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Concept-Driven Commercial Photography

Lesson 7 of 22

Photographing Motion

Joel Grimes

Concept-Driven Commercial Photography

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

7. Photographing Motion

Lesson Info

Photographing Motion

My whole background in strobe lighting wasn't really from a technical I went through the fine arts we needed to have strobes and then I got a little teeny you know well my first uh speed light type flash was a er vivid tar to eighty three remember those and I was actually working in a like a like a wal mart type of a photography little's counter and I had to sell those on and I remember the first concept of auto exposure from a flash that was like out there right and so in my little brain I would try to explain you know as best I could that light would go out and register on your face or body and then bounced back in that little sensor and at a certain point it would say enough light and it would cut it off and that was a thigh wrister technology and so I understood fire esther technology a little bit there um and then when I started assisting in l a and I got my own studio and started buying power packs the power paks that we had that when the studio work capacitor driven okay so the ...

store all this energy and then you say go they burst out through a flash too so let me explain a little bit the difference between kam passage or driven and thigh wrister driven flashes and I'll help you understand why it's important to number one if you want to freeze action you have to have a short flash duration so let me come over here and I'm gonna draw you a bell curve now again I don't like to go to technical but I'm just going to have very simply okay so let's just have a line here whips this's not vory uh let's make sure we got a good good um flat spot here so we're gonna go like this so this isn't the point where there's no power or flow going to your flash too right so you say trigger okay let push the button and it begins to release the energy the power and your capacitors and it goes kaboom and it will go all the way up to the top right here is at full output and then it starts to work its way back down to no power so your pop boom that's what they call like tea time john you know that yeah exactly there's a tea something let's just call it but it's it's the start and the end rare ok now that in in the speed of light and in photography is really slow time that could be as low as one three hundredths of a second so you're flashed sink on your cameras about one two hundred to fifty some around there the old I say old but the days we had leased shutters you get up to one, five hundred seconds um so that's not very fast just to freeze a athlete jumping through the air you need one and let's say six thousands of the second you get away with maybe a little bit slower but you don't want to go too much lower than one five thousands of a second all right so if if you take and have a thigh wrister technology what happens is is that this begins to send this energy to the strobe or the flash head and right here if you have enough power essay's going out and it's sending her and registering how much value your coming back so that the tl whatever and it says boom it chops it right and right before it can continue to go it's curve and so this time in here can be won six thousands of a second it makes sense so tha iris ter driven technology is really easy to have a short flash duration if you have again it's the less output the faster your your your tee time is so at one let's say uh let's say I might go my strobes here this might be uh save one quarter power okay at half power here it might be this might be one uh say to thousands of a second and at full power on these even though there's these air designed for high speed it's still maybe only one say six hundred or second or something so at full power is not gonna give you the fastest time that you need to freeze action so even on a pact that's designed like this for high speed, you have to run a shorter times, but you're able to get a fast t time on my old power packs that I had the studio I could never get faster than one to thousands of a second never even it is lois output, so if you want to do fast action or freezing action and someone jumping an athlete, you need to get a power packed that allows you to get a short teatime here now pro photo you can buy a pack that's you know, ten thousand dollars in their heads and other I don't know thousand dollars and those air amazing but you got about, you know, eleven thousand dollars invested and if you have an unlimited limited budget that's fine, but for every day photographers uh you've got to find a solution that is affordable. And so the policy buff ar fi wrister driven heads in a studio flash I don't think it's ever been done before it's just like a speed like only you know expanded out, so if you have a nikon cannon speed light, you get real short speed lights one and this will go up to one I think thirteen thousands of a second at this lowest setting is putting on enough light to really do much power, but I like to keep it, so I've done my tests. Um when I run my sports, I want around one six thousands of a second if I raise my eyes so on my camera to about four hundred. So instead of shooting at seven point one, which is my studio, I like my studio depth of field. I will goto five six at four hundred a second at about a quarter power and all the sports stuff you've seen that's how could not have done it so I get that short duration, I can freeze it and here's a way to test it. Well, two ways you can take a ceiling fan, right? Just take your strobe pointed toward the sea fans set it up! Go pop, you start going through your power out puts and you watch the blurriness of that ceiling fan and if you have like a speed light, you'll watch it go from full power to say a quarter power. You'll watch that scene, the fans start to freeze up and that little power setting you get it, go beat little stay still so I've done it with all these lights are another way you take your assistant to do this, you just go ready gonna click just just move that hand as fast you can take a picture to catch it look at it blow it up and if there's a trailing ghost you don't have a fast enough tea time so like I said I've done my test and I've come to about one six thousands of a second is really pretty safe uh t time to freeze action now again like a basketball player jump in the air you're gonna have parts of the body they're moving faster than the other right so number one though for me since I'm a portrait shooter I definitely want the face tack sharp so if there's someone jumping there's just a little trail on one of the foot I don't really mind that much but if a client says we need everything frozen completely that you might want to go upto one eight thousands of a second somewhere around there so that means that would have to raise my eyes so up a little bit more for opening my aperture just ted um if I'm doing a wide angle effect my death the feels pretty good if I'm doing a longer lens then I have to be careful that you know I have my depth of field carried so you gotta think about all those things but really you gotta have a flash or strobe that allows you to get a short tea time and so here's the problem that we have today with manufacturers they don't want to give you all the information you look