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Understanding Light

Lesson 10 of 34

Finding the Light

Mark Wallace

Understanding Light

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

10. Finding the Light

Lesson Info

Finding the Light

We're going to shoot the same type of stuff that we did inside, except for now we have a real sun. You can look up in the sky and you can see that this is lightly overcast out here. So, we've got some clouds that are sort of coming and going but not enough to really affect our light. If we look at the ground, we can see that our light is pretty hard at this point, so we have really defined shadows and that is not going to be great for a beautiful portrait of Lex, that is not going to work out, so we're going to start working with this and what we're going to do first is figure out where we're going to shoot in relationship to the environment because we want to actually make this sort of a nice-looking portrait. That'd be cool, yeah. And inside we didn't care, we had light stands, and we had a cornicello in the background and all kinds of craziness. I'm just going to call him the cornicello from now on. Is that alright, John, I can just call you the cornicello? Okay, we should make t-sh...

irts, the cornicello arrived. So, anyway, so we had him back there, we're going to try to make this a little bit cleaner and so to do that I'm going to shoot with a wide open aperture as much as I possibly can and see how that works. So, we're going to start by just looking with our eyeballs at what we have to work with. So looking right now we see that the sun is basically directly behind me and if I want to work with Lex I can see that I can get some really nice highlights on her hair, similar to what we did inside. We have a medical helicopter about to land and that's going to be awesome. So, ignore the noise it's just a helicopter landing across the street, no big deal. So, we have this light that's going to be behind her and by positioning her in this way we do have nice soft light on her face and so we'll start there and see how things go. John, you know what I forgot is the light meter, can you run in and get that? Yeah, I forgot the light meter because we scrambled out here so fast. So, we're going to try to do this without a light meter to start with, doing the same basic things that we did inside and we'll see how things work. So, I have my camera set to aperture priority mode, and I am shooting at an ISO of 100, 'cause we're outside in very bright light. And I'm keeping my aperture value to about 4.5, we want nice shallow depth of field, 'cause the background here is sort of a construction zone so we want to see if we can have that fall out. And we're going to see what we start with here, so I'm just going to take a nice portrait. And we're going to do this maybe, let's have you back up just a little bit, Lex, maybe about three feet. All I'm doing right now, is seeing what we can do with the background, and on these shots when we look at this, this is just not great light. It's just too contrasty, you can see that the background is really really bright, we haven't shaped any light at all, it looks like a snapshot. And the thing that we talked about earlier about the black, we can see that her black outfit just looks like a squarish blob, which is no good. So, we have to be able to figure out how to do some form. So, for this shooting into the light, this is the absolute wrong time of day. So, by looking at this I can see that we can try to add reflectors, we can do a bunch of things, but shooting in this direction because the sun is so high in the sky, it's so bright, I just don't believe this is going to work out at all, shooting in this direction. Now one of the reasons I say that, is concrete is highly reflective, and so we've just got light coming in from all over the place. And because it's so reflective behind her, it's going to be hard to get anything that looks decent. So, what I'll do here is I think on this scenario right here we're going to abandon a full length shot. So, I'm not getting the look that I want, and so to sort of clean up this look here a little bit we're going to try to zoom in a little bit, we're going to narrow our angle of view, try to clean up the background a little bit, and I'm going to shoot a little bit more into these windows over here and again we're going to see how this works. Now, look very closely we can see, Lex I'm going to have your face turn this way just a little bit. When she does this, notice we have all of these highlights on her face on this side. If you turn your head just a little bit that way, keep going, now they all disappear. So, I can use that to my advantage, just have you bring your head back this way just a little bit, perfect. And what this is doing, tomorrow we're going to learn about tall and short lighting, this actually tall lighting where the narrow side of her face is illuminated and the large side of her face toward the camera, not that you have a large side, is in shadow. And so we'll start with this, this is natural tall lighting. And then once we have that, what we're going to try to do is start working with the different types of light. So, John let me see that, the gray... We're going to meter this light again, so to do this my ISO's at 100 thinks ISO four-five and I'm going to meter under the chin to where my camera's going to be. That tells me my shutter speed should be 200. I'll set my camera's shutter speed to 200. So we'll do that really fast, 200, four-five. Awesome, I love the cars around here. Alright, so let me