Window Light Portraits: Learn To Use Natural Light Indoors | JP Danko | Skillshare

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Window Light Portraits: Learn To Use Natural Light Indoors

teacher avatar JP Danko, Commercial Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (1h 53m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Class Introduction

    • 3. Location & Light

    • 4. Gear Overview

    • 5. Camera Settings

    • 6. Silhouette DSLR & Mobile Demonstration

    • 7. VSCO Silhouette Editing

    • 8. Lightroom Silhouette Editing

    • 9. Semi-Silhouette DSLR & Mobile Demonstration

    • 10. VSCO Semi-Silhouette Editing

    • 11. Lightroom Semi-Silhouette

    • 12. Backlit DSLR Demonstration

    • 13. Backlit Mobile Demonstration

    • 14. Reflectors Demonstration

    • 15. Snapseed Backlit Editing

    • 16. Lightroom Backlit Editing

    • 17. Conclusion

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About This Class

Internationally published photographer JP Danko (blurMEDIA) is know for his bold, colorful portraits of people in action.  With 17 videos and nearly 2 hours of instruction, JP takes you through everything you need to know to create your own amazing portraits with natural window light - using any camera and all within the comfort of your own living room.  He shares detailed photography techniques for photographing three complete window light setups including camera settings, the use of reflectors and post processing techniques using Lightroom (or Photoshop RAW) and two popular mobile editing apps - Snapseed and VSCO Cam.  JP puts a careful emphasis on understanding the techniques presented so that students will be empowered to take the techniques learned and explore their own artistic vision.  By the end of the class, students will have learned everything needed to create their own beautiful window light portraits.


Meet Your Teacher

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JP Danko

Commercial Photographer


JP Danko is an active lifestyle photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. His work is distributed by Stocksy United.

JP also publishes a weekly photography column at, one of the worlds most popular online photography resources.

To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, Instagram and 500px.

