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Tony Corbell: Tools of Light Q & A

Lesson 20 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Tony Corbell: Tools of Light Q & A

Lesson 20 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

20. Tony Corbell: Tools of Light Q & A


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Tony Corbell: Tools of Light Q & A

yes sir I did have one question you just uh we'll probably get into it later this week but you caught some sentiment interested me you said you've seen the catch lighter the twinkle in their eye when you turn that off what are you looking for when you're aiming the light at the model dependent that's a great question depending on the the type of photograph it is if it is a traditional portrait I want to make sure that I've got a good solid catch light in both eyes and because because the eyes are everything if you lose the eyes you really do lose the picture and I mean you know you you think about uh the snap are the sparkle or that great look I would be dead if I lost those highlights of your eyes on that one over there on the far left the three quarter standing it's a pretty directional light but there is a great highlight at one o'clock in both eyes and and I'm always going to make sure that I try to get that in there because it does bring the picture to life as long as that light i...

s in those eyes you can almost be forgiven for a lot of sense but not that one if you miss the eyes you're kind of dead and you know you're not going to have the sales that you want it'll sustain a career but again for me that that was a huge revelation when I started moving that reflector from you know if I'm on the side view looking at looking at her from here instead of that being here it was huge revelation for me when I started reflecting that light from here a big big difference ok yeah so ready to go I think we're good ready to go yeah thank you tessa s o we're getting a couple of questions one from misty and then we have somebody else sorry don't catch your name if you're using studio lighting do you need to cover the windows to avoid mixing the different types of light and how about the ambient light wait in your studio what is best practices please in most cases the studio lights will overpower whatever is going on in most cases they will overpower your ambient light but there are times when you can get yourself in trouble not so much with exposure but you could get yourself in trouble with a little bit of color balance issues but again most cases when that stroh fires it is going to overpower whatever is going on for me though I want to kill the ambient light mostly jim because I'm worried about my backgrounds in any contamination getting on something that I'm trying to keep dark and like a like a fool trying to shoot against a white wall or like we've got this wonderful white brick we're going to be using later if I'm trying to keep the light off of those things sometimes ambient light will truly affect me and so it's kind of an issue so it is a good idea to pull down the inmates whenever you can close windows when you can it's just it will minimize not just the problems but it will also maximize what you see is what you get and that's a huge that's as important as maximizing the problems cool you know love it let's see do you have any questions here in the audience having opportunity leslie when you do like a group shot like you were showing with the with the fall off can you expect to get a catch light in absolutely absolutely I have a slight everybody's eyes you know it's interesting too when you think about this it's funny how how exposure wise I was always told when I first started I was told well you know someone's got really really dark skin in my one over exposed a little bit and if you got somebody really really light skin you might wantto underexposed just a little bit is so their skin looks good well wait a minute what if they get married you know where you're going to tell people sorry I can't photograph you're right because I can't figure what exposure is gonna be one of us got white skin one has got black I mean you you know that's that's always an issue any time I've got a group I mean in any time I shoot anything my incident meter is my rock and whatever the dome of that meter tells me to do with the dome of that meter place that that light source is exactly what I do within a tenth of a stop I don't very ever and I never miss my exposure's ever so I fixed it so I fixed it from a from a from a gn objective standpoint and then from a subject of standpoint so I'll make sure that I got exposure nailed and I'll make sure there's a catch like everybody's eyes both eyes unless it's a picture that doesn't call for that sometimes there's a specialty shop that doesn't call for that but for the most part for a family you better and with glasses your glasses can be a real problem and challenge for some photographers and especially the photographers that have a fill light fixed in the back of the studio that can be a real issue and so for the first I guess eight years of my career I worked with a fill light in the studio and my biggest challenge was glasses I would I would I would fill that was defined as a non directional non speculum light source that would be at a level below the main light okay so my main light let's say reads f ate my feel like my read of five six well the problem was that the film light would be to be non directional it's got to be in line with the camera back behind me and up kind of high usually and some people use an umbrella for that but it but it gave me five highlights that I didn't like it would give me a hot spot on the chin on the tip of the nose right between the eyes and on both cheeks and it would give me an extra catch light right in the middle of the eyes and I didn't like that so I stopped using a phil like well that threw everybody into a tizzy tony's like he's in a film like how are you handling your shadows well that was using reflectors quite a bit if I'm doing a big group I will use a film like if it's more than four five sick people I'll use a film like but I would rather not so I choose not to do them in groups the glasses are an issue but the one thing about glasses glare on glasses well we could talk about the short light and broad light situation and where its way you light a face from the left or the right and I can tell you that in a case where let's say there's my life source I'm turned here and I bring my head back to the life this way if your camera catherine if your camera you're exactly on access with my reflection you're going to see it perfectly right there but if I'm turned this way and my head is turned this way you'll never see it because now my glasses not on access with that remember the old rule that says angle of incidence equals