How to Shoot with your First Flash

Lesson 18/28 - Shoot: Snoots

 

How to Shoot with your First Flash

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Snoots

The situation here is, we're gonna go from as soft of light as possible to as hard and harsh of light as possible. So, remember we took a photo like this, straight on, and we got a hard shadow behind him. But, what if we go even tighter? What does that look like? So, I have this little product here. This is a snoot. This is a commercial product, so pay money for it, or you can just use black paper and tape and just tape it over the front. This does have a little grid here in the front, and the grid helps collimate the light, or to linearize, to directionalize the light. Just keeps the light all moving in the same direction so it doesn't spread. On the back is a little rubber friction mount, and that just mounts right here on the flash. Just like that. I hear people all the time asking, well what about snoots? Should I buy a snoot? Is it useful for me? Well, let's take a picture and see what you think. Okay, you ready for this one? I think so. All right, I think I am ready, too. I'm...

in TTL mode. I am still at F5.6 at a 250th. And, here we go: One, two, three. (clicking) Okay, let's see how this one turned out. Huh. Doesn't look that much different than just direct flash. Go full frame so y'all can see it. Very directional. Typically, we use snoots in off-camera flash situations. Use snoots so it can come from this angle and rake across maybe his face. Or, rake across his shoulder. Or, maybe we point it towards the background so we get this shaft of light. So, we use it with a purpose in an off-camera flash situation. You would never really use snoots with on-camera flash. So, don't do that. See, part of this class is learning what you should do and what you should not do, and this is one of those things you don't do, on-camera flash with a snoot. Unless you like that look or unless you have a reason to create that look. All righty. I have a question. Okay. Actually, two. One was about the previous one, the rogue bender. They have larger size ones of those. Have you had any issues with them blowing off-- (laughs) Yeah. In the breeze? That was question one. This week he had a couple of big wind storms up here in the Pacific Northwest, and you would never really wanna be outside in a big windstorm. 'Cause yeah, these do catch the wind. They are a little bit ungainly. Oh, and to your point, if you have a flash-- This is an older flash that I have. It's made by Nikon. It's the SB-600. It's a great flash. I still use it, but over the years it's just become wimpy, and it just doesn't have a lot of strength. So, what'll happen is if I do have this thing on there, it'll always flop over like that. So, make sure that you don't have a floppy head. Okay, thanks, that was the first one. Then the other is to ask, all the walls here white, but what do you do when you're in a house, like my house, that has yellow kitchen walls and burgundy colored dining room walls and that kind of thing? Great question, I love it. This happens all the time. I go to a client's house to photograph their kids for a portrait session, and yellow walls, green walls, purple walls. Ahhh. First thing is, paint your walls. (crowd laughing) If you're a photographer-- I don't know many photographers who have odd-colored walls in their house, 'cause we always wanna use that. The second thing is don't bounce off the walls. Really keep your kit so that you're bouncing in this little area here. So, try to prevent the light from hitting those other zones. Does that makes sense? You can't always get away from it. Sometimes you'll get a yellow splash on the side. (grunts) Okay. You're just gonna have to live with it. Maybe do some brushwork in Photoshop or something like that. But, if you own the home, paint.

Class Description

Every photographer encounters situations where the light on their subject is less than ideal. A small flash can have a huge impact on your photos and is easier to use than you think! Photographer Mike Hagen joins CreativeLive to show you how to use your external flash quickly and comfortably. Mike will walk through the different flash options available and how to sync your camera and flash. He’ll walk you through different scenarios and demonstrate how your flash can improve your shots. After this class you’ll walk away knowing: 

  • How to set up your flash with your camera and what to look for when shooting 
  • How to use a flash in scenarios like event photography, portraits and tabletop photography 
  • Which light shapers work best for your work and how to utilize them 
  • How to use your flash off camera, working with TTL cables, wireless triggers and other gear
  • Techniques for using modifiers like umbrellas, softboxes and reflectors with your off camera flash 
Don’t get stuck in a low light scenario without the confidence and tools you need to produce an amazing image. 

Reviews

Yasemin Soyen
 

First of all I am very happy to discover Creative Live and since then I learned, enjoyed many classes! This week for the first time I was in the live audience and their sincerity, hospitality made the experience even more valuable. About this class, it was a pleasure to meet Mike Hagen. Besides his wide knowledge, creative thinking and information sharing, he was a very humble, nice teacher, with great positive energy. Thanks everyone!

Candy Smith
 

This class was fantastic. Mike is excellent under pressure when things don't go perfectly, love his style and grace and how encouraging he is to his models, great mentor. I learned so much about using flash, and my pictures are so much better.

C.Welsh
 

Mike, is a fantastic instructor. I have taken other flash photography classes, but I find Mikes’ to be the best laid out, clear and concisely demonstrated class, with great detail and not overly "techy" terms to confuse the listener. Though lots of technical information is shared, it is done in a way anyone can understand and follow along. Great examples explained, to help apply what we are learning to real life scenarios. Like Rear Sync Curtain explanation, really helped distinguish the difference and why.
 Great sense of humour too!
 Hope Mike, will be back to teach more classes, maybe a sequel… one on multi flash use? 
~ Christine