Lighting in Zones: OnSet ep. 250

Lighting in Zones: OnSet ep. 250


Hey this is Daniel Norton, I’m here in my studio in New York City with Polina and we’re gonna shoot kind of a fun fashion look today… yeah! Little disco fashion action… right? but what I really want to talk about while we’re creating this shot is, using kind of zones in your set to light, so instead of just throwing a big light up, which is oftentimes what we do when we’re just starting, especially one big huge source, it looks good, it lights everything up, it’s really good, we’re gonna talk about kind of separating things, because as you get into more commercial type work, you’re going to want to be able to control your set better, you know you may want exacting light on different parts of your set, so we’re gonna use, I find the more I shoot the smaller the light sources are that I use, which might seem the opposite of what people would think, but that gives you a lot more control, so we’re gonna talk a little bit about that. We’re gonna light up the set, and we can create some fun pictures, so I made a diagram because you know I have a degree in art, pretty good right, so basically this is our setup here, this little star is you, you are a star right, so we have a little star, that’s where Paulina is, she’s essentially on this runway of grey paper that we set up, which I’m gonna use for depth. We’ll talk about that as we start shooting it, and what I’m doing is, I’m lighting the background actually with a HMI, I have dedolight HMI, and in that HMI, it’s fitted with a projector, in that HMI I have a glass gobo, basically it’s gonna, I’ve used these before… basically it’s gonna throw a pattern, but it’s also gonna be color and in texture, it’s really interesting and you can put them in another focus, and play around with them, in this case I chose this kind of red, yellowy one because I thought it worked well with the outfit, with the sparkles… and that just hit in the background so that’s a constant light source. So we gonna have to deal with that in a second, we’ll be here, to, to camera left, I’ve got a Profoto B2 pack with two heads and, I’ve actually got to strip boxes, now the reason why I’m using two, 1 by 3 strips is, because generally when you use a larger strip, you know, you you may want to control the power up and down. Like I might want brighter on her face, or darker on the outfit, as I’m shooting throughout the day. Let’s see if I’m doing fashion or something you know she might have a white pants on, let’s say and a dark top or something like that, so I like to do this, versus getting one long one. It just works better for me, it’s a good way to work if you only have one head, and you want to use one single block you can certainly do that, although often times the longer ones, the six-foot ones are usually two feet wide, which means that you might put a grid on it for control, speaking of a grid, to kind of give her more versatility and ability to move, I’ve got a beauty dish up here with a grid on it, that’s just to punch some light on on the front of her, and to her face, so she doesn’t have to work towards this light the whole day long. Right this is to give her a nice silhouette, this here, right here is to light her face, so if she works this way she’s fine, but if she turns more straight she’s lit here, and even if she turns more to the side, she’ll be fine. The other thing I’ve added for a little bit of contrast is a black card on this side, that’s there for two reasons, one is that the Sun keeps coming in and out, cause I am in a daylight studio, so I want to make sure we don’t have the Sun hit, which we’ll talk about more in a minute. The other reason for that is, because when you’re wearing something that’s reflective, like it has this has shine in it, if you put black there it will reflect the black, and actually add contrast, so it’s kind of a nice way to work. so I’m gonna set up all these lights, I’ll show you where they all are and let’s go for it. Right so TTL is wonderful, you see me use it all the time, but for this kind of thing I like to use a light meter. I’m using the sekonic here, the 858, and I’ll do the background last. So I’ll start with her, I know we want to shoot at f/4 and my the sync speed of my camera is like one 1/60th of a second, so I’m gonna set my meter at 100 ISO, and 1/160th of a second, and what I’m gonna do is, I’m going to point the light, I’m just using my other Profoto remote here, I’m gonna do one at a time, so I will do the, I’ll do the beauty dish first, I want to put the beauty dish write it up for to start with anyways, so I’m gonna meter it essentially pointing it at the light, okay, we’re a little down, so I’m gonna bring it up a tiny bit, okay, we’re getting 4, 4.1 actually, I’m actually going to go down one more from that, cuz I probably want this to be a tiny bit duller, I don’t want to look like she’s overly lit, so that’s that one, then I’m gonna come around to this side. I’m switch to my seat with my C-group, which is a, which is this light over here, now there’s a couple of different