And so what we're gonna need to do next is we're gonna need to get our flash off the camera, because when you do that, you're gonna start getting much better lighting. We talked about it back in the natural lighting section. The front lighting is very simple and very basic, and I mentioned, at least I, this is a personal choice, I really like side lighting because now we can have some contrast and textures, and we can see the shape and depth of subjects. And so getting the flash off camera is very, very helpful. But it is a little bit tricky, and there are lots of different ways that you can do it. So, when you take your flash off the camera, you need to be able to synchronize the shutter and the flash firing at the right time. The first and simplest way to do this is with a PC cord. And the PC has nothing to do with personal computer and Microsoft or any of that, okay? It's a very simple traditional plugin, it's a standardized plugin. You'll hear a lot of photographers complain about ...
it, because it's kind of old technology and it falls out, and there's a lot of problems with it, it doesn't lock in, it's not a very modern connection, but it is simple and it does work if you need it to. Not too many photographers use this these days, but it is a simple way of just synchronizing things from the camera to the flash and I will use them from time to time. I do prefer a wireless system, but when you want to keep things nice and simple you can buy a really long PC cord for about 20 bucks or something and you can trigger these things and make sure that it's spot on every time when you're shooting. All right, so, hard wiring is always nice. A lot of people who've dealt with a lot of wireless stuff know that there's problems with wireless things. There's problems with wires as well, but it is a good connection on there. And this will allow you to shoot in manual, but not in an automatic mode. The TTL cords are available from a lot of manufacturers and this allows you to trigger the flash, but also have full communication between the body and the lens. And so you can still fire in a TTL system. And it just gets the flash into a better position for a variety of purposes. And this is why putting it on a flash bracket can be a really good thing for somebody who's doing event photography or wedding photography, they're able to be very, very portable, they don't have to have any special devices for holding the flash, it's right there, and it makes for a nice rig for going around and photographing. And so we have a very solid connection, this is a really good type of cord from all the manufacturers. It communicates well and it's very reliable in that regard. It is usually limited to about three feet, so there's only so far you're get this, and you're only gonna be using one flash as well. And so this is a flash bracket that I have, I don't know, it's probably 20 years old at this point, there's a lot of different ones out there. You put your camera on it, add your TTL cord, add your flash on to it, and then the beauty is, is that you can rotate it vertically and the camera is in exactly the same position or at least the lens is in the same position below the flash, and so all of your pictures, whether they're horizontal or vertical, are gonna be consistent in their lighting. You're not gonna have this flash being thrown off from the side, where things look kind of awkward. And so if you want you could even add on top of this a bounce reflector. Now, this is a device that is going to get people to move out of your way. I've shot a few weddings and other events, and when you have this around people just clear out of your way cause it's actually a fairly large contraption, you have to watch out for low ceilings in some cases, but it's gonna get you very natural lighting just for any place that you wanna be to shoot a photograph. And so you get that lighting, that straight above. It's not the best lighting in the world, but these are the types of things, you're going around quickly, getting quick shots, and having the best lighting that you can in a portable, quick situation. There's always a way to improve the lighting, but you don't always have the chance to move two lighting stands around with assistants and sandbags and all of that, but if you need to be kind of a solo photographer out there, this is about as good as you're gonna be able to do. So, shooting vertical on this, you can get vertical and keeping that light straight above your subject so that you have a very normal location for your shadows, it's not being thrown off in some unusual direction. And so using that bounce reflector gives you a very nice, soft light, soften up those shadow lines quite a bit. And so, as I said, I've shot a few of my friends' weddings, and done some other events and it helps really getting that light evenly spread out for your subjects. Now, there is a lot of wireless systems, and I was pretty excited when this came around, because this was like a minimum amount of gear. The camera's already got a built in flash, and what it would do is it would fire a series of flashes that tells the external flash when to fire and how much to fire, and this is going to be a potentially good solution for some people in some situations. We've eliminated the cords, we can use TTL, you can use manual if you want, but there is a very limited distance that it will work from. And it is line of sight. I know I