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Shoot: Matching & Creating Consistent Light Part 2

Lesson 11 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

Shoot: Matching & Creating Consistent Light Part 2

Lesson 11 from: Fine Art Compositing

Brooke Shaden

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Lesson Info

11. Shoot: Matching & Creating Consistent Light Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Why Composite ?


Logic Checklist


What Not To Do When Compositing


Shooting for Composite


Changing Backgrounds and Light


Shoot: Simple Swaps Part 1


Lesson Info

Shoot: Matching & Creating Consistent Light Part 2

creating separation with light so how am I going to create any sort of separation with my subject in the background to be ableto light her for a composite so let's let's get this light back on I know I'm being so annoying john's like brock why are you doing this but we're going to get that back on and I'm gonna want it back out here yeah so we're going to shoot like that and what I want to do is just create a nice back right on my goal here is to if I can we bring up the presentation again that I had upped their um what I want to do is I want to sort of re create the light from that image that I just showed you guys from this one so how am I going to recreate that no I obviously had used to lights to create this but that's just because I didn't have a big white with a big soft box on it I just had some bold was at my house so I'm gonna go ahead and raise this up as high as we can just have a point down at her and we can uh we can get you off the stool now you can stand up thank you oka...

y so what I'm going to do is I'm gonna have this light above her and behind her and then we're gonna have you to step forward here and I'm gonna shoot you just like this now if we want to be really mean then we can have her start to toss her hair so let's do that so we're going to recreate this image but I just I'm only shooting you for about here so all you need to dio is told your head down and do you guys I didn't mention this but I had my head tilted down in this because when I told him my head up in the white was hitting my face I had shadows and light and stuff like that and I wanted to make sure when I was doing the whiting demo that my face was just filled in from the light coming from the window and then the rest was lit by the artificial lights that's what we're going to go for here and I could always use a flag I could always block the white off of my face if I needed to but being one person taking her own picture with lights is not always so easy so I chose this pose and so we're going to do that again so all right looking good turn this way with me okay that's good so let's go ahead and take this hair of yours and you can pull both sides around to the front and I'm going to keep your head down good and then we'll just have you stay like this and then toss your hair back with your hands now let me get focused here very quickly and okay whenever you're ready good wow that is so much easier with somebody else I got nauseous flipping my hair for this picture okay for perfect so let's go ahead and move the white now so I'm going to move the white even further back behind and only just a little bit more and then we'll have another lamp person lamp person toe light the other side of her head a little bit so we're gonna have somebody just over here you see this is great because you're nice and tall watch out because it's plugged in but I want you right there with that light just there now you can move it in a little bit closer to her there that's great okay all right so let's go ahead with another herr flick okay whenever you're ready perfect oh that looks so pretty so now what I am thinking about when I look at these final shots is the fact that the hair looks really cool and that's great we have a really neat body position but what happens if I need to cut this out from the background the answer is that it would be mostly okay mostly we have issues in the background especially right here anybody who's ever cut air hair out before you know you're looking at that near like oh no I'm not doing that but we're going to do it so it's ok so obviously I could move the backdrop but that would require me to change the whole studio set up just to get the backdrop behind her so what I would instead do is say well the background is so neutral back there but it's probably okay we'll deal with it later it's going to be all right but what I really want to make sure of is that her hair is lit from behind and she has enough light on the front now one thing that I'm not digging digging really hip is thiss soft box because it's just spreading the light too much for me so let's go ahead and use this light instead as the backlight weaken just flick this one off I would do it if I knew how but we don't know how it is that's how you do it and we're going to get this light from above now the problem that we might have with this light is that if if if that's behind her that I'm going to get that light in my camera and I don't want that to happen I don't have a lens hood I don't have anything like that but what I do have is my hand so I'll be blocking it as much as I can and we're just going to get this light as much on her head is possible and the whole reason why I'm so interested in doing that is because if we're focusing on compositing and I am to move her to a different background then it's great if we can composite somebody into a shop with backlight because the backlight is going to help separate the hair from the background and in the end it's not even gonna matter what the background is if she is back with enough if there's enough contrast happening wow I thought it's so right it's okay we'll just do it okay this one dials down too so it's okay it's like the brightest light I've ever seen probably this thing is not going to do anything now so you can just set that down if you like good I like it okay let's have you stuff just over here good okay now can you bring that light closer until did down a little bit or he hates me now because the reason why I'm saying that is that I'm looking at the situation here and I can see that the light is hitting one side of her and not quite the other and it's so far away that I'm going to get that light in the background no matter what what I do it's going to be right behind her head unless they get a really different angle so instead I'm going to move it closer and have it up higher that way when I shoot straight on to her it's not going to be in my shot I don't want to see a light source I just want her to be lit from behind much better much better okay so let's see what we can do here I'm gonna take a picture with the light directly behind her that way I'm getting even light on either side and we're just going to do the same exact thing here flipping your hair so whenever you're ready great who that was quite the backlight which is good now I happened to be too short for you so yeah could I get an apple box I was gonna have her you know like squat for a long time but then I thought that was very mean of me I'll stand on that thank you so much okay I'm gonna move back a little bit stand up here much nicer now russ is going to be in the back of every picture yeah that's right do something fun okay when you're ready you can flip your hair great okay so we've got some oh yep there is right in the back okay good so