Getting Started with Off-Camera Flash

Lesson 7 of 8

Shoot: Freezing Motion and Adding Haze

 

Getting Started with Off-Camera Flash

Lesson 7 of 8

Shoot: Freezing Motion and Adding Haze

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Freezing Motion and Adding Haze

We are gonna go to a multi light set up alright. We have got time. I have been keeping this one light to make this very approachable but I also want this to be empowering. You guys saw some shots where it is like I changed the time of day. I added sunlight ya know it helped that I had a Ferrari and a ballerina that helps too but that could be anyone ya know. Could be like your kid out there dressed up doing like really cool soccer shots or senior portraits. So now we are gonna do a multi light set up because we have used the ambient light and the natural light, we have overpowered the existing ambient light and now we are gonna create our own. So I need a second light for this and I think you guys might have a photo if we can cut to we have got a light outside. Uh what I did, there you go perfect. What I did is we set up another one of these brown color syros um these are battery powered thankfully so we do not have to worry about finding a power plug out there and thank you to our awe...

some photo assistant out there guarding it because it is on wheels. So we do not want this to roll away while we are in here teaching. Um and I have got that standard reflector on there. The reflectors gonna be uh it is this guy right here. It is gonna be a really efficient way to gather and focus your light. There is a silver interior here and now with the soft box that is great because it makes it big and soft. We are not looking for this. I just want all the power focused through the window and you can just tell just barely there I have orange gels. So my goal here is to create this beautiful morning sunrise shock that you saw on some of my sample photos at the beginning of the class. But you look over here and this is I mean it is Seattle it is overcast. But this is really overcast. I walked into the studio this morning I was like whoa we are not gonna get a lick of daylight at all today. Um so we are gonna recreate our sun. And we are also on the north side of the building here which will never get direct sunlight so Chase is gonna walk back in here and be like how did you get that shot? I have not seen a sunrise in that building in 10 years you know. So we are gonna recreate our own scene and create something that would never happen naturally. We are gonna get sunrise coming through this window. So to do that like I said we have two strobes, we have one out there that is gonna be our fake sun and I also got CTO gels on there. So if you look in the black roller bag I have got a bunch of gels there. CTO gels are color temperature orange or color transfer orange gels and what they do is they warm up the color temperature of your flash. It is look like orange saran wrap honestly and what it does is it takes your light temperature from 5500 to about 3200 kelvin. Oh perfect, should be a full cut right there. Awesome. That's this guy right here and they come in different intensities. You just heard us talking about full cuts and quarter cuts so a full cut is gonna take you from daylight 5500 kelvin to tone stone which is 3200 kelvin. You got a full? And these are initially designed so that if you are working indoors I can make my strobe lights look like the lamp lights sitting by your bedside table, okay. Or the warm lights out there on the streets. What happens when you stack two of them is your able to put a bunch of power through here which would normally overexpose and de saturate so I can overpower it and shine it through a window and still maintain that really orange warm quality of light to make it look like warm sunrise. Cause you know that golden hour? An hour after sunrise, an hour before sunset it gets nice and warm and that is what I am gonna recreate. So outside I put two of these, gaff tape them to my standard, my L-40 reflector here and we are gonna turn the power up really high on that strobe out there. Um well I can control it from in here. Is that seven? Perfect. And we are gonna create our sun so that is gonna be our next shot. So again, I like to work everything one light at a time. Always starting with my camera settings. So if you want to grab a drink of water you have got about like 60 seconds if you wanna like stretch or do whatever you wanna do. Um I am gonna grab my camera here and take the wireless transmitter off and let us go ahead and get our shot. Here is our scene. We have got this beautiful window. Camera settings have not changed. I am still shooting on my Tamron 70 to 200. I am at F8. I am at ISO 100. I am at 1/200th of a second and let us see if we can get that to pull up. Perfect. Okay, that does not look like warm sunrise at all, not one bit. Alright, so that is a good starting point. Again, this is building on our last shot so we are not tryna recreate a whole bunch here. We are just tryna overpower the