Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 4/27 - Lighting Q&A

 

Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

 

Lesson Info

Lighting Q&A

One question that came in has a couple of votes he spoke of using nd filter with flash outdoors what value of nd filter do you find to be the most useful? The neutral density filter that I use is from sing ring and it's, a variable neutral density being like a polarizer, you can rotate it and it changes from two to six f stops okay, and just spinning where you stop that rotation and that to me is the way to fly because you can also just choose the, you know, a two or four have stopped apps single and it's cheaper, but then you're stuck with that, which is fine if you're doing things like water falls, you know, we want to just drag the shutters so that your waterfall, the smooth or soft water and things like that. But if you're doing the balance in the speed light with the sun kind of deal that I use, you really need to be able to dial it and vary it on the fly because you never know what your son situation is going be. So the variable to me is the way to fly it's it just allows perfect...

control from all day from two to six f stops, and I'm almost never find a range in there that I can't that doesn't solve the problem. Basically but its various I couldn't say always use it for always used to stop the variables this one go but if you don't have or can't afford the variable then you may get several maybe a to stop a forced up and a six stop on and then usually can get pretty close with one of those but you can't just use one you need to have at least two or three of them ok great and let us know if you guys have questions here in the studio audience as well we have joe zee who says and this one has six votes so aa lot of people are wondering as we go throughout the class what about those of us without assistance it's are we going to be touching on how you can how you can build these things even use when you're solo? Yes yeah you can use most of these things instead of an assistant you have a light stand you know I use assistance because I have assistance but one of things I always encourage people like you the question a lot of people say I can't afford an assistant you don't necessarily have to pay assistance all the time I think if you're really using abusing them they obviously deserve to be paid but there a lot of people who want to intern people learning who are more than happy to help you out or your your kids, your wife, your spot goes I mean, that's how my wife got dragged into the business. You know, I said, I think the chief assistant come on, help me out. So if you don't have a wife, a husband, kids, you could drag into it if you have anything to share in your brain and in turn is a great way to go. And I've used tons of interns who have been eternally grateful for what they've learned, and I've been eternally grateful for their help and it's a totally win win situation, but don't take advantage of it always. If you want them there every day to help you in the studio, then you need to find some way to compensate them as well, but asking for help. When I was at weddings, I get the groomsmen, toehold, reflectors and things for me if I needed to address the little flower girl here's a simple job, just stand right here and hold this, you know? And they love to help out, so don't be afraid to ask that's kind of the key. He asked for help and offer to teach somebody something in exchange for help. Ok, great, we have some follow up questions about the nd filters of school we have gordon, who says air we have another focus says if you use an anti filter will it not reduce the light of the flash as well it does any filter works just like changing the aperture but the reason this is better than high speed saying and it's harder to explain that it is to just show you examples I have other workshops that we teach we go outside and shoot and I and I can show you actually how this works but being able to put your flash at two fifty or two hundred whatever you're perfect sync speed is is kind of the key because at that speed you're flash can do full power boom giving everything it's got in one burst and that's where you're going to get more power now as soon as I go over to fifty saying that eight hundred thousand of a second your flash in one burst of full power that shudder no longer goes like this ok so let's say here you know shutter works it's a it's a curtain and it opens across your sensors say your sensors here your shutter goes open close there's two shutters right open close and in that there's that one hair of a second when it's completely exposing your sensor that's when the flash fires boom so as a slow shutter speed it might go open dot dot close so your flash open ah flash now boom close good to go right now we're getting two to fifty open close open flash close now we went to a thousand there is no complete open it goes like this to expose that quickly so your flash has to do this as it's open as it's basically sliding this curtain over the frame the flash goes that popped up, popped up up, up, up, up and strobes faster than we can even see it and makes multiple exposures on one frame. So if we don't, we tell us it looks like one in one flash, but now think about it. If you're flashes going ten times during an eight thousands of a second, do you think it can recycle to full power ten times in the thousands of a second? How many? How fast? How much already think you're getting out of each pop? Think minuscule now, right? So there's, no way you're gonna get a entire full power output of that flash as its strobes across the frame. So that's what high speeds think it's magic, it's incredible how it works that khun strobe in time itself so perfectly but there's no way, you idiot full power! So the power is reduced so that using the neutral density filter to answer the question out there in the white white world is I'm staying at two, fiftieth meeting I can always get full power to my flash, but I still a pawn of darken my background which I would normally have to do with my shutter speed going two thousand but now I don't have to change the center speed I just take the neutra density filter down and I keep my same f stop to or if one for whatever that beautiful have stopped that I want to use because the other option to be go to have sixteen but that changes the look of your photo complete that sucks ugly gross I'm sorry for have sixteen shooters but there's there's a time place we have sixteen but generally uh not if you want like a nice soft background right you need that if two for one eight whenever some like that so make sense that I explain it awesome if you're all right with taking more questions about the lighting stuff in general because after this we're going to get into making and shoot he's so simply asks when you are not specifically