Shoot: Size Relative to Distance
We'll grab our model, okay? You have to press isn't breaking bringing bringing what a cool name no one's named breeding. What a great name! Alright with bringing so we'll get that out of here. We're gonna put you right out here. Let's move! You write about let's put you right about there and in fact, just to start off with let's just put this guy not about like that and just put your arms across there just get comfortable that just kind of lean over toward that. There you go. So here's, what? I want to do it what I what I love about having some kind of a prop for my model is that by turning it these kind of status they scored with coming. There you go, son nancy, where shoulders are because of the nature of the studio here today I'm going to be lighting her from my left over here. Well, I want her shoulders going opposite me opposite that light I don't want a light flat into this sat on top with a big highlight I want to light across it makes sense. Okay, so from here now khun skim lat...
te across and then as I said, he actually won that this is this is one of those old monty zucker rules from years and years ago from thirty years ago when you're about to start a shooting you need a starting place just turn the model shoulders away from the light and bring their head back to the light it's a great safe place to starting to see a little picture every single time shoulders away from the light head back to the light ok it's a good place to begin ok so let me get back here there you go there we go I mean pull this camera over all right? One of the things I love about being in the studio is um you don't fight the elements so when you put something someplace that usually stays there when you're outside stuff moves on you all the time you know all right let me check this out let me check my a couple of things here really quick little check my settings so although I s o two hundred because I like two hundred because I'm like that s o if you don't set that to two hundred it is done with great and I'm going to set my set my shutter speed at one twenty five for me one twenty five is just a default from my for me personally when I'm in the studio you can shoot it a sixtieth you consider thirtieth you can shoot higher but for me I just automatically just kind of go toe one twenty fifth because it's just a default in my brain that always works every camera that's out there will at least sink at one twenty five with the exception of one, and I'll never use it again on that was a mechanical film camera called a pentax uh uh pentax six sixteen, six, ninety something like that anyway, it was an old pentax medium format camera that sink at a thirtieth and I shot a wedding in nigeria at one twenty fifth and so I had a black line on every picture we don't talk about it one of those things we don't talk about, all right? So so now we're talking about quality of light, so look at this face I mean, first off can we can we mess this up? I don't think so um interesting thing about working with a soft bucks to I love working with soft box and one of the things that I learned years ago can I just turn your head right this way? Just a little bit right there great it's going to be hard for you to see this again with the ambiance we've got, but you can kind of get the idea from my camera's position in the corner of her left eye there's just a little bit of what it's not a lie trapped but it's kind of a shadow trap there's a little bit of a dark area right in the corner of her eye and I can sort of see it here, but I also know it's going to happen. It always happens when I have my models right in the middle of my soft bucks, and what I mean by having her in the middle is if I'm here looking back toward the light she's right in the middle of that box, okay, so I always know that that's going to happen. I also know that from here, working in this kind of a position, I know that I'm going to get a certain amount of light on the backdrop. Maybe I want that maybe I don't, but I better be aware that that's gonna happen, okay? So when you're testing this out and you get your first light and you're going to try this stuff, be aware that if you need that light back there, I can still get a pretty good light on her face by going like this, and I'm getting this a little bit more light on the background or I can go like this and keep that like, completely off the background. What I notice is that when I bring my life forward like this and I'm working my model to the back edge of my light source, that little dark pocket goes away. In her left eye and some people say, well, it's wraparound lighting you know how I am about this? I haven't so bucks they're light doesn't wrap it light doesn't bend, but what does happen is in this position, I'm getting the benefit theme of the inside of this wall on this side being silver, because so now when that life fires off, I've got all this light going straight out her face, but from that other side over there, I've got that wall sending light straight here at the totally different angles, so I'm getting the benefit of the sidewall that's? Why lightening up that little dark area in her left eye? Okay, so be careful about your placement. Little subtle changes make big differences sometimes, and sometimes they're subtle differences that nobody will ever spot your client would never know the difference, and if you're a new photographer, you might never know the difference. But as you do this more and more and more it's just like skiing, and pretty soon you're starting a rough recognize. Oh well, if I've been both knees well, likanski better my brother long one time strapped my knees together with a velcro strap