See full profile

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1. Trailer: My name is J. P. Danko. I'm an advertising editorial and commercial photographer. I guess that my work is best known for a bright, bold use of color and dramatic action. But what it really comes down to is the light and paying attention to the light and knowing how that light fits in with the mood and the story that I'm trying to tell in my photography. What I love about window light is the combination of softness and direction that really lends itself to really nice, dramatic indoor photographs of people. I mean, it's funny in the studio we do all this work with strobes and giant soft boxes just to try and mimic that window like look. But really, most people have a great window somewhere in their house, the front window or a doorway or hallway where they already have that light available. All they need to do is learn to be able to see it living in Canada. Sometimes it feels like we spend half the year indoors. So as a photographer, I think that it's important to be able to see light indoors to see indoor locations and know that you can create really amazing photographs indoors. And the best part is it's so easy once you learn what to do because you don't need any special equipment, just the right window and pretty much any camera. So through the course, you'll get to see how to find the right window light. How different window lighting scenarios look on camera, how to set up your camera. I'm going to be using both a DSLR and my mobile phone, so we'll also look at reflectors and editing your finish photos with light room. And I'm also going to use to popular mobile editing, APS, snap seed and disco camp as well. The key lesson that I would like students to take away from this class is an ability to imagine a photograph or image that you'd like to create and then be able to go out and match that artistic vision with the skill that you need to actually go out and take that photo. You know, when I was just starting out with photography, it was really exciting to just get lucky every once in a while and come back with a good photo. But being able to consciously decide this is my idea This is what I want that folder to look like. This is the story that I want to tell, and this is how I'm going to do it. Well, that's really the next step and what I'd like to see in the assignments for the class. 2. Class Introduction: Hello, everyone. I am JP Denko. I'm, ah, commercial advertising and stock photographer. Um, first of all, I really like to thank everybody for enrolling in the class. And I hope you guys are as excited as I am to get right into learning about how to use natural window light in your photography. So they get started. I thought we just go through some examples of natural window light photos so that you can get a kind of a feeling for the types of images that are possible through the techniques that we're gonna learn in this class. So we're gonna go through three different window lighting styles through the course of the class. We're gonna start with silhouette images. So what I mean by a silhouette is a photo where your subject is mostly black, mostly a full silhouette, and you're exposing the photo for the background so that in this case, you can see the little girl's face is mostly black. She's silhouette, and I've exposed this image for the background, which is looking through the window eso. Here's a couple more examples of some typical silhouette type photos. Um, silhouettes were kind of the easiest way to use natural window light because if you have your camera in automatic, you point it at ah, window. It's going to expose for the background that's behind the window. So from there we're gonna look at transitioning to taking semi silhouette photos. So instead of having the background completely properly exposed like it is here, we're going to kind of over exposed the background and better exposer subject in front of the window. So this is an example of some of my my favorite semi silhouette photos. So you can see here that the background is mostly overexposed. Um, but my subject, you still have a lot of really dark and interesting shadows in a semi silhouette photo. So going through, there's a couple more examples of ah, of a semi silhouette image that you're gonna learn how to take through the class now moving on from a semi silhouette. Um, we're gonna move into learning how to use your camera to completely overexpose your backgrounds so that your backgrounds are basically completely white and you're using that really nice soft directional window light toe light your subjects so they're backlit, but you're exposing for the front of your subject instead of for the window. So these air some kind of examples of backlit photography, Um, some of the key points that I'd like you guys to take away from the class and that I'd like to see in the assignments. Is that your deliberate with your photography? So, you know, we're gonna go through all the techniques that you need to learn how to use your camera to take photos like this. Um, and we're also gonna go through all the techniques that you need to edit your finish photos . So the end goal is that by the end of the class, you'll be able to kind of, like, see a scene, be able to visualize the light that's available in that scene and then decide specifically , um, the photo that you're gonna take. So, um, if I go back to say this photo So I've got a backlit ah, window light image here. Ah, with my subject properly exposed now, that's a deliberate choice to take that photograph versus the one we saw earlier. Um, like this, which is a silhouette which is a deliberate choice to expose for the background. So, um, I hope you guys air are really excited to get started, and we could just jump right into the lessons and start with the silhouette photos and then work your way through, and by the end, you'll be able to decide, and we're going to take this photo, or am I going to take that photo and know exactly the steps that you need to do do that? 3. Location & Light: Okay. I hope everybody is ready to get started with the lessons here. Um, before we jump into learning how to use your camera and post processing techniques, um, just want to go through a few sample photos to try and kind of explain the type of window that you're looking for in the type of light that we're looking for, um, that we're gonna use for a natural window, light photos. And, you know, really, out of all the videos in this class, I think this is probably the most important lesson because learning to see light is a critical skill that you kind of develop over time with experience. So hopefully I can explain, um, And what? We're looking for a natural window light photos and should really, really help when you're selecting ah, window to use for your photography to kind of visualize what the light is that you're looking at. So let's get started. The first thing that we're gonna consider is the quality of light that's coming in through the window. So if we look at a photo like this, um, here, we've got, you know, a nice window. But it's a bright, sunny day outside, and we've got that direct sunshine that shining through the window. And if you look at how that sunshine is is playing off our models here, you can see that it's a It's a very direct and harsh look, um, on their skin, and it's just not very appealing looking, Um, now one thing that we can do to avoid a bright, harsh, sunny day is to just go to a different window in the same building same time a day. But where there's open shade on the outside of the window. So you know, instead of that bright ah, full sun that shining right in through the window, we go to a window where this window is on a different wall. It's eso. If so. For example, this window is facing west that sunshine is coming in in the afternoon from the west. This window might be facing east, so it's an open shade. So I think you can immediately see the difference of the quality of light that is coming in through this window versus this window. It's the same size window. It's the same time of day. It's the same light outside, except this window is an open shade. This window is in full sun. Let's look at another example from another wedding. So here's, Ah, similar circumstance where I've got ah, bright, sunny day outside and I've got a window with some kind of harsh sunshine coming in Now this one is not as bad as the first example this light is. It's not quite full sunshine just blasting in through the window. But it's still a pretty harsh looking light on our subject here and to show you the difference there. And one thing that you can do about it is, let's go from, uh, let's go from this image to another bride. Um, so here you can see the difference of the Kohli of light there. Now for these photos. It was just a same kind of sunny day. Outside the window is facing similar direction, but in this image we've got a sheer on the window, and the shears here act to diffuse the light as it's coming through the window. So we get a much softer, much more pleasing light on our model. So again, if we go from something like that which has a really nice directional soft light on her model back to our original photo. Um, something like that, which is a much more harsh direct light that's coming through the window now. Of course, if it happens to be an overcast day, um, then the light is already going to be much more softer. Um, and you don't really have to worry about the direction that you're shooting in. But if it is an overcast day, the thing that you could run into a problem with is that the quantity of light that's coming in through that window might not be, um, enough to get a good quality photograph, depending on the gear that you're using. So, for example, um, for this image, it's, ah, fairly dim, overcast day outside. And in order to get that really bright nice window light exposure that I wanted, I had to use a DSLR camera and use a very high I s O to get this photo. If I was using a mobile phone, I probably wouldn't get this kind of quality of image because of mobile phone doesn't have the same low light quality capabilities as a DSLR. So that's just something to keep in mind, depending on the type of camera that you're gonna be using for your natural window light photography. Now, most window light photos that you take are going to be relatively low light images. Um, meeting that, you know, you're shooting at a fairly high eso. Um, you're trying to use as much of that ambient lightest possible because you're indoors. It's a fairly low light scenario. So one thing you really have to watch out for is if there are lights indoors. So indoor overhead lights. So in this case, we've got, um, just the room lights are on, and you can see they completely ruin this photo because what's happening is the outdoor window light that's outside is more or less the same level as the indoor room lights. Except the two light sources have completely different colors of light coming in. So, um, the indoor room lights are totally messing up this photo. So to avoid that for natural window light photos, make sure you turn off the indoor room lights and along the same lines. Make sure your cameras flashes also turned off. We want to use just the natural window light, not flash, not room lights, just the window light and you can see the difference if we turn the room lights off. We go from that, um, to that on. And it's you know, to me, that's pretty much night and day. The last thing to consider when you're looking for the right location for your window light photos is the actual size of the window they're going to be using because the size of the window effects Um, how that light is going to be focused coming in, it's going to affect how directional the light is and how much of your subject is gonna be . Well, that versus in shadow. So again, an example like this I'm doing kind of 1/2 body shot because the window that I have is basically half the size of her body. So she fits perfectly right in that window there, and I can get everything lit that I want. Now, if you're doing, um ah, full length shot, chances are you're going to need a full length window. So if I'm doing ah, you know, standing up head to toe shot like that, I've got that door behind her, which is the full length of the image that I'm trying to capture. Um, Now, having said that, you can still do full length shots without having Ah, Florida ceiling, Full length window. Um, but you just have to be conscious of if you're using a small window like, for example, this window here behind her, um, is just a really small I think it's like three feet high window. And I was able to get that full body shot, mostly because this is a light colored holloway and there's lots of light bouncing around in there. But if she was backed up and right into that window, I wouldn't have been able to get this fooling shot. So here's another example where I've got