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Focusing the light with a snoot

From: Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Video: Focusing the light with a snoot

Now we're going to take a look at a unique modifier. So if you look at what the size it is on this end. All right.

Focusing the light with a snoot

Now we're going to take a look at a unique modifier. It's called a snoot, and most of the time it's used in conjunction with another light. It can be used by itself, but you're doing something very unique and dramatic. Rich, could you go ahead and show us the construction or the layout of what a snoot really is? >> Yeah, essentially what's happening here is, we're taking the light, and we're focusing it down to an even smaller point. So if you look at what the size it is on this end. It's almost like a funnel, and we're pointing the light down through a smaller opening to sort of spot down. Now sometimes on this end you can put gels or a honeycomb here to further refine that. And we'll just attach that to the light here. Again being careful not to hit the bulb. All right. Let's turn that light on for you, Abba, and we have it paired to the other. Why don't you give it a shot. >> Okay. That's great, Rich. Thank you. And what we're using the snoot for here, is as a hair light to give us some separation. Because Valerie has dark hair, black hair, and we have a dark background, she kind of fades into it. I want her to stand out a little bit more, so we're using the snoot just to focus on the hair, so we get a little bit of that rim. Let's go ahead and fire it. Three, two, one. >> So it's a little bit hot, Abba you want me to knock that down a bit? >> Yeah, let's dial it down. I can see that we're actually losing some detail ,and I don't want to change my aperture, because I like the way the front of her face is lit. Alright, we're at seven Okay? And ready? Three, two, one. And this is a lot more gentle. We're not blowing it out. We actually have some highlights on the hair. Rich, I think we need to move it around a little bit. Come over and take a quick look. You can see that we're not catching the top of her head. It is such a focused light. It's getting more of her neck, so rotate it around a little bit, so it really comes in from behind, it doesn't hit her neck as much, and picks up the top of her hair. Now, if you want to diffuse it a little more, you can either pull off the grid or move the light a little bit further back if it's too spotted down. Let's give that a shot. That's kind of nice. It gives us nice separation.

I might tweak that a little bit, but it gives you an idea of what you can use the snoot for. We're going to show you a couple of other ways that you can use a snoot to enhance the shot. So Rich, if you can move it around, and what I want you to do is use it to light the background. Now, we're using this snoot for something completely different. Before we were highlighting her hair. Now we're going to actually throw basically a circle of light or a spotlight on the background. And because the background will be lighter, again we'll create that separation. We'll also have a little bit of a pattern on the background. Which will make it a more dramatic or a more interesting shot. >> So to aim things, I'll go ahead and turn the modeling light on, and that makes it a bit simpler. Walk that back just a little bit. >> It might be good from your angle, if you could pan over to the left a little bit, and up a little bit. So let's go ahead and do a test shot, and see how it looks, and maybe we'll need to tweak it a little bit. So, this is a completely different look than we had before. It's very focused. maybe even too focused. If we pull the grid off, we're going to get a, a different look. So, here's the grid off, and it's a pretty solid image. She really stands out. It's actually a little bit bright, but what I'd like to see is some color, and maybe it be a little bit softer. So Rich, if you could go ahead and put the blue gel on, and knock the intensity down. And maybe even move the light back a little bit. That'll give us a softer throw. And we might need to go back to that modeling light so we can aim it. >> Try that. >> I think we're getting close there. I, I like the blue. It's really making it pop, it gives some color to the scene. I'll probably tweak it a little bit more to make it softer, but I love the idea that I can throw a nice focus light on the background, and change the entire feel of my image. So Rich, those are the two primary reasons I use it. But, you know, a trick that I like is sometimes using it as a highlight to make the eyes pop. Now you're going to probably have to take the blue gel out. >> Yeah. >> And because this is a rather bright focus light, you'll probably want to start off with it as dim as possible, and we'll work our way up. >> 'Kay. All right. So Rich, let's go ahead and do a test shot. Valerie, keep your eyes closed, because this could be rather bright, and I just want to see if we need to put some diffusion on it. So this really changed the look of the shot, though I really kind of like it. Rich, there's actually a little circle that came with this snoot that really cuts the light down. It's a little translucent disc. Let's go ahead and put that on, and that willl cut out some of the light. >> Give a shot Abba. >> Rich, I really like what you did with the light. I'm really interested to see just what the snoot's doing. >> Sure. So. >> What can you do for me? >> So we killed the overhead lights here for a second that we were recording with video, to get a little darker in the room. Why don't I block this light? We can't turn it off, because if we did, it wouldn't trigger the other one. But, I'll just put the foam core up, and why don't you give it a shot? >> Okay. One, two, three. >> Thanks Rich. this is really cool I can see exactly what the snoots doing.

