Hard Light Photography | Anett Elek | Skillshare

Hard Light Photography

Anett Elek

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6 Lessons (36m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Basics about hard light

    • 3. Low key photography

    • 4. Noir photography

    • 5. DIY cookiebox light modifier

    • 6. Class Project and Final thoughts


About This Class

In this photography course I would like to show that you can take beautiful hard light portraits without breaking the budget. Most of the photographers does not seem to like the hard light; however I am going to show you why I like it and when to use it. 

Thank You taking my course!


1. Introduction: Our topic for this course is how you can take beautiful hard light portraits. There are photographers love it, and some who don't really like hard light. Today I will show you how to take pictures with this type of flight. For this course, you are going to need a camera, radio, flesh trigger, and one or more speed lights or studio light. We will start our course with looking into hard light portraits than we will shift to low-key photography. And we will end this course with no our photography. On the way, I will show you some of my retouching techniques as well, both on smartphone and in Photoshop. As much as I like to work with natural light, I also love to use lights. I think it is just awesome to recreate the style of those images from the 19 fifties because they have their charm. So for whom is this course? For beginners and for the not so experienced who would enjoy creating photos that are different from everyday ones. No matter if you are just starting out, you can follow along with this course. I made it easy to follow. I am, my name is elec, and I started out with photography in 2008. I'm a sad thought photographer mainly should import trait humans. But I can say a shoot in all kinds of genres. I liked variety because it makes things challenging for me. Along the way, I reach a point where I think I can give some handy tips for those who are just starting out. There are different ways to create the same image. Feel free to experiment. I will show you my way. 2. Basics about hard light: Light. Most photographers use a soft box for portraits because people's skin looks more appealing with this slide. With soft light, the contrast and the edges will not be as strong as sweetheart light. As you learn more and more about photography, you will experience the difference between soft and hard light and which one to use in a particular photo shoot. For example, we do not photography business head shots with hard light or for ladies above a certain age, it is highly advisable not to use this slide as it brings out all the facial features we tried to hide, we'd make up and by using soft light. Hard Light is often used when photographing men, fashion photography, model photography, or when photographers wanted to create something interesting and unique. In this picture you can see the original features of the skin, such a spores and wrinkled, shiny skin. Well, how could this be eliminated with hard light? Let's look at two types. The first step with proper makeup and the thorough afterward. Second tip with postproduction and the little bit more postproduction. They can look at the following image, how a post-production can change an image. Of course, a beautiful model with the perfect make-up will already look very good in the row image. If you look closely at the images on the internet, you can see in many black and white photos that the photographer use hard light. If you see strong contrast in the image, it can be natural light or studio light. No matter. I show you some settings for how you can use this type of flight to create beautiful portraits. Lanyard photo session in advance, if you're going to be photographing someone so you don't have to suddenly figure out what you want to do there. If necessary, practice on an object before the real shoot and see how and where the light falls on your subject. Would you like to show the shadows of your subject on your photo, or would you rather hide them from the viewer? You will not need a diffuser to adjust this type of flight. Simply use your studio lamp or flesh SAS. You can attach a light modifier on it if you want, ensuring that the light falls where you want it to, you can adjust the light intensity on your camera by changing the value. If you work with the higher f-number, such as then there will be less light in the environment. But if you use a lower f-number like 1.8, you will probably get a very bright image. You can also change the brightness by changing the ISO, a statistic of the said the ISO to the lowest for the best quality and less noise. Alternatively, you can change the brightness by changing the flesh intensity. I would also mention here that if for some reason you need to watch out for the battery life of your flesh when shooting. You can do so by choosing the lower f-number. So the flesh will fire with less power and it will last longer. I would also like to mention that the further you place your light from your subject, the harder the light will be. This also depends on the intensity of the light. Without the light modifiers, the flesh will eliminate everything, which isn't necessarily a problem. But if you want to control somewhat, you can attach a base reflector or a barn door, snot the honeycomb, or just a box that deflects the light. For my first setting and going to avoid the shadows of my subjects in the background, I will place my main light on the right side of my subject. Our result will be a highly contrasting image with more light on the right side of the face and strong shadows on the left side of the face. Let's see what results we get if my subject turns a bit into the light. As you can see, the shadows do not appear on the face the same way like before. Now what if your model lifts her or his face tray to the light? Thus, the shadows have almost completely disappeared. As you can see. Let's see what result we are going to get if we place the flesh in