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Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups

Lesson 10 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups

Lesson 10 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

10. Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups


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

Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups

Welcome. Tto understanding radios. Part one. We're talking about channels and groups and here's the thing. Ladies and gentlemen, I want you all to stop worrying about radios and how they work. Whether you have a pocket wizard or a foe takes mitro sora can six hundred e x artie, no matter the radio system, pretty much you can guarantee that these functions are almost identical across the board. And so basically, all you need to do is just learn where the specific buttons are to control each of these functions on your specific model. And for that, of course, you would reference your manual. I know that little guy that you never read, its a little guy that I never read. Frankly, I hate me lt's. Okay? So understanding radio is very simple, and it comes down to first understanding channels and groups, and I have a little bit of analogy for you. So before we get into that, though, a channel is basically what you can think of it as a frequency, not don't think of it as a frequent because it i...

s a frequency. Okay, so radios operate on channels. Now, if you're on the same channel than your radio, whatever device that you have conspired with other radios that air on that same channel. But if it's on a different channel than those radios will not speak to each other doesn't matter what system you're using. This is how it works across the board now, within a channel. You also have groups and groups basically allow you to separate out different flashes for different purposes. So, for example, you could have a group a which is set to a rim light. You could have a group b that's set to an edge light. That is something a rim light edge blade. Same thing you could have. Group c that's set to your main light and so forth. So it allows us to separate those groups within a specific channel. Now, depending on how advanced your radio is, it might offer channels. It might offer channels and groups. But those two things, they kind of stay consistent across the board. A park with her plus x is not advanced enough to offer groups, but it still operates with channels. The faux takes metro system. It operates with channels and groups. Your cannon six hundred ex artie operates in channels and groups. The newer system, the young no system. Everything is in channels and groups, so I have a little bit of an analogy to help you understand how this kind of works. A little better very simple analogy and we're going to go back to the classroom I don't know why because I really did not like school that much at least not elementary school okay, so classroom a we have a teacher and classroom b we have a teacher now inside of classroom a we have team a which is composed of different students you can see that we have both girls and guys and I even put girls first because girls are superior to guys and that's just the way it works like if you're married you will agree with me one hundred percent team b we have team c we have team d okay, so inside of this classroom if a teacher says hey everybody I want you all to listen to me all team a b c and d they would all hear what the teacher saying but let's assume that each of these classrooms are separated by walls and we're going to assume that these walls are actually soundproof okay, so don't get all technical on me and be like well, if they scream loud enough you'd still be able to hear them on the nose of the well because it's not found proof I know let's assume that they're separate walls and that they are soundproof walls if classroom a's teacher says hey I want you all to do this classroom b is not going to be able to hear that so you can think of class a and class b as the channels. Okay, so these two channels, they do not communicate with each other and you can only communicate with other basically other well channels that are the same as yours. Ok, so class a does not communicate directly. Class b and that's. What this little that's, what my little exclamation point means they don't communicate to each other, but inside of class a your teacher could say, alright, team a I want you guys to work on problem number one team b. I want you all to work on problem number two. Team three I want you to work on problem number three and team cee, did I say team three years and team d I want you all to take a nap, because, frankly, we didn't get enough naps when we were in school, so team d gets to take a nap. Now, that actually works totally fine, and it works the same way as it would with your pocket wizard or your radio system, where you can assign each grouping kind of a different function. So, for example, when we go into a wedding reception I would set and a grouping for a, b, c and d, and guess where these flashes go, they go in the corners of the room, so if I'm facing the front of the room forward and left is a and we have b and then we have c and then d ok so a b c d or go a b c d either way so whenever I am moving and I'm shooting I'm always using a backlight so if I'm facing a I simply turn on channel eh if I'm facing b I turn on channel b and turn off eh if I want to use a and b as kind of edge lights on both sides I'm shooting forward I would turn on a and b so I can assign each of these independent groups a different function where I can turn all for them on aiken turn to on I could turn to off I can use one I can use three I can use any kind of combination of those grouped flashes within that specific channel but guess what