From Scary to Beauty, Lighting Portrait Photography: OnSet ep. 249


Hey this is a Daniel, and I’m here in my studio in New York City with Marissa and because she’s dressed like a Greek Goddess, I’m gonna make some really ugly shots, because that’s how I like to roll. So I’m gonna play right.. actually it was a challenge by Seth, I challenged him to use these bonnets as we call them for the Profoto, and like portrait and he killed it with a certain technique, it looked really great I thought, so I’m totally stealing it, don’t tell him, but first I want you shoot a little bit more creepy and fun, because it’s meant as fun just to mess around with light, and actually to show how, little changes make a world of difference, so I’m basically lighting Marissa with two lights, kind of you you could call clamshell in a sense, I’ve got one from above, and one from below, but because they’re kind of hard lights, you know, being not that big, and they’re kind of distant from her, we’re gonna get really kind of tight shadows, and only light part of her face, and because of the angle of it, it’s not gonna light the kind of the normal place, so let’s just show what it looks like, give me your best creep, boom, oh yeah, so if you ever on the subway late at night, and you saw this, you know you would be like oh no, oh no, yeah, totally. So right so we had that classic kind of bad light, right, but it actually is kind of interesting because you’ve got the catch light there that brings it out some detail but you know we’re overexposed here on the forehead, the nose is lit up in a funny way, we have the shadow from below, it’s definitely not ideal. Actually coming a little closer to it, like this, so we can go like that, it’s nice a little bit… be all creep.. give me my granola bars… whatever, yeah so I can mess with it, and really I can bring it up a little bit if that’s better, you get that under the eye kind of bag, because Marissa never has bags in her eyes, I’m totally creating that with light, I swear, but no it’s like you can emphasize these things, but sometimes they work really well for a character, but as is my, in my contract with Marissa, I always have to take a pretty shot, so let’s do that now, so I’m gonna use the same light basically, the same place, but I’m gonna do a couple of things, I’m gonna have her take a half step back, that’s gonna allow me to kind of manipulate the angle of the lights slightly, I’m gonna raise them up get it a little closer, because closer light equals softer because it’ll be bigger relatively speaking, and from here now this is gonna take a series of shots to get it I’m sure, but we’re gonna mess around with it a little bit, first thing I might just point it and get some direction, so I’m in TTL right now, just because I’m gonna, I’m gonna turn off my bottom like for a second, I just want to see what the top light is doing, and let’s see what we’re getting, okay, that’s not terrible, it’s a little too high still, going to point in slightly, nice, again still in TTL, there we go, I’m redirecting light into where we want it, it’s still got you know dark under her eyes, it’s creating that shadow there, it’s kind of long, and again I’m just going to turn this a little bit more… like that and again I am just slightly manipulating it – it’s all about kind of fine light placement, good, now let’s bring our field light in, cuz we have lots of Shadows going on, so let’s bring the B light in, and again I’m using TTL, so we’re gonna see what, I have it set at -2, because usually your field light, you want to be underexposed, good, nice, like that, now we’re gonna start working this shot, turn to manual going to bring this up, bring in my key light up a bit bring, your chin up a smidge, good, all right, getting better, take my fill light up good… I’m getting there, fill that up a bit more, good nice, get in there, let’s take a peek, here, this is good, I think we can get that shadow a little tighter, and what we’re gonna do with that is, move it a little bit closer, yeah, now we’re just tweaking, our down balance is there, keep in mind that, keep in mind that we are basically, every inch that she moves, every inch that the lights move is gonna affect the shot, yeah beautiful, so we’ve got that, I don’t know Marissa, I’m think I actually like the creeper shot better, because that’s, that’s that’s not the one, like that we have that, right, so. No comment, no, but right the same lights basically just using light theory, moving the light closer, changing the angle, changes the proportion of it, changes everything. So that’s super important, it’s not buy some magic bullet piece of equipment, that’s gonna do everything for you, even just the most simple thing here can create a beautiful shot. If you kind of think about where the light goes, and place it in the right spot. So I will put Marissa’s information in the description, so you guys can follow her, be sure to follow me, danilenortonphotographer, and subscribe to Adorama TV, ring the bell, so you get all the new videos, and I’ll see you next time OnSet.

22 Replies to “From Scary to Beauty, Lighting Portrait Photography: OnSet ep. 249”

  1. Daniel just a piece of advice, if you want scary you need to get another model because you just can't do it with Marisa no matter what kind of light you throw at her 😂

  2. Daniel, I am copy/pasting a comment that I made on another tutorial, realizing that it is more appropriate here: Daniel, you have shown us repeatedly that you care about teaching others your creativity. Your tutorials are a great way for us to learn, regardless of what skill levels we have. Well, why not make a ”structured course” about photography and lighting. Maybe a series of, let’s say 5-6 tutorials for beginners, followed by another one for intermediate/advanced photographers. And if those could be hands-on for small groups, that would be fantastic. I for once would be willing to pay a modest fee to such “community service” classes. Would that not be fantastic? Thank you for your teachings, Daniel. And for whatever consideration you may give this crazy idea. Thank you.

  3. Daniel, are you using live view on the Z6 or the electronic viewfinder? Is the camera showing what the shot is going to look like in relation to the histogram? I assume you are using manual exposure, is that correct? Thank you!

  4. @danielnorton You mention how every inch she moves can change the shot.
    Here's an idea for a video: explain how thinking of the inverse square law can effect the "space" the subject has to move around in (while maintaining correct exposure of course) and how this might influence your choice of light setups in different scenarios, e.g. photographing kids as opposed to professional models. I'd love to see what you do with this idea.

  5. What are you looking at on your talent when you are adjusting the lights Daniel? Is it where the shadows are falling or what….

  6. Great Job Daniel ! My first lights were strobes, and It took me some time to learn how to make them work as nice soft light, it eventually worked for me. I appreciate that you share your knowledge with everyone and even though it doesn't always apply to me personally. I know that it will help most beginners learning how to bend and control light and how to make the best use of whatever gear we have available! And of course it's Great to see Marissa being herself! When the two of you are working together you're one hell of a Duo !

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