Using Hard Light For Texture and Saturation: OnSet ep. 218

Using Hard Light For Texture and Saturation: OnSet ep. 218


Hey this is Daniel Norton, I’m here in my studio in New York City with Ashley and we’re playing around a little bit with hardlight. I just did a video about why you might use soft light, and I thought hey…. let’s do one about hard light. So for this video, I wanted to kind of talk about how hard light is great for bringing out texture and kind of the obvious thing is to like have her wear a sweater, but it’s way too warm for a sweater, so instead we’re shooting like through like, I guess a grill… Not like a grill.. like your face, but like grille that you’d use for like a heater or something. Throwing shadow and also using some gels in a different way than I normally do. We’re letting the gels kind of… because they’re, they’re cut up, they’re creating basically really hard lines, where they stop and start. Which you wouldn’t necessarily get if you were using a softer light. So let me show you how I’m doing it, we’ll take a few shots and we’ll go from there. So I’ve got the Dedo light over here, this is the the DLED10, which is an LED, powerful LED… it’s focusable, and I’ve got it focused down, and I’m using barn doors to, to get the light just where I want it, and basically what that’s doing is, throwing light onto our subject, you know which the closer she gets to it, the more of the detail of the grid that will get on her face. If she’s far away, we will get less detail of the grid. So it’s that simple, yeah, getting close to now I think I can see that, yeah, they can see it in the video, so you’re gonna basically… just gonna come in. I’m using the Nikon Z6 here, one thing that’s great about using like mirrorless cameras for this is that you can really see everything. I’m at a 100 ISO, 200th of a second f/4 for this, and I’m gonna come in… focus on her eye, and we’ll make a shot. So I’m in Capture One here, you know we can see what we’re getting, so depending on… get nice and sharp and you can see the details here of the grille on her body, actually you can see like with her neck here where it’s further away, you see there’s less distinct than it is with her chin. So it’s actually creating kind of a really fun interesting pattern, which we did start off with shooting it with no gels, but I think that the color just really adds just like weird sci-fi vibe to it, which we’re kind of digging… Yeah and depending on where we move we can get a whole variety of different types of shots from this. She can even actually move out of the light, slightly out of the colored light I should say, and I can come out further here. Now when she does that, she’s just in the gels right? So we get almost no… just so you guys can see, we get almost no detail down here, you get a little bit right? But here on her face practically nothing, so you can kind of play around with that a little bit, and so, and so be close to it so we get the pattern, but come closer to me, and then okay so now we’re getting white light on her… yeah a little closer to me right there, then with the play around with that too, now that, that exposures gonna be a little different, so we’ll play around a bit here you guys, let’s see what it looks like… might be a little hot let me take a look hmm… Well it’s kind of cool, oh actually that’s kind of cool, these….. black lines here are the tape, so if I was planning on making this my shot… I kind of like this actually… so we’re gonna take a second to change things in the middle of the video.. as always, pull this off, hopefully the static electricity will hold it in place… long enough… to go close to it… It was that one, and I guess this one was on her neck, so this is gaffers tape here, really skinny gaffers tape, so basically spiked tape.. See what that looks like, looking like a… turn slightly, actually take a half a step back. There we go, right there, there we go… looking for more lines, and there’s still one line at the bottom, and I’m just gonna leave it for a second yeah… oh yeah… that’s pretty cool, and we can actually see the distinct line pattern here, that’s actually really nice. I want to take that one line, cuz kind of cutting your your chest in half, thank you, it’s like moving on me. This is a professional piece of photo equipment here, aka we got it at Home Depot… or Lowe’s or wherever you got it from. There’s a bit of a debate here, cuz I think it’s mine but Seth claims that it’s his, so we’ll find out I guess. I’m gonna give myself a little bit actually want to lower my ISO, actually no don’t want you I don’t change ISO in the middle of it. Gonna give myself a little bit of shutter speed… will say go 250, I just wanna get her skin tone to be a little bit