was trying to take a picture of my sister, who owns a restaurant, she was wanting me to, a cover shot for her webpage, and I was trying to get a picture of her standing in the doorway of her restaurant, but I had a light that I couldn't see, but was visible to her, and it's just where everything lined up right, and when I fired the camera the light wouldn't fire, because it couldn't see through this wall that was right here between us. It was only eight feet away but it was just on the other side of a wall. And so most professional photographers have found that there's just too many limitations to work in the variety of situations that they get themselves caught in. So, there are external devices that allow you to send much more robust radio signal rather than a visual signal from the camera to the flash, and these will go through walls, they will go across football fields, they will be able to be much more versatile in where you can put with them. This is the type of thing they're using when they mount a camera in the rafters at a game, or behind a backboard in the basketball game, or behind the goal line or something like that. And so, very triggering, the radio signals travel very quickly, and they're generally very, very reliable in this case. They do cost a little bit more money, they're gonna be few hundred bucks for each receiver or transmitter in that case, but usually two, three or four of them and you'll be set up for many years of nice, remote work. So, light modifying equipment is scary to a lot of people who are first getting into gear. It's not. The nice thing is that there's not a lot of upgrades on this, there's not a lot of battery changing and electronics that are going on when it gets into the grip gear. But if you have a flash, you can get a really simple light stand for as little as 20 bucks. It may not be the best light stand in the world, but it doesn't really have to do with anything with the quality of photograph that you're going to get. You just need something that's gonna hold the flash where you want it to be. Having said, it is nice to have good equipment that doesn't fall over and fall apart and stuff like that, but you can work with a wide variety of equipment. I know that when I started out, I was just using some of these speed lights. I went over to the lighting department and says, you know, I just need a small umbrella, and it was like 20 dollars for the umbrella, it's not that much. You can get a light, a stand and an umbrella for little over a hundred bucks, so you can purchase a whole kit for not that much more. Now, there are always ways of upgrading things. So you add in more powerful lights so that you can use bigger umbrellas, and then you can get into power packs if you're gonna be located in studios. It's a little bit harder to work on location with these power packs because you gotta run power to them, they get heavy to move around, but, you know, if you're making a car commercial and you need a lot of light, that's what they're gonna be using. But it's a little overkill for what most people are going to be doing. And then once you have one light, then you can add multiple, multiple, multiple lights as you go along the road. There are lighting classes here at Creative Live that'll take you much further down this path. We're just opening the door and kinda looking in to see what's there right now. And so, this does give you really infinite control, which is why professional photographers set up their studios with all the gear that they do, is that they can have exactly what they want to have happen, when they want it and they can do it repeatedly, over and over again. So let's try to make this a little bit simpler to start off with. You got one flash, you got one light stand, and then you figure out one way to trigger it. That's it. There's not that much, but it's gonna be a heck of a lot better than your built in flash, or your add-on flash. Look on the lighting on this here, we're having one light come in, we're seeing a little bit of a shadow over on the side of the nose, and this is done manually, and I've just adjusted the of the flash so that's it's just a little bit more powerful than the ambient light, so that we really have two lights: we have a cloudy day, which is shining some pretty nice even light, and I just have one extra light to add a little bit more highlight to the entire shot. And so it's a very simple setup on this. Outside, cloudy day, so light's kinda coming from everywhere, and then I'm just adding one little bit of light, a little off to the side right there. And you're getting a shot that is much, much better with a minimal amount of gear and a minimum amount of set up time as well. Out on a bright, sunny day, we can do this as well. This is a back lit situation if you remember what her face looked like before. It was kind of all in the shadows and now we have a very distinct highlight. Now this is a very noticeable act of using artificial lighting here, but in a situation that's back lit and we want the face well lit, we kinda have to go this route in many ways. So we do have a two-light setup here. We have the sun illuminating the back side, and we have our flash illuminating 45 degrees, approximately, off to the side. Going indoors, it's gonna be more distinct, because it's now just the one light that's illuminating our subject. So it's gonna be a little bit more clear where those shadows