Hi everybody welcome to another episode of Exploring Photography right here on AdoramaTV brought to you by Adorama. It’s the most awesome camera store in the world check them out at Adorama.com Well we are joined in this episode once again by the amazing Nikki Nikki you might remember her from our cinematic portraits where you are all weepy and awesome. If you haven’t seen that check it out it was a lot of fun. Well in this episode we’re going to be answering some questions that have come through email to me and comments on YouTube about studio lighting, specifically can I do some deconstruction? Can I show you each light? What it’s doing and why it’s there? So that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this episode. We’re going to deconstruct studio lighting. I’m not going to do anything really fancy but we’re going to show you the formulas that can work for every single studio lighting setup. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, if you’re using 50 lights or one light this stuff works every single time. So Nikki we’re going to have you go back here and be next to your stool here you’ll notice that I have four studio lights set up, right here. The reason I have four studio lights is these are the same lights that you’ll see in every lighting setup, every single time. You might not see all of them every single time, but you’ll at least see one or more of these in every single lighting setup. Sometimes you’ll see multiples of these, but to understand all of this stuff we are going to fly a drone over Nikki and show you these lights and then I’m going to walk you through it one light at a time. In this lighting setup we have a key light, fill light, hair light and background light. These four lights represent the four basic categories of lights used in almost every studio lighting setup. Let’s take a look at each of these beginning with the key light. Some people call the key light the main light. The key light is the cornerstone of every lighting setup in most situations there is only one key light. Metering begins with the key light and all other lights are positioned and metered in relation to the key. In our lighting setup the key is doing most of the work, we have nice soft light illuminating most of Nikki’s face. The fill light helps fill in the shadows on our subject. Sometimes you’ll use it to eliminate all of the shadows but most of the time it’s just used to gently fill the darker areas. Normally it has a power level that’s lower than the key light you may have several fill lights in the lighting setup and it’s also common to use reflectors to provide fill light. You can see how our fill light just adds a touch of light to Nikki so there’s some detail in her hair and under her chin. The hair light provides a highlight to your subjects hair. This light also has two other names. When you have a dark subject on a dark background like I did in my recent Beauty lighting episode, the highlights from this light help us separate the subject from the background and so you call this light a separation light. Some people also call this light a kicker light. This is usually the case if you’re adding highlights to something that’s not hair, like fenders on a car or sleeves on a jacket. The hair light is usually metered the same or just a bit brighter than the key light. You might have one or more hair lights the background light is used to add light to the background and it’s not uncommon to have several background lights, especially if you have a large background. The background light is usually metered equal to or less powerful then the key light. You can see that our background light just gives a subtle highlight to the background, while letting the edges go dark. Some of the light from the key and fill is going to be falling on our background, so our final image will have a background that’s a bit brighter than this. Alright that was really cool. Thank You Nikki for letting me fly a drone over your head. There’s another thing we really need to understand, when we’re doing studio lighting setups and that is how do we repeat the same setup over and over? Now if you don’t know about light ratios, make sure you watch my video about light ratios, so we’re going to talk a little bit more about that right now. Remember when you’re metering for light ratios, we’re looking at the key light and metering that and then metering all the other lights in relationship to that key light and so what we don’t want to do is write down all of the exact metered values. So let’s say our key light meter is at f/8 and our kicker light meters at f10 or whatever you wouldn’t write that down in a notebook and a diagram saying the exact values. What you want to do is write down the relationships between those lights and to do that it’s very, very simple, let me show you how to do that right now. This is a diagram of our four light setup, now you can use anything to create a lighting diagram, a simple notebook and a pen are just fine. It’s a good idea to label your lights and you might want to add some notes about the modifiers you’ve used. Some people write down the exact metered values for each light but I prefer to record the relative values instead. In this setup our relative values would look like this. These numbers show us the exposure value differences between the key light in all of our other lights. The key light is always zero because there is no difference between the key and itself. In this example the fill light meters one stop lower than the key. The hair light is one-third stop brighter and the background is one and a third stop lower. Now we can eliminate our metered values and create a chart that looks like this. Once we know the relative values, it’s easy to make changes if we need to, for instance if our key light metered at f/5.6 we could use our light meter to quickly determine the values for the rest of the lights and you don’t have to memorize all these f-stop numbers. Most light meters have a calculator for metering exposure differences otherwise known as light ratios and I’ve included a link in the description of this video for my tutorial on metering for light ratios and once you know this technique, it’s just as easy to meter for f/5.6 as it is for f/11 or any other number. Using these techniques you can create your own studio lighting setups and you can create a notebook where you have diagrams and showing the relationships between all of the different lights and that will mean that your stuff works no matter what gear you’re using or where you are. The relationships can stay the same even though the key light might meter differently. Now way back in the day about ten years ago I created one of my classic digital photography one-on-one videos about all of the different lighting setups that I use using this system, so make sure you check out that video. There’s a bunch of different setups that you can try in your studio. I’ve created a link to that video in the description of this video Thank you Nicki Nicki for being an awesome model in this video and holding very still as I took all those different pictures of all the different lights, it was really awesome of you to do that. Make sure you check out Nicki stuff on Instagram, here’s her Instagram right here you can check that out and I’m included links to her Facebook and YouTube and all that good stuff in the description of this video, make sure you check that out as well. Thanks again for joining us we will see you again next time.