fooling shot using a small window. But generally speaking, if you are, um, if you do want to do a full length shot, you need more or less a full length window. If you want to do just, um, um, half body shot, then you know a slightly smaller window. If you want to do just ahead. Shot, um, something like this where I've got just a teeny tiny airplane window. You know, that window is not gonna like much more than just his head and shoulders. So that's something to consider when you're looking for locations. And finally, I really like you really like to encourage you guys to try and be creative. Um, with your photos. So, for example, um, you know, silhouette images. There should be a reason why you're taking it as a silhouette. So there should be something interesting going on in that silhouette that, you know, that makes, ah, reason why you specifically took it as a silhouette. And the same goes for semi silhouettes. You know, it specifically took these photos as a semi silhouette because I wanted ah, really interesting contrast. He looked to the photos, so that was a deliberate choice. And it's the same with a bright, backlit photo. So something like that, Um, you know, I didn't really want to see what was outside of this window, so I took that as a backlit photo and completely overexpose the background there. And at the end of all that, if you're not sure, but you found a great location. You've got a great window. You can do multiple looks in the same location. So to show you a couple examples here. So I've got this awesome full length window with my bride and groom standing right in the window. Nice up, up and close to it. And I'm shooting this as more or less a full silhouette. So we're exposing for the background. Um, there's color version, and then I go to a semi silhouette where have kind of half overexpose the background, half exposed for the subjects. It's really a nice, shadowy contrast he look. And then, from there I can go to my backlit images where my background is completely over exposes nearly blown Oto white, and I'm exposing for the front of my subjects instead of the background. So I hope that gave you a good background and something to get started on when you're looking for the window and location for the photos that you're going to use for your assignment. So next we're gonna jump right into ah, camera gear and how to set up your camera 4. Gear Overview: for this class. I'm going to use a Nikon D 100 but I'm just going to use a standard kit lens. So this is 18 to 55 millimeter lens. It's F 3.5 to 5.6. So this kind of the standard kit lens that you get with any sort of DSLR if you do have a faster lens such as, Ah 24 70 F 2.8 um, you can use ah wider aperture and get more light into your shots. One ones that I really like for window light photos is a 50 millimeter F 1.4. Another option is a 50 millimeter F 1.8, and these lenses, the 1.8 are really inexpensive. I think this lenses around 100 $50 it's a really nice option for indoor window light photos . Of course, if you don't have a DSLR, another option is to just use the camera on your phone. So I'm using a Samsung Galaxy note. Three for this class, and I'm also using a nap called camera FV five. And the reason why I like that up is just because it brings all the options for your phone's camera in tow. One interface, Um, but there's a lot of different camera APS available, but that that's just one that I like in particular. I'm also going to use a reflector in this class. So this is ah, last delight Circular reflector. It's got one side is white and the other side is golden silver. Typically, there will have a silver side and a white side. Um, you do have to be a little bit careful with the shiny sides of gold, the gold side or the silver side, because it can be quite bright and harsh in the photos. So for most of the time, I just stick with the white side. Now, if you don't have a commercially available reflector, you can also make your own by finding a sheet of white paper or a piece of white Bristol board. This is part of a Nike. A closet cabinet that I found in the garage is just a nice white board. So if you're going to try the techniques techniques in this class, just look around and see what you confined for a reflector 5. Camera Settings: So let's take a look at some of the camera settings that we're gonna use throughout the class. So to get started, I'm gonna take a look at my mobile phone. So this is a Samsung Galaxy Note. Three mobile phone with camera FV five As my camera app. You don't actually need to use camera Effie five as your camera app. I believe it's available for both Android and Apple. But if you don't want to use every five, you know there's lots of different camera APS available that do kind of a similar thing. This just happens to be one that I like in particular, and you don't actually even need a camera up to do this. You can just go into your phone's camera settings and adjust it. But what the APP does is brings all those settings into one place. So to get started, the first thing that we want to do for window late portrait's is to make sure that our flashes turned off, so I'm gonna turn that off because we don't want the flash to mess up. Our shots were doing this all natural light. Next, we're gonna look at white balance now Usually I leave my phone in auto white balance. But if you wanted to tweak this, you could choose, say, the cloudy white balance. So that would be giving a slightly warmer look to your photos. But typically, I'll just leave that an auto. And if I need to make any adjustments, I'll do those later and post next. There's focus. Most of the time, I just leave mine and auto focus. And one of the important features that we're gonna look at for this class is the exposure correction, which is over here so you can see on the slider we go from minus two to plus two, and if I go down to minus two, you can see how that darkens the exposure of the scene. Now, in most window like Portrait's will want to increase the exposure because we're trying to expose for indoors versus what we're seeing outside. So if I go to plus two, that increases the exposure by two stops. Um, one last thing that we go through in the class is the meat oring mode. So if I look here, I'm right now, I'm in matrix metering. I also have center weighted spot and touch. So one of the techniques that we're gonna go through in the classes using spot metering. So if I touch spot metering, you can see that now the phone will meet her that scene differently, depending on where the spot is in the middle of the frame. So the spot that it's using is right in the middle of the frame. So if I pick something dark in the frame, you can see how it brightens the overall exposure versus if I pick something bright, like out the window, it darkens the overall exposure and the last feature that we want to use there is auto exposure lock. So I pick somewhere relatively bright in the frame, hit that again and come over here to auto auto exposure lock that will lock that exposure so that I can recompose my photo, Um, and keep that same exposure to the exposure that I want this photo to be taken at. Now. If you're using a DSLR, every camera has slightly different functions, so you might have to check your camera manual to specifically see how to do this on your specific camera. But for most Nikon cameras, white balance is this dial up at the top. So hit that button and then you can change your white balance with the jog dial at the back . So, like I said, most of the time I stay in auto, but you could use, um, open shade or cloud as well, depending on your setting. So open shade is the little house with shade on one side, and the cloud is the clouds right here on the back of the camera. We have our exposure metering, so right now it's set in it, sit in matrix. But we could also set that to center weighted or spot metering and the auto exposure lock button on this particular cameras. Just this button right here as well. So if we're in spot metering and we want to do the same thing that we did with our mobile phone, you can just push that button and hold that down and then recompose your photo and it'll lock the exposure. The last thing that we are going to do with our DSLR cameras in this class is to use exposure correction, which is this button appear at the top and you can set that from exposure correction of nothing of zero up Teoh plus four or okay, so this camera goes up to plus five. It's slightly different in all different cameras. Most of them only go two plus two or you can go minuses well, but like I said in this class, most of the time we're going to be in the plus range. So plus two plus four or somewhere around there and then with a canon camera. Again, the settings are slightly different, so appear on the top. We have our white balance and exposure metering button. So if I hit that, the front jog dial changes them eatery. So you've got the similar exposure metering as we do on a Nikon. So there's a spot center, weighted center, weighted spot and evaluative. I believe it's called, and if we use the back jog dial that changes are white balance, so we can go with a cloud or open shade, which is a little house, or just leave it in auto white balance for exposure Correction. There's ah, eso and the exposure correction button appear in the top again. It's the back jog dial. So on a canon camera and this one I could only go to plus or minus two. And if you go to the menu, it does the same thing. So, um, if I go over to my camera settings, So here, I've got exposure. Correction and Aiken set that in the cameras. Well, so I go up to plus or minus two. The last thing on a canon camera to look at is auto exposure lock. And if you're using spot metering with our technique of finding the right exposure using spot metering and then holding down autor auto exposure lock to lock that exposure, will you take your photo on a canon camera? It's this little button right here with the ass tricks. So you would hold that down that locks your exposure, recomposed and then take your photo with your DSLR camera. If your camera has a pop up flash, we want to make sure that that flashes down and turned off because we're shooting all natural light. We don't want that flash to pop up and ruin our photo. The other setting that we want to be able to change manually on a DSLR camera is Theis. Oh, so on a Nikon, it's this button up here on the top. You hold that down and use the rear command dial there, and it changes the I so typically for indoor window light portrait's are going to start with a nice 0 400 going up to 1600 or even 3200 or 6400 if you have to. If you have a really dim scene, um, I eso you use will depend on the lens that you're using, the aperture that you can get and how bright the window light is that you're getting toe light your subject. So it's a very bright seen outdoors, and you're getting a lot of wind a light inside. You can probably get away as I saw 400 whereas if it's an overcast day and it's already pretty demoed doors, you might have to use a 1600 or even a 32 100. But generally speaking, you want to stay as low on the so as you can and still get enough light to properly expose your photo with A with a reasonable shutter speed and on a canon, DSLR the eso hit that button up here at the top, and then you can use the front command. I'll and again, we're going to start with I s 0 400 going up to 1600 or 3200 if you have to. This camera does go up to 6400 as its highest I s O. But if you are up in that's 326,400 I s o range. Your gonna be losing image quality because there's gonna be a lot more noise in your seen versus if you're below that at, like, 400. Just 1600 I A So so try and keep that in mind when you're setting your eso manually. 