Shoot: Direct Sunlight with Flash and High Speed Sync


Conquering Crappy Light


Lesson Info

Shoot: Direct Sunlight with Flash and High Speed Sync

Lindsay ran us through all of the crappy light that you have to deal with when it's directly overhead. If you look at me now, I've got like half a face and harsh shadow, half a face and highlight turn this way all of a sudden I'm all in shade, so she showed us a really a lot of ways to overcome that using natural reflectors, using assistance and reflectors just really smart, easy ways to kind of bend that natural light. A lot of the times, though, you might be on a location where it's a little windy or you didn't weren't able to find someone to hold a reflector for you, and all you have is an on camera flash. So let me grab this right over here and when you're shooting in these bright conditions like this, one of the things that's crappy about direct sunlight is how bright it isthe. So if if I'm using a flash a lot of times, you have a sink barrier, a sink speed on your flash for most cameras. That's one, two hundred fiftieth there for cannon, one two hundredth of a second so it's gene...

rally pretty low um and you were shooting at what like two point two and what kind of shutter speed two two point and I think my shots were one four hundred four thousands of a second like something crazy cause I like to shoot as wide open as possible but it doesn't matter from that shooting flash yeah so if you're shooting ambient learn natural light you could go as fast as you want up to eight thousand on most cameras um we're kind of tied to a really slow shutter speed unfortunately when we're doing this with a flash so that's one thing that's tying our hands right off the bat so I'm gonna have our male model come right over this way and I'm just going to take a photograph using t al on my camera and emmanuelle for manual settings on my camera rather f sixteen one, two hundred fiftieth of a second return my flash on tl and which would you want in the background doing people there want everyone in the background all right, so all you guys don't even move beautiful you're gonna notice right off the bat two things one my flashes on cameron public's awful to the models handsome three of one of the background and four I turned him already so like I was listening while lindsay was teaching I wasn't just like messing with reflector because this is what we originally started with right over here and I haven't turned his face this way see how he's got like highlights on one side and shadows on the other you're using a tiny flash you don't want to have to make this thing over power all of that highlight on his face the easiest thing to do and always consciously I'll turn them this way. Perfect! Thank you! So his face is completely in shadow. Lyndsey mentioned that this is flat light, not the most flattering and also it's a lot darker than what we have in the background. What I really like his vivid, punchy color, so to get vivid, punchy colors so to get some vivid punching colors, I'm going to go ahead and try to build up the shadow, so I don't overexpose all that sky like you saw in the backlit section earlier, so to do that very simple f sixteen one, two hundred fiftieth of a second and t t l the only problem is I can see everyone in the background so guys away for me again, hands in the air, jumping up and down awesome that's cool because like the guys in the guys and girls in the audience are awesome, our hosts are really cool, but I don't want to see them in every photo I mean, look, they're kind of distracting essentially we just got photo bombed back there um so if you're shooting like a wedding reception and you're on a golf course, you have thirty minutes to photograph the bride and groom so you run out to the eighteenth hole and you're taking the photographs if you're in bright daylight at f sixteen everything's going to be in focus and it can get kind of distracted we have a beautiful location here but if it's all in focus is kind of overbearing so there's a lot of bright things behind us and our eye goes likely you said to the brightest thing in the scene or if there's all kinds of things sticking out of our model's head is going to go to that so we want to be able to shoot at larger apertures like two point eight or two point oh or one point four and to get there we're gonna have to use this high shutter speeds like lyndsey mentioned unfortunately generally with your flash you can't do that uh there is a function in your camera and on your flash though that allows you to do that and that's called f chemo and what's really cool is on your camera and your flash when you go into your menu will explain how in a second but once you turn that on you never have to think about it again you just shoot all day like you're shooting natural light or like you're shooting with strobe and when you roll your shutter passed two hundred fiftieth of a second toe fast speeds like one one thousand two one two thousand there all the way up to one eight thousands of a second it's automatic in the switch over into this f pierre this flash pulse boat. He has a question. I I usually when I go out on location I take my studio's drugs, right? So take the wrong color have their new portable pack things like that. So I get how that works. What do you ever turn it off? No, you don't. You just leave it on. So why is it just not onto the beginning? Does it take too much battery were good question. Yeah, so this policy in feature isn't something that exists in studio strokes. When your studio strobes charge up, they charge up and their release all the energy in one burst that's your that's, your pop and when you're using your flash, normally they do one burst like