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Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Lesson 28 of 30

Shoot: Two Light Profile Portrait

Tony Corbell

Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

28. Shoot: Two Light Profile Portrait


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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: Two Light Profile Portrait

Let me get I tell you what I would like to do can we get away this reply still yeah ok let's put that on the opposite side let me give me give us trip for him and I want to take one of the amber the one the full sun gels and let me keep this keep the modeling lamp off and we'll put the full sun inside and just take it over the flash too and we're going to bring that warm that warms back in oh, I really like this skin of his in this warm skin but I really really want to bring out some warmth annette side of his head his jaw line is cheekbones and in his hair so I really want to bring that warmth in here so we'll pull that in real quick and then we're going to be oh we'll do a profile within will do a front well the front profile of back profile and show you the difference there and we'll light him up and maybe we'll do a silhouette as well we'll pull off a silhouette of him and he might like that and you might hate it but but silhouettes with unique looks like this can often be kind of ...

fun, you know? So we'll get that done any other questions while we're getting that set up quick right out here let's see if we've got anything here in the room melanie what you guys think of that about the setting it up with four people or with the four different sources from one light do you think that's doable by yourself or you know with the necessary to like what you guys think of that? Yeah, I would think as long as you had a couple clamps in a couple of polls or light stands you khun bounce the light around anywhere he wanted to buy yourself it's just like he said playing bumper for with the light just figured out the angles and making it happen it's a bit of a challenge outdoors because of wind toe work toward by yourself and use some of the tools that I like to use it's a real it's a real bit of a challenge and those there that were with me when I did the outdoor section a few months ago you know what I'm talking about? Sometimes that wind just kills you and there's not much you can do you know we always jokingly said when we were in san diego so there was a place above balboa park that was a beautiful place to work but it was always windy, windy winning because just above the ocean and we always used to say you know the best way to get rid of an assistant is having hold a big panel it about ballpark because the wind would take him straight to mexico the question wass way think that's doable with you choosing one light when I do my seniors, I always want their mothers their I want their sisters their I want their best friends forever there I tell the more people they had, the better a lot of photographers just want the senior yeah, but the more people are there, the more is the senior is in the more assistance I write, right? And the more memories they're making and so I wanted to many people's I cannot eyes that work on location in the studio, most of my seniors wanted outdoor, so something here then here is the best thing that you've got going for. You don't meet him at the locations, make him come back to wherever you are and meet you there and get him on a car with you because that's where you learn about him is in the car that's when you're also subtly selling the porch it's and talking about where they're going to hang in their home and you're and you're finding out more and more and more about your clients when you're exposed to more and more and more time with him, I'd love to hang out this guy I want I want I want to know more about this guy and here's what here's another thing that I learned early on ordinary people are anything but ordinary everybody in this room everybody in this building everybody everywhere has a story that's great and there is something going on in people's lives that's either really great are really awful all at the same time so you can't know that stuff unless you can dig that information from people and there are people that don't have that personality they just can't do it well those people need to shoot widgets in a catalogue don't shoot people if you don't have the personality to engage with people and you and people know when they have the person I know me you know I know who I am I know where I fit I know I know that I'm not afraid to strike up a conversation with eleven strangers in an elevator everybody's just quiet they're holding a briefcase going floor ground floor not me I want to talk, you know that's just me and I know that about me, but if I couldn't do that if I was real introverted and I just couldn't do that I would be a coming I've become a still life photographer that shoots catalogs and products and not people, but if you're going to few people, you better learn to be able to engage with him and draw out information you know some of you are really good at some of you need to work on it but it can be a learned skill by the way and in fact, since I just meant in that little phrase I think creativity can be a learned skill I think creativity can be learned I think that one of the great quotes that I heard one time was that um uh let me let me see let me make sure I get it right the gift of creativity never comes to us alone it always comes along with the gift of observation you want to be more creative than be more observant if you will pay attention to everything that's going on around you I think the time to take my pills if you will pay attention to everything going on around you you will become more creative don't miss anything just don't miss anything and you'll be more good that's that's a cool thing for me okay let's do this again let's spin you around this way and again I'm looking at this s curve turn just a little bit more there you go and again lean up and over and forward yet just I want you comfortable whatever you need do to come get comfortable you know you you okay? Bring your head over just a little bit and chin down right in there there you go there we go there we go I want to bring this up a little