ways that you could do this, some people will turn this one off and then do this one, that’s important if they’re touching each other, but I’m going to meter down below, so I’m not gonna worry about that. What I’m actually going to do is, I’m gonna leave all the lights on, and I’m gonna close… this meter has this thing where I can close this as part of it. That will keep that light off of it, I’m just gonna go like this, in this case, I have them the same. Right, I have my, my two heads set the same in the in the boxes. So it’s easy enough to do, I’m gonna bring this one up a smidge as well. That’s too much, perfect, f/4.01 again, so this will be a smidge brighter than that exposure wise. Now the final thing I’m going to do is the background, what’s kind of neat about this meter is it has a mode that I can go into my, my, my constant light mode, and I can actually put in, not just the you know, the, the shutter speed like you’d normally do in an old-fashioned meter, I could put it in the f/stop and the ISO, when I put this against the background, I’d make a reading, it tells me a quarter of a second, it’s telling me a quarter of a second will give me that exposure, so we should be good, let’s try, I mean keep in mind that your meter is giving you what it thinks is the right exposure to get the saturation, etc, etc, that you want, we’re probably going to go a little bit darker than that the other thing we’re gonna do to make it a little bit darker is, I’m going to actually turn off these overheads now, so I had these on so you guys can see me whenever you’re using like a constant light source, you want to try to kill as much light in the space as possible, so we’re gonna just kill those for now, so here we are, I’ll get my Nikon here, and I’m gonna set this guy up, good, see where we’re at, so I’m here on a tripod, and I’m gonna get in a little bit close, part of the reason for that is, I want to kind of elongate my space, remember the further back you are the more compressed of the space, so I mean long gating my space by getting in closer to her, I’m also slightly tipped down again, I’m trying to exaggerate the space slightly for that reason, so I’m gonna come up on the tripod, it’s good, you’re good there, and you get a focus on you. I am set it at f/4, I am at, we’ll start at a quarter of a second, and we’re gonna adjust our stratosphere as we go. So I’m gonna start at a quarter, because that’s what the media tells me to do, I’m tethered in the Capture One, we’ll take a shot, and well I guess, we should listen to light meters, right, cuz that’s, that’s pretty darn good, right? That’s a pretty good exposure, right, there, she looks well lit, right, even though I’m in a quarter of a second, she’s nice and sharp, because none of the ambient light is really hitting her right? And we’ve got kind of a nice look going on, I like that, if we want to make the background a little bit darker, which I kind of thought I was going to, so I’Il stick to my original plan, and I’m gonna go up to, you I’ll add one stop, so I’m an 1/8th of a second, again I’m not doing that because I’m more worried about her moving, I’m doing it for contrast in the background, how bright or dark I want the background to be, so that’s just adjusting my background, because remember when you adjust your shutter speed in this situation, it’s only affecting the constant lights, so good, like that. Okay we’re tremendously low light here, so I’m kind of shooting slower, and then try to nail my focus each time with the Nikon, although these new cameras have great autofocus. Okay so come in here, and I’m focused just on her eyes, I mean I’m at 4, so she’s gonna be sharp all over, but we can see now that she has this nice kind of glow on the outfit right, and then on this side she’s got a little bit more darkness, because I had that black card over there, and her face again is lit very nicely, she has a, you know light coming from this side, which gives her this a nice strip, it kind of just adds some balance and contrast. So let’s shoot a few more like this, now that’s gonna work for anything, look you don’t you know if you’re in let’s say a bar, or you’re doing a scene of the bar, or something, I don’t know why I’m in a bar first thing in the morning, we’re in a bar right, and we want to light, let’s say the background a different way, you certainly can do that, the idea here is that none of our lights are touching each other. None of that light from the flash is hitting the background, and none of the light from the constant light, is hitting her, so basically we’ve got two different zones, and we’re able to create our images wherever we want.. you know, and I left a dead spot in the middle, I did that on purpose, obviously you could like that as well, if you really want to get crazy, do one more straight on the camera, powerful, that’s it, good, grab hold, take this in, now I think one thing I’ll do just for experimentation, even though I think this is perfect. It’s too bad when you get it too quickly right, we do it too fast, it’s like a day, I’m gonna actually go to