just take a shot here with this new exposure dialed in. Alright, now what we can see from this shot, again we're not really shaping the light, so that's what we need to be able to do here. We see this light is sort of flat, we're not getting any specular highlights on her eyes. It just looks like a sort of dead shot. So, let's see if we can shape this. Are you ready to do this? Yeah, yeah, oh my goodness I just knocked my eyes out with this bright reflector. We're going to try white to start with. This was so bright, let me see if I can show you how bright this is, well you can't see it from there, but it's super super bright. So, by adding that it's going to really hurt her. So, come on over this way, and I want you to hold this pretty darn close, like that. Okay, this is just going to fill some of this light, come on out this way, about like that. Alright, I'm going to meter this again, very very quickly. Now we're shooting at 500, so we just doubled the amount of light that is falling on Lex, we just doubled that. There we go, perfect. And then bring your other arm up so it's, there ya go, just like that. Excellent. (shutter clicks) Alright, so this is cool. The thing I don't like about this is the color temperature isn't terrific, the color temperature out here you'll see this looks very very white and non-pleasing. So, if I go into my light room here, and we can look we have some specular highlights. I'll go into the develop module. One of the things that I like to do, we can see that our color temp that the camera is catching is 4800. I'm guessing that the color temperature out here is much, much higher than because we have this overcast day. So, what I'm going to do instead of using white balance, the auto white balance, I'm going to use my built in white balance and set this to cloudy day, cloudy day. We'll get back over there, do that again, bring this in. There you go, just like that. And so this hopefully, perfect, that warms that up just a little bit and you can see this instantly when I bring this in, this is a much warmer photo. So, before lots of blue, a lot warmer. So, we're fixing some of that color. We can also go in here into light room and we can increase the vibrance a bit, that's too much, there. So, we can do some things. We also can come in and work with the black values as well. But by doing this we're helping ourselves out. Now the other thing I noticed is on this background this concrete, as the concrete truck passes us, the concrete is so reflective it's just not working out for us great. So, what we're going to do Alexis, we're going to have you move closer to this window over here. I'm going to have you move out over here. And this window by the way is reflective, so it's going to reflect light. And John, I'm going to have you come over and use the light meter for me for a second. So, Lex, what we're going to do is we're going to have you back up about a foot or so, just like that. And let's have you come over here. And what I'm seeing now, and we're just making this up as we go, is we have some color now behind Lex, behind this, and on this side of her face we're seeing lots of shadows. So, what we're going to do is we're going to bring this over bring that way up here, like that, and bring it just like that, perfect. And then right underneath that, it's at 1250, okay. Right, so we're getting close to what I want here but what we need to do is we need to add some diffusion. So, 1245 is what you said? Uh, 1250 at four-five. 1250 at four-five. So, and then tell me what it is at two-eight. Is it 2500? Yup, two-eight is 3200. It's 3200, okay, 3200. Alright, let's have you step out just a little bit more. So what I'm trying to do, this shot that I just did, the background needs to be more out of focus. So, we're going to bring her closer, bring this up. And then John can you get this sun swatter for me. 3200 and two-eight. Okay. We're getting close. There's like a whole thing of trucks going by. We're getting close but the problem is with this light over here, it's just too much. So, what I want you to do, so hold on that. We're going to add some diffusion to this. There you go, let's just throw her into some, there you go, ah so much nicer. Bring this in. I don't think it needs to go higher, there you go. There you go, okay. So, now I'm going to have to go up just a hair. I need a longer lens but this will work for now. See we're softening that. Oh, and I need to meter the light, sorry. Got to meter the light, want to meter the light. Yeah, so now we're at 1000, now we're at 1000. (shutter clicks) There we go, so much better. What we're not getting here though is we're not getting any specular highlight. So, what we're going to do, we're going to flip this around, and I want silver, so I want to see silver in her face, there you go. Now we're going to bring this around this way, there you go. Look straight at me, there you go, excellent, excellent. See if we can get some specular highlights in there. (shutter clicks) Perfect, perfect. Okay, let's review really fast what we just did. So, John you can put that down for a second. I want to show you the progression because right now, all we're doing is we're trying to figure out where the light is and you can see that we're dialing it it. So, we went from nasty nasty snapshotty, whatever, so that's no good. We decided we needed to get closer. We didn't like this hard light, we added a reflector, it was too white. We warmed things up, that helped out. Then we decided let's put something behind her that's a little bit more colorful, that orange there. The light was