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Shoot: Demo Lighting Patterns

Lesson 6 from: Studio Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Shoot: Demo Lighting Patterns

Lesson 6 from: Studio Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

6. Shoot: Demo Lighting Patterns

Watch the lighting patterns from the previous lesson in action. Learn how to set up each type of pattern. Then, add variety to the lighting set-ups through simple changes, such as understanding how height affects dimension.


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

Shoot: Demo Lighting Patterns

I am going tio demonstrate on her and we're going to keep all those lighting those set of settings on my camera the same let me give this a quick test trigger on it goes to sleep to save battery ok a little bit so I usually go around f ates off eleven so let me put it f nine right now. Okay, so this is going to be paramount like what I want you to do? I have a class imposing no, I'm gonna have you pull it to the top of your head and pull your shoulders down a little bit and then she out a tiny bit of a totally different class of opposing one of one class but she was kind of sitting just a little bit it shrinks the neck so I always have the subject pull up to the top of their head so you look lovely here we go. So this would be paramount lighting, right? Remember how I said that if the light is in the center in the front it's slightly less dramatic, less shadows and more flatly lit but the reason the picture doesn't look flat is because there's still shadows underneath her chin and unde...

rneath her nose so it's not it's not a totally a shapeless photograph so this is paramount knife and even what I want you to do is I want you to take a look at something for dimension, I'm going to add to mention to her face by adding height to the light, and this is the part that I didn't ever quite get the higher up you bring that light, the more shaping to mention you get. However, at a certain point it gets too much and can I also have ah reflector in a second? Ok, so if I put the light really, really low she's pretty, so this tends to look really nice and her cause she's cheekbones wither without shadows. All right, let's, take a look, the lights really low, it makes you laugh because she already has nice cheekbones, but what I want you to watch in the next shot. So watch her cheeks right here as I raised the light up more shadows there, going to be cast underneath her cheekbones and underneath her job blind so it gives more dimension to the face. And so if you have the subject, perhaps with a rounder face, you don't really want tio broad light them right shadows in the front centered paramount and low because what you're doing let's say you have a subject with a very nice round head ok, nice round face what you're doing is you're evenly lighting everything, there is no shadow to make it look more slender or to give it any type of dimension so I would create more shadow by taking the light off to the side raise it up to give it more dimension so for her I want you just to watch your cheekbones I was gonna raise it just a bit and still see her cheekbones will get much darker and much more defined in the shadows get much longer and the shadow under her nose it starts to get a little more butterfly but it's getting a little bit more dimension to downside that you can see looking at this photograph however is that everything starts to get a little bit I called heavy for me like I was it looks a little droopy ears it's a little bit heavier so I will talk a lot more about reflectors a little bit later but I wanted to grab one real quick and I would add let's say I wanted more dimension to her face I could add a reflector to this photograph maya considerations here silver catches more light it'll bounce more light in it has more contrast to the edges will look a little crisper white catches less like it's a little bit softer so if I want to flatten out the light I still want some of that shape in her cheeks but I really don't want much shadow I might pick silver I just want to softly fill in the shadows they are so dark so they don't are so heavy I might use white white you get a more subtle catch late in the eye silver you get a really sparkly catch light in the eye it doesn't matter it's just personal taste for beauty I usually you silver portrait's either one silver or white so wonder take a look at this year let's do white first yes you're looking at me okay so I raised that led up to give her dimension but everything got a little bit too dark so if you add the white it just like bright ended up a little but she still has those nice cheekbones and she still gets a little bit more dimension doesn't look as flat but if I wanted to be sparkly I wanted to have that pop perfect switch it over to silver creek and I'll start filling in the shadows even more and you'll see a little bit more contrast like if you look at her underneath your chin could you put those two images back up again for me so do you see how on the right hand side there's like her chin what's a little bit sparkly er her lips have a little bit more shine there's a little bit more like underneath heard her chin there so that would be the difference but something I wanted to point out is well I don't know if any of you have tried