Setting Your Camera Up for Crappy Light


Conquering Crappy Light


Lesson Info

Setting Your Camera Up for Crappy Light

Setting up your camera for success in crappy lighting all right uh but we talked about this I just want to let everyone out there in the audience know uh you know I'm not gonna lie I'm not like the biggest camera manual reader in the world but maybe I won't through the manual I'll look it up online but everything is going to be different but we did the same thing everything's gonna be different in different cameras like um my five day three is when we totally different than your five days or five two nikon so the concepts of the same but it's going to be different so just keep that in mind you probably have to reference manuals and a couple of things like this before we jump into things I just have to make sure everyone knows I have not shot a j pig on ly image I would say it's definitely went at least seven years for sure but possibly longer um nowadays or cards or fast enough and the memories cheap enough shoot raw especially especially especially in crappy like because it gives you ...

the most latitude to save your image in post if you have tio so if you know you're walking into a bad lighting situation don't think like o j peg I can shoot mohr safe space or whatever you need to be about what would you like to add to that s o it's been a long time since I've just shot a j pegs well like she said we have hard drives cameras, fasters once you shoot raw and you put process it or you save a really blown file like an overexposure of color balance and it saves your but you will shoot raw every single time because you wouldn't know you would have gotten the image otherwise but I want to say though if you're transitioning your listening this they're like well I only shoot j peg don't take this and run out the door and on lee shoot raw your camera has the ability to shoot a raw file and a j peg file um I got in a bind once when I was like okay, I'm gonna switch to raw got myself light room you know I had a bridge or light room too and I was like, I think it's still bridge like photoshopped I'm gonna start shooting raw like everyone says you're all it's great so I shot a job on raw and it took me so long to process and deliver the files because it was like a crash course in raw raw editing, which is a little more work and we need a little more robust computer and I almost got myself in trouble because it was a client job when I was like I'm a start shooting rise like when I was first starting out so it was shoot j peg and ross you have to use and then you can work on the raws until you're comfortable. Then switch over to raul the way. But once you're familiar there's no reason to shoot anything but raw. All right, so what? What we did is eric took a picture of me the other night, uh, underneath a streetlamp, and he shot raw, plus j peg and not like super small rough j peg, just raw and jpeg. Ok, so this is what it looked like, it's, underexposed and it's the wrong color. And so just, you know, for you guys, the screen over there's, little more accurate for that color. Um, so what I did is I tried to get the color right on the j pang, and then I tried to get the color and exposure right in the j peg and the color and exposure right on the raw. This is how far I could get the j peg trying to get it close. Do you see all that color noise? And it was hideous, and the actual photos are obviously much closer to get the result that I was able to get to. It took me about fifteen minutes because I was going into going into curves and adjusting the different color channels, so I was I was going in I was using selective color to shift with the shadow tones I mean, I was working on this file it wasn't amateur approach I mean, she was trying to save this thing as if like it were a job, right? So I was really working on this like it was a job um where's that took me two minutes no thirty seconds, thirty seconds click a button um, withdraw and you can see huge difference so I mean it's, it's, it's all about work flow to you'd spend so much more time trying to fix that j peg file I mean, I really was using all of my photo shop knowledge to try to get to the point where I could get it and guys, raw files are basically they're not baked like if you go to the camera sentence, you'll see profiles like portrait and landscape and stuff like that where they apply contrast in sharpening and color like your color temperature that was all get baked into a j pegs. So when it comes out it's small because that's your only option you're raw file doesn't necessarily have a set color balance. It has all of the different color information in there, and then you could just see the color balance of like a little j peg preview that lays on top of it so we can visualize it but all of that data is raw and not interpreted that goes in this weather way larger so if you want to it could be any color balance you want it to be so we're gonna teach you how to do it properly in multiple ways to get it but shooting raw files makes you can change your mind you could be like I want that toe look blue then you can just go go to town so raw is everything okay? Um next thing color space so color spaces basically how much information or how robust the colors are that you're working with s rgb is what you're going to deliver your files too so if you're shooting and j pegs on your camera and you're going to put them on your computer and put them under your facebook and you're never gonna edit them and you know that you're going to get exposure and color balance done srg b is the way to go but we're saying if you're shooting and crappy light you're gonna miss you're going to save you're going tohave to tweet color so you're going to want to shoot raw because you want all the data so wouldn't it make sense to you also want all of the color fidelity and the depth of your colors too so that's why you want to go adobe rgb gets a color it's a color space um and if you look at the graphic you're like a little slack there a little slack in the quarter tio okay, cool come on over so if you look at it you basically have all of these colors and adobe