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Watt Seconds and Other Important things

Lesson 10 from: Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

Watt Seconds and Other Important things

Lesson 10 from: Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

10. Watt Seconds and Other Important things

Lesson Info

Watt Seconds and Other Important things

What seconds? What about seconds? So we're gonna talk about power and other important stuff and so what we do is I'm going to transfer this whole thing over here to this table way to go I'm gonna turn this off just for a second and unplug this now I have here a a falling stuff this is a uh a pro photo is this twenty four hundred right says twenty, four hundred now what that means is twenty four hundred watt seconds. So what the heck what seconds? Let me tell you how flash works how a strobe works what what seconds do is, uh there's a thing called a capacitor and what a capacitor doesn't mean she has turned out there what capacity does is it stores energy and so you've heard a capacitor maybe you don't know this but when you turn on your speed light right you got your on camera speed line or you point and shoot camera and you take a picture. You sure this little really that right? All right. I could be in the big east uh anyway so you have that little noise what's happening is the power...

from the batteries or in this case the power from the wall is going into those capacitors and storing up energy and it's saying okay, I have energy and ready to go tell me when tell me when when you say fire lam out those power so that's what capacity do now that little in point on your speed dial where he's going that little cry for help what's happening is passengers are made to store energy depending on the technology and how how much money you can put into a capacitor somewhere a little bit better at storing energy than others and so a speed lights what happens is the capacitor builds up and it's got a savings account of energy of a hundred percent and then starting to lose power needed buildup it's losing it building it up so that's that little noise you hear over and over again we don't get that with these and then when you say go lam all the power comes out and then it has to build that back up now on all strokes so on these pro photo strobes on an alien be on the wrong color on a whatever you have there is some dial that says more power or less power now it does not matter that you know what all these dials do because unless you own this pack this is irrelevant to you. So I'm gonna tell you what each of these dials to accept that this switch says full power half power quarter power and this does the overall power output but something like a d one which is an awesome light here this is a digital light so what that means is that actually has a ten and I'm going to see this but that tends his full power and I can just adjust it down to forty percent one hundred percent and you can adjust it that way and in this one you can actually adjust in ten uh one tenth increments so a d one d for a pro ate those really high end proposed if you can dial in my tenth stop increments they're pretty incredible these d ones orjust crazy good um sort of way we have more perilous power now watt seconds um I need to explain something so if this flash has a twenty four hundred watts second pack and you have let's say brande b okay the knot is good brand okay let's say we have spectacular brand and not so good brand okay doesn't matter brand generic well, one brand um is going to do a different is gonna have different circuitry to handle those watt seconds just like if I had a semi truck and that say it had a capacity of twenty gallons just go with me on that. I know it's more say it's got twenty gallon gas tank that sort of lot second start it has the capacity to hold twenty four hundred watt seconds for x amount of energy just like our truck and hold twenty gallons I guess well that truck uh if you compared that to like a chevy chevette and it has a twenty gallon gas tank the chevy is going to drive a lot farther than a truck because it has a higher miles per gallon instruct us so they both have the same capacity to hold that's true of what seconds so you could have brand a that's a twenty for heart what second pack and brand b that's a twenty four hundred watts second pack but after that comes from the capacitor and energy comes through has to go through a bunch of circuitry has to go through a head it has to go through a specific reflector and then finally out so I can tell you that a twenty, four hundred watts second pro photo head is not going to be the same as a twenty for what second for a second other brand head you're gonna have different performance is sort of like miles per gallon so even though they contain the same amount of juice, they're going to be different yes sir, we're going to get to that but no just the output so if I had this this light and I'm trying to be brand neutral but brand a light twenty four hundred watt seconds full power ten feet I meet it he's going to meet her at let's say a power of ten I'm making stuff up power ten same exact watt seconds brande b goes through different reflector ten feet meter it is going to come out a power of eight or eleven. They're not consistent. Some are more efficient than others. The other thing that's changing is how how consistent is this power from flash to flash that's refresh rates, which we're gonna get to. And how is this affecting the color temperature of this light? How consistent is the color? Because that is not the same, either. And so, uh, there's constantly through email and online dialogue people are like, why would you spend large amounts of money on high end photo gear? It was simply fat flashes again do the same thing this home depot lights set you can't you can't do the same thing with the home depot likes the color temperature is not the same. The consistency of output is not saying same with, uh uh, inexpensive, um, inexpensively manufactured equipment. Keep stuff, you're not gonna have the same results that you get from from brands that have higher quality tolerances. Now, here's, the other thing, these watt seconds, they come into the capacitors, right so full power, it charges up and it's totally charged power out comes the light, then it has to charge back up again now, if you were at, if your flash is storing all of the energy and you decide you uh you hit the test button the flash comes out wham o and then you say you know what there's too much light and you turn the power down turning the power down so now you're fifty percent well guess what the capacitor still has all of the power in there so you need to dump the power that's why you're seeing us every time we change the power on the flash will hit the button to make the flashes fire because it's a one hundred percent we change the power is still at a hundred percent hit test all that power goes out and it builds up to fifty percent and so on most flashes you have to dump those there's a lot of brands that this happens automatically when you change the power it's called self dumping theyjust dumped