Skip to main content

The Flash Modifier You Already Own

Lesson 33 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

The Flash Modifier You Already Own

Lesson 33 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

33. The Flash Modifier You Already Own


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

The Flash Modifier You Already Own

The flash modifier you already own? Why not start off flash modification with something that you actually already have or at least you should have? Because our last accessory is going to be our light modifier and it's just going to be a simple westcott photo basics five and one forty inch reflector when I would do is I would use a scrim scrim in our standard five and one this is the inside of it this's just the inside scrim of a westcott forty inch five and one we have hounded you to go out and buy a five and one reflector, or at least multiple fiveone reflectors. And by the way, the one we recommend is the west con five one because for the price you're getting something that's actually durable and has a good quality to it. But hopefully you have that by now so bust that little guy out because inside of your final one is a scrim. Now that scream is just simply a diffusion fabric that's placed over the metal kind of band of that reflector to kind of keep it top if you do not happen to h...

ave a reflector well number one go on amazon and by the west got five one number two in the meanwhile rhe underclass door and grab the fusion fabric, which we talked about earlier because essentially what we're going to do here is we're going to modify mid day sun with a scrim, and then we're going to fire flash through it. Teo, amplify the existing light but also create a very soft light, so essential what we're doing is is using our off camera flash to balance our subject of the background while diffusing direct daylight and then adding punch to it. It's, a really cool overall technique and it's, one of my favorite techniques, especially when it comes to bridal portrait such as this one. So we have our lovely indian bride let's. Go ahead and start with our process and tips. Now we are in a field, just an open field in midday sun. There are virtually no clouds in the sky, so it is a very, very bright situation. We place the subject so that they're facing into the sun, okay, so you can see the sun and this very top shot is coming top down from left to right on. You can see that it's still very high up in the air. So we have our facing into the sunlight now for composition and after beats were using f two eight why? Because I want to shout at the field, I want that background to be like that kind of milky blue and just not really showing detail. I want to focus on her, and I also want a little bit of soft focus, meaning that I want the eyes and everything to be sharp that's on that depth of field, but I want the depth of field to be so shallow that skin detail and kind of other areas that are in front of behind get softened a little bit by that shallow depth of field, so we're aft to eight now f to eight in midday sun requires what we require either high speed sink or a three or five stop neutral density filter now again were using the tiffin filters, and how do you know whether you need a three stop tiffin or a five stop different filter? Well, the main thing there is that if you're shooting in a situation where you basically have son plus a bit of overcast and that sun is basically being screamed or it's kind of being defused by clouds than a three stop is going to be adequate if it's direct sunlight than most likely, you're going to end up needing a five stop andy filter okay, so we achieve sink we're using a five stop and the filter were at one, two hundred of a second shutter speed and s o four hundred and why are we at s o four hundred? Okay, that's the question that you might be asking yourself why didn't he use a three stop in this situation and then just go I saw one hundred we'll use anywhere between four hundred two, sixteen hundred in mid day sun when we want to create a soft and filmic look to the image now old film cameras what do they have? They had grain and they had less dynamic range than our digital cameras today, so an easy way to mimic that is toe bump the iso up, which reduces dynamic range and adds grain in a natural way. So it's one of my favorite ways of getting to a soft and kind of filmic look and here I just want a little bit of that so I'm using a four hundred eyes so if you want more, you go up to eight hundred, six hundred thirty two or whatever you want but play with that technique. It's really fun to use. Okay, so light direction, quality no scream is used to camera left to diffuse that direct sunlight. This is what it looks like when it's defused and this is actually a great technique in and of itself so what will often do is if we're in a pinch will just bring that scream in really close to the subject will scream off the direct light and will expose based on skin tone. Now this shot you can see is actually exposed based on the background of what we want the back on the b so you can see how much shadow there is in the foreground but that's ok, because we intend to add flash to this shot to balance it out, but when you expose for skin tone, which is a scream and you're not getting this really bright and kind of beautiful area look just in and of itself so that's a great technique just by itself with the flashes, what have we done? We placed three foe tex metro's thes guys we placed on our little speed bracket, so we have that three bracket and we place it on there and we place it right behind the scrim, so now essentially have the scream that shearing off that direct sunlight going the model's face and then we place the flashes behind that what? You're going to fire into the screams so that the flash is gonna amplify essentially the existing light that's already present, so look at this if we didn't have the screaming place, this is the light that we're going to get right if you actually analyze this is pretty dang similar to this now the light height is just a little bit different, but as far as like quality goes there. Very, very similar but hi wise are flasher just a little bit lower? Of course than the sun would be. Hopefully you understand why that would be the case. I do not have a thousand foot boom stick. Actually, I would only need like a twenty foot booms take to get a pint but that's neither here nor there we want the light to not come too high and the reason for that is we wanted to be top down. We don't want to ever light up again because lighting up is going to create that unnatural look where