rgb is a large triangle giving you access to all the colors in that srg b is basically just a smaller triangle with less access to the colors so again it's smaller and it's also the standard profile for web and monitor and stuff because you want to keep file size is small but if you're shooting on your camera you should go into your menus lindsay's going to show you how to do it here in a second and said it's that you're capturing your files and adobe rgb to give you all the color and raw to give you all the data you want is many things to work within post is possible uh thinking this is an area seems like most of the processing labs now are warning srg v files it's you know so it seems like it's adding an extra note when I upload to my smugmug gallery they wanted ness rgb you know so it's like adding an extra step you know to my post you know, do I want to shoot adobe and then convert because I'm ending up converting desert gb anyways? Yeah, I would say that's the same thing it's what you choose rob versus j peg, because it's saving your just in case you need that raw information because if you're in a situation where you think you're going to screw up the color like you're just like, oh my gosh, I don't know what color this is, I can't balance it, then you want to have the larger color space to tweak with versus so I mean, if you're nailing the shot exactly with a situation, you could shoot on j peg and be ok, same idea you can't go back. You can't rather have the data sitting on a hard drive somewhere than not it's, like most printers, wanted the ck, you know, really the print a robust one. We did it for the book, but I mean, when we put on the web it's s r g b you know, but we have the ability to go to different color profiles for that if you want it and I don't know if use light room, but I just haven't set in pre sets it's not like it's. Ah export preset so it will convert it to s rgb. So since I already have to go through the set of, uh, the step of exporting is not actually an extra step cause it's already built into my export. Camera, same processing engineer so when when you say about for webber you save and photo shop, you get toe pick, apply color space or make sure you go to ask our d b for light room users, you're really you don't even know it. You're in pro photo color space, which is even bigger than adobe rgb. So when you leave that you're baking in something anyways, usually I start to be by default. So sergeant is like a deliverable color space where you want to capture with more eso basically it's that's it here just looking for where it says that, and make sure it said to it only rgb it's a simple and it's I mean it's probably just finding it interesting. Well, just flip over to all right white balance, so we're going to get into discussions of white balance and all of the different options because I want to make sure I can show everybody some custom white balances and whatnot. Um, these are all the different ways you have to handle color, one of the very first things that I got overwhelmed with with color when I was when I was tryingto handle bad lighting because it's just it was just another realm for me on top of exposure and top of all that, so I'm going to give you all the different options you have available to you and then you pick what work so we start with the first one you can do whatever you need, their lot of white balance um our cameras are so so smart now the auto white bounds often does a pretty phenomenal job it's scary like really, really, really, really good here's a problem there's a couple problems uh auto white balance sometimes will screw up based on the color shirt someone's wearing so I don't know if you've ever had that situation you're shooting a scene and a blue per person a blue shirt walks in you take a picture, keep shooting the scene person a redshirt walks and take a picture the color would be totally different often because it's it's an introducing another color that it's tryingto work into the equation that's not always the case, but that does happen. Uh the other downside of using auto white balance is if you're shooting a job where you're shooting auto white balance it's bouncing all over the place and so you don't have consistency and the job so you will spend more time trying to get the files toe look similar color versus if you pick even just a preset, it'll be consistent and then if you need to tweak the color like treat the white balance a little bit, you can make that change and apply it to all the rest and it will be a consistent change versus if it's bouncing all over the place. So do I shoot out a white balance? Honestly sometimes, but that's more if I'm just like going around the city like taking pictures for fun? Um, for a client job, I just pick a preset for what I'm in, nothing is worse than shooting and crappy light and then having to go home and edit crap for hours you really start disliking your job life your client? Yeah, it's not a good road to go down. Okay, so this is these air what I'm talking about when I say presets so when I'm shooting indoors, if I'm shooting in fluorescent light, I would switch over and try the fluorescent light if I'm shooting for ok, you know, makes sense um problem is not all fluorescent lights the same color and when you walk into an old cafeteria you see some look blue, some look greens I mean, you can actually see it's same for daylight, just different types of all the same thing with tungsten you walk into a room that one's really orange, that one's really yellow that one's daylight, you can actually see it, so a lot of times the presets are great for getting you close, but not all the way so it's at least gives you an acceptable image like if you want to uh have your clients view the images immediately thereafter you don't have time to go in and tweak things it's close but we probably want to do is at least shoot a great card and we'll show you how this will work in post later so that it's a neutral point in your scene and so in photo shop for late room you say this is neutral neutralize it so some control point your chaos you know what this is and the same time the color checker were mentioned