Conquering Crappy Light

Lesson 9 of 32

Shoot: Mixing Daylight and Tungsten

 

Conquering Crappy Light

Lesson 9 of 32

Shoot: Mixing Daylight and Tungsten

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Mixing Daylight and Tungsten

Let's get speed light on flexing it set up in this and we'll put one of those excel guys we'll take care of that you shoot your your thing okay? You ready? We have a fun, crappy awesome mix light setting um I've seen this before but I didn't get a chance to take any kind of exposure readings no light meter readings anything like that so we're basically to jump in here and you guys are going to see me troubleshoot the entire process so if you look at the photo that we're working with now let's go ahead and turn on I've got one light over here because I just want to really accent how ugly this warm light is here okay kind of fixes where would you put it in your bag so flash your those perfect thank you. Go there's that thank you so you've got a nice cool light on the left and we've got this light over here on the right I'm gonna start off with our auto white balance and just see what that goes ahead and gives us let's just take a shot and see what our settings are here haven't picked up ...

this cameron a while so we're at I s o four hundred let's go up a little bit it's good I s o eight hundred cause we're indoors and just see what that very first shot iss so I've done nothing basically I have my camera manually set and I have my white balance on auto and this is what comes in and this is what we're working with so we've got a good exposure see manual mode gets you there you know what you're doing um manual gets us there but you can see the lighting is absolutely awful eso we talked about this a little bit earlier we have to decide what to do first I'm gonna see if I can blend these two together so we're going to use the expo disc to do that if I just what what looks? What happens if I just do this? I'll just to daylight first because I know we've got nice daylight window coming in here all right? So we'll see what that looks like coming through. Perfect. Okay, well, it kind of looks nice in that skin tone, but we forget that we have this overpowering amount of warm light coming in through the other side so that little part of her cheek on the left over there looks good. We have a good white balance there, but we've got all the nastiness on the right side so let's change our mind and switch over to ah tungsten preset you want to check that out right on top of the camera right here so we're at tungsten now so I always start off just with the presets on top of the camera. They're usually get your pretty close and we're shooting. Ron will take a great card so we can get exact science a little bit later. Let's, take this photograph here. See what comes out to just guessing that these are fluorescent lights are tungsten lights overhead should get us pretty close. There we go. A kind of neutralized him just a little bit. But now we have everything overly blue there. So none of the presets are working let's. See if we can go ahead and try to get a middle of the road value with great card or with expo desk. That tungsten free set didn't exactly work. Perfect. Neither looks little degree. So you're gonna go and look on. The monitor is a little bit green. Yeah. Could you kind of roll that over here? Doesn't get a little more color accurate as we're balancing these out. A lot of the times you can go ahead and do this to taste. I mean, they do have expensive color meters and things that exist out there. So if I wanted to, I could actually taken exact kelvin reading of what that light is and that light in that light and what the window is. And you could do it by the numbers but it's not you always practical to do that and with digital you can see on the back now and you can kind of do it to taste so I asked him to roll the monitor over here so I can get a better idea of what it's all really looking like it did kind of do a good job of narrowing it down that moderate looks a little bit green but our preset got us close she just looks really washed out in a little bit green still so if I'm not happy with it so to do that I'm gonna go ahead and go ahead make a custom white balance not using a great card because let's grab the great card really quick out of there what happened I'm car check it might be too small to seize let's let's do this I got it look what happens when lindsay holds this up in the light it's getting the same problem here if she holds it like that all its getting is the blue light if you tilt see that way if you tilted over that way all we get is the tungsten light so it's not really going to give us a good representation we're going to be either or again so what I'm gonna do is use this guy right here this is the expo disk we were talking about and it's going to try to gather multiple things of light that's going on here, so I'm basically going to go ahead and hold this over my camera, go into the preset, get it dialed in now, it's looking for a great card reference and I'm just going from the perspective of my model shoot it out and it's going to say good, so it's going to say it captured a custom white balance and I'm gonna go ahead and take another shot let's see