Quality of Light and Modifiers
Quality of Light and Modifiers
6. Quality of Light and Modifiers
Shutter Speed15:37 2
Flash Exposure22:17 3
White Balance16:48 4
Light Principles: Inverse Square Law19:44 5
Lighting Terminology09:24 6
Quality of Light and Modifiers09:49 7
Common Lighting Mistakes14:02 8
Quality of Light and Modifiers
This is something that I did not in any way, shape or form understand until maybe three years ago. I didn't get it. And so I hope that I help you get it. Okay, here's the deal. The larger the light sources relative to your subject, the softer that it appears, the smaller that light sources relative to the subject, the harsher appears, and the key word here is that relative thing. Relatives your subject. So, for example, the sun is huge, but relative to us, it is tiny in the sky, so it looks harsh on our skin. Let's say that you have a small umbrella and you bring that umbrella really close to her relative to her. It's pretty close. It's going to be pretty soft if I take that same umbrella and back it up ft relative to her. It's pretty small, and it's not going to be soft light anymore. So this is when it becomes important to realize where you place your modifier is important. Even if you get a decent size soft box, let's say a three size, 3 ft Octa box, but you put it 10 ft away. It's...
not big anymore. you would have to have to make it equivalent to being here. You'd have to have a five or 6 ft Octa box that far away, so relative size makes a big difference. But this is why I did not understand this. When you bring the light closer, it looks brighter, right? We talked about the closer. You bring your light to the subject, the brighter it ISS and in my head, bright didn't look soft, but they're not the same thing. One is intensity of light. We brought it in so it looks more intense. It's brighter, but it's still softer. It wraps around more. It's not a point source of light when you bring it in. So when you're practicing this and you're try bringing your light source in and you're trying to look to see if it's softer, you have to try to divorce your brain from the intensity. It will look brighter, which for some reason, to me, I thought was harsher. But no, the shadows still have that softer ingredient, so over and over again, these are the things that you want to repeat. The larger the light sources relative to the subject, the softer the light, and then the smaller that that light sources to the subject, the harsher the light. So if you want soft light, get a bigger light source and bring it closer. If you want a harsher light, get a smaller light source and bring it further back. So here's an illustration of this, and I will illustrate it with her as well. Okay, so this is that girl Raquel again. This is She's an assistant of minds. I've got a small Octa box and you can see the distance. All right, so look at the shadows very, very closely. So she's got it. Z not soft. It's not harsh, okay? It's like kind of an in between. All I do is a double the distance away from her for that for that small octave box, and it gets more crisp with light, gets more contrast. E So the shadow, it kind of fades off in the first one. It's got a little bit off Grady into it, and in the second it gets much more contracting. All I did is double that distance, so this will make a huge difference over what modifiers you choose, because what are you trying to achieve with your photographs. So remember, closer is brighter, but it's also also softer, bigger the light sources relative the subject softer, the light all right. There are a ba jillion different types of modifiers of all sorts, and it really depends. It's, you know, the tool for the job. What are you trying to do? And so I'll recommend to you later the most commonly used light modifiers for portrait, for example. And so there's kind of a hard, medium and soft light sources keeping in mind that sizes varying for all of these will make a difference. Because I could take an umbrella that's really small, and it makes it a little bit harsher. I could take an umbrella. It's really big. Make it softer as long as it's close. All right, So taking a look here, left hand side, these type of light modifiers, arm or contrast e. And what they have in common is there small and there's silver. The mawr contrast you want pick modifiers that air, silver and smaller, which would be the general silver reflector that comes with a lot of lights. That is very, very contrast, E um, the ones that I have here you don't need. This is not like you don't need to know this. If you're just starting. I'm just gonna tell you this is a silver reflector. This is a long throw. This is a Magnum reflector. All of these small silver contrast e Okay, then they on the other extreme, you have soft boxes. Soft boxes tend to be one of the softer sources of like, we'll also talk about shoot through umbrellas, being a soft