scene. I am sorry we are not tryna leverage a whole bunch, we are tryna overpower the scene and create a whole bunch here. So I am gonna turn on my wireless trigger. Woah okay. Let us turn this guy off if we can and what I am gonna do is I am actually controlling this outside the window through all the metal and glass and everything. So again this is another really cool thing about investing in strobes that have wireless triggers built in or using something like a pocket wizard that is gonna allow you to wireless communicate. Cause I could not imagine tryna fish a tether cable or a trigger cable through the window, out the window, out to my strobe out there. Alright, so let us go ahead and take this next shot. (camera shutters) And see what that looks like. Woah alright there is our sunrise, okay I like that. It is looking very moody here. Alright so let us go ahead and bring our subject in. So if I can have you hop in like right there in the middle between those two big panes. Perfect. And let us say if we can have you flip your hair over to the right side of your face. Alright, and why do you think I'm doing that? Why do you think I had her move her hair? I'll show ya. Exactly. (camera shutters) Cause I know I am gonna have this really bright blaring light coming over her right shoulder. And now can you flip it for me? Flip your hair to the other side. Alright. (camera shutters) This is nice here but if she turns her face over slightly, so if she starts posing in this direction, I'm gonna start getting that highlight on her nose from our sunset right there. And that is what I wanna avoid because I am always thinking Hey make a cool photograph but hey, also flatter your subject and blaring, bright orange light bouncing off of someones nose is not the most flattering thing in the world. So let us have you flip it back around. Perfect. And I will have you pose towards me and again your stage here is gonna be anything opposite of that sunrise alright so feel like your at the gym. You do not wanna be there but you got out of bed which is like always the hardest part. You are at the gym, your cold, oh the suns rising alright you have the nice warm sun on your back like you are ready to go. Okay? So your gonna walk into the gym, you are headed that way. Perfect. So this is gonna be where we are starting the scene. Nice. (camera shutters) Alright so now we actually have to add a light to light our subject. So let us go ahead and bring this guy back in. Woah and let us pull the grid off it cause we do not have to be that focused or let us leave the grid on we do not need to change it up that much. So, um I have everything is set up on the same channel. It is all on channel one. If your in pocket wizard world they have channels 1 through 32. Bronze color is channels 1 through everything. FotoX and Godox have like A, B, C groups. You just wanna make sure everyone is on the same channel and that means every time I push the shutter button we are gonna go ahead and be good to go. So we are at 56.5 and he is gonna set it up just the way we have been setting it up. Bottom of the soft box about eye level and then let us go ahead and bring it in a little closer on camera, right there is perfect. Alright so that looks pretty similar right? Pretty familiar to our that is our safety set up. I like to start there cause I know it is gonna give me some depth to the face, but not to much contrast so it is a good comfortable place to start. So let us go ahead and take this photograph. (camera shutters) Nice. Beautiful, alright there we go we are done. Okay class is over early we have got 15 minutes of questions. (audience laughter) Um no, but let us go ahead and reverse engineer this alright. So looks, body is good but just bring your face straight to me alright. Having the light at 45 degrees allows us to get this cool Rembrandt lighting effect that we have got going on there okay. So the Rembrandt lighting is gonna be when the nose shadow connects with the cheeks shadow and leaves that nice little triangle of light on the face. Now um if you want cool classical lighting patterns go check out Chris Knights class. He is like a history buff and detailed lighting guy. I do not get that detailed. What I like to take away is the gist of things. So I know that when I have this Rembrandt lighting, that is about as much contrast and shadow as I can get in a face, as much definition as I can get in a face while still getting a catch light in both eyes. That is the important takeaway for me there. So I like to set my light up over at 45 degrees. Get a bunch of contrast so I see nice cheekbones chiseled. I want a nice line under her chin cause she has got a really cute chin there. We want definition there. But I know if I go any farther, her eyes gonna go dark. So keep your face straight at me and go like side light with her. Perfect, alright. (camera shutter) That's gonna come through. Beautiful. There is still a little bit of a catch light there but your gonna see how that side of the face is now starting to go dark and that