Home Studio Essentials Part 4 : Take and Make Great Photos with Gavin Hoey: Adorama Photography TV


In this video, I use a reflector, which is
probably the most important lighting tool you can have in a small
studio. AdoramaTV presents Take and Make Great Photography with
Gavin Hoey, where you’ll learn how to take stunning
photos and then polish them in post-production. Hello I’m Gavin Hoey and your watching
Adorama TV brought to you by Adorama the camera store that has everything for us photographers and your joining me back in my small home studio. Now today we’re gonna do a shoot using
my a single Flashpoint Streaklight 360 Ws a brilliant light for a small home studio.
Now one light is really good, but two lights is better, but if you’re not
quite ready to invest in a second light or even if you have one, a reflector can give you the look of a second light without the cost and it’s a must-have
gadget for any studio. Now reflectors come in all
sorts of shapes and sizes. They vary from the the pretty small
reflector like this one. Right the way up to this sort of giant
reflector that I have there too. They can even be completely free if
you’re in a small home studio with white walls you’re surrounded by reflectors but
the reflector I use most in the studio, is this one right here. This is a 5 in 1 foldable reflector, its small it collapses down, but it has five reflective surfaces. Let
me show you we’ve got the silver side here but this is
just a zipped on thing. So you can unzip it and reverse it and
if you reverse it, you would get a gold surface so
different reflective surface. On the other side you get a white
reflective surface, similar to the silver just not quite as
bright, and there’s also the translucent surface as well. What’s the fifth reflective surface? Well
it’s actually the black. Yeah I know black doesn’t really reflect
light in fact it does completely the opposite. This is known as a flag and you use it to
block light, and in my small home studio here that’s
fantastic because it means I can control where the light
goes and stop it bouncing and hitting my model. If I wanna make sure that I really get some
shadows. Okay so let’s zip this back up again, and we’re gonna do a
shoot using the five in one reflector. Don’t
forget to check out Adorama’s latest contest and your chance to win amazing prizes. So today I’m joined in the studio by Dan. Say hello Dan. ‘Hey’ And he’s gonna be the model for today but
before we get in with the shoot itself, let’s just use the reflector and see how
it works to add light into our scene. Now I’ve got a basic one light setup here, the lights basically at
90 degrees to Dan’s face, and you can imagine how this is gonna
look even without taking the picture, but let’s actually take a shot and see for
ourselves now I’m gonna use the 5-in-1 reflector and I’m actually gonna start by using the black side to make sure
none of the light bounces off my white wall and contaminates the scene a little bit.
So that’s a nice little use of the 5-in-1 reflector. We’ll pop that there.
Okay let’s take the shot and see how it looks. Okay here we go So nice happy smile. so as you can imagine in this picture half of Dan’s Face is lit and the other
half is in shade, and it really is in quite deep shade as
well. So we’re gonna make it better by using the reflector to add light into the scene. So let’s spin it
around from the black side to the silver side.
Now the silver side and the white side of the
reflector will give different looks but as a very basic rule of thumb the
silver side will bounce more light back into the scene. So let’s see how this
goes. Okay Dan so same thing again, big happy Dan smile, haha. Brilliant. Okay so with that shot, yeah we can see now we have
some light on the shadow side of the face. But there’s not much of it. Its there and
it’s definitely helping but maybe what we want is a little bit more.
Now you can think of this as a second light source effectively it’s adding
light from a second direction, but is a light source we can’t control as
easily as our normal SpeedLights but we can control it and we can control it
by moving the distance. The closer it comes to the main light. The more light it will bounce back. So in this
case I’m gonna put it as close as I can to Dan without it being in the scene and about
there should be good and we’ll see how that changes the shot. Okay here we go. Same thing again coming in. More of a confused face that one. Brilliant so there we go with that shot
you can see how the lighting is almost balanced, it’s almost even
although there is still a lit side and a shady side. So using a reflector is a
really great tool, you can use it to block light or you can use it to reflect light and you
can control the amount of reflected light, the brightness of it by simply moving it
into your scene. That’s the basic setup, let’s actually do a
shoot. With this first shoot we’re gonna do a lighting
setup that’s a little bit different. We’re gonna use
overhead lighting and we’ve given Dan a hat and theres a couple of reason’s A) Dan look
pretty cool in a hat but mostly because when it comes to
lighting hats can be a real problem hat’s cast shadows at the best of times and if you
wanna see the eyes then your gonna need a reflector. Let’s start
without the reflector and just see how this goes. First thing I need to do is actually meter for the
light that’s coming out of the lights there so I’m gonna meter
up here I’m gonna meter off the top of the hat. There we go so I’m getting F16 as my meter reading that’s a bit too
bright I really want F8. That’s kinda my go to aperture for
this shoot. So here I can change it because the
StreakLlight has a the radio trigger that allows me to
change it. 1 , 2 , 3. that’s one stop less. 1 , 2 , 3 , that’ll
be f8. But we’ll just double check. Yeah F8 absolutely brilliant. Okay so I’ve got my
lighting where I want it to be, now we just need to do the shoot . So let’s
see how this goes. I’m gonna come down here Dan and Dan’s going to do the moody mean look. That’s pretty good. Okay now that
