Took a Class

slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,191 Major grins
edited April 20, 2016 in People
I recently had an opportunity to take a lighting class. The class focus was more on creating drama and mood, which is very different from anything I've ever done. Most of the set-ups we were taught resulted in images that "I" thought were too dark and blech, yet the instructors and others in the class would ooh and ahh over them. I think I learned a lot, but still have a long way to go. Most of what everyone else like, I would have thrown out. :dunno I guess I just don't have the creative gene or something......

Here are the only two images that I took that I liked from the class. The first one is straight out of the camera. The second I edited.





  • SamSam Registered Users Posts: 7,419 Major grins
    edited April 16, 2016

    I don't care for the first but do like the second.

    Question: How far away was the backdrop, or to ask another way how much distance was between to subject and the backdrop, and how dis you light it?

    I wouldn't worry about want anyone says about your creativity. Just think about the images YOU want to create and use the knowledge gained to achieve that.

  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,191 Major grins
    edited April 17, 2016
    Thanks, Sam. I needed to hear that.

    Here is a cell phone pic I took of the set-up. I think the model (Brittany) is about 3 feet in front of the backdrop. There is a large (64" I think) umbrella with diffuser on the model's left and a white reflector on her right. It's a pretty simple one light set up--and one that I even have the tools to keep using (except the backdrop). :D


    Thanks again.

  • HackboneHackbone Registered Users Posts: 4,027 Major grins
    edited April 17, 2016
    I think both images are really quite nice. Don't worry about backdrops. You can get some great ones from JoAnn Fabrics quite cheaply. Backgrounds do not have to be expensive.
  • jonh68jonh68 Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited April 17, 2016
    Good images, would like to see the ones your class liked but you didn't to see if there is a disconnect between you or the class. I have learned what I like is sometimes different than what clients like so I always try to learn why. If this type of work is different than your normal stuff, you may not notice why it looks good to the class.

    Ultimately it is your creative look that matters. However when stepping outside your box it is good to gain knowledge of those familiar with that type of lightening and mood. If this style isn't what you want to do you can at least know what works and apply it to your own style.

    In other words, since this is a new style for you, your taste buds haven't been refined to know what looks good or doesn't. It all looks different and what looks good to you has the taste of what you have done in the past. If this style doesn't appeal to you at least try to learn what the others see in your work that you do not. A light bulb may go off as you look at your work from a different perspective and it totally breaks a barrier to more creativity.
  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,191 Major grins
    edited April 17, 2016
    Thank you Hackbone and Jon. Jon, you give me much to think about and consider. I appreciate that!!

    Here are a few that I don't care much for.

    This first one isn't too bad. I think the lighting style may be ok (for me), but maybe it's just the expression on the model.


    2. I just think these next several are too dark for my tastes.

    3. I told the instructor that I thought these images were too dark. His response was for me to tell the model to face the light. I kind of thought that's what I did in this one, but it is still too dark for me.

    4. I think part of my problem is that I think the eyes are important in a portrait but they are lost in the darkness of these shots.

    5. This one is kind of ok, too, but still too dark for my tastes.

    Thanks again for the comments and thoughts to ponder. I know I need to take classes to improve my skills, but this workshop really had me questioning if I'd ever progress. I appreciate the reminder that it's all subjective.

    Sherry P.
  • FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
    edited April 18, 2016
    I like #1 and #5;
    you may have seen I either shoot too hot or too dark - I don't fancy the proper exposures.. which I think echoes how you feel about some of the images.

    The classes are grand to learn the basics, but to polish and truly build your own style is something that you have to do on your own time (at least that's how I learn).

    as an example, in #4, I think an extra reflector would help to bring the eyes out, and I absolutely agree with the assessment that it is too dark in the eye region.
    #3 is nice but - to me - just a hair underexposed for what i'd want it to be if it were my shot.

    Also, keep in mind, light falls completely different on the darker skin; so the set up in #3 a pale person would posibly be exposed just right for my dramatic look.

    Judging from your other work I've seen, you've got a great understanding of the gear and light. You just need to play around your studio more to polish the look that you (and not the instructor) likes.

    quite frankly, i've learned from this group here (Hack, Diva, Cuban, et all) much more than i've learned from the instructor classes. It may have taken a wee longer, but I arrived to my own style in the end (I think).

    Lastly, a couple of years ago I had a shoot which resulted in the images that I felt were "ok".. the instuctor chap here told me they were trash and would not see the light of day.. and the next day I heard from a very large publisher asking to print them. :) It all comes down to the personal preference.
    Arseny - the too honest guy.
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  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,191 Major grins
    edited April 18, 2016
    Oh, Arseny!! Thank you for taking the time for such a thoughtful reply!! Your comments really do help me to understand a little better the difference between a decent or ok moody/dramatic/edgy image and an underexposed piece of crap. I really appreciate that you told me what is good or ok with the set and also what could have been done to improve them. That helps so much. Even though this is not really my style, I do want to be able to understand how to do it and to at least recognize when/if I did it 'right'. I know that is your style preference and you've gotten quite good at it. I think edgy and dramatic is great sometimes. Sometimes the male Seniors want something like that. I tend to go to brightly lit images with bright and bold colors--or at least those are my favorites. Guys often prefer something a little different. :D

    Yes, the group here has always been very helpful. I have gained much valuable insight and have learned so much. I ALWAYS appreciate the suggestions, feedback, guidance, and encouragement. I started not to post these images from the workshop, but I am so glad I did. I have learned as much from these responses as I did from the workshop itself. (Actually part of my feedback on the workshop was that it would have been more helpful to have had a peer review at the end so we could discuss what was good and what needed improving in each image. Or post an image we liked and one we didn't.)

    Thank you again!

    Sherry P.
  • FoquesFoques Registered Users Posts: 1,951 Major grins
    edited April 19, 2016
    Even though this is not really my style, I do want to be able to understand how to do it and to at least recognize when/if I did it 'right'.

    and this is how you steal my heart. :)

    it is quite interesting to see the difference of views between Mars and Venus, eh?
    Arseny - the too honest guy.
    My Site
    My Facebook
  • reyvee61reyvee61 Registered Users Posts: 1,877 Major grins
    edited April 20, 2016
    I think these are all pretty cool for the topic at hand, "creating mood"
    My favorite is number 1 on your second post with a criticism on number 4 being that the florescent green shirt over powers all else.
    Nice to learn more right?
    Yo soy Reynaldo
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