she's going to go to now also has a great card option built into it so this guy right there so you can keep this in your pocket this is great for getting your white balance you flip it over this way this top part is actually for selective white balance where you can warm it up and cool it down there's a couple different options here right off just the matter of what grace watch you pick and then what she's going to mention now is this what we talked about earlier and that allows you to do color profiles explain the difference between that for them okay so the color profile we touched on it a little bit is just making sure blue is really blew so the shirt you're wearing looks the same all the way throughout your workflow where is this right here just warms up or cools down the photograph just like you would with the temperature slider in your post processing but you could do it selectively by just putting your little eyedropper on here and we're really gonna touch all this in detail on day three when we in just a bunch of photos and fix all the mistakes that we made over the next couple days of shooting and actually specifically the color checker this one in particular it comes with software that you installed as a plug it into the light room and when you take an image it will automatically make a custom profile for that lighting situation and for that particular image and then you can apply its all photographed in that scene but it's not just like a like a white balance your eye dropper it is a profile for every color and every tone in that scene so it's definitely much more advanced units I mean it's just if you if you don't have to just get the eyedropper it's like an x one little extra step to get exact color all the way across the border so if you have like a room in your house or a studio or a location you like to shoot in it'll make a profile for your camera in that lighting scenario so every time you go in the light room that's the color profile you pick and you're good if you like if you have a window late in your studio and you just want to use it over and over again definitely uh all right so this is something that we want youto all take a look at custom white balance all right custom white balance is where you're able to in camera tell the camera what should be white in your scene it will make your camera neutralize the scene toe white so that every picture you shoot when you have that little icon on will automatically look correctly white balanced instead of having to do it in post or instead of picking a preset to fix and post you're actually will photograph the light in the room tell the camera that that's the light please neutralize this light and then you can shoot correct color uh white balance right in camera so I'm gonna show you in mine if you don't mind I'll give you an idea of how this would work okay good so there's a couple ways you can do this for example some people will photograph basically like say okay you're my subject and the whole the great card or white card where that subject is zoom in so the on ly thing the camera sees is that gray or white card and use that as it's neutral reference the problem is it's not really calculating all the light in the room it's just calculating what's hitting the face in the falling on the and the light falling just on whatever great card is so let me simplify um what most people use for a custom white balance would be this it's an expo disc and you understand how expert it works again you show people that we showed a little bit basically it's it's like a like a lens filter but in it it's got just raised little dialogues are like little bubbles on it so rather than just catching the light that's directly hitting it like a flat plane it's catching the stuff coming in from the sides filtering it all out to ah gray that's a little more representative of all the directions of light coming in and this also comes in really handy too, because if you're going into a church and you're like okay, well, there's some older lights here and warmer lights here and you try to get a white balance to shoot the reception or shoot the ceremony with you can't just like frisbee this over to the groom and be like, hey, dude, hold this for me really quickly I get a shot so this is great because all shoot like annual reports or different meetings and things where you know you've got a ceo of a billion dollar company, whatever walking around here like hey like hang on to this it doesn't work where is this you just basically put on the front of your lens and we'll show you how to do in the camera here in two seconds aim it towards the light source and gathers all of the light within this field of view gives you an average for that and that's what you make your custom white balance from right so priest let's get you clothes it's crude and so they have different sides this is the eighty two because that's what I have for my time for seventy grand there's a seventy seven seven that makes all the size for the different lenses you have all right so I'm gonna show you how it would do in a cannon ok what I would do is I would screwed on and I would take a picture this court's bothering you I would take a picture of the light source so I'm pointing it at like if I'm photographing you any light that's hitting you so point at that light source and by the way turned up the focus on manual I will not let you get really confused all right? So I'm gonna try to get an image so that is what it's saying is the source of light in the room that previous image oh so you're an if you even on auto focus it can't see through this thing so it'll be seeking so she goes manual focus on her lens and just takes a shot there's an auto focus locked, but she talked about back button I pressed that so it thinks it's in focus already and I could just take the photo so it's just to get the that referee. Okay, so this is supposed to be kind of neutral, by the way, these lights are very unusual because it looks pretty good three other nights, so I've got that. So then I go into my menu. All right? This is for cannon, and it has something here that says white balance I would want to scroll right click