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Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Lesson 18 of 30

Shoot: White & Steel Door Backdrop Effects

Tony Corbell

Studio Lighting - The Power of Control

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

18. Shoot: White & Steel Door Backdrop Effects


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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: White & Steel Door Backdrop Effects

So how do you make the background of pure white? Well if you remember when I drew out that scale yesterday where made the square the five swatches that eighteen percent gray was here if I can make that background one plus was like great to pluses was why would detail if I go to plus a little bit I'm white without details get that the meter will save me again it will I can do it first pop but there's no testing involved and I just don't understand how people can not use the meter sorry I just don't get it here we can swap that the head of feeling much cool yeah, I got one here I went over believe me that power cord now pull ellen I'm playing this okay? Let me just get this over there everybody mine this is what happens in the studio where you standing off a lot of time moving a lot of stuff around and for those who don't spend a lot of time in the studio yet you will and you find that it's a lot of work but it's but it's always good work so let's do this just for grins. John let me chan...

ge that to this other reflect your head let's go ahead and match him sorry, sorry you guys wait okay, so I'm gonna power this guy back on and let's set our output to four four point zero four point zero point let's back up about there and just slightly turned to the inside like that okay and we're gonna put you you're right about here right there and I want to power this guy down a little bit sixteen five sixteen five, sixteen zero but this one's on slave I just wanna you don't need that yeah yeah there you go and then give me someone who race sixteen four sixteen five close enough give me something here because I've heard this down quite a bit five six in the third so she's reading five cities about six thirty six point three six three and the background is sixteen so what's the difference a lot of flair way we're gonna have some light coming back into the camera basically we'll see how much five six three sixteen six point one ok six point three good good that's a that's a great angle on your face do this for me turn your shoulders to me just a little bit no the other way sorry sorry sorry, sorry and just kind of leaned forward from over your voice a little bit and turn your head in just the time it but keep it tipped this a little that's great right there. Keep that in mind that's a real good that's a really good angle on your face so all of a sudden we got a white background uh clean crisp perfectly white because I'm plus two above whatever I'm hearing it so it's pretty simple to do and, you know again there's so much that we can do if we know how to use that stupid little machine. Here's the thing about the mayor, you know, the meter only has one brain with the incident dome in the out position like this the way I choose to reuse the meter. It is called a illuminates meter, which means it measures light as it strikes ripples on the subject. Well, it only has one brain and its brain is reality, no matter how much light is coming in on her face. If I take this meter reading at the light source, do what it says she will look like she looks anywhere in the world any time of day with any life source period. And if I'm wrong, if there's a white wall and I take a meter reading back there of that white wall and do what? The meter says, that why wall will look white and if it is a black wallet will look black. If I use a reflective meter or a spot meter on that white wall, it will look great, and if I take the spot meter on that great with that white black wall and make it and do what it says, it will look great it's all in those the reflective meter only those one brain in that brain is eighteen percent great but with the incident meter it only knows one thing and that is reality that's the way I have to think about it and that's the way I live now I live with this guy because it's a reality ok ok alright we're squared away let me do one or two more of these with her I'm pretty close to the age there I'm not getting any flare but I'm close to getting flare interesting thing about this if you guys when you're trying to put when you're trying to make your backgrounds go white dress for your for our guy earlier when you're trying to make your backgrounds go white if you put too much light on the background you've got a little bit of a problem and that problem is that your background then becomes another secondary light source that is aimed stretcher optics your front of front element of your lands so if these were one stop hotter and I did the same shot I'm gonna lose contrast her face is going to go a little bit muddy because it's going to flatten out and it's gonna coat some frosted highlight round from my optic I'm pretty close to it now but I'm ok right there that that uh that's okay yeah let's do it goes where four for going no five by angle five five and I'll just do the same picture and see if it'll work five five same thing she doesn't change he hasn't moved exposure on her is exactly the same nobody moves and nobody gets hurt look at that actually is so bored she is so sick of being here thinking she is thinking about all the places she could be other than here listen to this knucklehead now look the flare on this one pink you get the