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10 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 6

Lesson 20 from: Studio Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

10 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 6

Lesson 20 from: Studio Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

20. 10 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 6

Continuing the two-light set-ups, move into more dramatic lighting with a Rembrandt using a softbox key light and a strip box rim light. Next, tackle a Rembrandt portrait lightened with a fill card and a clamshell with a softbox and stripbox.


Class Trailer

Day 1


Studio Essentials: Shutter Speed


Studio Essentials: Flash Exposure


Studio Essentials: White Balance


Light Principles: Inverse Square Law


Lighting Patterns


Shoot: Demo Lighting Patterns


Quality of Light and Modifiers


Shoot: Choosing a Modifier - Diffusion and Grid


Shoot: Choosing a Modifier - Umbrellas


Shoot: Choosing a Modifier - Softboxes


Shoot: Choosing a Modifier - Extra Stuff


10 One Light Set-ups: 1 and 2


10 One Light Set-ups: 3 to 5


10 One Light Set-ups: 6 to 10


One Light Set-ups: Pop Quiz


Day 2


FAQ for Purchasing Studio Light Part 1


FAQ for Purchasing Studio Light Part 2


FAQ for Purchasing Studio Light Part 3


10 Two Light Set-Ups: 1 and 2


10 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 6


10 Two Light Set-Ups: 7 to 10


5 Two Light Set-Ups: 1 & 2


5 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 5


5 Basic Three Light Set-Ups: 1 & 2


5 Basic Three Light Set-Ups: 3 to 5


5 Intermediate Three Light Set-Ups: 1 to 3


5 Intermediate Three Light Set-Ups: 4 & 5


10 Common Lighting Mistakes


Day 3


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 1


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 2 to 6


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 7


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 8


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 9


Solving 12 Common Problems of Studio Lighting: 10 to 12


Portrait Lighting: 1, 2, and 3 Lights


Beauty Lighting: 1, 2, and 3 Lights


Lighting Groups: 1, 2, and 3 Lights


Lighting for Drama: 1, 2, and 3 Lights


Your First Studio Lighting


Lesson Info

10 Two Light Set-Ups: 3 to 6

We're going to pop over now to number three, which would be a rembrandt a portrait so after all that when it lowered back down where time and I can, I think I can maybe that's hurting anybody good all right, so now we're going to go a little bit more dramatic and I'm going to we're going to move this light to rembrandt position everything before was like traditional portrait this would be going for something darker, okay? See? Okay, right around there is perfect, so yeah, well, still that away. All right, so what I am looking for when I'm moving the light around is I am using my modeling lights and if I were in a room I would turn off my ambient light so turn off the lights that were here so I could really see it and I'm looking for when the shadow of her nose meets and connect the triangle and create the triangle underneath her I I got to have the light nice and close so that I can still have a nice soft light wrapping around her further off to the side I make it more dramatic. The sh...