at the brochures and none of them give you the tee times you could call him up you go hey what's the t time what's the flash duration at full power versus, you know, have power? Uh, well, we'll find it for you and then it's like it's, so they don't want to give it out because a lot of them don't have good tee time information. So you want to make sure that if you purchase and strobes and you want to do action that you have the right information in front of you to make an evaluation, so I would say in the last five feet four years a lot has changed in photographers, understanding about tea, time and flash durations and all that, and part of it is because policy buff put these lights out and so be everyone's talking about tea time and flash duration time and whatever. And so this is my spiel, I have no affiliation with policy buff, I gotta get in line by a flash just like you do. So if they introduced new flash, I'm on a waiting list to get nothing, but I've been with him for twenty something years, and for the money these are amazing strobes to get in, you know, to do what I do so I don't think a huge investment now you can do this I know I'm gonna get a couple people asking me can you take and do what I do with speed lights yes except you're gonna raise your eye so up really high because they're not enough power to put in soft boxes and run ten feet back so can you stack up yes also so little brackets today we could stack your speed lights and in fact put two or three speed lights in a box and raise your eyes sew up a little bit but now if you don't put it in modifiers we're pretty good so do you have a uh uh motorcross guy going off a little jump and you want to just put a couple speed lights just by themselves kicking light pretty good but it's gonna be a little bit edgy is knowing is controllable alight because member of my basic principal the bigger the source softer light so they get a little bit edgy now but you're outdoors get the ambient light things that happened now there's another question is going to come in. What about setting your camera to the high speed modules with high speed sake with the with the um uh in combination with your camera? Well, let me show you there are some absolutely brilliant people on this planet and these engineers are amazing and coming up with ways of solving oops! I got solving solutions so, here's, what? One of the solutions is you have a curtain. So this is your sensor? Remember we talked about and that's not perfect, you know finger, but you have a curtain and that's your sensor. And so what happens is your curtains it's actually rolled up position but it comes down and drops in front of your sensor. Well, actually, it is blocking it. Then when you go click it opens and another one comes down and follows it. So at its full opening at your at your fastest saying it's your whatever you're saying speed so I have one one two hundredth of a second. Okay that's my six speed so the curtain opens full exposure to the sensor closest. Now, if I goto one was just do it this way one four hundredth of a second when I take a picture of the strobe, it actually has the curtain come halfway down so all I exposes the bottom half of that sensor or if it comes from the top, I think it comes from top to bottom. Either way doesn't matter it don't exposes half here's, your mountains, whatever and a subject he stand in front, he gets chopped do you see as you no legs, whatever bottom part terrible drawing, but so here's what the brilliant engineers did and when back when I first heard that you could actually shoot a speed light and having set at high speed mode and that he would capture a higher than you're seeing speed I go I don't believe it how is that possible right? And so my little brain again couldn't figure it out and so I asked the nikon guys at the time and they could explain it all he knew was that could do it if you could explain it and it was years I'd ask you all these people houses do this I don't know then finally one day someone sat down and showed it to me and I was like my jaw hit the floor and here's what happens so this curtain's dropping right so the first half of the um the before the curtain comes so what happens is the curtain drops and halfway down the other part follows so what happens is if you have your shutter speed to one four hundred second it's the splash goes off here blast here and as it goes down to the second half and blast their it blast two blasts so if you go to one eight hundred it's four blasts so the slit becomes like this boom boom boom you goto one you're going up, it gets smaller slept so the brilliant part of that is because you can now go outdoors on shoot in full sunlight knocked the ambient down get a super high shutter speed and freeze action but there's a point in which you all said you should be wide open it two point eight at s o you know sixteen hundred or whatever I don't know exact I don't do it so I'm not familiar exactly with it but there's a point when it's kind of works really good then it's like you know it's not it's not is good so it doesn't the flash duration isn't really working off the timing of the tea time it's working off the shutter speed and the combination of going up up up up spirit brilliant early technology but it's a look answer some people that could explain this a lot better than me okay, so I'm giving you kind of like my third grade level you know, sort of technical part of it but it's really beautiful stuff now um you can play around with that and here's what I say and here's what I do the strength of jeweled grimes has is that I'll say I wantto in result which is some athlete jumping through the air I want to solve that problem and I go out and find out how to do it I'm very tenacious so I finally figured out then I go and build the bodywork I do that with everything I'm doing thirty two bit stroh b now thirty thirty to put hdr strop and I'm lost to learn it but I'm exploring that so I haven't result I want to get to and then I have to learn the technical but I only learned as much technical information I need to figure out my problems and so there are a lot of technical solutions to your problems that you might have and there's a lot information that's the beauty of it we're not you know I don't have to be brilliant to figure it out, but they're people that are brilliant that have figured it out and there's a lot information you go on policy bus website there's a hole I think three page to page explanation of tee times thigh wrister versus capacitor all that it's really fun so if you're into that go check it out but the good news is all that information unless I don't apply it to something is worth nothing so that's that's where my strength is, I go out, take the technique and beat it to the ground. We'll talk more about that on saturday I keep saying we're gonna talk more, but I'm talking about how we brand and I know john you said that you get kind of burn out after about a year and go on to something else that's how we are human beings we don't like to stick with something too long, but I'm very tenacious that's, my gift, that's, my strength. And so I'm very good at saying, I'm gonna try this and beating the ground till I get a body of work. And then I become what we call an expert in something. And so now I've done all these jumping through the air. I don't know if I'd call myself an expert, but I've done it enough to where I've solved a lot of problems.

