Shooting in RAW and Understanding Light
Before we get started I'm going to kind of address the elephant in the room and I keep track of comments and questions and suggestions and tips and issues that come up on social media and there's one re occurring thing that I kept reading yesterday why the heck do they call you matthew the body well where in the world is this name from ur this chubby kid from minneapolis and I want to know where this came from I'm going to tell you guys this story this is completely not photography related one woman asked me on facebook specifically her name was betty I remember because that's also my mom's name who's hopefully watching so hi mom betty and high a girl who asked me my name that he so okay back in like two thousand for two thousand five I was walking through the mall with my wife and we were just dating we weren't engaged just starting to date and we walk past a victoria's secret and there was a massive like six foot high by twelve foot wide banner and I thought it was heidi clue maybe w...
as a different model and it said ah brosseau sexy they named it after me and is it what they have like ah heidi clue mme raw and she goes well no no no matthew went back in the day she was so hot they just used to call her the body and I'll forget that I could be the body I'm going to go home I'm going to be the body I'm gonna be this presence so kind of on a whim this is back when facebook you had to have a college email address to log in and they were really big on you couldn't had to have your name and I kind of snuck through and I got matthew the body chemically learned it was all just kind of for giggles but it actually turned out to be a good grassroots marketing move because at this point I was shooting a lot of weddings and what would happen this was before fan pages this was before groups and all that stuff was really taking up so what would happen is I would talk to my customers and they'd be shooting away you get great group shot and we're like oh man, I can't wait to see this photo and said, well I'm gonna put it on facebook for free just you could check it out on facebook and then take well how do I find you my last name is kenneth miller it's scary to pronounce if you just read it it's long it's intimidating I get that you're never going to remember how to spell it you're probably going to mispronounce it so I would say oh just add me on facebook matthew the body and there we go no seriously man yeah yeah it's mandy the body so so now you all know it's just kind of a little self deprecating humor I understand that I am not this felt man and I just like to have a little giggling a little laugh at myself and it's something that that's kind of worked in my favor because it does get people to remember you and there's a great book called robert greene's forty eight laws of power law number six says it's better to be talked about about them to be overlooked so I just want to know that I'm glad it's getting me noticed you guys feel free to have a giggle at my expense I am chubby and embracing it so before we start yesterday, I wanted to get I started out with a little funny uh, fax today I'm going to start out with really awful jokes because I want to keep us laughing today. So what did the monkey say when he got his, uh, his tail cotton? The revolving door won't be long now. Ah eso no don't stories and dumb jokes are over let's get to work. All right, so today's segment we're gonna go over why you need to be shooting and raw we're going to go over understanding light we're going to talk about how I interact with my high school senior girls and one to shoot a senior session like rust talked about this is a real high school girl, it's not a model. We're going through the motions like I would a riel the with the real session, so shooting and raw ah lot of people ask me about this because I shoot so many sessions and I've I've been blessed the opportunity to have a good friendship and be mentored by gordon and some other people that do even mohr volume than me and those guys shooting j peg because they say it saves some time and it's a good work flow, and I respect that, but I personally think that shouldn't draw is really, really important and I want explained you guys, why you need to do that? So I did what matthew does. I made a list first reason you need to shoot raw gives you the best image possible, it's the best quality you're going to get, and actually, before we get into this too far, I'm going to assume that most of us know the difference when ron j peg, but I'm just gonna explain it in case someone out there doesn't. So if you shoot and raw, what you're getting is basically it's, a three dimensional grayscale image you're getting all this information in the rgb. Channels it's a much bigger file and you're going to take that file back to your computer toe light room or bridge or aperture you're going to process that image with a raw file color isn't set you set you set your white balance after the fact there's tons of information in a raw file there's little information in jpeg file so it also will allow you to I'm going to go through a lot of the benefits in this list but the difference with a roth formatted file is it's it's not done it needs more work to be finished as something you're going to use and by shooting around you're giving yourself the best image quality possible just you can't get a better file off of a rod and you cannot but gain by your j pegs aren't gonna be the ross too it's a greater dynamic range it lets you control your highlights better in your shadows better and that goes back to the image quality thing but those are important things if you're having really muddy shadows they're being blown out highlights although I don't think shooting and ross should be a crutch I think that it gives