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The role of the modeling light

From: Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Video: The role of the modeling light

Now, we've talked a lot about something called the modeling We go over to this, the third light here, and again, I'm going to power it on.

The role of the modeling light

Now, we've talked a lot about something called the modeling light and, I want to go a little bit deeper into that and explain to you how it works and how you can actually set it to be the luminance level that you need. Now again we have three very different styles of lights, and I'm going to go over to this first one, this is a very basic light, this is the light that actually. Was using the power brick, and there's only one knob, or one dial here. But actually it's a switch, it's neither a knob or a dial, and I can kick it on, and there's a little tiny fan to keep it cool.

And you'll notice now that the modeling light, is on and it's on at a certain brightness, a certain luminescence, and I can control that, I can go down here to the controls and make it brighter. And as you can see, it gets pretty bright. But, never as bright as that flash is going to be. Now, the whole purpose of a modeling light is to allow you to see how the light's going to play against the other lights. And give you an idea of where shadows will fall. I'm going to go ahead and bring this down. Just so we don't blind everybody.

And you can use this modeling light if you're shooting video, if it is bright enough. So, depending on the unit that you buy, if you have a bright modeling light you can crank it up. One thing to keep in mind, and you'll notice as I step over and turn each of these units on. Because there's a fan, that's going to be picked up by the microphone. As a matter of fact, you might be hearing a little bit of a whir in the background underneath my voice because I'm standing so close to these lights. Now, the second light here, uses the LEDs, and, I'm going to go ahead and turn this on.

And as you see we have these LED's that will illuminate the talent and I can turn the brightness up. And usually with a unit like this, the same switch that you use to make the flash brighter or less bright is also the switch that you would use to make the modeling light brighter or less bright. So, it's a press of the button. And now, I'm actually controlling a different aspect of the light. Let me go ahead and turn this back to you. And as you can see, I can make that brighter, or dimmer.

Now in the case of LEDs, they're not going to get as bright as this unit here. But they're also not going to get as hot. Just two different styles. And again, you can turn the modeling light up and down just to get a feel of how the light's going to play on your talent, and where the shadows are going to fall. We go over to this, the third light here, and again, I'm going to power it on. Now, this light here is. Not an LED, and it requires a lot more cooling than the other light.

So, actually the fan's louder. So, this will be more of an issue, if you use the modeling light as your primary light by turning up its luminance. And again, it's a very similar situation that you have a knob that you can turn up. And if you press it, you're switching between the luminance, or the brightness of the modeling light, and the brightness of the actual flash. So, we can go ahead and turn that around. Let's power that on. And I can control how dim or how bright that is.

Now in this case, because it's a higher-end unit, I have another option. I have a little button here called Full. And if I go ahead and I press Full, and I'm going to turn it away from the camera, it will temporarily bring the luminance of the modelling light to 100%. And then, I can bring it back down to however I set it by pressing that button again. Now you'll notice there's this little beep that's going on in the background. You'll hear that throughout this course because basically most strobes have some sort of an audible warning that says I am fully recharged and ready to fire.

So, if you're taking pictures and you're going snap, snap, snap. And you want to make sure that your lights are ready to pop at full luminance. You listen for that beep, and you know you're ready to go. It is something you can usually toggle on and off on a light. There's usually a little Audio button, and you can just switch off the Audio Feedback so that I'm distracting the people I'm taking pictures of. So, it's just a matter of pressing a simple button. Next, we'll look at, keeping your lights cool, so they work more efficiently, and have a longer life.

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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 · 5340 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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