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Live Shoot: Feathering the Light

Lesson 28 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

Live Shoot: Feathering the Light

Lesson 28 from: Build your Lighting Knowledge

Peter Hurley

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Lesson Info

28. Live Shoot: Feathering the Light


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Natural Light Overview


Live Shoot: Maximizing Window Light


Live Shoot: Use Reflector to Enhance Natural Light


Live Shoot: Back Light Your Subject


Live Shoot: Back Lit Subject with V Flats


Live Shoot: Utilize ProBoard with Natural Light


Continuous Lighting Overview


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Feathering the Light

We'll feather light and we'll work a couple shot in. So we can use these two lights to effectively light two individuals. And we can mess around with the chair. Pick the chair up, get it in here, guys. All right, so I'm gonna get the other head going. And since I know I've got the dome on that one and I like what it's doing, I'm gonna keep that as my key light. And ... I like the chair. How cool is it, but I like seeing the angles of the chair. Yu Lin, come here. Both of you guys come here, let's do a couple shot. Let's get aggressive, both you guys get here. Let's do the, let's do the, let's still use the big umbrellas. We're doing big light here, guys. I'm gonna feather it a little bit, all right. That is a cool-looking chair, right? Okay, let's figure out how both you guys can sit on it somehow that looks cool. How will we do that? Should I sit on the side? Maybe you should sit down, then the, or, Cameron should, maybe you sit down in it. Sit down in that sucker, and then sit on...