you access to a broader spectrum of the image lousy, more stops of correction you fix it better if you are off on your exposure or even if it's subtle changes it's going to be done better than if you're working on a j peg file so even if you're just a little bit underexposed, I know that the bringing it up in photo shop and changing that j peg file gives you less control and will not look as good as working with a raw it's built insurance were or photographers we are a professional photographers and I think that it's your duty to make sure that you're giving your clients the best possible work that you can get if for some reason I'm shooting fast if for some reason I don't look at my camera if for some reason my settings are off I'm giving myself the best chance to give my client a great image by shooting and raw it's an insurance policy for me color corrections easy like really easy and I don't know if you guys have shot a j peg file that has had off color and then you try to fix it but it is a giant pain in the buns and you're sitting there and you're working on it and you're adjusting this and you're just in there and you're like what the h it's not quite right I can't get it it's just drives me nuts and it's because the information isn't there it's quite simply you don't have the information in a j peg that you do in iraq it allows for a non destructive entity if you're j peg shooter if you're j peg shooter light rooms a dumb tool tone because you weren't taking advantage of what light rooms made to do and I love light room uh, light room so just to be able to use a light room I would shoot raw for that experience alone because I love the freedom that it gives me. All right? So if you have any camera, I should I should cannon so I know a lot about kanan if you guys are nikon, I know that some of the new nightgowns khun do this, but if you have a camera from cannon that's, a fifty b or newer, that was when they started allowing you to have multiple raw formats, okay? So when you shoot in a multiple raw format, it allows you all the flexibility that you would have from a rafael, but you can do it with a smaller image. Now we all know that I shoot a lot of stuff, and we know that I don't shoot a lot of images, but I'm big on keeping my work flow tight and part of having a tight workflow is working on images that aren't obnoxiously large just because I can. So when I showed my high school senior stuff, I shoot in the medium raw form at theirs there's raw, which is all twenty we'll actually have a slide for that, um, full raw is shooting at twenty one point one mega pixels medium raw is shooting at ten point five and s raw is five point five megapixels now I actually did a test way back when my first bullfight frame camera was the first five d that was the first one that I had in that camera I had for years and I love that I still have it I love that camera and that gave me an awesome platform and awesome jump off point for my files I could shoot families I could shoot seniors and I could give you big images off of my five d that I could sell big I had awesome files five two came out I did this test on it at the same test of five d three now understand that the pixels have changed in some of the information how it stored has changed but that original five d camera is more than ten point five megapixels but that original five d camera my s raul file is comparable my medium raw on the five b three is comparable to my full raw on the first five d so I knew that I had a file that I can sell I can sell that well maybe like would you ever shoot full raw absolutely issue fora I shoot for although on lee when I'm going to need the extra information so if there's a situation where I don't know I'm shooting a football game and I I can't get close enough, so I know I'm going to do heavy crops yeah, I'm gonna do heavy crop I'll shoot full rob because I am throwing away information now I have more information to throw away so I sell the good file or if I'm shooting family stuff. If I'm shooting groups, I shoot full raw because it's just basic if I want to retouch the face of a family you got mohr heads and it's giving me more information to do great retouching from but if it's just one person if it's just a high school senior I shoot in the medium raw format it lets me have smaller files and I can still sell you whatever you want. I can tell you thirty by forty off that file, no problem and a zoe walked through. You guys can see that it goes from twenty seven meg's to nineteen mags and the drop down to go from the ten and a half to five and a half. Your file size doesn't drop down that much really so the very, very small ross and and I never use it. I would use that format on ly in like our high volume sports jobs where we're doing like everything's on a tripod it's an exact crop, everything's exact and were literally just going take in hundreds of images white balance export that that would be the only time because I know that my crop is perfect and I know that I'm not selling wall porch it's because it's like junior with the soccer ball no one wants ah forty by sixty campus of that I wish they did I make a lot more money but I don't sell campuses of that and it just to show you on an eight gig card you know going from two hundred sixty ross tow three hundred seventy shooting medium and this is really big for weddings too like I should if I'm shooting the group formals that would be all full raw I want that information in case I have to go in and do work on it but everything else I'm just doing my candid pj stuff it's all that medium wrong and it's way more than enough information so embrace it learn it if you aren't using raw format it's like it it can be kind of scary I guess because if you don't know what you're doing you're like I'm just can't keep shooting