6. Silhouette DSLR & Mobile Demonstration: So now that we've got our window picked, we've got a nice, beautiful bay window with nice, soft, even light coming in this window faces west. But because of the time of day, there's a shadow outside of the house. Right now, you can see you've got just a touch of full sun coming. So we got to be a little bit quick about this to take my first series of photos. I'm just going to use my D 800 with the 18 to 55 kit lens. It's set into program auto, so everything's automatic here in the metering mode, it's set to matrix, which is the default, and what you'll see is it's going to expose for the background. So this is kind of the general window light picture that you take with all automatic settings. You turn this way, just touch takes TT step back. So this is, ah, full silhouette here. One of the things that you have to be careful with is what you've got in your background, because if you've got an ugly background, you're going to see it with a silhouette photo. Let's get you to turn around. Let's put the book down and go right up to the window. Put your arms to the side. A little bit moved back this way. That's it. Right there. There we go. So I'm just gonna frame the window. You'll see. This is Ah, full silhouette. Takes a take a teensy step forward. Yeah, that's it. Okay. And I'm gonna take the same photo with my phone. Um, again, with camera FB five. It's in Program Auto, so it's gonna be a full silhouette here, okay? 7. VSCO Silhouette Editing: Let's start by at a editing a silhouette photo with physical camp. So I'm looking for one of my silhouette images. That's got kind of an interesting shape in the model, um, and something that would work well in a final photo. So I kind of like the shape of her, and this one's gonna pick that. Bring that into physical cam, go into edit image, and to start off. You can see in this photo that the background is exposed properly so I can see there's some cars in the background there. There's a tree. Um, and I do have a nice silhouette of my model here. So to start with still wet images, they can look really nice and black and white. So that's gonna be my starting point. I'm just gonna go through the built in physical cam filters and just kind of see how they like. Look, if there's anything that I like, um, I'm gonna start there, so to start going through these, I'd like those dark black and wait, uh, photos to start with. But, you know, that's not to say that there might be something else here that looks better to my eye. again. This is just a taste. Depends on what you like. If you do see something that's interesting to you, then by all means, start there. So I kind of really like this. I think it was this one. No, G three. No, and five. Yeah. I really like how this filter is brought out. A little bit of warmth and highlight in the in the highlight part of the photo here. So I'm gonna start with that, Um, So once I've got kind of my basic filter selected, Then I go into the tools and a tweak the filter settings just working through all the physical camp settings from from right to left. I'm sorry. From left to right. So start with exposure in this particular photo, I think the exposure is pretty good. I'm not trying to bring it up so that I exposed the model properly. I really want to see the background, um, and leave the exposure with, you know, full silhouette. So I think the exposure is pretty good as it is. I'm just gonna leave it there. Um, next you can increase the contrast often in silhouette photos if you don't have a truce. it'll whip increasing The contrast will just, uh, make your blacks a bit darker. So in this case, I'm gonna increase the contrast a little bit. I think that looks good. Next, What street in this. So this photos fairly straight out a camera, but I think it's not perfectly straight. If you look at that middle slide, it looks pretty much up and down. But at the bottom here, it's not quite straight. So just gonna see if it'll look a little bit better with a little bit of straightening. Correction applied. No, it's good. Next, let's crop. No. Usually, I just picked from one of the standard crop sizes for three is a standard aspect ratio for most photos. So let's start there, and what I'm looking for here is just even this image. So that so that the crop on the right and the left or the same I'd like it to be symmetrical. And you can see the actually gives me a very good composition there because with the rule of thirds line, it's going basically right where my model is so composition wise rule of thirds is almost perfect. I've got 1/3 1 of the horizontal third lines, Read it or head there right in our face and one of the vertical third lines right through her body. So that is an excellent competition. So I'm gonna apply that next week and sharpen, um, have to be careful with sharpening photos that were taken on a cellphone, especially photos that were taken in low light like this because there's a lot of sense of green that's gonna be in the shadows of this photo. You can't see it on the screen right now, but full size, for sure, and by sharpening sharpening the details in the image. But I'm also sharpening all of that sensor grain, their sensor noise that's in the background in the shadows as well, which I don't want to do so, although it can look really nice with sharpened cranked up, I tend to just back that off a bit to a point where it looks good, but it's not over sharpened, so it's apply a sharpening next week in a just the highlights if we want to. Um, I don't really want to recover the highlights too much. I do want to bring them into a level where I can see what's in the background. So again, this depends on what you actually have in the background of your image. How much you want to see. But for just the sake of this image, I'm gonna bring the highlights recovery up a little bit. So, Aiken, recover a bit more. What's going on in the background there. Now, you can do the same thing with the shadows. You can recover shadows quite effectively. But I'm specifically want this photo to be a silhouette. So by recovering the shadows, it kind of defeats the purpose. So I'm gonna leave those. A zit is next. You can tweak the temperature of this photo. Now, I specifically chose this filter because I like the nice warm tint that it added. And Aiken increase that even mawr if I increase the temperature slider. But I think that that's kind of over doing it a little bit, so I'm just gonna leave it as is the same thing with the tint. Um, again, I kind of specifically chose that preset because I like the colors that added to this photo . But you can tweet the tent there if you want toe change it a little bit, Um, but for this particular image, I like it as is. So let's just leave that this one's skin tones. There's no real skin tones in this photo, so I'm not gonna bother with that tool saying with vignette on a lot of images. I do like to apply vignette, but in this particular image, I've already got kind of break areas around the outside. And a vignette usually doesn't look good if you apply it to highlights. So I'm not gonna play Vignette, but next we have green on. I'm not a big fan of artificial grain and images. The idea is the grain kind of mimics vintage film. Look where you would have grain in a in a film photo. Um, but to me, adding green just kind of makes the images look they look to over processed and messy. So I don't like personally adding green to my photos. If you know that's a look that you like by all means at Green. Um, but that's not something I'm going to do here, so let's just cancel that next. We can adjust the level of fade here. Now I do like how it looks right now with the black All black. Um so that's kind of a true black. But if I crank the fade up, I can do sort of that faded image. Look, one thing to take into account with the fade is you want to apply if you are gonna apply fehd apply enough that you can tell that you intentionally have the blacks faded. So somewhere around there you can tell that. You know, I wasn't trying to make these blacks black because if you only play a little bit, it looks like you. You know, you're blacks are almost black, but not quite. It looks like he kind of made a mistake. So either apply enough that it's obvious or none, in my opinion, with the fade. So I'm not gonna play any. I like it as it is. And then you can also change the tint in the shadows in the highlights in this particular image, let me try changing the, um, the shadows to blue. And then I'm gonna bring that down to a level where it's pretty subtle, and this is kind of a neat vintage film technique where the shadows in the image have a slightly blue tint and highlights and an image have a slightly warm tent. So I just wanted to be subtle. I don't want to have, like, obviously glowing blue shadows, but just a little bit of a blue tent in my shadows. So I like that and you can do the opposite with the highlights. So the highlights gonna pick either cream yellow or sometimes an orange tint. In this case, I'm gonna pick the cream. And then again, I don't want them to be glowing orange. I just want a touch of cream tint in the highlights. So bring that down just a little bit to warm up the highlights there. They're not like that save, and that's it. So that's kind of my basic photo editing workflow with fiscal cam is, uh so with her still a image, we end up with something like that 8. Lightroom Silhouette Editing: Let's go through an example of editing one of our silhouette photos in light room. So this is kind of an example of a typical silhouette photo that you get if you put somebody in front of a bright light source. So in this case, it's ah, it's a window, but it could be any sort of bright light source with your camera in automatic mode so your camera would expose for the background, leaving you with silhouette image. So to choose which still wet photo I'm gonna edit, I'm kind of looking for one that has sort of an interesting shape to my model in front of the window. And, you know, like something like Like, this photo doesn't make such a good silhouette image because she's just sort of, ah, black blob in front of that bright background, whereas something like this is a little bit more interesting. Although I lose her a little bit in the frame of the window and this image, I like a lot more because it has a nice shape to the model in this photo. So I'm in light room. I've imported my images, I'm in the develop module and the first thing I do before I do any sort of editing is come down to enable enable profile correction. So what this will do is it will correct correct the lens profile depending on which lens I took this photo with. So you just click profile select enable profile correction. It should pick up your lens on the camera that used an automatically correct for the profile. That lens you can see with it versus without the lines aren't straight looks a little distorted. We enable that everything's nice and straight. So the next thing I do with editing silhouette photos is really what I'm editing in this picture is the background. Um, not so much the foreground, the subject. She's just gonna be mostly black if not fully silhouetted. So really, I'm editing the background now in this particular phone. Oh, it's not a great background. Hopefully, you know, if you're doing a silhouette photo on purpose, you want something interesting in the background because that's what you're exposing for. But in this case, you know, we'll just work with what we have here. So this is just the street outside of my house. So we come up to the basic correction module and really, what you do in light rooms, you just work from the top down. So you start with white balance and then you work your way through the correction tools. So as far as white balance goes, if I used the temperature picker, um and I choose something that's more or less gray on the outside there, um, it will set the white balance to that. And you can see it just kind of warmed it up a little bit. I think that looks pretty good. I'm gonna try warming it up even a little bit more. Make it look kind of sunny outside. I think that looks good There. The 10 it selected when I use the temperature picker it it Ah, increase the magenta a little bit. I think that looks fine. Um, usually leave the tent at zero. Um, but that's kind of just to taste Next will come down to exposure. So, like I said, I'm editing for the background here, and I could see that that exposure is a little bit bright in the background. So I'm gonna bring the exposure down a bit and you can see that kind of darkens the shadows and everything, and the photo looks a little bit too dark there. But we'll get back to that. Um, next is a contrast in a silhouette photo. If you're subject isn't completely black. Increasing the contrast can kind of help to clip the blacks and really dark in your subject . So you get a full silhouette, so I'm gonna increase the contrast a little bit there. Not too much. Next. This highlights. I'm losing a little bit of the highlights over here on the left in the window, and that's just cause the angle that the sun's coming in there. But in the background, the highlights look pretty good. So we might try reducing that just a little bit to kind of even it out. Um, now the shadows, Like I said, when I decrease the exposure of the background, got a little too dark. Um, the shadows got a little bit Teoh, um, to contrast in the background there, so I'm going to recover a little bit of those shadows. But I have to be careful with this with silhouette photo, because if I recover too much, shadows are going to recover the detail in my silhouette and actually want her to be silhouette. So there's no point in cranking the shadow recovery up to recover the shadows. So I'm just going to increase that little bit to recover some of the shadows in the background. Next is the white slider. I don't use this slider very much. Um, you can play with it and just kind of see if it if it changes how your image looks to your taste. But nine out of 10 times I never touched the white slider. Just leave it where it is and lastly, is the blacks. Now this is kind of one of my favorite adjustment tools in light room, because what you can do is make sure that your blacks are completely black. And if you click Ault on your P C keyboard and click the black slider, it will show you what blacks in your photo are clipped. So for a silhouette image, um, if I bring the blacks down, it's showing me that most of my foreground and my model are clipped so they'll be completely black. So if I let go of the the old key, you can see, um, the model in the foreground there. And most of the background there is completely silhouetted. Now that looks a little bit too much to my taste. So I'm just gonna back that off a little bit. And I'm gonna come back up here to exposure and increase that a little bit because I think I went a little bit too, too low. With the exposure there, I can still get, um, a good silhouette with a, you know, bringing the blacks down and have a good exposure of my background there. Next, there's clarity, vibrance and saturation clarity. Um, I usually play a little bit of clarity to my images. I try not to do too much because it just looks, ah, little bit to fake it over process. But a little bit of clarity is nice, and then we have vibrance and saturation. Now the difference between them is vibrance increases the, um, the color saturation in the colors in your image. But it it leaves the skin tones more or less natural, where a saturation just saturates all the colors. So it depends on your background in your particular photo, how much vibrance and saturation you use. Ah, similar to the clarity slider. You don't want to add too much vibrance or too much saturation, because then it just tends to look fake and over process. So I usually leave the saturation where it is. And I increase the vibrance a little bit, just out a little bit of that color punch into the background. So in most cases, that's, ah, pretty much it for a basic light room at it with the silhouette photo. 