind of a cool thing let me shoot this real quick and we'll see how we have. We like this. Do we turn that back on the top? Yes, we did. Ok. Ok, guys, I'm I'm getting pretty close now. I'm kind of liking this. Yeah, the bottle came to life a little bit. All that's doing is just giving me some direction to my light and it's and it's making this picture a little bit more of an antique looking it's a little bit more of a period piece when it looks like that old light coming through you know imagine your grandmother's window with bad lace curtains you know and that's where the lights coming in from um I think that overhead is a little hot thanks down to one point oh it is going to do is bring others in let's bring it with me bring let me bring this one up a little bit and I do want this one also I'm gonna make this a little bit warmer too so I'm gonna bring this up jail like that and when warm this guy a little bit more I just I just think I can get this warmer in fact you know what before you do that why don't we do this everybody just relax for ten seconds and I'm just going to turn this guy from daylight to what do you think sorry what do you think I want to go with you don't want to warm this thing up for um I'm gonna go shade shame shame would be a good one to stay we'll start with so we're gonna go to shade so we're gonna go white balance might balance uh their shade algo shade and pull the trigger again I'm gonna change my aspect ratio here just a composition just a little bit o o blow on that race a go well now it's getting now it's getting in the now we're talking about some richness okay, so um he's gonna pull back a little bit and get that mirror in there? I like that mirror I think I hate to do this but I got to go back to vertical because there's just too many little elements that I'm losing here we go good come back a little bit more we're getting pretty close to you guys to have in a picture we're not there yet but we're getting closer great great great good okay, so now we're getting in there do you want to try to get anything in the mirror? Not yet the merest kind of take down and I don't want to spend too much time on on that, but what we would want to do ideally is get a little bit of a speculator in the mirror and you could do that. I don't know that I don't know that I want to turn the mirror they've got a take down pretty good but we could tip it down and see if maybe it'll pick up the it might pick up wondered if we could pick up something even out here it could it could it might be enough right there to pick up a little bit of the set try and see go filter you ready yeah oh sorry yeah so now we picked up something in the mirror on this one ready set go there you go yeah yeah so I'm not wild about the bricks going quite that that yellow and I would probably spend the time to fix all that in my place that this was a shot for a client and then you know you can use that big black go bows and kind of global it often and block it all off but I'm not sure that that's what I would want to do there so tony what would happen if you took like a little flashlight a little magnet and just sparkled it right over that tear believes not get ahead of me lee that's a fantastic idea where would you want to put it on the diamonds of this here okay so right there is my you got it my man I'm going to sit there where is it right there in the big leagues so we're gonna do that and here's what we're gonna do it I'm gonna take my shutter speed here and the only way this will work you guys as we all know now the only way this would work is if I've got to really show slow shutter speed so the only way to get a really slow shutter speed is to kill the modeling lights on these three strokes well that one's already off so I'm killing that molly light and killing that modeling light and that's going to kill me but uh waken try and see what will happen tony you figure get confirmation for ricardo polonia are both strobes on the right and the left using the same power at the moment they are not the one on the that side is much more powerful in this this guy's only I'm only lighting two little areas and it's about a stop below the main line the main line would be the ones coming to the cookie this is just kind of a little accent like so john this year you're close but what I want to do is hold it lower oh yes like you wanted on these things no one on the top of it here on the diamonds in the tide here but I mean but I need your hand to be lower lower lower lower and hemant straight across like that there you go because that way you can also may become can you do that from this side like right here tony you need that right now so a lot of it will go through enough hang on one second also go through and light up the back of the fans and the fans getting too dark yeah do you need any darker in here we can bring down the lights a little bit more if you want oh yes it's possible but only if it's possible anything is possible time here really thinks like a photographer well this one I know I know this is like on me but sure is helpful if it's down ok ok so so so well bull do this fast cause I know the crew is going to kill us so just what you're doing john here on the you're on the right track okay so here we go I'm gonna take my time down teo I'll take my time down to about a second and so just start painting here we go here we go everybody nobody moves nobody gets hurt good one good one and the diamonds came much brighter see that but they look soft what did I just do wonder maybe I moved my hero that fourteen now to remember one when we opened that the camera may have moved a little could have moved let's try this again in a second um yeah just keep that moving okay I like that now do one more of those done and on this one as you like to hear a little bit more than for half the time on the terra and then go up in like the fan ok, so you see where the light trump is on the fan and I'm gonna give you a next just second okay? Because I'm a good guy okay? Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt here we go and two seconds one thousand one there you go, there you go now the fan opened up so that we could get some density in the fan if we can zoom in on the top you can start to see that course we're losing our focus back there. Yeah, so here's the thing everything and that's everything in photography is a trade off from where we keep saying it and in this case the trade off is if we go back to that slow shutter speed, then we're going to have a little motion so we can fix that with the cable lucking cable released and if we're going toe if we go to if I close down too much, then we have to power all the lights back up again and everything is trade off everything like a see saw its own teeter totter so it's fine, but I think I think I was happier back where we were before so let's go back two or three frames, four frames maybe, and I think we're I think I'm much happier back there, but you can start to see the subtle influences that you can have go back to the horizontal the previous horizontal I think that's our I think that's our hero maybe so far um I think that could be the shot, the shot that we're kind of going for I think that would make a decent print although there's some elements and I didn't quite get in there but we don't have a very wide table yet I mean obviously we're doing the best we can here with the situation but I like that I like that picture a lot so but again like three lights on it one line through the cookie one light on top which is about a minus two exposure for setting the overall foundation and in this light just sending a little bit light in there ok any questions about that it's kind of fun to set up this shot again but put the flashlight on the tweet uh repeat this shot put the flashlight on the jewels here yeah and see if it captures it in his eye line sure tony yeah we are we good to bring the lights back up home almost give me one more shot and then we'll turn lights up and I'll cook you guys for a minute while we can't set a little bit that sounds great so let me just have a second to kind of nail this down one more time again so much of what happens in here is experimentation and john you're pretty good except the place like this shut up that way so let's see what you do with the other hand can you hit the life on that little perfume bottle for just a second so I can get a focus there you go ok, ok, we're two seconds and go, okay, that really lit up the diamonds that really lit him up. So overall, here, I'm not too mad about this shock. I kind of like it. I'm going to close down two thirds and shoot the same thing exactly again, and just go ahead and pay a little bit, try from without, okay, well, then then husband saying where? Yeah, you know, a million there's, two layers there, so just hold it right. Here we go and go, great, yeah, that works fine. Okay, I think you've got it. Thank you. Yeah, there were going now, the shadows coming through, the the tear on the backside. Ok, I think we could turn the lights up and let's throw this over to the boys for a second, and we're going to rearrange on this side of the room, and we'll see what we're going to next.

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.