if we don't want an unnatural look, we definitely don't want like, bottom up, but we do want top down, but not his extreme is the sun, and you can see exactly why from this top shop do you see how her eyes are not lit by the sunlight? The reason why that's the cases? Because the sunlight is coming from so high that basically her eyebrows in her eye lashes and lids are blocking the light off from entering. The eyes. So while we want that flash placed higher than where she's at, we don't want it so high that it does the same thing, that it basically blocks off. So we wanted to enter the eyes so that we would get nice and bright eyes again. We don't need to do really any post production work when we shoot it correctly with the light. So no scream. This is just direct sunlight with scrim exposed for background and then no scream with just the photos metro's firing into her directly. Okay, so what do we do with the scream in place? We're taking our test shot. We're gonna tweak the annual light level to basically get the background and the flash to the right balance. Okay, we achieve that balance at one, two hundred second half to eight guys a four hundred were at five. Fifty, five hundred. Kelvin with a five stop nd three foe takes metro's is firing at one half to one quarter power through the screams diffusion fabric and we get this balance. That is the balance I want. We have this beautiful brighton area sky behind her. We haven't lost any detail behind her, we have her brightened up she's, the brightest point, the image we have beautiful leg coming into her eyes, why, because we place the light coming top down but not so high that it blocks off and we don't enter the eyes you know with that light we got a really great image now I love the white balance and the color at this fifty five hundred agreed kelvin look, it has a beautiful warm to it I don't need to do any jelling or anything like that it looks fantastic and what we want to do is we want to match that ambient light if we did you know what we're trying to do here is we have the scrim which is shearing off direct light from the sun but we're not cutting it out it's still there so I don't want to flash over that existing light with a different color light I want to match that light source I'm using a gn jelled flashes because I'm matching the existing light of the sun in that scene so we get a beautiful balance otherwise if we gel or do something weird get mixed lighting because we already have an existing light color that's present in the shop okay once we get that we pose we frame we shoot we pose the subject in a couple different shots I'm kind of doing some close up some further back so here is the one that I have on her where she's kind of holding onto the department which is the veil piece of her dress and uh basically, what I like to do with that pose is make sure that the hands are staggered I don't want the hands in one place because it looks posed and looked strange, so I use very soft wrists and I have our holding onto in different places gazing into the camera and then I bring both hands up to it we get in close, we show off the ring we shot the eyes and the makeup in the jewelry and everything about this I just love the look of the shot has this beautiful soft look and we're lighting kind of loop light, right? This is it's close to rembrandt but it's really more loop lining because we don't have the light cut off from this side, so if we have a little bit of loop right there, this is really more loop right here, so this got a little bit more directional in between there as we got closer but with them you want to make sure that between shots you're analysing. So what are we trying to analyze with these types of shots? We want to make sure that one are ambient light to flash exposure is balanced correctly and to our shadows, so especially when she has this veil the departed when when she has that in place, we want to make sure that the light is is not creating shadows that air too dramatic so if we push the flash is too far back, we're casting a shadow across your face. You want to avoid that, so making sure the shadows like direction's great also when you're shooting midday sun like this, your your models, your subjects are going to sweat, they're going to get oily skin, so between shots I'll havejust dad real quick and I have the guys do the same thing because we want to create a soft looking a skin, and by dabbing we kind of neutralized the oil in the skin, and also by using a large and soft light, we neutralize that as well remember, and the analysis to one thing from lighting one on one, we talked about the softness of the light source in relation. The subject is going to be based upon its size, its size in relation to the subject, right? So the closer that scream is to her be more soft, the lights going appear. Then the further that scream is from her, because that's the size, the life source. Now with the flashes, the further the flashes are fromthe light source, the more time that the flash has to open up and to hit the full size the diffuser. But with that distance, of course, comes the inverse square law where we're losing light. Power right so there's a balance there you need to make sure that you bring the flash is close enough to the scrim where it can open up and hit the full scrim without losing too much light essentially okay so anywhere between one quarter toe one half power when we're using three flashes this is one of situations again that I'm using the three foot six mitrice's stacked because I want to shoot quickly I want to move through these shots and get several different version the image and get several shots of each just to make sure I've tak sharpe images some shooting I'm trying to shoot at around one half to one quarter power so that way I don't have to wait for that full power recycle time every single time so this is one of those cases where could we do this with a single pakis trobe yes at full power you can but with three at one quarter power you could do it with much quicker recycled times and really shoot kind of in a more natural and fluid way so that's why we're using it in this case all right so that's it for this video hopefully you all enjoyed hoping this gives you ideas even when it comes down to midday brightened harsh light how you can modify using simple techniques and equipment that you already have to get a beautiful natural light look should I start this video I like this they wake you up. I started like that. Can we do? Another take on this deal? Means to continue, if you want to do is take.

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.

Student Work