9. Semi-Silhouette DSLR & Mobile Demonstration: Now we want to move up from just our basic silhouette photo. So the easiest way to do that with a DSLR is to use exposure. Correction. So on this camera, if I hold down the exposure correction button and I changed it two plus two, I'm still in program auto, but from experience, I know that I'm gonna need a bit more light. So instead of I s 0 400 I'm gonna bump that upto eso 1600. The reason is that if I'm overexposing the photo, I need more light. Um, there's only a limit to the aperture that this lens can go to. It's got a range of 3.5 to 5.6. So to get more light, the only other option I have is to increase the I S o. So let's take that photo with the exposure correction set two plus two. I'm still in matrix metering. So it took that at eso 1600 f 5.6 and 11 25th of a second. But because I increased the I so from 400 to 1600 you can see that these photos air just a little bit brighter and a little bit, Uh, you've got more detail in the front of the subject. It's not a complete silhouette. Now on this camera, I can keep going with the exposure correction. So I'm at plus two. I can go up to plus four. Let's take some of those and that's getting tomb or the blown out background look. So at an exposure correction of Plus four that in an ESO 1600 the camera chose to shoot that at 1 1/60 of a second and F four, of course, with a DSLR instead of using exposure correction. Probably the easiest thing to do is just to set your camera and manual and then look in the screen on the back and expose until you get something that you like. So we're gonna change the exposure correction back down to zero to switch over to manual mode, and I'm gonna start at F 5.6. The reason being is that this lens has a temperature range between 3.5 and 5.6, So if I started 3.5 and I zoom in, it's already gonna go to 5.6 and mess up my shots So if I just started 5.6, then I'm good through the whole zoom range of the lens. So I'm at 5.6 eso 1600 we're gonna go with 1/60 of a second. This select is us a bit more of the, um, exposure for the subject rather than the background. If I want more of a silhouette than all I have to do is change the shutter speed. So I'm going to go Teoh 11 25th of a second. So the aperture stays the same at 5.6 the I so is the same at 1600. And this should give me a nice semi silhouette. I could do the same thing with my phone. So on my phone, I can't go into manual mode. But what I can do is use exposure correction in the app that I'm using camera 35 So I'm still in matrix metering. I'm gonna up my exposure correction two plus two, which will give me a little bit more of a balanced exposure between exposing for the background and exposing for my subject. So let's just take a few photos like that this way just to touch. Yeah, I go. So you see, even with on exposure correction of plus two because of how the phone is me during the scene, it's still not exposing it quite as bright as I'd like. For the semi silhouette, it's still giving me much more of ah silhouette. So here we are at, um, no exposure correction and then crank that up the plus two, and it gives me just a little bit more detail on the front of the model. 10. VSCO Semi-Silhouette Editing: Now I'm going to edit one of my semi silhouette images with physical cam. I'm just gonna pick the photo I like. That's Ah, nervous semi silhouette where I can still see a little bit of the background. Um, but my model, I can see some detail on her as well, So let's try. Let's try this photo here. I think that would be a good candidate. So bring that into physical cam, go to the editing tools. And again, I usually just start with going through the preset seeing. If there's anything that that I like in particular, it's a lot easier. Just just start with a preset that you already like, how it looks than to start from scratch. Really like that black of white one. Back to the beginning. Let's let's try that. We'll start with that, so that's Ah, preset, be one. You go into the editing tools and again, just gonna work through these from left to right exposure. I think I could bring up the exposure a little bit in this. Um, no, you leave it as is. It's it's exposed pretty good out of camera, so there's no need to fix it. Ideally, you do get your exposure is close to perfect as you can right in the camera. Saves a lot of headache afterwards, and you'll get the best quality images because editing the exposure with editing software, you never get the same qualities that you could get right out. A camera contrast. Let's increase that a little bit. I'm personally partial to really nice contrast The photos I don't like kind of faded, muted photos, so I almost always increase the contrast somewhere. I think that looks good. Let's straighten this a little bit, the windows pretty close to straight, just not quite so, um, it does need a little bit of straight in there, right there, good and cropping. So my thoughts on cropping or the same as before, Let's try a 43 crop. Um, basically want toe balance this so that the window is symmetrical in the frame. Um, but my model now is at the third point, so same as last time. Using the same composition here, basically have got vertical third point line here that goes more or less right through my model's body horizontal third pint line here, which basically rose right to her head so amusing. Rule of thirds. That's an excellent composition where your eyes naturally drawn to the third points of the photo. In this case, that's right to our model's face. Which is where, you know, I really want you to be looking, So I think that's a good composition. And keep that now, We had talked to vote, um, sharpening before I am gonna sharpen this just a little bit. I can already see some sensor noise in the shadows of this photo. So if I really create that sharpening up, I'm gonna sharpen all that noise in the shadows as well, which I don't want to do. But I do want to add a little bit of detail to my model there. So I'm gonna just sharpened just a little bit, um, saturation, We don't have to worry about because we're working in black and white. Now, in this particular photo, the highlights are more or less completely overexposed and blown out toe white. So there are really any highlights that I can save in this photo. Even if I crank that up, it just kind of makes it look sort of grey and muddy, so I'm not gonna touch the highlights at all. But I might recover some of the shadows in particular The shadows down here in her skirt, her legs. Because the window is waist height. There's not a lot of light that's wrapping around her legs there. So let's see what it looks like if we recover some shadows. Yeah, I like that because now I can see her figure a bit better. But what I'm gonna do is gonna recover some of those shadows. Now, I'm gonna go back to contrast. So back here at the beginning, and I'm gonna increase the contrast a little bit more. Because by recovering the shadows, um, I sort of lost the contrast that I had added in the first place. So that's where we were Just just a touch more contrast. Yeah, that's good. All right, so let's go back here. So temperature and tint working in black and white, so I don't need to adjust those score that same thing with skin tones working in black and white, and my skin tones are fairly small, so I have to worry about that. Um, even yet, uh, vignette might work on this photo because I do have some shadows in the corners. Let's try. I'm not really sure you know actually, like that. Yep. Um, by adding a vignette to most images, what it does is it darkens the outsides of the photo, which naturally draws your eye into the middle where you want it to go. So I am gonna add a little bit of in yet to this. I think I mentioned before that you do have to be careful about adding vignette to highlight areas because they can just look great. But in this case, I've got the, you know, the darker color of the wall around the outside. So I do like adding a some vignette there. Um so green I'm not gonna add Great. And I think I already went over my thoughts about green before. Um, let's look at Fade. I like it as it is. I don't really want it to be one of the that faded look. No, I do like the fade look in some photos, but in this case, I want to stick with more of a true black and white. So I like that. And then look at the shadows and the highlights tents as well so I'm gonna blue tint. You know, again, this is something that I tend to do in a lot of photos. And I really like the look. If it's not to your taste, then by all means don't apply it. But so then apply a blue shadow tent and just a hint of blue, um, into the shadows of this photo. Okay. And I'm gonna do same thing. Let's try the highlights tint as well. And we start with, uh, let's start with cream. And again, just a subtle level of cream highlights. 10 can look really interesting. Yeah, like that. All right, so let's keep that and then let's save this. So there you go. There's, uh, a edited semi silhouette using Visco camp. 11. Lightroom Semi-Silhouette: Now let's go through the process of editing one of our semi silhouette photos in light room . So again, I've already imported my photos and I'm in the develop module and we're gonna follow more or less the same procedure that we used with thesis ill a wet photo and in light room. So first, I'm gonna look through my semi cilla images to find one that I like the composition of the best. And again, I'm looking for an interesting form in the model. Ah, good background, um, something that works with composition wise. So, for example, in this photo, I don't really like the composition of this photo. I think having her stand right in the middle of the frame with this window frame right through her body is just distracting. It doesn't work for me. So I'm gonna look for something that's a bit more interesting. That's getting better. Don't particularly like that pose. You go back to some of the ones that I took at the beginning. That's a bit more interesting to me. Better composition. Um, I think I like that one better. It's It's framed a little bit better. It's a bit straighter, so it's easier to work with. And I liked the expression on her face there a little bit better. So, you know, I am pretty particular about the photo that I select edit. You know, I've taken many of the same photo. I mean, a bunch of these frames air very, very similar. But out of them, that's the one that I kind of like the best. Now, if you do have a bunch of photos in light room that you want to preview and decide which one you like the best, um, pulled down control and select all the ones that you want to review and then press end on your keyboard and that will bring them all up into one screen. And you can go through and just x un select the ones that you don't want to look at anymore . So, you know, I don't really like that one. Get rid of it. It moves them. I don't like that when I want a full body. Some left with these two and ah, you know, they're very, very similar. But I think I like