are. But those shadows really lend some depth to the face, some shape to the face that we can see it very easily, much more attractive than that straight on, flat flash that we get with the built in flash with the add-on flash. And the flash is far enough off the camera at this point that the TTL cord would probably not stretch this far, because it's probably about three or four, five feet at this point. And so this is where you're gonna want to use, and it doesn't matter what you use, you could use the PC cord, you could use a wireless system, radio trigger, whatever works for what you wanna do. If you wanna do this sort of type of work you're gonna need a PC sync cord as one of your options, potentially. Not all cameras have a PC plug in on the camera. So, for instance, Nikon sells a hot shoe to PC adapter, this could be used with any camera, but they also make generics. And so if your camera doesn't have one of those PC plug ins, which I would say most cameras under a thousand dollars do not have, most cameras above it, about 50-50 chance of having it. That will be able to be plugged in on most flashes. Gotta make sure your flash can have that plugged in as well. Many camera swill have that on there, as I say, on the higher end. And the thing is with this, I typically want to get it out of TTL and put it into manual. If it's going through the PC cord it cannot work in TTL. You get down to manual and I don't like firing flashes at full power, because what happens at full power is it expels all the energy from the capacitor and then it needs to build up the capacitor and that might take five or 10 seconds. So I would prefer to work with flashes at half or quarter power so that I can fire a flash and I can fire another one, and then I can fire another one and then maybe I'll wait a few seconds for the next one. Firing flashes at full power, it just takes a while to recharge and so it's always better if you can be firing at about a quarter power as a standard basis. All right, next up, buy yourself, 20, 30, 40, 50 dollar umbrella, add your umbrella to it and now you're gonna get some really soft light. And, so just one light, out on a cloudy day with that umbrella and we get some really, nice, soft, look at the lights and the dark on her cheeks and her nose. We add some real shape to the face in this case. And so we're getting a little larger highlight over there in the eyes, because we have the umbrella. And we're getting a really soft shadow on the nose, and that tends to work really well with human features. And so we're firing the light into the flash, into the umbrella, bouncing it off on our subject which really spreads the light out. Now we do have this all set up quite close to where she is. She could almost reach out and touch where the light is, and that's because it's a speedlight which isn't all that powerful in the lighting world, we're bouncing it into an umbrella, so it's going the wrong direction and has to go further, and then we're spreading it out. And so we were trying to keep those lights in as close as we can so that we don't have to fire them at full power. They're going to be at quarter power or half power, or hopefully something much less than that. But that gives us a nice, smooth light, very close to our subject. Using the same technique, outside in a back lit situation you can see in her eyes, once again, every clearly how we were lighting this. And so keeping the subject pretty close to where the lighting gear is. These diagrams are not to scale perfectly, but I wanted to get you the idea where the light is and how it's firing in to the subject. We take this whole setup inside, we're now getting much more even lighting. If we look at her right hand cheek where it goes from light to dark, there's just a nice fall off where we go from highlights to shadows that's much more even than we had with the built in flash, or even with the single flash without the umbrella. And so just adding one umbrella can add a big difference to your shots. All right, let's get fancy now, let's add two flashes, all right. So now we're gonna need a second flash, and so this get a little bit trickier, because now you're gonna need a second cord, or a splitter or something that goes from the first flash to the second one and I guess I don't mind revealing my secret on this one is I used to shoot with Nikon and Nikon made a flash called the SB26, and it had a built in slave sink which, when it sees another flash, it fires. And so I've purchased as many of these as I need, so I'm done, so there can be a rush on Ebay of the Nikon SB26s. And I don't use, I don't use Nikon cameras for the most part right now, but I like their flash system because this one flash had this synchronization in it, so if I trigger one flash the other one will just automatically fire as soon as it sees it. And there's a number of other flashes out there that can do this, or you can add a synchronization system to it. And so now we're gonna get two light in here, and this is a really, really simple setup, I'm just trying to illuminate both sides of my subject with a little bit of light. And so in this case I just have two umbrellas, one to the left, one to the right, and I am just bathing them in light. Now, one of the things I'm doing, is I'm typically, in this case I set it up pretty evenly and it's a cloudy day so there's not much I can do to get real interesting on that if I'm trying to keep