Precision Lighting

Karl brings together a number of small pockets of light in this four-light demonstration for a moody yet elegant final image.

This photography class clearly shows you how to effectively use low levels of light and strong contrast to create a sense of mystery. Using careful control of his lights and precise modifiers, Karl highlights key features of the image, subtly drawing the viewers eye to the pieces of jewellery on his model, Deborah.

In this class:

  • Studio photography: How to shoot beauty images
  • How to shoot creative beauty images using four lights
  • How to control shadows to create pockets of light
  • How to photograph jewellery
  • How to underexpose an image for creative effect
  • How to use hard light for beauty photography

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. Beautiful images, I absolutely love these moody shots 👍
    I do have a question though, the lighting on Bebra looks much warmer in the video compared to the photos, almost like sunset light. Is this on purpose or did it just happen?

    1. Hi Ralf, that may just been down to the colour balance settings that the camera men were using on the video cameras compared to what I was using for my stills.

  2. kenshi2008

    Kudos to your team and you for creating another great video. Hopefully, I will photography a model next year. I will take another look at your product photography courses again to see what I can use. Many thanks for your expertise.

  3. Hi Karl, although we can see the light placement in the videos of your classes please can you add lighting diagrams for each class for quick visual references? Or have a section where we can see each image you’ve created on your site along with its lighting diagram. It would help me when trying to replicate an image and a great resource. Thank you 👍

  4. I’m using all this info for digital painting and character design, now I can imagine the lights i want to add on my character design and they all make sense , very useful!

  5. My question might be a little bit off topic. But if you want to add to the jewellery more gold colour rather than leaving it dark as it is, what should we do ? I understand that this darkness is due to the reflections of dark surfaces due to the moody light setup you create. but the reason behind my question is that I was doing a moody shot for a jewellery brand and their comment on the shot that the photo is nice but they can’t really see the shape of their product and I had to change the whole idea of the shot for this comment.

    1. Hi Kamal, then it sounds as if you would need to create a composite image where you light the jewellery with softer gradient lighting and reflectors around the subject and then remove all of that and create the darker moodier look with alternative lighting and then combine the two image in post.

  6. Hi Karl, this is very interesting lighting, what’s the difference between a snoot and a tight grid? it seems they are both focusing the lights.

    1. Hi Jason, they are both tight focusing lights but generally a grid will have a softer feathering of light at it’s perimeter.

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