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Three-light dramatic portrait Studio Strobes

Learn Photography skills with this expert-created video tutorial from the course Up and Running with… Show More

Up and Running with Studio Strobes

with Abba Shapiro and Richard Harrington

Video: Three-light dramatic portrait Studio Strobes

Learn Photography skills with this expert-created video tutorial from the course Up and Running with Studio Strobes
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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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Three-light dramatic portrait
Video Duration: 4m 59s 3h 37m Beginner


Learn Photography skills with this expert-created video tutorial from the course Up and Running with Studio Strobes

View Course Description

In this course, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro give beginning photographers a brisk look at using strobe lights in a studio setting—lessons that easily translate to the field and locations, inside and out. Learn why shooting with strobes and continuous lighting makes such a big impact on your photographs, and how to buy a good, affordable starter kit. Rich and Abba also show how to set your gear up, trigger your lights, and make modifications with accessories like reflectors, umbrellas, and soft boxes. Finally, learn how to make the most of what you have in a series of lighting challenges.

Topics include:
  • Why shoot with strobes?
  • Buying a lighting setup or parts
  • Mixing brands
  • Understanding the components of a studio strobe kit
  • Getting to know your lights
  • Triggering a light
  • Setting up your lights effectively
  • Testing your strobes
  • Modifying strobe lights

Three-light dramatic portrait

Abba, we have the same technical limitations. We've added no more lights, no extra stuff. But our subject matter has completely changed. We're doing a sports portrait. Which is nothing like a portrait that's gonna be shot You know, girls do sports portraits, boys do sports portraits. But they have a totally different feel, than sort of the head shot, or the beauty shot we were just doing. >> So, we pretty much used the same techniques here. We moved the lights. We put the lights behind them, so now we have these soft boxes, with the lights rolling around from the back. So it was much more dramatic. There wasn't a lot of light in front. But we needed a little bit of light in front, so we did position a light on the floor shooting up. And that has a unique look to it when you put a light up, and this is where you really can play with things. Sometimes you may want it to be at eye level, sometimes a little lower. Get a feel for it and try some test shots.

>> So, what's really happened here is we're sort of edifying our subject. We've put some light coming in low. We've actually dropped the camera a bit lower, so we've added some drama here, both with the camera position and the lighting angles. >> Absolutely. We were working with this actually on two levels, literally, because, one, because we're shooting sports, we want to get below the eye line of our subject. And because our subject is younger and smaller, so we lowered the lights, but we still kept them above his head, and we lowered the camera below his eye line. And that helped us get that look that we wanted.

>> And by placing the one light really low shooting up into the subject, we're actually going for some of those hard shadows, putting some drama because in this shot, the soccer ball is gonna be as important as our subject. It's not just a simple prop, this is all about soccer, so we want the feeling. And, what's also happening here is the depth of field has been set so that everything is tack sharp. Now, Abba, what F stop are we gonna go with here? Because we've got the ball, he's holding it out. We want to really keep everything in focus. We talking F8? >> F8 is usually my starting point on any shot. I can go there if it's not crisp enough, I can bring it up and then manipulate the lights so I have enough lights.

In other cases where the ball may not be the focus. >> Mm-hm. >> I may drop it down to say, a 2A or an F4, lower my lights and then I can really make my depth of field shallow and I can focus either on the ball or on the player. >> Alright, so this is a shot that's gonna be all about drama. Let's do a little bit of shooting here and then we'll do some quick post processing to show what's in camera and what happens in post. >> Sounds like a plan. >> Abba, I really think we've nailed the shot, but a little bit of post processing is gonna give it that sports look. What are some things that you really associate with that cover look for a sports photo? So, what do you think? What are we gonna do with our first adjustment? >> Well, I want the blacks to be a little bit richer behind him, so we'll bring those down, and of course we'd be cropping out the lights, so don't even worry about those.

>> Let's put a little clarity in. >> Yeah, we really want it to pop. >> Yeah, and then we'll play with that black slider to make the blacks a bit darker, right? But we can lift the shadows back up to find that balance. What do you think? >> That looks pretty good to me. >> How about the highlights? >> I like the highlights, but we could bring them down a little bit because his hair, we're losing some of the detail. >> Alright. I think that's looking pretty good. How about a quick tone curve. Why don't we lift up his middle just a little bit, to bring out his skin tone. >> Looks perfect. >> There we go. And we'll put a little bit more in the bottom there on the shadows. How's that? >> Looks nice, and when it comes to color, sometimes a little less vibrant is kind of sports-like these days. It's almost this washed out look.

>> So we'll pull some of that vibrance down which is actually gonna affect the skin tones a bit more there. That's looking pretty good. As a quick look, I think we're definitely getting there, if we put those two side by side. We're getting that, sort of sports look. >> You want to change the color a little bit? Maybe add some toning? >> Sure. >> Little more golden. >> Let's go back to Develop. And let's come on in here, into our split toning. And we'll put a little more gold in. There we go. >> Yeah, let's go look at that side by side. So, I really like that. On the, the shot on the right looks great, but the process shot looks pretty tough.

>> Yeah. Now, Abba, we're gonna do more to this later in real post production. >> Absolutely. >> Yeah, you're not gonna do this like on set, but this is the whole idea why we talked about tethered shooting earlier. Abba had an idea for the type of lighting he wanted, and very quickly, we could simulate some of those tricks that are often done in post. Clarity is not something you do in camera. That selective contrast, some of that vibrance, that's all post, right? >> Absolutely. As a matter of fact, the key is envisioning what the shot looks like once it's processed and shooting towards that goal.

>> Alright. Well, I think this looks great, why don't we go ahead switch on over to a four light set up?

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