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Creative Wedding Photography

Lesson 2 of 33

More Lenses and Accessories

Susan Stripling

Creative Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

2. More Lenses and Accessories

Lesson Info

More Lenses and Accessories

Seventy two, two hundred is my beloved favorite linds I I used to be a little bit of ah stereotypical girl about it and I was like it's just so heavy I don't really want it cause it's like heavy and then I realized you know grow up go to the gym pick up the lens you'll be fine so this next slide I pulled it off the internet I tried really hard to find its source but it's used in so many educational sites I could not find where it came from originally so if you shot this series of images thank you very much for all of the education you've put out on the internet with it but this shows you going from a twenty four millimeter toe a four hundred millimeter what the compression of the lin's does not just in your subject and background relationship but in a flattering way to photograph the human body so you can see with the twenty for those buildings in the background look so so so far away and she looks really stretched her head looks huge it's a little alien like and then you move on to th...

e fifty and it gets a little better and in the one hundred it gets a little better and you can see that painted monkey sign as the lin's gets longer it looks like your background is closer to your subject and again, I could give you the mathematical reasons why linds compression works the way it does, but my best explanation in layman's terms is it makes your subject appear closer to your background the longer the lens, another example pulled off of the internet. Thank you, internet um is this poor woman who was first shot at like, what, nineteen millimeters? This gorgeous girl looks absolutely terrible and then you progress through the different focal length and you can see how it flatters and flattens and stretches and compresses the face. So these are all of the things that you need to be mindful of when you're choosing. Your lens is also especially for portrait, but I wanted to show you side by side comparisons of one scene shot at twenty four and then the same scene shot again with a longer lens. So this is love park in philadelphia. Everyone likes to go there. I used to hate it now I love it in a kind of charming maybe I'm getting soft in my encroaching old age, but I think it's adorable. So this is the scene of the bride and groom just standing in front of the love sign. This is shot with a twenty four and then you shoot the same scene with the two hundred millimeter they're in the same spot all I have done is back up and shoot with a longer lens. It makes that love sign look like it's right behind them. Twenty four millimeter lens. This is princeton, new jersey as they walked towards this kind of battlefield looking thing literally two seconds later I put down the twenty four I picked up the two hundred and it looks like this. The bride and groom are practically in the same location. All I have done is change my lens, which changes my perspective which changes my subject to background relationship and it's not just a twenty four and it's, not just a two hundred. You have to look at all of the lenses in your bag and what they do to your foreground background relationship and choose accordingly. So twenty four millimeters key west bridegroom walking in sunset. I want to focus on the bride and groom and one of the sailboats in the background. But if I shoot it a twenty for it looks like the sailboat is really far away and I want a much more intimate feel to the image. So I shooted at two hundred and it looks like the sailboat is literally about to sail straight through them. Different viewpoints, not one one is not write. One is not wrong, I'm going to shoot both of them because it again gives a richard take to the entire gallery sometimes I don't want to hundreds, sometimes the scene is at twenty four, so this is kim, she is amazing and this is at her wedding in the virgin islands, which is amazing and I shot it two hundred, which is lovely it's a fine image. However, it doesn't really show you what it feels like to be in the scene. Sometimes I don't want my background to feel like it's right upon my subject. Sometimes I want my subjects to feel small in a large space, so I'll shoot that that I'll shoot it a twenty four very different look, I am physically in exactly the same space kim has not moved, nothing has changed except my lin selection. The seventy two, two hundred is also my go to linz for professionals and recession als in a church. If I have enough room, whether I can use an off camera flash during this procession of recession or not, I'm still going to use my seventy two, two hundred as far towards two hundred as I possibly can the pews on the side, you can see how they kind of stacked on top of each other is it gets towards the actual front of the frame that's the lens compression of two hundred it's also beautiful four portrait ce this isn't a four this is not a two point eight the background looks like that because of lynn's compression not because of two point eight or one point four or one point two so you can shoot it before you could even shoot it. Four point five when I shoot with the tele converter on it and make it a four hundred I started five six and you still the whole background is still that lovely layman's term blur but don't confuse it for the fifty one two at one two so experiment with your lenses experiment with the different apertures and what those produced as a result and then experiment with your different focal links and what that produces as a result yeah but now quick question many internet yeah do you have the lenses on different cameras or do you change them out? I do not change them out that's actually an excellent question the twenty four to seventy is usually on my d three us the d four is the one that gets a linds change and again all detail this tomorrow I'm not trying to say you have to come back tomorrow to learn it but usually the eighty five during getting ready the macro goes on the before and then by the time we hit the sub the ceremony the seventy two, two hundred goes on the d four and that's my set up for the rest of the day there are a lot of people who