brighter or darker.. I should say, and then get the color more saturated, cuz remember we’ve talked about this actually we probably want to make sure that your mouth is closed slightly, cuz otherwise you’ll have yellow teeth. I mean you get blue teeth, but yellow teeth just isn’t you know, that’s an Crest would never would go for that… Okay, alright, and focusing on her eyes … good… boom… there we go, there we go…. so now we’ve got like almost like half painted face, kind of feel going on, and we have the texture. That’s actually really neat, so let’s play around with that a little bit. Maybe she can turn her face different positions… good, yeah, that’s nice. Come in closer so you’re almost touching it… like actually get as close as you possible can, again, there we go. I’m gonna actually slide it over a bit… yeah that’s beautiful, hold it just like that, I want to see what this looks like, oh yeah, we’re getting the reflection, that’s pretty cool, So I’ve got a reflection there, that’s super nice, there we go, good, nice, good, beautiful… So I’m just playing around here, good, all right, that’s nice, let’s do one last one… We’re get totally in the color… because I think that was really nice, and that’s where the shot is, so back up a little bit so color is totally on you. I’m gonna go back to a 20th of a second, yeah, that’s it, no… I wanna see if I get a little bit of this reflection going… good, slide my camera over slightly, alright, there’s perfect, see.. that looks like… oh yeah, let’s shoot a couple like that, with the reflection and actually all colorful… we’re kind of thinking or doing the rainbow thing but we didn’t do that because I don’t like to put green on people’s face..I said that before but, do that, turn towards it, and tip your head, yep, right there, right there, right there, I want to get the most out your back, tip your head back towards the wall, there it is, right there, hold on, one second, right there, I think you might’ve blinked, no you didn’t. That’s fantastic, I think, let me just check. Oh yeah, I love that look, the way the lines cutting across her, it looks really nice you know. So basically guys you can use hard light to bring out detail, bring out contrast, to bring out lines, bring out texture. Like if we had to shoot a light, through this, and I didn’t want that. I would just use a soft light, and it would get rid of it actually, but shooting a hard light, you’re going to just get all the lines in the texture of the the product, you could do this with things that are… you could do with lace, you could do it with ahh, you know, there’s a fabrics that have like some embroidery on it, you could try that, there’s a lot of different things you could use. This just happens to be what I have, and I think add in the color really added something to it, to take it to the next level.. Also the reflection cuz it’s metal is kind of fun, so you look around for simple things, like this is probably a couple of bucks at a hardware store, and added a whole bunch to the shot that we wouldn’t have got just by putting gels on her normally, or whatever. Pkay guys so I will put Ashley’s information in the description, so you can follow her be sure to follow me @DanielNortonPhotographer, be sure to subscribe to AdoramaTV, and I’ll see you next time OnSet.

29 thoughts on “Using Hard Light For Texture and Saturation: OnSet ep. 218

  1. Wow. Stunning photos… did you intentionally choose the colours based on some application of colour theory (warm vs cool), or just what "felt right"?

  2. those some really cool effects. I feel like most photographers actively try to avoid hard lights but like how you take it head on to create

  3. Daniel, that is just so crazy creative and, as you said, not too expensive to achieve either! Fabulous photos. I have to say I have learned so much about lighting from your videos – both the On Set series as well your live stuff on Adorama, keep them coming ! Oh and on a side note as "fading red head" myself, I just love Ashley's gorgeous hair ! 🙂 thank you and of course Ashley…. Steve

  4. Thanks, Daniel and Ashley! Yeah, that's interesting. It reminds me both of some 60s/70s sci-fi movie effects, (like Logan's Run, or whatever) and could also be interpreted to be someone looking out onto a NY or Vegas-type street with lots of signs. Either way, interesting, and pretty simple to experiment with. Fun stuff!

  5. One simpke question: how do you get this magnifiing circular tool? Thanks for all your videos, they are very helpful!

  6. Hi, very creative as usual.
    A cool way to 'make' a superhero suit without any fabric 😉
    Love the final smile of Ashley at the end…
    Thank you
    Regards

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