bit forward right in there okay, let me get a reading there, john once you get to a certain point in working in studio, it becomes subtleties and details that's where your that's where you're living them eight minus one and a half ago john john's bucking for a race eight and minus one and a half minus one and a half is where I want to live so take a look at this and see if we like it good, good, good great it's just little subtleties I'm just trying to get you know if we're trying to get just a little bit of the richness of his skin and even there I think I've got it maybe a little bit too far forward and I'm going to show a little bit more of that shoulder, but I think maybe this needs to go back just slightly and because I've got the grid on, I can get away with it if I didn't have that grid on it couldn't push it that far back on the grid is going to help save me from hitting that guy right down the tunnel of this right in my barrel here that's that's a scary proposition when that light goes in there yeah, you can also do that okay, let me just pull back just a little bit here great you need to hold it down you're talking too much not get off a good one good one good one great there we go now I'm kind of liking that, but I think I think I want to get one of him standing look at the shoulder sound a little room like this comes right down his shoulder now jump up for a second let's just let him let him stand there and about the same place that you were and this time I just want you to turn right into the line I just fold your arms and I want to just get comfortable just move your feet around yes do whatever is comfortable for you, you know you come from like that great just kind of relax your shoulders a little bit yeah, goodness let the top your head just roll over a little bit to the side dam and now let's, just go that way a little bit more to the left and then like you're about to do let's take it up a foot and we didn't change really anything on our exposure and doing all that stuff that we just did, so I'm just going to pull back a little bit here now here's one thing that just visually it appears that he's leaning back he's not leaning back, but visually it appears that he is so here's how we fix it, just lean over your belt right to me right there, don't move, don't move, don't move and that you won't notice that he did that in the picture but you'll notice it in real life and there comes the difference so now he's leaned forward just slightly people will often stand straight up and your limbs depending on your land selection it will look as though they're leaning back slightly be a little careful about that and also when you get people like me that's a little bit heavy under here you want him to bring that head forward you know it's almost like a turtle kind of the thing that looks horribly goofy from the side view but from me you'll never see it and it saves lots of weight bringing forward and raise that camera angle up a little bit my camera's actually down a little bit for him I probably need to raise it up you know at least my eye level somewhere up in here here apple box behind you oh, good, perfect, perfect attention john would you okay great. Now lean forward to me just a bit and let the top your head this roll over just a little bit right there good let's change the placement of that strip line I want to turn it more toward his hair and make it up higher I'ma put it a little bit more in his in his haughtiness his mohawk nous there you go there you go now you were cooking I'm liking that so you'll see the subtleties of difference here there you go and we can get mike to zoom in on that one I think we're gonna like this a lot better you go and go and let me see the top of that mohawk a little bit mike if you can yeah there you go so now we're just kind of highlighting that a little bit more and we can do that more john just tweak it back to me slightly and power it up just a little bit like uh where you know one point seven how about go to two three and leter rip this is tony and john have our own language here we go good good good good good good yeah so now you're just in the same zoom position you'll see that hair get there there you go now we just we just opened it up a little bit by adding another half stop in there so okay but the texture in his skin is there and it's all it's always it always brings that out and I think that's kind of the kind of the fun part of this so let's put him in a profile position um so let's bring you let's bring you this way just a little bit and turn your back to me right about there and now john let's move that light back kind of in that position that we had it earlier for tessa and yeah and so I just turned your shoulders toward me just a little bit michael just like that and I'll bring your head around around a little bit in fact twist to me just slightly right there now here's what I need you to do any of the top of your head to tip away from me very slightly right there and let your eyes go up and down a little bit your eyes are too far and twist to me just a tiny bit more right there right there right there let's get a reading of that eight point eight point eight pretty close to half ten why could I not sell this picture you guys take a look at this the one thing that I would probably want to do I don't wantto accent his hair but if I accent opposite his hair I will see his hair better so I'm just gonna rotate this head like that pretty simple and I think it's gonna look awesome I could be wrong but I think it's gonna look awesome let me take a look again bring your head around right they're right there I'll back off just enough to where you can see the whole head here we go this could be the cover of you know escape a surfboard snowboard magazine you know it's no border of the year the new the new hope for gold theo for gold now I do I do I do like what's going on here I think that's kind of fun I think can you twist around that position again let me just take a little look at you here here's what I wonder if you can do just let your shoulders relax it down yeah okay how about we do the same picture without the jacket they just it's just kind of bulking up under his neck and collar area a little bit here we go good there you go. I kind of like that pretty well good, good good room and remember all of this