this where you're trying to get a lot of fill a lot of reflection but you can't quite get a cz much as you want in this image in this particular set up that I have if you really look the lights kind of pointed pastor and there's very little light hitting the reflector so if you want a lot of light to catch aiken lower this down a bit okay good and then making sure it's angle just a tiny bit more into the reflector it's going to catch a ton now and really fill in those shadows I like this like this looks pretty it's very very sparkly but she still has shadows underneath her jaw and she still has a little bit of shape another thing to consider with your reflectors is the distance from the face makes a difference so before we talked about the whole inverse square laughing the closer that you bring the lights here subject the brighter it'll be the further the dimmer it will be well in this case this reflector kind of is a light source is picking up late and kicking back so if I want more phil have you bring it way up I would have her lifted way way up toure chin and that'll completely get rid of shadows if I want less we'll have a bring it way way down and if the camera can get this I'm gonna take this from your quick watch this every single angle every single move that I make change is what light is getting captured on her face, which is why I tend not to give the reflectors to the subjects in general, um, I try to actually have either someone else hold it or sure all if you're saying that I don't have anyone to hold it, westcott makes reflector grips and then also there's, a tool that I use it's called the last light trife lecter that holds reflectors for you, so you don't need to, but what ends up happening is you tell someone to hold it up high and they get tired and the drop when our and now the latest totally different, so she the process? I don't need to worry, but every different angle makes a difference. And so right here, there's not much shadow underneath it there's a bunch of shadow underneath urchin here, it catches it and totally flattened it out, so when you're using reflectors, be aware of that, so I'm gonna take a really flattened out version and you can lower your hands a little bit perfect way to catch a tunnel light great, and this would be, and it caught a lot more than the clothes on a little bit here's what I'm thinking, I shot it, I like the sparkle it's too bright, I could ground my meter and asked the meter what should this be or I know it was too bright and I was at f nine so I need to make my whole smaller dark and everything down so I goto f eleven dark in down the picture I could change the power of the light but I don't feel like it would rise f eleven's fine with me I'd rather just triumph eleven so I think that is perfect beautiful she has nice chief phones it's still pretty glowy but it's not over exposed so just keep in mind the height of the light makes the difference it gives more dimension, but the higher up that it gets, it starts to get a little bit too heavy in the eye so you could add a reflector. But if you choose white or silver how close it is, what angle you have that all makes a difference. You have any questions on that? Do you think? First of all, I just wanted to give you a shout out lena davis harvey says lindsay is a great educator explains things thoroughly and she is straight to the point awesome. So thank you for that comment I mean either they're that's whatthe straight into the point ok, so a couple of people had asked including photo maker if the person doesn't have as find of of cheap phones will raising the paramount oriented lights still create slimming on the slimming shadows on their job lines what would you do if somebody didn't have defined cheap? So I actually will raise let often more for them because what will happen when someone has around her face and they don't the neck and the chin kind of blend together? We'll put it nicely that way. All right, so there's something that could do for posing like I said in my posing one one classic you you now and down lean forward a bit, but when I raise the late up, what it will do is it'll cast a little bit of shadow underneath, which helps me out a to hide anything that I'm trying to hide there, but also because it starts to define the jaw line. If it's just totally flat let they lose the job, they lose a shape to their face, so yes, it definitely still applies. If they don't have the gorgeous cheekbones and can't give him cheekbones, they don't have you just have a nice one, and if you if you are using that reflector, will that take away completely? Take away if you're using butterfly lighting, so if you, when you angle it, you can see it what point it's catching a ton of light it could completely get rid of all shadow altogether, so it depends on what you like in beauty photography when you're don't, she doesn't really need the help of shadows too much it's okay to flat and the light out completely and it gives you this glowing look called clamshell light, which we'll talk about later but on the other side, if you don't want that look, maybe a white lower down just to fill in the shadows make them not so dark and back when I learned studio lighting way back when I did take a class on it and I learned about we learned like ratios of light, we have learned like, ok, this