look’s great. I mean I’ve got beautiful lighting on the hat and there’s some lovely texture
coming through on the shirt. But the eye’s there really deep and
in shadow. Now that could be exactly the look that
you want, brilliant stop if that’s the look you want but in
this case we want some light in Dan’s eye’s and that’s where the reflector is gonna come
in. So I’ve just got it on a little lighting stand. Gonna pop that underneath like that. Now you could
get the model to hold the reflector but often that does some weird things to their
shoulders and arms, so if you can get it on a little boom arm like this then that’s better. Okay we’ll do the same thing again. Brilliant. and this time we can just see the little
sparkle the eyes the hint of what’s going on there, and compared to the normal shot
that’s considerably better okay so that’s pretty good. We can do a
little couple of shots like this. So that works really well we got some really
nice shots there really simple setup. Let’s just change the lights around once more, and we’ll give one more shot a go. So this time we’ve
just changed the lighting pattern little bit more and we pushed the light
backwards a wee bit. And we’re gonna go for more of a full length shot.
But if I’ve moved the light I need to re-meter. So got my meter let’s just pop in under Dan’s chin and I’m getting a meter reading of F5.6 I still want my F8 aperture . So I need one more stop of light so once
again I can change my settings here on the FlashPoint remote.
Three clicks that’s one stop. Double check. F8 so I’m back to my target aperture away we go. That really was a great fun shoot to do
and as I was taking the pictures in my head I was thinking black and white. So let’s do a really quick and simple black and white conversion inside of Photoshop. So I’ve got my picture
is been through raw it’s had some basic editing done, but you can see how the the lighting has works really well. If I go in you can see there, the little catch
light in the eye there which is of course is the catch light form the reflector which is lighting the face. So the
photography side of things big success. For the processing making it
black and white, well there are so many ways you can do it. I’m gonna use image adjustments and black and white, but I’m gonna do it in a
non-destructive fashion. So rather than doing it directly on the
image I’ll choose to do as a layer. New adjustment layer and black and white,
that’s the difference between the two. One is destructive and the other allows
you to make some changes. Now there are a bunch of presets you can
try and some of these are pretty good and some of them are a pretty awful. I’m gonna stick with the
default option and then apply my own custom settings because the
shirt is quite a strong blue-collar. One of the reasons I like to use this is
I can actually flick off the layer and just remind myself what colors are underneath so I could just try moving the blues and that will affect just the blues in the picture. But is that shirt actually blue? I’m not sure. So instead of using the sliders I’m
going to use the little finger with a little arrow left and right. And what this allows me to do is to click on the picture and then Photoshop will work out what
color I just clicked on and move the appropriate slider. Okay
so in fact it was more cyan then blue. And that allows me just to tweak the colors of the
blue, well at least the tone of the blue. Like so. Other colors like the hat
for example I can tweak as well, but of course they actually match the tone of the face so if I’m am gonna move
that it will have an effect of course across all off the picture. That’s perhaps one of the downside’s of this slider is it doesn’t target one individual part in
the picture it does work globally, but once you’re
aware of that that’s not a problem. Okay so I’m happy with my black and
white conversion there that looks pretty good. I’m now going to get rid of the the
Properties panel and we could stop there but a nice little trick is just to make a
blurry version and sandwich it over the top which works really well
with portraits. I’m gonna make a blank empty layer and then I’m gonna hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac. Go to layer
and choose merge visible and that will fill that
blank layer with a merged copy of our two layers. You can see there black
and white so let’s get a filter blur, gaussian blur and we’re gonna
gaussian blur this up enough so I can still see the picture but I can, you know it’s it’s pretty
blurry and i reckon about 30 pixels is about but I can still see it’s a portrait but it’s a very blurry one. So to blend the blurry one with the sharp
layer below I’m simply gonna change it to a blending mode. Let’s go with soft light that just add a little bit of
contrast, a little depth to the picture the only
downside with that is it does just darken the picture down slightly
especially on the eyes. So I’ll go back to the layer and we’ll add
in a layer mask, and we’ll have a reveal all layer mask,
and then with a paintbrush making sure it’s set to black. I’ll just paint
over the eyes, just to bring them back may be over the
top for the shirt there as well. So there we go so that gives me a combination of both the softness and the sharpness where I want it and
that should give just a nice final touch to my picture. So there we go
the reflector really is one of those must-have gadgets every studio every photographer should
have a reflector. Now if you wanna see more videos from myself
and the other amazing presenters here on Adorama TV you know what you’ve got to do. You’ve got to click on the subscribe button I’m Gavin Hoey thanks for watching. Do you great-looking prints at low-cost? Be sure
to visit our easy to use online printing service
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82 Replies to “Home Studio Essentials Part 4 : Take and Make Great Photos with Gavin Hoey: Adorama Photography TV”