your speed, like just the less powerful burst what's unique about speed lights is they can cue this up and then they can have it burst rapidly like tens hundreds times all within a fraction of a second of your shutter, so if we're shooting at one to thousands of a second, this thing is pulsing multiple times within that short window can't do that with studio strobes, you can't do that with any other flash out there can only really be done with these speed lights, and it used to only be able to be done on camera. This is something that canada, nikon some kind of mojo they worked out, so there has to be this connection here for that to work, so for this purpose is fine. So what's, what happens in your menu? I'm explaining in the bonus material kind of put together specifics on how to do this, but look for auto f p mode in your nikon cameras and enable that function. Turn it on, and if you're on cannon, look in your speed light and enable that auto f p function after that, forget about it most of time when you're shooting, it won't even go on. It'll only go on and when it has two, which is above two hundred fiftieth of a second. So if you're out there shooting with your brown color, if you're shooting it out with your speed lights, it won't go on until you go over that shutter speed and it will only work when you have your speed light on top your camera so what I'm gonna do now is in the dial down and open up, so I get a shallow depth of field, some to go f sixteen eleven tohave ate the five point six to four to two point eight so we went down a few stops there speed up my shutter speed otherwise I'm going to get something like this so this is where at two point eight two fiftieth of a second you're going to see why lindsay was using a fast shutter speed earlier because it's way, way, way over exposed so to dial that back down and get a proper exposure I'm gonna go ahead and go toe one eight thousandth of a second see what we get there it's gonna be pretty pretty there we go. All right, there we go we have r we have a background in everything against you notice how everything blew out and now work we have the exact same exposure that we started off with only this time we have shallow depth of field, so we have our colors saturation and now everyone isn't so distracting in the background let's turn this on again now I just turned my flash on its senses that I have a flash connected it senses that I'm at a super fast shutter speed it automatically switch to auto f p mode and look at that I was able to synchronize a flash at one eight thousandth of a second and in broad daylight high noon overpower that daylight well having my flash my lens wide open so this gives us creative control with that shallow depth of field and still allows us to shoot in a really crappy direct sunlight with an on camera flash and make the photos actually looked pretty darn good this is the one of the few exceptions where I actually really dig on camera flashes when I'm shooting wide open in the middle of the day we'll take one or two more shots here beautiful excellent all right so we take it a step further yeah absolutely yeah okay we got it we got us going ok cool so over the night and from the audience and stuff a lot of the guys were like eric use high speed thinking your work are you gonna talk about high speeds think here we didn't talk about it in the book we didn't initially plan on talking about it now but we got so many questions about it and we've got such a great model in location we're going to go ahead and take this high speed sink off camera and take it to the end of degree so I'm going to pass this off to you for one second if I may say thank you and john's gonna help us get this hooked up and I just want to say is well um if you are going to shoot not like this not off camera and not making modifications if you do have that flash on camera definitely considered some kind of model vacation just because it's on your camera in that instance when he's saying it's on camera doesn't need to be direct on camera, you can add the flash bender or something a little bit. Okay, we'll do the same thing, right? So that we've got a little bit off direction to create some shadow there. Flash bender and off. Yeah, off camera. We did. You get that one strong left arm and exactly. Well, but if you have a seventy, two hundred, you got so you are okay, that's. What? I looked like this. Okay, I will bounce into it. Um, in my camera bag, actually, there's, uh, there's the trunk with all the pocket wizards. Can you grab that? Because of the trigger, and I'll set this up. In the meantime, all right, if you want to take a question or two, or can we take a question if anyone has about this and I can answer that well, uh, while we're setting up this umbrella, so if anyone's got a flash related question or something, they want to elaborate on their we've actually had a lot of curiosity about nd filters on dh, why you're not using them, or when what scenarios you use them in, okay, so nd filters are great because they allow you to use your lens wide open but what they're basically doing is putting neutral dark material between your light and your lens so if I have an nd yes, it will darken all my sky but it's also going to dark in any other light including my flash coming in so if I have a eight stop andy, that means my poor little speed lighthouse to try to go through eight stops of neutral density so it's great for studio strobes that can't go into flash pulse mode and have a lot more power. So with studio strobes when you're stuck at one, two hundred fiftieth of a second that's where I would use an nd for speed lights that khun pulse there quite crazy and go all the way up to one thousandth of a second that's