adow is more defined, so it's give us let's give it a exposure test like I said, I can guess but I don't want you guys to see my bad pictures, so I'm not going to again there and when you hold the light meter needs to be as close to the skin is possible if you hold the too close to the light, it won't look good anymore. That suit says no very bright turned down it was said, f ten I want to show you just a little lower, right there is good, I want to shoot ideally around two faa between five, six and f eleven, but perfect of seven's good. All right, so we're gonna take a look at this and you have a black card, okay? I don't know. I just wanted to demonstrate that given quick test, this backlight is not firing right now. We're just focusing on rembrandt from our main line. It doesn't mean we're good. Ok, so we're going to talk about this tomorrow. I started to have him get a black piece of phil somebody wrote on my facebook page yesterday, my set ups look different than yours because you are in a room that's bigger and with white walls, and that is true. We're going to talk about controlling the light and how the room you're in size and color of the walls and the distance of the walls, my feeling that effect the image, and so one thing I might do is I like I wanted dark, almost rembrandt light on this image and I'm going to move the light a little bit further design um I wanted that light, but let sam shooting in a way the room and there is a white wall right here this is a giant white reflector and that shadow would not be dark at all. It would be completely separated from the background and so she would have nice phil lay on her face. It wouldn't look dramatic anymore, so I was having john grab a black piece of foam core black piece of board that you would put here to stop that reflection. The black would dampen any light from that soft box, but thankfully I didn't need it, so I remember it like he'll let me test one more one more of these good and I'm gonna have you I'm going to just turn her live it can turn just a tiny bit that way good right there and you can look your eyes at me. All right, so what? Rembrandt lead on her face but I want shadow here I like drama, but I don't want her to disappear into the background needs some definition, so we pop on that strip light on the right hand side and it's again it's going to match the shadow side it's going to be on the shadow side, not the highlight ok, same thing perfect I'm I pump it up a little bit just a tiny bit so watch I just caught her jaw line in some of my fashion class is one of the things I teach is we have three main things that we think are beautiful in a face one of them is a jaw line and you want to see the jaw line so when it disappears, you're not doing your subject justice one of the ways you fix that by where you place the hair but another way is by adding highlights like this so I just we just brighten it up a tiny bit take one more perfect okay? Another tip I wanted to give you is right now we've given ourselves a bit of space from the background and it's a dark background, so we get a nice dark gray background, but right now you see where we have our late place it's basically kind of straight across her that doesn't need to be where it is for rembrandt light like aiken feather and change angle. This light and feathering means I'm changing the directions that perhaps only part of the light is skimming across their subject. So let's say that you are shooting and you get rembrandt light, but for some reason your background is looking really light and I don't think it'll be enough to actually get it here on a try now it's too far away but if you had a white background you're still kind of close right now my soft boxes pointed back towards the background and that light would hit the background if you have a waiter gray background it would get lighter so you can use this to your advantage you could point it on purpose and make it white perfectly all right with that and we're gonna just come out with a white okay, so right now he's holding a white reflector behind just to show you pretending it the white background so notice the light's hitting it but I can also see other this light change the angle so that is not hitting that anymore and now I can still have the same quality of light on the face the same direction but now the background goes darker so feathering a light you can use it to control where lights going in your space extremely important if you're in a tiny space is knowing you could make those differences so this would be rembrandt light with a strict box. I also wanted to mention I'm using these key tools there are other tools you could use, so for example I could do a beauty dish and what it would give me it would be more chris and that one's not quite rembrandt she got put your head right towards me but they're good try one more you can see it remember it light you want more shadow so this next one will be but not in focus hold on, I can't I can't deal with that. Try it again, okay? It will be this triangle of light underneath her eye that's what you're looking for for rembrandt but any way you could use a beauty dish and what it would do is it would make this grady int and this photo the grady and from shattered a highlight here it would make it faster so it would go from shattered a highlight quickly, which just means that shadow would be crisp so I could do that. I could also, instead of using a strip light, I could use barn doors and get an even smaller, more crisp highlight, for example, so these air just kind of general set ups, you can mix and match what you want, but this would be a go to portrait lighting setup, and that takes us to number four let's, take a look at what number forests? All right, so so far everything stays the same. Ok, the one change is we're going to add a reflector, and so I like the drama that I was able to create with the rembrandt light, and I like the separation from the background, but maybe it's just a little bit too dark I don't know about you when my portrait studio and I photographing high school seniors I liked this rembrandt light but sometimes parents would look at it and say it's too dark has like no, this is classical rembrandt lighting but they don't know that okay? And and so I want a lighting up the image a little bit so we're going to add white phil card on this side and what it will do is we're going to catch the light from the soft block kick it back in and the shadows won't be as dark I'll still have that direction of late on her face will still have that triangle I still have the late separated from the background but not is dark and dramatic and I'm gonna do one more even closer so we can see the difference between the two so one he was like two and a half feet away the other he was like a foot away and if someone will put those up side by side the first one that you will see is when the reflector was back a couple feet and the second one the reflector was closer I don't usually recommend using silver as phil search the pickup texture on the skin it does this almost weird like in the shadows you'll see a little bit of texture what is much more forgiving and it's a little bit more subtle so in this one on the left ah, it was about two and a half feet away for the reflector and the one on the right. It's about a foot. So just that little distance made a big difference. I recommend white for phil. All right, I'm gonna pop on