option as well. On DFO these, they have something called diffusion, basically translucent material. When the light hits it, the light spreads out and it softens. It makes the light source larger. And that's basically what a soft box does. You've got the head of the light, which is this big. It's maybe the size of your fist. But as soon as it hits that diffusion panel in the front, that light sources now the size of the diffusion panel. So, as I said, the larger light source becomes softer. A smaller soft box, like a knocked a box in order to make it really soft. Got to bring it closer. I have a four by six soft box you can have a little bit further back large that light sources. It's going to be softer. So you've got those two extremes, and then you've got the ones that are like medium kind in between. I've got my beauty dish here. Um, beauty dish would not be my first light modifier to tell a portrait photographer to get. I'm still going to go more in the realm of a soft boxer umbrella. But I will tell you it's a light modifier I use most often for fashion photography. So when I break this down on Day three, I'll go in order of if you do portrait, What to get If you do groups what to get, um, but a beauty dishes not up there, but it's one of my like because it is in between. It's got some of the soft qualities of light that are more flattering to the skin, like a soft box, because you saw in the beginning when I grab a contrast, the light source. The highlights get brighter in the shadows. Get darker. What does that do to wrinkles? Shadows get darker, so wrinkles show up more or blemish to show up more or highlights get brighter. Somebody with an oily head. Now those highlights are that much brighter. So generally for a portrait, a soft box is the most forgiving because it is the softest it has. The less contrast is the less difference between shadow and highlight. So it looks best on the skin downside of a soft box or an umbrella, an umbrella in particular. It is a little harder to control or toe have the type of shadows you want because there's ingredient, so it's a little bit harder to get crisp. Rembrandt, for example, with a soft box. Because it's a general, uh, gradual change between highlight and shadow, you could get an amazingly crisp, cool shadow from for Rembrandt, light from one of the more contrast in modifiers, but it looks like crap on the skin, so it's back to that like decision making that we'll have the whole time do I want contrast to Do I want soft? Do I want more dimension, but it or is it too much dimension like it's that constant balance s. So that's why I use a beauty dish a lot, and this is something called a parabolic umbrella. You don't need to know it. I just put it on the screen. You just kind of the range of what you might want. So let's talk about some other things. All right? So, um, what? I want you to take a watch or what I want you to watch out for is to look at the shadows on her face. The highlights on her face, the Grady int of the shadows on overall contrast, like, How does this light look? So I flipped through and I shot thes. There's nine here, different light modifiers, and I have on my store on top of my block. There's a link. Um, I just did a lighting guide that has 60 lighting setups and one of the things that has in it are these images. Each one has its own page listing the modifier and then compares them side by side. We're going to do that now, but it also is a good reference to see. All right, so that is a small white umbrella. It's kind of softer, softer shadows there. Beauty dish still has a little bit of glow to the skin, but you notice that shadow got a little bit harsher and, uh, we're gonna bring some of these modifiers out for you to look at. So you got the beauty dish. Next one is an octave box. It's softer. It wraps but doesn't rap too far. Shadows air still defined, but it's still kind of a ingredient there. We'll talk about an octave box or a larger soft box, the lights wrapping around more. The grading of the shadows is a little softer. This something called a parabolic umbrella. This is getting fancy, but I'm just showing some different ones that exist. You got your small silver dish, remember small and far away. Look how contrast you that is. There's bigger silver dish. Contrast is a little less defined on the nose. Got a long throw that's just more contrast and its new. So if you look at all these, these all have something a totally different effects to them, to the highlights to the shadows, the shape of the face. But it just kind of depends on what you're going for
Ratings and Reviews
Awesome class. Lindsey Adler is an excellent teacher. She explained some basic concepts that I couldn't figure out on my own. The section showing 1, 2, and 3 light setups moves pretty fast. So I'll watch that again. This Fast Class was nice for me because I don't have time to do a full lengthy course.