that power out now the other thing and here you were asking about this and that is um what is the refresh rate? So how long does it take from when this charge is up and the flash fires till it can go again, right? So it's good um on most flashes when you have the power set to the lowest level, the refresh rate is the fastest and the reason for that is it doesn't have to charge all the way up it just happens a lot faster on and so what we're going to do here is we're going to show you really quickly what the refresh rate go does on this so this guy here and normally it's also the smaller what second lights have faster refresh rates in larger want seconds late that's why your speed light on your flash is gonna go really fast but something like this is going to not be so fast so this is a twenty four hundred watts second light at full blast hope nobody standing over there you're gonna get fried so first thing I do is they dump the power now it's charging up all the way okay, you can time it one two three about three seconds right one two three okay so if you're shooting fashion or something like that three seconds between shots is probably too long and so if you've seen like the pro seven pro eight pro photos of the high end brown colors that air fifteen thousand dollars each they khun do and they're ready to go just like boom ready to go uh we've shot with um a few times and they have a refresh rate we can get him to go it I forgot what we're like sixteen frames a second crazy insane you can almost shoot um video with him okay now if I take the power all the way down all the way down to the lowest rate want want much faster so same thing with this uh this guy right here the d one if I have it at full power and then I tested one yeah certainly turned slave one too well about one second this is a five hundred watt second light though so just a little under a second this guy lois power it's really fast so the bottom line is depending on what you're shooting, you're gonna wanna have really fast refresh rates. The other thing is you want those refresh rates to be accurate so again, lower dollar flashes when you refresh they might charge up to eighty percent when you haven't said two eighty and you recycle it might charge up to seventy five and think that's good enough I'm beeping just go and so you have to have something that's calibrated to be consistent every single time or your exposures you're going to start to toe waiver a lot when you see that a lot with speed lights when the battery starts going down, they're sort of like so we don't like that. Okay, any questions about this stuff? Because we're going to move on now to something that is I'm very excited about color, so I want to make sure that we have this stuff down before we make that transition into color flash duration we're going, we're skipping rayna so yes, I have a quick question from a photo on with regards to what seconds could you also talk about the equivalency with speed lights yes so speed lights have um this is roughly speaking uh uh full power speed light I think is about fifty watt seconds so around fifty watt seconds as opposed to five hundred twelve hundred they're just radically different speed lights behave differently as well so there's things like high speed sync there's a pre flash of tl meandering there's all kinds of stuff that speed lights do they're made for shooting with through the lens meeting so they don't behave the same way so yeah uh but about fifty uh like quantum flash I think is about one hundred fifty watt seconds so um you know you could get cem pretty punchy lights but uh you know probably the lowest watt seconds you get percent like this is about three hundred seconds. So that's a yes. Any other questions? Yes, a question from oh, leave us alone leave us alone a lot so long I'm from russia and belarus and I'm asking you a question the question is what the question is would you recommend a big what box to control several flashes or several boxes for each flash that you have ah yes um if you just have money and a budget and this is for rental one box per flash is highly recommended and the reason for that is that with most flashes most boxes like this guy and other brands as well um like, this guy has to capacitors and so you have three lights sharing two capacitors and so when you plug in one light at full power, you'll have twenty four hundred watt seconds of light coming through that as soon as you plug in the second light now it's twelve hundred, twelve hundred plugging the third light and now it's distribute over three ways and so, um, with these guys, you've got six hundred, six hundred, twelve hundred, you could have that and it gets gets all wacky you're like what the facts done on this going, but using pro photos come with a chart that say this is how the lights distributed between these and takes awhile now, obviously, there lights that we actually weighed got these lights in the studio, we borrowed these we bought, we have two heads per pack, so we have won and won, so you have to worry about that third light in the weirdness we can just say this light more this light less we don't worry about the weirdness, but that could be budget prohibitive because they're sort of expensive to get that. So if you're renting or, uh, if you have a studio commercial studio, then yeah, one pack for two heads I think is about right um the other thing is our cable's and so you'll see that if you have been trying to do like two lights and they're fifteen feet apart, you're gonna have an issue with cables trying to come out there and you're they're gonna look wacky so yeah, more packs and heads that's better take one more question for more questioning. Okay? Beer hunter would like to know to speed, like passengers need to be dumped when changing the power manually on speed lights. Yeah, no, okay, no, I don't think they do, um, depends on, you know, there's about a billion different speed lights, but generally speaking, no, I don't think you do, um, check your manual on that one because I'm not sure, but I think the s p nine hundreds and five, eighty ex twos and, you know, the canon nikon stuff. I'm not really familiar with sony speed lights, but check it out. I don't, I don't ever change him, so maybe I'm doing something wrong that I want stupid speed it's a lot easier.

Class Materials

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Snapfactory Color Theory
Snapfactory Lightroom Workflow
Snapfactory Workflow Example - creativeLIVE
Snapfactory Model Release
Snapfactory Commercial Shoot Workflow

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snapfactory creativeLIVE overview
Snapfactory Purpose Worksheet
creativeLIVE plan

Ratings and Reviews

Brian Geoghegan

Mark Wallace, Brilliant at what he does, so clear to understand, he is amazing, well done Mark great workshop, I learned so much. Thank you, kind Regards, Brian from Ireland


Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.

a Creativelive Student

I loved this workshop! Many things I struggled to understand about exposure and many other things became so clear! Just wow!

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