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Conquering Crappy Light

Lesson 12 of 32

Shoot: Low Light with Flash


Conquering Crappy Light

Lesson 12 of 32

Shoot: Low Light with Flash


Lesson Info

Shoot: Low Light with Flash

So we're actually going to pass off to eric and in this instance, he's going to show what you would he would do in a situation like this when he does have flash, we're not going to photograph just the sanctuary gonna, uh, kind of make it a little bit more interesting. So this is the low light with flash situation, we'll cover bounce, flash and then also flash off camera. So if you ladies would like to make your way to the back, eric will test different, so I'm just going to be one of you right now, so we'll take the lovely lady in green, mix it up a little bit on we got two seconds to roll the laptop over here so you guys can see what we're shooting from the camera. All right, so I think we'll probably start off right here because, bob and then how much? How much leeway do I have with this guy? Hopefully, uh, I'm gonna go back to okay, I have to get back to the wall. Almost. We're stretching the reach of the cables here. Okay. This is gonna be a little bit like shooting film days becau...

se shooting, tethered it's going to show up on that laptop. One hundred yards away and on the tv screen and for all you guys at home on your computers but I'm not going to see anything, so we haven't got a chance to shoot in here warm up and I might not even be able to see what I'm shooting so I'm just gonna like we'll fall back on our film day kind of instincts here so, um first off what we do as wedding and event photographer's is smack are flash right on top of that camera aimed directly at our subject and just take a shot so if I could have you step right over here for me, please. All right, see what we got here. Those have that auto focus assist team comes on right away. Thank goodness too, because we shoot in the dark that's one benefit you have when you are able to use your flash in the dark versus what lindsay was just showing you because it just helps us assist with the focusing a ton and now it sounds like on some cannon flashes. If you dig through your manual, there might be a way to actually turn off the flash and still gain the benefit of getting this right here, so definitely check that out on your menus and stuff see if you have that option, but I'm going to take a photo right off the bat here see if our tellers working guys let me know if this all coming through and working for you and thinking what I'm shooting at two point oh, because I've got the crowd in the back. There we go, so give me a thumbs up or thumbs down on exposure, lindsay cause I can't see that maybe a little bright eyed, say, like, uh, two thirds of a stop sees what happens when I started to tt l like, very first roundabout. Ok, so what I did as we discussed earlier, ci tl is basically looking through the lens, trying to give me an even exposure it's having a tough time, though, because everything behind our model is pitch dark, so it gave us a little too much juice there. What I did is exposure compensation now, so I'm letting titi I'll give me what it thinks is a good exposure and now we know it's a little bright, some model putting that down two thirds of a stop let's. Go ahead, take one more photo and see what working with beautiful so many guys in this comes in. Let me know how we look. I think we should be all right, though, um, our intensity is probably gonna be pretty good on her face there, it isthe doubt in cool so intensity is good but the light still looks like crap our model is beautiful the church is awesome you know I've got this fancy camera I don't know what the heck's going wrong it's basically the direction of that light so we're going to change the direction and the quality both with one quick, easy step basically rather than hitting her directly in the face with our flash I'm just going to turn it up, bounce it off the ceiling here same kind of deal taking the next photo and let's see what we've got this should do two things it should now give us rather than hitting her directly like this bouncing off the ceiling so it's going to come down as if we had overhead lights turned on and at the same time to it's going to change the quality by making it appear like it's coming from a larger light source no longer is it coming from this tiny pinhole right here it's now coming frown from like what is essentially a ten by ten foot swatch of white ceiling which is now our soft box so do I have a little bit of recognizing that photo lindsay, you seen a little bit of shot one of the eyes not bad, not bad it can be fixed right you you could probably pop a little bit more lighting okay, cool so god blessem that's appropriate cause we're in a church, but nikon cannon gave us just like tiny little pop up thinking on all of our flashes. Okay, it's there, I think it was more of a suggestion than actually a tool. You want to get a kind of a zoom in on that? That guy right there? Basically, this is for when you do something like this with the ceiling bounce, but it's going to try to redirect a little bit of light forward so we get some directional on camera like to fill in those shadows that might come up under the eyes while maintaining most of the lights still going up and coming back down to bounce. Now we have a low ceiling, so the shadows aren't gonna be that bad. If the ceiling were two or three feet taller and I was bouncing off of it, we'd have really dark shadows underneath, so the directions better? The quality isn't perfect yet, so but using something like this, we're going to push the light forward like I said, much more of a suggestion than an actual practical application. So to fix that, I'm going to take a smaller flash bender and put that on top of my flash wait, go gonna velcro on perfect, so now what this does is it allows me to kind of bend it back and let's all the light going forward but it's going to catch a much larger portion of light and then kind of throw it down range on camera access is well so now it's like I've got two flashes going off it's like I have a giant ten foot soft box overhead and I still have a smaller spiel out on top for my camera so essentially using a little flash bender and our ceiling there we go is that a lot better little better