the angle of reflective it's so light bounces away at the exact same angle that it comes in and with convex glass is especially it's bad uh and you almost have to have this kind of a light where you're lighting one side the face not lighting with the face into the light because it's a real issue so okay tony question from pro photographer if you were using multiple lights are you concerned with multiple catch lights in the eyes do you ever remove or alter catch lights in post and then photo to ask is multi is to catch lights and no no um you asked five times in five totally different answers so it is a subjective thing but let me let me tell you the way I think about it um first of all the catch lights with multiple catch lights for years I was told that we had to spot out that extra caps light in the eye you've got to remove it on film days he would spot it off with pencils and dies digitally you go in and clean it out and yet every fashion magazine in the world has all the satellites in the eyes there no whatever remove sketch lights they're they're they're all there people who used to seeing him I think so on this picture in the centre for example that catch light is there and it's solid it was there on purpose I was trying to create that that look that vote covered look so it absolutely is there for that reason because it's what people are used to seeing so why would I want to get rid of it I placed it there on purpose multiple highlights in the eyes is not an issue unless and this is that then and I have to say this for new photographer starting out the issue could be a problem if you're using twin main lights and what I mean by that is let's say that I'm I'm the subject and I'm standing here and you're the photographer here and you've got a main light right there are forty five and you got another main light right there are forty five and they're both coming on my face that's a no no first off because you're going to get the two catch lots is that the exact catch lights is what lights at the exact same place and yeah but on the opposite side and second off I don't have a direction of light I don't have a main light you have to have a mainline there has to be a key light on this photograph so if I've lived my subjects properly for pro photo if I've lived my subjects properly there won't be an issue with removing or having multiple catch lights I should have one unless in the case of this where I'm trying to bounce one back in there I will almost never have more than one light on the face so it's never been an issue for me I could have ten lights on the set but I might usually have one light on the face so the multiple catch lights is not a big issue very often but it's a great great question I'm glad you brought it up awesome seriously definitely we have ah let's take a question from mom could you give your personal opinion about ring lights ring lights are awesome I think green lights I didn't understand ring lights for a long time and I don't use one on a day to day basis can you for people who may not know what they're explain what yeah can I just can I just go to the board and kind of draw this off real quick and show you what I'm talking about but a ring light is really you know here's a side of you there's my tripod here in my lens they're in my camera okay so ring like basically is a light source that fits rather you shoot right through the centre of and it is a it is a light source that is circular that has a hole that I stick my lens through my lens goes through that hole and it's a circular source that's round and it's directly in proportion with my land so wherever I go it's basically shadow lis a shadow this light source what's cool about that is some people skin doesn't handle it quite as nicely but there's two or three things that are very distinct about it one is the catch life the catch line the eye being a speculator ity mirrored image of whatever create the life that's one issue the speculum highlight from a ring light is unlike any reflection you've ever seen in somebody's eye it's funky it's it can be thought of as weird and funky but it's very contemporary it's very hot right now and if I'm working on a background that's kind of lighter tone ality if I'm within say eight or ten feet or less to that background my subjects will have this little soft black shadow around their shoulders head arms that's really cool and you can't get it any other way but you get withering land it's very cool I think everybody should rent one and try one I think they're great but you but you need to test it play with it you're not gonna like it on people past forty or fifty okay sixty there you go all right let me rephrase that you're gonna love it on people under fifty or sixty has that perfect I think we've got time for about one more question let's go from with karen from katie a photography take it back a little bit how do you side which side of this subject you want your key light on how do you start on that placement well you have to rush in with the funny answer the funny answer is worse which side is the plug on where can you pull again for me I do a couple of things I do kind of a facial analysis if you will by just looking at the face and almost everybody has one eye a little bit bigger than the other almost everybody hasn't knows that's a little bit cooking almost everybody has a part in their hair their their little things like that if there's a part in the hair I wanna light I want that that part of the face to be let in light into the part if that makes any sense and so I'll often looked something like if if amy lynn right if amy lynn's part was a little more prominent I would turn her that way and bring her face back this way and then I would light into her into the part and the reason for that is if I like opposite the park the hair appears to have a bigger bump for if I light into the part the hair looks more symmetrical if you will lessen yeah so I do look for that and then I also like I say if if someone's got a nose that's kind of leaning that way I want to shoot into that not against it I wantto complimentary like complimentary like this so I'm pretty pretty watchful of that sort of thing but I'm usually look at the face and say I think you like like your hair is perfect if I liked from over here so I might I might turn your shoulders that way you spend that way a little bit and I just bring your head back this way perfect and I'm gonna lot right into your part this way and now I'm not throwing a shadow over your eye from that hair that's coming down over your right eye but if I live from over here I could get myself in real trouble

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Studio Set Up - Learn to Light

Ratings and Reviews

Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.

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