No Fail Lighting: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

No Fail Lighting: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

Hi everybody welcome to another episode
of Exploring Photography right here on AdoramaTV, I’m Mark Wallace. Well in the
last episode I walked you through the workflow of working in a rental studio
for the very first time and if that’s you you might freak out not knowing
exactly how to set up all the lights and get everything you need to get and so in
this episode I’m going to show you some sure fire lighting setups that work
almost every single time. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting kids, elderly
people, models they just work and to help me out Belen is here. She was in our last
episode she’s gonna be joining us for this episode as well. We’re going to
start with the lighting setup called clamshell lighting. So let’s get to it. The very first lighting setup we’re
going to use is called clamshell lighting. Now the beauty of clamshell
lighting is it’s very simple to setup it works with almost any subject and you
can use almost any light modifiers you want. So we have a beauty dish in an
octave box here, but this could be two soft boxes, It could be two umbrellas, it
could even be to just normal reflectors. It just doesn’t really matter that much.
You can play with those to see which effects work best for you. We’ve used this because that was what
was available to us today. The difference is depending on which light modifiers
you use your going to get different catch lights and so today Belen’s catch
lights are going to be two round dots. If we had to soft boxes they’d be square etc. So
really the catch lights are what change with clamshell lighting. Now to understand why this is called clamshell lighting I’m going to move the camera over here to the other side and you start to get the idea of how this is set up and see that this
looks sort of like a clamshell. So this is our key light. It’s
illuminating Belen’s face and so we get this beautiful light and the this lower
clamshell here is illuminating underneath her chin and it’s giving us a
little bit of fill. You can play with the intensity of these two different
lights to get either more shadow under the chin or less shadow it’s really up
to you. It’s just a simple lighting setup that allows you to do all kinds of
things, you can even turn off this fill light and leave everything set up to get
something that has a bit more dramatic shadow underneath or
less shadow on the background or more shadow etc. Two lights same position, the
camera is going shoot right through those two lights and you’ll see that you
get all kinds of interesting effects. So we’re going to shoot with this and play around with it and I’ll show you the results. Here’s another lighting setup that is
almost positive to work every single time it’s just a nice large, soft, main
light. We’re using an umbrella here but you could use a large softbox if you want,
you can even bounce light off the wall it doesn’t matter, you just need a large
light source that’s approaching your model at about a 45 degree angle
from the camera and then on the opposite side use a nice white reflector. This is
just a white panel, it’s reflecting light into the other side of the Belen’s face and
so we have this nice light that just sort of surrounding our model, which means
it’s going to be difficult to make any kind of mistakes. She’s got this space that she can move
and work in so we can get headshots, we can get full length shots, we can get
three-quarters shots, we can do all kinds of things right in this space and once
we have it set up we can just go to town. It works again for portraits, for
headshots, for little kids, for older people, for models, you name it this
lighting setup is one of those no-fail setups. So we are going to take a few pictures and show you how these look Well thank you Belen, that was amazing.
We had two very simple setups that worked absolutely fine. You can do these
in your home studio. You can do them in a professional studio. You can use almost
any light modifier, softboxes or umbrellas or even walls to accomplish
the effects that we shot today. Don’t forget you can see a lot more lighting
setups and information about studio lighting and metering and all that kind
of stuff at the Adorama Learning Centre, so make sure you check that out and
don’t forget to subscribe to AdoramaTV. It’s absolutely free and that way you
don’t miss a single thing. Thanks again for joining us we’ll see you again next

38 thoughts on “No Fail Lighting: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

  1. Nice Mark! so you're back from sud ameriicca? hey anyway, question is: the halo effect you geton the backdrop is natural effect from light placement or bit of dodge/burn post?

  2. Hi Mark, I Like this But can you tell me how to do the same thing but get a black background. How for away should the subject be with Clam shell to get a black background for example please.

  3. Team, really good video. What I would be interested in would be a video about business portraits. Many home studio owners are asked by their friends to help with a photo for linkedin or the resume. You portrait a lot or ladies. How about a video for fail free setups to photograph a gentleman in suit and tie? Thanks and best wishes from Switzerland.

  4. This video showed up on my feed at the most opportune time! I'm helping my office shoot some professional portraits in the next couple of weeks, and a fail-proof lighting setup is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

  5. Thanks Mark, love this simple but effective setups.
    will you tell us how we can meter the clamp shell setup?
    is there a ratio between the both lights?

  6. Thanks a lot. But if it is a group or a family of 5-8 people? Will the last method still work? The reflector may not be good enough to bound sufficient light to all the group,

  7. Cloud you give a list and the accessories that you are using here (two of them), and where to buy. When click on clamshell lighting system in google search , it comes a bunch of. thank you!

  8. belynn?? . . no matter, she's gorgeous!!!! 🙂 . . pretty and real . . a sweet-teen healthy and "sparkly"!!!! 🙂 look!!!! . . where can i find a model like "belynn"??!!!!

  9. Hi Mark, Thanks for another great video tip. In your end result shots, it seems like there is another light source coming from behind your model. Can you explain? Thanks.

  10. How can you not make some comments about the settings. It is very important to making the clamshell scenario work. I am baffled by a lot of these videos were there is no mention to the light settings. Typically the ideal for this setup is bottom light is usually one stop less than the main. If the bottom is to bright you get weirdly place crossing shadows. Mark isn't usually this careless.

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