Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Three-light dramatic portrait, part of Learning to use Studio Strobes.
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?
- 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