change lenses off of one camera body, and they're really good at it and that's their thing, I just prefer to use to camera bodies keep it easy. Part of it was a lot of shooting in florida and shooting on the beaches. I don't like to take the lenses and film he's nodding. I don't like to take the lenses off, because then the sand comes in and it's hard enough to shoot on the beach anyhow, without sand in your censor. Anything else from the old internet? Your sensor. Okay, so again, the seventy two, two hundred beautiful background I beat it to death because its my favorite, for example, this teresa and chris after their wedding in boston, they came out were going around to the side of the church so that they could kind of have a moment together before we started their portrait and they stop and they hug each other, and this is a completely unprompted moment. What I wanted was, I wanted to feel like they were still part of the scene in the background of the people leaving the church, so I deliberately chose a long lens to make it look like that church was closer to them. In reality, it wasn't at all it was. Half a yard away much further than it looks, but I wanted it to feel like it was close sometimes I'm not trying to pull a building or a person or an identifiable thing up behind the subject's teo create that foreground background relationship sometimes what I'm looking for is just a beautiful texture in the background and I can get something like that in an engagement session with a longer lens again for four point five five point six you're still going to get beautiful compression in the background with a long lens like that or this this is bryant park in new york and I wanted to pull her off of that sort of busy background and kind of isolate her a little bit so I deliberately chose a long lens this that is congress hall in cape may, new jersey, which is awesome congress hall is an entire yard, a two lane highway, a little walking path and a path to the beach behind them. In this image, this is shooting into the manhattan brooklyn bridge brooklyn bridge they are the entire river the span of all of the brooklyn bridge away from the background just trees. This isn't one point two this is compression and I hate to keep the laboring that point, but I see a lot of people who don't understand that they're a completely different thing shooting in the snow at two hundred awesome shooting a ceremony at two hundred really brings that bride right out of off of the background and lets her be the star of the image not your surroundings a detail at two hundred a reception room at two hundred I love shooting my reception rooms at two hundred the seventy two two hundred at two hundred is one of my main tools when I shoot a reception room which will do tomorrow this is shooting through all of the tables to get to the cake this is to make the tables feel like they're closer to the cake you know you get to those reception rooms and everything is really spread out and it just feels kind of big and lonely but you know in the client's mind it's this lovely intimate room where everyone is really close together and you want the pictures to represent that when you're shooting a first dance and you want to pull the crowd in behind them and have that foreground background relationship on a huge dancefloor two hundred father daughter dances toasts I shoot all of my toasts at two hundred any questions about the seventy two, two hundred orlins compression or anything before we move on we have one here from the internet about the seventy two, two hundred yuan and susan kelly wants to know how do you manage the seventy two, two hundred in a church that's really dark she really struggles with the two hundred millimeter should I get slower than one, four hundred would you just raise your eyes so as much as needed or how high would you be willing to go in that situation? Well yes and then there's an answer yes with the cameras and I'm using I'm totally fine pushing the I s o up asshole I as possible and I also understand there's only so much you can do in a church when it's really dark and you can't use a light in that situation sometimes I'll pull out eighty five one four at one four and use that if I'm stuck in a church balcony all profit on the kind of ledge as carefully as I can but again a lot of what this class is about it sometimes all you can do is what you can do sometimes it's a little camera shake at a sixtieth of a second at two point eight and ten thousand because it's all you can do this all the lights are off in the church so again there's no magic bullet to solve something like that but she's she's absolutely doing the right thing great uh shooting two hundred millimeters on some of the particularly may be the last image before this one this one or maybe was going for but anyway yeah where you said yeah I like that one you're really standing in between the tables okay like I have no problems like climbing into the crowd if I have to to get that far away and sometimes there sometimes that then use just too small and you can't shoot it. Two hundred. I'm gonna get us close to it as I possibly can, like twenty four to seventy as close to seventy as possible. Or the eighty five? Something like that. I mean, this is what I ideally like to use, but as you'll see tomorrow, huh? All we can do is what we can d'oh. Okay, we have one more from the internet. If you're willing, um, from photo bug, please ask if theseventy two, two hundred chooses is image stabilized. Which version of the lens to yes, it's. The newest version. Okay, I have the older linds. I have the new orleans there's. I think there's a market difference in between the two. Is it worth the price tag? I would recommend renting it and deciding for yourself I would always if you are ever on the fence, borrow a lens or rent it before you buy it yourself. Just be sure. Very good internet happy. Alright. So moving onward I've talked to about the lenses that I've used most. I have other lenses in my bag that I use sometimes, for example, have the thirty five one point four I don't use it a whole lot it was probably the purchase that I bought thinking that I would use it the most that I kind of didn't but when I need it you can't beat it so for something like this if I'm shooting through the veil to get to the dress yes the thirty five one four at