the background lights in, but I'm also, I'm often varying the power between the two lights so that's it's not exactly the same. And so I have my one main light to her right, which is kind of our shooting left, and then I have one that's a little bit darker, because I don't want the face to be exactly the same brightness on either side. It gives us a little bit more, those shadows give us a little more shape to the face, which can be a good thing and so I have two light in back, or two lights in front. I do also have the one light in back which is the sunlight, which is giving us that halo and highlights along the hair. And so it's a pretty simple setup. Couple light stands, couple umbrellas, and a couple of flashes. Now if you want to add a third flash, well, you can create your won backlight. And so I didn't, this was the cloudy day and I didn't have that bright sunlight, but I liked that highlighting of the hair, so I just brought in my third flash to that. And so it gets a little bit more complicated having more of these flashes but if they fire automatically it's pretty easy and so the two main flashes in front, at slightly different powers, and then I'm adding one more in back, which is actually powered up a little bit more because I don't mind that that one's very bright in its light. And then taking this whole setup and moving it inside. And we can get some very nice studio style lighting inside your home... Using three different lights. And there's been a number of manufacturers that are, you know, kind of third party manufacturers, small companies that are making inexpensive lights, so that people can go out and do this type of photography, with even more flashes than this, if they want, for not too much money. And so a lot of these will go for a hundred to two hundred dollars, and if you don't worry about shooting manual, you can get these things pretty cheap. If you want to do this TTL, you're gonna spend one to two thousand dollars. And in a manual situation it's pretty easy, you do a little bit of testing, you move the flash up and down. What I typically do is I'll just set them all up at about a quarter power and do a test shot, figure out what aperture I want to use, and then I'll start playing around with the lighting ratios to see what looks good for the particular situation. And so for a typical two-light setup, you could use your PC sync to synchronize the first flash, and then if you wanna use what's called an optical slave, and what that means is that, when that senses a bright burst of light, it'll trigger a signal to the second flash. And so anything in the range that sense that little burst of light, then it's gonna trigger that second flash and it happens so quickly, it all happens during the same exposure. You're gonna wanna just on to these different flashes and get it out of the TTL mode, put it in the manual mode, and it's beyond the scope of this class to tell you exactly what ratios to use, and I think the best advise I can give you is play around and see what looks good. Having slightly uneven lighting can look very good because you have areas of light and shadow, and it's gonna help give your subject a little bit more depth and shape to it. So let's see what this entire system might cost you. Flashes will vary a little bit, but they'll be about 100 bucks apiece. Three is a lot of them to have, that's a lot to do. Most of the time you'll do just fine with one or two. Light stands, now this is bottom of the line stuff, all right, this is still new, but bottom of the line stuff. 20 bucks apiece. Umbrellas can be really cheap. You're gonna need a few other accessories to make sure everything connects up right. You need to be able to ave your flash attach on to a stand, so you might need an umbrella mount in there, and so you can get into an entire setup for 500 bucks. And you know what? That's cheaper than most decent lenses. And so if you have a decent lighting setup and you do a lot of people photography, I think this is probably a lot more valuable than that unusual, weird lens that you're thinking about. Your portrait lens is gonna be pretty, a pretty good choice to have, but this should be pretty high on your purchasing list if you do people photography. So let's take a look at kind of a compilation of photographs, starting off on no flash inside, without any help, getting slow shutter speed and blurry shots, and then let's add some flash and we'll work with some different lighting systems here. Using exposure compensation, using brackets, using walls to bounce our light off of. And so in this case I really find that the amount of effort you go through results in the photograph. If you're willing to use two lights you're able to do a little bit more than you could with one light, and it's just a matter of how far you wanna take it and far you wanna go with it. And if you have the time to set these sorts of things up, it's gonna get you some really nice results, and so I encourage you to get out there and practice with these. Outside on a cloudy day. Pretty good day for shooting under natural light, but if you want to take the effort to add in a little bit more fill light, you can do well with that. Remember, power your flashes down to TTL-1 range, it's gonna help out in a lot of situations, and the more lights you have the more versatility. It does get more complicated, and so you have to be careful about overstepping what you're