select and I would scroll over and say, okay, we're going to use custom, but right now it doesn't know what custom is, so you have to tell it that image is my custom white balance, so if I pop down towards his custom white balance when I click on it, it just says it brings up the last image you shot, and if I hit the ok button or set again, it will now set that as my custom white bella's. So now anything I said, if my camera's white balance up top is set to this little triangles with the square in the middle of whatever, anything that set to custom white balance will have that custom white balance that I said now if you want to turn it off, you could either create a new custom white balance or just switch to another preset like, if you if you wantto just like you no more custom, then I could just go to like they like and it won't stick, but if you stay on custom white balance and you're shooting here and then you go outside, you don't change, it will mess it up. Justus, if you would leave it on any other preset, it might be inappropriate for you because it's basically made another preset for you. So nikon, I'm going to give you that run through, but then I'm going to show you something needs. So if one of the cameras can get ready to resume it on my top window here so yeah is different, you know, thinking that that's cool. I need a little information sometimes, and I'll show you what it gives you. So same thing I shoot up here's, my image. Go into the menu going a white balance preset manual. There it is hit. Okay. It creates my preset based off of that stuff. I photograph somebody beautiful. There we go. So we've got a good wife going on there, but what's. Even better than that, though, is if you want to zoom in really close on the top here. That's the same way to do it between icon and cannon but what if you like running and gunning in really quick? I keep this is they have a neck piece of land or to keep it in my pocket so I'm running in like a different room of a church or a different roommate of event space I can really quickly be making presets so all hold down my wife my white balance button here on the top you got that and in the bottom I'll see the little pre button blinking okay then I'll just do this shoot into it it'll blink good or no good so it's like already telling me I'm great or even take the shot it's like yeah way to go buddy go take some cool photos and then you're good to go and then hopefully to some plugs you take the next shot and you have your preset white balance so it gives you a pat on the back when you do a good job setting your white balance so it's like more of an incentive to actually go do it make presets if you didn't help you with that ability on that like a hundred houses running a gun, could you conceptually go in? You're going in the side room just take a picture and then just go ahead and finish it in the post you've got that reference picture that you khun now so that the light balance would be you know, the next series of photos in that room I love how you're thinking so if you know what you're gonna be in different rooms, you can go in and take great card shots in each room or you got around the capital, couldn't you conceivably with the kappas? Well, yeah, I'll take it a step farther if you guys want to kick over to the camera the back of the camera for me notice how there's four banks you khun go into four different rooms, do the cap photo in each of those and just be like, okay, I'm in room d to now switch over and there you go. So yeah, that's a really good way to do it the sanctuary, the prep room for a wedding that difference is groom's room bride's room. So this save you a lot of times you don't even have to have this thing dangling from the back the whole time. Good question, yeah, I have a question related to that to complicate it further, if you're in a room and have located several light that are competing, would you aim it at the what you would consider the biggest light source of your if it's fluorescent lights above and there's a big window and the people you're shooting are walking around so we're going to cover that actually the mix like section after we come back from lunch? Yes, but the answer is predominant light source is what you're gonna aim it towards, just like in the mix light environment, we're kind of picking and choosing what we're going to work with so it's fluorescent or if there's a window light and then remember kind of direct and be like, as you guys air like moving around, if you could maybe kind of hang out over at the window, I'll get some shots, you know that way or just position yourself for the window might be after back giving you all that life. All right, so we have to pop over. I just want to show you one last thing because I need you feel to see the back of the camera for this, um, back in focus. Okay, uh, I just wanted you guys to see this. Okay, so the reason back and focus is a shooting and crappy light camera setting is because it's helping you focus so here's the problem that I used to run into brides walking down the aisle at me, tracking her focus, trying to maybe do it on continuous but the time I've locked and focus and click my shutter she's two steps ahead and she's out of focus so I can't continuously focus on her she's already out of focus that she's coming at me by the time I click so this for tracking subject's moving and try and hold your focus so what you want to be able to do so? But that what you want to be able to do is, uh, set your camera too continuous mode. So it's continuously tracking somebody what you want to separate what's continuously tracking the button to keep that focus from your trigger, because what would happen is I would do the half second and click, and she'd already moved. So on the back of your camera you can tell your camera to make one of these buttons handle focus, and the reason that matters for the bride coming down the aisle at me is I can hold that focus, but in and it will track her and I could just hold that in. It will track her as she's walking towards me, and then click instead of having to do focus, click, focus, click it will track her as she walks at me. Thie other