the arm. Yeah, Yu Lin, sit on the arm. Is that cool? But you guys have to look, you're gonna have to act like you guys are in a relationship, yeah, exactly. She's not so bad, what are you worried about? (nervous laughter) I'm kidding. All right, that looks cool. I like that, and then we'll just, and then, so guys, whenever you do this, for me, I don't, I just like working in the environment. I asked of the models to do some stuff that doesn't feel too awkward or too weird or too posed. Does that feel awkward, weird or posed? No, or, sometimes I'll ask them to feel awkward, weird and posed. (audience laughter) Because once you get the shot, what do you do? Aren't you trying stuff, like, stuff is gonna come when it comes. I don't wanna do a coined thing every single time. I don't like taking the same kind of shot twice. So now, what we're gonna do is, we're gonna wrap light around them because I'm gonna feather the light. So I'm gonna bring this light down, I'm gonna flatten it out, and I'm gonna feather it around them and I'm gonna, I'm gonna do a dual feathering situation. What I'm doing is I'm pointing the light in front of them. But the falloff of the light is gonna wrap around their faces and look really nice. That's what my goal is. So now, since there's two of them, and I'm gonna use the inverse square law a little bit to jam the light in a little bit closer than I think to get a little bit more falloff, potentially even with the feather, let's try this. Let's see what this looks like. Now, the only difference that we've got, which I don't think is gonna be huge, is that we've got the dome and the silver over here, which would essentially be our key light. Let's feather it off, and we're gonna bounce it off this other one. And we're gonna stay at six point five, and, I'm gonna, I'm gonna favor their ... noses towards the key because that's what we do. And I'm gonna use fill as this one, and I'm aiming the lights up here. They're not aimed at them at all. Are these lights aimed at you? The lights aren't even aimed at you, right? Okay, let's see how that looks. Once I get my positioning, I'm gonna look at the floor and try and decide if I want that light stand out of there. Let's see how this looks. I'm gonna go horizontal on this. I like this shot just the way it looks right from here, horizontal, I just like shooting horizontal, guys. Let me try this. I'm gonna, you guys can look right here, you look fantastic. I'm gonna go five-six on it because they're a little bit further and I got a sock. And I'm feathering, so I'm gonna go actually, let's go four-five. Let's go five-oh, just to see. We'll do our, we'll do our guess shot. And we'll see how it looks, and it'd be nice if I could show you. Let me get out of my keynote, and into here. Wow, I was slightly wrong because it's really dark. (audience laughter) That's all right. So what we're doing, we're at five point oh, so I'm like, do I want to open up that much more? I don't mind the depth of field, maybe the door will go out? Let's try it, let's try, they're really dark. Let's try two-eight on this lens. There you go, guys, chin out, look alive, look like you like each other, stop fooling around. There you go, good. I always want to have fun on the shoot. I always want them to, how'd we do? That looks pretty good! Look how soft, at how much softer that light is. I'm not pointing the light at them at all. Have you seen this? Are you paying attention? Is the light even pointed at them? Show them where the light's pointing. The light's pointing at each other, right? So they're only getting hit by light that's falling off this way, yeah. By light that's going this way, right? It's a feathering situation. And I like it. I like it, so the thing about this is that you guys have to match each other. If I say something funny and you're laughing and you look miserable, it's not gonna work, you got me? All right, so you gotta match up couples and stuff. So let's stay serious, I won't mess around so much. Let's stay serious. And do we like the positioning of the way they're sitting? I think Yu Lin looks comfortable. Her legs are the brightest thing in the ... what? He should put his arm around her. Yeah, what are you doing? Put your arm around her, act like you like her. There you go. No, he's too low now. Ah, no, I'm gonna feather it more so that the, yeah, maybe bring it up so that the, her legs and the floor, I don't need the floor going brighter. So I actually want to get the floor darker and, no, that doesn't look comfortable to me. I want you to do something more interesting. Lean back, Cameron, lean back just like that, and Yu Lin, lean back and put your elbow on that, I liked it when you were on the top. Yeah, like that, that's more interesting to me, I think. Yeah, lean back, you can lean on him a little bit, and ... I think your legs are fine. I actually like the angle, that I'm looking at you guys at right now. Somehow that chair looks too cool, that we've gotta do something cooler with it. I really like the chair. The chair is awesome and you're covering up the whole thing. Change positions, you sit in the chair and you sit on an arm, let's try it. I don't like the chair. Well, this is the process, guys. I, when I was a model, I would help the photographer. You guys are not helping me at all, what are you doing? (laughter) Go ahead. We've got a question about feathering. Larry said, "What is the reason behind feathering?" "Why not pointing directly?" So why would you not just point it directly and then turn it down to the, like, is the light different when you feather? Like turn it down? I like when it wraps around the face even softer. It's like coming through a window off to the side and the shadows are really really light. Look at the way the shadowing is on that. It doesn't create those shadows at all, it just opens it up. I feather all the time, I'm always pointing my light away from my subjects and it's just, it's just off to the side, but let's try this. Let's ... yeah, sit on that, yeah, act like you like her. There you go, that's cool. (laughing) But you've got to lean over in here, lean over in here. Lean over in there, lean over in there. And then, what are you gonna do? Yeah, I want you to put your head on the thing like you're hanging out, and then you, you, what are we gonna do with you? That's not cool, change that, get it, leave her like that, she looks gorgeous. Get out of the shot, let me take a picture of her. Lean your head, lean your head the way you were. I love that, oh wow, just stay like that. I mean, if somebody's gonna give me some, I'm gonna, you know, we've gotta run with it. So we're gonna feather, so we're gonna, we're gonna shoot her in falloff that is falling out of the light, so I'm just, that's my fill. I don't want her legs to be lit up too much so I'm gonna, I'm gonna, yeah, spin the leg out of there. Go ahead, spin the leg, there we go, good. That's good, that's fine, don't, no, no, I always move it, what are you doing? Get rid of that, stop that. I have not laid into John hard enough today so I've gotta start now, we're almost done. Okay, let's try that. Yu Lin, that's beautiful, stay right there. Let's see what we've got here. Beautiful, I'm gonna, I'm gonna keep the settings the same and see what we've got, see what we did. Wow. See how beautiful the light wraps around the face and stuff? I'm not even pointing it at her, I'm pointing it more at me. I'm not pointing at her at all. It's pointing at me. Okay, now you stay like that, and Cameron, I want you to come here. I want you, I still think her legs are little bit bright. Cameron, come here, come, come here. Look at that picture. I want you to help me out as a model. Where could you get in that picture that would look really cool and, and as intimate as the intense look that she's giving me? I don't wanna block her, so, the space on the right seems to be ... What if you come in from behind her? (chuckling) Try that. Just come in over here and try this. What about this? Sometimes, what if you lean against the door, and just lean ... (audience laughter) Yeah, what if you lean in against the door and then, but there's gotta be some sort of connection. What if you just hold her like this and you touch his hand, yeah, and you're just like this. I mean, we could try it. Go ahead, Pete, what do you got? You got something? Kind of my question, if her, if you require her to be in the front of the shot, and her legs are gonna be lit up, or she's gonna be lit up, because of her skin tone, he's gonna fall into shadow because he's totally dark. Would you just fix her legs, the lightness of her legs, while you're in post? We're moving the lights up so that her legs go down a little bit, plus I don't want that much light on the floor. So, see how the floor is way lit up? I'm just moving the light away, and I can feather still, by moving it back a little bit. Spinning it this way and it's still not aimed at them, it's aimed at me a little bit. And then I'm gonna feather something like this and we're gonna see how it goes. I don't mind, remember, he's a dude, so I don't mind shadowing him a little bit. Now lean into that door, stop fooling around. Lean into that, yeah, there you go, right like that, that's it. You don't have, ah, is that the way we were doing it? What were we doing? (muffled chatter) I don't know. Some sort of intimacy, that would be nice. (laughter) That's cool, but do something with your right hand. Put your right hand ... put it there. Put it there, yeah, like that, hold that and lean down a little bit. Spread your feet a little bit so you're lower. Spread them, what are you doing? Do what I'm doing, that's it, there you go. Don't, relax your shoulders. There you go, phenomenal, everybody. Everybody chill out right there, let's see how this looks. Now, I'm not like jumping, but I'm building. I do like Yu Lin's position, so I'm building, let's see. It's kind of cool, there's a lot of focus on her. It's really cool. You guys like it? I'm building, it's a build. It's a build, I'm starting to like it. I would like a cool picture like that with my spouse or something, now, I'm not thrilled with the floor, right? But I really like the way the light's hitting them. I am not even ... Can you see where the lights are pointed? I almost want to get everybody up and stand over here and really look at this. Are you guys gonna try this for me, when you get home and you start messing with this kind of stuff? All right, we got a question, all right. I could build this longer and we could do it more but I really like where it's going. The one thing that I would do is I might flag off, like, the floor to make the floor a little bit darker. I might darken it, I've got a guy. (audience laughter) Okay, questions? Can you do that with one, can you feather, how is feathering with just one umbrella? Yeah, you can do it with one. You could do it with one and a V flat, I mean, let's just turn this one off. Let's just go nuts. I didn't know that was a B1, I thought it was the D2. All right, cool. Let's try it now. That, stay like that, Yu Lin, stay like that. Stay the way you are right now. Sit up like that, just like that. Lean in, and then, I'm building, right? I'm just gonna try a different position. Cameron, come around, sit on that, sit on that arm? Some, yeah, do something like lean back into the thing. Yeah, like that, and then, just don't move your hips or your feet, but move your upper body and turn this way. But now put your elbow on the back. Yeah, maybe like that, turn, shift your hips towards me so your butt is like half on the arm. So what I always do, because I modeled, is I try it for myself. It's just, you guys can, you guys can try it for yourselves. You know, I want you maybe like this. Just try that, see what it looks like. Now, he's wearing a jacket, so it might get a little bit dicey. Yeah, suck in the gut, what are you doing? Just close the jacket. Are you working out, are you doing your abs? I used to do my abs 45 minutes every day, when I was modeling, 45 minutes a day every day. Did you see those suckers yesterday in that picture? (audience laughter) (laughing) Hold that. This looks pretty good, all right, hold on. We've got, we've got, let's try it. I didn't, did I, I turned off the light, right? We're just feathering? I like this. I can work with this. I can work with this. I'm getting some highlights on the nose and I'm not getting the fill, but I can work with it, you guys got it? You'd play with it from there. So once I get a position of one of them I really like, but, I might go back to the position, once I know one position, then I work in the other person, until I get it, and I like jumping in there. You can jump. You guys can jump, you're all thinking. Jump in there and do what you, I jumped in there to see what it felt like. If it feels awkward, you're gonna know. All right, question? I noticed that you're using white and silver. In your ideal setup, would you have the umbrellas both silver with domes and like the cover? I would probably try and match them just because it gives me more versatile moves on the long haul. But then again, it depends on your style. Like, I know, I'm a white ... umbrella guy.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List
7 Peter Hurley Discount Codes

