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Wrap Up

Lesson 9 from: Darkness in an Urban Environment: Managing Light on the Streets

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

9. Wrap Up

Lesson Info

Wrap Up

Wrapping Up Night time in the city has really fallen. We started in the early part of the day, went right through dusk, tried a couple a different locations, we tried a couple a different approaches, some worked better than others, some, you know, kind of didn't work at all. I mean, it's the course of a day's shoot. There are going to be things that are better than others. We had, you know, New York City as it evolved into it's night scape. And, I followed those lights. Important things to remember: background, selection of background, control of the background via both F-stop, which relates to your depth of field, and also exposure, how bright, how subtle you want it to be. Control of light in the foreground. Using an appropriate light source, small to large, You noticed with the couple's portrait that we did, we used quite a sizeable light source. For the individual portraits, not so much. So, tailoring your light to the individual situation, no matter what the conditions, is always ...

part of the photographer's necessary task. But, night time compounds the difficulty. Camera stability's important. Lens work is important. How you use different focus modes. I did a couple of different things tonight with focus modes, dropping on the eye, playing with my F-stops to make sure I covered depth of field for two people. A whole variety of things. I isolated exposure, there's a check off in the camera menus that isolates the exposure for the flash, and the exposure for the whole scene. So you operate with two different, independent wheels of exposure adjustment. All that stuff is important to remember. As I always say, it's kinda gotta be like a computer program running in the background of your head, where you're paying attention to your models, you're paying attention to the immediacy of the photograph. But in the background you're thinking all this stuff. More flash, less flash, how's the background, what's the density, what's my shutter speed, can I hold this, all that stuff has to filter through your head, really rapidly. And the result is we got some nice pictures over the course of our evening's adventure as New York descended into its wonderfully convivial darkness and city lights and Broadway and the life of the city, coming out onto the street in the evening in New York. So we just dipped our toe into this, you know, kind of ongoing adventure of night time photography in New York City, for sure. If you felt like this was an interesting class, I go even further into lighting in a Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography class that's also up at CreativeLive. So this is a 90-minute class, short kinda burst of information. The other class is three days. So if you want to tag 'em together, or are you interested in taking this further, check it out.

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Ratings and Reviews

Janis Shetley

This behind the scenes class is great for those that already have a solid understanding of how to use their flash off camera. I really learned a lot watching Joe work with the models, seeing where he put the flashes, where he stood, how he framed the shots, how he had the models move - especially in the "movement" segment. The three light segment was also interesting - I would have never tried putting the reflector on the pavement with a flash firing into it - so cool. If you need detailed instructions on using your flash and camera - this is not the class for you. If you want ideas on how to get the most out of your flashes on the street - this is it. Great class. Plus Joe is just a great teacher and fun to listen to for 90 minutes!

Benjamin Lehman

One of Joe's most magnificent qualities is his ability to be *real* while teaching a class: Is everything going haywire, or are there troublesome problems that are challenging to overcome? Joe doesn't shy away letting you, the student, realize that even the pros have to deal with constant, unexpected problems. His other strength is showing you how to persevere and overcome those hurdles; and one of those biggest hurdles all photographers run up against time and time again - Light! Joe will go down in modern history as the father of small (and large) flash photography. He's not afraid to use the entire US output of flash watt seconds on a single photo, but he's also quick to remind us that flash is a tool, and not a crutch. This was a great course for those photographers who want some experience out on the street before ever leaving their house. As you grow and learn more about your camera and what it means to be a photographer, you can always come back to a class like this and learn new things that may have seemed alien to you the first go-around.

fbuser 4d17acbc

I like the class. It is a good primer for getting an idea of some of the things that you need to think about when you are doing a night shoot. This is a quicky class Joe just touches on a bunch of stuff so you don't get a lot meat and potatoes on this class, but I found it helpful. Worth the cost.

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