when I would go ahead and use speed like with an off topic and video and video yeah, you don't use our video without it but in video yeah all right, do you have any questions you could be more question you want take people are curious about their battery power and de bonnie photography is wondering uh wouldn't that your battery hi sweet thing you're asking me? I just always when I was doing anything out on location, which I did, I always have my battery pack but doesn't kill your battery high speed sync god has so think about it this way you're basically charging up once and releasing it once when you're using a normal pulse, when you have it in f p mode, it is pulsing up charging, releasing multiple multiple times, like one, eight thousands of a second think about how fast is happening, so yes, it will eat your batteries a lot faster, and this is actually what we didn't originally included in the book because all of these things increased cost, so the idea behind the book and original presentation was to keep cost down. Anybody can do this doesn't matter what flasher system you have, there are inexpensive ways. Um and so at that point it was getting complicated, and we wanted to keep it simple and was getting more expensive because at that point, you're gonna have to maybe get a battery pack or something like that or carry a lot of rechargeable batteries. So these this solution right here is a very specialized solution. It would not be something you're going to shoot entire reception or a ceremony indoors with because we showed you how to do all that with your just normal functions. This is for that I've got fifteen minutes to photograph a bridegroom for their portrait after they got married before the reception. Oh, my god. It's two in the afternoon. I'm out of golf course. What the heck? No, I do. I don't have an assistant. You're freaking out, this's when you open it all the way up, make everything butter smooth in the background, pop that flash on for a little bit of phil and then you're gonna be able to get away with some killer shots in a bind. So this is not something you use all the time. This is a very specialized solution. We're going to want to get a real close up on, uh, what he's got going on here? Because even I had questions about what? What is that bracket how's that sitting together. So, john, if you want to give me a hand holding this so doesn't blow away, you know? And we could get a tight shot on this kind of explain what we have going here. So again, guys, this is this is not something everyone's gonna use, but this is f b modes of specialized feature that really save your butt sometimes and it's available in most everyone's camera flash combo already you just don't know about so definitely take a look at it, and what we've got over here now is our pocket wizard system. We were using it earlier so we, uh we know what that does that wireless that communicates the signal to fire but what's unique about the pocket wizard flexing its is they make your flash think it's still on the camera so that communication we had earlier where they enable it to pulse rapidly can continue wirelessly now and by using three of the unit we're giving ourselves about another stop and a half a light which we're really going to need because we're gonna try to overpower this daylight here and the light I have it in is a seven foot parabolic umbrella with a silver bounce, so if I'm shooting through a white shoot through like you've seen us demonstrate earlier it's going to absorb a lot of the light to travel through that fabric if you're using a silver bounce like this it's very high efficient, high output it's gonna bounce a lot more like forward and the parabolic shape does a really great job of rather bouncing light everywhere like one hundred sixty degrees it gathers that light gives you a more focused game like a spotlight and what that's going to do is give us very high output, so if you put a couple speed lights here, you only get a really another stop and a half a light, but the gathering power of this combined with that is going to give us something pretty pretty awesome to reckon with so we should be able to easily light our model here so I'm gonna take one quick shot just to make sure we have everything dialed in while he's standing here that I wanted to do some kind of epic shop too which will do in a second you all right perfect all right here we go so just wait one we'll take one quick test shot here just to make sure everything's running we got everyone firing yet we got all three of them firing cool all right here it awesome so we should have some photos coming through now it should be pretty bright there's our awesome test shot we got some sun flare I give those the lindsay should probably put them in her next photo shop glass awesome there we go so we have room to spare there because I am just a normal tt l now see if we can bump it up just a little bit beautiful and this nice shallow depth of field here is not something you normally get one shouldn't flash outdoors normally where I have sixteen or twenty two and it just looks like garbage so I like to use this a lot all right perfect is coming through looks good all right so we've got everything fire him let's get that kind of epic shop so I'll have you hold this here and if I could get you to stand up here I'm gonna have you kind of like almost pulling the captain if you can lie comfortably get up there think like totally exploring conquering and you're gonna have your face up strong this way and this is why we're going to go all the way up with this guy to kind of shoot back down some light on him and you want to remind everybody uh what that stand is in the bracket you have are okay so the bracket you're