is just for fun you know, I think you know it's just we can just experiment all day long I will I do want to go back into a horizontal we'll do this like this this is a picture that'll editorial nicely everybody ok hang on one second there we go right there good, good, good great I think I'm a little bit close. In fact I'm going back up just a tiny bit here and what I'm doing by backing up I'm giving myself the ability to zoom out to zoom back in to get rid of the edge of the lumiere soft box I could just go move the soft bucks but it's easier to back up and zoom in get the idea hits that lands perspective concept there we go there we go good, great oh I like this but here's what I need you to do I do need you to tip your head away from me just a tiny bit keep it turned toward me a little bit more there you go that's I know I know nobody said this was going to be easy buddy good one good one good well one well I got a blink sorry blinks that was my fault good one good one good one I'll back off a little bit more right there good yeah and crop here might be this might make a really great square crop I expect that out there we go this is an album cover you know and I could and I could probably going toe and making something like that's when the black and white and get a really nice quality black from white from this yeah isat possible toe at an accent like tio separate the hair from you bet it is so we could just kind of show it's an actual movie that you bet it is getting lost just so let's put a light over the still with light let's put a light over there and um well put um yeah in fact what we'll do yet power is air power with her I'll get it from over here why do we need more power to suppress the classes all right so let me bring this guy around well this will just soften it with this we'll defuse it with this guy see here's the thing here it creative live city usa we aim to please whatever your question is brit we'll do it it's a pain in the butt and we don't want to do it but we're going to do it because you know why I like that they can mike why? Well he's bring that around can you zoom in on that a little bit is I'd like to look at his face just a little bit tighter in the air there you go there you go what's wrong with that I could work with that what do you think they're funny do you want to reflect on this or bearable let's just put this is fired through the translucent how would that be let's take it as low as it goes how low can it go? Do we have power? Oh yeah you're our you're good you're good and that's back that off over there and I'll direct you from here. One thing about when you're doing when you're playing the world of angles and stuff you really have to have somebody cameras to see what's going on because you'll be over there and you'll be you'll make twenty trips but if you're by yourself so if you're gonna work angles and you're trying to do some things that are kind of different unique you really need is a little bit of help you know ok let's do the same thing again I must just try it okay so now here's what john but the life stand and the translucent stand to come over closer to where anyone's feet are yeah I like I like you know totally wrong place like another foot or two at least so we'll just keep you know what is keep refining it and refining it you want to just give me a reading right there and let's just see how close we're getting if were I think we should be pretty close so I'm shooting at ten so I want this to be at least to stop for two I mean stopping a half of this stuff and maybe two below that's ah four point even forget so someone ten so that's a plus so yeah gal's you want to go up one hundred just go up to two point oh yeah that didn't didn't change for some reason because it was all the way down below so now you're one now go up to there you go okay there we go four point eight good let's try one here we go here we go here we go way didn't go enough so we need to pump it up a little bit more actually bring it to me just slightly more also john I'm sorry both stands this way just a little bit sorry everybody something like that and get a reading right in there real quick like the four point eight same okay then in that case just real quick I'll feel better if I put this honestly what it does loathe five six point seven so give us a stop yeah okay so let me take a quick pick it that and we'll see how michael's doing michael board out of this school here we go now we're starting to get this way and then we can raise everything up a little bit and get just a little bit more detail in his hair yeah go another good yeah that's it right there let's do one more michael you're doing good buddy you're doing good can I move you a fraction of a step to your left yes sir you go great great great great good that's our that's kind of maybe a keeper kind of a hero shot this last one right there is that what you're talking about brett so it's just kind of opening up the marital bed yes I was just looking for some separation between the hair in the top of the year yeah well we think you know you keep you trying todo position yeah let's do one uh let's do one this just for fun and let's just play like our main line didn't fire and so let's just turn off that main and let's do the same same position get in the same spot and come on around to me a little bit right there and I think I'm sorry I need to move you left a half a step that's it that's it right there good great I went under low I think I went under a little too much to do that's pretty fun well not that one I don't like that one at all let's go back to the previous right the previous shot the darker one I think that's pretty fun and by the time I finished with that I'll go on enriching up the blacks and I'll tone down the year a little but I believe the airing exactly where the hearing is I love the high level nearing and uh yeah that's pretty fun but think about think about little features that we have you guys john brought in his his snoot so let's put that snoop really pulled it snowed out john and I just want to show them a little bit about this control and how we could place that's new and put that position of that light right in his hair we could place it anywhere we wanted very precisely so let's do it on this side and that's here let me get rid of this guy completely