we've got the hair moving and I will be eliminating that later but this is a really good example of having all these different backgrounds now this background this background might be too bright to cut her hair out because she has such blond hair it might not be there might be enough separation because of how which she is in the background but to fix this I would just very simply get anything black and hold it up in the back yeah if you have one that'd be great I mean I was just going to stand behind her but this is a way better I was going to get to people with black shirts to stand back there which I don't have that luxury at home so I shouldn't do that here but in any case so we're gonna work on that we're going to get the black foam core and the point that I want to make here is that if we can do anything that we can to backlight and neutralize the background into a dark color to contrast with her hair we're going to have a much easier time later with whiting and trying to match that light photo yogi what speed are you shooting at that you're getting great movement with hair at f two point eight and the faces and focus with no movement I'm just really good so getting are just getting I'm f four right now I s o eight hundred and one sixtieth of a second yes come in all right so now hopefully this is going to just make everything perfect so I actually need you way up here john right behind her keep coming keep coming that there I know not not yet I'm watching for it no you're good up a little bit higher up a little higher they're okay so oh wait now I need you to move over to your right you there yep and now I'll move the rest of the way okay perfect so now let's do one last shot here of your hair moving whenever you're ready unless I missed it now I got it okay we've got enough hair good so now this would be the ideal shooting situation and I know that you might be thinking well I don't have a black backdrop and I don't have this and I don't have that and it's really okay because I don't need this big white to do this I mean I could just use a couple of lamps in the background and one of my favorite favorite lighting setups ever is to just have a bear bawled like a two hundred watt bulb and then put it in a paper lantern for my kia you know those paper lantern things are everywhere they're awesome because they allow the light to be perfectly diffused really really soft it's sort of neutralizes the color a little bit and then you can put whatever watt bulb in that you want that was a lie don't burn your house down it won't be my fault but it says sixty watts I've done two hundred it's been fine I know lots of people who have done two hundred watt bulbs in there yeah but I can't be responsible for that of sixty watts nothing else yeah okay so thank you very much you've been wonderful now let's move on from there tio what happens if we have a really bad background so let's say that we don't have a light so we can kill that light we just have natural light and then we just have this awful background so let's have some awful background people come up you're like no I can't I can't okay this is gonna be great I just need you to jump in the back room and I'm going to do the same thing with your head in the same position and hair moving and all of that and then we're going to talk about the pitfalls of trying to deal with that yeah yeah whichever way you want okay now we're going to do this on the count of three we've got two people are going on here so okay you guys ready one two three wow that was good it was not I mean I like this picture a lot actually um okay so so you get to see you in there you're just a blur which is good so let's talk about all of the potential problems that we have here with lighting flat and how that is not always a good thing for dealing with composites so when we talk about composites now what if this were my main shot and then I had to add things into the background or I had to change the background or I had to start putting I don't know more hair on her head or something like that the problem is that we have bright spots back here dark spots back here we have this is that your neck will go through next intersecting and that's almost the same color as the hair so we have a lot of different issues here and that's why I try to keep background neutral you saw with the um the shot of the the book pages that I did before with the pages in the spiral from my head that I shot that just against a neutral background and that background was sort of like a greenish gray color didn't contrast a ton with my hair but it contrast it enough that I was able to cut it out it doesn't always work though I mean the problem is that the lighting is so important if it's flat and that means that it's flat on the background it's flat on the subject so if we're not paying attention to where lights heading that's a huge huge problem so one thing that I might recommend if you do have a light at your disposal is to light the background of whatever you're doing so instead of saying well I don't know what to do because my subject doesn't let my background does it lit but I don't want my subject to be lit then you can always just create a brighter background by lighting the background so can we get this light down here further and then pointed that way I have all I know pointed that way and the goal here is going to be to brighten up that background enough now let's see if it's anybody robbing you have dark hair would you come up here okay somebody's gonna be your stand in for just a moment so you can step aside for just a second and since you have such dark hair this is why I would do this technique which is toe white the background now lighting the background is obviously going to be a good thing because she has dark hair so if the background was lighter than her hair then we can cut something out a little bit easier that's what we're going to try to do we're just going to quickly like the background and then I will photograph your beautiful hair moving all around okay so I'm going to start to get my focus you are also taller than me up here you could step forward to about here and I'm going to just take a test to see what this looks like in the background without lighting it okay wait one more good good face okay so now this is without the light I know I know I took another one I was trying to save this you can see it didn't get saying all right so we're starting to light the background the lights just firing up and I would probably just put as much light in the background as possible so can we just take that lightens pointed down or anywhere at the background and I'm just trying to make it a little bit more neutral back there by filling it with light so the moment I do that the moment our hair is going to stand out a lot more so here we have some light coming in the background so why don't you give me a good hair flip with your hands there yeah whenever you're ready good okay so we've got some motion there and that's already really good because this background is white enough for her but we can add even more light for a perfect cut here so let's go ahead and add more light which that's firing up too that's good you're like you're in the right spot okay so I'm going to grab my camera I'm not exposing for the background just for my subject and whenever you're ready it's good no it was good ok and so that's even brighter in the backdrop which is good yea okay perfect thank you

