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🥇 How To Use Mixed Lighting To Create Portraits

5/10/2020 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

So ever since Nathan Elson started doing workshops or creating YouTube videos, there's been one style of lighting tutorial that you have asked for repeatedly and that is "How do you use mixed lighting to create portraits?".

There are a few things that you need to know in order to create one of these portraits:

1. You need to shoot these in a controlled environment,  a place where you can control the amount of ambient light in the room.  The reason behind this is that we're going to be using a long exposure and using our camera movement to create those light tracing effects.

2. Nathan recommends starting around f/8 or f/11 to get a completely black frame,  If at f11 you're still not getting a black frame there's probably way too much ambient in that room. Nathan has his camera set to ISO 200 (Fuji base ISO) and the shutter speed at around 2 seconds. In his studio,  without any of the strobes or the lights on, this is what it looked like a completely black frame.

3. To create this effect, you can use a 3 lighting setup like this, with 2 V-flats.

4. Move your camera and the model has to remain as still as possible. So the movements of the camera move the light around the model versus the model becoming blurry within the movement.

You may also like: Dark Beauty Portrait with Two Lights ( Color Grading & Retouching)

About Nathan Elson:

I'm a commercial photographer based out of Calgary, AB. My YouTube channel will be a place for my behind the scenes, Q&A, and whatever else happens to make it into video form that seems like people might be interested in viewing. Let's Get Connected: | LIGHTROOM & CAPTURE ONE PRESET PACKS: coupon code COVIDSUCKS for 70% OFF!!!)

Image and video via Nathan Elson

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