and said, if you go and I'm like I'm gonna fall, he says yes, you are and I did for about an hour and then I started learning that I could keep my knees together and I wasn't following anymore and then a family stop weaving and wobbling, and I finally found a good balance point and all of a sudden, my skiing improved, I got really fast and then one and then when you fall, it's really a bad fall, okay, so let me take a reading or two here we got this set to channel three I've got my transmitter in the plugged in and turned on here, and I've got the same transmitter sending unit in here. So as I take a reading, uh, let's, make sure that everything sit there on transmit, so I'm going to take a reading and I was going to put it again. This is this is my personal default right in the chin and write the law at the light source right there. So right there, it's pretty hot it's a sixteen and a third, so let's, pull it down a couple of stops and the one on the left is the full starts in the rights attempts you know, this these lights are are really good. I'm thrilled that I've made the switch into these bones lights uh, as I mentioned before, they were the main factor that started model s of the first ones that ever made him on a light forty years ago and what I like about him is there's there's there's an awful lot of advanced technology in here but the knobs or their knobs and you know where you are and it's just easiest you could look angle minus one minus two you don't have to touch things and it's just easy I just like it. Okay, let's, try this again so right there were at eleven a third let's, come down can we have one more? Stop down and hit the test button that big one right there and let's just try that one more time. Here we go. Eighty third so mentioned why we hit the test but yeah, the test bunny extra push there is just to make sure that the capacitors completely drained so that there's no stored power in there waiting for me to have a burst of light that comes out that is unpredictable sometimes in some brands when you change power up and down it's just a good habit to get into just hit the test, but one time before you shoot and that guarantees that there is no extra, you know, extra stuff left inside there. So do you dump that? Whether you're turning the power up down I always okay, I have for thirty years and he just he just guarantees that no matter what happens, I don't get in trouble and some people say we don't have to with this brand and you don't have to have this brain but if you do it with every time you test you never you can't fail to sign of our age it's a sign of it's a sign of rage yeah yeah I'm good I'm so glad to have john help me today john john might come from the similar uh generation I'm afraid uh no it's actually not afraid it's a good thing okay, breathing how do you spell that again? Breathing is that something I love that I don't want you to set up good in tall and I just from your way can you just back away from the chair about a half of the step yet now lean your arms back over there from the waste that's it that's it now I just need to bring your head around to the light for me a little bit more a little bit more right there young they see your eyes right over here it may let me just look at you right there. Okay, let me just pull in my exposure here. Oh, this is gonna be good. I can already tell I'm gonna like this I can already tell so I'm going to go I'm shooting again I'm gonna try to shoot this horizontal for the purpose of this green the screen in here but I think we're gonna like that do this for me can just bring your right hand over this way a little bit yeah yeah you're good you're good right there great and turn your head just a tiny bit in your eyes right at me for a second good right there great I do want to do the same thing but I want to keep your shoulders that way more there you go now bring your head over more, more, more, more, more more chin down a little bit great your eyes right here good, good, good. Stay right there. I'm gonna come in a little bit tighter holy moly great don't move don't move get good good, good. Take a look at the background so we've got we've got this this bubble gum looking background back here cotton candy looking background it's kind of fun and we're gonna have to light it separately in order to keep the light in this position. So what we'll do is let's go ahead and john let's go turn on that other light and we'll do it without the greatest person first and so we're going to like that background up a little bit I would say turn that up and set that light maybe even further away john come toward me a little bit well, flat light a little bit for this for this particular segment then we're going later today folks just so you'll know in our third session today we're going to spend the entire session talking about background control and I'm going to show you a lot of different things that you could do with backdrops with light and there's some there's some pretty fun things that that are available to you you just have to think and it's funny I one of the things that I've been quoted as saying recently is and I just said it off handed one time and so somebody put in a magazine well, you have to think like a photographer what a simple fun but you do think think like don't follow a rule or follow what someone told you to do just think like a photographer and all of a sudden you think differently it's like well I wish I wish I didn't have I wish I had wrinkles over there will then go put wrinkles over there or you want draping and you want shadows from the draping both angles but the draping over there anyway there's a lot of things that we can do but you have to