one four is a wonderful choice for something like that this is also a very small room so if I want the one point for look but I can't use the eighty five the thirty five one four is gorgeous or if the room is very very dark and I can't use a flash or using a flash would for whatever reason destroy the moment or not give you what you want if what I need is just a quick grab of something the thirty five one for it one for something like this like a tuba signing it's a wonderful tool I'm very glad that I have it but I actually I don't think I brought it with me this weekend like if I have to pull something out of the bag it'll be what I pull I have a thirty five two o which is cheap light sharp fantastic that's kind of my go to quick little put it on the camera if I just need something fast I'll grab the thirty five one for if I want that deliberate look of one four so the thirty five tuo and again this next lynn's here, the twenty eight and love him that's a good lens to put either of those are good lenses to choose. If you don't want to use your seventy two, you're twenty four to seventy for dancing, or if the dance floor is very crowded and you're not really using path like the twenty four to thirty range heavy linds, be kind to your body. I'll go lighter for something like this or something like this with a twenty eight very easy, very little again, very sharp, easy, great little lenses to use. So moving onward flashes there is no need to show you eighty slides about each flash. Each flesh gives you the exact same type of light I started off with some sb twenty fours moved up to some sb eight hundreds when I was still a cannon shooter. I was using nikon flashes for my off camera flash because you're not directly putting it on top of your camera doesn't need to talk to your camera is talking the or a radio transmitter you can use any flashy want, so I bought some sph hundreds they were really great, I kind of lost them, one of them sort of died, then it started working again, I added some nine hundred now I have some nine attends I've got a little bit of everything in my bag our current favorite are using to sb nine tens one of them is on my twenty four to seventy camera at all times during the reception the other one is on my off camera flash which I promise we're going to talk about ad nauseum you get so bored of it um use whatever flash you want a flash the flash they're all all of the flashes in my bagger good the on ly reason I ever buy new ones if I burn out an old one or if I noticed that I have literally killed it with just two much shooting but whatever you have also have backups for what you have please flash accessories I have a lot of them when I shoot my flash on camera I always have the little stuff in omni bounds that comes with the actual flash when you buy it it's nothing fancy it's nothing different just that little diffuser that pops right on there I'll only take it off if I want to concentrate my beam of light, which isn't very often um I used the stuff in on my off camera flash at receptions as well again just to soften it up just a little bit but my newest favorite flash accessory actually is something that I used for family formals and we'll shoot with it a lot tomorrow it's called the rogue flash bender I don't know if any of you have seen them I'll show it to you it is pretty phenomenal um my husband cliff mountain er er is also a wedding photographer and he's you know he's ok he's pretty good um but he actually got ahold of one of those flash benders and started using it and you know I mean if he likes that I guess I could use it too so I started you know, hounding him to borrow and he wouldn't let me borrow it so I had to get my own and now I'm addicted to it it's fantastic what it really helps me do especially in situations like you'll see here very difficult very tight quarters it just softens the light it spreads it out a little bit it softens the harsh shadows of your one off camera flash it's a really versatile kind of wonderful little tool we'll tow have I really like it way actually just to mortify my assistant just a little bit more we lost it and by we I mean she lost it way left it at a client's house so I'm nadine if you're watching my flash bender is in your house if you could send it back that beast um yeah we I think it's on her couch in the living room we left it there my other tool that I really really love is my video lights I started out using those sun pack little portable I don't even know what they're calling anymore because they don't sell them. It is like about this big and that big around and makes about that much light, but it was wonderful for me for receptions, because a lot of the time it receptions all go around table to table, and if there aren't pin spots on the tables or directional light in the reception room, ah, hold the video light on the tables to mimic a pin spot. Well, my assistant will hold them, I will shoot, but they started dying, my battery started dying, I had them for a really long time, they didn't make them any more, so I got on amazon and did a search for a cheap video light this forty bucks, it is not very good. I don't really like shooting people with it because the light is slightly odd in color tone, but that's, what you're gonna get for a forty dollars off brand light that you buy on the internet, but we love it it's a good backup as well. The most recent thing that I've gotten ahold of is the ice light gerry g bonuses new kind of phenomenal thing, and there are a lot of new video lights out there, there is the gun light, there is the local heidi there's, a million different things that you can buy, and I'm not telling you that one thing is better than the other. This is just the one that I choose to use. I like the ice light because it is very light, the battery lasts forever. It is very portable. I can make sounds like a jet. I when I am using it, which we do every single week, like it's brand new people like it, they like to play with it and ask us about it, but more than that, the light quality is beautiful, it's, daylight balanced. You're not going to get into post and have really strange color cast that you're trying to fix on. I like that you can adjust the power up and down and it's it's just a really lovely quality of light. So I am very, very glad that I got ahold of one of those myself.