Class Description

This course is part of the Joel Grimes Bundle.

Commercial photography isn’t about mastering complex lighting ratios or obscure retouching techniques. Successful commercial photography hinges upon your ability to turn your creative vision into a polished product. In this class, commercial photographer Joel Grimes will teach you how to think of your photography as an artistic process, not a mathematical equation.

Joel, a commercial photographer with more than 25 years’ experience working for top advertising agencies, will reveal his signature lighting, shooting, editing, and marketing methods. Joel will teach you to trust your artistic instincts by demonstrating how he conceptualizes two different photo shoots: an edgy athletic portrait, and a commercial beauty shoot. Joel will also walk you through how to identify the right lighting to attain your desired result.

After transforming the way you think about conceptualizing, lighting, and shooting, Joel will unveil his creative compositing techniques and tips and tricks for retouching skin. By the end of this two-day workshop, you will have a tried-and-true playbook for creating works of photographic art that dazzle commercial clients.

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Fantastic!! He is so down to earth and humble. His work is unique an exceptional and he shares his techniques, experience, tricks, and best of all his life stories that took him to where he is now. One of the best instructors in CL. I love how he checks the ego at the door and just shares his art and techniques with us. I definitely recommend this course and I was lucky enough to get it at a great discounted price but it is worth its regular price imho.


He's my new favorite instructor, there are many CL instructors I really like but the second I watched and heard him I bought the course, love his style, love his knowledge and the way he conveys it. His way of Frequency separation is fantastic and pretty precise and takes care of a lot of flaws. Learned lots! Thanks Joel! Thank heavens I am not color blind ;)


Joel makes it easy to follow when it comes to editing and shooting. He is a wonderful teacher and very easy to learn from. I enjoyed the photoshop techniques he taught as well as his approach to lighting. My favorite part is his advice on business it's very motivating and inspirational. I thoroughly enjoyed this course!