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Lighting Groups

Lesson 10 from: FAST CLASS: Studio Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

10. Lighting Groups

Next Lesson: Lighting for Drama

Lesson Info

Lighting Groups

I'm going to recruit my lovely audience again, okay? And we're going to switch our modifiers so to summarize what we want for modifier, because we want a larger modifier so that we can back it up. And it will still be a large light source that can evenly like the group. And ideally, we add some sort of diffusion. So I will start off with Let's do the umbrella with diffusion if we can. Um, it does not particularly matter. Probably the silver is probably easier to work with. Um, he asked me if I wanted the shoot through umbrella or the silver umbrella, and there's not really there is a difference, but I don't really have a preference for this. The shoot through for me is a little harder toe work around. It's a little X. I can put the reflective behind me, and I feel like the shoot through gets in the way. Shoot through would be softer light. There's a little less control, though It kicks the light a little bit further everywhere, which might be good. But when you add the diffusion on thi...

s controls the light Ah, little bit more so I'm gonna turn off these lights and grab my group and I'll go back through the rules of lighting a group. Yeah, we don't bring this back to you. Great. Way lower. It just told me which made decision. Great. Okay. Wonderful group. Okay, let's see if I center you this time. All right? Can you scoot? Shifted, like, half foot left. Okay. It's good. It's good. This way. My left are, you know. Okay, great. And you're good now and now everyone look like you actually know each other. Who? Those chairs. Closer. Well, you know each other now? Now your friends, right? Yeah. Well, I saw some people whose faces didn't smile. You must not think that your friends now he was, like, very serious. He's like, I don't know about that. All right, so while they're setting this up, this is my little posing. Could you put your hand on her shoulder? We're pretending this is a family portrait. Okay. Could you put your hand on her shoulder on this side? Yes. This is this. They're like, I love you. Okay. Great. And then I'm just gonna have you lean in, so it's leaning towards him a little bit. Any time that there's depth, it makes group photos more difficult. So if I can avoid it, I don't wanna have ah group sitting in 2 ft behind them another set of people and then 3 ft 4 ft behind them. Another set, if I could get them closer on the same plane than lighting is easier to work with. This also is something you wanna watch out for. If you're shooting groups on stairs at a church because if you are working on height and you have them ah, lot further back on the stairs, it might actually affect the lighting. All right, so this is going to be with just one light. And what you want to keep in mind is you don't want the light really, really close because then these people will be very bright and the people on the other side will be darker, so you want to back it up a little bit and you could shoot flat on. But that will create slightly more problems with glasses for reflections. So I know I want to raise the light up a little bit, so I have a little bit of shape on the face. I do want them to pop up the back of their glasses to the glasses are angled down slightly. That helps me out. And then the people with glasses, I have them facing this way. And I'm gonna move the light on the on the left hand side. Because then what it does is it broad lights Them changes the angles of the light to the glasses, and so it gives me less reflection. So I'm gonna finagle that. And if you move the light really far off to the side, you'll want to add Ah, white reflector. But we may not need that in this instance. Alright, we're hitting the expensive thing yet. Okay, Good. All right. I'm gonna give me a test in the middle. Perfect. Okay. And so probably if I if I had him meter across, Sure, they would be a little bit darker. But if I brought this late really close, it would be a problem. I have to back up a little bit to give me some flexibility to have even lighting. So let me set this Aito and I'm going to back up and zoom in to try to compress them against the background. a little bit more. This is a lovely family photo. This is cute. Excellent. Onley. Look ahead is since. So this is going to I said for opposing the sign of the face that she prefers is most definitely her right hand side over there. So what she keeps doing and she keeps turning her head back, which turns it towards the light. So I just have to keep your head neutral. But you could if we had more time, switch her over so that she's more comfortable, but just keep it a little more neutral. That's why I have a tiny bit of highlight. But remember the part on the side of the face that they prefer in general. Okay, one more. Oh, that was good for putting the hand back up like a good family. This is good. Perfect. Okay, so that is decent family portrait light. If you had one light, especially if you wanted to light them on away background. But let's take a look if I bump it up to two lights and you guys won't be able to see this, but I'll read it out to you so you can see what's on the keynote. Okay, so Oh, you can see over there. Perfect. Um, if there was a lot of shadow on this side like I brought this light way over, I would need to add a little bit of white reflection reflector. All right, so the next thing I dio large soft box, this is a large soft box. Fundamentally. Is it actually soft box? No. The large umbrella with diffusion, but it acts very similar. So we're going to leave that up, and then what I can do is I could start to bring this further to the side to create more shape on your face. Maybe I'm super bored by that last lighting set up, I would probably shoot on a slightly darker background as well. But, I mean, it looked OK had that white high key. So what we're gonna do is I'm gonna bring this off to the side a little bit more for a little bit more drama. But then there might be too much shadow on this side on the right hand side. So we'll add some reflection. And I'm gonna try not to hit thistle again. Yeah, there's a There's a small white one over here. I got it. Maybe turn towards you. Well, okay. So let me watch the back here. I almost knocked this off. This thesis TV was on a stand behind me, and I almost knocked it off once, it would have been really bad. Okay, here we go. Let me test. This is just the left hand light. The main soft box. There's no light on the right hand side anymore. Or yet Let me get my family portrait. Okay, so the light looks good, but if you look at the photograph some of the shadow areas on the right hand side, particularly if you look in the right bottom, right, starts to get dark. So maybe I want that to be evened out or can turn off for one more. Something else? Let me shoot wider. I'm gonna step way back here. Okay? You'll be able to see it this way, and