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More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!

Lesson 40 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!

Lesson 40 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

40. More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Welcome to Lighting 201!


OCF = Anytime/Anyplace


Chapter 2 Introduction


Wired, Infrared or Radio?


“Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?”


Our 3 Favorite Flashes “Pocket Strobes”


4 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At


Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes


Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups


Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers


5 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs


Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range


Our Favorite “Sticks”


Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers


12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Chapter 3 Introduction


8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF


Over Powering the Sun - Part I


Over Powering the Sun - Part II


Slow Down! Watch the Details


More Power Without The Power


Adding to Existing Light - Part I


Bare Bulbing with Large Groups


Back Lighting to Create Interest


Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan”


Chapter 4 Introduction


The Flash Modifier You Already Own


The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella


Large Group Shots with an Umbrella


Exposure Balancing via Lightroom


Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo


More Light Control, Just Grid It!


Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes


More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!


Perfect It In-Camera. Then Photoshop


Adding to Existing Light - Part II


Adding or Enhancing Light Direction


Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique


Incorporating Flares with Flash


Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs


Chapter 5 Introduction


Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change


BYOL! The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light!


What About the Fill Light?


Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic


Drawing Attention via Light Shaping


Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts


Mixing Ambient + Gobo w/ Flash


Better Light Can Change Everything!


Chapter 6 Introduction


Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference


Great Light Changes Everything! Part II


Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag


The Right Power for Each Scene


Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera


Subtle Light for Natural Portraits


Light Modification & Simple Compositing


Expanding Your Photographic Vision


Lesson Info

More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!

All right, so all this talk about power more power more power is always better isn't it in cars more cow bell more cowbell is definitely always better but in general I think more power computing power horsepower it's always a good thing so we've talked quite a bit about pakis troves and kind of limitations when it comes to just having enough power particularly in mid day type scenes so I wanted to walk there now more power with medium strobes or medium strobes f t w or the wind now this is basically as bright as a midday sun scene is going to get were working in the desert we have our gorgeous model yvette dressed in a red dress and yet there's no clouds in the sky pretty much whatsoever so it's staying bright in this kind of a scene there is no way a pocket strobe is going to make any dent when it comes to lighting our subject so that's where we basically bring in the bolt of v b twenty two or the pro photo be too okay so let's talk through both these shots we have two very different ...