Class Description

Join award-winning wedding photographer Susan Stripling for a 3-day journey through the world of artistic, compelling, and financially successful creative wedding photography.

Throughout this course, you’ll explore lighting, posing, capturing detail, and much more. Susan will simplify the potentially daunting process of selecting the right equipment for every wedding’s needs. You’ll learn about transforming poorly-lit or visually uninteresting wedding settings into picturesque images.

Susan will also guide you through the workflow she uses, and explain the composition principles that result in dynamic images. You’ll explore concrete, on-the-fly troubleshooting strategies for unexpected wedding events.

By the end of this course, you’ll have the tools you need to think on your feet while photographing every phase of a wedding, with jaw-dropping results.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Gear List.pdf

Susan Stripling Presentation Slides

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Student Work

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Outstanding, one of the best courses on Creative Live. Wow! The delivery is sharp, on point, and focused. I've learned tons. There are so many gems I've watched this video many times and have now purchased more videos from Susan Stripling. Outstanding presenter. My photography has already improved greatly by implementing some of the techniques shown.

a Creativelive Student

The content of the course was perfectly taught at a "real" level. Susan's work clearly, speaks for itself, but her willingness to be so generous with her knowledge is fantastic. She has become an instant favorite of mine and her style is truly special and unique. The course was reasonably priced and I am beyond thrilled that I have taken the time to learn from one of the best in the industry. INCREDIBLE course in every way!!


I Loved this course. I would definitely take another course by Susan Stripling. Her images are beautiful. She has the posing, timing, lighting, mood, etc. all down perfectly and makes amazing, beautiful pictures. She is an excellent communicator as a teacher too.