Join Natalie Fobes for an in-depth discussion in this video One-light setup, part of The Elements of Effective Photographs.
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We've talked about the message of light, but now let's take a look at how to create it.…This is Margo, and she's going to be helping us out today.…Thank you so much for coming in.…We'll start with a simple one-light setup.…This will be our main, or key, light.…To better illustrate this, let's bring down the house lights and I'll fire this one up.…You can see, as I move this light around, how the contours in her face really change.…
Now this is what's known as a hair light and you can see that it eliminates the…hair and separates her from the background.…This is more of a silhouette.…Now Margo, could you please turn toward the right.…There we go, and see how pretty that is on her face.…We've got kind of a room light.…I'll bring it a little bit further. Very, very pretty!…Now this is the kind of light-- go ahead and look straight please--…this is the kind of light that our flashes create--…not nearly as pretty. It's very flat.…
You lose the depth and the contouring around her face, and this was the glamour…
The course explores compositional elements that guide a viewer's eye, including the rule of thirds; leading lines, patterns, and curves; and depth of field. Natalie then details the roles of color and light in a photo. She shows how to work with the natural light in a room or outdoor location, and how to enhance it using reflectors, newspapers, a T-shirt, or whatever might be handy. She also shows some simple indoor lighting setups that can replicate the look of natural light.
The course continues with a look at movement and how a photographer can convey a sense of motion by blurring part of the image or freezing a fast-moving subject. Next, Natalie explores the concepts of peak action and the decisive moment—those split seconds that capture the essence or emotion of a subject or scene. The course wraps up with a discussion of the roles of planning and research in creating effective photos.