think like a photographer in order to make it work oh I want that background to read uh eight five, six and a half are five six and a half you want you want you can you go get me a I'm a seven one yeah yeah I'm up a little bit let's see how good I did there you go there you go five six point oh that's good that's good we'll leave it right there that you now five six point eight matches that that equals seven point one so we're about the same exposure right six three would be a third of a stop seven one is two thirds above about five six he's two thirds above so now what that means is in my little pea bring hope everybody gets this at home what this tells me in my pea brain is the background will look like the background truly looks because I'm shooting it at the same exposure that I'm shooting her at get the idea this bump get it doesn't make sense I'm shooting at the same exposure that it reads on the background so the background will look like reality you want your background it looked like it really looks then put the same amount of light on it that you do on your subject and you're in if that read anything brighter are darker it won't look like it really looks it'll be brighter or darker than it really looks small thing but important when you're trying to capture something for a client oh way to go breeding look at that now we got a background it looks like he really looks I'm going back up a little bit that looking a little hot let me check my history graham real quick remember this monitors a little bright so the cameras pick it up okay so what they're saying at home those should be pretty close so let's do this let me let's just back that light up away from there just a little bit more there you go and I'm gonna back up a little bit I'm opening zoom out just a little bit so I want to see some more detail don't do me a favor can you just pull the mainline back a tiny bit toward you and a feather it toward your right just a fraction right there that's it that's it right there good one bringing right there nobody moves nobody gets hurt there we go good one good one good one so it's going to be it's it's a little contrast t but you can start to see now so now the background started looked like the background really looks let's pull that down in some dark and that it's just a little bit so it's just to make sure that we're we'll make sure that we're gonna pretend right in there uh so I'll go down to there there we go so but again I just kind of separating her out I went with this this bagram because I saw this top of hers and I like contrast in colors so that's pretty good right there great good good good so now we're starting to get there now this thing's starting to come together and look like a picture and what you'll see you know when you look at the eyes you'll see that everybody has a little bit of lines under their eyes everybody that's doesn't matter how old or young are pretty or whatever or youthful um there you go there you go yeah so so look at look right underneath her eyes look at this gorgeous gorgeous face but look at that look right under her eyes you see just a little faint line that's under there one of the things that I always do when I'm shooting almost anybody I photograph I go into a real quick selection of that little baby line and hit the patch tool and faded back fifty percent fayed patched it's pretty great but you can see that based on the size of the stores the source look at the highlight on her forehead and look at the highlight on the tip of her nose and you can see that there's detail in those highlights ok this is kind of a big this is kind of a biggie for me that we've got detail there now let's do this let's back that light I'm going back this light way back here about like this and I'm going to do the same picture a little bit and I want a parrot up until I get the same reading so uh so I'm shooting someone so yes so so I want to power that up about taking up a least two stops and let me take another reading ok go and so right there I met eight so let's power them down just a little bit more with seven one yeah yeah uh we're there so now what I want you to notice is I do the same picture same exposure nothing else has changed except back in this up here we go here we go ok so now let's zoom into her face on this next already said everybody below on the screen there you go so here's the new one I think that's the new one is that the new one yeah ok so now look how much harder the edge of the shadow is but now look at the forehead look how shiny her forehead looks now so what happens is as you decrease the size of the source you're concentrating your highlights to a smaller area and as they're concentrating to a smaller area they're becoming a little bit brighter that's the issue that's issue I don't know which ones right you guys I don't know what you like but I do know that that's sharp shadow somebody yesterday was talking about the loop shadow that's a little bit more like a loop shadow it's more pronounced when the light is smaller than it is when the light is larger so if I want that shadow, I'm looking at the highlights and I like the placement of the highlights and rise but I think with her as I could even go a little bit higher let's, raise it let's raise that light up. Luke drops yeah, drop that, luke down just a little bit more on her lip and it's. Hard to see that with all the ambiance, but we can still get it. So europe about a foot or so great. So no real need to re meet or anything because the distance didn't change. Here we go. Okay, so the back of my camera this is dead on. She looks perfectly exposed. Everything about it looks dead on. Okay, so now go ahead and zoom in again and