Shaping Light and Setting Mood

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

As I drove to the Canon workshop at around six, I notice there was heavy traffic, which is more than usual. When I arrived, we hung out in the parking lot for around 30 minutes. Someone mentioned that there was a Harvest Full Moon on Monday. I think that this morning murder had something to do with last night full moon because it was interesting to see a brown hawk in the middle of an outdoor mall at 8:50 am, and it was eating a dead white bird, which might be a dove that it had killed. Although this isn’t a dream, I am seeing it in a symbolic way.

Tonight’s workshop was about using manipulating lighting to take creative shots, whether hard and dramatic or soft and airy. The LA-based Sports Photographer/Journalist Dustin Snipes talked about lighting and demonstrated some lighting techniques.

Shape the light in order to set the mood.

  • Use a light with reflector and a softbox
  • One Light
  • Two Lights
  • The 2-light set-up includes a main light and a strong backlight with orange gel.


  • When the subject is wearing glasses, place the light in front and high, but still directing straight down on the subject.
  • Add Beauty Box to create soft look. Place it high, but facing the subject.
  • Have an assistant hold a backlight high, behind the subject, but at the subject’s right side.
  • The front light or main light is still focused downward on the subject.
  • Traditional light set-up is usually used for portraits, such as School Senior Pictures. The lighting is usually soft to make the subject more attractive.
  • Hard and dramatic light set-up is usually used for athletes and other celebrities to promote them with a bold and striking image.
  • He also used a 7-foot Umbrella for creating directional light, which give a softened hard look.


What do you think?

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