  1. Thanks Gavin for another simple and clear tutorial. I thought the "subscribe" was going to be on the black side of the reflector … Got it wrong again.

  2. From watching these videos of Gavin, I get the idea that instead of using paper or textile, Gavin prefers to paint the background wall, which is interesting. Must take more time and be more of a hassle, but in the long run, does it prove to be cheaper than keep buying paper rolls?

  3. Home Studio Essentials with @Gavin Hoey: Part 4
    See why the 5-in-1 reflector is a staple for any small home studio. http://adr.ma/1j33U7P

  4. I've said it before, I'll say it again: the best photography and Photoshop educator out there. Adorama: more from Gavin please. Oh, and double his salary, or we'll visit you in the small hours and put a lens up your nightdress 😉

  5. beautiful shot Gavin @Gavin Hoey  ♥ http://youtu.be/TYQh9MNC3Is?t=8m32s
    Model was starting to relax nicely too  🙂 

  6. learned two new tricks today (b&w coloerpick-seleckt and the merge-visible-soft-light) Keep it up Gavin. Already learned a lot from you and looking forward to some more 🙂

  7. Great video. In Photoshop, I personally would convert the layers into a smart object then apply the blur; the filter is adjustable as opposed to undoing the action.

  8. I've watched a lot of the videos done and I'm curious about the light stand with the boom arm used in this video. Is it one whole set when you buy it or is it sold separately? If so, how much will the whole set cost? Can you direct me to the link/s to find the whole set. One more thing, how far does the boom arm stretch and what's the maximum weight it can hold? Thanks and hope to hear from you guys. Cheers!

  9. I've watched a lot of the videos done and I'm curious about the light stand with the boom arm used in this video. Is it one whole set when you buy it or is it sold separately? If so, how much will the whole set cost? Can you direct me to the link/s to find the whole set. One more thing, how far does the boom arm stretch and what's the maximum weight it can hold? Thanks and hope to hear from you guys. Cheers!

  10. Gavin there was no explanation or link on this post or in the video for what stand/boom you were using to hold the reflector. I need something similar since right now I use a cheap $20 tripod and put my reflector on it with a cheap "A" clamp, but its not always effective. I like the angled boom.stand that you were using. Please advise for a good arm/holder for the reflector. thanks

  11. How is f11 brighter then f8. Isn't the f8 more open aperture hence should capture more light? Genuine doubt

  12. Hi Gavin

    I have a question: you want to use – F8 but light meter instructs you on F16, what sleep? Do weakening the intensity of the flash so you can use more open aperture?

  13. I dont have soft box . Can I use umbrella ?
    and dot have light meter just i have only one speed light and umbrella and 5 in 1 reflector .
    could i get your type of result from these things ??

  14. When you use the meter, what is flashing? The meter or the light box? Is there a tutorial for metering? I haven't invested in one yet.

  15. I don't know how you get 15 thumbs down on this, must be Mark W. with his 15 smurf accounts 😀 Very nice tutorial once again. I republished the whole playlist of Gavin Hoey on my Facebook-group: Fotografiske Ressurser (Photographic resources. Norwegian photo group).

  16. Awesome. I watched a similar video, (one light setup), and tired it and could not get it right, I came close, but nothing like you have here. So I just tied your technique and within 5 minutes I got it. Thanks..

  17. Great video, beautiful picture…. i have the 60d and am frustrated because i just can’t achieve a sharp and well focused image as you do. Your final image is perfect at the end. Mine would not be better than the one you get just before the final one (look at the model’s eyes. … they are far to be so sharp as in the very last image…).
    How would you explain ??😱😱

  18. What i love in gavin’s videos is the gear he uses are the ones used by the regular photographers (obviously not beginners like the entry level cameras and stock lens). Even though might have access to all those fancy cameras and lenses he still does amazing stuffs with just one thing – light proving the fact that if you are creative you dont need fancy gears to create great photographs.

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