Photographer Michael Muller has been shooting the biggest names — often for the biggest movies — for more than 30 years. In this video, self-confessed lighting newbie Sawyer Hartman heads to Muller's studio to learn a few tricks of the trade.
Muller (when he's not shooting sharks) pays particular attention to how light falls onto the face, whether that's through a strobe with a modifier or with natural light, explaining how this can be manipulated to best suit his subject. Having an insight into Muller's choice and positioning of strobes is interesting, but what's particularly useful is also discovering the way he uses flags to control spill and reflections. Throwing light is easy; controlling it is something else, and as Hartman notes, one of his biggest lessons from the day is that "shadows are everything."
In among some basic lighting advice, a few other nuggets stand out, such as Muller's suggestion to buy one really good lens as opposed to a handful of average lenses. This is something I can relate to directly, having bought one of the best wide-angle zooms available (which is on my camera 90 percent of the time) and supplementing the rest of my kit with more affordable options, before upgrading when money allows.