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Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo

Lesson 37 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo

Lesson 37 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

37. Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo


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

Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo

And this video, I'm going to introduce you to my favorite portable soft boxes for pocket strobe modification, the westcott, pollo siri's. What are modifying pakistan's in bright sunlight? One strobe, one of these guys is simply not enough power. That means that we need this stack. So what do we do? We have three foe takes metros, and we've placed them onto the cheetah ha shoo bracket. Of course, for these flashes, you don't need the hashi bracket. We just have this cheetah hashing bracket because I used to shoot all manual strobes. Either way, with those set up, we place them into the soft box, and you have a firing into the silver side now with midday sunlight, even with three strobes, if we're firing into the back of that, that modifier, the light coming out is not powerful enough to a move it far from the subjects and be to modify further meaning that we can't really put a diffuser on it. We can't really put a grid over it, because it's, just not enough light coming out of it. So wi...

th three strobes and this kind of a bright scene, and this is even like an hour before sunset, so it's not like the sun is out, of course, but it's not like the you know, the brightest part of the day it's starting to get a little bit darker, but even in this kind of scene, we're not getting enough light to say modify and to cut down, you know, we're defusing and all the other stuff, but let's talk through these actual shots and give you an idea of how we shoot them, so we're taking these images were shooting on a signal thirty five millimeter art it's a fantastic linz and I love shooting wide open on it anywhere between one point four to f two okay, now I'm using f to hear just because I want a little bit more depth of field so we can see a little bit these rocks kind of behind and so forth, but I love that wide open look anywhere between one point four and two gives you not only that shallot of the field but also gives you a natural bit of lens mediating that's absolutely beautiful, just kind of pulling attention into unwanted area the images gives them edges of nice rich look to it I love that look so that's my compositional attribute number one now, of course we're shooting in bright sunlight and bryce somebody's going to require either high speed sink or a five stop neutral density filter am I holding the five right five stop neutral density builder okay, so when we're shooting, especially between afters of one point two upto have to sew in these scenes were using a five stop andy now again, my preferred method of shooting is to use nd filters I find that I like using any filters over dealing with the light loss that comes with shooting in high speed sink. I don't want to worry about light loss, I want to shoot with the full power of the strobes and modify with that I don't want to worry about losing light based on dimmers, shutter speeds and so forth, okay, so I prefer andy's the ambient light exposure is achieved with the fives up nd and we get a more dramatic kind of look at around one, two hundred a second is a one hundred, so here were at one, two hundred second f too, and I saw one hundred were shooting at fifty four hundred degrees kelvin with our five stop tiffin neutral density filter. Okay, so this is that look that we're getting now for the light direction in quality, what we've done here it was they placed the camera to the right. Why again did you want to fill into the girl's face? And also I wanted to match the existing light direction in the scene? Why? Because I want the light to look like it's rapping like it has a shadow if we go against the existing light than what ends up happening is the shadows have light in them, so you end up looking like you just flattened out the subject with direct flash. So look, the ambient light in this shot you can actually see the emulate is coming a little bit stronger from the right side, so we're matching that light, so that way, when it falls off to the left side, we get a little more shadow as you can see down here. Okay, so we have our test shot, so we're using our three flashes now, just just from experience, I know that if you're shooting midday sun with a soft box with three flashes, three pocket strobes, you're going to be at one over one toe, one half power I mean that's just it you're just not getting enough power to lower the camera settings any further. Okay, so our lower the flash power any further, so just know that when it comes to a scene like this, I'll pop my first shot just at full power and to see where I get and that's where you really benefit by having strobes that have a faster way one over one recycle time because in scenes like this, pocket strobes just have to be used at close to full power, okay? So we get a great light color at that fifty, four hundred degrees kelvin I love the kind of warmth that we get on the subject I love the background and kind of how nice and blue we have the sky and everything it looks great so we don't need to do any jail modification now from here we pose we frame we shoot and if you notice something again once again I've placed my subject in front of the brightest point the scene okay, so I have him on the rock and I get low to put the sun just behind them. We end up getting this natural beautiful highlight right behind them which naturally vignettes toward the edge of the image which