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Bar Owner: Setting the Scene

Lesson 6 from: FAST CLASS: Lighting, Logistics, and Strategies for a Life in Photography

Joe McNally

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Lesson Info

6. Bar Owner: Setting the Scene

Next Lesson: Shoot: Bar Owner

Lesson Info

Bar Owner: Setting the Scene

camera of choice right now is the D five. It's got a 24 70 millimeter lens. On the lens is an F 2.8 lens. This is my workhorse lens. It's nothing fancy. It's nothing exotic. It's just dead bank sharp and very rugged. So it goes with me everywhere. Probably shoot more pictures with this lens, then maybe even the rest of all my lenses in the bag. Um, so there's an initial effort, and it I feel good about that. If you're really good about promising start, let's refer to that as a promising start. Now, this is just a quick test to see we are tethered again. We're using tether tool stuff to get into my computer. Over here, Camera control Pro is sucking in the pictures and then their liaison ing. Whatever Creativelive does our liaison in to get it onto the TV screen, we're gonna be using the SB flashes. There are radio controlled flash. I'll go into the mechanics of that as we go, but for now, let's just start with kind of, ah, rough kind of approximation. First thing I do my scouting mode ...

is aperture priority. Would you guys share that? I think pretty much there. Yeah. I mean, it's in manual that that is a manual picture. Okay, so I go into my mode and I go into aperture priority where I'm gonna govern the f stop. The F stop right now is at 5.6. He's he's going to be in the mid range of 5.6 is probably ok, has enough depth of field 2/3 back into the photograph to retain a sense of the bar. I'll drop my cursor for now on the post and just do this. Okay? I would describe that as charmless. Um, do you know why? Because of these video floodlights, they're they're kind of blowing away the nature and character of the bar. So let's do this if I may to drive the video folks completely nuts, Um, and let's kill those two lights up there. But this is where I would start. So I was 1/5 of a second at F 5.6 on that last one. I just lost some light. Obviously, I'm in 1/3 of a second now, all right? And that just feels a little bit better to me. it also gives its It's starting to head into a direction where I know that I can control it. Okay, let's do this. Come down a little bit. How can you under expose something an aperture priority? I'm just playing a little bit here. Now. I'm in 1/20 of a second. That's starting to feel good, right? So a little bit I mean, I was actually surprised at how bright that was. Still, even without the floodlights. Man, you guys, your lights aren't doing much. Maybe talk to the lighting Director about that. Um, that feels more like a bar to me. Would you imagine? Yeah. So, um so what just happened? The camera has a mind of its own. It is not. It is. Apart from my mind, the camera did not go to art school. The camera has no idea of the aesthetics that you want to create for this photograph. The hot zones, the dead zones, all of that. So I just introduced I corrected the cameras way of thinking, so all right, now I'm gonna keep my subject off the set. I'm gonna introduce Ken and Brad. They're gonna also help me out. So strategies Ryan, relax. You got, you know, make a few phone calls, do some email care for a lot, you know, maybe an Ottoman reading lamp. A nice book, you know, take care of your subject. Keeping off the set for a while, you know? I mean, we're not. It's a kind of a contrived situation here. But if you know, he's like, you know, the bar owner. He's, like, busy. I'm gonna say no, no, no. Just do your thing. You know, it just your, you know, bills and budgets and order some more beer and stuff like that. And I'll see you in a little while. Keep him occupied off the set. So let's see. Brad, come on over, and you're gonna be a surrogate for Ryan. All right. Alright. So I've got Brad here. He's actually, you know, got a good face for a picture. Um, and ah, here. Okay. So the inflection of the natural light is coming from camera. Right? So that's gonna inform me as perhaps what do I want to do? What would you do with that? Point me to say Oh, I'm gonna bring my light from camera, right? Maybe not. It's a Philip. Right now it's just a little grace note. And I look at at Ryan my subject. He's got kind of sandy darkish hair. If I turn him backwards into this light than my room lights done for me, I try to be very efficient about this stuff like, ooh, that could look nice coming off of his shoulder. He's got a dark shirt on. And that could just be my separation light without having to put up, you know, a strip and a grid. And I can't do that right, because it would compositionally constrain me, right? If I mean, this is where you get to. This is this is the fun part. It's also the really frustrating part because all this stuff is going through your head and you're like, Yeah, I could do No, I can't do that. But maybe I can't do that because that most of my frame really is gonna incorporate some measure of all of this over here. And so if I want to put a light here, I'm gonna influence my composition. So this is the lion's share of the picture over here. I can't have a light living here. Right? So OK, All right, well, let's back the light off. If I back the light off to being out of the frame its way, the hell over here. By the time it gets to him, it's not even influential. And it also scatters everywhere. The further you put your life from your subject, the more those pixels tend to be like, you know, it's like herding cats, you know, they just go everywhere, you know? So I'm already like, No, I can't. I'm gonna put the light for him on the dark side of his face and fill that in, and hopefully this, like coming in here is gonna be my little kind of rimland. I'm an aperture Priority f 5.6 My I s O is 400 right now, so it's kind of a mid range on it, So I usedto be like 400. Used to be a lot of I s O. You know. Now I don't I do not fear it, you know, because 408 116 100. It's ridiculous how good the quality of the modern digital camera is at elevated. So I will get probably shift around a little. My white balance. But this is an auto white balance again. New generations, that technology. I find the auto white balance to be very smart. And that's usually my go to default. I start there. I have to shift up when we get into gels. Probably shift out of auto white balance because on a white balance is tryingto potentially correct against the effect and feel of those gels. So by coming in, I'm gonna, you know, kind of improve. Hopefully my composition