if that got us anywhere closer, right? We're crossing our fingers how we doing? Coming through a little bit better, but still, what it's doing is it's trying to give us a neutral grace if you look right there in the middle of her face, right in the middle where the two lights kind of intersect that's beautiful, correctly represented skin tones. Unfortunately, you look on the right it's a little bit warm looking left, it's a little bit blue, so we have to start picking and choosing our battles now so I can shoot under this, but we're smarter than this is photographers, so if we can't totally neutralize everything let's start embracing one or the other, so I'm gonna have her turn over this way for me, beautiful and let's do this again, we'll do a custom white balance we don't really need teo because we know that this is probably window light but I want to get an exact take it again it's really that quick and easy now I've got another custom white balance let's take this photo and when this comes up you're going to see that we have really really good skin tones and what I did is simply turning her fully into this light just like we were talking about our direction and quality of light you see their skin tones are great we aren't worried about all the rest of the stuff because she looks good and not sickly like she did a little bit of bit ago in that photo for the same time I can turn around this way go through here and I'll set another custom again from her perspective shooting into the light says on the top my camera that were good so I'll go ahead and take another shot here I'm slow down my shutter speed a little because now we're heavily backlit now if I had just ah I like shooting manual for this reason I recognize that this is a little bit dimmer than that side so I slowed down my shutter speed to let a little more light and you get kind of that heavenly backlit effect now see how blue that looks that looks incredibly incredibly blue because we went ahead and dialed in for this warm so white we totally shifted so now I would like that I like the heavenly backlit, but I don't like what we're doing here with the mix, so we're going to do the next thing which is kind of basically taking control of the environment and we're going to shut this down let's go ahead and shut these blinds down if you can the very first thing we talked about in the class is not shooting a crappy light, so what we're going to do is we showed you kind of how you can come in, neutralize it if he can't neutralize it try to embrace one of the other if you don't like how that's working or maybe you want to try something else see what you can shut down we could have shut the lights off in here, but if this was an event that would have gone over very well rather I could just close a blind over here and then get all of this environment so go have you go ahead, take a seat if you would for me and now let's, go ahead and we got that white balance settle ready! We'll kind of have you turn your face over into this light just a little bit for me there excellent let's see what this shot looks like here uh, we're out of focus obviously don't have ah mei I serve on there we go cool so we'll bring this back around now we're less and all that blew that we've got in the background and our main light is thies warm, warm, warm overhead lights that we've got going on here there we go just like that. So what we basically did is we kind of narrowed it down and we're gonna work with this within the room. We could have done the same thing and turned off thes and really embraced the blue light, but now we're here we've kind of got more control of the environment, but I'm not liking the quality on her like we've got our good skin tones but we don't have good direction of the light you see how the light is still overhead these warm tongue stints kind of like coming down you can see the shadow there underneath your eyes so we need to fill that up and to fill that up we're going the flash so I could have lindsay bringing the flash over here awesome have any gel in it at the moment? Perfect. Okay, cool. So I'm gonna bring this over. This is kind of that new or flash bender that we were talking about, so this is the xl and basically it's the bendable flash bender that we showed you earlier with the diffusion material over the front to create a soft box kind of effect and on the top it's actually got like a silver bounce so your flash fire straight up into this bounces off that spreads out and comes out forward so it's like a mini soft box and if I took this off it would be just like a large bounce cards so it's really versatile but the reason we're using this is because it's super lightweight I don't have an umbrella shaft sticking out that's gonna poke anyone in the eye or like take up a bunch of space this is great for events when you just need a portrait cause I could have lindsay just kind of lean this in right over here a lot of control a lot of direction doesn't take up a whole bunch of surface area and also for me when I shot a lot of weddings, what I would do is I would have one of those and my left hand and I would just hold it off camera and I would have some way for the two to talk and that I would just shoot like this and trust me I had huge arm muscles