Sharing an older video here, but still relevant!
Check out these studio lighting setups I consider my "go to" styles, and the basis for a lot of what I do in a studio situation. (Note that the retouching portion of this tutorial is another video altogether - stay tuned for that on this channel if you have not seen it yet.)
Wanna see the Outdoor Glamour Tutorial as well from the same year? Check it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPv72WRJOYk
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Very nice tutorial. I have been shooting full-length portraiture and fashion for a while as a hobby and working with amateurs where I had to give posing instructions was always the hardest part when starting out. I had a high-end dress store at the time, in the film days so to learn lighting I set up full body mannequins so I could play with lighting and modifiers with no time limits until I was comfortable creating lighting schemes on the fly based on conditions, space, ambient etc before working with live models. It was important I believe, to try all the bad options and see then as such to really learn how to improvise. Starting with live amateur models, however, proved much harder so I eventually hired a skilled pro and told her even before hiring her that I was an amateur and would ask her to show me how to work with a model. She was very helpful, I learned more about their craft and how to communicate. I suggest even amateur fashion, glamour or commercial photographers should invest in a few very skilled models after they master creative lighting because you will learn more from a skilled model in less time, before working with amateurs. One of the things learned is flow and pace, be decisive have a vision but be flexible with different looks become available. Learn to communicate with your models because it is a partnership in the creative process and don't be fiddling with lighting and setups, it kills the mood and pace....be very familiar with all the lighting and equipment so your experiments are based on being very familiar with the range of application of the hardware before the session.
Have a plan, and articulate the vision to the model and assistant, MUA etc so everyone is on the same page and be open to their ideas. Starting with pros for makeup and models will teach you so much that is transferable to anything you do later and with amateurs. Even just two sessions with a pro model who has agreed from the start to help you learn how to work with models will be move available than going to a school.
I was lucky in finding my first pro model, she made the session flow, she knew enough photography to understand which lens created which point of view and offered a steady stream of "looks" from the camera's point of view, flowing from one pose to the next with a balanced still wait, before gliding into the next. She was always aware of how it looked to the camera. With amateurs, that is the job of the photographer, to communicate those details and be quick since an amateur will not be able to hold a pose unless very simple. Don't pick models by looks, but by skill. A pretty amateur will be harder to get the intended shots than a talented pro with less objective beauty. Hire a good makeup artist who is used to working photographic sessions. They know what Xeon light does to street cosmetics, it is different most photographers seem to realize. Use those pros to build your book so you can attract others of similar skills.
AFTER these learning sessions you would be more likely to be able to effectively get the desired images with less skilled or beginning models. Don't copy lighting setups from tutorials, every set up is a response to the conditions at hand and intent, so use the tutorials as a concept plan, but adapt it on the fly to the space, ambient, lights, color casts, modifiers and model, because none of these elements will be the same in your real session as the tutorial. Look at good photos and visualize where the light is coming from, its relative source size/distance, and color, any shadow directions, any highlights,any apparent ratios to get used to visualizing what an image with look like with any setups and power ratios you have....take a shot and note why it is different than expected. That is when you learn the most about light.....the difference between what you expected and what you get. After a while, it will become more predictable so results closely resemble the intent. I am sure it took Nino a lot of fine tuning of visualization-to-results practice before it became second nature ad it will require a lot of fine tuning on your part also. Good photographers make is look so easy, but it is rare for anyone to have such a close connection between intent and results without a LOT of practice and fine tuning of their craft.
Totally not a problem to adjust shutter speed to accommodate. In this case, I didn't trust myself with a slower shutter, so a little bit of ISO was what I chose to increase light sensitivity. If it were a MAJOR change in light, I would have likely found some other solution and not, for example, quadrupled the ISO or something like that.