front of the model higher than our camera pointing down to our subject. To get a better picture, you can ask your model to raise her his head slightly higher towards the light. Now let's add another additional light source through our currents. I will place it opposite with my mainline. A CTMC highlights the model from the background. If you use a second flesh as an additional light source, set its intensity lower than the main light intensity. Also try different setups. For example, placing your additional light source directly to the right side of the model. As you can see, the shadows become a little lighter. The higher you place your main light, the more drastic the end result will be. As the shadows will be stronger. If you want to replicate daylight, move your flesh as the sun moves in the sky, so the shadows will have a natural effect. I would like to not hear that hard light doesn't come in nature from below, right? After all, as the sun descendants into skates live become soft. If your subject is exposed to light from below, it can be quite an fitting. The image is more of a horror movie, unless that's the goal of creating a scary image. Okay. So. 3. Low key photography: No keys all about the light, where and how you eliminate your subject. It is characterized by dark tones and strong contrast. In this genre of photography, whether natural or artificial light, the light only eliminate certain areas of your subject. It may seem difficult to pick the perfect photo, but in this episode, I show you the basics so you understand what is behind this concept. What do you need for a low-key photo shoot? You're going to need a camera and light source on the stand. Radio trigger that communicates between the camera and the flash. Optional tripod for your camera. Today, a will be using the Canon 6D mark two with a canon 2405 millimeter lens and the AB 200 pro with a good docs radio release, you will not need expensive equipment for the sliding. You can use the bear bulb or flesh, but if you have any like modifier, feel free to use it because you can achieve a much better effect with it. If you're using a low-key, it is recommended that your subject BY their elders and not have a background behind it or be relatively far from the background. That is, if you don't want to include the background, if you don't mind the background, that is fine too. But for this type of photography, it is better to lean against a dark wall. For this photo shoot if you're using a simple flesh and it doesn't know high-speed saying be careful not to go above 200 or 250 with the shutter speed. Otherwise and ugly black stripe will appear and ruin your image. Said that AI is sort of the lowest that your camera allows, thereby limiting the light that enters your camera and reducing the noise in your image. When adjusting that parameter, think about how much depth of field you want to have in your photograph. Now, we have to take into consideration how bright is the ambient light and adjust the shutter speed accordingly. You know that you set it up well, when you see a black picture on the display of your camera, if everything is all set, it is time to introduce the flash to the scene. Keep in mind that the light of the flesh is supposed to eliminate or me, your subject placed the flesh as close to your subject is possible and dial the lowest setting. They could estimate. If your subject is not bright enough, move up one step and take another that's shut until you like what you see on your display. Do not set the flesh to bright light can also eliminate the immediate surroundings or fewer subject. If your surroundings are only slightly visible, then no worries, you can make it disappear in postproduction. To avoid hard work for your circulate and in postproduction, a suggest placing your light source relatively close to your subject. Finding the right angle using the lowest brightness honeycombs, reflectors, barn doors. In my opinion, these are ideal for a smart homes to deal. It can be seen that by placing the light modifier on the flesh, the scattering of the light becomes much smaller. So I can control the angle of where the light falls. Now let's take some shots. Firstly, settings. I set the shutter speed to 180, departure for ISO 50. And the fleshed were relatively low brightness of 258 as it was close to me. The pictures were taken around 01:00 PM on a Friday. I stood about two feet away from the background in the center of the room, I placed the light source is gross, sacred next to me so that the light won't scattered around the room. Stay on me. The light hit my face from the side. I zoomed in with the camera to crop out as much of the background as possible. This means I want the less of the wall to a beer. If this picture was taken outdoors where the area is bigger and there is no background directly behind me. It could have been easier to solve this problem. At the next setting, I've already placed the reflector on the flesh, thus reducing the scattering of light in the room. I did not change the settings. As a next step I placed the bond or with the honeycomb. However, at this setting, I did not follow the doors. Then with the last thing, I also followed the wings so that the light would hit the face wherever I wanted. If this last setup, I control the light at a 100%. I still didn't change my camera settings. As you can see, the picture has a vignette effect with this last setter. And now that we've tried a few versions, let's take some real pictures. We can see. Now let's see how you can make those words disappear in postproduction, no matter where I stand, unfortunately, modal means much too small. So if you accidentally had a war surplus or anything else you don't want somewhere in your image. You can remove it easily. Now go ahead and open Photoshop and let's dive into it. I'm opening a JPEG image. I just converted my role for the graph to JPL without any correction opening in camera roll and raise the contrast the beat or dark and it were unique to I even make it sharper this images already of that sized image. When you have finished retouching here, press OK. Now I'm going to remove this small because it looks ugly behind my back. Press the brush icon and select the black color. I click on the black part of the picture here and press all left-click. Set your brush too soft and start drawing with your black on the wall. Whoops, I'm on the wrong menu. Here. It should be on normal. So as you can see, the yellowish wall has disappeared from the picture. And then you can really touch the subject of your photographer. Anyway you want. Here's my final image. I retouched it a bit more to my liking. 