It's really just focusing on her face. It's not highlight her shirt at all. It gives me a lot of control, that I wouldn't have with a normal light. So now that I know exactly what the snoot's doing, I can either turn it up, or turn it down, and compare it to the other light. And get exactly the perfect ratio between my soft box, and my snoot. Rich, I like the fact it's picking up. I'm going to go ahead and close down my aperture. >> Sure. >> And Valerie look directly at me, so we can really see that reflection in your eyes. Now I have some nice balance and some nice shadow, but lets take a look and we're going to zoom in right on the eye, because I want you to see the reflection. So, that's three different uses of a snoot, and it's actually even a multipurpose tool that you can use for a lot of other things. So, don't ignore it. It's actually one of my favorite controlled light sources. We're going to go ahead and take a look at what a grid can do, to modify your lights.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Studio Strobes
Up and Running with Studio Strobes

62 video lessons · 6489 viewers

Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro

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  1. 4m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 4s
    2. What you should know to get the most from this course
      2m 2s
  2. 6m 26s
    1. Shooting with strobes
      1m 23s
    2. Strobe lighting allows you to shoot with an increased depth of field
    3. Strobe lighting has faster recharge times than flashes
      1m 39s
    4. Strobe lighting is good at freezing action
    5. Strobe lighting offers many modifiers to shape light
      1m 38s
  3. 7m 34s
    1. Continuous lighting is easier for a beginner to understand
      1m 47s
    2. Continuous lighting makes it easier to achieve soft-light looks
      2m 57s
    3. Continuous lighting is useful if mixing video into the shoot
      2m 50s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Buying piecemeal vs. buying a kit
      2m 29s
    2. Criteria for selecting lights
      5m 57s
    3. How many lights do you need?
      3m 0s
    4. How much power do you need
      5m 37s
    5. Mixing brands
      3m 44s
  5. 16m 40s
    1. Monolights and flash heads
      2m 22s
    2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3m 54s
    3. Lighting stands and booms
      3m 49s
    4. Power pack or power supplies
      4m 29s
    5. Sync cable
      2m 6s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Handling the lamp or bulb
      2m 52s
    2. The role of the modeling light
      4m 36s
    3. Keeping lights cool
      1m 46s
    4. The master and slave relationship for lighting
      4m 5s
    5. Essential controls
      5m 48s
  7. 14m 59s
    1. Connecting the sync cable
      3m 16s
    2. Using a wireless transmitter
      7m 7s
    3. Slaving with a speedlight
      4m 36s
  8. 34m 6s
    1. Setting shutter sync speed
      4m 56s
    2. Setting an initial aperture and ISO
      2m 28s
    3. Controlling power output
      3m 1s
    4. Moving lights (the inverse-square rule)
      2m 8s
    5. Using a light meter in camera
      4m 4s
    6. Using an external light meter
      1m 45s
    7. Test shooting with one light at a time
      2m 5s
    8. Putting it all together
      1m 39s
    9. Controlling exposure with power or aperture
      1m 6s
    10. Refining exposure with ISO
      1m 39s
    11. Tethering to a laptop
      5m 22s
    12. Checking the shots on a computer
      3m 53s
  9. 31m 38s
    1. Modifying strobe lights
      1m 9s
    2. Bouncing the light with a reflector
      4m 26s
    3. Bouncing the light with a bounce card
      1m 12s
    4. Shaping the light with a beauty dish
      3m 5s
    5. Diffusing the light with an umbrella
      5m 50s
    6. Diffusing the light with a softbox
      4m 49s
    7. Focusing the light with a snoot
      6m 58s
    8. Modeling the light with grids and honeycombs
      2m 2s
    9. Using flags to restrict the light
      2m 7s
  10. 14m 50s
    1. Three-light setup
      6m 52s
    2. Three-light dramatic portrait
      4m 59s
    3. Four-light setup
      2m 59s
  11. 46m 56s
    1. Take the challenge
    2. Solution
    3. Portrait challenge 1
      8m 6s
    4. Portrait challenge 2
      3m 10s
    5. Portrait challenge 3
      12m 55s
    6. Portrait challenge 4
      3m 19s
    7. Portrait challenge 5
      4m 28s
    8. Portrait challenge 6
      9m 5s
    9. Portrait challenge 7
      4m 29s
  12. 39s
    1. Next steps

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