Studio Lighting 101


Studio Lighting 101


Lesson Info

10 Two Light Set-Ups: 7 to 10

I'm going to take that soft box now and put it in short light position when we talked about short like short light is when the light is more or less coming from behind the subject casting shadows forward I don't mean directly behind them I mean from a backward angle not from side to side but slightly more like a back forty five so in something like that so okay way get that set up but then basically the whole other side of their face is in shadow and they blend into the background so we can add some type of definition and we can do barn doors for this one. Oh, so he said I had a game and I'm going toe we're gonna be careful on this one, okay? I'm a little bit don't want to kill me that model okay? So we're going to do short light and let's take a look at the barn doors all right, barn doors I am going tio point it this way so just the cameras no it's really bright surviving proportional social beachy bed okay, so held under his work is I can open and close the leaves the doors on the b...

arn door to give me a really narrow highlight just on the jaw line or it can open it so that it spread so if you notice for you guys you can see this part but in this particular shot and if you can see it when I closed down that highlight I can point that highlight just at her jaw when I opened it up her entire back is illuminated but it would apply if I have the light further out to the side it can close it down so it's just getting part of her job this is nice when you want a sliver of light and so there was an image that I had in my presentation yesterday when I talked about loki like and the girl was standing sideways and she had like really christian rembrandt light on her face but in short light and then just like the sliver of like cutting her out of the background and that's easier to achieve in your barn doors I use burn doors in my work when I'm photographs ing athletes and I want like razor sharp cut outs of their muscles andi also a lot and fine art news when I basically want to look like I had the nude stand there and I traced them with a piece of chalk think it just looks like an outline its very, very thin and very, very chris all right, so what I tend to dio is I tend to set the backlight, the barn door or whatever other light before I set my main light and the reason I do that is because I want to see what it's doing so I could pop over here with the model light and looking at the modeling light and I have a nice right highlight on her jaw and under neck, but I think the lights a little too low I don't quite have what I want on her shoulder, so we just raise it up a little bit what happens to me and maybe it happens to you as soon as I have this main line on or other life, I can't really see it like I know kind of that what I'm looking for, but as soon as there's all these other lights on, I lose it so I like to turn everything off and just say okay, is that well placed? That looks great, excellent and then I turned my main light on I'm a downside of barn doors couple things it will get drastically darker down her body, so for a full length, if I'm trying to light her feet with a highlight more evenly you're probably better off with the strip light because it gives you a broader a longer light source to keep the light down and give me a nice even have highlight head to toe here I definitely will have a hot spot about here it's fine is just not as efficient for an even highlight head to toe um other thing about this it is not as forgiving if you put it in the wrong place because it is very bright and it is very crisp and so she turns her head too far one way continued to the left you know I'll get highlights on the nose so you can't move as much it ends up being noticeable so I would use more of a strip light for kids and barn doors I would maybe use more for adults you quickly if she leans she's out of that high like it's, his less movement they have a you're capable of if your system is is to get really hot usually keep gloves nearby or after awhile use a clamp to just the barn doors yeah barn doors and grids when you use grids they get insanely hot because they're holding all of that heat and all that energy and and it when you go to grab them I mean it kills it's awful ok, some attorney sideways. All right, so I want her to be in short light position for rembrandt. Yeah, this perfect. So I'm going to move that's pretty good maybe like one more foot back if you can so right there I get a nice highlight a nice triangle underneath her either remember that where I move her head makes a difference, so if you turn your head more to the right all of a sudden I start opening up that highlight seymour highlight here even further to the right now I'm in loop position so it's not just where that light is in a diagram that's where I used to mess up as they try to place it in a diagram and it's their heads looking the wrong direction totally changes it so back towards me just a little bit right there. Great. All right, so we're going to give it a little test, all right? And then how about that back highlight and the back highlights harder to meet her people are narrower, so they're about