eye is going dead and take a half step forward for me. Beautiful. (camera shutters) And when this one comes up now it is gonna be completely dark. And this is what we wanna avoid. So if we can switch over to this for the feed, you don't want those dead eyes okay. They look lifeless. You want that catch light in both of the eyes. So let us compare that to two photos back. Perfect. Big difference, okay? Of course it is much more flattering on the face but just the difference in eyes. So I like to do Rembrandt because it gives me contrast, still gives me life in the eyes which is why I recommend you start at about that 45 degree angle. Alright, so let us go ahead and take off my lens hood which is good. Um camera manufactures and lens manufactures are constantly tryna come up with this anti-glare, anti-reflection coding on their lenses cause they say oh we do not like lens flare. Unfortunately, for people like me, I love making lens flare. So um the newer the lens the less flare I can get in camera but we are gonna try. So I am removing my lens hood. I am gonna get down here and again bring in your face kind of a little bit that way. Excellent. I am gonna see if we can get some flare in camera here. So I am shooting and I actually have the light source. There we go, that looks cool. I actually have the light source in the camera again and we are breaking rules. Never put a light source in the camera. You do not want lens flare cause it lowers contrast. Ah forget it. I want style, the feel of this. Um so I like that. That is good. What else can we start doing here though? Cause now we have a bunch of control. Now we can start creatively flexing our muscle here like this was our goal to create this warm glowing back light. And we are overpowering the scene cause we still have our camera settings from earlier where we were dimming down all the ambient light. Uh what can we do here to lift this up and fill this? What if I want to add some fill to this scene or make it brighter or make it less contrasty? How would I do that? Well we can go back to our shutter speed right? I told ya shutter speed is what controls the ambient light and when I go back through a photo shoot and you can go in the light room and you can sort by x of data and I go back and I look and I'll be like okay, I took half of my photos at 2. and half of my photos end at 4. And then I look at shutter speed and it is all over the place. I took a couple at 160th, a couple at 130th, a couple at 1/125th I am constantly changing my shutter speed. Cause shutter speed is what changes the feel in the room. So let us go ahead and take a shot here with our current camera settings. And I am gonna have you kind of lock down a pose and let me take that photo of that same pose like about 3 or 4 times, okay? Alright? Beautiful so hold that at 1200th of a second. (camera shutters) 1/125th. (camera shutters) 160th. (camera shutters) 130th. Now we are starting to lower the contrast by bringing up that ambient light right? Well here is my problem. Yeah let us do the first and the second one. Completely different feel okay. And now go ahead and look at this well yeah I have got gels on the backlight. That is my motivation for that light, is a warm sunrise but then the rest of the room looks like it was lit. It might be the inside of your gym or the inside of your office in the morning with the fluorescent lights on. What if I want it to look like everything is warm? Well then I can just change my white balance in camera to something like a cloudy or a shade white balance. Alright now let us go ahead and take the photograph again. (camera shutter) And now I am gonna get down really low. It is kinda warmed up the scene a little bit there. And now let us get down really low and get our sun flare back. (camera shutter) We needed three photos cause she was moving really fast. Beautiful. The reason I did that is so I could get a comparison. So let us compare the non flash fire and the first one. Perfect there you go. So and then hit Command + T for me and we will close that out. There we go. So this is just natural light what we are walking into and this is our nice beautiful warm accented window light that we have got going on. And let us go to white balance and warm it up even more. So we can really quickly, yup that one works. So he is gonna go ahead and we can start playing around with this. Now I can do this in camera, I can set my white balance in camera or we can do this in post production. Just crank it. Yeah, there we go. Its a super, super warm morning. If we want this to be more life style we can shoot this at a 35 millimeter 1.4 and just blur the background out a bunch if we wanted to. Um now remember we were talking about being able to use ISO as like a global adjustment, right? So let us just change some stuff up here. Let us drop my ISO even more and then open up my aperture some and then we will turn down the power everything and open up my aperture even more and lower the power again. So now I have turned down the power and opened up my aperture and