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Strobe Reflectors

Lesson 19 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Strobe Reflectors

Lesson 19 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

19. Strobe Reflectors


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Principles of Light


Speedlights vs Strobes


Compressing the Scene


Location Lenses and Lenshoods


Metering Modes and Back Button Focus


Natural Light Reflectors


Lesson Info

Strobe Reflectors

for those of you that did watch yesterday some of this is repeat just real quick on lighting fundamentals but then I want to show it in action over there so I'm gonna go through here and we'll pop over and watch it with studio strokes so we I told you I'd mention this over and over again what's your goals of lighting the things you're looking for you on location you want improve the quality of light on the face of your subject and we're going to look at quality is but just to you know improve is a subjective term it's improved for what your goals are like maybe you want it to be really harsh light because it's you know dramatic edgy men's fashion shoot or maybe once we really really soft and wrapping because it's a maturity session so improving the quality is subjective but that's one of your goals you would improve the direction again some of that could be subjective but on an overcast day those dark shadows in the eyes and the highlights in the forehead and the nose don't look nice s...

o you want to improve that when you go out on location you want to control the balance intensity of light we talked about that yesterday what can you do with the really bright highlights on the hair to try to balance it out so you can actually capture the exposure from the backlit son and the late on the face and then kind of stylistic effects all right so we talked about those essentials and I want to show you sweet talked about intensity think quantity amount here the back light is brighter than the front light here the amount of light is it's just dim intensity talked about direction direction of light you see with shadows she has very minimal shadows here so it's flat light where she has much more directional shadows here this is where ah in location lighting and well now that we have our studio strobes you make a stylistic choice if you want to mimic what exists in the environment or go against it so for example if it is a really bright sunny day you can tell that the sun is over in this direction you could make a choice and line your studio strobe upright with that son and still improve the quality of light instead of being laid on her face from the sun which might be harsh you can't replace that son with a soft box so I kept I kept the direction the same has already existed I just put basically put myself box right in front of the sun I replaced the quality of like or you can turn around backwards son of the back of the subject's head and then have the light b flat lip so it doesn't make sense to the scene the first one's called motivated lighting like you're like oh I could get where that's coming from it exists in the scene you see that a lot in composites when they have bright highlights on the arm and then I'll be like a street lamp to make it look like it made sense like you see where the light's coming from so you have a choice when you're lighting on location with studio strobes whether you go ahead and match what are exists or totally go against it and it could be flat lit it could be directional it more shadows means more directional less shadows is flatter not one's better than the other just whatever whatever you choose all right and then quality of light is it soft or is harsh so soft you get kind of a grady int of shadows there's not a sharp line between highlight and shadow area where is over here hard light that is extremely defined line and so you make that choice based on the modifiers that you do choose when you're using studio strobes so I will do a brief segment about choosing modifiers and we'll see okay let's talk about these modifiers that I have here all right so if you're really familiar with the studio already it's the same thing it's everything you already using in the studio you just take it outside same modifiers you're comfortable with this would be just for me personally I think that's probably my number one reason why I like I would prefer strobes in many situations over streetlights this is the same thing I'm just super comfortable with it I know how everything works but if you want harsh crisp shadows because you are taking your subject outside and that's the look you're going for you wanted to be really edgy wanted to be dark shadows bright highlights maybe wanna mimic direct sunlight you see this a ton in high fashion ends you have the subjects they're out there posing all sexy against you know blue sky and it looks like the sun's on them it's absolutely not the sun because you couldn't shoot the whole shoot during the sun during the middle of the day and still get that same direction alight and consistency they fake it by using a small light source far away so then it looks like the sun um if you want to fake shooting the sun in the studio you used a really like a silver small silver dish and pull it really really far away and all the shadows get really crisp you raise it up really high it looks like the sun so if you wanted to do that if you're going for harsher more contrast you're going to go for one of these this one's called a magnum reflector the first one this is like the essential the zoom reflector and then this one's called a tele zoom reflector this is what was addressing that question that's a little more complicated but this is the zoom reflector that light stays focused longer the laws are still