to number five. Okay. Klim show lading, right? We talked about plame show lighting before and who asked me about clamshell yesterday. Okay. Thought so. All right. Claims the lighting is just a general term for one light above and a second light below and it can be a reflector, but it doesn't have to be one light in a reflector you can definitely use two light sources you used one light above to set the overall tone of the image. Like, is it softly? Isn't soft boxes it wrapping? You could pick a beauty dish if you want more crisp shadows, you could pick a silver reflector if you wanted to be really contrast that's what you do with your main light above, and then you can place a second light from below. And what that does is it controls the shadows. And so you're deciding how much phil you want, what type of catch lights you want in the eye so one of the sit ups that I really like actually, and I have this written as a silver dish I could do just bring that strip light around to one of the setups that I have written there is soft box with a silver dish and by silver dish I just mean a basic silver dish from below and you can fill in the light fill in the shadows but it doesn't have to be this I could absolutely use my strip box and have that underneath and filling in and every single modifier that I choose gives me a different result like it's really cool to soft boxes give me something really soft and glowing I could use a beauty dish with the grid from above with another grid from below and that's a totally different dramatic look and this is great for female portrait right in the eyes it's glowing it's very soft it's flat light it hides wrinkles and hides blemishes, which is why many women quite enjoy this particular lighting setup. You can modify this for men I will talk on day three a little bit about photographing men, but if you're photographing the guy, the biggest difference that I would say is you wouldn't use a soft box and strip light for example you would use maybe a beauty edition a grid something a little bit harsher with a silver dish below you pick harder, light sources typically and our heads we think softer light sources, broader light sources, more wrapping light sources for women harsher, more contrast, the more dimensional for men, so this lighting setup can be drastically modified, depending on what do you want it to look like? Let me give this a try. I'll try it like this and we can we can try this trip like I don't know we'll go lo now we could put it on the floor, they could do that. I will change this in my slide remind me we're going to try it with the strip box and said, because I've already got it set up, so chances are that's what you already have. All right, so let's, take a look at this light to begin with. I did not meet her, but it looks good shaded the distance didn't really change to her, so it should stay about the same, and so I love the shape that it has put on her face just carved out her cheekbones, jaw lines, but the eyes are flat, so what we're going to do is we're gonna take that strip box over here and we're going to set it on the ground, said it from below to kick light into the eyes. Here's a couple things you might think of if you don't want to send set the light on the ground you can use something called an apple box and we don't have to use apple box but I do want to show people what it is because I forgot to add this to the discussion so perfect this is a half apple box and then this one is a full and there's just our studio tools that you can use for their boxes there just endless examples you can have people pose on it sit on it you can have um uses for me because I'm sure I stand on it so on and so forth and you could also prop the light up in the direction that you want by sticking one in the front I don't know if you want either one or you just gonna angle it ok and I'm kind of tangled on your perfect all right so let's talk about this okay right now for ease of use we have john sitting on the ground they also make something that our floor stands or about background light stands that's it very, very low to the ground for something like this and I don't even need it that low you could sit on the stand as long to give something to shoot through all right so right now should I uh you know you're on the list what with small and large and he's still learning probably ok yeah that should be fine perfect so being creative they're all right so we have that here is the most important thing that you want to keep in mind you don't want to have your bottom light be brighter than the top like and it's really easy to do that and the reason that it's easy to do that is because sometimes first safe that bottom line gets closer and if you pick a silver reflector for example this is going to put out a lot more light it will be much brighter then say a soft box of soft box makes the light spread out and it softens a this is going to be really bright and so you're going to need to turn the power down if you use the silver dish so you contest this you could totally flattened out the shadows that's fine that doesn't actually need to be that much dimension and shadows it could be glowing but you don't want brighter light from below that's like the most important part that's the key so we're going to test this out and there's not a correct ratio of like how bright is the top to the bottom it's how light do you want the shadows how dark do you want the shadows so we're going to try this okay I want to pump it up a little bit down here and see which wait left to right clockwise. Okay, we'll get it on the ground is like, wait, no, I can't figure how did to my fingers clockwise. Okay, I think I got it right when you say I'm going to pump it up what? What exactly do you mean for people at home? Okay, so pump it up is my inspirational talk for lighting onto this. Okay, now it's done turning up the power tio give me more output so I'm making a brighter how much you usually try to go up like what are you ok? So here's the thing when I do this it depends on your lights how much difference, like some lights will go full power quarter power eighty one one twenty eight power like the numbers won't be the same to you, but on mine it's more less stops of light from four to ten I usually go by like a half on my particularly I'll go up five or finding more I'll go up a full stop. It depends on how much more late I wanted to fill in. So this one I can't see it, so I just guessed just test it out here. All right? So I believe in this one I went too far not not crazy too far, but if you look, the chin is brighter than her forehead and so what I can do is we can actually meet her and compare side by side which one's brighter and it's going to tell me but the bottom line spreader you wantto do it like this one maybe give it a try test it out and right now he's going to just point it down I haven't pulled the dome in because he's just pointing it straight down this is more advanced but we're just giving the test in so seven point oh tried the top okay so it's still not that much brighter I just think it's a little bit too underneath so I want to turn down a tiny bit uh one more perfect um I think I turned the wrong way it's a little bit too oh yeah okay so another thing that he made a point it depends on the lighting the gear you have if you turn light up and you don't take a shot and then you take it turn it back down and don't take a shot it