even so this is going to be nice and bright merry go perfect what we did I put them at roughly the same power if you if you heard him he said that this one is five oh, and that one was for oh, and I know that I will be able to clearly see my highlight if they're about the same power that's where usually start my dial it up or down so something like this this is what I'm getting remember that lead on her face and then that chris highlight on her jaw what's nice let me take one more shot with this what's nice about this is I can move those barn doors forward if I want more light on her jaw and so I mean it can get razor sharp so can you bring it forward just like a foot going a little bit more right there. Okay, so watch the highlight on her jaw. All we did is we move that light ford a little bit and I can see it because I have a modeling like it'll start growing and we'll get a much longer highlight and I can keep going and gives me a ton of control so I just was growing can you bring it out even more and angle yeah good perfect says any longer and I'm going toe answer a question that I always get okay the question that I always get this is not coverage tomorrow so we'll address it now is she has a bright red here I get that question all the time because I remember I used to try to fix it and photoshopped it out in this particularly where I moved it this is not something that happens with all barn doors if depending on the angle is for hairs down it doesn't necessarily happen but she's got her ear backlit and so you khun see that it looks red um one of the things you can do is you can fix it and photoshopped if you go into something called selective color it's an adjustment there you can go into the reds and yellows and change where they are on the spectrum and if you never done it before this is not a photo shop class but I have taught it and some of my photo shop classes before you can do that another trick that some people d'oh it really bothers him is they put gaffer safe on the back of the year remember how I said gaffer's tape is good for everything because if you put gaffer's tape on the back of her here it's not translucent anymore and so now that problem goes away to have any other tricks or the main tricks tricks and for hairs down again it won't go back through her hair so something to watch out for particularly if you have a subject with pronounced years because when you're done and someone asked me you know how do you decide how to light I want to draw attention away from perceived flaws or problem areas and if it got big ears I'm gonna watch out for this light and I probably wouldn't do that exactly because I don't really want to be like oh you're here's your big let me take them so if it looks like it's going to be some they're concerned about I stay away from that as well all right so I'll take one last photo of this one and we'll move on great I am we are moving on to number eight by the way taking a look at the angle of light from her face it's kind of directly across, but really, in this scene, it's like a back thirty to forty five it depends on how broad you want the highlight the further back and around you bring it, the smaller that highlight will get the further to the front. You bring it, the more that highlight will spread out. So you're kind of controlling what that room light looks like. Yeah, lindsay, about how high from the eye level the light is in the center of that soft box. Okay, john, you're good with this and, you know furthermore, do you look at that to consider that to you? What effect is that? Sure. What did you say? Like maybe, like, six inches about maybe five, six inches, right? Yeah, so I'm using aiming for something like that. You said about nine inches is where I start nine I don't want you at sixteen minutes to dark, so what I'm looking at is I don't want it too low because if the center of that light or the center of the soft box is much lower, the light fills from below and I don't shape her face. If it's too high up, I have too much shadows in her eyes and I'm not really looking at at it, I'm looking at the white on her face and I'm trying to see is a shadow going up the shadow from her nose is going upwards. I know my lights to low. I always want the shadow from the nose at minimum going across, but usually going down so let's go to next one. All right, great. So we switch out these that for a grid. All right? So the next one is there's more than one way to separate your subject out from the background. I said, shadows sculpt highlights separate highlights. Help to find someone from the background. Well, old, all up to this point, I've been lighting her. We've been giving her strip lights have been giving her barn doors we saw on ways to separate her out violating her, but you don't need to just let your subject to separate them. You could also late the background and the background, like it doesn't mean you need to have a nice, evenly illuminated background. I still want a little bit of drama, perhaps in a shot like this. Let me take a quick photo. I want to show you how, without any phil, without anything, that side of her face disappears. All right, so you can't I mean, you can't see the definition between her head and