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Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture

with Chris Knight

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Class Introduction

  •   29 The Haircut: Getting the Shot


Class duration: 9h 25m

See all 49 lessons
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    12 student reviews

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About The Class

Discover Your Creativity with Lighting

Most photographers get comfortable with the lighting setups they use, and tend to shy away from trying new or different ones. Pushing yourself to incorporate new lighting techniques can help to expand your photographic style. You don’t need to buy more lighting equipment to start thinking about how the light is appropriate for what you’re shooting. Learning to see and light a location or scene and bring it to life in your images takes an in-depth understanding of lighting, direction, and creative vision. Join Chris Knight, well-known photographer, instructor, and author, to learn how to create cinematic lighting that allows you to be more innovative for your clients and yourself.

Chris will explain:

  • How to think like a filmmaker but apply those ideas to a single image
  • Motivated lighting and how to incorporate the techniques into your creative vision
  • Framing and layering for your images
  • How to use direction and guidance to achieve a cinematic look
  • How to enhance the cinematic lighting you achieved in-camera through post production processes

In this class, Chris takes you through his creative process during two cinematic style shoots at two different locations to share with you his behind-the-scenes thoughts, motivations, and scenarios. Chris also takes you through an in-studio shoot to explain the importance of prop placement, intentional set design, and light. You’ll learn the confidence to develop and incorporate new thought processes and get out of your everyday routines when lighting your subjects.

Topics Covered

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    What is Cinematic Lighting?

  3. 03

    Motivated & Practical Lighting

  4. 04

    5 Cinematic Lighting Tips

  5. 05

    Low-Key & Upstage Lighting

  6. 06

    Control Your Fill Lighting

  7. 07

    Show Depth In Your Image

  8. 08

    Pre-Production for Cinematic Lighting

  9. 09

    Grip Tools: Clamps

  10. 10

    Grip Tools: Apple Boxes, C-Stands & Grip Heads

  11. 11

    Grip Tools: Pins & Portable Gear

  12. 12

    Grip Tools: Scrims, Silks, Flags & Tape

  13. 13

    Grip Tools: Wind and Haze Machines

  14. 14

    Grip Tools: Unusual Tools

  15. 15

    Grip Tools: Filters

  16. 16

    Grip Tools: Q&A

  17. 17

    Theater Shoot: Concept

  18. 18

    Theater Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations

  19. 19

    Theater Shoot: Lighting Gear

  20. 20

    Theater Shoot: Motivated Lighting Considerations

  21. 21

    Theater Shoot: Lighting Walkthrough

  22. 22

    Theater Shoot: Capturing The 1st Shot

  23. 23

    Theater Shoot: Hero Shot

  24. 24

    Theater Shoot: Capturing In The Seats

  25. 25

    Airstrip Shoot: Concept

  26. 26

    Airstrip Shoot: Pre-Production Considerations

  27. 27

    The Haircut: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting

  28. 28

    Working With Scrims On Location

  29. 29

    The Haircut: Getting the Shot

  30. 30

    The Haircut: Shooting Plates

  31. 31

    Staggered Planes: Location Specifics and Motivated Lighting

  32. 32

    Staggered Planes: Getting The Shot

  33. 33

    Capturing Plates With Talent In Background

  34. 34

    Airstrip: Environmental Portraits

  35. 35

    Airstrip: Location Shooting Q&A

  36. 36

    Using Plates to Create a Pano in Lightroom®

  37. 37

    Transform Tool

  38. 38

    Post-Processing 1st Theater Shot

  39. 39

    Retouching Details in Photoshop®

  40. 40

    Color Grading in Alien Skin Exposure X3

  41. 41

    Post-Processing Theater Hero Shot in Photoshop®

  42. 42

    Creating a Spotlight in Photoshop®

  43. 43

    Adjusting Color for Cinematic Lighting

  44. 44

    Post-Processing: The Haircut

  45. 45

    Coloring the Sky and Removing Modern Building

  46. 46

    Creating a Pano Using Plates in Photoshop®

  47. 47

    Developing Cinematic Portraits in Lightroom®

  48. 48

    Retouching Cinematic Portraits in Photoshop®

  49. 49

    Color Grading Cinematic Portraits in Alien Skin


Meet Your Expert

Chris Knight

Chris Knight was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Florida. He combines his unconditional love of art history with his love of technology, topping it off with a flare for the cinematic and an uncompromising eye for light and detail ... read more

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Bonus Material

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  • pdf Chris Knight - Cinematic Lighting for Portraiture Grip Quick Reference Guide

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Bruce Walker

    Bruce Walker

    August 2018

    This course is simply terrific, and I highly recommend it. Firstly it arrived at the perfect time for me as I am soon to do a studio shoot very much in keeping with a cinematic or theatrical aesthetic. Secondly it's taught by Chris Knight who I swear is like a long-lost twin brother. :-) There are so many parallels in the way he thinks and works to my own style. So I avidly watched this as soon as it was available for anytime streaming. This is the first time I have made extensive use of the CL iPhone app, btw, and I love how it pretty much enabled me to seamlessly switch back and forth from desktop viewing to my iPad that I carry around the house during the day. I was able to make coffee and still carry on taking in the course, uninterrupted. The content is fantastic, delivered succinctly yet entertainingly. Some material and ideas are already in my repertoire and were reinforced and validated by Chris' demonstrations. But he also introduced a lot of ideas and methods new to me and very welcome. I was particularly glad to see how practical it is to stitch a series of tripod shots into a wide pano. I have been afraid to try that but I will now be using that in my next shoot, for sure. As alway, his post production practices revealed all kinds of tips about Lightroom and Photoshop I didn't know. Negatives. The volume level mastering is iffy. It started out at a decent level then midway through one of the early lessons dropped so much I had to turn up my sound system to compensate. And as I write this one lesson (34) is missing and in its place was a duplicate of the next lesson (35). I expect CL will have that fixed shortly though (I sent support a note).

  • Jeph DeLorme

    Jeph DeLorme

    September 2018

    One of the best classes I have viewed at Creative Live. Definitely worth the investment of time and money. The pace of the class allows you to learn extra tips and tricks throughout the process. Great instructor, highly recommend this class to anyone looking to step up their creative game.

  • Creativelive Student

    January 2020

    excellent class in all regards. outstanding instructor with experience in complicated cinematic shoots but who also is willing to thoroughly cover the basic nuts and bolts. i wish all creative live classes were of this quality.

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