look at that loop right next to her face. Yes. Oh, so now we're up a little bit higher with the life source, the highlight of the ice come up a little bit higher and that luke is a little bit more pronounced. She looks great. She looks like she's supposed to look exposure is dead on like qualities pretty decent, but that's a software I mean that's a smaller source and you want then you gotta move it closer. People ask me all the time if you're going by one light shaping tool what would you buy and my response is always the same by the biggest one you can afford because you can always back it up to make it smaller but if you get a small one you can't always move it in to make it bigger well, you could but then it would be in your shot so interesting concept from my old friend of mine from used to write for a photo district newsmagazine gunning joseph me hand I just have had the ultimate filter book for ten, fifteen years out there in the market great great guy and joseph said one time that he stumbled into a concept that made sense, which was when photographing a portrait of someone he says consider using a lights the size of your life source that matches the size of the area you're going to photograph and so what he meant by that was this thing is, you know, three and a half feet high he's saying if I'm going to photograph her and show this much of her my life source should be that size and he says move in until it's in the frame and then back it up a niche and if I'm gonna show a three quarter length of her down just past the edge of her shirt tail then he says, then use a light source that's that hype and then you back it up an inch and if you're going to shoot a full length then you do one that's a five foot eight, six foot tall soft box you know four by six turned vertically maybe and use and bringing in the edge of the framing and back it up again and he says what an interesting concept it is because it does give you soft and shadows it gives you soft highlights but not nothing is overly soft and nothing is overly sharp eater so it's a real nice sort of an average way to look at but but now that we've talked about this and beat this to death for a while you guys can get the idea that as I move this light source you know, bring your head this way just a little bit more right there this looks pretty good right there on your face I can see in your eyes that the kids like that that position is pretty good if I move it in much much, much more closely you might look at angola had so soft for my taste guess what guess who owns the taste buds here? Not me you you get to do this at whatever level you like that's the beauty of this so I'm going to move this in just a little bit and I'm gonna move it over just a little bit to make it a little bit more directional and again I want to keep I want to make sure that this isn't adding to they amount going on the background something's going to move her over to the edge to the back edge of that right there let me re meter that real quick do that real quick and again this transmitter it makes so much sense gotta go down two stops yeah, if you go down to were dead on got it good were there someone so you know what's fun about this is the accuracy of those knobs if I need to drop this two stops if you go two clicks down the stop side and it is two stops I love that kind of accuracy, you know, so thanks so okay let's take one more shot of this good, good, good, good, good great. So again, like yesterday let me grab that reflector I think it's right there you go. Perfect. Well, that's the transition? Yeah, one right here and it's got a little bit of warm from one side. Where do you want it? Just on the other side. Yeah, and I'm gonna bring it forward. Yeah, you were. You would listen to me yesterday. It is so it's a period a little bit closer yeah, kind of good move a hand in closer, right that's it right in there right. Sorry. I'm blocking you guys offer justice. I kind of think of this as the access to the lens. It isthe. Yeah. That's. Great. Okay, now bring your head this way again. Weaken right there. Ten down. Just a tiny bit. Let me see your eyes right here. Sorry. We wanted somebody cuter. I can step in. Oh, you're good. That's. I think I got a bit of a blink on that one. Let's, do that one more time waken dump that one. I'm seated again. Here we go. Here we go. Good, good, good. Got it? Okay. Now then you can put this one in the previous one up, side by side if you can't. Thank you, dr let's. Look at the comparison. Uh, dumped that left one and then and then compare this one with the one the previous one. There you go. Look at that. So again, you know, you get to fill it to suit your own taste. And what you see is what you get. There's. No there's, no there's, no question about it. Once you. Once you work in this manner, you get to see and you get to see it dead on, okay? One thing I'd like to do I want to go ahead and john let's bring in let's introduce light number three ok and let's put it right back there on that corner with in fact you know what? It might be easier one agreed on it yeah, I do take a change andi let's just put that I actually want to use this light but then that got the great booth but the great in that one yes and just drag it over there not bullets and over to the background and we'll use that one is the accent this's fun? I've never worked with john like this but john and I think a lot alike and uh and we have similar uh, backgrounds and our education and photography I think and so I just kind of have to kind of give you a hint of what I'm thinking and he's already on it. So it's really great what was that power setting western one can see from that so it's a two point