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3 Types of Light

Lesson 3 from: Lighting Styles: Working with Soft, Medium and Hard Light

Matthew Jordan Smith

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Lesson Info

3. 3 Types of Light

Lesson Info

3 Types of Light

Let's talk again about those three types of light Today. We have an overcast day. How do you feel most days? How do you feel wanted? Overcast day. How do you feel like your normal day, where the sun's out? Chip clouds? I call that medium light because even though it's a bright, sunny day, there's still small clouds at a diffusing the light a little bit. That's medium light. How do you feel most days and then how do you feel? This is an L A day every single day. Bright blue sky, not a cloud in the sky. How do you feel then, and how do you want your clients to feel when they look at your images? Because they look at your work. But not just looking at you, looking at you and maybe 15 other photographers and trying to make a decision on who they want to hire to take their picture, their child, their wedding. There. Portrait's. If that visual look is all over the place, they're confused. But when you give me a clear decision, you'll stand out from everybody else who's all over the place, sh...

ooting with a soft box one day a hard light the next day. I mean, it might be in luck today. Make a decision on the type of life you want to use this about modifiers for a second. So there's a modifier for each type of light. The the lighting companies have made modifiers that give you different types of light. Let's go and look at different types of modifiers. Now we have a soft box. Most spins Rapolas. Second, is that okay? This is one type of soft light, very popular modifier, but it's only one of the modifiers that gives you soft light. There are many. This is by the most popular one. But again, there are many types of light that you can use to make soft light. But you can even change this modifier and make it dip it by changing the amount of the fusion in it, or to get out altogether and make it more in medium light. You have that power. Once you understand what type of life you want to show, then you have medium light, like when my favorites a beauty dish, and this could be changed quite a bit as well. You can shoot this without anything on it, you can put a called a sock, but in Japan, he told me, It's not a sock. It's a diffuser, but a diffuser over it and soften it. You could put agreed into this and then a diffuser over it. There many ways to change this medium light source. Also, this beautician comes in silver as well. It's a harder version of a medium light, so there didn't increments of medium light. And then you have a hard light source. When I'm shooting outside and I want to overpower the son. I use this a lot. This is a magnet reflector. This is one type of hard light source, and it's beautiful. Thank you for all those. Right now I'm being lit by, Ah, hard light source of H M I. It has diffusion over it, but it's a hard light source. It makes the colors come alive. It's crisp, it's sharp. It's a beautiful light source. Now, guys, how do you feel like cloudy day when you're walking around on the beach or even outside today? Manhattan. How do you feel most days? Maybe it's chilly, moves overcast. Think about the feeling of your light and how you want your clients to feel this picture illustrates how I think I feel on a cloudy day was overcast you like a little melancholy, but that fits in a swell. How you feeling that bright, sunny day? I mean, this is funny how things change. The light can make you feel a certain way. How do you want your clients to feel? This is the most important thing. What you want saying with your light? What fits your brand of photography? Is it romantic and soft? Well, maybe you're shooting sports. Then you want that color, that sharpness. You want a harder light source. So when it comes to your lighting style, what matters to you More than anything else, commercial clients hire you for a distinctive style. They know that you have a clear decision on what you want to save. If your light whether this image, it's based on me making decision about my light. Now this is artificial light. I want to feel like the end of the day Sunlight. Same here for this movie poster. I'm using H in my lights, which are hard light source. You for this at Ole I'm using again. Ah, hard light source because I want that feeling like the end of the day sunlight. Then clients hire you that same feeling that you give over and over and over again. Let's talk about commercial jobs and how things happen because sometimes you get hired for jobs and you have no idea how you got the job. That happens a lot. So I speaking once in New York City, and, uh, I'm giving a presentation when talking about photography, and I had no idea was in the audience. But at the end, I was approached by three gentlemen, um, to them spoke no English at all. They had interpreter. They interpret, came to me and said, Oh, my client's Libya work. They want to have dinner with you. Some like okay, the all in suits. I'm going to dinner with them. And long story short. They hired me to go to China for a month and 1/2 and shoot 75 directors. Now this is a great job. They hired me because they felt like they love the style of lighting. I spent a month and 1/2 photographing directors and having fun. Now we couldn't even speak the same language. But we love photography, their directors. They know about light and angle in composition. So we all got along just by I want all of China Beijing Mission High for wrapping from their most famous stars Famous directors. And we had a ball even on my personal projects that I talked about having a style How you want you to feel a certain way. I didn't project where I went to every state in America and photographed ah, 100 Children. And