there's a shadow cast on the background. We talked about how to remove shadows, but you're kind of going to have toe work with this here. Ideally, I'd shoot on a darker background so you wouldn't see it as much. And some of the things that fixed shadows are softer light sources. We have a soft light source. Another thing would be to bring it closer to you. Well, I can't bring it too much closer because then the group will be unevenly lit. So we have that going on. I could raise the light up a little bit, and that would be one solution. The downside is, if I raise that light up, then maybe the people in the bottom sitting over here might be a little bit darker. So I might raise it up and point it down if I'm trying to get rid of some of those shadows on the background, but also feel light will help me. So I'm gonna pop in a little bit of light. It'll fill in some of those shadows, kind of flatten things out. And the thing I want to be careful with is taking a look at any reflections that are created in the glasses. So let's take a look here it perfect. All right. So I That might have been pretty good. I don't see really any reflection. They see very minimal, if any. But what it did is it popped some light into the darker shadow areas, especially if, say, there was a kid sitting over here. You know, that was just a little bit darker in the ground. Pops it in, fills in the shadows and also fills in some of the shadows in the background. Take a picture of me looking all cute. Okay. This'll is good. Wait. Can I like Neil next to you? Okay. One more little water. Okay. Thanks. So that's good. A group family portrait to Perfect. All right, so let's pump onto the next one, please. Papa von Keynote. All right, so the next thing you can do this, this would be more with a dark background, and I don't really We I don't think that I'd have to set up many V flats. So should we do, I mean, yeah. So let's just imagine on this one, because we're time's sake. What we would dio is if this were a dark background and you can you could describe how you want it. You would do it. Let me take this trip. Like if this were a black background, what would happen is you have dark hair, for example, and you're wearing a dark shirt on the right and they would blend into the background if this were a black background. So what John would dio is he could get a soft box right there. And that becomes a hair light that sweeps over everybody without. That's nice. Uh, it sweeps over everybody without hitting it. Any light on the face. It's not going to hit incorrectly, but just give kind of a halo around the hair. You would need a boom arm, for example. Um, this gets a little bit more complicated, but if you shoot a lot of groups, this would be a lighting set. If you want to know, I always have people with dark hair on dark background say I can't see my hair. I heard that endless. So you would need to know how toe work, hair lights. That's perfect. Great. Thank you. And you would want sandbags and counterweights and things like that so as not to crash on your group. Okay, The other one would be if you go for higher key in this case, you could take this large soft box and put two lights on the background. Um, and just use this as you did before, but what you wanna be careful of in this particular instance is when you're lighting the background, some people will be closer to those sidelights. So if you don't mind, I'll try this and show you what you'd have to watch out for your kind of worried about spill on those subjects. So let me I'm gonna move this this way for a sec. Perfect. Alright, so let's say you have a small space and I'm trying to light this white. Think the person on that's closest to these rim lights. It's probably going to get a little bit of spill on them. And so what you might have to do is you might have to use your V flats or some kind of foam core to block it off, and I want to be able to point it feathered across the background so that it's nice and even. But when I do that, it starts to point on his side of the face, and you can see that on the left hand side of his face so you could use a barn door to try to help block that light off. But it would probably be a better idea if you had a V flat you could use to try that. But you're definitely working in close quarters here to get ah, high key portrait. So somewhere right around there should be good. And that would be true for both sides. And I'm watching when I close the barn door that I'm not blocking this light off of the background, but instead just off of my subject, and it's still hitting him. Ah, bit. So what the best case scenario would be is the further you can move them away from that background, it puts them in a different lighting zone. You like the background on one's own you like the foreground on a different zone, and they're not interacting. Um, you can, of course, try to hold the black flat there, or I'm just gonna change the angle a bit. So we'll see how this works. Have to let off to the side again. We're going to use a little bit of fill light, a little bit of Phil card. Let's give this a try. I have no idea what the power of my background is, so that may have to be adjusted. Okay. You guys were looking cute. One more good. So the background looks good. Nobody is falling too much to shadow and no reflections from glass is so I think that's achieves a lot of the problems that people run into will address seeing the sides of the background here. And I noticed there aren't really any shadows. The only shadow I see is maybe the back right hand side, and I could fix that by turning the light. Uh, turning the light down, pointed downward a little bit, um, for the background here, they fill it up because it's a large group. If they actually were a family, I'd make them squish closer together, But they aren't. So I will make you do it too much. But some of the things that would help me as well is if I could back up a little bit further if I stood here. I'm at the very edge. You probably don't want to get me in but very, very edge of the stage here. I could get them in the white background fully. No problem. I don't see, although I'm wiggling. So I got a little bit on the left. But in other words, they all fit to trying to keep those things in mind. And if I pulled them way, way out, it would make the problem worse. So in this case, it actually would be a good scenario. Have them closer to the background.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Dennis Day

Awesome class. Lindsey Adler is an excellent teacher. She explained some basic concepts that I couldn't figure out on my own. The section showing 1, 2, and 3 light setups moves pretty fast. So I'll watch that again. This Fast Class was nice for me because I don't have time to do a full lengthy course.

Colin Cunningham

Great Course, Lots of great information through a variety of examples. Learned tons from this course, and loved the wide variety of lighting setups for Male and Female models as well as groups. Would recommend it to anyone new to portrait photography.

Student Work