let's just go ahead and see if we can get a really shallow depth of field here. Beautiful. So now I am starting to blow out the window so we are getting less detail there blurring the hair. And you can just go back to um a standard 56 kelvin 6/600th if you want and we can start shooting around with this. Alright let us go really dramatic I'll bring that right over there for ya. (camera shutters) Nice and were we able to get any fog? Any fog come through? No? Okay so another really cool thing when your in a scene like this is have you guys seen like the canned air? No? Okay. So there's like this atmosphere of fog in a can. You will see this in a lot of my photographs. This is another thing I just wanna pitch out there cause again I said at the end of this class I wanna give you guys a little more inspiration like where else you can take this. That atmosphere in a can, this canned air, what you can do is just spray it behind your subject and then your gonna get this beautiful flare going on here but your also gonna get the fog, like the light's gonna come through the fog and give a lot of depth and atmosphere. Uh cinematographers use this as the hack if they have background lights that they have added and they want there to feel more depth and space in the room. They will like lay down like a thin layer of haze in the background. That is really important that if you do this you do not take that canned fog and ya know like and spray it around in the front because then your gonna have the light hitting all this fog particles here and it is gonna blur and lower contrast on your subject. You only want to put that in the background. Um so this where I wanted to go with that I wanted to get this nice feel here. So let us have you take a half step over this way for me. And now we can just shot around a little bit with this. And then if you wanna queue up any questions that might be coming in to I can start taking those in a second. (camera shutters) Beautiful. (camera shutters) Take a half step towards me. Nice and again, the only thing you wanna now remember when you start free styling and start moving things around is as your subject moves, the farther she gets away from the light the less power you are gonna have in your light. Okay, and the closer she gets to the light the brighter she is gonna be. So your gonna wanna just move them in unison, okay? So far I have taught you how to set your camera, where to place the light, and now as we start to move around a little bit, I just kinda wanna give you a feel for what it looks like as we are kinda just moving on our feet. And you wanna make sure that um again you can work with your subject here. So you can free pose all you want just make sure if you go forward or backwards you stay the same distance from the light. Just do not like step to far back or to far forward. Beautiful let us have you look over this way just a little bit for me. (camera shutters) Nice. Awesome and now I want you to look down here at the bottom to. 130th of a second just one thing I want you to know. Shameless plug for my class this afternoon. We are gonna be talking about freezing motion and how we are gonna control time and how to get tack sharp photos. If I am at 130th of a second, on a 70 to 200 millimeter lens and I have had as much coffee as I have had this morning, um normally these photographs are gonna be really blurry. But I am doing a number of things that are causing me or allowing me to get sharp photos. It is a combination of what lens settings I am using, how I am holding the camera, how I am shooting my flash. So all of those things things come into play allowing me to get sharp photos at slower shutter speeds of 130th of a second. Which is allowing me to build up all this ambient light and allowing that to come into the scene.

Class Description

Strobe lighting can feel overwhelming when you’re just starting out. With so many options, techniques, settings, and variables, many photographers are too intimidated to give strobes a chance. Veteran photographer Erik Valind will take the mystery out of strobes and show you how to add them to your repertoire so you can create beautiful imagery.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Utilize strobes in conjunction with natural light to improve your photos.
  • Control the direction and quality of your light.
  • Understand the various uses of strobes and how to adjust their settings.

When you bring your own lights on a shoot, you’re no longer at the mercy of poor natural light and unpredictable weather. This course will give you an A to Z overview of new lighting techniques to help you take control of the light and be more creative with your images.

Reviews

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!

AusTxFred
 

I've enjoyed all the Creative Live classes I've purchased. I can certainly use this information, however I thought the class title including the phrase "Freezing Subject" with a photo of a fellow in the air with a skateboard would have illustrated use of strobes outdoors; it does not.