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Setting for Peter Hurley Westcott Flex Kit

Ratings and Reviews

Hannah Walker

I truly enjoyed this amazing lighting class. Peter Hurley shows you how he achieves his signature look using all forms of light shaping tools from natural light, to speelites and high end strobes. Seeing first hand how the placement of the subject to the light source and your lightning set up is so important to avoiding the hazards of flat light and haze. He teaches you his unique methods and secrets on how to make eyes pop and get the best color contrast without harsh shadows. You will leave this class energized to hone your own creative vision with light and shadows using the methods taught by Peter. It was a privilege to learn from a master like Peter Hurley. Thank you Creative Live for another amazing class!

pete hopkins

Peter Hurley is the real deal. Not only does he know and share a ton of really practical knowledge of studio lighting for headshots and fashion, but he cuts through the crap and tells it like it is. He is very encouraging and serious at the same time. He had our attention from Day 1. and never lost it. *Bonus Gold - You've got to check out his Hurely-isms. They are priceless! Aside from the new bag of industry tools to work from, Peter gave me a real, sober perspective on what it takes to be PROFESSIONAL fashion photographer! And CreativeLive provided the perfect setting as well. The whole CL staff were warm and inviting and the food was great! I highly recommend CL and P. Hurley to anyone who wants to learn from the best of the best! I can't wait to start shooting with my new skill set. Sign up for CreativeLive! Take advantage of all that they have to offer! Build a foundation, own your light, and Shebang!!! You'll be at the top of your game in no time!

Student Work