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Bring Light to Street Photography

Lesson 5 of 9

Pre-Shoot and Scouting

Joe McNally

Bring Light to Street Photography

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

5. Pre-Shoot and Scouting

Lesson Info

Pre-Shoot and Scouting

obviously I've shot for years in New York City, so I kind of have a good road map of where to go in my head. But you know, the nuances of even locations you know about change. So location scouting and choosing the location very, very important. You know, paramount to your success. So 68th and park I knew to be kind of an elevated spot looking down the pipe of Park Avenue, repetitive elements, graphic quality, all that sort of stuff. And I thought, OK, let's come here. So that's our initial foray into the streets, but we've already changed it because what changed 60 of them Park didn't change, but it's summertime. There's a lot of trees on Park Avenue and they've overgrown out into the roadway, and they've narrowed down my angle to get the graphic of the avenue. So what we did already was move one block south to 67th. It does not have a big tree that I'm confronted with. It has more of an open throw to some of the traffic and the urban environment that I'm seeking to convene the backgro...

und out of, So we've already made a move, and that's the way location scouting is you are always attuned to what might the possibilities might be and where you might have to go off of those possibilities Should they not work out, So subject is gonna be on the south end of the island, Will be on the north part of it, you know, and starting lens. Definitely 72 200. All right. And, uh, I know. Let's try to see if we can get away with a small box. First, a small speed Lightbox writes a speed lightbox, Justin, clamp a pole, and, uh, it's got to the gate. Yeah. Okay. Sounds good. It's gonna be a while before we shoot. Yeah. What time are you thinking? I say easy. An hour, Maybe more. You know, because we got nothing going on right now with nighttime activity. So I'm hoping actually a traffic builds because right now it's for New York City. It's kind of skinny. Yeah. Your city in August. Yeah. Everybody's gone. This is Park Avenue. So most of these people are in the Hamptons. All right, We're there because we're photographers. That's just the way it works. Traffics filling up, right? Yeah. That's a nice view right there. That's kind of pretty best camp here. Yeah, I think I think this will be off frame. Um, I'm sort of thinking that we might start with our subject. Kind of in this neighborhood, you know, kind of Cameron killer legs. Yeah, right up in that way. You know, I might have to cheat him a little bit out this way. You know, on, uh, be this You can even work with this a little bit. See to give yourself a little bit of elevation. Yeah, a little bit more. Yep, yep. And then you can kind of I mean, same thing just straight down there, and then we can try. And movinto we're definitely going to do some, uh, some run and gun. Um, there will be sometimes that I'm gonna want it, Like during a break. While there's a stoplight being active, we're going to get into the street. Yeah, sounds good. All right. So the knowledge is gonna I'll get the camera out now defies 72 transmitter, and you could just start. You could build a bigger box. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get build a bigger box on. Let's get 72 I'll just while you're building the lighting, I'll just look around for angles, right? So the light is going to take a while to develop and mature to a point where I can work with it for that night time feel. But I'm not gonna waste that time. You know, the last thing you want to do is kind of just Oh, say I can't work right now. And then all of a sudden you look around say, Oh, my God, it's closing in on me faster than I thought. So you have to be prepared. So what I'm gonna do now instead of just chillin, I'm gonna take a camera lens, presumably the rig that I will shoot this picture with a 72 100. I don't get a scope around a little bit. Take a look. It's not gonna hurt. It's going to help me be more efficient when the models actually get here and there clock is ticking. So simple stuff put on the transceiver. You put it on right now, let's hold up on that. So I sa 200 searching aperture priority. So you want to go kind of wide open right away to it? Yeah, we'll go with 28 What cow is doing Its setting up the camera for me. Uh, we have a tried and true. I would say we're pretty good at it because Kallis good at it. He gets the cameras quote unquote zeroed out for me. We start at I s 0 200 That's just a dart at the wall is not my favorite I s o or anything like that. It just is OK, we started I s 0 200 auto white balance aperture Priority zero compensation, Adobe rgb Um, you know, my focus mode is kind of up to me, depending on when I get my eye in the camera. But but the basics of where the camera starts at, like he could hand me the camera. Right now, I pretty much know what the settings are, and we try to religiously observe that and the one thing and I always check because occasionally we do test with the camera or we send it in for repairs. I check my Diop ter because I got to get my die after tuned into my eyes, so I kind of just find tune things in my head before again. The talent comes because the last thing you want to do is be messing around with all your technique stuff while the models getting bored. You want to hit it hard? They've got a certain energy level. You want to take advantage of that? Cool. Thanks, man. Like