shots here and I want to talk through the process and tips and kind of both these and why we ended up with going with basically this shot as like the final I like this shot too but you know there was kind of a reason there now composition at trees, the foreground, sand in the background dunes or desired okay, so I was thinking starting this office at one point four and the whole thing was when I got this first shot, I liked it and I thought was really cool hat and really interesting effect, but, you know, I really couldn't tell that we were in a desert versus just putting her over a desert backdrop in the studio because the depth of field at one point four is just so shallow that we don't see enough detail going on behind her so immediately I bumped it up to f five six, so we got two f five six and we get a much better background look, we have more detail back there, and this is where I would say look, if your backgrounds are beautiful, show them you don't need to shoot everything wide open if the backgrounds are great, if there's a lot of detail there, if it doesn't, if it doesn't detract from the composition, then stop down your aperture and show that okay, so we end up with five point six basically for my preferred shot, but I'm not going to tell you that either one these is wrong if you prefer the f one point four shot, go for it, I personally prefer the f five six shot, all right, so sink at midday in desert sun, f one four is going to require five stops worth of neutral density goodness okay, or high speed sing now the only high speed thinking get is on a profile, toby to write or proto be one either one of those full stroke our full feature strobes. This guy isn't going to give you high speed sing because we're using park wizards to trigger the bolt. That means that if we do use high speed sync, we're going to get a minimum of four to seven stops of light loss on that guy. Well, if we use a five stop andy, we have an immediate five stops of light loss, but it's better than seven stops because if you keep speeding up the shutter urine to keep reducing overall light, why? Because again lighting one one states that as this shutter speed increases, that guy has to basically strobe multiple times, and if it's firing multiple times to fit one of those flashes in there, you're losing power in order for that to be able to do so. Okay, so again, my preferred methodology is to use a neutral density filter for this shot. We're using a five stop. All right, so ambien exposure let's take a look at what we have these two shots have to slightly different amulet exposures but want to show you these two men is over on the left. So these air basically a shot with just ambulances you can kind of get an idea of what the scene looks like. So right here, one of sigma fifty million art that's this guy we have are finding mark three were set to one one sixteen a second at one point four eyes oh, fifty and we're using a five stop neutral density filter at fifty three hundred degrees kelvin, this is exposed for our highlights in the sky. So basically preserving the highlights you can see how dark she's getting she's about two, three four stops off where we needed to be as far as their skin tones this shot down here, sigma fifty millimeter. The only difference between these two is that this is that one forty five seconds at one point four. So fifty with a five stop nd and fifty three hundred days kelvin. So basically, brian this up two stops between this just you can see this is more exposed for a skin and now our background basically starts to fall away. We still need to bring your skin up, I believe, like one more stop even to get up from there but you could see the background is almost completely gonna be blown out by that point but we have a decision to make here do we want to go with amore lighten area kind of look to the background or you want to go with a more dramatic look to the background so let's show you basically with the two look like now for this let's go ahead and show that the two level and exploded the top amin exposure in this shot is about one stop brighter then this guy so essentially what we've done here is the top shot is at one one sixty of a second f one point four fifty with a five stop the bottom shot is that one sixteenth of a second f five points six and s o four hundred with a five stop okay so let's compare those two five stop five stop that's identical those at the wash right one would think the second versus one sixtieth of a second down here so basically what we did was we cut the light are we added from this shot to this shot? We added about one point three stops of light right f five point six from one point four so f to two point eight four five six so we lost four stops of light by going to f five six we added back three stops alight so aiso fifty one hundred, two hundred four hundred so we added back three stops of light to the s o we reduced four stops of light from our aperture and we added back basically one and a half one and three quarters or one and a half stops the light of from our shutter speed so why is it that this looks that much brighter in the background then this image because it really in reality is only like a half stop at the most of a difference between these two this is where we talk about again that natural lens vinnie that you get when you shoot wide open is going to be far more dramatic on this shot then it is a mission as soon as you start closing down the aperture you don't get that natural lin's been getting that comes with a wide open aperture so why does this shot look to be more bright than this one? At least it looks to be more than just a third of a stopper half stop brighter than the top shot is because we also are reducing all of that natural vignette ing that we would get around the lens by being five six so naturally it brightens up just a little bit more now as far as my preference I prefer the ambien exposure in this shot a little bit brighter little more natural and I really dig the overall look to it okay, so for light direction and quality well let's analyze this for a second light is placed on the camera left and we're basically using again the sun on the camera, right? Right so the sun is coming top down from camera right is hitting the side of her hair which we're using is a hair light we're using it as a shoulder rim and it just creates a beautiful edge light just across her body and so forth. So look at the lights coming from the natural light just on these two images, right? So we have our son is the rim, but most of our light the natural light is coming from the opposite direction from that sky so it's coming from camera left so what do we do? We want to met match that if want to create a very natural look overall want to retain the natural shadow in the image that we delight from that same direction. So we placed the lights on