here. Um, interesting. Let's do this. All right. Cool. All right, So now I've got I I'm gonna This is just adjustment time, adjustment time. Your your subject saves you. You know, like, right now, I'm just going through the mechanics of exposure when your subject comes in, That's when the photograph really starts to come alive, you know? And that's when I start to really hone in on what hopefully will be a good kind of set of exposures and also composition. I would never, like, leave this the way it is. Always remember this like that? No. You know, you're gonna have to let that get get rid of that because you have to patrol the edges of your frame as you have hot areas like this is gonna be a problem for me later on. I want to get a picture of that. But they're strong verticals, and I want to get ah, human being in there. So that means I'm gonna have to maneuver my composition to something where I include those. Because I don't want to cut him in half, because what will happen? I cut him in half that I've got these height hot vertical pipes of light going up into the edge of my frame creating an avenue for my my subjects, my viewer to just go right out of my friend. Remember, psychologically, we are programmed. I'm looking at you guys right now. I can feel the magnet in my head in my eyes trying to pull me this way. These were physiologically programmed to go toe light and bright. We just are so patrol the edges of those frames. Now do this for me. Take your left shoulder and rotated towards camera. Fold your arms. Kind of like you own the joint. Keep coming. Keep coming. Keep coming. All right. Good Right about there. Good. All right. Okay. All right. So, um, a little highlight off the floor. He's in kind of a negative space of that. That post we got a little bit of the chandelier. We have a little bit of the bar. Um, Okay, cool. So now what do we do? Get the light off camera. Let's go to a little soft box, please. Now, I have the beauty and benefit of having, um, help, right? Obviously. How many folks here, um, work by themselves a great deal? Okay. All right. So, um, where are we? Here. All right, so I turned my flash on. Now, let's talk a little bit about the mechanics. Hang on. I'm sorry, Kelly. It's premature. Toe ask you to come out. Yeah, definitely. Because I, um What Callie is doing is something I rely on him to do. He checks camera settings for me. You know, if you want to see me mess with them during the course of, like, a big shoot, I'll be like, I'll be at the camera and just cousin, you know, I'm an idiot, basically, you know, just look at the camera, and I'll just go. J peg basic. Okay. And is his heart rate goes right through the ceiling. You know, so you know, But that's, you know, just being a member of the crew of messing around. Um, the mechanics of this basically is. I've got green here. I've got green there. That means this light and that radio transceiver are speaking to each other. So I'm not gonna go into the specifics of Nikon speed lights. You know, there's, you know, canon speed lights there. Sony has lighting every every camera system has its own brand of and or approach. And the technology, you know, has let's say they're cousins. You know, some people do it differently. This is actually this radio controlled iteration of this flash is actually working really quite well. So this little I call it a doo hickey. Nikon calls it a w r R 10 which is not exactly a roll. Doesn't roll off the tongue, but it is kind of This is radio. It's to me. It's the keys to the kingdom. I keep telling him. I said they call it something jazzier calling like the flash wizard or something, or, you know, a speed light Gandalf. But OK, Brad, would you mind going back into that Post, please. All right, So may become maybe up in here now if I was working by myself. What am I constrained? I'm getting the light off the camera, but one of my constrained by the length of my arm, you know? So there's so you know, not to denigrate Callie here, but at this point in time, he could be replaced by a small, cheap light stand. Um, sorry for that. I know. I know, I know. But, you know, we're moving fast. He's gonna hand hold the light. I mean, I'm sure you guys have done this. There's always somebody around who can help, like, Hey, could you just hold the light? Especially if you're photographing the boss, you know? Like, is there anybody around? Yeah. Yeah, you know, Harry's in the back, he'll come out, hold the light. But you always have to be careful with avielle because they get distracted, right? And they're kind of looking out the windows like, Oh, crap. It's still raining outside. And the light comes down this way. You know, before you know what? Your lighting, your subjects naval, you know, and you want to like their face. So but Callie doesn't do that. He's very reliable. All right. Uh, yeah. Okay, let's try that. Okay. Cool. Now, I think that is potentially a little too full, you know? And, you know, um, just double check my 00 group A. That's a group a flash till T T. L 00 And Callie came in here and he came almost beam over the lens. And so I instinctively I kind of knew that this was gonna be two full a light. So Callie screwed up, but I let it happen. It's okay. It's all right. All right. We got a couple more side here. Yeah, coming. A little more side. Cool. Nice. Okay, little better. Still too much light. The whole thing is still a little too hot, you know? So what am I dealing with here? What's our job on location as a photographer, One of the one of the many missions eliminate variables. So what am I doing here? I'm dealing with too many variables. I feel anyway, aperture part is wonderful. I shoot aperture priority like crazy out on the street, all that sort of stuff. But in here, right now, it is potentially kind of maybe bouncing me around too much. So what I'm gonna do here at camera is I'm going to get out of my A mode right now. Let's do this. I'm gonna shut the radio controls off. No flash. All right, So to 55 6 Hang in there, Brad. There we go. 1 25th 60. 15th. Let's go back to 30. All right, That feels a little bit more saturated, A little bit more character driven. I want to isolate him relative to the camera and the light that Cal is gonna bring. Okay, let's bring that light in the again, please. Turn the radio back on. It pairs up. Okay, here we go. All right, Now, come closer. Callie, please. Too much. Too much. Go back, Go back. Cool. Getting there. Okay, that's a little better. That's a little better. Okay. And now I think I'm in a jumping off point. Having Brad is done, you know, a marvelous job standing in. Let's do this. Let's bring our real subject in

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