5 Common Key Light Patterns with Diffusion + Fill | Transcription

In the last video we covered our 5 primary key light patterns, and to light all of these images, we use just a simple Litepanel Chroma LED light. All we did is we put this on around daylight balance. We brighten it up. We put it over the model’s face and we started shooting. Now, we used a constant light because we want to show you these lighting techniques and if we’d used flash, you’re only going to see where the light is for that split second when the flash fires.

We want you guys to be able to see the light throughout the entire video and through how we’re positioning and so forth. We wanted to use a constant light. In addition, we use this LED panel because you’ll notice that it’s pretty close to around the same size as a flash. This is maybe twice the size of a flash head, so it puts off a very similar light, particularly when we leave it on daylight white balance like it is right now. It’s still a hard edge light. It’s small, has no modifications so it’s going to create that kind of hard edge look, which is what you see in all these images.

Look at how sharp the shadows are. Look at how deep those shadows are in a way that it doesn’t really fall off. There’s no really smooth shadow transition, but when we modify that light, we can create an absolutely fantastic light by simply diffusing and filling and that’s what we did here. With every light position, after we shot the light without diffusion, without any fill, we took the same shot with light modification so you guys can see the differences and the differences are absolutely huge.

Let’s go to the next slide right now. Now, here are our same exact key light patterns. This time we’ve added diffusion for that key light and then we added a fill via reflector. Let’s talk about the diffusion. For the diffusion, we added just a simple piece of fabric over the front of this light. We just taped on basically. Diffusion fabric like this, you guys can pick up yards of this stuff from your local cloth store for under 10 bucks. It’s incredibly inexpensive. All it is is just a slightly translucent or transparent … Translucent, transparent. I think it’s transparent. Translucent is like reflective or something. I don’t know. I don’t know my English terms, but it’s just a slightly transparent white that will allow some light to pass through.

Now, the lighter the fabric, basically the more transparent, the more light it allows to pass through, whereas the more dense or the less transparent, the more diffusion you get, but then the less light goes through. Every layer by the way, every layer of diffusion is going to reduce the amount of light that reaches your subject. We’ll talk about that a little bit later on, but just know that every time you add a diffuser, you’re reducing the amount of light output. We have this over the front of that panel. What else have we got? I’m going to throw this on the ground for now.

Next, what it is, I have my assistant actually hold up a scrim. Again, this is a very similar fabric. This is just from a 5-in-1. This is the Westcott 5-in-1 and all he’s doing is, Joe is holding this up just directly in front, maybe a foot off of that LED light to again further diffuse and open up the size of the lighting source. As it diffuses a second time, we lose again a little more light, but then it opens up the light source even larger. On Hollywood sets, a lot of times they put layer after layer of diffusion in front of these giant lights. They’ll put up one layer, separated by another layer by 5 feet and another layer. Every time it hits a diffusion fabric, it opens up the size of the light source so it becomes softer and softer and softer as it goes larger and larger and larger.

We have this diffusing that primary, that key light. On the fill side, for every time we’re filling and we’re just filling, we’re always filling where the shadows are. We’ll understand that in just one second. We’re just using another Westcott, this is another Westcott 5-to-1. This is just the silver side to catch the film because since we’re using a white to diffuse and since the light is very soft, we need something a little bit with more kick to be able to see that fill well. We’re using a silver side.

Now, let’s go to the actual images and let’s talk about how we’re diffusing and how the light works. With this light, that flat light set up, again the light is coming from directly above the lens. That diffusion cloak goes right over this front. We have that second panel, the scrim that goes right in front of that. Then there’s really no need for much fill here because the light is very flat to begin with, so there’s not much of a shadow anywhere, but you can see how much it opens up the image. The shadow becomes so much softer and comparing side by side with the last image, it’s a dramatic change. It looks like we increase the size of the light source dramatically because it’s such a soft light compared to the hard edge in the first shot.

Going on to Butterfly, again same positioning. We raise that light up this time and it has the little cloak panel in front of it. We have the scrim that’s basically placed directly in front of that light a foot in front of the light. What we’ve done here is that silver goes underneath. The silver goes underneath and it fills light under that chin where that shadow is. This is known as clamshell lighting basically where you take a paramount light and you add a fill underneath, you have a clamshell shape hence clamshell lighting.

With this, we get again a very soft and beautiful, beauty type portrait set up with super soft shadows. It has an absolutely fantastic look and you can see that beauty, fashion look in this type of an image. Going on to loop lighting, look at how much less dramatic that shadow is that comes across the neck and also across the upper lip area with the fill. Again, a fill just goes into the shadow side. Look guys, if our light is placed, this light is up and above to the left of where Olivia’s head is, the diffusion fabric is a foot in front of that. The fill is just coming from the opposite side. It’s coming from the shadow side of the face. The fill is coming from the right side of the face with that silver.

Over here with Rembrandt, again we’re just getting more directional with the main light and the fill is coming from the same place and look at … compare this to that previous Rembrandt. This is still Rembrandt lighting, but it’s so much less dramatic because of the fill. Now keep in mind that as you fill shadows, if you fill shadows too much, if you fill shadows completely, you just end up with flat lighting because you have no shadows basically. With Rembrandt, if you want drama, you need to make sure that you still leave some of those shadows, otherwise you really aren’t getting that true, dramatic look.

Look at the split lighting over here. Again, the light is off to the side and we have a diffusion reflector right in front of that. We have the silver reflector just on the opposite side of her face filling into the shadow. Even this, even though this is a terrible lighting technique for beauty, is almost acceptable when you add enough modification to it and that’s the point. Comparing this to that other image, you have 2 completely different images, one with a sharp, hard edge light with no fill and no modification, one with a very soft and diffused light with fill into the shadows.

I just wanted you all to see basically that the same 5 common key light patterns look completely different with light modification because light modification is really the tool that’s going to create the stylistic look that you want to have in your images. The key light pattern in the direction light is great. We’re going to use it for all sorts of different purposes, but the way you modify that key light, the way you either choose to go with a softer light or a harder light or a diffused light or a specular light, that’s really where you’re going to get the overall emotion and feel from the images.

CHAPTER GETTING OVER THE FEAR, HYPE, & MYTHS

CHAPTER 2: THE BASICS OF FLASH

CHAPTER 3 UNDERSTANDING LIGHT

CHAPTER 4: ON-CAMERA FLASH GEAR BASICS

Chapter 5: DIRECT FLASH DONE RIGHT

Chapter 6: STUDIO LIGHT? JUST BOUNCE IT!

Chapter 7: MORE LIGHTS, REFINEMENT, & CREATIVITY

Chapter 8: CASE STUDIES

Chapter 9: BONUS CHAPTERS

Total Course Run Time: 8H 17M 4S