one great. So I'm just gonna go down to two point one because this one has the silver inserts or my little back and then I'll drop it I don't want them and I will be killing that there you go ok, so we should be okay on our honor on that density it should be good their way they're not going to do well yeah, I mean, I'm just going to turn it off it's kind of it's kind of bright and he's using you can fire that if you want to oh yeah and tested to make sure it's farmed so I guess I better set the right channel. I knew that. Okay, so that's barn there it is. You know those grands air really hard sometimes to get in and out of this probably got banged around and shipping because yeah, there wasn't quite around yeah okay, so now let's power that is lois it'll go I don't want to do again with the grid think about this as I explained in the tool section when the light comes out of a standard reflector head or a zoom reflector head it comes out and follows the path of the shape wherever he goes that's that's the spread that the light follows what a grid does all it does is it brings it down and makes it to where I can position and a twenty degree great gives me this are thirty agreed gives me this twenty degree gives me this in a ten degree gives me this it's the only way I can put an accent light on her hair from behind and not have danger of flaring that lens if I don't have a grid on I've got a problem yeah, since the honeycombs tend to be a little bit pricey if somebody was just starting out and could only afford one which direction would you suggest they go with first the ten twenty or thirty the middle plenty yeah what whatever brandon is go with the metal oneness thank you yeah yeah I think that's what I did and then also of course they also make the soft honeycomb grids for soft boxes and and those are equally expensive you know I don't know why they got so costly but they did and but yet they're very very important and you need to have the interesting thing about these tools that we're discussing all the tools and photography most cases you don't need to buy very many of them and they are sometimes kind of costly but they'll last you forever so make the leap you know and you can't you can't make him a state by spending a little bit more money on and getting a little bit higher quality of anything in our little world you'll do you'll do well to get the best that's out there so ok so nothing has changed let's get a reading of that accent if you'll just go right to her head and just aiming straight backwards and see what you got there okay, so can we get in? Is it a close is as low as it'll go it is what it is okay then just didn't do this just pivot the head that way until I say stop giving little more right there now going over here to the side of her head and take over any five six point three okay so right there where it's below what I'm shooting it but it's still a little hotter than I want let's give it a little bit more and I'm still not quite come back just a little bit I don't think I'm in danger of it hitting the background some okay there you go five six seven oh well that's odd spinning away just a little bit more don't go the other way other way other way right there now trying I just need a little wink of light on her hair five four point eight that's good that's good let me take a quick let me take a quick shot here okay here we go here we go good good good there we go so I'm just getting a little bit of wink of light in her hair just can you come this way and energy yes right there that's it that's it let me do one more of those good good, good great so you can see over there worse this coming across their hair just a little bit and in a perfect world where we didn't have all these people watching and you guys in here I would spend the extra time and in order to power that down more I would power this up more and changed exposure on everything as relative brightness is so think about this let's think about being in them in a situation where you're in a room and your background light is on full blast as bright as it can get and the background is not as bad as you want it what can you do think about relative brightness so what you can do I can't make that background bright light any brighter but I can make the main light darker so I would drop the level of the main light one stop and open up plus one stop the background gets shifted higher by once that makes sense it's all relative brightness ok good questions if you don't have the trigger on your light meter how does that change your work flow in your measurements that's a great question by having the trigger on the meter it just means that I can move quicker not more not better just quicker thank you what what happens is to make it meter work there's several different modes on there you can go non cord and you can also go cord and you can also go transmit so if I'm in non cord I can come over here and hold it here but then somebody's got to go over and hit the test but on the light so if I'm by myself that doesn't work right so here he's got me on non court nothing's happening so ready go so now I gotta read there is a point three, right? So so the non court is a great feature if you don't have the transmitting if you don't have pocket wizards lot everybody's going to afford to buy the pop quizzes so you can work with an on court but somebody has to be with you that can hit test button or you can take a hard wire seeing cord right out of the back of the head and plug it right into that front post for the p c synch and you can plug it in and just walk over with it and hit that button and it'll fire your light it closes the contact so it works all three ways it works equally