difference can you put those side by side mike if possible just to look at this look at this side by side difference all it is is getting my background is now another light source and it's bouncing back in that lands and it's killing my contrast a good friend of mine it's photographer in dallas recently had a problem like this and she could not fair always going out with a contrast on her high keys and we figured out what it was you know there's this too much light coming back in the lens so make sure that you're white back there but that you don't know much beyond that. Okay. All right, gentlemen, let me throw it to you for some questions while we change out this backdrop real quick like again john harrington and if king is in the room beautiful and we'll get you one of those rain this is from a new dubai and it says, tony, do you mind explaining the differences in the usage between a fabric births of paper versus vinyl backdrop? U s o for me, the fabric makes a lot of sense as long as it's a wrinkle free fabric or you have a good steamer and have lots of time on your hands yeah, there you don't squeeze it off my bottom um the thing for me the fabric when I switched to these these wrinkle free fabrics it really did fix a lot of my problems uh, most of my work I travel for and everything that has to get folded up and shipped in a box if you're in your studio and you're in there every day you can work with one of the fabrics the muslims were great just get the wrinkles out of him the final the only problem with the violence it gets a little bit of a sheen to it and you have to be very, very careful how you like the the vinyl backdrops. I've used quite a few of them and you really have to work on that like quality on the background because you will get a little flair, but the fabrics, all types of fabrics were great, you know, lightweight fabrics, goto fabric stores, you know there's there's, a fabric that's called taffeta that's a tap it it makes a great background on white a real thin white taffeta works great to make these translucent if users out of also you know you can clamp it over a wooden frame that you make in your garage and make your own diffuser so there's a lot of different fabrics that worked really well ast backdrops but just away from anything with a sheen to it nothing nothing in the neighborhood of a silk fabric you want to go with dull families this is a polyester but it's a it's a wrinkle free blend it's that's pretty great and that's I mean, I when we were doing pre pro on whatever day that was sunday and you told us that you had folded up the back drops into your bag and we're transporting them and you're like we don't even need a steam, right? I was shocked and I looked down and there has been in my bag I don't even mean that as like a promo or anything like that, I'm just personally shocked with the backgrounds that I've used this isn't in my bag for a week I love that this is fun for me this is this is ah brand new background it's brand new from from white house and they just they created about three different values of this color on it's just fun and as soon as I walked in I went crazy about yours steel doors last year when I was here. Then when I saw that that jed tall for who handles all of our backdrops for white house jen's men here, in fact, he's done he's done some photo shop work here. He's a brilliant photo shop guy. Well, jen designs all these backdrops for a white house, and as soon as they had told me he'd had a steel door idea, I was thinking about your steel door. And so when he's told me this, I said, dude, I gotta have that and take it to seattle. So that's, why I have it this week, but I think it's fun and I want to element to a couple of things with that I want to shoot it normally, but then I also want to warm it up just slightly with just a little bit of a warming filter, not a lot, but just a little bit like an eighth or sixteenth cto, so we'll put that on in a second, but first let's go ahead and bring our model back and think, john, I'll tell what I would like to do. I want to drop the octo bank and let's put a regular soft box back up again, so we'll get her in place and again, folks, if it seems like I'm being repetitious and I'm being bored boring because I keeps shooting everything from the same side. I'm doing it for the video I'm doing for the teaching experience here because if I move anything over here no, no, you guys can see and the video goes out when the lights go out and it doesn't work, so but believe me, I've got other things I can do that just like on one spot that sorry? Yeah. So question yes, I got a question. It sounds like there are different values with the gels. How does someone who is a newbie know the difference between the how fictive jealous or what do we look forward more looking to buy a new senate health? I think the best thing to do and to spend time with is to go into one of the camera stores and asked to see their sample packs. There's little sample packs and one from roscoe is called a jungle book jungle pack and it's got one hundred somewhat different values of different shells lee filter lian raw score the two primary ones, and then you can also get some from bogan bogan city jails and and gels have different purposes, so there are some that are made to the heat resistant some that are really, really thick fur stage presentations, some that are very, very light waiting fans for photographic application s o going and talk to some of your counter guys at the camera stories and let them show you the difference is like like in the cto cto means color temperature orange and cto is designed to pull blew out of the scene