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Class Recap

Lesson 8 from: Getting Started with Off-Camera Flash

Erik Valind

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Lesson Info

8. Class Recap

Lesson Info

Class Recap

Let me just quickly run through what we did here and accomplished in 90 minutes. Okay? We set up our cameras so that through our shutter speed we can control time. So if you want to go through, can you cherry-pick some highlights here, so one of these final photos like that, and then the two others that you starred, and then one of the final ones where we balanced ambient with a softbox? So as Ken's looking those up, I want to run through them really quickly. Our shutter speed allows us to control ambient light. And that allows us to turn the lights out on the room and make it pitch dark or allow a little light to come in here so that our fake sunlight looks more natural, or allows us to light the majority of the photograph like our very first shot and then just add in a little strobe in to flatter the face. So shutter speed you should constantly be changing cause shutter speed is what controls the feel and the mood and the environment in your photograph. It controls all the ambient li...

ght. The next thing is your aperture. You notice the only time I changed aperture was to get a blurrier background or to knock down and get more detail, or to open up and get more detail in our background there. So I'm adjusting aperture, and that's one of the first things I set. And then I keep it that way. So whether I want detail in my background I go to f/8 or f/11, or if I want a blurry background I go to f/2.8 or f/4. So our aperture is gonna control our background. And then ISO is going to allow us to control globally everything. So when I wanted everything brighter, my background and my strobes, here I went ahead and I could turn my ISO up and down. So here's our photographs right here, starting out, adding the kiss of light, starting out with a boring, flat photograph, and you can hit Command-B, and then adding some depth and dimension down there. Starting off with what looked like a very blah, blue, back-lit kind of window, and turn it into morning sunrise or very dramatic street lighting out there, and then walking away with kind of that morning glow where I slowed my shutter speed down. And if I had an assignment to shoot lifestyle images for Shape Magazine or something like that, then you would go ahead and do something like this where you have beautiful light on our subject, natural-looking sunrise, but I could be shooting when the gyms are closed and we can actually use the location like at 10 PM at night and still get the same look. We also talked about when you do get your flash off-camera, where you place it. So get your flash or your strobe or your speed light, however you're modifying it. Raise it about eye level and bring it over around 45 degrees. And that's where you start. And then you creatively move it everywhere you want. But I want you to remember this. If you start getting creative and going crazy and you move your light around, all right, and you've got it flying all over the place, and you're like oh my God, it looks bad, there's too much shadow, too much contrast, there's a reset button. It's just like the video game. You hit reset. You start over. You got another life. Just bring it back, right to center. You're like okay, reset. (exhales loudly) Let's get creative again. Let's go here. Let's go high. Let's go low. Let's put a gel on it. You can do whatever you want. And then you never have to lose face in front of a client or confidence in front of a client because they're like, okay, this looks bad. Let's dial it back in, (laughs) start over and start getting creative again. This is your reset button. So that way you never get in over your head. Just always bring it back. And then finally, we talked about our different modifiers. All right? So a lot of times when I'm testing out new camera lenses or new camera bodies, throughout my years of doing this... Like I said, I'm self-taught. My friends have always gotten really good Facebook photos because I'm like, "Hey, I just got this new piece of equipment. "Come stand in for me. "Let me test it out on you." Okay? Whenever I'm doing that, I use big, soft light so the very first photo is nice and soft and flattering. So just remember that approach, too. Okay? Hard light is beautiful for film noir. We had a grid and focused and got really moody lighting for that one shot. But when you're starting out, start out with the biggest modifier you can find like a five-foot Oct or a big umbrella, and bring it in as close as possible. And that's gonna get you nice, soft, flattering light. It's a good place to start. And then you can play with hard light. And then you can play with grids. Cause again, I want you to learn a starting point and a safe place, and then I wanted to kind of tease a couple more advanced and different modifiers that you can use to really step up your game and start getting your own voice with your lighting. Yeah. And that's the run through. So that's how you control your light and quality and direction. It's how you control the scene with your camera settings and how they work with your strobes. And here's your different approaches. So let me just throw those at you. One way I like to leverage the scene as if I were to be a natural-light photographer, and if I have to, I bring light in to accent and flatter my subject. The second approach is to completely overpower the scene. If you're really given nothing, if you walk into a room and you're like this is so bad, I need to create my own, then you just set your camera so that everything's dark and then you bring in your own light. And then finally, when you get comfortable and you want to flex your creative muscle a little bit, then you start using gels and multiple lights and you can recreate streetlights or recreate lamp lights or recreate sunset. And you can really get fun and creative when it comes to that. So those are your three: accent and flatter your subject or overpower the scene completely or a combination and create your own scene altogether. So @ErikVPhoto is my Twitter and Instagram. That's what I'm most active on. So check that out for behind-the-scenes photos, what I'm shooting recently, and also a good place to reach out for questions. And, go ahead and sign up for that. I'm gonna do a follow-up with lighting diagrams and camera settings for every single shot. So if you're trying to write notes or you're trying to re-watch the broadcast, I'll have a companion PDF. Plus I'll be able to send you behind-the-scenes from future shoots and that kind of stuff too.

Ratings and Reviews


this is a super express class, fantastic... within very little time the guy explains what other need hours and hours to explain. clear explanations supported by practical examples how to sue light and what happens. this i avery basic but if you need to refresh your basic knowledge it is highly recommended to listen to this guy, he is good he is also fun

Jeanna Rice

Worth every penny! I'm a natural light photographer looking to have more control in less than ideal lighting situations and this class was perfect! Erik covers so much great information in an efficient and effective way. He automatically answered all my questions just as they came to mind throughout the class! Love that he covered both creating dramatic and natural-looking lighting no matter the environment you're in! Thanks Erik!


Erik is concise, approachable and effective with his teaching style. This class had the perfect tempo yet covered some of the most important concepts and things that people usually struggle with (aka me) which is mixing ambient light with flash. Superb class, superb teacher.

Student Work