instance was the back of the backlight situation because if I am trying, teo, lock my focus on the subject to recompose oh, and I want to grab exposure from over here and I'm not on spot meter. The exposure the trigger and your focus is all in one button so you can actually change in the back of cameras if I could see the back of the camera well uh okay, good. All right, let me see what isthe someone it pops up if you're always in customer interest there we go okay uh in my particular camera my particular camera it's under custom controls and so if I click on custom controls this is what it shows me I can change what every single button and in my camera does so right now that top left one that's saying the trigger button it does me goring and focus and trigger that's what that says if I click on this I can tell it to just do meet oring click that if I wanted to next um for this is showing you the butt and lit up right now I already have it set that I could make it meter or do focusing aiken just said it to auto focus I could set it to locking exposure. I can set it to whatever I want so you can see in here that I make unset anything all of these things so I'm going to do that and so now when I hold my a f button back here, this is what focuses oh I'm hooked up this that's what focuses so I just focused on you and I trigger I can click so I can hold focus and click and I'm holding focus and tracking you re composing the whole time you know, tracking, moving subject because you're seeing holding focus is it but it's adjusting focus as she's moving which yeah, so if you're doing in the wedding if you had your focus shooting mode favor shooting mode on continuous when I hold the focus at that point it's tracking if however, I have it on one shot when I hold it in it locks whatever focus I just grab it since so this the reasons is important for low light is because you can track in low light or lock something for back focus or for a backlight so this is how I would sit on mine usually shooting like super shallow to I shoot at it's two point two all the time so same kind of thing that you could go through remember is that I keep I don't do back button focus so you have to find your manual if you're ah like a nikon user and to use and you're looking for the back button focus but only gonna find it over here in like tracking lock and that kind of stuff and the same way the night comes we need because you have the autofocus lock button they also have a separate auto focus once to switch back to the slide show for me um and uh by the way my mark three automatically had my flock but but it's just sat back and when I got out of the box yeah so it is automatically set up back in focus for you my wife yeah so they can see it a lot because you're high end sports cameras and things in the cannons we're one of the first ones to set that auto focus lock on the background causes more designed for tracking moving subjects in sports the pro sumer cameras that you find the portrait shooting cameras and stuff don't necessarily do that but if you look you got the a f on button back there that can just do your focus so that allow you to do the tracking ziff you got continuous single mode like lindsay was talking about that we go ahead and turn that on its really need because you can do fifty one points auto focus of some of the new ones are three d focusing so they look for the contrast in something so they pulled the people off of background as they're moving and that's where you would kind of engage that to track that focus or what I prefer to do is just kind of grabbed my focus and the recomposed so if you want to go to the next slide over here there we go lock focus if you have a constant distance I kind of like to keep my subjects give your subject you can't focus and recompose if your subject's moving towards you, but if they're moving left to right or it's a static subject, you can go ahead and grab your focus and then recompose and the reason I don't do back button focus is because and when I'm on location, I'm only really adjusting my shutters be usually cause I'm shooting with strobes, so if I'm adjusting my aperture it's going to change the exposure for my strobe and the ambient light, which is my front dial for me, the back dial is my shutter, so I'd just like to spend that up and down so I can sit here and worry about focusing with my index finger and then just move my shutter speed up and down on the back. We're looking through the viewfinder and I shoot all manual, so I'm not worried about exposure lock, so we definitely have different styles when we're set up the buttons and stuff that's funny because I've never even looked in the camera menu to see how I can reset button, we'll have never have different approaches, so back in focus, great for tracking stuff if you like that and you're shooting tl, but you don't always have to have it on either so again, left or right.

Class Description

Photographers constantly search to capture that decisive moment. Unfortunately that moment seldom happens under ideal photographic conditions. In this class you'll learn how to quickly overcome all of the most common crappy lighting scenarios. With the aid of these simple techniques and minimal equipment, you'll be empowered to walk into any setting and emerge with beautiful imagery.


Julie Addison

I thought I understood about light before I took this course. How wrong could I be? I have re-watched this course over and over and I just love it. Quality of light, direction of light - so many crappy light situations. Learning how to actually set a white balance instead of purely relying on the camera presets and learning colour correction by the color checker was also invaluable to me. This course is so affordable. I would recommend it to anyone from beginner to advanced as you will get more out of it than you think. I love the way Lindsay and Erik work together. No right or wrong way - just showing the differences in their styles to accomplish the same end result. Well done guys. Now to have more courses by Erik would be great. Again, can't' thank creative live enough and Erik and Lindsay for this course. Love, Love, Love It!!!!