too hard, we weren't really seeing what we wanted to see, that I forgot to meter. This we got nice soft light, that's really cool but her eyes were going dark, we had no catch lights. Then we added the silver so now we're starting to see catch lights in her eyes, which is sort of where we want to be. So, we're starting to see that. We can also see that this exposure here could even be overexposed just a bit to make that look a little bit better. We're now starting to see a portrait that could work a little bit. Okay, so we're going to work with this a little bit more. The other thing that we're going to do is we're going to try to add some highlights to her hair if possible. And I don't know if we can do that here in the space that we have, but we'll try. And the other thing that we'll need to do is maybe we'll get a different lens here in a second because I might want to have a longer lens, or a larger aperture value. So, let's set our lights the same that we had them. Yeah, I'm going to use this. Perfect, perfect. Yeah, or we can do this, so come forward just to here. And then what I want you to do, could you hold this? I'm going to steal this from you. What we can do, is we can take this guy over here, and we can use it to get on the hair if possible. Sort of feathering that, so we might try that. But we shot with silver first, we shot with silver in her eyes, is that right? Okay, so let's try John's idea first. So, let's come over here, get that as close as you can to Lex, and then make sure it's up, there you go. And then we're also going to have to have this straight like that, there you go. It's the wind, it's always crazy. Do you need another person? Can we have one more, can you come help? Yes. If you can just grab the other side of that, to keep it from flopping around, there we go, nice. Okay, so now let me meter this, and then John if you can sort of try to, yeah. So what John's doing is he's moving forward a bit to let some of that like peak out and get that. So now I'll meter this again, 1250, okay. So, we're just going to shoot this at 1250. And I'm going to shoot this in a couple of different ways. I'm going to overexpose this on purpose here in a second. And I would normally shoot with a much longer lens. So that's 1250, then I'm going to overexpose this by shooting at about 800th of a second. We're going to take a look at those two things. Alright, you guys can take a break, thank you. So, in this situation I think the answer that we're going to need to go to is to use the sun swatter to give us really nice soft light because trying to add some different things in this scenario, just isn't giving me the photos that I really want. When we look at this, you can really see that her eyes are not where I want those to be, not at all. They're just underexposed, there's not enough punch going in those eyes. I'm going to see if I can really, so can you put that up again? I'm just going to see if I can really... So, when we last left you we were shooting over here and what we decided was this is not very good light for us to do much work over here because this concrete is so highly reflective, when we shoot a full-length shot it's just looking nasty. So, what I did is I decided I would use this as the background, back here. The problem was I was shooting with a 24-70mm lens and so for me to fill the frame with that background wasn't looking so good, so what I really needed to do was use a longer lens, so I'm going to borrow my long lens here, we're going to swap these out. So what I'm doing here is I'm going to use my 70- instead of my 24-70, and I'm going to have you hold that for a second. And we're going to swap this out, so essentially what I'm going to be able to do is compress this image. And so if you'll hold that for me, I'll grab this. And then we put that lens cap on there. This lens by the way, I'm addicted to it. It's what I use for almost everything. And then we'll have you hold that, thank you very much. And the lens cap, who knows where it is. Alright, so now we're going to try shooting again, similar set up. So, John has her in shade, and let's going ahead and add this bounce, the same type of bounce that we had before. But this time I'm going to shoot a little bit farther back. And then everybody shift to the left about a foot. A little bit more, little bit more, Lex this way. Okay, perfect, yeah hold that right there. Now, we'll shoot these shots and one of the things that I've learned over shooting outside is never trust the images on the back of your screen because the brightness outside you'll think it's oh it's underexposed, it's not very good. Then when you get it on your computer, you get inside and it's really dark, everything's overexposed. So what I do when I'm shooting outside, is I'll turn my histogram on to sort of see where my exposure is if I'm just a little bit squeamish of what the camera is doing. So, right now I think things are good, but let's take a look at what happened when we move that long lens. So we went from an image that had, and can I let you hold this for a second, thank you. So, we went from an image that was a little bit distorted, back here, to this, and you can see with a longer lens I was able to get much more of that background in, and it looks a little bit closer without having to get a larger background, so that helps us a lot. We're still not getting the specular highlights that I want in the eyes. And so we're going to have to work a little bit on the silver reflector to try to get that, a little bit of light bouncing into her eyes. So we'll try that again. Okay, so