a much slower shutter, so I’m just curious, I’m gonna go to 1 second now at one second, some of this ambient light that in the room in general, even though it looks dark in here, is probably gonna affect her, but let’s see in this focus. If she’s gonna focus one second, good, nice, oh wow, now we have like an electric color, so remember you know if you want, you know it’s all about exposure. Well you, okay, you were trying to hold still which is fine, but do you know that’s it, right, we can control that, basically with our shutter speed, and you see that the light on her, really didn’t change much, it changed a little bit, cuz again some of the ambience bleeding it, let’s try somewhere in the middle, I’m gonna go back to a 1/4, which is what the is recommended by the flash meter, let me do one more like that, good, one more, whenever a photographer says one more, it always means two more, we know that by now, and it’s a nice beautiful shot, balanced out, nice light on her, nice light on the background, cool kind of a scene going on. I’m gonna come in a little closer for a couple, just come here, as you can see I am not going to actually physically move, remember if I move it’s going to change the compression, I don’t want you use the compression, so I’m just gonna zoom my lens. One reason why you uses a zoom lens. Definitely should also mention that, ah, it’s go like that hold, focus, good, that I threw a couple more V flats in the back for effect, you know, just to see the light bounce around, because of how we are angled, you know what I wouldn’t mind doing here actually, so stay there for a second, so what I’m doing is, I’m noticing now that backgrounds getting a little more out of focus, it’s not enough out of focus cuz I’m at at f/4 right, enough, you know what’s enough right, so I can actually go to my projector, and I can actually change the focus. I’m gonna knock it really out, to get it totally different look. You know I don’t know, I want to shoot it at f/4 to get enough focus on her, but I want that super blurry background, look something’s gonna come in here, and bang that out like that, now we’ve got, ultra out of focus background, see if you can work it very slightly this way. I’m using white beauty dish, by the way guys to lower the contrast a little bit. I know I usually use silver, so I know I’m going to get that question a lot, this one is white. It does have a grid on it, though so it’s lowering the the highlight contrast, because it’s less specular, but it’s been, but because there’s a grid on it, I’m getting more contrast, yeah, that’s okay, that was, I will do one more, that was pretty, that took forever to, that’s like Daniel talking about lighting instead of taking a picture. Okay, so you see it’s beautiful, nice light on her, the background is blurry, like people like… Let’s do one horizontally, because you know we love horizontal shots, they know I saved it horizontal, Okay, changing my focus point, here we go, good, check that, Oh yeah I like horizontal, oh that’s actually really nice, huh, say I do like horizontals, see what happens all right, we’re doing a horizontal shot right. We’re in it to win it, that’s perfect, I’m gonna pull back a tiny bit, to get a little more in the frame I like that. Here we go focusing again, just focusing on our eyes, guys, I’m at, you know, quarter of a second, at f/4, lots of fours going on, 4 is the lucky number today, and hold, good, more beautiful, that was nice. I’m curious if we bring down that top light a bit, who’s gonna come in and bring the beauty dish down just a couple of things, just curious, I think the exposure looks good, but sometimes it’s good to mess around a bit, let’s see, yeah that’s nice, we’ll get to know where your hands are. Right there’s good, good, yeah, one more that’s one, good, wow that’s nice, that’s really cool, and I like how the light, I actually have a kind of a zoomed the focused on the background guys, so you can see that I’m getting kind of almost like a vignette back there too. So we’re getting all kinds of cool stuff, we got a blurry background, we got vignette, we’re just like all kinds of fun stuff today, but that’s the thing, because the background is lit and exposed completely separately than my foreground light, I was able to make changes as we went, and it didn’t affect the light on her, the light on her is gonna be consistent throughout the entire shoot, which is what we want, we’re making a portrait of fashion or whatever we’re doing, and that’s gonna give us the total control. Right this is all about control, when you’re lighting you’re on projects, that’s what you’re doing it for you know. You know you’re lighting it to make it pretty, yes, but you can find pretty light. The reason why you’re lighting is, because you want control, and that’s what we’re doing here, controlling it in zones. So I will put following this information in the description, so you guys can follow her, be sure to follow me @DanielnortonPhotographer and of course subscribe to Adorama TV, ring the bell and all that. I’ll see you next time OnSet.