if I switch now to channel b or two classroom b these students can no longer hear me okay hopefully that all makes sense to you so when would you actually switch channels? Well channels are a fantastic function because let's say that I'm shooting at a one of the popular hotels in los angeles and it's saturday night and there might be three weddings going on and everybody's using pocket wizards well I start using channel seventeen and then I start realizing that hate my pop quiz and they're firing when I don't want them to fire what's actually happening there's probably another photographer or someone else that is using channel seventeen on their populism and so they're actually triggering mine so what I do I switch to a different channel may be a more remote channel channel twenty two that way their pocket wizards and mine are not communicating with each other whenever you have popular devices like pocket wizards or foe takes metros whenever you're at these locations that are popular shooting locations you're going to find that you get radio interference from other people that are using the same channel also if you notice that you're just getting general radio interference like your flashes just don't appear to be firing you can switch the channel again just to make sure that you know there's nothing else that's possibly interfering with a channel that you're currently on so use channels for that use it to kind of choose a random basically choose a number that most people aren't using or you know if you find out someone else is using that same channel you can always switch it use your groups to control with specific flashes do inside of that channel so use them to kind of designate what you want each of them to dio all right so that's the basics between channels and groups just remember that when you're in the same channel and that's always going to get into basically the five tips on how to troubleshoot radios and the first and foremost one is just making sure that your channels and groups are set correctly okay, so make sure that whatever devices that you're using you've set the same the correct channel and make sure that if you're trying to trigger flash no mercy that you actually have activated it here and on the flash as well okay let's go to the next slide the next line is part two of understanding radios and we're going to talk about the three common radio modes and again some radios that arm or advanced like the pop quiz there plus three will have a couple extra radio mode but these air three common radios that you can find on pretty much any flash device all it means is we have a mode to receive a signal we have a mode to transmit a signal and we have a mode to transmit and receive or trans eve okay, so what that simply means is that if we're set to receive so if I set this guy on the pock wizard it is defined as our okay our acts mode if I click mode a couple times I can get to our ex if I'm set to our ex or receive it will receive incoming signals but it will not re broadcast those signals it does not transmit those signals back out okay if I set this to t x or transmit then it's going to send out a signal like, for example, from using this on my flash, this will send out or on my camera this will send out a signal, but it's not going to receive any signals, and if I said it to t x our x, which is what the pocket wizard has been noted for, transmit and receive a transceiver basically it's going to send out signals whenever it receives as well. Ok, so if I were to if this was on my camera and I fire, not only with this sent out a signal, but if another signal comes back to this it's going to rebroadcast it as well. So it's transceiver basically it's sending out and receiving signals at the same time the safest mode to stick these in is trance leaving. If you don't understand basically how this kind of work just set them to t x r x or just use the mode that's transceiver now on the odin you have set those like the off camera flashes to an odin receiver or if you're using that flash on your camera, you'd set it to an ode and transmitter, so that way basically you have those two functions of either transmit you're receiving so the way that this would work, you know, on pocket wizards if you're setting it up to the off camera flash you might put this on receive on ly for the off camera flashes and then for your actual camera you might set it to transmit on lee that way those on lee received and these only transmit basically if it's on your camera but in all honestly in all honestly that was awesome in all honestly though the thing is that if you said it to transmit and receive it kind of helps to boost the signal a little bit because what happens is when an off camera flash receives the signal it's going to rebroadcast that signal and so you get a little bit better range when all of your off camera flashes air set the trance eve and you're on camera pocket wizard is set a transit because everything will rebroadcast those signals of the same time so that's just a little bit of a tip we kind of leave it on transit for the most part but if you're having any issues you can specify which mode you want each thing was physically be in so that's it when it comes to understanding radios it's that simple you have channels which allow radios to communicate within each other within the same channel you have groups which allow you to distinguish flashes and they're different purposes or different functions within a specific channel and then you have the different modes on whether you want to transmit, receive or both transceiver a signal okay, that's, all for understanding radios. Hope y'all enjoy this lovely little demonstration lets out on to the next video.

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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