4 Fast Steps to Easily Light your Backgrounds

.

Are you ready to take your lighting to the NEXT level and light up the environment? Today we are going to show you EXACTLY how to do it with step by step instructions AND a video showing it in action!

Zach and Jody Gray

In order to turn the image you see †below (natural light) into what you see above, you need to follow these steps in order to get great resutls with NO guess work!

 

Step 1. †Have the right gear & Location

The gear we use to do shots like this are any type of main light (like the†Rapid Box†from Westcott), and then a speedlight with a†tungsten gel†over it to really make it interesting.

0006

† †Natural Light Shot:(ambient light reading was ISO 100, f/4 at 1/100th shutter)

 

The†locations†that work best for these type of shots are ones that have†even overall lighting†(this was on a city street in Nashville with all indirect lighting), and ones that have a small area with a little less light.

 

This area had a†metal doorway†indent that had less light in it than the rest of the wall around it. It has LOW overall light (so the speedlight can over-power it) and the background was reflective which makes the light look interesting.

 

Step 2. Under-Expose the ambient by 2 stops

0007

(ambient light under-exposed by 2 stops)†

 

In order to have the background look dynamic, you have to make sure that the ambient light doesn't wash everything out. So, to do that, we need to under-expose the background by around 2 stops.

We metered the ambient light to read ISO 100, 1/200th shutter at f/5.6†(which is 2 stops darker than the natural light shot in step 1).

Step 3. Add the Background Light

0008

(background light added)†

We can now add our speedlight with the tungsten gel over it to the background. We lay it flat on it's back (or on the small boot it comes with) and point it straight up making sure it is EQUAL distance from everything around it. If it is not equal distance, then you will get some areas that are REALLY bright and others that are not.

Then we turn it up until it looks cool. You can meter it, but we just turn it up and down until it is obvious in the shot.

Step 4. Add the Main Light

0002

The camera is already set to the settings that we metered the ambient light to (2 stops under-exposed) so now we just need to power UP the main light until it reads the same settings.

We position the main light, and then power it up (reading its power with our†hand-held meter) until it reads ISO 100, 1/200th at f/5.6 (which was the settings that under-exposed the background by 2 stops).

Bam! That is it!

Now we have a cool looking dynamic background, and killer light on our subject in an otherwise NORMAL looking location!

Watch the VIDEO HERE!†

Zach and Jody Gray In-Camera: Light Digital Workshop

You can watch us set up and shoot this exact shot by clicking†HERE!

(This video is from our†IN-CAMERA: Light Digital Workshop)

 

Want MORE? Check out†THIS post†that shows you another environement lighting shot!

3 more blogs you†MAY have missed:

3 Easy Steps to lighting an outdoor, sunset first dance

4 Tips to be a better blogger so you can get MORE readers!

Video on Finding your Top Portfolio Shots with Keywords

Topics

Filed Under

Has your website been hibernating? Have online visitors stopped by, but it was snoozing? It’s time for a website refresh to welcome in new clients. Winter is over. Itís time to come out and smell the flowers. Shake off that thick layer of dust from your furniture- and your website! Hibernation season has officially come […]

Read More

Website Refresh

Willow is a modern yet feminine website designed specifically for photographers, fashion bloggers and creatives. Features include an eye-catching hero gallery to show off latest looks, a hover-effect service summary feature, an engaging and professional blog design, transitioning testimonial section and an engaging sliding gallery. Website design by Style Maker Studio. View Willow View all […]

Read More

Willow by Style Maker Studio

modern. natural. clean. Palo Duro was designed for photographers. You can change out the color palette and typography to fit your brand as needed. Drag and drop your photos, add your copy/wording and this site is ready to go in no time. Perfect for the modern photographer. Website design by Jessica Gingrich Creative. View Palo […]

Read More

Palo Duro by Jessica Gingrich Creative

Learn more about Showit

CHoose a design to Start with

Brand your business like nobody's business with the drag-and-drop website builder made for creatives like you.