les is a certain amount of brightness in this shadow is this much darker? I don't really think of it as ratios it's if that shadows too dark, fill it in some way and when it looks good to stop there e mean, if you want more film making a silver reflector, if you want less, try white further away and it does change what they look like, but I'm not meet oring each shadow to determine I'm going why if I'm achieving the feel of the image that I want to go for yeah about can you tell us again about this boom arm and people want to know why is there a tennis ball, the intimate ok great question so the tennis ball is because at the end of this boom arm there's a hook and this is john, we haven't even talked about this, I'm just assuming because it has happened to my studio to me, there's a hook at the end, which is intended for a counterweight because let's, say this beauty dish, this lighting setup is pretty light, but if you have mono blocks, we will talk about tomorrow and like a big light, it can get kind of heavy and unstable, so what you d'oh is on the other side, you add a counterweight, await to balance it out, just like it would be on a scale, so they put a hook there so you can hang the counterweight, which is also great to catch your head on if you're walking past it and it's seriously like it. When I first worked in a studio, you'd have to go in and turn on the lights, and you walk into stands as you're heading toward the light switch. So you put soft things on the end of the boom warm, yeah, it's sort of like in my yellow in my studio, we have we had orange tape that we wrapped around it because still using its we just coated in orange seriously, I've run into at least twice the second part of this particular boom arm is the avenger by men photo there's a whole bunch of different ones I personally and this is one where I wish I didn't skimp when I first started, I started with plastic ones that had, like, these gear things I don't call that they're basically gears and they were really hard to use, and I ended up not using it, so maybe try one l or get some advice, but these ones will work real nice. Yeah, ok, so lighting patterns all right, so we had paramount nice front and center, so the next thing I'm looking for was what we said was loop adding just a little bit more shape and that's all it's really doing this when you use look loop, you're just trying to give a little bit of shadow of the face for a little bit of dimension so the whole time just keep your head straight up and look this way so so something like even just a tiny bit off off the center would give me a little bit more shadow from her nose. I mean, I'm going to just wrap this up real quick, it's not as dragging, okay, so something like right there give me just a tiny bit of shadow from her nose gives me a shadow on this side of her face, it gives me some dimension, so let me take a quick test of this, all right, so you will see this was obviously the completely flat lit image move it over a little this is our loop we're talking about what you start to get shape from the face just makes so it's not so flat that's fine I usually go someplace in between looper paramount for like a normal portrait from going for drama we go to rembrandt right to that triangle and so that's what I'm trying to look for and that's why I use these modeling lights and I'm looking for when the shadow and it's hard to see because you have lights here that overpower the modeling light but I'm looking for when that shadow of the nose met the cheek which is right about there let me give this a quick test ok great and can you suppress a little straighter and then split light would just be further off to the side even more so that just one side of her face is illuminated let's see yet something about like that I'm just looking for no light on the far side of her face ok so my whole point is none of that really matters because if you just look and if you won't mind putting up one of each of those photos just the further that I go the more dramatic it gets it starts to get more and more shadow more and more drama the higher up I go so just use that okay, but then if you want more drama, I've taken this late off so far this to the side I possibly can she isn't split like that's not super flattering but I want more drama how do we create more drama? I turn you sideways could go any alex street towards that light. This is when you get into short light patterns. So those all those descriptions I was giving about the shapes of the shadows under the nose it's still apply, but now the shadows they're going to be coming towards me and I'll keep moving the light background behind and in general rule of thumb for portrait's usually direct profile is not always ideal. Sometimes you want three quarters or just to see a little bit more of the back eyelashes is centering head towards me just a little right there. Perfect. So we take a quick shot of this good. So if you look, the picture starts to get more dramatic and it's more or less paramount even, you know, just that little shadow under her nose. Even though I said paramount is flat since I turned to the side there's gorgeous cheekbones. Now you can see and you keep moving it back further and further gets you more and more drama, so I'm going to pull it back just a little bit and I can see from