jake because that's just that's just what I dio don't learn this stuff because it's big and it's gonna let you take your imagery to the next level okay, so we're gonna talk about photography today and I think that we need to talk about lighting and think that we need to talk about basically understanding what light is and how it works you have to understand what the quality of light is it's you've got a hard light you've got a soft light hard light is gonna be extremely bright on the highlights and extremely dark on the shadows soft light is it's the grady ation from the highlights of the shadows the smoother that transition the softer the light and that's kind of ah you hear a lot of people talk about soft light maybe you don't know what that term means it's very it's a very real thing the smoother the transition from the highlight to the shadows soft with light typically the softer the light is the better the portrait okay not ah hard fast rule in there certainly times that we use a hard light but in general you want to go with a soft white so the softer the softer softer light is bigger lights closer the subject so like the sun massive light source right that's gotta be soft like new remember the sun's so far away it's like this big now if you brought the sun down to like where the moon is it be this massive huge light source and we'd all die but we would be in the most gorgeous light as we burned up it would look amazing as it scott incinerate it so understanding the quality of light is important now let's talk about the quantity of light this is simply the intensity of the light okay, that's, how much you have now in the studio? This is again a very measurable thing. You can get a light meter and you can measure how much light you have. He was like me, but it's really it's a very, really thing. This effects your shutter speed, this effects the aperture that you're going to shoot at its effects on the isso, because putting out the quantity of light will affect what your camera needs to be set at. Tio capture good image. Okay, now in a studio most of the time, the quality of light is going to be our the quantity of it is going to be a direct reflection of the year that you buy. You have really nice year. You've really like that. We were just talking about this on facebook group that I was in somebody's like I think I'm going to buy an alien be eight hundred. I don't know if I should get the sixteen hundred if I should get the eight hundred will always get the biggest one you can, because even if you don't use the full power at sixteen hundred, you have it if you ever do need it. You're never going to be wanting for you you can want from over they don't make a bigger one so you you're giving yourself the best option and then also if you upgrade to the nicest equipment that you can have an alien bees are kind of an entry level studio light I use those on my sport chutes in our studio we shoot pro photos so if you're shooting the alien bea systems though it's also if you have the sixteen hundred and you shoot at half power that's giving the same light as shooting with full power with one of the lower level ones so your recycle time takes longer your little flashes working harder to give you the same amount of light, some incense so the intensity of light is is important and it's important to get good gear and I understand that everybody has a ton of money, so might my suggestions just get the best that you can afford without putting on your credit card? Because that's a really bad idea alright, every light source has a distinct color temperature you need to understand the color of light and I like have you ever been to somebody's house and they got like a little chandelier that's got five light bulbs in it you notice that one's really, really orange and the rest of them are kind of a different shade death every light source has a color temperature and if we're talking about outside that color temperature changes the light temperature is going to change from early in the morning the golden hour to the afternoon we're constantly changing that temperature so understanding that there's there's a number of what color temperature isn't understanding how that works is really, really important and this is also something that you I need to know when you're getting into mixing light sources so if you've ever been to a good example be like if I shot a sports shoe and I just blasted my subject with with the flash but the rest of the gym is tungsten my background if I expose proper color for my subject my backgrounds gonna look real karma lee it's going to get this really rich aah warm tone and people going oh, what the heck does the gym look like like like caramelized it all why is it weird color? But then if I go on I set my color temperature so the gym looks normal my subject is gonna look real real blue she's going to look like a smurf and so you got to know if you're mixing your color temperatures you gotta know how to match the intensities and understand what your how this is going to affect your image all right angle of light the direction of light it's simple it's the angle that it's coming at you it's real I mean that's really it so angle the direction of the light's coming from to your subject from your perspective and that effects the mood of an image that effects a lot of how the image is going to look like I wish I had a flashlight but if you just take a flashlight go turn off the lights go stand in front of mere flashlight and hold it right here and look at the lighting that you have and then just wrapped that sucker around they get that scary stories at night look and it's the same light it's the same lights are us we'll all we're changing is the direction of the light but it changes the mood of that image it changes the mood so dramatically