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Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers

Lesson 65 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers

Lesson 65 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

65. Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Why Just One On-Camera Flash


5 Reasons to Use Flash


Common Flash Myths


What Makes Flash Challenging?


Chapter 2 Introduction


Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light


Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure


Flash vs. Ambient Demo


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Natural Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Creative Effect


Understanding Flash Duration


Chapter 3 Introduction


5 Common Key Light Patterns


5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill


5 Common Secondary Light Patterns


3 Primary Subject Patterns


Light Qualities


The Inverse Square Law


Inverse Square Law in Practice


Corrective White Balance


Creative White Balance


Chapter 4 Introduction


On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash


Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes


TTL vs. Manual Control


TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times


Flash Power & Zoom


HHS vs. ND Filters




Chapter 5 Introduction


4 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash


Bare Bulbing Done Right


Grid Snoot + Direct Flash


Mini Beauty + Direct Flash


Ring + Direct Flash


Understanding Modifiers


Direct Flash + Shutter Flash


Chapter 6 Introduction


Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash


Silver Bounce


More Light Silver


Soft White Bounce


Overhead Bounce


Overhead Bounce + Fill


Event Bounce


Chapter 7 Introduction


Natural vs. Dramatic Light


Filling and Refining Existing Light


Coloring Light for Corrective Effect


Coloring Light for Creative Effect


Chapter 8 Introduction


Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset


Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset


Case Study 3 - Sinister Headshot


Case Study 4 - Family Portrait


Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits


Case Study 6 - Working Angles


Case Study 7 - Drag + Composite


Case Study 8 - Less is More


The Good Karma Jar


Favorite Feature Flashes


Favorite Manual Flashes


Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers


Lesson Info

Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers

Welcome to the flash modifier show. Actually, this is my favorite flash modifiers that we're gonna go over in this video, and what this really is is actually my favorite kind of categories of flash modifier. So in each of these areas, I'm going to give you kind of a couple different options that really do a similar thing when it comes to flash modifiers. Guys, girls, you don't need to go and buy and try every single thing we've taught you how flash modifiers work, whether it's going to soften and diffuse or give you more speculative light with a harder edge, and so far we've taught you all these things, and as you watch this course, you'll get an idea of what each of these flash modifiers going to do. Then when you see new modifiers in the future, you can kind of gauge and guess what it's going to do tow light based on things that you've seen in the past, if its largest going to stop. And if it's small it's gonna hard, and if it's silver is going to speculate fits white and matt it's g...

