Photography IdeasSubmitted by Michael on Wed, 2012-04-11 18:21

A dozen light modifiers for free

Today I am going to show you how you can get your hands on a dozen of light modifiers with different shapes and different qualities.

What is the light source which drives all of this? You are looking at it right now. An computer screen. Perferably a laptop.

Now watch how to use the light modifiers on your state of the art,  top notch high end LED light source aka laptop screen. After that follow the link below the video.


Lighting diagram laptop portrait
Go close with your laptop screen


==> Download the digital light modifiers

which we used in this video.

I wish you good light!
-- Michael



Hard to get my thick German accent? Here's the transcript

Smoking Strobes

Photography Ideas

Starring Emily

Laptop Light Source

Hey fellow photographer, how's it going?

I am Michael Zelbel.

Today I have got a nice little thing for you to play around with.

But I think it is not only good for playing

it is also an excellent exercise to work with

different shapes of light sources.

We are going to light some portraits with our laptop.

We have different shapes, black and white shapes

as the main image on the background of the laptop screen.

And we bring that in front of the model

in order to light her up, very simple.

I will show you how to handle this sort of lighting

I will show you where to download different shapes that we are using for our exercise.

But let's start with the model,

with model Emily who will be in front of the laptop.

She is applying some pretty strong make up.

Some pretty heavy make up.

And why is she doing that?

Well, because when we are working with such low intensity

lightsource like a laptop, the we bring the laptop

very very close to the model.

But what this also does is it lets the light fall off very quickly.

Let's say the laptop is somewhere pretty close in front

of her upper body and her face.

Then the shoulder which is close to the laptop catches a lot of light.

Her face also catches a lot of light.

When we go back lets say to her other shoulder

its getting much much darker already.

And in the background of her we would usually

see a curtain.

But since the light is falling off so fast

there's nothing in the background.

So the light is falling off fast, giving her a very intensive mood

and in order to match this intensive mood

we use some pretty strong make up. Some pretty intensive make up.

If we wouldn't shoot portraits but let's say we would shoot hands

then we would go for some pretty intensive nail polish.

With hands it is the same thing:

the fingers in front of the laptop are quite bright but

when we go back a couple of centimeters then it is already getting much darker.

So it is the same intensity.

Now sometimes, in some occassions the keyboard or parts of the laptop

might double as an additional reflector.

Now we've got aluminum body Macbooks.

They are quite shiny, so this aluminum doubles as a reflector

and makes light source a little bit bigger.

However it is not always wanted.

Sometimes we have to cover this keyboard or the aluminum body with some black fabric.

Because otherwise it would come into the frame

especially when we use two laptops.

We have two laptops over here

so we make something like using one laptop as the main light for her face.

It is reflecting in her eyes.

Over here is a square main light and we use the second laptop as an effect light in the background.

Over here the round shapes are from the second laptop.

Now if you would see a keyboard over here illuminated

then it wouldn't look so nice anymore.

So sometimes we have to cover this keyboard.

The camera settings are in a pretty lowlight area.

It's 1/15s, so I need to shoot from a tripod

it is f/5 and IS0 1600 and you might go like

"Well with those settings you cannot find any application

in real life" and you might be right.

So for a real life portrait these are no good settings

no high quality settings.

But then again there's a lot you can change about that

for instance I did shoot JPEG only.

Now you could shoot RAW and gain one more stop.

I did shoot at f/5 but you could shoot at

f/1.8 and gain another couple of stops.

Then I used a 5D Mark II, which is an older camera,

the next camera generations can even go two stops lower at the same quality.

And then you are already pretty much in the ball park.

If you feel like that would still be not enough light for portraits

then it's at least enough light for bodyscapes.

If you put the lap top somewhere close to her body

a little bit behind her,

then the light gives some nice contours

and I think at least that is worth a try.

But anyway I suggest you download the shapes

that we used. Put them on to your lap top

light a model with them. It is a nice exercise.

I hope you like it.

I hope you click the Like button

and see you next time.

I wish you good Light!

Subscribe here and don't miss any video!

Simply subscribe to "Photo Talk" and be the first one to receive a notification whenever a new video is added here. No spam. Every eMail features an unsubscribe link in it's footer in case you don't want notifications anymore.