the, uh, the composition of this one just a little bit better. So get rid of that. And there you go. There. I'm left with that photo work on, um, so back to the develop module. Um, again, we're gonna work through this top to bottom, but first thing I'm gonna do is apply my lens correction. So we come down here to enable profile, correction, select profile, click enable profile, correction. And it knows that I was using a Nikon 18 to 55 millimeter lens and it applies the proper lens correction for that. And you can see I shot this photo at 18 millimeters. So is pretty wide angle taking this. And without the profile correction, you can see that wide angle barrel distortion very clearly in the image. And, you know, it's a little thing, but it makes a big, big deal in the final image like that just does not look right after you have applied a profile correction. You can see the big difference there. So let's go back up to the top to our basic, um, adjustment panel here Now, with the semi silhouette, the background should be, you know, fairly bright, but not completely blown out toe white. So you should see a little bit of detail in the background, hopefully and the same the opposite in the foreground, where my foreground. I wanted to be fairly dark, in contrast, e but not completely black that we'd see in a silhouette photo. So I have a little bit of leeway both ways in this type of image, with the background to recover some of those highlights and the foreground to recover some of the shadows as well. If I want to do that, the white balance looks pretty good where it is. It could be a little bit tricky to get a good white balance in window light photos, because if I select something in the background that's more or less gray, it's gonna make the background really, uh, kind of, ah, on the orange yellow East Side, because it's setting the background toe white versus if I pick the inside, which is open shade. Um, it's gonna make the background look really Bluey, so you can see the difference there now, in this particular photo, I really like how that looks, uh, with a little bit of a cool tint on the inside. So I think I'm gonna leave that, um, I'm gonna leave it as shot. But you know, there's no right or wrong with white balance. If you like your photo, have a cool tent. Then bring that white balance down. If you want your phone and have a warm, sunny look, you don't bring the white balance up. Um, but technically speaking, if you do want a pure white, um, you can just use the sliders to find that, or I like using the color temperature picker and just finding something in the photo that's more or less a neutral gray. You select that, and that gives you a really good starting point. Um, and then you can tweak that with the slider, so I'm gonna tweet that back up. Teoh. 5100 Kelvin There. So next we're going through the rest of our sliders. Exposure looks pretty good where it is. I don't If I bring the exposure up, I'm gonna end up with my backlit high key. Look, um, which is not what I want for this photo. I want to keep it as a semi silhouette. So you leave that exposure there? I think I did a pretty good job setting this exposure in camera. I, like contrast so I'm gonna raise the contrast a little bit. Not too much, although that actually does look really cool. I like the shadows there, but for now I'm going to just raise the contrast a little bit now. Highlights. Like I said with a semi silhouette the background here, it's not completely blown out toe white, and the way I can tell that is if I, uh, hold down Ault on my PC keyboard and then click highlights. It will show me the highlights in the background that are completely clipped, a white. And if I bring this highlight slider down, you can see that can recover those highlights. And if I bring it way down and we look up here at the hissed a gram, you can see that the highlights on the right of the History Ram are no longer completely blown out toe white. Where is where they were here? Those air past white, So there's no detail in those highlights. Now I do. You like to have at least a little bit of detail in my highlights, so that if I ever do print this image on a printed page, those highlights aren't 100% white because it just looks wrong in a print when you're highly is fully white. So you want to have a little bit of detail left in your highlights. Generally speaking, so you bring those highlights down just a little bit working through shadows. I like how it is. The whole point of a semi silhouette photo is toe have really nice, interesting shadows in your photos. Um, so I like the shadows in this photo, but I'm still going to try and see what the the highlight slider does. That's sort of the shadows slider. I'm gonna bring it up a little bit. Um, somewhere around there looks pretty good to me on. Then we go whites. Like I said, I rarely use the white slider. It just generally doesn't have much of effect on most photos. So I'm gonna leave that where it is. And then the blacks again, one of my other favorite sliders. So, you know, click. Uh, click the black cider and then hold down all you know, Show me where the blacks in my photo are clipped. So you see the blacks in the lower portion of the photo or clip because they're not getting the same amount of light from the window that the upper portion is. So if I go back, you can see her legs or clip. But I like how bringing the black slider down adds a lot of contrast in the top part of the photo. So I'm gonna do something. A little trick here to fix that in just a moment. Next, we've got clarity. Um, I usually add a little bit of clarity if I zoom in clarity on people generally doesn't look very good. So if you have a person in your photo, be very careful not to apply too much clarity. Um, but just just a little bit often looks pretty good. And that's especially true for photographs of women. If you're doing any sort of fashion or glamour, look, do not apply any clarity. Just leave it zero. So no vibrance. Um, I tend to like really colorful, bright, vibrant photos. So I'm gonna bring that vibrates up quite a bit, and normally I wouldn't go this high. You can kind of see the reflection of the light coming off. Her shirt is reflected in the white window frame there, and I'm getting some other kind of ugly stuff going on here with the vibrance of that high . But somewhere in around there, I just kind of like that look of the vibrant, bright colors on her shirt. Now, saturation saturation affects the skin tones. So if I bring the saturation up too much, I like the break colorful saturation or hair. But I don't want to bring that saturation up too much. I think that's Ah, that's over doing it a little bit there. So let's bring that down. Um, Next, the final thing I said I was going to do was fixed these dark areas at the bottom of the frame here. So to do that, I'm gonna pick the Grady int tool. And I use this tool quite uh, quite a bit. So I reset my sliders. So everything zeroed out here. I'm gonna draw Grady and up from the bottom to kind of maybe mid level in the window. There are kind of the bottom third, and then I can increase the exposure and maybe the shadows. A little bit of that bottom ingredient tool. Now you can see it's kind of not matched in very well or skirts. Still really dark there. So you can kind of just, um, play with where you place the greedy int tool. Um, it evens out the exposure in that whole foot frame in the photo frame there, so I think that looks good. Leave that, Grady and tool there. Um, the last thing to do, and I think I mentioned this before, but it's very important to crop all your images to improve your composition. So in this photo, I did a pretty good job composing this. In camera, you can see the top corner. This window is almost perfectly straight with the top corner of that. That window there. Same with the bottom there. But I don't like this table in here. It's kind of distracting. And it's not even at the top left and right corner. So you can see I'm not quite centered on the room on this side. I'm in. I'm out a little bit further that I am on this side. So So first, I'm going to try and crop that table out. Now I have to be careful. And don't crop the bottom of her feet out a swell so I can't quite get it with the fixed acts aspect ratio crop. So I'm gonna come over here to right now. It's set on an original, which is the aspect ratio the photo was shot at, which is a 2 to 3. Um, but instead, I'm just gonna unlock the aspect ratio so I can adjust it Freehand. You know, there's no rule that says that you have to use a fixed aspect ratio, so I'm gonna bring this site in just a little bit. So it's about even where this site is when I get rid of the table in the book in that corner. So actually gonna lose the edge of the wall there. So I want to make it match on both sides. I think that looks pretty good there and then the bottom. Like I said, I don't want to cut off the bottom of her feet. So I'm just gonna bring that down a touch and then apply my crop there. Okay, so that is a good example of a fairly typical edit that you do for a semi silhouette image 12. Backlit DSLR Demonstration: Lastly, we're gonna do our high key. Look where the background in the window is gonna be completely blown out and we're exposing for the front of our subject. So it with my camera with my d 100 I'm still in program auto setting the exposure correction to zero. And instead of staying in matrix meter, we're gonna switch this over to spot metering. So if you're not sure how to do that on your particular camera, just check the manual put in spot metering. And I've also got auto exposure lock. So what this will do is this spot metering is at the center of the frame. So if I If I center my subject right at the center of the frame to take a photo, it's exposed that to 1/80 of a second and F 4.5 now from experience. I know that I gonna need a little bit more light here, So I'm gonna up the I S O. So I started at I s 0 400 Let's bring that up to 1600. So again, my subjects in the center of the frame spot metering and the camera took that at F 6.3 in 1 1/60 Let's try a trick here. We're gonna find somewhere kind of dark in the frame. So the bottom of the bottom of the window and I'm gonna hit auto exposure lock, which will lock for that exposure at the bottom and then take the photo. So now it exposed for F 3.5 and 1/50 of a second. Now, instead of trying to kind of fight with my camera to get the exposure that I want, I'm gonna change this over to aperture priority. So it's at Aperture 5.6, and now the camera will just pick a shutter speed. So now it's only choosing one variable, which is a little bit easier. So if we do the same thing, got spot metering with my subject right in the center, and it shows 1/60 at F 5.6 and I could do the same thing Where if I if I move the camera around in this screen, you can see the exposure that spot metering is picking in the window here. So if I pick somewhere kind of darker, like, um on her shirt there and then I push out of exposure lock. Now I can move the frame and it'll lock that exposure. Sleep we go. There's 1/40 at F 5.6. Now, if you've got a DSLR, the easiest thing to do is just put this in manual. So I'm in manual mode. I'm at F 5.6 and I'm gonna start at 1/60 of a second. My eyes so is set to 1600 for window light photos. This is kind of like a typical starting point. Go. That looks awesome. So with this setting, I'm exposing for the front of myself. Move that we're just a teensy bit. I'm exposing for the front of my subject instead of the background. Do you had this way? Just near. There we go. Nice. 13. Backlit Mobile Demonstration: so to take this photo with my phone. Um, Now, my phone doesn't have manual mode, so I'm going to use, um, spot metering. And it also you has auto exposure lock, but because I can see this on the screen, I can see what the phone is trying to meet her from. So all I have to do is pick somewhere that has the exposure that I like and then hit auto exposure lock and then take my photo. I can also kind of tweak that with the exposure correction. So if I come in a little bit closer, um, kind of one of the pains for doing this is you have to release the exposure lock for every photo, but but coming a little bit closer still got spot metering on there. It's a little bit to break there, so I just find a spot of my frame that it's meat Oring. What I like hit auto exposure lock and then snap that photo 14. Reflectors Demonstration: we've done our basic backlit portrait's. What we're gonna do is we'll bring in the reflector And so this is a last delight for Elector Um, it's got a white side and gold side on And to see the difference that that makes if you can see that on the model there the Reflector without so I'm gonna put that up on my my light stand You get somebody to hold this for you And that just helps with the exposure in the front so that we don't have to quite overexpose the background quite as much. So again I'm Emanuel. 