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Logic Checklist
Must Have Shots
Favorite Photoshop Tools
Lighting Effects
Practice Files - Cutting out Hair from Background
Practice Files - Building a Dress
Practice Files - Swapping Hand
Practice Files - Levitation
Adorama Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Logan Fox

I'm so thrilled to have come across this course and to have been introduced to Brooke Shaden. As a bit of background I do photography as a hobby, and always had an appetite to composite my work. It's only after watching this course that I can finally put a name to a craft that I love, that being 'fine art photography'. Through my own personal journey I've read various books, followed online tutorials both paid and free. When I came across this course I did hesitate. I wondered 'is it going to teach me anything new'... 'would the standard of the course be up to scratch'. Well, I can honestly say with hand on heart that this is by far is one of the best courses I've come across to date. As a solo photographer myself I've found it difficult at times to be both photographer and subject at the same time. From the outset what became clear was that Brooke is just like me in this respect which made the course so 'relevant' to what I do. Brooke shows throughout the course what can be achieved with a little planning and some creative approaches to situations that can be difficult to pull off when on your own. She is such a joy to watch and listen to, I loved her sense of humor and great how the audience were involved in some of the shoots. All I can say is, if you're in to photography and interested in compositing your work, you should give this a go, you wont regret it!


I'd like to show my gratitude and gratefulness to Ms Shaden and other wonderful people at CreativeLIVE for sharing your vast knowledge without making a fuss. Not everybody has a super computer and a top-notch camera, not everyone has a studio to work in and not everyone needs to know everything as perfectly as some instructors and professionals do. I, for one, have gained so much insight and have been intrigued by Ms Shaden's present and past lessons, she makes the most difficult and surreal subjects unfold so easily and effortlessly. Ms Shaden has made me believe no matter where I be and no matter what i have, as long as i have a good story to tell, and the right vision, I should be able to handle it with a working camera and any version of Photoshop. Unlike many other instructors who kill us every 5 minutes to buy their flashes or gear and support this or that company and agency, Ms Shaden has spent the whole time teaching and teaching and teaching and I am sorry I cannot be there to thank you in person, but you, Ms Shaden, are awesome and nobody can unawesome you :)


Brooke has a wonderful way of not only making it all look so easy, but actually be easy. In a plain and down to earth manner, she can make both beginner and advanced pro comfortable with the material covered in this class. From a simple starting point to a polished post-production finished work of art, she takes us on a relaxed and joyous journey. I am a former professional commercial photographer returning to the art after a 30 year absence. When I left, there was no such thing as digital photography. Now, to be able to embrace such concepts and techniques as taught by Brooke, without any difficulty to me, says that this course provides great value and time well spent. Well done Brooke! Well done Creative Live!

Student Work