comfortable with. So I would recommend working with one light and trying to master that first, before jumping and putting out 20 speedlights and getting them all controlled the way you want. Going outside in a back light situation. You can do a fair bit with a reflector, but adding in external lights, provided that you control them properly, will give you some really nice results. This is pretty good for portrait photography. But what about for other stuff? I wanted to try it in something that, well, frankly, I don't think I'd ever seen anyone do it before, I mean, related stuff but not exactly the same. I was working with my old high school cross country team, I was help coaching the team, and I was the team photographer and I would go out and I would shoot the races with the guys and the girls and get lots of photos like this in the race, and I thought, you know, they race through some really dark forests where I have a hard time shooting, cause it's just so dark in the forest, and they even have some night races these days. And I was like, well, I wonder if I could do some lighting stuff. And I said, well, let's see, what am I gonna need, I'm gonna need some flashes, and I'm gonna need to be able to trigger them, and so I was trying to figure out how to shoot this, and so I've got my camera and I've got one of these radio triggers, and I had one other radio trigger that was gonna trigger a flash and that flash would be fired off of the radio trigger and then it would trigger the second flash and it would fire. And so I'd have this set up and I started getting some pretty interesting results, you know, and this looks very different, lighting wise, that my standard shots. The problem was is that the second flash was being triggered by the fist one, and when runners ran in between, only one light would fire some of the time, and so the optical solution did not work here, I had to go with the radio signal on both sides. And what I would do is, I would figure out where the runners were gonna go, and then I would set up lights on either side of the course, so I'm gonna light them, kind of side lighting on both sides. And then I would do a test shot before the runners got there to kind of see, okay, this is what the background is going to look like. And you'll notice that there's kind of two images there, there's a blurry one and a sharp one. The sharp one is when the flash fires, because the flash fire in just a fraction of a second, and that's gonna freeze the motion. But I'm using a little bit slower of a shutter speed, I'm dragging the shutter, as they say, I'm using a 30F or maybe a 15th of a second. And then as the runners would come through I would follow, and I only get one shot, I can't use the motor drive here because the flashes need to recycle and so I have to be very careful about getting one shot at a time. And so using a setup with two flashes and three radio triggers, I'm setting these up on either side of the path and having the runners come through this, and getting some shots that I think look really nice and have a very different look to them than normal. Now, I'm a little bit biased, I'm a runner and I really like cross country because the runners go through all these little narrow paths and you can't do this in soccer, you're not gonna be able to do this in baseball very easily and so, you have to think about whatever your photographing, what's usual, and how can you take advantage of that. And so I've used this technique many times to get some original looking photographs. And I know it's a very artificial light source here but that's perfectly fine for what I'm trying to do in this case. One of the key things that I'm doing here is I am using a slower shutter speed so that you can see the background, and the background isn't just this black blob. If you were to use your on camera flash, and just fire it TTL, what would likely happen is your subject would be slightly overexposed flash, and everything in the background would be black. And so this is only gonna look like this with the cameras and the flashes set up in the way that they are. And I love this because it really makes them look like they're running as fast as they really are running. It helps show that speed. And so there's a lot of fun that you can do with this using flash in an area that most people wouldn't normally think of. Now, this is something that has been done, I think, a little more frequently with mountain biking, and so the cycle across race near my house, I'm setting up two lights on either side of the path, and got one light in here just to kinda show you what it looks like as it's firing, and so I have one light over to the right, one light visible in the frame over to the left, and then as the cyclist come through I'm playing around with these slower shutter speeds, just trying to get something creative. I'm not trying to document these for the newspaper or anything. I'm just trying to get a creative action shot. And there's a lot of fun things, as I say, that you can do, playing around with the light in these slower shutter speeds. Cause it really helps show the speed that these folks are moving on the bike. And this is an example of what it looks like when the flashes don't fire. And this is how bad it looks in the normal world, but when the flashes fire it's just like perfect, it looks really, really nice. And so adding flash can really help you your photography.