the same but it doesn't spread out as much eso this soon reflector it tells him reflectors also called it's a long throw for other brand so I think like only policy buffett's a long throw okay if you want something that's not like super super soft but you don't want it to be really harsh you want you want to find shadows you want to shape the face but you don't want it to look like really really soft like a soft box on location you pics like that's kind of in between then between ones this is a beauty dish it's a twenty inch white um or twenty two inch that's what you're looking for they also make silver so the silver is more on the aside and the whites more on that side just like we talked about yesterday silver is harsher contrast year throws light farther same exact thing with modifiers the silver beauty dish is harsher contrast here throws light farther and in the white is softer doesn't throw light as far it's a little more flattering on the skin another one that's kind of in between would be a well a couple names but a parabolic umbrella um this one is called the zeppelin by westcott I just got this in my studio like three months ago it's awesome so if your gear nerd and you've never tried a parabolic umbrella awesome it's like I don't know it's it's glowing but it's crisp edges and it's great for dramatic light without being harsh that's a different class but it's awesome on dh then you go to soft less contrast things that give you less contrast or softer would be things with more diffusion so a soft box has diffusion in front if you want to move this even more towards the softer realm you get a sock it's diffusion material that goes in front it basically looks like a white bed sheet but more expensive um so you got that if you want to be even softer we said the bigger this the size of the light relative to the subject the softer it is so a bigger like a gigantic soft box is going to give you even softer like so when you're trying to figure out what you want to do on location you go all right so I'm going for contrasts the light and I don't want it to be in my seat and so I need to stay focused longer and I want harsh what really crisp shadows were kind of fake the sun maybe I go with the tele zoom by the way just this is a lighting class but the er was like through having a deep bucket like if you have a pan of water and I threw it at you guys the water doesn't necessarily reach you it flies everywhere at once but if I have a deep bucket his focus right on you you know that late that light were this case the water stays focused that's what I was saying that's how this one behaves um so one of the modifiers that I don't have here but if anyone's seen an annie liebowitz behind the scenes shot one of the things that she was often there's a couple she'll use a big doctor box not a three foot but like a five foot or something that I use and it's at the end of the day today is a very large pop of umbrella with diffusion in the front so the light points back into the umbrella and then there's diffusion and it kind of acts like a huge soft bucks what you can get it gigantic so the one I have is made by foe ticks in its seventy two inches they're so going back to our light fall off thing the reason these air really useful as well for groups is if sydney's here and stevens here but I've got this big light source it's wrapping around them morse like the edges are just as close to him is the edges over here are to her so it helps you more evenly light a group then if you have a really small light source which is definitely just going to hit her you know it's not wrapping around enoughto also eliminate him all right so these air like I'm eventually going to do a class that's on this kind of stuff and in death but I needed to touch on it now briefly so that's my like really quick overview of that and for anyone that missed yesterday because I'm going to be saying this over and over again so the larger the size of the light is relative to the subject the softer it appears so whenever you want to make a light appear softer and wrap more you bring it closer the reason that I want also to make sure you know this for today as I said we're talking about the inverse square law and sometimes let's say you've gone ahead you've turned down that light as low as it goes and it's still too bright and I've had it happen plenty of times so like I said if you want it to be dimmer you back it up but no backing it up has consequences because as you pull the late away from your subject it appears to get harsher so today I would almost describe as constantly balancing variables and that's actually what I think photographing with studio strobes on location is you've got all these variables and once you really understand what they do then you understand what you take a little from here you've got to give more here it's it's just this balancing act so it's the same thing that light wasn't is too bright you've got to pull it away you are changing the quality you have trade off and then you have to make a decision what fits best for the photo you're trying to make so the visual summary of that concept was I had a small soft box here when I double the distance watch the shadow huge difference the shadow by her nose gets much more crisp just by backing the light up I haven't changed a modifier so no that will affect your image is okay so I'll take a quick pause for what we covered so far we have a lot of questions that I think some of them are things that we are going to cover today but yeah some of the big issues that we're seeing are subject to distance from subject background and how to deal with those issues let's say feathering the light toe like the back of putting less lead on your subject so do you mind if I go just do alive you know what let's do