the modeling like this gives me a little bit of loop light so I can pop over here giving more more shadow, okay, to see the little shadow by her nose and I can keep going until that shadow meets cheek. Okay, good. And she had a tiny bit towards me just a little bit and I have rembrandt light and then I could go back to split like so as people are watching what I want you stay away from is exactly what I learned in my first studio leading class was true detailed diagrams and tried to exactly recreate where that light wass look at the light on the face like feel the light on the face actually see where the shadows are because watch what happens. I can have rember it now because she's got that little tiny triangle katrina head more towards me. Keep going. Okay, the white didn't move. I didn't move. She moved her head and now I'm getting split like so it's, like even if you re create it, if they do this it's totally different. Look ahead, back towards late again if you go in a little bit more, okay now, it's like loop, so knowing like, ok, I'm looking at lindsay shooting and the late is this exact distance away and just look at the light on the face and kind of feel that part out. So through the questions on that that we're got okay, general question a lot of people are asking what? What if you have somebody with a long nose? What if you have somebody with a rounder face? What are the aspects of the face that you look at to determine what type of lighting to use? Sure. Okay, so I will try to give this a nice summary when you're looking at somebody's face, whatever you determined to be the problem area. What reduces that until, for example, if somebody has a really round face and it's fuller and you would like to help them look more slender, then you probably don't want a light totally centered everything that you probably want to introduce a little bit of shadow because it gives you the appearance of a more slender face. Or, for example, if someone has a very pronounced nose, if you use a very dramatic light very, very high, it'll cast a very long shadow from their nose, which draws attention to the fact that it is longer and it also has to do with posing, because if I pose them to the side with a light that catches that ron long shadow. The nose you will see the thie profile of and the long shadow so it's kind of just saying ok so what is the weakness I see here what can I do to draw attention away for it perhaps a gentleman with no hair on his head you might not want to add a hair light and you know right now I want to add a light that draws attention to the fact that so little shiny er so I mean it's things like that so that's what? I look at it what am I trying to draw attention away from? How can I use lighting to do that and posing in it and it all works together excellent okay, so using different directions of light controls a few things it controls the drama of the photograph it controls the sculpting the shape that we had here but it also makes a difference to the skin. It also makes a difference to the appearance of the face. So I thought a class called skin one a one last spring I think where I went into this more and death but I wanted you to take a look at some images of my keynote to see how this all works together and so sometimes you have to make a decision ok, you'll see more dimensional light is not as flattering on the skin but maybe that's the mood you're going for and you'll have to just re touch those like its decisions you make as a photographer, but the more you know how things affect one another, the more control it gives you so let's just take a look at this, all right? So up and down the height of the light up and down we talked about for someone like her, which is great, brings out her cheekbones and brings out her jaw line if I raise it up it's a little bit more dimension, but let's take somebody who's a little older or maybe has a few more wrinkles or even blemishes. All right, so I in these pictures and turn this way I am these pictures raised the light up, and so you can see the general of sex that I had on her the same thing longer shadows under the nose, more pronounced shadows underneath the eyes when you zoom in close, it really is going to have a strong effect on making wrinkles look more pronounced here's what you're doing is when you flat like somebody you're reducing shadows, shadows give dimension when you introduce shadows, you give dimension to wrinkles and blemishes so it's like this little dance that you're trying to do to figure out what's the right light for this person, for example maybe you love really dramatic light, but if you know nothing about retouching and this is going to be something you deliver to a client maybe you want to back off that dramatic like s so that the skin looks a little bit better so if you're looking here shadow gives dimension and it really makes those wrinkles standout and that's purely from the height of the light or you know they're already won a little bit higher a little bit higher but that could be a good thing to somebody with a rounder face that you want to define their jaw so it kind of got to do it with practice here's the other example side to side this one I ran into a lot when photographing high school seniors I have a high school senior boy or girl with a great deal of blemishes on their forehead