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Create & Augment Light

Lesson 3 from: Capture and Edit Classic Black & White Portraits

Jared Platt

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Lesson Info

3. Create & Augment Light

Lesson Info

Create & Augment Light

So now we're gonna go on and start a portrait when I'm starting a portrait. The first thing I need to dio whether I'm outsider inside were inside here. But even if we're outside, the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to create or look for the dramatic scene. So I'm gonna try. And when I'm inside, I'm creating that light. Or I might I might come into some kind of a situation, whether it's already light existing in that location. Right? So, as an example, if I'm outside, let me Ah, here we go. OK, so here's an example of going to a location where there's an existing light source. So I walk into the location and you can see that there's sun somewhere up here and there's like a little hill here that's shading her, which is perfect because we don't want her to be blown out by the sun. Um, but you can see that the light is over here and it's hitting these trees and it's raking across all of this. And so there's a definite, already a dramatic look to the scene that I've entered into, so t...

he first thing I do is look for that set up. And then once I know what the light looks like in the existing location, then I'm going to augment, delighting to kind of light her up and make her look like she fits into the scene. Okay, so then if you look at the final shot, this is what that looks like. So you can see that the in the other one there was the light way over here that is trying to mimic the sun because she wouldn't naturally have light on her hair and stuff because it's she's in shadow, right? So I want it to look like she's actually being struck by the sun. And so I've got this coming in from the other side so that when I'm shooting this way, you actually see light coming from where this light exists. Over here. Tiu rake against her hair so you can see how it's separating her out, and it's giving her a glow. So that's the first thing that I set up. So when I come in, oops. When I come into a situation, I look at the light source, figure out what it is, and then I'm gonna add a light to help augment and follow that light. I'm not competing with the light. I'm following the light and trying to make it look like it's a natural fit. And then once I've done that, then I'm gonna add the front light. The last light I ever add is the forward light. That's actually the main light. It's a very last light, which is kind of backward from some people. Some people come in and they'll set their front light first, and then they'll start playing with the other stuff in trying to match it in. But you're better off to follow the light that already exists. Start adding your drama, and then once you've got all your drama set and it's like, Wow, that's a really cool shot, except they just look horrible right? Then you add that one last light that makes it right. Okay, so that's how I generally operate. Now, when I come into a situation like this, there is no there's no lighting situation here, So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna create the light, but I'm still gonna work backward. So I'm gonna start by adding some kind of dramatic element because right here This We're gonna do a portrait right here. So we're gonna have our model stand or lean right here like this, right? And I like this backdrop, but there's a problem with it. It's all white and it's just kind of flat. And so I need to do something interesting to this. So I need to create some kind of lighting or drama to this. The best way to do that is get a light close enough to this that when the light strikes, it creates shadows which will then help too make this look like an actual three dimensional surface. Right. Okay, so I want this to look interesting. So I'm gonna do my first light, and I've already set it up so that we don't spend a lot of time on it. But you can see up there that I've got. This is a pro photo. Be too. And I love the B two for one very, very special reason. It's really light up there so I can count cantilever over things, and it's not gonna, like fall on someone's head, right? So I'm not I don't have a sandbag on it or anything like that, because It's so light and then the little battery packs it's over here. Which kind of actually adds, is a little bit of a weight, right? So that thing up there has a snoop on it, which is just a It's just a tapering light modifier that helps to direct the light. So it's not spreading, because if we spread the light, this is gonna not be as dramatic. So the more focused this smaller light source I can get on, the more directional that light can be, the Mawr ribs. I'll get here, the more texture I'll get. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna put that light up there, and I've also got a grid inside of it. So the grid helps to make sure that light is going straight. And it's not spreading like this as it comes out of the snoot. Okay, so a grid and a snoot are gonna help direct the light straight and keep the light source very small, and that's going to give us the texture. So we're going to turn that one on first, and then I'm gonna start taking pictures as we go so that you can see how this is gonna work, OK? And I don't necessarily need my model at this point. So this is gonna be my model, the coffee mug right there. Okay, so let's make sure that we're live on there, Okay? So I'm gonna turn on my a remote and we only have one light active right now, So I'm just gonna take shot. I'm gonna be shooting at at about 1/60 of a second and we'll start at F five and we're at 100. I s O. So that's what we're gonna start. And I'm gonna focus on my mugged there on and take the picture, and it's gonna transfer on in here, and it will automatically show up because if you go up to the file tethered capture, you can see there's an option. This is auto advanced selection. So as it transfers in, it will actually just show up inside of the and the computer. So now if you look at that shot, you can see that it is much more dramatic than it would be if it was just a flat shot. Should I take a picture of it just as a flat shot so you can see what it would look like. So let's just turn off the flash, and I'm gonna have to increase the exposure a bit, so I'm just gonna I'm just gonna take my eye eso upto like it's safe. 800 Just so you can see. There we go. So now you're gonna see what that wall looks like. If you don't have a flash, that's pretty lame, right? So the difference is this. See how you've got all those black lines in between the bricks or that? Now, if I were delight this wall with, say, an umbrella or a soft box or it doesn't matter anything but it's coming from here and spilling onto it. Then I'm gonna have the same look. Boring flat brick. Look, nothing's interesting about this wall. If it's lit from the front, has to be lit right next to it down. Okay, so I've got my drama then, right? I just walked in and I saw this amazing dramatic like someone had put a light up there and slashing across because sometimes you walk into a building, you'll see that they'll be like a light sourcing like that's really cool. Okay, so now you've got your light source. And if for some reason that light source isn't bright enough, just take your flash and put it where that light sources so that you have a brighter version of that light source and then use the same feel that you saw when you walked in, right? Repeat the light source because you walked in. You're like, Oh, that's amazing. I love it repeated. Okay, so we started by getting our light source, and I like that. Slash. I'm gonna have the person right here, so it's they're gonna kind of be in front of the light area in the wall.

Ratings and Reviews


This course is a good overview and I love the way Jared teaches. But the course mixes basic lightroom handling with intermediate portrait photography and really expensive gear. Which person, that doesn't know the basic importing and editing in lightroom, has three studiolights from profoto with grid or a calibrating system for the inkjet printer?? And be aware, it's only about LR-editing and nothing about photoshop. But over all it's a good overview for beginners - alas not for intermediate users.

TIm Smith

I usually don't write reviews, but thought Jared did a great job presenting the material. Clear, concise and didn't talk excessively fast. Material was well organized and reasons were given for why something was done a certain way. The fill lighting technique was something different and plan on using. The discussion on tones, textures, clothing and background were also helpful when discussing black and white.

Amy Vaughn

I haven't shot much with the intention of turning the photos black and white, but this class piqued my interest in trying it. This class isn't just about how to turn any photograph black and white, but how to think about the photo as you're shooting for black and white. I especially appreciated Jared's explanations about the importance of texture, creating drama and carefully targeting lights.

Student Work