the lens again kind of accentuates a little bit further and we just get this beautiful light kind of coming through and I shot right when this wave can't we get a splash, the waves backlit, they're backlit, everything looks beautiful looks fantastic and that light is coming from camera right with no diffusion and no jail and it is very close to the subject still, so the camera is just out of frame on camera, right that's kind of we had to deal with when you're doing pockets tro modification in bright sunlight is you're going your modifier needs to be very close your light source is very close to the subjects and you're going to be full power and you're not going to get a lot of diffusion so you'll notice that the light rap it has kind of a sharper shadow edge to it and it kind of has more of a speculum look because we're using the silver side without that diffuser, but it still has a great light quality I still dig it we just want to watch to make sure that we're not casting any shadows onto anybody that looks unnatural in anyway and so what I've done is I just make sure that she's leaning a tiny bit forward so he's just a little bit stagger where he's a little bit behind her she's a little bit forwards when that light hits he doesn't cast a shadow on to her and it looks really beautiful looks really nice okay, so this analyzed washing shatters and look at them from highlight from pose to pose now for this right shot right here it's basically the same scene it's the same scene, same everything all we've done is I'm doing it walking shot and I wanted to demonstrate this too because it's one of my favorite techniques to use four what we call I mean if you watch the natural like couples photography dvd, we call this the reflector chase, so in this case we just call it like a soft box chase okay, so we're just chasing the couple basically with a handheld soft box. So with the same apollo script, I have my lighting assistant holding it this time we're shooting even closer the couple because we have a very tight crop. So this go around because of that, I put the diffuser onto the apollo strip. Okay, so we have the three foe takes me droz, we have the diffuser. Where again, roughly around the same settings we dropped open, too. One point for one hundred and one one sixty second shutter speed. Why are we going a little bit brighter in this shot? Well, because I wanted to have that kind of natural lighten area look, that would fit kind of this candid pose an expression it's kind of a very lifestyle as type shot. If we shot this toe look dramatic it's gonna look weird. Okay again match your lighting and your ambient to flash balance based on the look that you want to have in the field they want to have in the image this image we wanted to have that dramatic environmental portrait were shooting wide it's, not necessarily about the couple themselves it's about the couple in this dramatic an amazing scene here. This is all about the couple and it's about their expression it's about there enjoyment and if we darkened on the background and if we burn everything down so that's, very dark undramatic pulls you away from that it looks like this fun and happy go lucky scene in the middle of ah scene that looks very dark and dramatic, ok? And so you get these kind of too juxtaposition ing elements to him that I don't feel like looks very good. So what we're doing here is we're opening a one stop with the aperture we're opening about a third of a stop on the shutter speed. I've lowered the white balance just a little bit to forty seven hundred kelvin were still you on our five stop nd so we're just about a stop in a third brighter, letting a little bit of background blow out a little bit of a go white. This is with the ambulance only exposed for the background to get that kind of desire to look, and then we pop the strobes. This time, the flashes are very close to the subject, just off to the right diffused with one eight to one quarter power again, look at the difference here over here. We're not lighting that much. We're just using this we're using is almost like we would that silver reflector that we used in the reflector chase back in the natural like couples photography dvd. It's the same amount of light that were adding in. But what we get with the apollo strip and with strobes is we get a more consistent light because it's easier to just sit there and aim that at the clients as they walk than it is to try and catch reflector light and bounce it into their faces, not to mention reflektor light is going to cause them to squint because it's a constant light. This is not constant. And so we can just follow and this pop shots at a lower power for a very natural look, to simulate that without getting squinty eyes without getting unnatural lighting. Because basically, the light is moving from, you know, shot a shot and so forth. So it gives us several advantages over using a reflector to do a traditional reflector chase. Just using the apollo strip box and doing a soft box, jase. Okay, so that's, kind of our setup right there again. Just remember what it comes down in these kind of shots. Are you looking for dramatic or you looking for natural natural means? Anya light is brighter and flash is more subdued. Dramatic means flashes brighter and ambient light is more subdued, okay, that's it for this tutorial, let's, go ahead and move to the next one. Watch this, baby. Let me show you how it's done. Let me show you how a flirt with your man. So as you're walking, you're talking like you're kind of on. You kind of pull yourself in newman like that kind of stuff. Okay, that's, what I'm talking about.

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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