doing that okay? So exhausting I don't don't don't get me wrong I mean this is much more practical but a lot of time for wedding when I would put this down people would trip on it, they'd mess it up if I had it in my hand I could still shoot hold it off camera and that would work just fine so depends on if that's your your style if you're able if you're able to set this up and you know we're gonna talk about a flash primer here in a second, so we're kind of glazing over the details of all the flash right now. But after this, after we balance out this kind of nasty mixed lighting, we're going talk a flash primer and there's a t t l cable that is a great solution for holding the flash off cameras. You don't have any light stands or anything that people are tripping over and still getting all of this communication it's relatively inexpensive in the scheme of photography, things expensive for a cable, but but it's not like buying a flash. Yeah, and we'll also discuss I just like I shoot africa priority with exposure compensation, I will shoot flash comp station set of manual well, whereas he'll shoot manual. So two different perspective from him and I got this one. All right, so I don't have we can shoot tio with these triggers I'm using the pocket was reflex system. It does have a t t l option, but first off we're just gonna go ahead and shoot manual and see where we're at I'm going to manual for the consistency because for this situation I want to go ahead and composer that lamp kind of in the background and we've got this light coming in here so there's a little bit of backlight in some soft lighting this doorway so I don't want to give my camera too much to handle so I'm gonna go ahead and try to find an exposure through a shot or two here it's affectionately called champion see what that first shot looks like? I think I picked an arbitrary valium like one one eighth power way, way, way too much so I'm gonna cut it down here fashion editorial yeah, I overexposed I meant to do that beautiful. There you go. So what I basically did is now dialed took a couple of shots or a couple stops the light out of my flash that's a calibration shop that you're seeing right there basically throwing away a shot. Teo, get the say all the study and sent over to the flash and then this next shot is with the appropriate value there. So again, that's emanuel it took me two photos that it's to dial it in. So, um, if you're comfortable with this as you get more familiar with your equipment, you'll find that you can very quickly through manual flash and through manual camera dial in and get your exposures, so if we weren't talking it would have taken me five photos and about ten seconds to be able to dial in exposure and start shooting you are going to notice here that our exposure is correct the intensity is good on the light we now have a better direction of light can you do this and maybe compare this to the one before we actually got the flash on? So we're just yeah, there we go not that one, so go back to the one right before the before the flash even turned on that one right there yeah if you compare these two that's what we're dealing with first and now this is what we're dealing with we have much more flattering light on our actual subject, but the color temperature is totally off you're gonna remember that I was walking around the room with that exploded on with the presets and I was just kind of getting a new meter reading for like every light in the room um now I'm back to my tungsten preset because we've shut down all of the light here we've just got the tungsten lights overhead so my tungsten camera priest that's going to give me a pretty good, pretty good uh gray area or a great white balance for us to work with and now we've got a light good, but our flash now has shifted you remember when we did fluorescent light lindsay set her camera for green shifted her white balance, so when she brought in a white light, it shifted to the pink side, so we're doing the same thing. Now we're shifting our white balance to make it look warmer, and in doing so, we then cooled off our flash the whole time. So we gotta warm that up and it's really easy to dio. We can go ahead and use the rogue gel kit that we talked about a little bit earlier, and they have a bunch of different stuff. Hold on for a second and this one is full cut seats you perfect. So this is basically the thickest intensity they have from here. It goes to like a half cut in a quarter cut, which is just a percentage of the intensity of this full cut of light here. And now, if you look on the packaging for these what's really cool is road gives you kind of like a guide. And if you actually look on the one you guys want to zoom in, you can see how it will take sixty, five hundred calvin and bring it down to thirty, two hundred. Calvin. That's kind of cool because like I said, if you're a numbers guy you want to figure this out by the numbers and the guide number you can because on each jallet says, hey, this is gonna take your daylight balanced flash at sixty, five hundred and make it thirty, two hundred which is about the kelvin temperature of these lights overhead. Go ahead and put this on here. All right? Probably back. Thank you. All right, linds, you mind holding this