this, notice the sun is coming this way? So, you're going to have to get over on this side, there you go, like that. Yes, and now, and just for time sake what I did is I have, and I need to get back a little bit, I have switched over to aperture priority mode. Tell me some things, okay. So now let's take a look at these specular highlights and see what we get. And with a situation like this I'll only spend so much time, yeah we're getting a little bit of the specular highlights now just not as much as I want. With a shot like this, what we could do is we could like work forever and just never get the shot that we wanted because we chose the wrong time of day, or if you'll hold this, what we can do we can shift to a better light. And so let me show you what's over here, I don't know if you guys can follow, but we have a much better lighting situation on this side. So, over here what we have is we have the open shade. I'll grab that from you, cool. Yeah, so now we have open shade. And what open shade is going to do for us is we can have Lex here, and we have all this bright light out here that you can't see and we can start working in this shaded area, and it's going to be a much much easier environment to work in. 'Cause we're not going to have to have that big sun swatter, and a bunch of things like that to contend with, and so we'll work it there. Now, I'm seeing this on a calibrated monitor and the shots that I thought weren't so good, look so much better on this screen, and so the color temperature looks like it's off a little bit. But, never trust the back of your camera in the field because it's always going to lie to you, and so trust that histogram to make sure things are right. Okay, so Lex, we're going to bring you over here. And first let's just work with the open shade and not use any modifiers. So, what we're going to do is we're going to have you back, there you go. And so here, what I'll do is, I'm going to try and bring her forward and back based on all this concrete here reflecting this light in, and so I'm going to bring her as close as possible to the edge, there you go. Back just, there you go, yeah, good. Just like that. And also, let's see that silver reflector. Because of where she is, now what we can do, is we can bring some light from the sun, coming over here, we can bring that over here like this and when we get this really close, we're going to get some nice specular highlights and then if we need to, we can always go with silver which is just going to get us back into the hard light situation that we just abandoned. So, we don't want to do that, we want to try to use this white side over here, and get this really nice and close. And if we want to do some full length shots, we have a huge white reflector that we might use. So, let's start there, so go ahead and put this white reflector up right here, I win. And we will start with this. So, I'm going to meter this light, see what our light meter says. And our light meter's telling me 1250 at 2.8, at ISO 100. So, we'll make sure that we do that and I need to change my mode and come that. I'm going to meter this one more time because I think I had, here we go yeah 1000, there we go. So, we're shooting at 1000, 2.8. And then I'm looking at the background here. There we go. Beautiful. Alright, we had people in the background but we're going to get rid of those people. Alright, now let's take a look, just the shot right out of the box, open shade with this reflector let's go and take a look at what the camera is telling us. So, can you hold that for a second? Okay, thank you. So this is so much more pleasing than the shots that we started with, because we got a background that's really nice. One of the issues is the background underexposed a bit. So what I'm going to do here is I'm going to overexpose just a hair and see where we are. We see we have a little bit of room on the histogram here, little bit brighter, so we're consistently getting underexposed images outside, and so it's one of those situations where I would need to calibrate my meter to my lens, 'cause it looks like we're about a third stop over and over. And I'm liking what I'm seeing in the highlights, and in this image it's much more, it's much cleaner, it's much much cleaner. And then also let's bring the entire, yeah, let's bring the entire thing over. And then what we're going to have you guys do is we're going to add a hair light to this. Okay. So, I'm going to check out and see what the background wants, alright. Wants about the same thing. So let's use the white reflector on this. No, this California sun bounce white reflector. Yeah, bring it in really close, really really close. Just like that, okay. Now, I'm going to have you hold this camera for a second and I'm going to show you what I want you to do with this reflector. So, what we want, so we want to get some highlights to the back of her hair, so what we're going to do here is we're going to put this guy up, and we're going to find where that light is. Might need to be back here, and we're going to bounce that into her hair, if I can find it. So, John why don't you go forward just a little smidgeon. There we go, and that's what we want. Yeah we want to have that just like that, okay? Make sure you don't get it on her face, just her hair, alright? You can do it, got it? Yup. Alright, and we're shaping the light with these reflectors. Freezing? Uh, yeah. So, on that make sure you, yeah watch the light on the ground, there you go, see it's on the wall there. There we go, okay. Now, we're going to try to... So, Lex I'm going to have you step this