+Nino Batista rectangle is a Horrible format. ANYONE who ever shot square will tell you. I shot with all high end cameras (Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamaya, etc) and I LOVE the square format. The lens image is round, not rectangle, the closest thing we can come to that is square, not rectangle. Imagine, not contorted body movements, no special flash brackets, etc. Just compose and shoot! Its so much faster than rectangular. Most amateurs have no idea of what they are missing, but the real pros do.
I think the second set up on the couch might help me with a problem I've had. I can never get my photos composed correctly when a model is laying down or reclining; it seems like things are cut off in a weird place (yes I know you don't cut a model at the joints) your straight on shot with the crop mid-thigh and then angle shot is exactly what I'm missing. I'll try it next chance I get. Thank you Nino
Most of the exposure is due to the strobes, and very little from the ambient so the speed of capture is the strobe flash duration which is 1/2000-1/20,000 of a second that can freeze a speeding bullet. A slower shutter speed is used to add more ambient light.In fact it it is possible to use very slow shutter speeds to add more ambient if you set the camera to trigger the strobe at the Rear Curtain so the subject is exposed to the desired level by the strobe. I often shoot in restaurants or grand buildings at 1/10th to expose the ambient 2 or so stops underexposed but trigger the flash to freeze the subject balancing ambient light of the room, hall, theater with the subject being exposed a couple stops brighter at the end of the slow shutter opening. Look up "Dragging the Shutter" and "Rear Curtain". In dark nightclubs, I will go down to 1/5 sec so getting the full room in the background a couple stops down before the flash triggers that freezes the subject in the foreground which is share, detailed and fully exposed. If using TTL metering, you can control ambient background solely by increasing or decreasing the shutter speed while the subject is exposed by the flash. Some camera/flash combos have a balanced flash mode, Nikon, for example, has independent metering by the flash on the focus point spot metering, plus camera metering for whole scene on Matrix mode. Shooting full manual exposure becomes a snap, meter on the whole scene and adjust the shutter for the ratio you want between background and subject exposure.I usually adjust to -2 stops down if in a restaurant, and when taking the shot, in Rear Curtain, the background metering done by the camera is exposed with ambient light but then the flash, which independently metered spot on the subject, fills the negative 2 stops so the subject is perfectly exposed 2 stops over ambient, where ambient retains all the natural saturated colors of a long exposure.
In the case of Nino's session, he was controlling the ratio of natural ambient to strobe by the shutter speed but the subject was fulled exposed by the strobes. If you get used to how metering and strobes interact, it is intuitive to make these adjustments on the fly.
Hey, I'm a photographer noob. Can you explain why you don't push your lens to its max? I have a canon 50mm 1.8, and I often shoot at 1.8, but sounds like I should close it a little... Any tips would be great!
You are probably used to getting subject isolation and separation by wide aperture outside the studio, in the park or in cafe and that works really well but in the studio-wide apertures are not desired because you have the option of subject isolation by controlling the background, the highlight rim light, kickers etc so sharp images with great detail is the goal with. Stopping down the lens has a lot of advantages in the studio...allows more of the scene in sharp focus. the lens almost always performs better at f/4-f/10 than at f/1.8, and the lower light sensitivity of the camera shooting low ISO and narrower aperture means more control of light fall off.
I love taking shots in a park or restaurant using f/1.4 or 1.2 with full frame 85 or 105 for that creamy dreamy background for a head shot but the control, detail, and sharpness available in the studio is another whole category of options. The color saturation, detail sharpness and contrast are all better with your lens when stopped down, and not having to accept the background or scene you are given when shooting outside of the studio makes your result limited only by your creativity with lighting and posing. They are like two different art forms, each with advantages and creative options. Once you get used to working in the studio is with more complex light setups in the field, you will see why it is such a desirable skill to develop. My street photos of my friends are usually at f/1.4 and in the studio f/8.