4. Noir photography: The theme of this video is filmed nor what is film noir. Film higher is a cinematic term used primarily to describe elegant Hollywood crime dramas. In many detective films. The 19 forties and the 19 fifties are considered the classic period of American film noir. Genre or style is identified by its visual characteristics. Now, due to the Fillmore, There is an art photography. What does that mean? Nor photography is the film noir spin-off. Photographers mimic the characteristics the film style, NOR is a cinematic and not a photographic term. The genre is characterised by cynicism and dark atmosphere reflecting the anxiety of American society after World War two. Let's see what characterizes this type. High-contrast. Often a single light source is used to achieve this effect. Backlight, this creates the scene that the subject appears almost as a silhouette on the screen. Due to the strong backlight. They usually make black and white movies in this style, but it doesn't have to be black and white. It can be traced back to the fact most of these films were made in black and white at that time. If you want to create the color image, the mood should be the same. Dark subjects and tie contrast dominating the scene. The film grain is also characterized by this type. This can either be achieved with higher ISO or, and in general, this is how most people achieve this. The grain can be added later on in post-production if desire. The angle at which you should also depends on what you want the viewer to feel. Film noir is characterized by the Dutch Angola, achieved by tilting the camera to the side. The lies of the horizon are tilted in this way, creating a feeling of disorder and unstabilized mental state or with this affect, the potential also can be increased. It is a little interesting that the term has nothing to do with the Dutch. But during the world war two, it evolved from the word Deutsch, German for low angle shots. In general, the cameras located below the line of sight, which can either be completely on the ground, were just really just below the Island of the model. And the subject is filmed from there. Shooting from a low angle usually gives the actor a certain character, such as being strong or scary. Both the Dutch angle and the wide angle view are distorting reality. This style loves contrast as I mention, so you don't have to soften the lights, for example, with a soapbox, feel free to use the balls Flash. You can try to place other light modifiers on the flesh like smooth barn door. The harder the lie, the more interesting that you meet. Nor our photographs are also usually characterized by mysticism and drama S with no art films, so it is advisable to activate on the photography. We are picking this style. Now let's see what we are going to need and how I set up my newer location. I use a Canon 6D mark 2S. My camera. A wide-angle lens, which is the canon 2405 millimeter lens. I recommend that you also use a tripod for your camera in do not take photons by hand, at least until everything is set up. I will use three fleshes as my light source to insignia flushes that our manual slashes and the one AD 200 protests mine mean flesh to trigger my main fresh and we're gonna use a Google Docs read your trigger ME radio trigger controls the AD 200 pro flesh in the two other insignia flushes away to respond to this flash. If the Master Flash is not turned on, the other two unfortunately will not respond. You will also need tripods for your fresh lights. My subject will be the good old teddy again, and they would demonstrate on him how I am going to set up my C. My subject is approximately 1.5 meters away from the background. First, let's adjust the light which will mimic the window like this would be the backlight on the wall behind your model. This is the flesh which stands here on the right side with the Bizkit box. As a bonus video, I am going to show you how to create one. How fine or sharp our pattern will be in the background also depends on how far or close would place the flesh from our background. And it also matters what power we are using for the flesh. I used maximum power in this scenario. They store camera on the tripod NPK multiple pictures to adjust the backlight to different heights and anklets. Once you have the angle that you like, we can move on to the next flash, flash number two. In the next step, we want to eliminate the face of our subject. Null. What is the angle of the backlight behind your subject? And adjust the angle of the second flesh accordingly. Otherwise, it may look unnatural if you ignore the angle of the first slide, the brightness of the second flesh is 16. In this case, this number will be obviously different for everyone. Also, depending on the distance and the brightness compared to your subject. I also placed various light modifiers on the second pledge, just triumph how they affect the whole image and how they illuminated the face. I did this because the background was a bit brighter behind my subject. And my third flesh, which was placed behind my subject, was also creating a shadow on the wall. In the first round, I placed the cheap version of a light modifier that does not scatter the light on the wall in the background, a sieve blogs the path of the light in that direction. The difference is huge as CNC. But as you can see, if you have such a simple modifier like this that blocks the path of light in the desired direction. In this case this background, you are already all set. I used the