way, 'cause we've got a telephone pole coming through your head. There we go, so both of you guys move in. John we want you to move as close as possible, there you go. There you go, move this guy in right there. Okay, we're going to see if we can get that light on her hair, there it goes. Beautiful. Nice smilage. Going to shoot a couple of these guys here. This is telling me I'm underexposed pretty significantly, so I'll bump my exposure up, there we go. And I'm going to meter this because our exposure's all over the place, which is what happens a lot out here. So, let's meter this guy. 640 at 2.8 is what we're getting. Now we're shooting at 250, so that's got to be totally overexposed. So, what happened there is when I was metering with my through the lens metering, some of the reflectors hit my, sorry, some of my reflectors hit the lens and it threw off that metering and so we were off just a hair, it's always fun when you're doing live tv, right? Always good. Perfect, perfect. That's what we want, okay. We're going to go take a look at these, and see how we're doing. 'Cause again, I can't really judge anything based on the back of this camera, it looks like we're consistently getting an underexposed image, though so we'll take a look. We will take a look, and then do we have, are questions coming in out here? Okay. So, yeah now we're seeing this direction of light which is really nice, the color temperature is, needs to be set so we'll do that, we'll get a color checker passport out here and do that as well. And so because this is just way way way too warm I can actually go in and use her teeth to sort of, ugh that's too blue. So, yeah we need to be able to calibrate that 'cause it's way off right now. I can even go in here and say this is a, let's see, a daylight. One of the guys asked, wondering about would you use your color checker out here in this kind of environment? (stammers) So, no we need to get the color checker 'cause what I'm seeing is we have inconsistent white balance issues and so that's what we're just starting talking about when the US postal service came and made our day. They did that. Okay, would you like to take another question? Yeah. Alright, so another great question from Fashion TV from Singapore while using reflectors do we still need to feather the reflected light and how do we feather a reflector, any practical tips for outdoors? Yeah, you can feather a reflector, and I don't know if we can, it's very difficult to see with your bare eyes, so on video we may or may not be able to see it. So what we'll do is we'll try to show it and then if you can't see it clearly here, tomorrow when we do some more in the studio fake sun we'll show it again. But yeah, and it depends on the kind of reflector, so a silver reflector is so specular there's not much feathering that's going to happen there, it's going to be either on or off. It's with the white reflector that you can work with that to do a little bit more feather. What feathering is, it's instead of having all of the reflection on, it's just like the edge of the reflection, and so that's why the silver doesn't work so well, 'cause there isn't really an edge it's just there. Cool, and one last one from Noelle Hungary. When is it best to have the dazzle in or out on the light meter? Especially when working... The dazzle? The lumisphere. What's the called a dazzle or a... The white glowy thingy, this. What is the technical term for that? Lumisphere. The dazzle, I like that. It's bedazzled. I like how we learn something new every day here at Creative Live. Maybe it's called a dazzle, I don't know. No I do know, it's called a lumisphere, it's not called a dazzle. Yeah okay, so if you look at this, you can see that as we shift this, you're seeing 180 degrees, or 360 degrees of light on this, and so when it's up what this is doing when I'm metering the light it's going to get the light from the sun, it's going to get the light from the concrete, it's going to get the light from the reflector, it's going to get light from every source. So that's what that's doing, and that's really what we want because the light that's falling on your subject is coming from all of those different sources of light. If you're shooting something and you really only care about the light that's hitting it directly, and this is good for metering light ratios which I think we will be doing in a couple days, or if you're metering for something specific like a piece of art, or something where it's only seeing light that is directly hitting it, then you put the lumisphere down. So, 90% of the time, lumisphere up. In fact, if you don't know always lumisphere up, only if you're metering specific lights, light sources, metering ratios, and things like that is this ever down, so up, the dazzle should be up. Dazzle up. I want somebody to tweet that. Let's see how many tweeters we can get out there saying the dazzle should be up. Alexis, have you come over here just for a second I want to show one of the issues that we could be running into, so if you're on this side, when we're metering the light, I mentioned earlier in the studio that we meter under the chin. But you can see here that we have this really specular highlight on this, and so sometimes that can actually throw off this meter reading, which I think could be why we're underexposing consistently, 'cause this is thinking we have more light than possible. So, I'll have to investigate that. So, I think that is what is causing us to have some of these issues with our exposure being a little bit wacky. And that's where the histogram can really help