oing to be more diffuse and so forth, so I want you guys tio not so much think of all these different items that I have to buy but think of what each of them do that when you see other modifiers you can know what it's going approximately do without even having to try it out and then once you tried out you can decide if you want to keep it in so but I want you guys to go on by every type of light modifier because there are a gazillion I'm gonna start on the top with a grid and gel and I kind of combined those two things together because we often use them in conjunction and I wanted to be separate points so what's a grid well, a grid is this guy now this is not for your on camera flash this is actually for a beauty dish and we're getting the lighting to one and three were going to be using studio strobes and beauty dishes and other light modifiers and grids for those why am I showing this to you? Because it illustrates perfectly what a grit is and you can see it firsthand all the grid does it's a honey comb pattern that basically funnels light forward now for a pocket strobe for a small flash they're this big okay but for a full studio flash modifier like a beauty dish it's this big so what is that essentially doing it's just allowing light on ly go in essentially one direction so life's not gonna fan out and kind of disperse like it normally would you concede that just by simply turning this so like right now you guys can see me yeah you don't now you see me now you don't know you see me you know okay so you can see exactly how is letting light on lee go through in one direction now the tighter this honey comb pattern okay the tire this honeycomb pattern the mauritz goingto basically channel light on ly ford the less it's going to let it spill out the more open this pattern then the more lights going to kind of let open up a little bit all right so the grids are generally measured in like inches or degrees as well. This I think is like a thirty or forty degree grid as it tightens up it goes down into a smaller number like a fifteen degree grid and these are measured in basically quarter inch so this is an eight inch grid and has a fairly tight weave. This guy which is on the magma is more of like a quarter inch grid okay so just know that the tighter the weave the mauritz going to funnel light in one direction is not going to spill out the more open the weave the morn let light kind of open up all right one thing to make note is a grid will indeed cut down the intensity of the light is well, it's going to cut down the power of your light so just rumor that if you add a great it was going to reduce some of the power I'm gonna go ahead and set this guy down gently so I don't break it here, okay? So as faras grids go, this is by the way of velo grid this is a very inexpensive grid, I think he's either ten or twenty bucks twenty bucks andi just bill crows onto the flat. So again, like our gel these air like are, you know, handmade jails that we get we just create velcro on there, we just put velcro or this comes with a cracked bell crow over the gel you put on there so it works totally that way but again the most or at least my favorite system four grids and jails and so forth is going to the magma. Now the magma's system is eighty bucks, but it does come with a much more elegant solution to gritting and jelling and also comes with grids and gels and so forth. So it's kind of a complete set but here's like the gel it comes with the magma and they'll come with several different types of gels you just pop in and out of those little plastic sheet here and then it just magnetically attach is to the flash. So it's very clean, very simple. You just attach this little base that I have on here to your flash head and it's just a rubber band. Basically, that has this magnet inside of it. And then you attach whatever modifiers wanted there. This is the magma, that grid. Okay, so again, all I would do is once I have attached, if I want to gel and a grid, I couldjust layer them on top of each other and they just stack if I want just the grid, I could just apply the grid on lee and it's. Very powerful magnets so they actually stick really, really well. You can see how that works. Very simple, very easy to use. They also come out with new light modifiers their new dome so I can put this on top of everything too, or I can use it independently and so forth. So it's a great light modification system that we give them a little round of applause. Ok, let's, go on to the next thing. So we have our budget and our favorite grid and jail system. I want to talk about reflectors next because most people would not think of a reflector as an on camera flash modifier, but these guys these are absolutely fantastic on camera flash modifiers you simply bounce into them is basically bouncing into a white reflectors equivalent bouncing off of a wall or a white wall and we also have silver reflectors when we want a more speculative and more intense light we can combine we could do all sorts of things with reflectors and the great thing about them is they're so portable these are westcott forty inch fiveone reflectors which have white screams on the inside like you see right here they also the silver side whiteside blackside gold side yeah that's the one you can also get three other ones that we used quite a bit or the photo d'oh those are much larger we actually have some on set but they open up to be quite a bit larger so I'm not going to open up here but it's forty by sixty inches and so they're a little bit more expensive I think the west calm ones you get for around thirty bucks the photo deal ones around I think forty bucks if you get him alone but you can get him inside of the stand set so inside of us standing everything it's like sixty or eighty bucks from around there and it comes with reflector plus this stand actually right here this guy me just grab this guy for one second reflektor stands are handy dandy little items this is the reflector sand kash this is generous but it comes with the photo deal so you just clip basically the top into here or the bottom into there and then the top in the here and you can adjust it and have a reflector stand anywhere you need. Okay, so very handed. Any little light modifier sport in studio or out of studio use that good right there that work okay? One thing to know is that when you do take one of those reflector stands outdoors and then he put a reflector on it it's a good thing to sandbag it down because it's like a giant sale so sooner the wind comes it's going to knock it over if you have to beat me a lot of wind most likely you can't use a stand you need to have a person holding your reflected great. So the other thing to look for is the westcott omega. Actually, this is by my buddy jerry jonas how's pronounce his last name wrong is that jonas archaeologist either way, jerry he's coming out with a new ten and one reflector that has basically opening in the centre it's called the westcott omega it's about one hundred bucks, another fantastic light modification tool morpher off camera flash that we'll be focusing on that and kind of featuring it more in lighting to one a three oh one but it's a handing any tool let's go on to number three a bounce slash many beauty dish now what exactly we're talking about here? Well, there's a whole host of items in this category that do very, very similar things on the budget side. Okay, on the budget side we have things like this this is the impact stroh bees okay, it has a little silver dish right here because basically what you do and let me just take this magma off and