the background, it just totally blends in. But let's say you run into that problem where you like if I'm going to like her with the barn doors oh wait I can see that her ear glowing maybe or you just don't want a light that side of her face you can like the background so what john has done for me here as he's put a grid on that strobe and what degree grid to do use ok, so we talk about grids yesterday the smaller the number of the grid the more focus the light will be on the background and so right now he has a ten degree grid on there's ones that are twenty ten and five for this particular lights other ones air like usually range from five to forty yeah there's one goto forty I have a twenty five degree grid different but this particular one is five ten and twenty so with a ten it's going to be a nice tight light source so I am going to call this lighting set up this is called checkerboard here's why I call it checkerboard I'm pretty sure I didn't make that up I learned heard it somewhere along the way and here's why checkerboards are white, black, white, black or black white black white right so it's highly shadow highlight shadow so what I have here is I have the highlight side of her face white against a black background it's dark behind her because I don't need separation from the background that parts already white so black background light subject with an over here it falls to black this is the shadow so then I need to put a highlight on that side so it goes shadow the background highlight on her face shadow on her face highlight on the background and it separates her from the background and this creates kind of a timeless were traditional lighting set up so you are pretty good all right, so let's give it a test and of course you can change the power output of the grid for how bright you want that highlights we do want just to be a little kick like a little bit of glower do you want it to be a bright circular highlight? All right, so this would be checkerboard light well pointed out here shadow highlight shadow highlight a couple things that I would do this is stylistic can you put your hair like a little bit too that's idea I don't like this doesn't add anything for me cliff she has a hairy back so you never pull it away um then I'm gonna have you turned down that, uh grid there's not a writer run answer I just think it's a little bit too bright I just want like a little glow, so try one more time perfect so something like this and I like shooting these setups in black and white personally it doesn't have to be black and white, but that gives you an idea so that's another way to carve your subject out from the background check award lighting short was that one you can also do that exam set up but not short like like you can also have the rembrandt or the loop or whatever you have further up and it's the same idea. Okay? And this would be more of a traditional portrait to have the light further to the front and not so far around the back it's not as dramatic, you don't have to use a grid necessarily you can also weigh don't have to switch this in, but you could also use a snoop and does this go on easily think that this is a dish that you couldn't just fine, but those who want to get high okay, okay here's, the crazy ones you could also use a snoot we're not going to put it on, but holding just notice you could focus the light that way, but different grids are going to focus in a different amount in the snoot, you know, depending on where it is is also going to focus the light in a different way if you want the grid to be I mean a something hot if you want your highlight to be larger spread out more you would use a grid with a wider number bigger numbers so twenty degree writ grid or you come backto let up and it will spread it out but if you want like just a really small highlight you can move it in the closer you move it the last time that that light has a spread out get a tighter highlight on the background so lighting setup number ten yeah go for it you could put a color gel on that as well after another background yes and I actually don't do jobs in this particular class but it was like was hemming and hawing about it because it's like I like dell's and I use them but you khun gel your background absolutely to be a different color you congee l a highlight on the face is just more specialty you know less general use I sing my very last set up would just be showing you the difference between switching the modifiers to get really really dramatic so I can change my main light to a silver dish she's pretty and has nice skin so it would work for her I would perhaps not uses on someone that has really bad skin because it is going to be a contrast delight modifier that brings out any blemishes or skin imperfections I would however use this on a guy yeah, okay. Yeah, like, can I make you model perfect. Okay. Here. So I can definitely use this on a guy. This would not be a setup I would use on women, which is why this is perfect. Okay, it doesn't mean you can't use it on women, but it is just a more harsh lighting set up so I would use barn doors for a guy because their contrast e I haven't really chrisman dramatics, I'm gonna use that get that set up and I'm going