so using our push of light here and then bouncing off of our ceiling were like we have to light sources we have a key light from above and a fill light from the front and our flash has not left the top of our camera and we're in t t l so I'm looking pretty good over there those photos coming through whatever smiling as you get well actually the quality of the shape of her face is different so okay cool yes let's get a little bit of smile they're perfect. Thank you for correcting that I'm much more of like the happy area like kind of lifestyle look most of the time so the last two looks have been more kind of like vintage fashion they were kind of mixing up our styles here today how does that one look all right cool so we'll just do one more right here beautiful that I'm too slow down my shutter speed a little bit so we get a little more light bleeding them. So previously guys, I wasn't one eightieth of a second at f to with an s o of sixteen hundred, and I'm letting my flash decide its own exposure through t t l a and I'm saying, hey, cool it down a little bit because you're giving me too much juice so I'm using exposure compensation to dial it down so I'm going from one eightieth of a second down to one one twenty fifth of our one twenty fifth of a second and that's basically going to allow more time for the ambient light back behind really low light to kind of catch up so it's going to raise all of that light up lets go ahead, take the shot again. There you go, beautiful gotta have a steady hand drink less coffee there we go so when that comes through that's gonna be our best case scenario, they're bouncing off the ceiling. Beautiful. Now what if we don't have a ceiling like this? A lot of times you have the ability to bounce off the wall, so I'm gonna have you step right over here for me were limited with cable, so I'm gonna have to scoot all the way in, maybe just a little bit. I'm not going to go very far, but I am gonna tilt this guy over, take this back off and bounce into the wall. So now I'm gonna have you body's perfect is kind of late your face up on the wall a little bit pretend like this is our soft box because in about two seconds it will be beautiful. Well, that awesome. Take one more of those. Excellent how does look coming through so now, rather than having the direct on camera, we're not doing the off the ceiling anymore now we're doing a wall bounce and it's like we have a big, beautiful seven foot octa over there against the wall and those things are gorgeous, gorgeous life, but they're super expensive and not really something that I'd be able to sneak into the back of a church to get some cool shots on the run. So exposure looking good on these little hot okay, so I'm a dial down or teach yell again just a little bit more here again detail gets us close and thanking us for exposure compensation because it allows us to really find tune it let's see what we've got there, so generally your flashes khun go all the way down to minus three, so we still have a lot of room there and in this case, our cameras pretty far off, but you're seeing how easy it is. Once you get a little correction in there, they just bounce around a recompose. I'll take a couple different shots here to a vertical. Beautiful do a little more pull back there and then one kind of like just laying up in the light one more time. We'll get really tight. Nice to me. Face right where it is. Perfect level. Bring your face back over this way forming that spring arrives to me. Wonderful, beautiful. So you're seeing these start to come through I moved around. I got closer, I got farther away, I bounced off the ceiling I went vertical, horizontal and all of my minor adjustments on emanuel mod flash. What if I would have had to go in there and dial it up and down? Once we figured out our t tl what it was doing and then how we had to compensate for it, it did the minor adjustments for us. So this is where detail really saves you is kind of event photography or smaller, smaller areas like this. So these photos look great for an on camera flash because here's alternative ready. Thank you to see smiling, because the photos are going to be great. So thank you very much for putting up with some bad photos and some crappy lighting situations, but this is what we started off with here. You kind of want to do a side by side that's on camera flash. Now compare that to the one directly previous to that that one yeah, so hit x like both of them and hit end. There you go, perfect. So that's what we're dealing with that's direct on camera flash versus just bouncing off the wall, and maybe if you want to add one of the really good ceiling bounces there, too, so people can kind of see the difference there. Sometimes, though, we run into an issue where we don't always walk into a perfect environment where we have beautiful white ceilings that arlo inaccessible and nice white walls that we can jump into right away. Something have you step right over here towards his red wall, and what and why you're heading over there just want everyone to take a look at the pictures that are up on the screen right now. The top left hand corner is a ceiling bounce. The one to the top right hand corner of the ceiling bounce, but also with a little bit of filled, their bottom left is the wall balance and the bottom right is flash on camera so you can kind of see the difference in the quality of light there and again, we're on tt l just dialing in some exposure, compensation up and down the flashes on the camera, so, I mean, I'm manually setting my camera to expose for the ambience, and then I'm on my flash is automatic voter tt l mode, basically it allowing it to do the math as we bounce around on and off things so I can set the here and kind of, you know, figure out enough light to get my ambien background to look how I want, and then I'm letting the flash do the heavy lifting as faras thinking with exposure and things. So now I'm gonna give an example of what most of us really come across, because it's like shooting and crappy, like coarse and most of time, we don't walk into a room with this beautiful walls. So this is what happens if you run into a room with maybe an off colored wall, a green wall or a red walls? Go ahead, shoot this because your light takes on the characteristic of whatever it's bouncing off beautiful let's set a couple