I'll put this guy on for just a second so all you do is you basically place this directly over the flash head and you'll see the flashes going hit this and bounced into this dish and go straight forward. So in firing kind of that direct flash look, which we're gonna use when we get to yoko's in studio session it creates a really nice direct flash with a slightly softer look to it it's really great has a really nice look if you've used beauties before that's exactly what it is it just a minute miniature beauty dish that opens it the light a little bit you can see that it's a white surface on the inside so it creates more of a kind of softer and more diffused light versus amore speculum like okay, a great item, another item that we have that fits really into the same category because it creates a very similar look is the stopper flash disk so this guy I'm going to show you this guy real quick I'm gonna set this one down. The great thing about this flash disk is actually folds up to be quite small it'll fit in any pouch and then it just poofs open rather violently actually but this is a cool little disc and actually help the f stoppers teo manufacture this guy it's a really functional thing when I got it, I was like, this is cool, but basically all you do let me show pappas guy off then we'll pop this one on I want to show you why these air similar to each other so let's put this going on right here. I'm gonna put the flash it up I'm gonna grab the bottom of this I was gonna pull it right over the head. Okay, so what this does is the flash fires up and there's actually reflective surface around the outside of this so it's gonna hit that reflective surface bounce around against this reflective signing out this whiteside? Why is it similar? Why do I classify a bounce in a minute beauty all these in the same area because all it's doing is it's taking this light source and it's opening up its making it larger so you can imagine that since this is larger than this guy but since it's also white well, we can kind of guess what it's gonna do it's gonna have a more soft light because it's larger than this guy and it's going to be defused a cz well, because it used the white surface somewhere to this. Now this is even more of a matte finish than this guy so might be a little more diffused we do have silver on the inside, but it goes to the white so it's going to defuse nicely so as far as a look, if we're firing direct on camera flash is going to be very similar to this beauty said this might be just a little bit softer and that's exactly what you would get so you can analyze these different things and say this is how the light's gonna work this is how it's going to reflect out and this is the look that I'm going approximately get and generally once you understand these modifiers, you're gonna be able to guess pretty accurately what each of them does. So again another similar item like a mini bounced many beauty this guy this just go straight over the head right there. This is a fellow miniature soft box now this isn't one of my favorite tools I'm only showing this to you because you can kind of think of this is working very similarly to that little beauty dish which the light from the beauty dish was nicer so that's why that's the one I would recommend but let's put this on here again pointed out your subject whether this is on camera off camera that's pointed your subject what is it going to do? It's a slightly larger than the flash so it's gonna be a little bit softer and that's all it's gonna do and that's exactly what it will do when you put it into practice now as far as the two favorites that I have for the budget this is a fantastic little might light modifier thinks was twenty nine are twenty four bucks this little impacts trophies not bad at all for my favorite because of his versatility I would choose the f stop the flash disk now it's a little more expensive it's fifty bucks but still very affordable and the great thing about it is you have a great car in the back side so if you need to kind of just take a shot with a great card, you have that and it could also act as a miniature reflector which we're going to show you several different techniques of just basically bouncing off this while you're holding in your hand you can attach it for direct flash you can use it off camera and so forth so it has a lot of versatile uses I highly recommend that guy all right let's go on the number four which is a snoop now what is this new gonna do? A snoot is basically just a guy like this that it's just going to wrap around the flash head so all I would do is just apply this around the flash and you can probably guess what it's gonna do okay, so take a look at this what do you think that does if you said it allows you to kind of pin the light right where you want it then you're absolutely right a snow is actually very similar to a grid a grid will funnel light forward and just kind of a light a hit a very specific area without letting the life spill everywhere. Now you can do that in a couple different ways. The first level of control that we have for that kind of pinning functionality is actually in the flash itself it's our zoom setting so the wider the zoom angle at twenty four millimeters it's going to kind of open up more and the tighter the same angle is going to go forward more if we want to funnel it forward even more so than, say, one hundred five millimeter zoom I'm gonna add on top of that a grid that's gonna funnel light and not let us spill out anywhere and if I want to channel it even more than a grid then I could add a snoot to pin this light exactly where I want it now once again when we're trying to bounce off reflectors and we don't want any spill anywhere things like grids and snowsuits they are your friend and if you're going off camera really more for off cameron's I find that a grid in general based on the distance that were bouncing from these reflectors a grid generally does the job really well it controls the light from spilling everywhere and it gets it to the target a snow is kind of more powerful grid, so it's gonna pin it even further and I find that its use is best when you're doing off camera flash so off camera flash we're going to focus more on snoot then we probably will inside of this workshop but again it's a fantastic little accessory by the way, my favorite one is probably the either the aurora this is the light bank aurora or porter flex these air like ten or fifteen bucks. If that's too much for you guys, then you could probably imagine that you can make a snoot just out of a piece of reading paper was making paper and put it around here all right it's going to the same thing, but the nice thing about this is that it has silver on the inside s o that way you're actually retaining the light power you're just funneling it forward or funneling it wherever you want it to be okay ring flash let's show you guys that guy. This is a ring flash. Now I show you a ring flash not because I use it a ton, but because it's a really cool accessory tohave and it creates a look that's very much unlike anything else that you're gonna really use as faras at least light modifiers go. So I feel like it really belongs in its own category of light modifiers. This one that I have on camera right now is the ray flash. This is by expo imaging is the ray flash too. Now, what this does is it takes the flash head right here, and it basically funnels a light into this ring and the ring goes around here and the light comes straight forward. But look at where the light's coming from and look at where the lens is. Actually, the