to put that on his job and I'm going to come around to the front and make sure a it's high enough so I want to get his shoulder and b that it's hitting his jaw line, but not too much perfect. I have a nice separation, the jaw line. So for each of the nominees, take a quick test so you guys can see. Okay, so this is what I'm looking for in the highlight on his job it's separating him out, but it's not lighting his nose, so that looks like a nice highlight and it's not too bright, it's not like I have really brought blown on highlights just gives me some pop right, then we throw this one on and I'm on nights down there and yeah, nice, okay? So now what I can do is I can shape the light on his face the higher up I make it like we talked yesterday higher we raised light the longer the shadows get underneath the nose underneath the jaw line the more drought dramatic you get the further off to the left or right the more shadow in shape intervention and more dramatic you get we're goingto give this a test ok that's pretty much where I am awesome another thing to keep in mind about this is right now this light throws light pretty far and so it might catch on the background a little bit then see maybe would need toe move your subject further out or maybe you need to try to angle the light so it's not quite hitting the background so something like that I'm still looking for catch lights when the shoes it's like they're perfect and see we dump it first I mean dumped a late okay and take more time no, no that's okay, what happened is we were at seven one and I cooked the distance in half, which makes it significantly brighter so tested again. Okay, well, shoot eleven so we shoot eleven there and I'm gonna have you home book the power of that one I'm comfortable shooting between eight and eleven, five, five, six and eleven perfect all right, so this is a dramatic men's portrait you're looking very like debonair and tough for me it's good. Wow. Well, it's a serious shot oh, yeah, okay and I might shoot this just for creative stake in black and white but this would be like this serious guy shot okay? And you could if you want the shadows to be longer, more dramatic no problem you pull it off and you make it rembrandt and I'm raising the late a little bit so that the shadow from the nose is a little bit longer their movements closer did I don't think so. All right good. All right that's good looking tough guy like that okay, this is a super tough shot and then of course if you want you don't want to remember and I can also turn you to the right and then she not a little bit and look your eyes back towards me. So when there's endless combinations and I didn't move the lights I'm just changing him. It was kind of keeping an eye on all of this is going to you look very tough like eyeing me you're eyeing me I'm free now ok so perfect that would be lighting set up number ten is a silver dish in front and barn doors in the back both of them are high contrast. Both of them are drama great for men's portrait's not great if you're trying to soften or flatter the skin. All right. Thank you. All right. Way done with that done with outside with them? Yes. Oh, ten that's all time. I'll tend to light. Set up quick question with that regard. Yes. Everything you just showed us was that just for one person versus having multiple people in those different setups? Yeah, definitely. And I mean, I like this all the time by myself on one person moving it around. I'm sorry. I mean the subject yet one subject, one sector. Yeah. Now here's the thing the on ly ones that I talked about that would definitely not apply to multiple people. This last one, this light is too small it's to focus. So that means if I'm standing next to her here, first of all, it will probably only mostly hit her. But also because it's such a bright light source she's going to be so much brighter than I am, so that wouldn't really work now, the concept of having rembrandt light I could have a soft walks off to the side and then a highlight on us. We could do that, but this particular modifiers wouldn't work.

Class Description

Don’t be intimidated by the studio! Lindsay Adler will show you how easy it can be to work indoors in Studio Lighting 101.

Natural light photographers often feel overwhelmed by the gear, constraints, and vocabulary of studio photography, but the transition from being on-location to shooting in the studio doesn’t have to be a difficult one.

In Studio Lighting 101, Lindsay Adler will cover the studio lighting concepts and terminology that will give you the confidence to work in any studio. 

You will learn about:

  • Getting the right exposure indoors
  • The different qualities of light you’ll encounter
  • Assessing the direction and movement of light
  • Essential modifiers for taking control

Lindsay will show you a range of one and two light setups that are great for creating beautiful light no matter your budget or gear restrictions. You’ll learn tips for portrait lighting, high key, low key, beauty lighting, and dramatic light.

Studio Lighting 101 is great for the beginner or intermediate photographer who is looking to add studio lighting into their repertoire without investing in a ton of expensive gear.