21 Comments

  • Drew Boyles

    February 11, 2020

    Paulina seems much more relaxed and comfortable here as compared to a previous session that I watched, and the result is better pictures and a better video. Great to see!

    Reply
  • Andy Bowlin

    February 11, 2020

    Isn’t z 6 flash sync speed 200? Why you always go to 160 in vids?

    Reply
  • Robbie Keene

    February 11, 2020

    Good demo Daniel! I was a little distracted by the music though. I don't recall you adding music before. Why is she so far from the background? The narrow paper and the projection require it? It's creating some not quite vertical lines in the shot. Intentional or a byproduct of the narrow paper? Is the lens perspective creating that? Just wondering.

    Reply
  • fmrff70

    February 11, 2020

    No Brooklyn reflector needed? Lol!Thanks Daniel!

    Reply
  • pitmanra

    February 11, 2020

    I dig that disco orchestra background music.

    Reply
  • CharleyL

    February 11, 2020

    Very nice. Beautiful model. This just made me want a projector. Thanks as always, Daniel.

    Reply
  • Edward Foster

    February 11, 2020

    Lot's of helpful thoughts here, Daniel. The diagrams are priceless! lol. You should raffle them off!

    Reply
  • A E

    February 11, 2020

    Dear Daniel, Where is Marisa ?
    we used to watch her in your tutorials.
    But , that's reality.you are the best teacher in this field.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
  • Jerry Mccarthy

    February 11, 2020

    Great work Guys, love the color palette and that Dado !! Daniel gets all the Gorgeous models, Paulina is Stunning 😃😃👍

    Reply
  • Kingfisher61

    February 11, 2020

    Great tutorial Daniel 👍

    Reply
  • Alan Johnstone

    February 11, 2020

    Interesting set up, i like the blurred out background better than the sharp. It would have been interesting to see a silhouette shot of Paulina in front of that background. Thanks Daniel and Paulina!

    Reply
  • JP dJ

    February 11, 2020

    2:04 If you only have one head. That applies to me, yes.

    Reply
  • David Centifanto

    February 11, 2020

    Would second curtain sync help with the blur on some of the photos of the model?

    Reply
  • ian zander

    February 11, 2020

    I wish there was a little catch light in her eyes. Bringing that beauty light down a hair to catch in her eyes would help

    Reply
  • Christopher Stubbs

    February 11, 2020

    Why am I subscribed?

    Reply
  • Amaretto

    February 11, 2020

    Once again another good video. I really, really like the background. Can you send it to me? @adorama

    Reply
  • Hairy Banana

    February 12, 2020

    Music is killing me . Good insights as always . In your video description can you lost lighting equipment used?

    Reply
  • Peter McDonald

    February 12, 2020

    Great tutorial but the music .. the music… no no no please no

    Reply
  • David Shandley

    February 12, 2020

    Hi Daniel, great vlog, my question is would a green background work better then a red one?

    Reply
  • Paul Smith

    February 12, 2020

    Video is awesome, like we would expect any less… the music though! It sounded like a department store at Christmas time…

    Reply
  • Bobby

    February 14, 2020

    Nice video, like the tip about the two strip boxes.

    Reply

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