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Light Management

Lesson 33 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

33. Light Management

Next Lesson: Speedlights


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Lesson Info

Light Management

all right. The next section we're gonna get into is light management. So this is before this. We were just dealing with whatever we were got during the day. You know, What was the sun like? What was the day like? Now we're going to start getting in and controlling the lights ourselves, to really get the exact results we want. So when it comes down to light management, we have we have different light sources. We have our natural light that we've been talking about. We have our continuous lights and these air lights that are continuously on all the time. And then we're gonna have speed lights and strobe lights, and so we're going to start with natural light, and then we're gonna work our way into speed lights in what we can do to control it. So with natural light that's out there, there's not too much that we could do with it. We can either diffuse it or we can bounce it. When it comes to defusing artificial light. We have things like, uh, soft boxes. And if we want to bounce the light a...

round, then we're gonna have reflectors and soft boxes. And so these were some of the tools that we're gonna talk about in this process here. So this is kind of a quick preview of what we're gonna be doing throughout this. Ah, a little bit more clearly, as we go through this, the different steps. First off, there's no flash. Okay, that's a real simple way just dealing with the ambient light. We're gonna be ableto add some diffusers in, and that will help break up that light a little bit and make it come from a larger light source We could use, with or without the reflector toe ad light into the shadowed sides. And that's gonna help fill in those areas that are very dark. We can add in flash for those of us who have built in flash on our cameras, not the most helpful thing in the world. And we'll talk about why it's limited. As we go through this, you want something a little bit better. You can do an ad on flash and all the main manufacturers make a lot of different out on flashes. But once again, you're limited by the placement of that flash so close to the lens that you're shooting and so one of the best things that you could do is get that flash off the camera. Now, as soon as it's off the camera and it's not physically connected, you need to worry about all the different options for triggering the flash. And so there's gonna be a variety of ways from very simple, basic ways that just tell the flash window fire tomb or elaborate systems that will tell it how much to fire and give it much more information. And then there's all sorts of tools that we can use for holding that flash and getting that flash in the position that we want it. There are a number of cameras that do have wireless options that are now available that will send the information for you. But they do have their limitations over certain distances and threw things that might block the light. There are more expensive remote triggers that you can get that give you much greater range than you can shoot through walls and over great distances that will help you trigger flashes in unusual locations. And once that flashes off the camera, then you can just put it on a simple light stand to put the light exactly where you want it, and then you can bounce it into her a reflector, and that's going to give you a much larger light source. And then if you got done that far, you can just get a more powerful flash. And that means if you have a more powerful flash, you can shoot it into a bigger umbrella so that you can get an even softer light. And so you can just keep taking this one step at a time, and then you can plug it into a power pack so that you can use an even bigger umbrella. And so this is starts down this endless rabbit hole studio lighting equipment, and we're just gonna take it one step at a time, seeing how much difference each one of these steps make, because every photographer says, Okay, that's a Sfar, as I need to take. There's Ah lot of photographers who talk about just working with one light, and there's a lot that you could do with that. But there's a little bit more than you could do with two and three, but then it slows you down, and so it's like the rest of equipment and photography, Yes'm. Or gives you more options. But then you have to make all these choices and it can slow you down. And so you you need to find the balance for where you want to be, in what works best for your do what you're doing, all right, So if you're gonna work with no flash, this is great because it has no extra equipment besides the camera and the lens. Unfortunately, you have to deal with the conditions at hand, and there's really not much you can do about it. If it's dark out, that's all you can do. You're not gonna be able to add light to this scene here. Sometimes adding flash into a scenario doesn't really help it out. It's not the type of scenario that really works well with Flash and in other cases, you know, maybe it's dark out, but you can use another technique for capturing that image and doing something interesting without flash. All right, let's go outside on a bright, sunny day, which is a terrible time for doing portrait photography. But we're in class and we're learning at how this works. And so the problem with bright, sunny light is that we get these dark shadows in places that we may not want really dark shadows. And so this is in front light on a bright, sunny