Callie, could you You go stand on that edge there, please. Yeah, I stand up on that turn this way. There you go. Damn school. So, a little bit of a problem with the banners? Of course. That's just a given. It's kind of the way I sort of thought it was gonna be, which is mildly unusual. Um, a lot of out of focus City stuff in the background. Very nice. Too much in the way of trees. You know, um, you know, what do they do in allowing a tree in New York Park? Our is full of trees, is one of the prettiest avenues in the whole city. So I'm just gonna have toe, you know, deal with that. There's nice kind of splotches of color. And then there's the repetitive elements of all the traffic lights and the traffic, which is going to get more accentuated as it gets darker, we'll see. So that's not a bad starting point. The hard thing for me is going to be kind of lighting Callie, cause naturally I wanna light him from the traffic side. Of course, um, the light is coming from the traffic, so you want your life to be continuous. With that, in deference to safety, I might use the traffic as like a hair light and spinning the other way and light him from the safer side of the street. There's also the other possibility when the tail lights come on, depending on the persona of my subjects, I'm not want to throw a little bit of a warm, jailed light into the background, just nestle it down in the bushes or lay it on the on the on the concrete and let it just be a little bit of a rim or a backlight. All those things are still TBD, but the basics of the shot, I think our starting point pretty good. So we're going to kind of start the process, though not really. It's still too early, but the models air here. They're absolutely wonderful. We just met. This is Sabina and Andre okay, and we're going to kind of work it out a little bit. It's always good to use the time on location productively. I mean, otherwise it gets sit on the stoop. But what good is that? Let me get the models in front of camera, work it out with them a little bit. Get some language going between us, you know, and have them see the positions attitude. I'll try a little lighting. We'll see what happens. I mean, it's still too early for prime time, but we might as well use this time because again, location will rise up and take you by surprise. Best to be prepared. Let's start with Sabina first. Um, could you take a walk a long this? You see where the green hedges Just just about to there and then turn around and face me. Okay. Cool. All right. Come a little. A little north of it. There you go. All right. Thank you. No expressions. Nothing's necessary. I'm just kind of scouting right now, and she looks great. You know, uh, pretty simply done. Available light. You know, not where we're going to go, but, you know, framing first frame. Not bad. Okay. Um, So what I'm gonna ask Callie to do is bring in a light. I'm gonna talk to this light via this transmitter right here, and we'll go from there controlling that light, just giving her a little bit of dimension and contrast, snapping her face. What you're trying to do when you're lighting on location like this is you're trying to pop your subject out of the background. Literally. She's in the same exposure. Template is everything else. That's year. So I have to lift her out of that. And the way to do that is to apply my own light to the situation. I could shoot this available light no two ways about it, but she's going to be flat as a pancake, you know, contrast wise in terms of light. So I need to snap that. So not gonna take much, but we'll give it a try. Sabina, could you turn your left shoulder towards me? That's it. Can you button the jacket? Let's try that. I think that looks pretty great. And Callie, could you go to camera left side, maybe in between the flowers and the hedge and bring that in? Can you just really click on the back of the camera. Show me the how we doing here? Just a depth of field, uh, flash control. Um, hot. Okay, Groupe Green. All right, so in theory, the camera's going to talk to the light. We just checked out this settings. Everything seems to be good. All right, Jodi, I'm gonna come around a little bit. Just come basically from the side rap A little bit rap. Okay. Cool. No, um, I do. I do a lot of stuff that, you know, it's just bad frame. I don't care when I'm starting it. Like in that frame that I just made. The light is in the picture picture. Is the explosion a little hot? I don't care. I'm building. I'm gonna make a lot of mistakes during the course of this thing. All I'm going to do is just kind of see if I can chip away chip away, chip away at the process to get to a good photograph. So, um, besides, that was Kallis fault. He put the light in too close. And, you know, I'm sorry gonna do with you at that point. I mean, literally. What am I gonna do? um, so All right, other thing. You gotta pace yourself here. You gotta pace yourself. Because this picture, when the traffic is moving and the lights are green, the picture does not work. The picture does not exist. When the lights are red and the traffic is stopped, all the drivers have their brake pedal on and their lights are bright red. That's when the picture works anyway. So let's keep tested. Exposure, please. Positioning of the light. It was actually pretty good. It's actually pretty good. It was just too close, that's all. All right, Samina, cross your arms and fold your arms. That's nice. Yeah. Cool. All right, Cool. Very nice. Okay, thanks. That's a wrap. All right. Thank you. Sabina. We're done. Um, all right. Um, T t l predictably