third flash to highlight my subject that tiny bit out of the background. If you only have two fleshes, no problem. This is optional, but it does give the image a little depth 3D effect, in my opinion. Obviously, the more flushes you have, the more you can eliminate. I am working with three flushes today to achieve the effect I want. So I pleased my third flesh behind the model, pointing slightly upwards towards the head, slightly to the right. As you can see, I didn't set too high the brightness because the goal was really just to give a little bit management totality. Here you can see again, might set up with three flashlights. I use the higher f-number, Ismail departure number 14, as this also characterizes the noir style to make almost everything sharpens the image. Of course a set, the ISO to low, ISO 100 and my shutter speed was 160. This can be also very if you are using another brand or if you might have a different setup to Me and see what it's like to swap seats with Teddy. I'd probably have to raise all the flesh is a little higher since he's a slightly lower figure than me. But that's okay. And then once you're done with your photography session, choose the images that you would like to reattach. First, I show you how to attach on free downloadable software on your mobile. If you're used to retouching images on your mobile phone. If you haven't yet downloaded light from on your mobile, required you to do. It's free and it's really good. I've already imported the image into y term. As you can see. Let's click on it. Once you have opened it, look for the light icon at the bottom and open it. First of all, we will raise the contrast because this style is characterized by strong lights and shadows. As a next step, we are also drag the highlight slider to the right and drag the shadows a little to the left to make it darker. Now move the white slider to the right to make the light even brighter. Let's also deepened the black a little bit and do it the way you like it. There is no clear guide for this because everyone likes it done differently. Led some in a bit on the image to see what they created. It's a royal image files straight from my camera. My skin is wheat to shine. Yea was already sweating by the end of this session. Normally you would reattach the modal skin first because my skin is absolutely unwritten dt here, and only then use the noir effect. The next step is to look at the color icon, hero. We will make the image black and the white. And here are the vibrance and saturation. Slide them both to the minimum. Next is the effect cycle, where we add texture to the image. I think to use collaborative would be too much for the model. It is better to use for Male Images. Unfortunately, for a female model, it highlights things even more what we, we mean one to hide. Then here comes Crane, which is where we can add some noise to the picture. At just this much noise that isn't too much, which will mimic the old cinematic photos and movies. If you want to sharpen the image, you can do it with the sharpen. But by zooming in on my image, it seems it's sharp enough for me, so I will leave it as it is. We are ready now. All that is left is to save it to tape again to our form. Click on the share icon on the top right. And they would recommend used to selling the saved to Device option. Then press OK. And now you can share to all different social media platforms. We will attach it in Photoshop almost the same way we did in Lightroom Mobile. Let's look at an example. Why did I choose this picture? Because to me it really seems like it's a frame from a movie. The lighting is almost perfect. I say almost because I would have placed another fourth flesh behind my bags so I would stand out from the background a bit. But that's okay. We worked only with three questions. Even so the picture is good. But let's look at the reattach. It's already a JPEG image. I haven't touched anything going. It only converted to row image to a JPG. My skin has all its imperfections. It's real. It looks like a Pomeranz image. Click filter at the top and select camera roll. This is an older version of Photoshop that I'm using on this computer. So it is likely that yours is a newer version, though, where is a silken explain how to turn it to annoy our image. Race the contrast, and then the highlight. As much as you like it, all down the shadows slightly. And then it just the whites to your liking, guess swell. The slide that on the blacks can also go a little bit lower. I'm still dragging up a bit on clarity to give the image even more texture, more detail, but just a little bit. And finally, saturation. This was saturated the image. You don't have to pull a vibrance off for some reason I ultimately Glick bullet of two. Then if you want, you can still sharpen the image. But since I used Clarity and the image was sharp enough, I don't have to sharpen it anymore. If you have it, press OK. Now let's make the picture a little noisy at some green to it. Click on filter the noise, the noise. I recommend that you use uniform for noise. It is much more lifelike In my opinion. If you pull it up completely, you can see the effect on the screen. Of course, no one uses it that we find out what you like. I think I stay around 18. We're ready. And this is how it looked before and here is how it looks now. 5. DIY cookiebox light modifier: Yes. Okay. And with that code? Okay. Okay. I'm sorry. Okay. 6. Class Project and Final thoughts: Okay guys, we've reached the end of this course. I hope that you enjoyed it and learned something new or something additional to your knowledge. Your class project, I would like you to applaud the Hard Light portrait, whichever STI you choose. It can be a single light portrayed or a 234 light portrayed. Please feel free to leave your comments. Your feedback is highly appreciated and you can leave comments for each other's images as well. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them on the common Board. And I tried to answer every one of them. Thank you for taking my course and enjoy your photography Germany. But