that yeah that's a question from lou well lindsey talk about feathering the light the light the back while putting less light on the main subject yeah so I think this is perfect let's just pop over to the other side and I love youse a modeling like to demonstrate it it'll be the same idea though all right steven I'll bring you out here and I'm going teo just move this out of the way that way give myself a little injust right there is fine but I'm gonna bring it back and this is also a good time is well if people have modifier questions were over on the modifier side all right turn my modeling on e wanted to be okay all right so I do not know let's see what's gonna be easy to see this I'm actually grabbed the bee dish because I'm just gonna use the modeling like I want to be able to see it all right now be perfect for this is this a bad place to move it hopefully not okay I got it alright perfect model oh okay I think let me know if the cameras can or cannot see this and can you turn off all those over there alright perfect so let me just do a couple illustrations of what we're talking about before and you're going to look at that background is well so let's say that I'm shooting in a small space and every time I'm taking a picture with my flash it's hitting the wall behind and it's it's really distracting it's not pleasing to my shot so there are a couple things that I can d'oh first of all the closer I can bring this light the more it's going to have fall off so it'll light him but then I double the distance this is quarter of the power I double the distance that's another quarter of that quarter so it just kept falling off so you can go ahead and follow that approach can I have the sock okay do you see this highlight over here this is just how this light looks it's not actually how light works on like sokal fix it for you everyone's viewing sake ok the next thing that you can dio I'll have you know that I'm perfect okay so that makes it a little bit easier so if I'm and then we have you step off step that way for the camera thank you so if I bring it really close to him the light's going too much more right much brighter in him in the background if I back it up they end up having more even illumination but the other thing I can do is well and I heard someone saying this in the questions is right now we talked about feathering the light yesterday so you've got your reflector if you use it full powers really contrast is you kind of changed the angle upper downside besides just get the edge of the light we can do the same thing here if you've got this strobe and this is a small small bedroom and you're trying to let your subject now it's late in the background and the wall and there's no separation you can also feather the light and so he still has illumination on his face but now I've angled it off the back ground over here so that's something else you can do to help yourself out if you have more space the way to the biggest way to help yourself out is back him up from the wall so I'm gonna bring you all the way over here the further he is from that wall it puts him on a different plane and the closer the light this is is to him the faster that fall off the more you're doubling the distance over and over and over again so those are my steps if you're trying to separate out a subject from their environment when you're working in a small space try and move the light closer feather it and if movements far away as you possibly can got vortex if you were trying to dim the backdrop how far were the subject need to be from the wall so it's all about relative and that's the thing so it depends on how many stops we'll put it well describe it like this go stand back there again okay and right there is good all right so right now at this approximate distance this light is double the distance from the background to the background is now going to be one quarter of the power one quarter of the exposure which means if he is f ate this wall would be for oh if I want it to be but I'm gonna have you take double your distance again okay let it more good and I'll keep this relative so now here I lost the quarter power and here I do another quarter of that so it's all relative the bigger distance you can put between them the more stops you're cutting off I definitely do not in any way shape or form do any of this math at all ever on location in any way shape or form I just make it look good now exposure wise shuriken take meter readings but as faras calculations for how dark I want that background I'm not going okay so double it's more in my head saying ok yeah I want that background to be darker so I'm going to pull him up but you know what that's a a ce far oppa's he can go so what I can also do is bring this like closer and now relatively he'll be brighter than that background cause he's closer so that's what's going through my head not any of these actual numbers of any sort

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter...I learned so much.....I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. Jean


Lindsey Adler is one of the best and most engaging photography instructors in the USA. I highly recommend this lighting course. It felt more like a 101 and a 102 course than just a basic course. She teaches in a way that makes learning alot of fun and the amount of time & effort that she puts into her video and class presentations are second to none. Her classes are well worth their weight in gold and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!


Lindsay is amazing , I love the way she explains everything!! This course is filled with GREAT information and helps you better understand natural lighting,strobe and flash. Thank You Lindsay, please keep your classes coming!

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