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Lighting Q&A

Lesson 10 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

10. Lighting Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Lighting Q&A

One question that had come up earlier talks about you adjusting different lights setting up all the different setups when you have a client in the room does that make them nervous so they're letting you do your creative thing or do you have to have it more dialed in specifically each shot when a client is watching let's let's talk about that real quick cause I love talking about this I've been doing I've had a client standing over you for years good or bad some scenarios a client actually forces you to maybe go down path you would normally go down you go oh that's a great idea look I'll do that but where you wanna be in your career is that a point when a client is hiring you for your brandy so when you go and show up they're not dictating you as to where you're supposed to end up yes they bring their model in maybe the certain wardrobe certain things but in the end it's the joel grimes look that they're hiring before so if in our director starts to jeopardize that which has happened th...

ey started going do this do that and I passed on what I normally do you guys hired me to do this and so I asked him I usually ask him a question do you want what you called me originally to dio is that the look you want? Yes then let me do it not mean not slam throwing things across the floor and, you know, stomping my feet. I would artist I just say, look, did you hire me for this? Look, yes. Let me get there. Get there really quick for you and it's happened to me so many times where the client then backs off. Let me do my thing they go oh, thank you. I've had I don't know this once a ceo of the company was in the background he walked in to set I didn't know it and it came to that point where I have not I didn't mean I just said, okay, you guys brought me all the way out here to do my thing. Can I just do it and then tell me if I'm on right track and I did it and then he came up to me said that's, why we hired you that's, why we brought you from denver toe, you know, st louis is because we love what you do and you stood up for it. So quite a few people, including john from sweden and f two photos in atlanta talking about these set ups. Can you do the same senates with two people, yes, now this would be easy. Easy easy easy the three life lot harder now how you do a three lights set up is two ways one is you take individually that put him in compositing you know separately I've done that or when you do two people three people five people you have to back your lights up a lot further because what happens is if if I have the purse in the middle and the person to the writer left of them if the light's only say five feet away the person on the outside gets really lit as I back that light up the ratio which I hate ratios but the value change from the person on the centre to the person on the right left is not as great that makes sense so back your light up now what happens is you're like it's edgier harsher so if you're going to go and do a group to say you got a tv siri's and they've got a cast of five people and they all want to let on edgy lit on the set in one photograph you've got to get to these mamas way back about twenty five feet and you've got to throw a lot of light the long ways to throw a big modifier so I would take the inner baffles out probably little extra stop and then I have to raise my eyes so and probably shoot depending on how my depth of field is but I might you know instead of going seven point one I well I probably on a group shot it might want to stick with you know, making sure they're all in focus but the point is is I and I could do this well don john left I could shoot one frame focus focus focus I could do that in photo shop I could pick my focus is right I could focus you know and and then there will be a focus but the fact is if I back my lights up, the ratio is there let all pretty evenly and then I stagger so that everyone gets hit with the edge lights but so I could do my three ej light three light edgy whatever you call it but I have back my sources up and if you get in a situation where you say I don't have enough power here then you can put two lights in the one see there's plenty of room to set another stand up and just put it in the light in there so I run to lights out of the out of my you know, to get my double by power so that's a good question but on the cross light same problem the bigger your sources and the backed up they are the more you're gonna have to people standing next to each other and they're both evenly lit but this in their shells close she wass you get one person to her left on the outside they get a little bit dark photoshopping clean up a little bit but that's that's what you fall into those of the problems and there are problems when you're in the real world those scenarios that client may ask you to do that so get two of these back it up about ten feet to these beautiful as faras the rim lights let's say ever since you got a situation we have to say to people well, action thing you're doing where would your starting point because look, normally you're setting maybe about four feet if you're using a three by four would you go eighth and get a starting point? But we do have two people in two people I'd probably at least ten feet back now with those other banks I had with them a mate that edge looks pretty good don't I look fine? You'll be fine in fact, I've used just grids and they look pretty cool pretty edgy but in that scenario you're probably still good you could actually I've done this I've set up two lights with grids so it's hitting babying two lights and it kind of spreads the edge out a little bit so it still looks like it's a bigger source I can't just cheat a little bit there's some solutions out there and there's some I may not even know so another question that came up quite a few times this is from spot on and joel godoy mx do you apply the same lighting styles? If you're shooting outside? I know we touched on this a little bit. Can we talk about the three lights? Absolutely here's the thing number one when you're outdoors generally, unless you're at midnight or dark, you are battling over head are ambient, so if you're in the full sunlight, oh my goodness, do you have a hard time over power? The sun that gets into the whole sink speed? And how much output you having power now? I have written and talked a lot about this, and I don't think we have time to do it now. But here's, what I would say as a general rule, if I like a set of five foot overhead five feet in a studio little phil card and I go outdoors on a shaded side of a building like we did with, you know, with you cliff the other day at night, then I can get away with a smaller modifier because I have so much ambien to mix in that a three foot modifier outdoors with a lot of ambient looks about what a five foot looks like in a studio doesn't make sense you have the ability have smaller modifiers outdoors generally and the on ly well the good news about that is if you got wind smaller modifiers stay up better than bigger modifiers so that's a good thing well thankyou so that's a good question it is different but ultimately if you are on a shaded side under a tree or whatever they're lighting principles are all the same it's just that you got more ambient to fill in which tends the soften it overall the overall look so here's a scenario that's really really amazing look two grids fifteen feet back from your subject and then overhead light even like a twenty two inch bam like the music ten of music industry we do a lot of music cd what he called album covers outdoorsy stuff you can get smaller modifiers backed up and boom mixed in with the ambient and it's really cool look so that's a great question question came up from s a guy who wanted to know when you talked about pulling the big cocteau's back fifteen feet or is there a maximum that model modifiers are useless as faras the distance to subject you see if I'm gonna explain something really simple where is my little phil card over here? Okay, I know this is hard to even imagine this is a white surface right and that's about what let's just say it's two three feet by three feet it's actually about a foot and a half by two and a half feet if I get a soft box that's, the exact same size is this, and I put this up and use it as an throw light into it, and it bounces back onto my subject, so I just hold it here and I go a light into it being bounced back, and I take that out, put a soft box the same exact size, put the same value, everything, shoot it. You can't tell the difference a soft box or a box or a modifier is just a source of light, how big death sources and the relationship the subject is, how soft or how harsh it is. And then, of course, the amount of ambient or phil so it doesn't matter, you could take that wall and like that wall, and it becomes one huge, big soft box look, and I've done that. I've shot a group of thirteen people boom! Just set five or six lights into the wall, smooth it out, and it lights come back into the group shot of shot board of directors that way, so I've taken us. I've taken a knife is a twelve foot sweep, a nine foot sweet turned it sideways, run it along about twenty feet long, throw light into it, becomes a twenty foot by nine foot soft box. Does that make sense? It doesn't matter if it's a fabric diffusion, blah, blah, blah, it's, all a light source, so don't get it. Doesn't matter what side or shape it means shape it isthe it is a starfish or a whatever round octa box. You know it's, how big that sources in relationship to subject, so that is the key to lighting. Once you understand that, there's, nothing you cannot do is a photographer. There's, no lighting on the planet you cannot solve.

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work