to match a tungsten lam so simple if I've got somebody's lamp on in their home, and I know that that tungsten lamp that's a full tungsten, I might put a full tungsten jail over my main light, and then I would set my color balance on my camera tungsten and when I shoot, everything looks perfect, the neutral and my lamp. But there is no longer warm it's it's, neutral white color so that's what they're there, they're called tell her color, temperature orange, so neutralize that out there's also ctb which your color temperature blues to neutralize that orange so they're in they're in each of those coming one eighth or one quarter or one half or one full and different values, then there's just color jails, just vibrant colors thiss pact that we have right here, they just ran down to the store and guys today and it's just a color pack of vibrant colors, so just to clarify that was quarter stop right rice blocking out, but I asked a similar question about the grids earlier if someone who has no clue what they're doing but they want to play a little bit, what would you suggest for a first time person just start with the middle value in the middle of it with a third on the grid that come in not the grid's red the gels oh, just just similar questions saying same thing just a middle or are we just get one of those simple sample packs of color and there's plenty of there to look at? Thank you, yeah there's a lot of them and you can tell by looking into jail how thick the the density is if you take it outside and take a live meter reading and then hold it in front of the dome and read it again and you'll see that that gel right there this primary blue which is a roscoe number eighty one, by the way not that I've never used them before uh, but a roscoe anyone blue uh it is literally almost three stops of life in him that it stops it's so dense. But then that amber that we just used that things on lee about a third of the stop that it stops so what these wrinkle free to they're not wrinkle turn no you don't want to see what these air not going on your lands these air just going unless you can what I've got him in my bag that are beat up and ugly and tape marks and scrunched him up in the wrinkle d it doesn't matter it's just going to go over a light so but nice I reuse them of these I've got one jump pack of gels that I've used for about two years so they last forever and that whole packs like thirty six bucks so okay ok so let's try something here with the lovely the talented here we go let's give the lovely and talented regan set up I gotta flip this around I am real anal about one thing if this is spun around and on lettering is upside down it makes me a crazy person so I always rotate that around to the lettering is right side up because I'm just insane about that so I know we set it up upside down hey don't keep doing to see if I'm going to move it let me look at that face what a great face okay here's what I want to do here let's uh don let's do this with so you're mature to five dropped them way back way maybe finalists a couple of readings I must check that that's and then here you go and for this I can get you to separate your feet a little bit little bit more but more so your hips your fists on you have the idea and just throw one hip out bam yeah yeah bring your head around eleven and a half over here okay, yeah yeah right in there oh that's awesome awesome awesome this there you go eleven even help baby stopped to help baby we're good eleven and a half he said I'm not base yep okey doke okey doke great nobody moves there we go there we go and eleven here we go there good, good good family think that that's pretty fun and and and the background looks like the background looks does that look real? I think it kind of does then it's not funny so we can work on the shadow on her face we can we can fix some things here in fact, we can pull this around now I'm not worried about this hit in the background I don't really care for hits the background let me look at you out here and just turn your faces way love it more do this again this yeah, yeah yeah really working girl come on, work it work it work it you can do it a little bit of you can do it yeah, there you go. There you go good one good one good, good, good, good, good, good, good, good, I mean, to get that top of that in there yeah, great, great, great turn your head that way a little more good good nice your eyes right here me right there good good look at this last one he just did right here I like the look of this that's pretty fun and then and think about this too let's move you over let's move you over this way one foot and I move this over one foot like that and just a half a step back and go back to staff right there now saying things step out there yeah yeah yeah yeah but I want to turn your shoulders that we're just a little bit yeah your hips to sorry but I want your head back over here your feet your feet everything go that way no I mean like turn your feet like like like that there you go there you go come back to square your shoulders now turn your head yeah, yeah yeah and your eyes right in here so this way we can just move right in here like this and just get the brick behind her so now we just used that background I've got the steel side of the background and I've also got the brick side get the idea so in fact let's do this john let's put that joe I just pulled out remember that that light amber put it on that one on that side which like on that side where you are in fact just for one first one second just holding their second let him just hold it there just a warm up the brakes a little bit and let me just shoot right here