1/60 of a second F 5.6 I s 0 1600 You see the difference that it makes. So that's with the reflector. Let's do it without it. Another kind of really cool trick that you can do with the reflectors. If your models holding something like a book or a tablet, you can use that as a natural reflector to reflect light back onto her face. So who hadn't grabbed that book there? And she holds it in a way pretty. It's got to be up pretty close to her face, but you can hold it up in a way that will reflect the late Put up a little closer. Yeah, that's it. Into this window. Open that window just to touch a little more. Yeah, And hold that book up. Nicer clothes. All right. To see the impact that a reflector makes gonna show you. Nice and up close with are the gold side of our last delight panel. This is kind of a shiny reflector, so it shows you kind of the most pronounced difference there. We're brings in some detail into the shadows. And if we switch that over to the white side, you got a similar effect. It's just a little bit less pronounced, so more subtle. And like we mentioned, you don't need a commercially made reflector to do this, you can use pretty much anything as a reflector. So the same thing with our white piece of my key, a closet set, you can see it just as just a little bit of detail into the shadows. There 15. Snapseed Backlit Editing: Now I'm going to edit one of my mobile phone photos with snap seed and snaps. He does a really good job of photos that air colorful, that air shirt images that you really want to bring out some sharp, crisp vibrance colors. So it would work well for black and whites of some of the silhouette photos. Um, but in this case, I'm going to use it to edit one of my high key backlit photos. Eso Let's try this one here. So you import that into snap, see, and to get started. Um, I never really used the automatic setting and snap seed is just, you know, I don't really trust it to do what I wanted to do in the photo. So you start with selective adjust, because I'm gonna break in her face. Just a touch. And I think down here sure could be breaking just a little bit as well. So let's use these selective adjust tool, um, at a circle here, increase the brightness just a little bit. The contrast in the saturation that could adjust with the selective adjust tool. Um, but usually gonna play that globally anyway. So in this case, I'm not gonna. I'm not going to change the saturation contrast locally. Just a little bit of brightness with the with the selective adjust tool. So they're just increase the brightness. Just a touching your face in the top of her shirt there. So let's apply that. Then we're gonna go through the tune image tools, so click on tool image. Start with brightness. Um, I'm gonna bring it just a little bit. Ambience. I really like this tool. It can make your images just pop. But you do have to be careful that you don't want to crank up the ambience to 100% on all your photos because it just looks a little bit too over process. Too overdone. So be careful with the Amin's tool. A little bit does tend to look really great and most low. So just just a little bit ambience here. Um, next contrast. Use a little bit more contrast. I personally like very punchy contrast images where the blacks are black and whites white. Um, so I do tend to add contrast personally, but again, you know, all the editing that you do is to your own personal taste. If it looks good to you then. You know that's what you should use. Don't buy go by what other people tell you is right or what's correct if it looks good than apply it. But so just a little bit of contrast there. No in snap. See, I do tend to work through these tools, just from top to bottom. They're laid out that way because it's kind of a logical progression, and it's it's easy to remember the workflow. Just work your from top to bottom. So applied some contrast saturation, and you increase the saturation a bit. I like the color in her hair and also the color of the shirt. I think that's a really nice um, A really nice contrast is image versus the white background. But again, with most tools and snap said, you have to be very careful not to apply too much. So if I crank that saturation right up to 100% you know, it just looks very fake and overdone, so I'm gonna increase the saturation just a little bit somewhere around 25 shadows. Um, I already increased the shadows, recovered some of the shadows in her face there. Um, I could try recovering them in her shirt as well. You can see the difference there. But personally, I really like the shadows in this image. I think that's what makes it interesting is that you do have some shadow on the shadow side of her face and over over shirt on her shoulder here. So I'm gonna leave the shadows where they are. And the last thing here is warmth. Now I can tell the white balance that this photo was taken is just touch warm. So I'm gonna try bringing the warmth down a little bit so you can see if I increase it, you know, goes to orange, two yellows. And if I decrease, it goes to the cool tones. So I want to find somewhere where this half of the photo, the highlight half is more or less pure white. Um, it's just a touch warm right now, so I'm gonna bring them warmth down to somewhere, like minus five or so, But there looks good. Okay, so that's takes care of all of the basic image tuning in snap. See. So now I'm gonna straighten and crop now, pretty much every single photo needs to be strained and cropped. In this case, I can see the vertical slat in the window. It looks pretty much vertical, but these horizontal slots are not quite horizontal. So you know, you just kind of have to play around with it and see, because if I straighten the horizontal slats, then this vertical isn't quite vertical. If I straighten the vertical than the horizontal is not quite right. So you know, actually looking at it now, I think it does look pretty good. How? I shot it out of camera. So I'm just gonna leave it. Believe it. Uh, how waas, if I can get it back? Toe waas Yeah, here we go. And then crop No, again, Unless you're really careful and did a great job composing your photo in camera. Pretty much every image needs to be cropped. And we talked about the rule of thirds before, so you can see the third lines on the screen here. So I've got to vertical third lines to horizontal third lines. And how it's composed right now is that the intersection of these third point's is almost honor I, which is right where I want you to be looking when you're looking at this photo. I want you to be drawn right into her eyes. So if I go Teoh an aspect ratio crop If I picked my standard, um, 32 aspect ratio, we're sorry. 43 aspect ratio. That's ah, like the size of a standard four by six photo or the standard after aspect aeration of that . Most DSLR cameras take. I can try bringing that crop in to better get that third point on her eye so I could crop it like that. And I have the third point's perfectly right on her either. But what I lose is this bottom corner of the photo, and I think for context, it doesn't look good cropping your shoulder and the top of her blows out there. So I'm gonna bring that back, and I'm gonna actually bring this down a little bit. So I think that looks pretty good. There's for us. A crop goes gonna bring about. Go back, Teoh. I'm gonna go back to using a free aspect ratio because I don't really like this line here in the corner there. So I just see what it looks like if I take that by bringing the crop in. Now. By doing that, I kind of lose the composition that I had before with third points. Now, I don't love having that vertical line here over at this corner of the photo, but I like the composition overall a lot more, all the way over to the edge than I do with it. Say like that. So it's gonna leave it as is maybe just bring it in a touch. So now, instead of this just being a distraction as part of the other window over here at the left side of the photo, If I bring this in just a little bit, it becomes a framing element. So this edge of the frame edge of the photo here is framed by that vertical line rather than it being a distraction. So gonna apply that crop. Next. I'm going to look at the details. Um, you do have to be careful in snap seed with over sharpening and applying too much structure to your images because if you do, it could just have this really over processed. Look where you're added. You're adding in sharpening at a fat artifacts, so I do typically end a little bit at a little bit of sharpening and a little bit of structure, but I try to kind of bring it up to a level that I like and then back it off a bit. So let's start with sharpening. So I think somewhere like that looks quite good. Um, no, I'm up to about 42 on the sharpening, and I'm just gonna back that off a little bit. So somewhere, like 30. And then the same thing with structure. So I'm gonna bring if you bring the structure way up. You know, I think that actually looks pretty cool. And some people might really like that. Look, it's kind of got a faux grungy HDR type. Look there. But in my personal taste, that's just a little bit too over processed. So I'm just gonna add a teensy bit of structure there. About 10. Apply that, and that's it for snap sees. So I'm gonna say that, and that's my final image at it. Using snap seed of a high key image 16. Lightroom Backlit Editing: Lastly, let's edit our backlit photos with light room. So in this series of photos, we've specifically overexpose the background pretty significantly so that we could use that nice directional window light to wrap around or subject. And we've exposed for the front of our subject. Now backlit photos are probably the most important ones that need some particular attention in light room, because what tends to happen when you're exposing for the front of your your subject and you're over exposing the background is that these photos tend to come out of camera very flat and dull. So if I look at one of these photos that I took that or backlit in a zoom in on, say on her face here, um, you can see how flat and dull the colors are in the contrast is in that image. And that's pretty typical for backlit window light photos where they come out, you know, with very, very minimal contrast. You can see if I go over here and I grabbed the black slider and I start Bring that down. I have to come down to somewhere around there, minus looking. I'm at minus 85 on the blacks before I get kind of ah, normal level of contrast that would normally come out of your camera. So and actually, these photos as they came in, they have quite a bit mawr contrast and a usually see in a backlit window light photo. Um, I'm gonna come over here to these ones where we used the book as a reflector. And this kind of illustrates why it is important to use a reflector your images, because you can see just how these were exposed. The reflector fills in the shadows on her face, and they have just that little bit more contrast out a camera. So I don't have to do quite as Mitch work to fix them so that I can show you that as well. If I go over to the block slider, bring that down kind of to a similar level where I had the other one, Um, maybe somewhere around there, So I think that looks kind of similar to the contrast that I brought the other one into. And I'm only at minus 71 on my black slider, so that's sort of the difference that the reflector can bring into your photos. It It's subtle, but it is important, especially if you're really overexposing the background. So I'm gonna continue working on this photo, actually, really like this pose? Um, there's another one here that I like to, uh maybe go with that one. It's a bit more a bit more interesting. Um, no. Go back to this one. Let's edit this photo so same processes before let's go down to our enable profile correction. So we're gonna enable that profile correction for the lens that we used. I shot that at 18 millimeters. So again, you know, it's really important to apply that profile correction to correct the lines and your photo so that, um so that they're not distorted. You can see the barrel distortion up here in the frame of the window versus when I apply the profile correction. Everything's nice and straight, and it just it just looks better. Um, I already applied the black slider, brought those blacks down a little bit. The exposure actually looks really good. Um, you can see it like if I overexposed it. Uh, you know, that doesn't look right if I under exposed him into the silhouette range. So I think I did a really good job in camera getting this exposure, right? If I come up here in a click on that little arrow at the right side of the history Graham, that'll show me all of the highlights that air clipped. So everything that's red there is pure white. And I could do the opposite in, Go over here to the left and see what is pure black in this photo. So what's blue? They're showing on. Her skirt is pure black. Um, so I