well and exactly the same everything about that pocket wizards just makes my life a little bit simpler and it's fewer options a fewer opportunities for me to make mistakes but it has cost a little bit there is that there is a cost attached. You know, it's funny I had knee surgery probably ten years ago and as I was in was in the o r and the doc was just about the gas me and put me out I said, hey, talk to me about your surgical tools because they had these tools laid out and there was drills and there was all kinds and it's kind of a scary thing and I'm looking at all these metal tools in their shiny and chrome in there all perfect and polished and highlights gleaming and I said so with your tools there I said do you have brands that are good, better and best in your of your tools? And he goes, what kind of a question is that? And I said, well, I'm a photographer and I worked with possible of cameras he said, so you work with the best camera there isn't at that time it was possible and I said, well, yeah, I think it is and he said pretty costly artie and I said, yeah, I said, what about your tools? He said, well, the tools that I used are the best I can get and I said are they considerably more than other brands of the same tools he said, yeah, he said they all do the same thing, but these are a little more ergonomically shaped they fit his hand better. They resist problems more with those thick. This particular brand of with brand is, but I find it interesting that in every industry we all have tools that we need to function and those that are at the top of their game are always in the best tools that there are those of top of their game are not using the lowest in tools, not because they can't afford the high rentals, but they want the best they can get because it minimizes their problems on shoot day I need stuff to work and the guerrillas if the airlines always try to break my gear, you guys know how that works there they throw stuff to see if they can break it. I need everything to work when I get to the other end when I plug everything in everything better turn on and everything better work. And so that's one of the reasons why you've got to step it up a little bit in terms of quality question the rest, lovett we definitely do. We have a couple questions from gary jones uk and t dlr photo, both of whom are wondering how to make a white background actually look white, we're gonna talk about that a little bit, yeah, we're going we're going to that this afternoon, you're going way absolutely can do it and the thing is it's one of those big mysteries to me when I first started, people would say things like, well, you know, on a white background, you need to put four times more light on the background than you do your subject and, you know, twenty four year old kid in the back of the room going really but it's already white, but it didn't compute to me at all and so there's a very simple way to do that and we're going to dig into that this afternoon we're absolutely going are going to show that cool thank you, tony way have a few people asking about your workflow on rim lights specifically how do you choose the modifier and as far as the height and the angle can you talk a little bit about that and use newt's yeah, so so so there's four things right there that you disaster I know let me hit him one time first and foremost on the exposure and the brightness level of my rim lights, accent lights, skim lights depending on where you live there all named something different, but they're all doing the same thing they're separating my client are subject from the background I have come to know that with the shortened dynamic range of digital capture, I know that there's a big difference in our brightness levels from from no detail to detail and so what I found out is that if I can make my accent light a stop to stop and a half below whatever I'm shooting at, I'll have a good, solid bright highlight with details I won't lose the detail if I go down minus one minus one even minus one and a half dark hair, dark skin and go minus two and still have detail in that highlight and yet still see that accent so what if I'm if I'm shooting at eight and lack sense reading eight that accent's going give me a ping on on the right side of my history graham I'm gonna have a blown out highlight maybe you can handle that through the way you're printing and maybe you can't I don't know, but I want to make sure that I keep that down with under control now as faras placement of that hype up and down it's a subjective thing all about how much of the light do you want? Tow light whatever you're trying to light do if it's a hair if I don't want to raise it up high enough to get to the top of the hair are from coming down just low enough so I just want a little kiss on the cheek it can depends placement wise there and same with the tool in the life shaper I choose to use often for my accent, like in my room lights, I'll use a strip light and the strip lights what a strip light does for me is it just makes it skinny and long and it just works beautifully, especially in a three quarter or fooling because it gives me a great room all the way down the legs all the way down the hips and you can see the outline in the shape of your models and your subjects so it works really well. But again, I think in terms of exposure wise, it's gotta be below, by a minimum. Let's, stop, preferably a full stop and a half below, whatever. I'm shooting it. So from unit eight, and I take a reading here if I want that to be minus one a half, it's got a reformed a half or below, ok, that's. A pretty important question. I'm I'm glad that question came up because I didn't mention that yet.