holds all that power from when you had it turned up basically you filled up your bucket and never dumped it so we have to do is if you turned on the power up you got to dump the bucket out when you turn it back down to get to the right amount of water so that's so that's why you threw can we see him if he changes the power just hit. It's just emptying out that bucket all right so one other thing that you might consider and I'm goingto make this slightly more complicated okay so the other thing I like this glowing light looks good can I have you hold one more thing one other problem you can run into but it's still fine with this I'm gonna be sit back just a little bit if she the way this is if she moves in the light totally changes and so original I think you're sitting up a little bit more and she started to sit in the light passes over her head a little bit and she gets closer to the light below so just even something like that can make a difference the other part is you don't have to have this on the ground I'm gonna tell you hold it right here if you can this would be on a stand no problem but we're choosing not to apparently sorry perfect great and I'm going turn down tight it no more all right last one so this is what I like okay you can relax thank you so this is like no shadows very very flat very glowing light and you can shoot this on a white background you could shoot this on colored background or in this case I think it looks like you have even more glow when it's on a dark background so I'll give this summary of what this is three by four foot soft box overhead it could be an octo box it could be a beauty dish we're using the soft box here then you have a second light from below that second light you want to make sure it's not brighter than the top like and you're just watching it the chin is too bright turned the power down or pull the light back or raise it up a little bit just find a way so that it's not such a bright light on the chin the modifiers that you choose the main light determines the overall mood of the image if it's a soft box it's going to be soft and wrapping life grated light it's going to be very very dramatic and then your second light depends on will change the catch lights in the eye as you see the strips in her eyes there so that still light from below will change the catch lights and will also change how much you fill in the shadows depending on how bright you want it there isn't right issues or wrong ratios it's kind of a look just make sure that bottom light isn't brighter than the top flight still on schedule a question from online earlier we saw you using the reflector underneath can you remind us again what is the difference between the look you're going for with this light the strip by underneath versus the reflector and ernie perfect so there's two great reasons. Well, right now, with a soft box being abroad light source I can use a reflector. No problem. And it will catch the light. But let's say that I was using a grid and I want fill the greatest is pointing right here. If I put a reflector here, there is zero light on that reflector. There is nothing to bounce. So I'm getting more comfortable with using using clamps on this way because I have more control. The next thing is, you also do have some limitations with that reflector there's. Only so far, you could hold it away and so close you can hold and so much you can angling to get that type of phil you want. Whereas here I just can turn the power up and down. And then lastly, I'm changing the quality of the shadows here. This whole picture gets much softer because I'm using a soft box or a strip box. But if I wanted to be a little poppier, what you would see is, uh, darker shadows along the edges, the neck and everything would just have a little bit more contrast to it. I could use a silver dish so it's, like I have so many other options when I choose a second light. It all just depends on if you want that second light to be for clam shell or if you have it being used for something else and it just changes the overall at the end look of it can you say pretty all right we're going to go to number six okay so I have a regular soft box above I'm going to slip so we're going to switch this to a silver dish so you can see what I was talking about like let's take a look at what it looks like when you do have a contrast the modifier as your feel light looking ok okay all right so we're going to take this something I immediately know is this light is going to be a ton brighter if I put this on and don't change the exposure if I just put the silver dish on and pointed out my subject equal distance it is going to be a predominantly bottom lit lighting scenario so I know because the silver dish focuses the light and it's a fair ball about her I know I've got to turn that bottom like way down got to turn the power way way down the other thing is if I have turned it down as far as it goes I can start backing it up a little bit and then I back it up I pulled down the power just a bit so we're turning down all the way perfect and notice you see what he did turned it down all the way and hit the test button to dump out the water from the bucket ok and I'm gonna have you pull it back even more I'm going to power I'm gonna guess we need it all right that's fine, but we should give this a quick test all right? Now when you look at this with your bare eye see how bottom line it looks ok, but it isn't necessarily because they talked about modeling lights before modeling lights can be set to different things so right now he changed it to proportional and with proportional does instead of saying give me is much modeling lee as possible it says all right, well if I have my strobe turned at its lowest power show me the modeling lighted its lowest power is trying to give you an idea of ratios of light here so it's give it a little test and see how this all right okay, so you'll see that this one it just has a little bit more contrast to it and see the catch it in her eye it's a point source of light it's a slightly different look so could I have the previous shot and this shot side by side please it's just a different look between the two it's not really right or wrong so when you start combining all of these different things different modifiers above different models fire's below I can turn this up and flatten it out even more omar and look at me then you'll start seeing more of the bottom like but too bad yeah can we see those zoomed in on the ice? Can we please see the zoomed in on the eyes for the first one and then the one before it there you go perfect ok, so you have like the two strips that you see it's the soft box above in the strip light blow and then can you see the next one? So it's just kind of wanted to see how in this one I see a little bit more texture to the skin I don't know if you could really see that and there is a way to compare the side by side so you'll be able to see that I could do that later but if you look at it, you'll see it's softer when it's too soft boxes perfect your genius ok see how much softer more filled in that is compared to when I use the more contrast e lot of fire below and it's turned down a little bit so it's like endless recipes and boost different things you can use and this is beauty and portrait light typically for women for a guy I take a contrast the modifier below in that silver reflector below or above in the silver effectively