I use that hard light source but each and every portrait. So here we are in the middle of America, taking portrait's I'm overpowering the sons of Bright Hot Day and I'm using my light to overpower the sun and create a feeling anywhere and everywhere. So I knew where I went the country. I could have an overcast day war Sunny day I want have that same fingerprint on every single photograph. So what do I do? I brought my strobe light. I let every picture. This is my current book, Future American President, And the idea of doing this was to make sure that every picture had the same feeling, a fingerprint, if you would that's what I wanted. It feels great to have a fingerprint on all your pictures, where everybody feels like there's something is about this picture that feels the same. It's your lighting style. That's what's all about. It changes everything. You make that clear decision on how you want people to feel based on your lighting style. Simple and easy. How do you want to feel? Do you want people to come to you and how you based on your style? Well, just the higher your picture because you take pretty pictures. Anybody can do that. But how do you stand out? I can't say this enough. You've got to have a clear style, a clear lighting style. So how do you do this to your advantage? You've got to make a clear decision on where you want your life to be. So now it's time that you go and show you guys with that feels like what it looks like. Let's go into our live shooting mode and bring our model out here. If you shoot different genres, OK, do you think that you can have different lighting styles within those genres, like somebody today are sports photographer, but then they also do portrait. You should still have the same feeling. Even though you knew portrait's or or or sports, she had the same feeling. Steel. You want to make sure it's the same photographer was doing that work, so it should still have that same feeling. You shouldn't go through different types of light because you're shooting different assignments. People think about doing that all the time. But if you want to stand out and be that same fingerprint that seem thread throughout all of your work, no matter what it is. So, for example, I'm shooting somebody. One day I'm doing a fashion portrait. The next day, I'm shooting an ad one day. They all have that same fingerprint through it. Good question. When the disappear, for example, for a low key portrait when where I want to give a feeling off power, what should it is? Hard or soft? Night? This is your decision. So how do you want to feel when they see your pictures? Because you can use any kind of light for your portrait. It's It can be very soft. Maybe you want to do romantic core traits. You want dio dark and moody portrait's that lighting is based on how you want to feel. This is how you make it will stand out and see your work versus, uh, somewhere on the corner. What's your What's your style? What do you What do you enjoy? Shooting most mostly a very kind of dark moody. Okay, shoot your Loki, mostly. So how do you do that usually would want to speed the light and giving toe the subject a bit of Rembrandt light on the site. So why you're choosing Rembrandt like, because gives also that fecal mystery as well, you know. OK, yeah, that's why I want you to think about that. Even mawr. So you're saying dark and moody that feeling you give to your clients that that dark, moody feeling you want have control over that speed light? You won't have control over your of your meeting. Also, if you want to be dark and moody, you don't want to that they can't tell you how to shoot. You want to make sure you have a clear decision about that. So maybe you're going ah, half stop under what your camera tells you to do to give it a deeper moodier feeling. Also, with position of that light, you will make sure you have control over the angle of the light. Not just having Let's be like on your camera. That's just one spot. You want to have more control over it. Think about your competition. They're putting the light on the camera, and it's in the same place for everybody. You should be a little different. So you have that fingerprint on all your pictures. Thanks for that question. Don't be shy, guys. Is everyone here in your career? How many times, if any, need to change your lighting personality and have the great question? So at the beginning of my career, I was trying to find my my style, and I was experimenting using everything. In beginning, I used soft boxes. I used umbrellas. I used, um, Kina flows I to discover how I liked it. But first I didn't know I had people started coming to me and saying, Matthew, I love your work. I love your lying like you do what's special about it, and then I figure out what I liked about it. Start staying the sun. Then I got comfortable being me and then you say with that one style all your career. It takes some some, uh, exploration at first to find out what that is, but once you do, you said.

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Matthew Jordan has such a warmth and charisma. Listening to the guy talk and praising everyone for asking questions makes one sincerely engaged. I can see why people pick him to work with. He's a talented and personable man. Though this is not a hold your hand kind of class, it's really about the options and making your own choices. For someone who has lighting A.D.D. I like that! :)

Gene Tolan

Matthew Jordan Smith is excellent at his craft and also a great teacher. Very clear and concise information wrapped in a passionate presentation. Thank you very much Mr. Jordan!


A fantastic class which gets you thinking about your own lighting style, interaction with models, branding, marketing and gaining a sustainable career. I bought this on a sale and was pleased with the investment.

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