he will come down and out of the way and then you can put him put that in place over there so these all these accessories are so valuable to have a little tough trying for a second ok, so now let's, just a minute we'll go back up high with it and we'll place it right on the position that brett was talking about and what it must do the same. Sorry, we got to go through the same thing again and we can't move that around a little bit. You can see what you're getting. You see, I can't see it at all, and we're on max. No, we're not on max on the men on the phil on the, uh there is one more. There you go now. We should deal with c there you go. Finish your swimming into my own a little bit and moving a little bit closer to him. And you just answered down coming my way. Just a little and up just a bit. I just want to hit the top of the hair. There you go and move a half step to your left. Right there. Good, good. Good. Probably not. So that put just a little bit of light in his hair. Not a lot. Yeah, we need to bring that up quite a bit. But will this will this far this one more time here? I want to spend all day on this, just brought it up two stops, but just to give you an idea here we go so you can start to see you know we don't want to light up his skull so you can just are flagging it off and start raising raise the whole stand up a foot and don't let it swivel it all and turn your head back the other way for me and we'll get this thing yeah, there you go down this a little bit john good there we go so you can just find you in this thing to death until you really get what you want what's fun about this though is you know you get a subject like this it's just fun, you know, he's, any guy he's an easy going guy he's got a nice smile and he knows he's a little bit weird this's exactly. I'll talk to my clients. You know, this is exactly how I talk to my clients. It's really fun have a lot of fun with my my clients and it's funny when you photograph celebrities or people that are recognizable, you know, you find that they will like you more and use you more if you will mess with him if you act like you're intimidated by president photograph. President bush had a fishing event a fishing tournament in ninety six ninety seven I've been with him for about a week and we were finishing up that this shoot and he was getting in his car and he's headed for the airport and it's the first time photographing several times it's the first time you ever called me by name and turner angles tony good job today and I said, you know president bush if I'd known you were gonna turn out to be this nice I probably would've voted for you when I said the words came out anyone what? And I went god teo you know so you have to you have to mess with people but and I know that's one of my strengths I know I'm not one of the world's greatest photographers but I know that one of my strength is that those people don't intimidate me I was intimidated once by climb and I will never let it happen again and it happened in lagos, nigeria by guy that was the president of the senate and he walks into a chute late by an hour and a half and a cyst and I had the flu and I was a sick dog and it was my first trip out of the country I was very, very young and I'm sitting there waiting and waiting and waiting and he finally walks in the six feet eighties ugly he's got these big deep tribal markings in his face he scars and he walks up any sits on opposing stolen crosses his arms goes you have two minutes and I thought, oh, this is a defining moment in my career and I said, well sir, then we'll do it another time and I turned my back to him and walked away and that's where you're going and I says they brought me over here from united states to do this photograph of you sorry we'll do it when you have time and I kept walking and he says ok, you may have four minutes and I said no sir I'll come back when you have time and I just kept going and I was security is about to hit me in the back of the head I was sick as a dog for twenty five years old and finally he keeps in eight minutes nine minutes and I just kept going thank you know it's ok, we'll come back later another time and finally he went all right take all the time you need and inside I'm doing backflips, you know? And then I got him seated a gun imposing I was finished in two minutes but what that told me was I don't get intimidated by anybody ever again you know what? Sorry and and the celebrities and the politicians and some of recognizable people that I photograph they want you to mess with him have some fun with him good grief they have enough of people that are, you know yes people and intimidated people don't do that just be normal. Just be yourself and I go so much further. It really goes so much further. Tony, I was wondering, are you on your soapbox? But I'm just trying to be taller than michael for a second that's all I am, uh, any questions anybody has that's great. I love that story that is making sense true stories I've got witnesses on the george bush story. Wow! Eleven I love it. Let's, let's keep going. We've got about seven minutes left until we need to move on. Great, great. So one of the things about about guys, especially three quarter length let's let me let's get rid of this guy who will kill that and the model of light's been on, let it cool or wear gloves. Yeah, good point. The point is predicting really, really warm that is, that is a good point in the video. Guys know that, of course, now that working with kino flow is a little different than working with, you know, working with redheads or any of the old mole richardson lighting stuff. Man, everybody had a pair of leather gloves hanging on every c stand around the shoot because he would grab a widget or grabbing accessory or grab a grid or whatever, and man, they were hot and you know people used to ask us all the time when we used to do a lot of studio work when to use hot lights and when they use strokes on a commercial shoot well the answer was what we use hot lights in the winner is all right I'm just again I'm trying to keep the set clean for visually here so we can all talk where we're going but I just want to a three quarter length of him standing I just want to look at his leg position a little bit and then if I could get that they hammer pulled out of there and if you