trying to control the flash power level in manual mode do use tl or do you always use manual mode that's a great question teaching can work really well some of the time and that's kind of the thing is it's great it works some of the time and what is teo for people deep teal is when your flash on your camera talk to each other so that they based like an automatic exposure with your flash right so you just said the flash and teo said, your camera and this is what I want and boom, everything kind of works and you get it overall good exposure. But if you're really particular about how much brighter say, you've got a really dark background and you want to keep it that way and you want to have the face nice and bright, well, t l may not figure that out, and it may either over under expose the face or trying to right now the background, so long time shooting manuals the way you need to go to control things, but when you're running a gun and say no wedding or an event, sometimes I would use detail in the flash, especially it's just on flash on camera, you're just doing grab shots. Yeah, absolutely detail. But even when I take it off camera, there are transceivers you can use wireless transceivers, it will transmit the t t l signal and you can use them off and we can we can experiment with that when we're shooting and say here's, what happens if we put on t t l on you'll see it'll work some of the time, maybe from shot to shot the light might actually very slightly, depending on how I crop it. You know, I'm or the face less the face, the flash might get confused and changed exposure it always it will always be an ok exposure, but not perfect. So generally I'm shooting manual and just controlling the power from the camera on my transceiver fantastic and dan in the chat room says great description of high speed sink, so thank you, good, good! That means that any questions in the studio keep going with the folks at home. Thank you for all of your questions coming in. This one is from patty mills can older flashes say ones that were used on film cameras be effective when paired with newer flashes? So we had some slides where we had we're talking about having four, four flashes or what happened? Yeah, all their flashes in manual mode almost always work great, so if you do have older, cheap flashes, you want to go to the second hand store and you find some old flashes as long as they work and they pop reliably, they may not be the same power level is a newer ones, and they sometimes may not be the same temperature color temperature you'll have to check that, but I've got some gear toe tweak on that, but they can work great and I've got a bag full of name brand flashes from nikon for my system, the the current ones but then I've also got off brand generic ones I don't always trial these different flashes so I've got, you know, another whole bag full of you know, various random flashes from very, very cheap to very expensive and they all work and sometimes I'll just grab whatever is closest and she wouldn't but that's when you're shooting manual, so if you're going to go tl and you have to have something pretty modern two people toe get that talk the same as your modern camera, but old flashes were great as secondary as long as they're emanuel load. We've got some people starting to ask what is the best flash for this camera for the cannon or this and shooting family photography? Where do you recommend people might find out for their particular camera system what might be the best the best flashes to invest in? Yeah, it's hard to say it's the best I using by like for the nikon the sb nine ten is their latest and greatest and I usually just get whatever is their top of the line designed for the camera one and can and I don't I'm not in front of the camera model numbers, but whatever their latest and greatest usually there's the best one and there was like a few steps down the line and usually what you're giving up is just a little bit of power output um and I like to people get the most that I have available is like by the top one, but there if you buy one of those either the top of the second from the top in that line from your camera maker, you're going to be totally happy with it, even the even the cheaper ones now from that can make you have all the functional, the t, t o capabilities, everything is just going to reduce power. A question from a woman on the birds great user name do you use rechargeable batteries for your flashes? Donkey on the edge? Oh, yes, we're talking about yes, we're green here. I may not look green. I actually like drug involvement. This can is calling me, but yeah, definitely use recycled batteries out there, guys. And more than just being green and saving you money is the actually cycle faster than alkaline defusing outlines in your speed lights he were so old school and knew that is not the way to go. You're burning money up and your shooters on the foot because of recycles way slower than good rechargeable tze um there's, um, and luke batteries there's sanyo makes things really makes him for most companies, actually there's. These ones are like black ones with a triple x on him on those air, great, because they keep their charge when you let them sit, if you don't charge them right before an event is still going to have quite a bit in, there were a lot of rechargeable is, you know, there's, ones that will sit. And once it won't, you buy the ones that don't. You got to make sure you charge them right before you go out to an event. So I use these other ones that triple x, the black ones, because they they don't fade very much. You can charge him once a week before your event or whatever, whatever, and they're ready to go, and they have lots about put their fast recycle.

Class Description

You don’t need expensive gear to make professional quality images. In Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear, Kevin Kubota will teach you how to create lighting and photography tools with affordable and readily available materials.

Kevin will walk you through every step of building your own light modifiers and photo gear and show you exactly how to use them, with live models, for beautiful effects. You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with speedlights and mix natural light with flash
  • Shoot portraits in the studio or on location with DIY gear
  • Set up a simple commercial lighting shoot

Kevin will share essential lighting concepts that will improve all of your lighting choices. You’ll learn techniques you can apply to all the gear you use – whether it is from a manufacturer or your tool shed.

The right gear makes getting your best shot easier. Whether you use natural light, speedlights, or studio strobes this class will show you how to augment your gear with affordable, handmade tools to get even better results.

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