on the brick side tim down a tiny bit right there. Good gorgeous gorgeous could we sell this what's this break a little bit warm? I think what could've not sell that I could absolutely sell that you know, there there are there is a high school seniors mom right now is going toe uh where is that? Is that in the alley down behind the cajun james shopping basket? You know, uh, let me do one more I'm going to move you back just a little bit and that way a little bit right there and I'm just going to open this up a little bit here, so all right like that and I'm gonna do this again here we go get it now I want to move you over in front of the front of that guy a little bit more right there on the other one actually no let's don't let's cool the other one but a little bit a little bit of this a slight cooling on that side and let me just dragged this guy over there's a lot of things that I'm doing in a in a manner other than I would normally do because this is a workshop I would spend a lot more precise time with some of these little moves that we're making here but I'm just trying to throw out his man from as much information as I can as quickly as they can okay yeah that's it john that's what I'm talking about nice nice nice good good good good what do you think and just for grands real quickly let me slop lenses out and you guys hang with me for just a second john yeah can I hand you can yeah. Thank you that you got that you thank you thank you thank you so let's put on let's put on the but a little bit a little bit of it let's put on this but I just put on this twenty eighth this is a little twenty eight one o five how to stick this on because I want to show a little bit more of an angle thank you. You got a little bit more of a wide angle on the on the background so I'm gonna come in a little closer to her and get a little bit more background behind her there we go now I can see the top of the slide and I mean you could really come down and you could really exaggerate do some fun things with her but you guys get the idea right so I think it's too well but just do one without it yeah here we go I like that look right they're good good, good good. I like this last one right here I'm telling you that looks pretty real to me it's pretty real okay, I think I got you take off go relax for a minute all right? That's hard work it is hard it is it is I think for both you guys really for both I think people forget how much how much models have to work when you're in and I just models but you know, regular people to you know, it's a lot of work and people are doing stuff that they haven't done often or that they're not used to doing and that they don't normally do and you do have to give him a break every once in a while you have to say ok, take a break the second that's when I first started back impressive okay, loosen up we're going out to shake it out is to loosen him up a little bit um I like to work with people and I and I you know, I don't know if I'm any good at it, but I sort of like to think I am um and so I I really have to have some fun with him you can't do that if your fund them with all your tools all the time you've got to know your tools you can't I want to poor guy one night I went took my nephew is senior problem and dropped him and his date off and I walked in and watch the guy doing the shots and the guy was like this smile bam next smile bam it's like are you kidding me? If you don't connect with everybody, you've got problems and I think here's the thing and I talked about this in my workshops and and if chris duncan is still listen, he knows he's heard me say this what's interesting is when you connect, people are hiring you and they're coming to you for their photographic work because of you not because of your pictures I hate to be the one to break it to you they're not coming because of your quality sadly, they're coming because of you, lee they love your personality, they love your personality, they love your personal that's why they're coming to you they trust you and want to work with you there's twenty photographers on the block but they're coming to you because of you and they have a connection to you when you are shooting when you are alive and you keep breaking that connection ok hang on just a second in berlin and in berlin, amy lynn and you and I am here we go, here we go good it's a second um ok let's do that one again may shoot it again family anything then they disconnect again another going like this the whole reason that they're using you is because of a kind of thing you keep breaking the connection don't do that once you start shooting once you're on a roll bam bam bam b lynn that's great drop their shoulder yeah yeah yeah bam bam bam on your chin around down down down good good good man let's do it without your glasses bam bam bam pin can you just take the top front and dropped off the shoulder thing bam bam all I'm saying is it seems like it seems like useless chatter it's not my in my judgment I've got three minutes of your energy we could be on a five hour shoot but I get your energy for about three minutes there and for those three minutes I need to keep you up and keep your energy level up and if I'm if I'm expelling the same energy your energy level is going to come up and you're going to match my energy level and we're gonna connect and we're gonna get this thing going it's going to be awesome it's awesome it's awesome fan we're done you get it you got to stay up with him they have to stay up with you so you got to hit that energy and stay with it and that's why I chatter the way chatter you know

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.