gonna notice like oh man my normal umbrella bracket doesn't have three you know three brackets on it that's a joe mcnally flash brackett it's made by last light and it has three different little hot shoes on it to allow you to attach flashes now this one's a little bit expensive it's just over one hundred dollars that's because each of those things ratchet around so if you're using tl off camera and you need to rotate your flash so that it can see direct line of sight to your camera that's a great bracket to do that was specifically designed to weaken move your flashes around multiple on one bracket there are more cost efficient ones that don't allow you to move the things around but there's still hold three or four different flashes up there are no problems so your system doesn't require correct my system does not require that not so yeah I believe there's just the brackets around thirty dollars even yeah westcott makes one I think it's called the triple threat that would do that same thing I think it's around thirty or forty bucks if even that much so we're gonna get a little bit higher it might be racked out and what stand is that and that's the ten foot heavy duty westcott so we are put it through its paces that's all the gold on jonah have you hold onto this because as we get a little bit of a breeze we're going this way if anyone's going to shot on this guy ok I think it's too quick that's a seven foot sail okay just think it's wonderful self there we go I've got him looking up like that take a look and then kind of ring your chin down a little bit like look over this way forming beautiful excellent he's coming through it's it's awesome all right let's crank this over to full power and see what that looks like and you need some flair understand you some flair kidding I'm just teasing you all right? We're taking off our lens hood with a little flair in there player also how do these look coming through? We'll see how I feel about it getting it's looking good like have you kind of bring your face probably right about here all right but down just a little bit more actually just like that all right now we'll come in really why lots of claire beautiful one more I mean awesome cool beautiful all right so let those last come through so we're able to shoot into direct sunlight and get beautiful blue saturated backgrounds with a couple speed lights just using a feature that you have built into your camera's already yes get them off camera you do need like some different triggers or you could do the line of sight or teach yellow cable there's a number of ways to do it I just wanted to show you that you do have options to really get out here and beat this light into submission even on the crappiest brightest days so uh thank you guys very much we'd love to see some questions if you have any more about that and then you know I think we're gonna kick it over we've got dappled light and then lindsay has got a really cool technique that I've seen her use a couple of times she showed it a little bit earlier and I was like how the heck does she do that and then it's crazy how simple it is awesome and that's what I want to know also the sky that you see in his pictures doesn't exist here because it is bright in the middle of the day mean its pale blue it's not dark blue so you might not have been able to tell that there's minimal color to the sky right now so I think we're really knocking it down here. Well, we have some great questions from the internet thank you so much for asking them you all ah marianne from romania says why doesn't eric louis lower his eyes so from four hundred um let's see her that excuse me that did not finish let's go to a different one sarno photo says would you say filters degrade and its quality indoors or outdoors phil tell you know what you do? A lot of people used uv filters to kind of protect their lens um they don't really degrade the quality until you get into something like this where it took off my lens hood for a second and I kind of shot into it for that effect that's great, but I spent over two thousand dollars on a really nice nikon lens that combats flair and if I put a fifty dollars filter on it now all of a sudden I have light bouncing around, you know? I mean a cheap filter and it's degrading the quality of a really nice well made often so yeah, it can if you're getting that kind of lens flare otherwise you might not see it in all conditions, but if you keep your lens hood on I do this all the time it cuts down on flair and also just a protection thing I'm not banging this around nothing's gonna get that front element all right let's talk about I s so next and it's from demet and wondering that using flash under the sunlight do you need a high I s o well you try not to because the higher that I s o the more sensitive to this already bright light so I picked for hundred eso because it allowed me to go all the way from my flash things being two fifty two one a thousandth of a second devil purposes purposes allowed me to get the whole spread but I might shoot this at two hundred used to be the native for a lot of cameras now the d a hundred isn't eight of us over one hundred so you could variously do this one hundred so far the medium format shooters out there you could do this at fifty I want it on well chris small ass is there wait a wire the strokes tohave uh have one pocket wizard fire all three strips and the parabolic umbrella yes absolutely you can most of the strobes have an optical slave on them so if I really wanted to I could just I have no triggers and just have my pop up flash fire them the reason we're using three triggers is because we need that t t l communication to trick the flashes the thinking there's still on top of