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Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes

Lesson 8 of 27

What Modifier to Use with Multiple Flashes?

Mike Hagen

Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

8. What Modifier to Use with Multiple Flashes?

Lesson Info

What Modifier to Use with Multiple Flashes?

So, we're gonna go through all kinds of awesome modifiers. I brought in just about everything I own. And then I also, we rented some stuff for this class just to show you some different varieties of modifiers. But the most important thing, when you're thinking about flash modifiers is understanding how does that modifier impact your style. And I'm gonna be talking a lot about this today, you know, what's the feeling that you wanna create in the photo? And then what's the modifier you should choose to do that? Some of the modifiers are very difficult to use, like a beauty dish. It's hard to use a beauty dish well. Other modifiers, there's like, easy to use, like the giant umbrella, you know? So, I'll just show you what they all look like. We're gonna take a bunch of photos here, so you get a feel for what those modifiers do in the real world. But I think, it's probably time just to kinda get into it. So, as you're putting together your studio, you're thinking, alright, I know Mike said ...

I've gotta have a key light. Well, what do I put on that key light? Do I put an umbrella? Do I use the key light with the soft box? And if so, why? Why would I use that soft box? What's the important thing about it? What do I need to know? What about the fill light? Should the fill be down low, should it be up high, should it be big, should it be small, should it be snoot, should it be a grid? How about, should it be a hard light, soft light? So all of these things are going through our minds. And when you're starting out in your photography career, or you're starting out in your amateur photography in the garage, you just don't really know. And you can't spend all the money, right? 'Cause all this stuff costs money. At the very low end, you've got umbrellas and they're, you know, they're 15 bucks a piece. So they're not that expensive. At the very high end, you've got these giant soft boxes or these giant parabolic umbrellas, and they can run anywhere from $400 to $4, or even more. I was just pricing out this big parabolic umbrella the other day, it was like $7,000. I'm like ehh, guess I didn't need that as bad as I thought I needed it. So let's go through and describe the different types of modifiers. And to do that, we're gonna go off to this side of the studio where I've got all the toys. And we'll start going through. The first thing that I want to demonstrate or talk about are umbrellas, okay. Since this is an introduction class, I'm gonna put my, I'm gonna forget, so you guys don't let me forget, I'm putting that right there, okay. So since this is an introduction class, I'm just gonna talk about, a little bit about the gear that it stands on and then we'll get right into the product. So, this is just a light stand. You're gonna see I've got basically three types of light stands today. I've got low stands and those are hidden in back. I'll pull those out in a little bit. Those low stands are very low. We use those a lot for background lights. This is a traditional, you know, a traditional light stand here. These vary in height from maybe about a six foot high maximum height, up to maybe 12 or 13 feet high. You're gonna need a variety of these. If most of your people are going to end up sitting on a stool, then about the highest height that you're gonna need is about six feet. I'm six feet tall, so you can see that this light stand goes right, right at my head. If people are standing, you're gonna need light stands that will go even higher than six feet. So I like purchasing 10 foot, 11 foot light stands, maybe even 12 foot. The problem is they get a little bit more expensive the higher you go. I've got a number of those bigger light stands over here today and we'll be using those, but you know, if I'm photographing someone who's six foot four inches tall, you're light has to go at least a foot or two above their head so you can get the nice shadowing on the face that you're after, okay? So this is a light stand. And then every type of light stand, you have to have some type of unit, some type of product to connect the umbrella, or the soft box, to the stand. So this is an umbrella bracket. In a little while, when I show soft boxes, I'll show you the soft box speed rings that work for this. But you just need some type of device that does that. This is made out of nylon. I've got other ones that are made out of metal. These cost anywhere from maybe $ all the way up to maybe $25. The umbrella basically just slides right in there, okay? Super simple, umbrella goes right in there, and then it's got this little lock screw that you just tighten that down. Then what we need to do is we need to have a way to get your flash to attach to the stand. And in this case, in fact most cases, there's a little stud. So this little brass stud. And that brass stud will then screw into the bottom of some type of system. In this case, I've got that peanut and it screws into there. Then that goes into the top of the umbrella bracket. And you'll see today I'm gonna use a variety of ways to connect my flashes. Most of the time, if you're buying this stuff on Ebay, Amazon, or at any camera store, you're just gonna find what's called a speed light adapter. If you buy the speed light adapter, that's going to allow you to use your little flash inside of this big ol' expensive modifier. So all of my modifiers that I buy, I make sure that they're compatible with both my speed lights and my studio lights. So I typically will buy that speed light adapter.

Class Description

If you want complete control over the image you’re taking, you need to use multiple flashes. Mike Hagen will take what appears complex and explain how to make it achievable to help get your studio lighting to an elite level.

Mike Hagen will walk through how to build your lighting setup with two, three, four and even five flashes. If you're figuring out what lighting gear to purchase, this course will help by showing you:

  • Camera settings and sync modes to capture the best exposure
  • How to use the various trigger methods
  • The different roles each light plays in creating your image
  • How to shape the light for the most control over your final image
  • How to build your knowledge comfortably from 1-5 lighting setups

Whether you’re shooting portraits, buildings, or products - controlling all the light in your image can improve your photography from good to GREAT. Mike Hagen will teach you how to light and create every shadow and highlight by using multiple flashes in your photography.


Marty Walker

This is really a fantastic class and at an even fantastic-er price. Well worth the money, and is a great help. The instructor does a very good job explaining the methods, light shapers, and effects they create. One of my favorite videos!

Jeph DeLorme

Mike Hagen does a great job of presenting what could be a complicated process in a way that makes it easy to understand and implement. Not only does he make it easy to follow along, he presents alternative solutions that don't break the budget. I have viewed several instructors and various classes at Creative Live and this would definitely be one of my favorites. I have to say, this class would be a bargain at 10x the price!

Tim Stapenhurst

What can I say about this class? Mike is great- not only does he give a thorough break down of all the equipment one could need but he also includes wide variety of price options for those just getting started. Aside from his thorough knowledge of gear, Mike provides an excellent and easy to follow bread down of how to build up the light for your subject. His lesson plan is super easy to follow and very concise as he slowly builds up from using 2 lights to 5 lights. He also demonstrate what I think is a much needed trait in a photographer and that is being cool under pressure, dealing with issues and not getting rattled and simply going back to the basics. Creative Live Nailed it with this class