want to recover those highlights in the shadows so that I'm not clipping either one. No, In the backlit photo, I'm purposely really, really overexposing this background. Almost a pure white. But if possible, um, I would like a little bit of detail in those whites just so that if I do end up printing this photo, it's not 100% white on the page, so I'm gonna try to recover those. So if I hit all and I clicked my highlight slider, I can see all that is clipped, and I bring that highlight slider down to a point where it's no longer pure white. Go back to my photo. I could start to see some of the detail in the background there. I don't really want that. I don't I don't want to see just the outline of that car and some of this other stuff in the background. So I'm gonna compromise there. I'm gonna bring those back up, Uh, just to the point where I can't see them anymore. And actually, you know what? That brings me right back to the beginning. So I'm gonna leave those highlights clipped. I like it a lot better like that with that pure white background. So moving down, Um, I don't really need to increase the contrast slider here, although maybe a little bit contrast would would do well, because I've already increased the contrast by bringing the black slider down. So just a little touch of contrast there now, the shadows. So you remember her skirt here was pure black. So if I click on that, it will show me, um, that her skirt, her legs there appear black. So I want some detail back in that. So you bring the shadows slider up. Um, you know, it's showing me that I can't recover it without, you know, totally destroying the rest. of my photo here. So let's go back and leave it as is. Ideally, I would have some detail there and again. That's where you could use a reflector. So if I was using my big last light reflector or the, you know just a piece of white foam core or Bristol board or the piece of my white Nike A closet, I could use that reflector to add some light in here to her leg. And I probably should have done that instead of, um, you know, trying to rely on correcting it after the fact. But instead I'm going to use my Grady int slider. That trick that we used in our semi semi silhouette bring exposure up a little bit there. If I click on that arrow, it will show me what's clipped. Maybe try and bring the shadow slider up there. I don't want to bring it up too much, Um, because it kind of ruins the whole ah, Ambien of the bottom of the photo there. So I'm just gonna bring it up a little bit, and I'm gonna live with that part of her leg being 100% black. Now again, that's not ideal. I could have fixed that, um, when I took this photo by using a reflector, but I didn't. So now I'm gonna have to live with it how it is. So let's keep it like that. Turn that preview off the whites I'm not gonna touch. You can kind of see what they do. If you want it to look like, really bright and blown out in the background, increase it. If you want to recover some of that break highlights in the background, you can bring your whites down. Normally, I don't touch that clarity. We've already discussed, um, on glamour photos or photos of women. Clarity generally looks really bad on on skin that you're tryingto make look nice and smooth. So a little bit of clarity. Just add some sharpness to the outside lines, but not too much vibrance again. My personal preference I love bright, colorful photos are gonna bring that vibrance way up and then back it off. Just a touch looks good to me, saturation. I usually don't apply too much saturation if I've already done vibrance because the saturation effects skin tones. So if I apply too much saturation, it'll apply that saturation to her face, which is something that I don't want, so leave the saturation where it is. Um, I'm gonna show you another trick here, because I took this photo at a very high I s. So I took it at I s 0 3200 Actually, this is Ah 11 60 of a second F 5.6 eso 3200. Um, if I had a faster lens, like a 2.8 lens, I would have used that. Um, a 2.8 is two stops lower than 5.6. So I could have gotten away with eso 800 instead of I s 0 3200 Um, but you're using a 5.6. I had to go toe I so 3200 to get the background exposure that I wanted. So if I zoom in, you can see that there's quite a bit of grain in this photo now that I've done my basic corrections, and I'd like to kind of eliminate that as much as possible if I can. And there's a really easy way to do that in light room. So we come down here to, uh sharpening and noise reduction. And if I click on the preview area here and I pick somewhere where I want to reduce, um, the noise and I wanna sharpen. So I'm gonna pick her. I there because that's really the focal point of my image Here. I want you to look at her. I, um So if I go to noise reduction, the first thing to do is try increasing the loom in its noise reduction, and basically, I'm gonna increase it to a level where her skin and all that noise in there looks fairly smooth and nice. And then I'm gonna I'm gonna bring it back down a little bit just so I can see just a touch of noise back in there. Because if I if I go away too high and really smooth it out, it basically makes the whole photo blurry. Which is what I don't really want that I want to keep the edges sharp so I only want to apply the middle amount of noise reduction is possible. So I think somewhere around there looks pretty good. Now, if you apply noise reduction, it's really important that you also sharpen because the noise reduction. It basically smooths your image. So if you don't sharpen, um, you're gonna end up with a lot, a lot of a blur. You're looking photo, so come back into 100% zoom now the sharpening and increase that sharpening. Just so if I look at the preview there 100% just so the edges of, um, details on the photo look good, Um, that's a little bit too much. Bring that back just to touch 70% Looks good. The radius in detail. I usually just leave at the default, but you can play with those if you want. And then if we come down here to the masking slider, this is important, especially if you have skin or any anything in your photo that is just, ah, solid color. I don't want to sharpen these solid colors like the wall, the top of the bottom. See how it brings out that sort of pick silly look in solid colors. Um, I don't want that. So what I can do is mask my sharpening. So I've already set the sharpening level to what I want. I come down here to the masking slider now, while I click the Masking Slider Click Fault on your P C keyboard. And as you bring that up, it'll show you what in the photos being sharpened. So at this point, you can see that the walls in most of her shirt are not being sharpened. And if I keep going with that, um, it just eliminate s'more of this kind of solid colors, the that I don't want a sharp. And if it goes 100% it's on Lee sharpening the very edges, sewing it. I usually go up to about 100% and then come back down just a little bit. Somewhere between 80 and 100% is usually where I end up sharpening. And what that does, is it. Onley sharpens the edges, and it doesn't shirt been, um, any solid colors. So I still get nice even, Um, you can see the difference up there, so that hasn't been sharpened. Whereas if I decrease the masking slider 20 you can see how it sharpened all of the noise in the solid color. I bring that up, Teoh. I think I had it at 92 or something like that. You can see how it's not sharpen the same. So I'm gonna leave that there. That looks really, really good. I'm really happy with that. The last thing is to crop my photo. So this is actually a pretty good composition in camera. Click on the cropping tool. Uh, you see, I did actually pretty a pretty good job with the line of the rule of thirds here with my third point, um, fairly close to her face there. The only thing I don't like in this photo is this little bit of sealing up the top here. I want a crop that out, and it's not quite level either. So I'm gonna rotate in a little bit. So I think this corner needs to come up just a touch. And you can see that that cross bit in the middle. There's eyes almost level there. So I got that level. No, I got a look at the bottom as well. So by fixing the top, I kind of made the bottom Not quite level, so I'm gonna bring it back just a little bit. Kind of got Teoh, you know, just go with what looks good. Um, And then as far as the crop goes, I'm just gonna bring it in just a little bit from each corner so I can crop out the ceiling , and I'm cropping it just to the edge of the window on each side. So, um, as far as the crop goes, I think that looks really good. I'm gonna apply that. So there is my my finished backlit. Um, high key. Look, photo, um, I'm gonna take it back to the original, just to show you the difference there between all the adjustments that we just did and why it's so important to edit your backlit photos. Backlit window, light photo. So if I go back here to the original Ah, that's what we started with, um, And then up to our finished edited photo. Uh, that is what? Where we finish. 17. Conclusion: all right. I want to really thank everybody for enrolling in the class and going through all the lessons. And I really, really hope that you've learned something new. Um, and that you are excited about your photography and excited about getting out there and ah , producing some window light photos for your assignment. And I really want to encourage everybody that, you know, if you've gone through all the lessons in the class, I really want to encourage you to submit, um, a new assignment for the class with your own natural window light photo. It's really the best way to apply what you've learned in the class, Teoh to an actual real life scenario. And, ah, I will personally go through all your ah, all the submissions that we get and I'll give you feedback. And you also get feedback from your other class members. Um, and it's a really, really valuable learning to tool. So I encourage you to do an assignment and submit it through skill share and just to leave you with a little bit of inspiration, I want to show you some, um, what are using the natural window light techniques that we learned in the class. But these air not window light photos at all. They're just using the same techniques. So, you know, hopefully you can think a little bit outside of the box and get creative with your assignments as well. So here's the 1st 1 This is the Taj Mahal silhouette. Obviously, there's a good reason to take this a silhouette because I wanted to feature the Taj Mahal in the background. So I've exposed for the background, and I've got this kind of cool, interesting silhouette of a group of friends in the foreground. Um, here's another one. This is just at a museum again, all natural window light here. I'm just exposing these photos for this kind of funky arrangement of windows behind them. Um, here's another example of a natural window light photo. But instead of just a single window, I've got this huge bank of entire wall of windows. Is that a convention center? So another example of window light photo technique is this was kind of ah, interesting architectural feature at hotel Um and I just had ah ah, the group that has with We went and they kind of stood in that architectural feature which was backlit, and I used that backlit window light technique to expose this image and kind of come up with some cool, different looking photos in, um, using the same technique in a difficult lighting environment. So here's another one again, this is is not a window, but I'm using the exact same techniques because shooting in through the tires there, it's doing the exact same thing as a window would where it's producing a nice, directional soft light. Um, that's very directional. Another example. Uh, this is an overcast day. It's snowing pretty heavy here. I've got a porch roof over my head here in the porch, here on the bottom. So I've got sort of that directional light that's coming in from two directions from behind her and from the side. And because it's that ah, really dim, overcast day. By using the natural window light techniques, there is able to expose this to get ah, really interesting nice exposure there, um, another example. Not a window at all. But I'm getting the very same quality of light that we expect from window late because she's sitting under this little grass hut on the beach and it's only got a small opening between the sand down here and the grass huts. So the quality of light that's coming through that opening is very similar to what we see in a window. And then finally, gonna going to the opposite end of the spectrum here, um, here my subjects air inside, just at the edge of a nice cave. I'm shooting out back towards them. Um, And again, this is basically just a giant window here, Um, there backlit, and I'm exposing for the front of my subjects. So good luck with your assignments. And hopefully I'll see again in another class sometime soon Chairs.