can take the grid off of there yeah I just do want to him with just the grid and the soft bucks together about three quarter length you want the grid or no no I don't want the great and I don't want that theo gel yeah yeah just full of its own and so let me just pull this back around and again you know working in the studio you do go back and forth a lot from vertical horizontal and vertical to horizontal and some of the things that I watched young photographers the mistakes I watch young stars make they forget that whole rule about righty tighty lefty loosey production people all know don't you guys there's a righty tighty lefty loosey the last thing you want to do is turn your camera this way if you know that the quick release plate is going to unscrew if you raise this camera because then it's the opposite of what you want and it'll flopped down on us like a bang it and so just be careful about understanding righty tighty lefty loosey and how that especially fits on your your quick release plates quick release plates are certainly standard now pretty much everybody's tripods uh it wasn't always that way we worked for a lot of years with no quick release and every time you took your camera the camera off the tripod you had on screw the whole thing you know, from the first time quick release plates came around is like oh, you know there was there was a heavenly course yeah and I want it back about where the is close to you can get it to the stand for the background stand close as you can get it and then swelled up toward him just a little bit. Michael come to me just a little bit right about there's going to be probably pretty close and let me just take a quick peek in here I worked with on my cameras I always try to have a uh a strap that is that is reasonable I just like I dislike all camera manufactures big wide straps with the name of the cameras I have a real dislike for that and I also always want my my my strap my camera strapped to be as short as possible I'm not a guy that everywhere is a camera on my neck ever the only place that ever goes on my shoulder I want my camera straps short enough so that if I'm standing with the longest linds I have on my camera and I'm holding my camera by the strap the land's doesn't hit the ground so that's how I just on my straps and that way I can grab my camera I could just take off running and that's not gonna hit the sidewalk when I'm going trying to chase down a shot makes sense I just know because I already already measured I know it won't hit the ground it might hit something sticking out of the ground but it's not gonna hit the ground ok let's raise that light up I want to get this light up a little bit high something's not right on the mirror it's give me five six point seven no matter where I appointed you see if there's a motive setting or something like oh yeah well well no okay yeah it get it get a memory and I just I just clear the memory okay? There is a memory setting that you can you can put your exposures into a memory on this iconic meters and this just accidentally got into a memory mode so some people want to retain exposure information from one shoot to the next so for consistent that a better day and a half on him have been for even on the back for even and eight and a half so that's minus don't bring it up one stop on the back page and a half on him yet michael I like what you're doing here is what I want you to know I just want you to turn away that way just a little bit get your hips going that way and just pulled one leg over the other one foot over the other just crossed one ankle whatever's comfortable too so you don't fall and I want you if your hands are comfortable I wanted you know thumbs in there on your belt but whatever's comfortable just get just get comfortable great now bring your head way around under that's it right there don't do a thing stay right way are well I'll guarantee can you yeah, we're too low there yeah and can you bring it this way to me a little bit more sorry that's it in fact let me just try it again right there don't move chin down a little bit michael and let your eyes is closed for a second right there right there folks, I will make a black and white out of that exposure right there that's about to come up I'll make a black and white out of that right there and then yet the corners and it'll be it'll be a nice portrait of this guy I think he would like in somebody that knows him knows he's kind of introspective, ru introspective. Yeah, you can tell her you can tell by all the metal in the booth, but some people are some people are a little bit introspective. Let me do one more. Those just bring your head around. And this time I left your eyes go up, right? They're good. And now this time bring your head right to me just a little bit right there. Perfect. Right there. I think we've got to keep her out there. Ladies and gentlemen, watch this one. Bam that's a pretty I think that could be a place. What do you do for a living, by the way? Yeah. Travel much. Not too much. Okay, I would spend some time. Get to know this guy was going to. Unfortunately, I think this is real nice. I think we're good with you, michael. Thank you very much. Good job. Thank you. Think we could spend? I think we could spend lots of time getting to know him, and and I think that one of the things that again, I was trying to do is you got to get to know people that thanks, thanks, thank you. You get you got to get to know people, you gotta ask questions and I need to know a little bit more. And I think there's just a lot of good stuff that comes out of people when you saw and people. Once they start talking, they'll tell you stories and you hear these stories come to life and it's kind of like it's kind of like like me. If somebody's going to start talking with me, they have to know about my craving for anything beatles relate, you know, and if you're going to a portrait of me, you might want to drop in little elements of beatle things somewhere at a low opacity and my background or something because that's, who I am, you know, every head shot I've had for the last three years have been me in liverpool, england, or walking across abbey road in london. I think all of that stuff's really important. I think that stuff is hugely important.

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.