of those come up I can't wait to see these air very aren't perfectly awful so fashion. So this is when you say you hang up your hat you converted to black and white you're like, oh, I meant to do that I can do that easy going. We're not going to be able to bounce now that we're in a room like this or if I could have you step up here have you step up a little bit closer up here? What if you have a church that's a little bit smaller and it doesn't have this upstairs section? What if you have like, this massive, massive, massive high ceilings? So we'll just talk a little bit probably to right about there if you would this is going to be difficult to bounce off the ceiling we could give it a shot it's gonna push it? I'm shooting wide open, but a lot of times they're gonna find a big open ceiling like this, you're going to find a ceiling with the really, really dark wooden things like that and it's just too big too far away and too dark to really bounce off we're barely getting enough light there, so in this case you're going to burn out your flash, you might not be able to get a registered exposure at all so we're gonna want to take our flash off the camera but only kind of as a last resort because you saw how easy it was if we have something to bounce it off definitely take advantage of that but if you don't have something to bounce it off because of a dark ceiling, a high ceiling or like an off colored wall we're going to get that t t l cable we just discussed and we'll get the flash off camera so if I could have john give me a hand I'm gonna go ahead and switch over to our t lk wil all right cool there you go and if I could have you kind of camera left and I could have you come right back up for me probably right about here please beautiful so now really quickly we switched over and what's awesome is what are we looking at there we're in t t l I'm just gonna go ahead and you know when to start from scratch I'm to see what details going to give us now shoot with this different modifier so don't affect it if you can't bring this right on camera for me perfect their ugo you notice another benefit this too he can get this closer to me than I physically m with my lens when you're sitting here and you're working with your flash on top of your camera oh that's a tough one if you're sitting here working with your flash on top your camera you're stuck with a certain working distance so if I'm using a sigma eighty five one point four I have to stand all the way back here by flashes all the way back here but I can have him go ahead and bring that flash up just like that all right go hopefully they didn't go nuclear again we might have a little mess up with cable going on let's see what we got that I feel nucular it did feel nuclear area you want to take that off for me I'm going to switch over to our wireless triggers really quick because the pocket wizards were using earlier give me the ability to do t tl wireless like that so we don't even need the cable and we know they were working so that's the main reason we're switching over to him also if you've got him why not use him cool so we'll turn off the flash first we'll turn that on channel one for me please the joys of shooting in the dark there we go somehow our cameras can see hear but we can't yeah awesome cool so don't look at the light now look at the light there we go cool so I'm gonna put it over on auto and we're going to start over and pretend like this is that curly q umbilical cord there we go beautiful now we have a flash that this guy should be good coming in now we're still running tl guys now we have the flash off camera so we could get a little more control of it beautiful there we go how's it look exposure wise pretty close straight on. Perfect. Ok, cool. So tt else playing nice all of a sudden now that we've got the pocket wizards maybe they would they just needed that like little negotiator in between so we've got this off camera would have you go right over my head please. Beautiful. Now I'm gonna have you could bring it and really, really close and probably right here some have you turn your chest out here for me perfectly to kind of like your lean your face into the light and tom, have you come up and over for me just like that really quickly what we did is up in the front of the church. Lindsay had the run of this of this area because she did had she had zero assistant so through basically high eso vibration reduction tripods, monta pods, white apertures, some breathing techniques wide amateurs that's really a big one. Guys think sniper like exhale and shoot um and then back here I lucked out I was able to use the auto focus is to steam on my flash because in the back of the church sometimes before the ceremony you're allowed to use flash and some churches you still can, eh? So basically we took that really nasty direct on camera light so like, if you want to maybe queue up a couple versions of the on camera and then maybe some of these last couple shots for me so they get some comparisons. What we did is we came back here and we went on camera showed you how nasty it is and then showed how easy it is to bounce off wallpher beautiful soft box light where how, with the use of a flash bender and a ceiling bounce, you could make it look like to light sources. Then we went over here and showed you how not to go ahead and work off of colored ceilings and colored walls. And if you do run into a room where it's just neon like we had in that photo and red and zebra print it's just awful. Then go off camera with your flashes, a last resort and with a working tl cable, a little bit of luck, pocket wizards or pop up flashes or canon six hundred units million ways to do it, get that flash off camera and then you can really augment, so you're just dragging enough to bring in a little bit of that low light into the scene letting your flash through the work to shape your modeling your subject, really pop them off and combined. You get a beautiful, beautiful environmental shot with studio quality control of the light on your subject. Yep, it's. Great for receptions for events, anything where it's low light. We expect to have a good quality of light on your subjects and that's. I mean, this is how I shot everything that paid early on. So, yeah, great, great advice, but perfect.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers

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.


Victor van Dijk

Besides all the more or less 'technical, theoretical stuff', the greatest thing I'm taking away with this outstanding course is the plain joy and FUN of trying all sorts of (crappy) lighting solutions!! Speaking for myself, and I suppose also many others, as an 'advanced beginner', I strongly tend to end up to my eyeballs in all technical nitty-gritty, gear 'n' stuff, that I totally mis out on all the sheer FUN of trying out, and often 'muddling through' all kinds of lighting setups! Such a joy to see the fun exchange between Lindsay and Erik! Really catchy. There should be more classes and courses like this, redirecting students to what it's actually all about: sheer creativity and fun! Having said that, Lindsay and Erik demonstrate that there is hardly any crappy light situation that can't be overcome by creative thinking. And more often than not, it doesn't have to be high-tech or difficult! They really showed an exhaustive list of crappy light situations AND their solutions. And I highly commend Lindsay and Erik for their fun energy, and even more important, pragmatism and frankness. I recommend this course to ANY photographer AND videographer, no matter 'beginner' or 'highly advanced'! Lighting is the basis of it all, and most of the time, it isn't perfect...! I highly re

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!!!!

a Creativelive Student

I hope I can tune in tomorrow. Erik and Lindsay, you guys were awesome today. Some of the things I needed some refreshing on but you definitely had a way of educating. I thought the demos were great and really validating. Light is a difficult thing to keep on your good side, especially with me, someone who primarily uses ambient and available lighting scenarios. This course is great and I'm planning to tune in tomorrow because I really want to see what you have in store for outside. Best of luck guys!! -Sim

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