camera left we light with that existing phil that's already there, and then we create our look overall, we're using the three foot pro photo horrify octa and we have to bolt v b twenty two's mounted to that pro photo or if I speed right now, these guys have quite a bit longer of a flash recycle time, then a pro photo be too be too with a battery pack again what you're paying for the convenience of paying for the quality you're getting one point for full one point for second full power recycles on that guy this guy without the regular with the regular cable we're getting around you know, five, six, seven seconds or the time for full power recycles with the splitter cable we're getting half that we're getting around three seconds, but again we're using two of these flashes so with to the flashes were again drawing from the same battery pack which draws out the recycle time further, so what I'm trying to do basically is used two of them on that uh, flash bracket with a single battery and slow down the the power basically a little bit so we're trying to reduce power tow one half one quarter power so that way we get faster recycled times overall, so we're probably running about half power in each of these which again? Either way two of these guys were running at half power versus one running at full power is still roughly the same recycled time. So either way the pro photo or the bolt pick your poison, you're gonna be needing roughly five to six pocket strobes worth of power or about two, fifty two three hundred watt seconds of power to be able to get enough light on her in this kind of a scene so with the test shot we started shooting at one point for this is that first shot and I liked it but again we desired I desired mohr of that background kind of know how that we had a beautiful background I want to show off that that the field so I increased at five six and we I also wanted that more natural look to the image that we discussed so I brightened up by about a third of stop plus we reduced the vignette ing by going to five six so we get a brighter look overall next our light color or white balance it looks fantastic where it's that we're shooting fifty, three hundred degrees kelvin here and it looks great we're not going to jail or do anything like that pose frame and shoots so there's a couple things I want to mention right here from the first shot to the second show, I really like the fact that her hair was kind of streaming down on this shot I thought look really cool and her hair looked fantastic just that it looked very healthy just long and shiny, especially with hair light on there. But one thing I wanted to do is I want to reveal more than necklace and I also wanted to kind of get that sunlight to catch her jaw and her neck and kind of the area on the right just to create depth and dimension to us I had her pull her hair around the other side, bring her hand up with a little bit of sand in it and just kind of released the sand in her hand as she as we kind of captured the image, I thought I had a really cool overall look actually, gays in the camera lighting pattern wise, we're going form or loop lighting. Here you can see that we have that nice loop shadow just across the nose that light is placed on camera left top down, and it has this beautiful effect where we just get this nice amount of main light that balances really well with the rim caused by the sun. So let's, absolutely wonderful. Now in these kind of shots again, you have a lot of things you want to be careful of it there's a lot of things that can cause shadows, reflections and so forth. One thing to know is that jewelry that's bright like this when it's hit with light, you can cast kind of unnatural reflections around the underside of the chin and so forth, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. Sometimes you get the light position to be in a position where you don't get it sometimes it's just simply something have to fix the photo shop kind of identify which it is when you're shooting and try and fix it if you can again with the pose I have opposed that we have this beautiful kind of hourglass shape to her hip and it kind of opens up at the chest and it looks really nice I love the overall look of this with this kind of a shot just be sure to watch those shadows closely especially if she has a limb kind of sticking out want to make sure those shadows don't drop two deep in it again when it comes to this kind of a photo getting the right image all comes down to that balance making sure that you're maine is balanced well with that rim light if the rim light is too bright in comparison the main it's really going to throw things off it's not gonna look quite right all right, so that's it for our tutorial just remember that with this type of a mid day scene when you're modifying your light you're gonna need at least two hundred fifty two, three hundred watt seconds worth of power if you mean modifying it and even then it's still needs to be pretty close to where your subject is going to be also remember that when you have a beautiful background we have our shot here at one point four births are shot at five six when you have a great background it's not overly busy it doesn't subtract from you know your subject by all means, stop down the after and utilized that background. Show it off in the image, because that is why you come out to locations like this is tow have amazing backdrops to feature in your images. Let's, go on to the next story. More power is always better, isn't it? In cars, more cow bell, more cow bell is definitely always better.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 201 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


Pye is a god. His teaching style is really engaging, breaking down everything you could want to know about each example in a fun yet detailed manner. The course is absolutely jam-packed full of great information and fantastic inspiration. This course, as well as Lighting 101, give not only a perfect foundation for anybody learning about flash from scratch, but also have more than enough tips and advanced techniques in them to help experienced flash users seriously up their game. Cannot recommend it enough.

Lê Tiến Đạt

I'd like to say thank you to SLR Lougne, Creativelive and especially Pye for creating this wonderful Lighting series. Pye has a great sense of humor and he is also a great teacher. He expains everything in tiny details. I love his creativity, all the tips and dedication. Recommended!

Karen Ruet

I'm watching this live and am seriously considering buying this course. I really like the examples and all the information. Pye is super generous and easy to listen to. I also appreciate the talk about gear and am happy that Pye is giving us options for different price ranges. Thank you, Creative Live.

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