lens is sandwiched in between the light. So essentially what's happening is the light is coming straight forward from all around the lens, and this creates a very unique well, two things creates a really unique catch light in the eyes because you get a little ring in the eyes party when you're shooting close to your subject and when you're shooting a little further away from the subject, it creates a very unique shadow along the wall. Because what happens is since the lights coming from all around the lens and by the way, that little band thing that I don't have attached right now, so it's kind of drooping a little bit, but since the light is coming straight for us and lends you get this kind of shadow halo around your subject, which is a very distinctive look that only comes from a ring flash as far as ring flashes for for on camera flash, I would highly recommend if you're serious about this type of stuff. Go with this ring flashes the expo imaging ray flash two it's about one hundred forty bucks, but it's really the bad it's kind of on board or on camera flash modifier that you have okay, other ring flashes there stand alone units, they're not they don't go over your existing flash, they're actually their own independent flashes their own independent ladies and they get very expensive five, six hundred seventy bucks and for the money, this doesn't really great job. If you're looking at his play with the effect and just to kind of get the look and you want to try it out, you want to have some fun with it, then d I y photography dot net has a d I y photographer ring flash which is a little cardboard ring flash kid it's really cool it's quite innovative and it's only twenty five bucks it allows you to create a ring flash that you can put over your hot shoe flash and play with the technique just to see if you like it it's not necessarily the most kind of you durable thing because it's made out of cardboard I definitely wouldn't take on a professional shoots but it will give you a ring flash look and it's twenty five bucks so it's fun to play around with let's go into the last one. Number six which is the dome now I'm gonna dis are unattached this guy as faras domes go my favorite dome is just going to be fong on this guy is the fun gone and again I mentioned I called a phone dung because I heard it once called a phone long I thinkyou're jared eunice that called the phone dong and I think that was why I called it a funny song was because jerry called the funda but this is made by gary fung. This is a light sphere now this is my favorite version of this item and you can see because it was very compact, this version of it it does a great job of basically allowing a lot of light through while still dispersing the light around. Okay, but you can see it folds up into this nice little store ble unit and it also has a little dome that comes on to what does this guy do though? Basically, once you attach this to your flash let's, just put this around here because we don't need to show it all guys it's really not that hard to put on? I'm just having technical difficulties because I have giant man fingers. Okay, so this is on the flash and out. Now what this does is it has a little dome on here on the top that you can use as well when the flash fires, it has these little ridges, and basically it pushes some of that flash in all directions. So when it hits that it's going to disperse them, the flash in all directions around it while letting most the flash still goto whatever you are bouncing off of this is my go to modify when it comes to event and wedding type, nighttime portrait or event photography. Because you can use this, you can basically bounce, say off the wall to the right and get this beautiful bounce like coming forward, but it'll push a little bit that light forward as well, and so that way you get a nice fill into the eyes. When you apply the dome on top of this and also the dome and it comes with, then it channels more light basically out around the outside, and it allows less light through the top. Okay, it's a great modifier for on camera flashes. Absolutely fantastic. If you are an event wedding photographer so forth you need to have this because at night time it's actually quite crucial, but you can get different versions of this. This is like I said, the gary fingers and this is the original version it's sixty bucks it's nice. It has great light diffusion. It does a really great job on there, he's the original guy that count with it so it kind of works the best, but you can get budget versions of it. You could get the easy, easy photo dome for like twenty bucks you can find him on ebay for ten bucks, you can get them quite inexpensive. The only peanut note is that generally when you get different brands, they eat up more light. Okay, so they're not going to allow as much life through the plastic any lower quality it's not going to store a cz well and so forth, but it still doesn't very similar function, it just might not give you as much light output as this one doesn't mind that store as well all right so you guys gonna pick what you want to do based on your own budget I gave you guys kind of my favorite options in each of these categories based on what I typically would use but from this video and especially from watching the rest of this course what I want you all to study and to pay close attention to is what each of these modifiers is doing to our image how it's affecting and how it's changing the light because by understanding that by understand these different surfaces and how we're gonna balance and how we're going to shape and how I'm gonna use light to create the different styles after you complete this workshop you can look at a light modifier and it doesn't matter whether it's ah on camera flash modifier and off camera flash modifier a studio strobe on a fire it doesn't matter what it is you can look at it and say I know exactly what that modifiers going to do and if it doesn't get me what I want I know exactly how to modify and that's what this course is all about we're focusing on on camera flash because we can use all these modifiers to do what we call light shaping and that light shaping process of using these modifiers to create these different looks is going to carry forward into whatever type of lighting use whether it be flash strobe constant light and so forth we're doing this chapter guys, let's, head on to the next one now.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 101 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


The best class for understanding light and lighting there is bar none. Pye is an excellent teacher and the quality of the material provides for a rich and very informative experience. Pye breaks down the fundamentals in easy to digest packets and then elaborates as needed. If there is one class that you watch this is it! Worth purchasing and saving for future use. I would also HIGHLY recommend downloading the saving the PDF of slides that accompany the videos. Again, and can't say it enough, this is THE BEST video to lighting on Creative Live. A must watch for the novice and the expert.


Great course, I highly recommend it if you want to become a more confident flash user. Pye is a wonderful instructor and just such a nice guy, it's a pleasure to listen to him

Simon Metselaar

This is the best thing that happened to me since I've been into photography. What a lifesaver. Unfortunately I already payed for some courses that are not Pye, but Pye just nails it. Amazing, and kind of a life hack. Thanks again :)

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