for example now when you flat light there's no shadow so we okay you got a little bit of discoloration but it's it's fine soon as I moved the light off to side further inferred with further the light rakes across that skin and creates shadows which create dimension which draw attention so for example okay, so each one of these I moved my light source further off to the right hand side I started with loop a little bit more dramatic loop and then all the way over to rembrandt but when we zoom in take a look at his forehead when I zoom in here you see how the wrinkle between his eyebrows starts to get a little bit more pronounced it's not right or wrong and maybe you're going for a really dramatic look where you want a lot of texture so if you're thinking who have got this this gentleman he's got so much character, so much texture to his face you're not going to want tio flat light him with phil if you're trying to show that drama you would want tio give more to mention create more shadow pull the lead off the side raised a higher up if you're trying to emphasize that and if you're not go the opposite direction and it will make a really big difference on the skin so you can see it here's more or less loop a little bit further over and then rembrandt it will make a big difference, but for me it was a high school senior portrait often if there was a girl perhaps with just really bad skin and she's very self conscious the whole shoe I would shoot more or less flat light because I'd show her the back of the camera and that would give her confidence and then it would bid kind of build up her self esteem because I'm helping her with her skin instead of making it a problem that I have two six and photoshopped so all of these things kind of worked together so lighting is not just about shadows and drama it also affects the skin and also affects the shape of the face so the more practice you get, the more you're able to figure out what is going to work for different people on that I wanted to show you the so light that I used on her for her I wanted to fill in the shadows in that one instance to give me that glowing light but for him a reason it might be great is perhaps I like a little bit of the shape of the face that I created on the first one so shadows air just so pronounced, so when I add a white reflector on the very far one the shape still there the wrinkles air still though they're just softened compared to the first one so reflectors that all makes the difference all of that works together and here's no phil silver reflector which I didn't think fit this type of portrait and then a white reflector ok, so that was more or less direction of light and what I want you to take away from that is shadow creates drama and dimension there isn't any right answer, but the further off that light is to the sides or up and down that's what create more shadow I so what we're going to do now is talk about that third piece of the equation we did intensity or quantity of light we did the direction of light. And now, it's, the quality of light is a light, soft or hard, and this is going to go into modifiers and all that stuff so let's jump into that. All right, so we put up this slide before the generalizations of quality of light, soft light versus hard light, and I mentioned the grady in of the shadows on the left image is very soft, radiant. It slowly goes from shadows highly and then on the image on the right. It is very, very chris. Something else that defines the two is a very crisp light source. A very contrast. The light source has something, and this is not a word in there. But you will hear people say this something called speculator highlights. It means the brightest of the bright highlights, like a speculator highlight would be if I had a sweaty forehead right now are an oily forehead and those bright highlights that are being caught by the light that's the speculator highlights. So in more contrast your harsher light. Those bright highlights will get even brighter. And so, if you look at this photo, if you look at her face on the right, a harder light source, a more contrast, the light source gives you darker shadows. And lighter highlights on the extremes and how I think of this is if you're in photo shop, you open up an image and you drag the contrast lighter we drive the contrast, lighter lights get low, highlights get lighter and the shadows get darker when you're choosing modifiers and quality of light, when you pick a harder light source or a more contrast the light source, it'll do something similar. So looking at this those little highlights on her cheeks right there both speculate highlights become brighter compared to the one with the light, the soft light source and the shadows. Look how much darker the shadows are. So when you're choosing a light, sources also it's not just the quality of the shadows that grady in't but it's also the contrast to that image there's no right or wrong answer. There are some that are more flattering for portrait. We're going to get into those also in a lot of time, talking about what I would use for portrait most likely would not use a hard light source like this for a portrait, usually not very flattering, unless they're really young and have nice skin like she did.

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!!!!

Student Work