for? I kind of strap it down. Perfect. Where? Iwas awesome. So I'll come back in here and another thing about this I'm gonna grab the our gels scrabble full cut over here that's a full cut. Another thing you have to keep in mind as I'm shooting manual mode. Okay, so when I put this on here, the light has to travel through this orange plastic and in doing so it's gonna lose some of its intensity. What's cool about these things too, as they also say f stop lost one so I'm gonna lose one full stop of lights if you wanna look on, they're really, really close and that's kind of cool, because now I know, okay, I was here if I take this next photo, my flash is gonna be one stop under exposed because it's going through this so I'm just gonna go up here on my commander dialogue would explain more about this, but basically I'm now saying after this test shot that my flash fire there we go that my flash should now send me one more stop of lights now I'm probably about one thirty two seconds on the power output of my flash so really, really low, so I mean, a lot of people who were getting a lot of questions about battery life like, well, if I if I used the preview but now if I use auto contar continuous focus is going to kill my battery this is going to let me know I'm just letting you guys know where it very low flash power settings on this he really don't kill batteries very often people are a lot of times concerned well, I've gotta speed light early runs off affordable is do I have enough power? I'm going to kill my battery's very seldom do I ever run out of batteries in a speed light? I mean, you don't really need to keep these guys at full power very often at all. So just just a reference where probably one thirty two thirty one thirty one over thirty two power which is almost bottomed out on the speed light I'm at two point eight I'm at I s o one, eight hundred and I met one sixteenth of a second let's go ahead and take the shot again beautiful see what we got there we go now we've warmed it up now we've balanced the colors so we've got the color balanced in the room we've got beautiful color and light on direction on her and we've basically created a beautiful environment in here compare this to the first photo that we walked into the room and talk so we have nasty kind of split lighting we have orange light on one side we've got cool lighting on the other now we've really tamed the entire room and have a beautif full shaping light on her face and all we did was one speed light and a white balance adjustment so we came in, we basically pick and shows our battles were like, okay, what are we going to dio mix light isn't working we can't get a white balance to make it all go together it's just too drastically apart in color temperature so we shut down one of them focused on the other and then brought in our flash to the same color temperature to kind of direct that light. So we took control of the environment and then we took control of the light on our model's face so we complement her and we also maintain the integrity of the feel of the room too, so we're not shooting ah girl that's beautifully lit in a dark cave that's really important. I shoot my lifestyle. Work is keeping the kind of feel of an environment of a restaurant or a bar, a resort at the same time, making my models look absolutely beautiful. And then hopefully doing so on a fun environment. So they actually have a good time. And then we get really like reactions in a fun glass that comes through, and it translates to the photos. So you have anything to add to this one? Otherwise, I think we, uh I thought that was perfect. So I think we're, uh, if anyone has any questions here, we can take some about that. Otherwise we might jump over into our flash primer next. So can you remind us what flash you're using? Yeah. So this is a nikon s p eight hundred, and then I've got a pocket wizard flex tt five unit here is my receiver and on camera, I've got my many tt one is a transmitter and it's on a c three zone controller on top. So we put together some lists of the gear that's a lot of equipment that I'm just rattling off. We put together some gear lists of what are in our kits and that's definitely gonna be in there because this this set up right here is what I use a lot for my off camera lighting. Perfect, because that just knocked out like, twenty questions in the chat rooms. Go on. That little girl is you guys. This kid absolutely rocks. I'm shooting it manual mode right here. I can just switch a button on the top handed off all of a sudden it's in t t l mode and we can go two different shooting styles of the switch of a button, and you notice that I was able to adjust the power of my flash remotely. I wasn't over here turning this up and down like I used to be, and I shot one job where I had a light on a thirteen foot stand coming through window, pretending to be like a warm setting sun. I had to fly nothing up and down, like seven or eight times, and after that, I was like, I'm done so that's when I invested in these, I no longer want to have to do that so I can shoot manually without adjusting my flash do it remotely. I can shoot t l the same way so that the flash primary absolutely yeah, well, cover these, and we're actually gonna crush a lot of