out as well. So, as much as I love light meters, some people say oh you should only use the histogram, and some people are like oh you should only use the light meter. I use both, so whatever tool works best. We're going to keep lighting, ready? We only have a half an hour to get this amazing shot. So, we're going to have you come back over here. And one, wow! I'm blind now, that silver is really really bright. So, one of the things, yeah. One of the things that we're going to have you do is we're going to try to get you as close as possible to this and then this guy here, yup there you go, back a little bit, there you go. This guy here, what we're going to try to do is we're going to try to feather this what somebody said, so I'm going to take this from you and even though this is this direction, we're still getting some bounce into your outfit and your face. So, we're going to try to bring this as close as possible. Just like that, and then let's get this silver over here, I'm going to bring it over. And 'cause you don't need to see me. I'm just doing this for revenge. So this here, what we might need to do is throw some light on the alley behind you. So, if we want to brighten up that alley behind, or that street behind, we might do that. So see how I'm lighting the bricks and stuff. So we can do that as well to sort of to give some punch to the scene. Alright, so back to the shot, we're going to try to rebuild. And what I'm doing now is I'm trying to make this a little more aesthetically pleasing than what we had. And so I'm looking through my lens to see what kind of background we can work with. And I like the greens back there. Can you throw some light on that green overhand? There you go, yeah. That, perfect. That's a little underexposed, there you go. Awesome, okay. Let's take a look at a few of these pictures and for these, we are definitely getting some issues. Oh, the color checker's right here. I'm going to have you do this as well. Cool, for this what's happening is again, we've got that TTL metering issue, where it's trying to average this massive amount of dark coat, and it's thinking that should be gray, but since it's not it's actually overexposing everything. So, again big dark coat is giving us hassles, problems. I love shooting black, so the TTL metering is stupid. So we need to use our light meter and trust that. So let me just trust it. Five-eight at 400, okay. So it says 2.8 at 500 of a second. And then we are going to do this guy, here. There we go, if you put that up to your face. And I'm just going to get this shot, so we have a white balance, good. Get one more shot here. (shutter clicks) There we go, we can fix that. And we can use that white balance, we can apply it to all kinds of things. Alright, now let's continue working with this. So again that light on the background there. This, we're going to bring in a little bit more. And Lex, you're going to have to step... Actually that's good, about right there. About right there. My meter said 500, let's see if my meter is correct. My in the camera meter right now is telling me I'm two-thirds of a stop underexposed and my light meter says I'm exposed correctly. So let's see which one of these guys is actually right. Alright, so we have that shot, I went with my light meter. It's coming into the screen here, let's take a look at the histogram, and the light meter wins again. So the light meter is consistently correct. And so that's what we want to do. We can see that the histogram shows that we don't have anything overexposed nothing under. Necessarily like this color, but we have a color calibration that we can add to this. So what we can do is go in here, take this first shot that I fixed, take the second shot. And then I can say sync settings, and we can do all of this in post. So again if we didn't have the luxury of post production we would need to fix that later. So, now we have much warmer image. So the other thing I need to do is fix this background. I don't really like it, I want to get something better. So, what I'll have you do, Alexis, let's have you go back about a foot, right there, yeah. The problem here that we're getting into the farther I put her in, see what's happening to this reflector here? Now we're not getting the light that we want, so we're going to have to bring you out again. We'll use that, and we might abandon this altogether, we've got some other tricks up our sleeve that we can use. So, what I'll do here is I'm going to shoot this very very close, nice portrait, perfect. Hold that right there. And we don't need the, yeah so this, if you can throw it on the wall back there. Yeah. There you go. Perfect, we want a nice clean background. And that's what we're getting here, a nice clean. That's good, that's good. So that's what we're doing here is we're cleaning this up. Alright, you guys look like you have questions, you have questions at all? Does this look like controlled chaos? You have questions? Oh, you're good? Okay, alright. So we're looking at this, the other thing that and I'll show you this, see this area right here on these windows, that's where we want that light to go in. 'Cause the difference in luminosity between Lex and the background, we're just not getting enough punch back there. So, we're going to see if you can get to those bricks back there, sort of the door, there you go. You got to make sure you don't hit, there you go. Don't hit the Lex, don't hit the Lex. That also should be a t-shirt. Don't hit the Lex. Alright, beautiful just like that. I love it.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers. 