so understand how the angle of your light source effects the feel of your image so basic lighting I'm going to go over basic basic lighting concepts for our studio like ninety percent of this and it might even be more basically if this is a one person session in our studio this accounts for our lighting set up this is how we do it I showed you guys pictures of my studio yesterday I got a big basement I do not want to drag around multiple lights in my basement you know the basic traditional lighting setup you're gonna have a main light you're gonna have a phil lights going have a main light that's going be what is going to be the majority of your exposure right so that's going to coming in from this side but then this side's gonna be in shadow so I'm gonna take another flash that's not going to be quite as powerful and put that here let's get filling your shadows then I need hair light to get you separated from the background right so that's another flash and then I need to put light on my background so it's another flash it's four lights set up okay and it's great results and if you couldn't do it and you got the time it's wonderful it will work it's a lot more time than I want to spend especially when I'm trying to drag my lights around the studio I'm trying to go from background the background I don't want to do it so basically are set up is a large four by six soft box and two reflectors it's really it's that simple that's how we're lighting most of the things for one person this is how we like most of our sessions food wa high school senior doesn't matter and what we're doing with this is we're turning this one light into three we're turning one light source into three with only without adding two more flashes we're getting the same look without adding a bunch of work to it so you always shoot the soft bach horizontally and if you shoot it this way I don't want to knock it over all right by shooting the soft box this way you put your subject here you're naturally getting light that's going to start wrapping around okay so we're starting to get this soft big rapper on night and the reflectors are brought in tow actors are filling her hair like okay you always want to bring the soft box toe like the back corner of the soft back should be right in here and what drives me nuts when people start working for me and they're coming into the city on and they're just going through the through training is if they're standing here and then I'm going to go on the neal and you go down like this guess what your light has to move okay you gotta move the light to keep it in the sweet spot all right so you got dropped your light so that your lights down here now okay so every time you move your subject you gotta move your life and just think about it okay reflectors are huge role play a huge role in our right and our lighting it's it's really simple it's really simple that if you don't have it your images aren't gonna look right it's not going to look like a riel good portrait it's going you're going to see the deficiencies now there's some exceptions in like with this lighting setup if I'm shooting eh? Dark haired vows shooting you on a white background, the hair light reflector wouldn't play nearly as big of a role as if I was photographing you on a dark background because I'm going to need to get that separation in your hair you know? So there's there's some tricks and tips I'm gonna walk you through how we light stuff and um let's go through this so here's my wonderful artwork yeah and here's the other part the best part about this is that I hired a girl that worked for me like three months ago and she walked into work and I was like, guess what? Your modeling for me today and these are all straight out of the camera not retouched files I told you guys it's really, really important to show your clients on ly read touch work but if you work for me you are not a client you could see that stuff straight out of the camera and I don't work for free so if I were to take this large soft box, then my camera right there in my subject there so my lady is gonna look like it's not you're going to see that we're kind of getting that light wraps around her body your kind of scene it across the chest but it's not going to the face is bad obviously she doesn't like that lighting, but the face the lighting on the face isn't good so now what's gonna happen is I'm going to bring in a reflector. There it is. Look at how cool that looks so wonderful with your drawing skills. Matthew. Uh, so, bam now we're getting into place where we can start, adding we're starting tohave sellable lighting. All right, now, with the reflector get a little bit more separation from the background. And so what's cool about this lighting setup is that I can shoot you on this background and we can slide over to a different set and it's going to take me three minutes to set up, not even hesitating like forty five seconds. He's got grabbed the reflectors drag my light, we're done. And the thing that you need to know about this type of lighting I mean it's it's, painfully easy and you can still mess it up. So this example is going to be a gross exaggeration of what it's gonna look like if you mess it up. But if you bring your light if you put the light of the wrong and it's going to look ridiculous it's gonna look ridiculous. But what you need to understand about it going back to this oops going back to the slide. What we're trying to do well on you go back to the good lighting slide. What we're trying to do is we're taking. This is our main light we're using. This is our reflector. And then this one's, just picking up some of this light from behind and tossing it back on her hair. If you understand that concept, and you understand kind of what I'm telling you guys to be super easy for you to do this.