day. If we were to shoot sidelight, this gets to be really hard there. Some a lot of skin tones that we're not able to see any more were blown out that areas, and it's just become very, very bright in the sun is just too high in the sky and it's too bright and the shadows or too dark and we can't shoot both correctly and properly, and so it's just hard to get a good exposure. In that time, you can shoot in backlight, and now at least the face is evenly illuminated. We do have some hot spots on the hair, a little bit of, ah rim lighting effect going on. And that's probably the most acceptable of these three scenarios is that the face the most important part is evenly lit now, moving out into cloud light. This is gonna be a good time for doing general portrait photography because people are evenly lit and you don't have these hot spots, and these really really dark shadows out there. And so if you had to go out, shoot Portrait's with no other gear. Just your camera and just a lands on a cloudy day is probably the best time to go out there and do your friends portrait or the office portrait's or something like that. All right, if it's Ah, it's a sunny day and we're willing to use just a little bit of gear, in this case, a diffuser, a big white sheet of fabric so that it diffuses the direct sunlight coming in the face will no longer have that direct sunshine on it. Now we do have some ah bright background here because the sun is shining. It's an open park, but we now has have nice even lighting on the face. We can see the eyes and the features much more easily. And so this is one of the reasons why you'll see movies being made outside and have these giant diffusers above their subjects or where they're doing the evening broadcast of the news. They don't want their subjects in direct sunlight, and so just a little bit of diffusion can really help out in these situations with side lighting. It can work out as well, so we're just going to defuse the direct sunlight coming in. And now that light is diffused and it's coming over a much larger area, and we don't have those blocked up shadows, and it makes a big difference holding this sheet of fabric up there and they make these for that's not that much money. I mean, it seems a lot of money for a piece of fabric, but it's when it's designed into the right type of device. You can use it for many, many years and get a lot of use out of these diffusers, and you can hand hold him yourself. You could put him on light stands and so forth, and so that's where the lightest going through the diffuser. Now the other option is to bounce the light into the shadowed areas and let the sunlight just hit your subject as normal. But now you're just gonna fill in the shadows in this case, and so this could be another good technique, depending on the lighting conditions. And so it's a pretty simple system doesn't require any batteries, not a lot of technology. In this case, The biggest problem, if you are a solo photographer, is holding the reflector and shooting the picture at the same time. They do make stands for that if you want. And so, working with a reflector in a sidelight situation, we're gonna have light hitting the reflector and bouncing back onto our subjects. So our sunlight is still illuminating our subject. And now what's happening is our shadows or not as deep as they used to be. And if you look deeply into the eyes, you can see the reflector over on the right hand side. This big round disk reflecting light in there and the and the reflector does need to be very, very close in there. And the difference between using a reflector and not using the reflector is pretty significant, because if you get it in close in our sunny day, there's a lot of light bouncing off that reflector. It could be very effective in a backlit situation, and that's because, basically, I'm holding a reflector in front of my subject here. Light's hitting directly onto this and bouncing straight back in, and so it's got, ah, lot of good angles that it's working with you might say to really fill in the shadows and looking into the eyes again. You can see that reflector right at the bottom, which is giving us a little catch light, which adds a little bit of life to the photograph. And so that definitely helps out once again on the back. Let's so if you're doing Portrait's just a simple around a three foot reflector will do a great job now. You can also use a reflector on a cloudy day as well, because clouds air just above us. And if we want to kind of kick in some of those light into the shadows, we can do that as well, and that will help out a little bit. It's just that a cloudy day doesn't have that intensity of light, and so not as much light is bouncing off that reflector. And so you do once again have to keep that reflector pretty close to your subject for it to be effective. All right, let's jump inside for the moment. If it's inside and dark with natural lighting, you just got to use a low shutter speed, right? Well, you're just going to get blurry photographs if you can't hand holder, Your subject can't stay steady. So the option is you set a higher I s O well, setting a higher I eso has its limitations and problems that we talked about back in the sensor section of noise. And so there's only so good of results that you can get in here. You can purchase faster lenses, but at a certain point, you're going to need to add in some or lighting yourself. And so all of that was what you could do with just natural light, not even owning a flash so reflectors and diffusers can help out in many, many different situations.

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