Arts & Entertainment, Design & Style

Demo: Film Photography in the Studio

Tyler Mitchell

Lesson time 14:48 min

Using a film camera, Tyler lights and shoots a pair of subjects in a professional studio.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Lighting the Studio · Key Light · Fill Light · Rim Light · Shooting Film · Assessing Your Developed Images


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Today's session is a studio lighting demonstration. I'm trying to make a portrait of two model friends of mine, Matthew and Toby. The whole idea is to make quite a nice simple studio backdrop photograph essentially a full portrait of the two of them, a double portrait. I'm going to be using my analog film camera today. It's a medium format camera. It's a Mamiya camera versus earlier when we were using my smartphone for the natural lighting demonstration. The principles of making an image are the same across the board, whether it's analog or digital. I mainly photograph my subjects on analog cameras, on film cameras. I love the heart and soul of the feeling of the pictures. It's like choosing oil or acrylic. It's a matter of taste. So if you like it and you're drawn to it, it's important that you make that process work. For me, what works is a more intimate approach with my models in that when you're shooting, you can immediately see your results. And there's something very freeing about that. So if you want kind of a more humanistic approach with your subjects, if you want something that's more in the moment that you can reflect on, film creates a nice process for making pictures. At the end of this chapter, we'll look at the developed film we've shot and see how it turned out. [MUSIC PLAYING] If you're doing a studio shoot, you'll usually have some idea. Whatever that idea is, it's driven by what you're going to build in the studio, because the studio is a blank space for you to work in. I have here behind me kind of a bit of a color story in that we've got different tones of blues for the wall, for the floors, and we're using different fabrics and flats. But you can kind of build with your team or with your crew, or by yourself, you know, whatever kind of set you want in a studio. The wardrobe choice was mainly an instinctive one. They're in these cool looking suits. I wanted to play with black and navies against the blue set. And mainly when you're choosing wardrobe, it's just about your instinct. It's about what feels good. I dress them in something that I'd probably like to see myself wear, but also something that I just like aesthetically. I really like the length of their clothes and I like the set behind. So I want to see quite a wide, full body. So I'm going to frame them up basically head to toe. I'm going to see everything here. And so if you boys take a little step back. When I look through the viewfinder, I know I can see head to toe here when I'm making a double portrait. My approach to using kind of patchwork styles of fabrics, blue backgrounds, choice of wardrobe, choice of subject, those are all my aesthetic inclinations. So when you're making your choices, they could look very different from this. [MUSIC PLAYING] Today I think I'm going to walk you guys through something more traditional, where you have a key light in front of the subject, a fill ligh...

About the Instructor

A revolutionary talent, Tyler Mitchell made history as the first Black photographer to shoot an American Vogue cover, work that is part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection. Now he’s sharing his process with you. Discover how to create and compose striking portraits, work with natural light and shadow, and tell a compelling story through your photos—even if the only equipment you have is your phone.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Tyler Mitchell

History-making photographer Tyler Mitchell teaches you his artistic process for creating compelling images with any kind of camera.

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