Nate Tucker pushing any lens to its max aperture potentially means sacrificing sharpness — or how often you get a sharp shot. While I hate preaching “better gear” at people, generally a cost-effective prime lens doesn’t do exceptionally well at its max aperture. The Canon 85 1.8 is phenomenal at f/2.5 and tighter, for example, in my experience. But gets questionable wider than that. At least in how consistently sharp it is. A Zeiss Batis 85 1.8, in contrast, I would trust wide open far, far more confidently. But it also costs 4x the Canon. That said, if shooting super wide open isn’t your thing, spend less money on decent but affordable primes. If super wide open is your jam, get ready to spend money.
Beautiful model. Two things that I would have a tendency to change. I did not like the look of the floor. Even if I am not including that in my shots, I like an attractive floor that I could include it in an image if I so desired. I would have the model's shoes match her wardrobe. For me it helps complete the look, they need to stand out, adding a balance to the image. I feel it adds a sense of strength to the image helping to outline the model. Good video, very complimentary lighting style.
It did not work for the intended results in the current conditions. There is no absolute fidelity required but most sessions have a specific goal and a lot of variables. When something "does not work", it is an expression related to the session at hand, with the conditions and intent of the image. Another set of conditions and intent what did not work before might be perfect. My field was recording for decades back in the days when independent studios created all the material for the record industry, and it was common to hear that term "it does not work" when a musical phrasing or tone or effect is tried and everyone knew it meant, for this song, for the intent, and this artist, just did not fit, but realizing that it might be perfect for other songs and sessions. Going into either a recording studio or photo studio without a vision and goal in mind is usually a total waste of time. There are too many variables and people involved to be completely spontaneous and unplanned.
Large room, nice model, great and expensive equipment are very attractive for the audience... But, can you teach and (more important) get stunning photos using a tiny dormitory room, a flower as a model, window as a source, and 100 bucks camera ? If you can, you are the photographer.
The principles are precisely the same. OK, sure the model helps but for image capture, a $100 camera, as long as it had full manual exposure mode, with some quality natural light and maybe a $50 Yongnuo flash or reflector could produce gallery wall quality images. ALL DSLR's of the last 10 years are fully capable of high-quality images. After all, it has always been all about light, shadows, and perspective. My most requested print was done with a D90 Nikon and $50 lens. Getting a large collection of fast lenses and D850 never changed the image quality from an artistic perspective but having the higher performance gear only adds flexibility. Good lighting is not expensive, if one is creative, most of it can be homemade. A $5 homemade scrim for soft shade in bright sun it more effective than a $3000 strobe. Homemade flats, gobos, snoots, reflectors and a few $50 flashes can be a very powerful set of tools. Photography can be very cheap if one is creative and has a vision of what they want. There is too much emphasis on cameras, high ISO and DR and not enough on images. I have friends who upgrade to every new model of full frame camera yet expect the camera to do the work when they would have been far ahead by sticking with their entry-level camera and concentrated on photos instead of gear. Go to art galleries more and camera websites or stores less. Enroll in an art appreciation class at the local community college. Whatever camera you have right now is enough and exceeds the DR and res of any display medium unless pixel peeping( a very destructive, useless habit newbies get into. Photos or paintings have a viewing distance and scale where the image makes sense, and zooming in ads nothing but anxiety. Larger images need to be seen further back, so the entire image is taken in without scanning the eyes back and forth. Any closer than the artist composed it for misses the content. That intended viewing distance is the only scope and scale that the entire message is conveyed whether painting, prints, sculptures or architecture. A 12mpx sensor is enough for fine art images unless someone pixel peeps but those who do are not interested in the message anyway so don't shoot or print with them in mind. The obsession with sharpness at 100% zoom is the dumbest bad habit in photography today.
Marcelo Perez Lopez I mean I could ramp up the ISO and add loads of teal into the highlights to make them all “Instagram 2018” ready? Also remember the shots are unedited — no retouch and no color work. Gonna look off.