those questions, I think right now, great, do it school awesome so putting the jail on that you made a lot of sense to compensate for the tungsten okay let's say you got two lights in your in a hurry you don't have the gels could you throw in the extra disco on take a shot with the flash and got a correct reading? Yeah, absolutely and if you're saying if we don't have a gel on this, you don't have the jail you got two lights here and hurry don't you also let's just throw the expo this gone and get a lot closer? You know you wouldn't even need the expo disc in that instance because without any kind of modification or gel on this, you know, it's going to be, um match with your preset for flash so I would actually just grab the plat flash preset on my camera turned that on for what preset the wood you prefect of tungsten or for the flash? Oh well, okay, so because you're still going to be picking up you balanced in this case so we have to decide just like we came in here and we're like is the window going to be our main light or is the tungsten going to be our main light you have to to make the decision? Is my flash going to be the main driver of the photo or the ambience? So in that case because this is lighting the model I would set my white balance for a flash on the top here that would give me a good skin tone for whatever the flashlight on tthe answers like no not really wouldn't use the expo desk I'd do a preset because that would be my witness yeah and then the back light would be way orange so you won't be able to get in after that okay, cool. Um I think we're good I just gotta put the slide show kind of like rip through and do you want me to bring the flashes over? Do you have a whole bag over? Where do you want to do it? So I guess we kind of sit back down over here go thru it crabs for stuff and I don't want to grab my flash is thank you the better ones yeah grab your six hundreds because those are okay while you guys are switching that stuff out just I wanted to let you guys know a lot of you are wondering where to find those lighting kits in those packets that they keep that eric is referring to and you can find them at the n h and drama eric and lindsay have both put together all that um kit for you so you can just go there and you can see all their essential pieces that they use right here do you know any other modifiers or anything not to go we could pull up that, uh, flash slide show where we go. Just just go straight to the front. You ever, uh what what would you ever change your high speed sink or anything for any of these? Ah, good call. Okay, so high speed sync is, um is neat. It basically is taking ah, like a flash pulse function that's built into our speed lights that didn't get a lot of play until some of these newer triggers allowed you to do it kind of off camera. Um, I would occasionally the only time I could really use high speed sync, which for anyone that doesn't know what it is it's you have a sinker, a sink speed with your flash or all flashes for that matter where if you go faster than one two hundred thirty one, two hundred fiftieth of a second, your flash will be able to synchronize you'll get a gray bar on your photo that the faster you go will eventually consume your entire photo and block out all the light that's your shutter moving so fast it's blocking the light from your flash um, there is a way to get around that was called high speed sync makes your flash essentially pulse as your frame is right your your sensor is being covered by the to the front and back curtain we've uncovered a little bit later at the end of this, I think if we have time, but I would only use that if I'm trying to kill a lot of heavy ambient light because I could use a high shutter speed to dim all the ambient light out there. But you lose a lot of power out of this so it's, a very kind of specialized use, but it wouldn't ever go on and laugh trying to knock down a bunch of ambient light use a shallow depth of field. Another word for people who haven't used high speed sync. If you wanted to know how to basically overpower the sun week, where the the blue sky looks dark, you know it doesn't look like a bright blue sky, but the person slip by a flash that's one of the ways that you would do that. So if we have some time here, I'll put together some slides at the end of that, um, conquering crappy light with flash. These are the new fanciest flagship speed lights for a nikon cannon being she's got him, I got my old flagships. I cannot break these things in, like five or six years old there's two different ways to control your flash to different schools of thought, essentially, you just saw me demonstrate manual control, so that's turning my flash power up and down. So I mentioned a couple of times, my flash output. It really isn't the most scientific thing in the world. The back of your flash just says one over one for full power, one over, two for half power and so on. Down. And I was probably about one over thirty two in the flash power for that final photo that we saw there. So I wasn't using a lot of the juice in my flash, and I was setting it manually in one third stop increments.

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.

Reviews

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