is responding a little bit strong. I'm gonna take the exposure down just a tiny bit. Might is 0.7. Okay. And of course, because I want traffic. I haven't got it, but let's let's start. Here we go. Good attitude. Where he goes to being a fantastic. That's great. Nice. Nice. Pretty perfect. Really nice. Really nice. Okay, good, good, good. Let me come in a little bit tighter here. Cool looking. Excellent. Way to go, Sabina. All right, here we go. Nice. That's perfect. Perfect. Really good. Nice. Good. Now, Callie, you can come in from the side a little bit and get close. Okay, Good. Good, good. Perfect. Back off a tiny bit, Callie. Okay. Pretty. Simply done. A little bit of a pop on her background gets a little saturated. Let me wait for the next kind of set of traffic lights, and we'll see how we do. Doing okay. Not so hard. So far. Easy. Good. Uh, that's good, cause I'm exhausted. I am. Just flat out exhausted. Those 1st 10 frames just took it out of me. Such a diva. I am. I am, You know, And in keeping with the diva tradition of all like, big time jerk New York City photographers, I always have to have flowers on the set. I always have to have flowers on the set. All right, here we go. From the side again, like yes, please. And write this way. Some unity look great. Fantastic. That's real nice. Perfect. Cool. Really nice. Good luck. Good luck. Perfect. Nice. Cool. Cool. Cocoa. Back off. Tiny big challenge. Come on. Back in there. Good, good, nice. Nice. Cool. Nice dead. Did look good luck. Very pretty. Very pretty. All right, relax. Now, what I might do is pop the exposure a little harder now because she's fading in again. She blending. So that's the world you inhabit in the realm of t T l T t l will change if you notice that went from horizontal. Assumed harder came in tight. Vertical exposure changed. You want a reference for a quick to that? I don't know. We talked about this earlier, but battery pack? Yeah. Yeah, we can. I mean, you see that contraption at the end of the pole there. That's an SD nine battery pack, which we use religiously on location. Really gives you more efficiency and recycle. All right, here we go again. Nice way to go. Come in. Tighter, Callie. Too much. Good. Good. Nice, perfect. Good. Look. Way to go, Savina. Nice. Nice. That's it. Perfect. Good luck. Good luck. Good luck. Nice. OK, relax for a second. All right. Come on out of there. Sweet. You okay? All right. So, you know, we got a little bit of a wind machine going on? Yeah, it's simple. It's clean. It's Ah, you know is what it is. All right, So I'm at 2.8. So one thing I do is I check my sharpness. I got sharpness. Drop on the near I I'm tack across the board, which is nice, you know, at that distance to aid is even picking up the far I. So that's something just to check, you know, because if you're so wide open, you might lose that far. I But right now I'm okay. It might fade just a tiny bit, but I think it's within the realm of acceptability. Acceptability, you know, can I just see real quick? Um, shooting 6 40 jumping. Just mentioned. Yeah, I know you're a shooting school shooting in aperture. You want a manual? Yeah. We can jump over to manual. I mean, you know, I'm pretty happy with the way that I start out. This is my default. You know, I start off. I let the camera drive the train, the cameras Sometimes it's, you know, is just a smart as I am sometimes smarter, you know? I mean, you know, the D five is is an expensive camera. So I'm gonna let it do its thing. You know, I'm not going like, Oh, I don't trust the camera. So I shoot everything on manual. That entire set was shot aperture priority. We got minus one dialed into the background. Basically, because I'm separating the components of exposure, the upfront exposure is being driven by the flash. The background exposure is being driven by the overall settings I put into the camera relative to the ambient light level, which is largely governed by shutter speed. So what I'm doing is I'm minus ing light out of the background, saturating it. Make sure those red tail lights, you know, are like super saturated. And then I'm popping her with a just a little bit of small light. Very simple, OK? And basically, at this point, the cameras driving the train minus one aperture priority and 00 t tl compensation on the flash. That compensation that I'm talking about for the flash is local to the flash. It is apart from the camera exposure that I've set up in here. So there's two different wheels spinning here that are governing my foreground and my background

Class Description

In this exclusive class, join legend Joe McNally, on the streets of New York to see how to bring light to one of the busiest and most dynamic backgrounds. He'll walk through how to prep your gear, scout for locations, direct your models, and incorporate flash to make your subject stand out on the city streets. He'll discuss how to set your exposure and plan your shot to achieve the "bokeh" look of the city glow behind your model. Learn tips for planning your shoot so you're within the city regulations as well as techniques to help work through any troubles you may have while on location. Gain the confidence and know-how to photograph your subjects with flash in what can seem like an impossible environment.

Reviews

Sevana
 

It's reeeeeally a fabulous course to lead me through the entire photo shooting process, getting to know how a professional team operate and especially how the photographer prepare for and sort of work like a director to make things done. Great course! I'd love to share it with my friends~~