Hey Nino, Bill Tomerlin here. I wanted to see what you thought of a basic umbrella that I was looking at. I am thinking of this one in reference the the large umbrella you mention in the first setup of this video. What do you think? https://www.adorama.com/glu72s.html
All you need is transmitter and receiver and one external flash and some home diy stuff like parchment paper... and ofcourse the camera. With all this you are set to start the journey to depths of studio photography. If you are willing to go with less expensive stuff or second hand, it will not rob you that much... maybe 300-500€.
Muse Studios has temporarily closed down to relocate; they may reopen in a new location in 2018. Fill In The Blank Studio is in the same warehouse facility the old Muse was in, and is for rent currently.
Just curious: At 9:47, you are shooting at 5200K - Is it because of the temperature that the sunlight was giving you at that time of day, was it that the Alien Bees color temperature is closer to 5000K, or was it just personal preference for that particular set of images?
If it was a product shoot or fashion shoot,color temperatures matter a lot to the art director but in glamour, fine art, and portraiture precise color is by taste because post-processing its done to desire. Commercial product photography or art reproduction color fidelity are key requirements. That can of beer or ready to wear clothing in a national ad campaign has to be spot on color-wise.
I generally use 5000k to 6000k while shooting with strobes or in sunlight. Mostly, I use WB as a way of pre-envisioning the toning I'll maybe wanna use later in Capture One. I do not shoot for laser accurate, grey card levels of white balance perfection. I use white balance as a visual tool to get a tone I like, sort of, in camera, so I can kinda get an idea of how I may do color work in raw. Sure, in some instances, I use white balance to ensure I don't get a wildly horrible result in camera (like in 7500k+ situations, or in pure incandescent light at 2500k-3000k or so) so I don't have to look at an electric blue-washed image cuz I'm in 5200k! So the point is, I adjust WB a lot as I go, in a shoot.
Softbox boxes close to the subject can be lit with speed lights but strip boxes use baffles to distribute the light and lose efficiency so they might not have enough power. There might be strip boxes that use multiple speedlights, that could be effective. For portraits, speedlights can be effective in softboxes, shoot-through umbrellas, beauty dishes and bounce umbrellas because they subject is small in surface area but full body shots with speed lights in strip lights, Octaboxes extra are a bit underpowered. There are mounts available that allow mounting 3-4 speed lights which can produce about the same light as a 300watt/sec strobe. If you are regularly shooting full-length subjects investing in at least one 600 watt/sec strobe as the main light and using your speed lights fo rim, kickers, background, fill can be very effective. AC powered strobes are not that expensive.
You can definitely use speedlights through stripboxes. Few things to consider. All modifiers reduce maximun power output of light source. A speedlight is not going to be as powerful as a studio strobe which can range from anywhere from 200-1200 watt seconds. You can compensate the speedlight not being as powerful as studio stone by increasing iso of camera, BUT, be very careful not to raise too high and start to get ambient light creep into exposure of shot. This is very important as it may effect color balance.
Also consider a speedlight is not a bare bulb flash so it projects light differently... acts more like a spotlight than an omidirectly bare build studio strobe. This will effect how light goes thru modifier. You can alter this by attaching diffusing dome onto speedlight, but remember again, this will further reduce light output of speedlight. I do this occasionally if I want to make sure softbox or stripbox is evenly filled
I really enjoyed this. These are some of my fav light setups I use in the studio so it kinds a confirms that I'm doing it right. Just checked out your stunning portfolio. Fantastic light and composition ... oh and some beautiful models!
interestingly, I've been a graphic designer all my working life too, just like yourself and took to professional photography 10 years ago because I wanted images for photoshop. I've been watching your videos over the last couple of days and some of your photoshop techniques have caught my attention. Keep up the great work!
Having a good relationship with others.
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To dream that someone is your Secret Santa signifies the spirit of giving. It is about doing something good without having any expectations in return.
To see or dream that you are a secretary indicates that you need to more order and organization in your life. Dont be afraid to ask for help when you need it.