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Controlling Shadows (1+1=2)

Lesson 7 from: Understanding Light & Light Modifiers

Mark Wallace

Controlling Shadows (1+1=2)

Lesson 7 from: Understanding Light & Light Modifiers

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

7. Controlling Shadows (1+1=2)

Adding multiple lights to a setup can cause unwanted shadows or unpredictable results. Mark uses shadows on a wall to show why it’s better to use “indirect” fill than “direct” fill in some circumstances.

Lesson Info

Controlling Shadows (1+1=2)

it's time for us to talk about controlling shadows and specifically how we control shadows when we add more than one light and sort of see the chaos that can ensue. And the most important thing to understand with this little section is that one plus one does not equal 11 plus one equals two. Now, what the heck am I talking about? Well, I have a demo back here behind me and I'm gonna hope to show you how this works. And so sometimes beginning photographers will have a shadow and they will want to fill in that shadow to get rid of it by adding a second light. Thinking it's just gonna make that shadow disappear. That's not how it works because one plus one is not one. You don't get one light to. Well, I'm starting to confuse you. Let's turn off the lights and I'll show you what this looks like. All right, This looks very similar to how we started the class, we have hard light right here. We have a very hard light shadow etcetera. It's easy to understand. Now, let's look what happens when ...

we let's say that this is a model or something and we have this shadow right here and we're trying to get rid of it, right? We're okay with this who are okay with maybe part of the shadow but we like we just want to get rid of maybe this shadow right here. So I have a second light and I'm thinking if I shine this light here, it'll get rid of the shadow and then everything will look the way I want it to be. The problem with that is it assumes that this light is only going to hit this shadow, but that's not true, this light is going to hit this area, it's going to hit this area, it's going to hit this area. So that's gonna make this brighter because one light plus another light doesn't equal one light equals two lights. So look what, look what happens here when I turn this light on, so I will turn that guy on, yep, we have two lights, there are two lights. So what has happened here is our goal was to just eliminate this shadow or make it not as dark. Well that works, but we just created another shadow up here that didn't exist previously. And so one plus one equals two other words. Now we have two shadows, two lights, two problems. And so that doesn't work. So what we need to do is figure out, well, how can we control this shadow without the chaos of adding more light here and more light here and adding a second shadow here. How do we control that? Well, there are a bunch of different ways to do this, but I think my friend Daniel Norton explained it in a way that is brilliant and he talked about direct fill light versus indirect fill light. So this would be a direct feel like we have a light trying to fill in this shadow, that might work if you didn't see this part of the image, but we do. So how can we change this without affecting this? Well, we need indirect Phil so what that means is if I turn this off Or back to one light, so how can we take the light from this light and get it around here? How can we do some magic to get this light to curve over? Well, luckily for us, we'll turn the lights back on just for a second. We have one of these things, this is a reflector and so it's not going to be adding a new light, it's just going to take the light that already exists, bounce it in to a place where we want it, it's going to indirectly fill the shadow and so that's not going to create the same kind of chaos that we had before. So let me show you the lights are gonna go off again. Now, we're gonna exaggerate this, we're gonna use the silver side of this reflector just to make sure you can see that on camera. So watch what happens when I put this here, the light is hitting this reflector and it's bouncing into this area and you can see how I'm bouncing the light in. You can move that closer or farther away, I can go up or down. So what I'm doing is I'm controlling the light of that shadow by just indirectly bouncing light in. So a lot of times if you want to control the shadow, the best way to do it is instead of using a second light, it's easier to use a reflector of some sort, it's really brilliant. Okay, so once again, let me just turn on the second light. Just a really hammer this home with two lights, your shadows become more complicated if you have three lights to become even more complicated to just look at the structure of this, we have the light from two lights right here, so two lights are illuminating this, we turn this off, this gets darker, we turn it on, this gets brighter. Just look at this area right here, that's one light that's two lights, one plus one is too much brighter here, we have the shadow from the light above, we have the shadow from the light below and the shadow where no light at all is hitting right here. And so to control these, we could add a second light on the other side that's going to cause shadows to show up over here or we can just use some reflectors to try to balance this out. The important thing to know is what is happening because if this was a person's face, it's not quite as obvious as this. So, as we go forward, as we start doing some lighting setups, we're gonna turn the lights back on here as we're doing all of this kind of stuff, I will be talking about this, this thing that we just saw, we might see some shadows on Quinn's face. I might add another light or light from behind or something like that. You might start seeing some wackiness happening and I'll remind you of this thing that we just saw and say, this is actually happening now on our subject, we have to fix that, and so just put this in your mind and it will show up as we go forward. Speaking of going forward, the next thing is one of my favorite topics of all is called the inverse square law. We're gonna head there next.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Bonus YouTube Videos.pdf
Frio Grasp Mini Discount.pdf
Pop Quiz.pdf
Sample Photos for Pop Quiz.zip
Tether Tools Pro Kit Discount.pdf
Tether Tools Starter Kit Discount.pdf
Understanding Light and Modifiers-presentation.pdf
NanLite_WALLACE5.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

user-a07413
 

Wow, Impressive with lots of information on light modifiers. Lots of variations of use and the bonus material. Mark is very good as a teacher. Glad I purchased the subscription plan so I can see the other Mark Wallace classes. Now to go to work and use the information.

Paul
 

I've heard much of this before, but this class really does a good job explaining and demonstrating the principles and techniques it covers. Mark is certainly quite knowledgeable, and he makes the material accessible and easy to grasp. It does cover quite a lot of ground, and while others may go into more detail, I think this class is great for building a good foundation.

Mario Furtado
 

Mark and his crew did an excellent job in this class. Now I am eager to see Go-To Lighting Setups and Studio Lighting Essentials. Congratulations.

Student Work

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