our camera so for high speed sync like this you need to have a flash trigger per flash just get this effect with the extra power in the parabolic you don't even need a trigger at all if you could just put him on optical slave and have your little poppet flash do it for you all right, numa studio is wondering if it is possible to travel on an international flight with that parabolic with terrible umbrella so I've done it they met in the in the us I think they might give you a hassle because it's so long it goes to like four feet or something like that look probably how silly you overseas um but my normal umbrellas and stuff I've traveled with all over like apollo's the sixty inch umbrella no problem. I yes I uh travelled earlier this year to istanbul and I brought my um I brought the shoot through version of that and all of my california sun bounce reflectors in a big long thing it just goes to oversize luggage oh, so it goes under the plane so yeah, you just can't bring it on the plane but it's no problem. They don't care. Yeah, it's also. Okay. Wait guys good estimate. Um let's see here matt v how does tt l know how to expose the face correctly and not the entire photo? I'ii why does it try to expose the trees in the background correctly to and give off more power okay, so details based off of your exposure marrying mode so we talked earlier about the different modes, and in this case, if you guys don't look at the back of my camera, I was in spot meter mode. I was making sure when I was depressing the trigger down halfway to allow it to get exposure, that that was on his face, so you'll notice me going like this and then re composing that's, what I was doing was getting the meter reading off a gentleman's face, and then there are more questions coming in, but I think you might be teaching on some of these coming up, yeah, and actually, um, we need to transition this over to being a dappled light setups, so if you want to give you my obsession with weight and I'll coordinate that yeah, question over here we got an audience question ah, good question, okay, so we're using flash and we don't have any color balancing gels on them, so I'm actually using daylight believe it or not, just try to warm it up a little bit, so daylight and your flash presets are pretty close, but daylight will get you a little bit warmer if I wanted him to look even warmer, I might go ahead and go to like a, um, a cloudy day kind of pre set which is going to warm up the entire environment so that'll warm up everything global change but in this case I usually shoot on sonny if I'm using unmodified flashes any other questions just to clarify who can't hear real good over here? Oh yeah so the high speed sinks only available on teel it is yes, because that's how it's communicating you'll see t t l back here on the flashes I'm controlling the manually though from here it just has to be a t tail capable communication could you technically on a nikon when you got a pop up flash available do tl on that manual on those and have the optically trigger that's a great question. Yeah, absolutely. Nikon has a c l s system and a crate of light system and cannon now has one as well. Where the pop up flash can often act as a commander it will command in high speed sinker auto ft mode yes again that's lying a sight. So if you come in an application like this this is where these brackets come in really handy because you see how they snap around rotate I could rotate this all the way around that the sensor on the port was able to see the pop up flash that's the benefit of that bracket over maybe a less expensive so any other high speeds questions well, thank me thank the in house audience for asking those because in between classes and stuff you like high speed think when we going to do what I've seen you've done it so these guys were like I want to see it done and lindsey and I discuss it we were able to fit it in here after lunch right away we're setting up the next section so thank you guys uh any other questions? Um yes we d'oh pro photographer asked how do you determine how far to place the umbrella from the subject has got some good questions for this thing right here it's gathering the light and shooting out a beam okay I wanted is close to my subject is possible because we're really working out every the last ounce of power in the speed lights to overpower daylight so you'll notice how john had it flown up here maybe three feet from my model really wanted us close to is it khun b still being inside the frame for portrait photography any other applications usually want your light modifier close because the closer it is and the larger is compared to your subject that softer that light's gonna be so here we did it for power you might see lindsay do it later for softness so bring it in close tommy nikon just wants to say that you guys make an awesome team lindsey and eric I like his name e ny god I like it too all right, davis, ninety two, is when and how would you achieve a shallow depth of field that using off camera flash as the shutter speed usually determines background with off camera flash the shutter speed. Yeah, he's, correct. The shutter speed controls your ambien, so we do exactly what we did here. I would use a fast enough shutter speed often lead to cut all the light out of the scene to allow me to open up to a wide aperture, like two point eight or one point for so I would crank that shutter speed up as fast as we went, to be able to open up my lenses wide as possible, so literally here, my camera goes up to eight thousand that's, where at my will ends, goes up to two point eight and that's where we're at, like, we've maxed it out both ends.

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!!!!