The success of every photographer — artistically and professionally — is based on a strong understanding of how light works. Join photographer Mark Wallace for a three-day course that will demystify the fundamentals of lighting and give you the concrete skills you need to get a powerful image using the right lighting every time you shoot.

Mark will cover everything you need to know about hard, soft, directional, and diffused light. You’ll learn about reading natural light and manipulating it with tools like reflectors and diffusion panels. Mark will also guide you through working with light in a studio environment. You’ll explore using basic studio lights to manipulate and shape light and working with strobes and speedlights. You’ll also learn about shooting on-location and how to balance shape, and color ambient light and light from a flash.

By the end of this course, you’ll be equipped with a whole new understanding of light that will help you to shoot more efficiently, capture consistently well-lit images, and reach new creative heights as a photographer.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Presentation 1

Presentation 2

Presentation 3

Zone Lighting Basic Setup

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Claudia Ochsner

This is an excellent course. I recommend this course to every photographer, of any level who want to put money into lighting stuff. Mark Wallace has a gift to teach and to truly enlighten his audience about complex issues in photography. The money for this course is well spent, the time is more valuable than hanging around in forums and ask questions to others who don't have a clue as well. The products used ( partly promoted ) are very "American" - I have to say that as Swiss. Because you know there are two other brands which could compete at the top level of studio lights as well. Just kidding - But seriously - many thanks to Mark, John, Lex ( Gosh - you are so beautiful ) , CL and their team to help me to reach out for a new level in my photography. I am now going to push my boundaries, well knowing that understanding light is science, but for sure not rocket science.

Rose-Marie Gallagher

This was an outstanding course! Mark presented TONS of quality information, starting at the very basic concepts and working up from there. He is interesting to listen to and very understandable. Great examples that expand the learning. Highly recommended! Thanks for bringing Mark's class to CL...I hope there will be more.

a Creativelive Student

This is probably the first Creative Live course I have purchased that I've watched in its entirety. Every single solitary video. I feel so strongly about Mark's teaching ability that this is also the very time I have written a review. I first came across Mark Wallace on Adorama TV. Interesting and so knowledgeable. So I explored and found other tutorials by Mark on Pocket Wizard. So when Creative Live offered this three day course - I bought it without hesitation. Mark makes the difficult - easy to comprehend and the un-understandable - understandable. I have learned so much from him and I haven't even met the guy! There are so many questions I'd like to ask - that doesn't mean that the videos were lacking in any respect. Rather, time constraints prevented Mark from covering topics he wanted to cover. I am definitely going to purchase the original Mark Wallace Creative Live course on Speedlights. I am also voting for a course: "28 days with Mark Wallace," so that we can tap into his genius with Lighting. How about it Creative Live? Bravo Mark - a very successful course. I am looking forward to the next one.