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


If you're on the fence about this class I can easily answer your concerns. BUY IT. Lindsay provides top notch professional education while keeping things interesting. Her words are precise and direct. I actually felt GOOD just watching and learning. I mean, like someone surprised me with a cupcake kinda GOOD. After the class I could immediately see improvements in my photography. The best part is that I learned enough to see the wrong in my setups. Knowing what's wrong is just as important as knowing what's right. She is funny, easy going, energetic and filled with knowledge. I would also highly recommend her Posing 101 class as a must have addition to this course. I feel like I have learned more than I could possibly use. I will be going through this course over and over again just to make sure it all sinks in. There's THAT MUCH she offers that you will always learn more with each time you watch. I hope this helps someone make the decision to up their game. That is exactly what it did for me.

Jason Ashley

I loved this course! Lindsay spent so much time with explaining each set-up in-depth that anyone picking up a camera could understand how to accomplish their lighting goals. This course covered so many unique (but, most likely to come across scenarios) and how one would approach the challenge and how to successfully accomplish with incredible results, not average-sub-standard or basic results, but above entry-level standards, high-level, money-generating lighting expertise! ZERO laziness in her explanations to the point where she is constantly refining her course in the middle of the 3 days. Her passion gleams throughout each days lessons with so much energy. You know she really wants her students both in-person and through the screen to be successful in whatever type of lighting they choose to dabble in. I am so happy, I have bookmarked, and i'm so happy and fortunate to have this course to reference for hopefully –everrrr. Thanks!

Beatrice Palma

Hi, I am Beatrice from Italy. I think this class is superb. I finally understood what are the guide lines to follow, I tried for years but never found such a good explanation. Lindsay is a wonderful teacher, she explains in a simple way, she shares a lot of knowledge and she shows in practice what are the results of every single choice. Thank you so much, it was really amazing and super interesting!!!!

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