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1:00 pm - Lighting Setups

Lesson 5 from: Mastering TTL Flash

Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton

1:00 pm - Lighting Setups

Lesson 5 from: Mastering TTL Flash

Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton

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Lesson Info

5. 1:00 pm - Lighting Setups

Lesson Info

1:00 pm - Lighting Setups

we're going really kind of concentrate. Now, we've learned in the 1st 2 segments basically what TL is, how it communicates, which is the main thing and in some of our style and how we actually use the A V mode and we under meter for a subject under exposed from there, get our exposure compensation correct and didn't worry about the flash compensation. Now we're going to kind of go into now. You understand that? Maybe the technical thing, But how do you apply that? How do we actually know where to put our wireless flash? How do we know what light we want to use that kind of thing. We want to kind of start working into that area. And so, as a general rule, we like to use three lights as a general, if possible, when we're in our studio, we like to use three lights when we're outside. We like to use three lights when you're outside or even inside here, one of the lightest natural life, the sun, because you're gonna have light coming in all the time. So since you can't really control where ...

that light's coming from, you can change the angle of your subject, but you can't really control. You have to shoot this time right now, especially in away wedding scenario, where you have the worst lighting conditions in the world generally because the weddings at four you have to shoot it to 15 minutes. We have to really revolve everything else around our sun. So it opinion where the sun falls on the subject. Sure, we can maybe get under an overhang. We can kind of hide from it, but that's still gonna push some light on your subject. So generally that one light is what control where we put our other lines. We like to pretty much and just kind of show you when you add this as we the quote just said, When you add flash to taste, you could make it very natural. I do. You can make it very edgy, and that's probably a good example of the two shots. The one in the green grass is just a little bit of under exposed to really bring in that color that grass and then just add, Just pop the flash just a little bit toe, lighten up, arise just to show the color of our eyes where the one with the volleyball is really, really under exposed, really showing those clouds and that really, really dramatic. Look, it's soccer for your sports. Yeah, sorry. Shows you really played volleyball, soccer. But the point is you really see the difference. And it's the same technique, and this is what we want you to get to. The point at the end of this workshop is the control aspects to make these two types of images. But not only that, but where would you put the light? How do you know what angle to put the light at? And that's kind of what we're gonna fall into this segment and in the last segment will actually be doing it. So when possible, this is the technique we like to use. We like to put that son behind our client's head because they're not gonna be squinting. It's a little easier, and generally it works no matter what, unless you're shooting it at high noon or one when the sun is directly overhead, you can find some angle to put the sun behind their head. Unfortunately, didn't work all the time because now you're gonna be in bad locations or the behind you is not real. Pretty well, that's where the high speed seen we talked about also comes into play, because then you can blur that out as well. So this is the general way we like to shoot. If we only have the one light will put the sun behind them and the one artificial when we use that as the main and we wouldn't say flat lighting. But we'll put it in an angle where one side is heavier than the other on their face. But there's still some ratio. There's still some light to darkness, but it's not so strong that the ratio is really, really dramatic, unless that's what you want. If we can't do that, we'll do this. Or if it's Golden hour, sunrise, sunset. You guys up here, Montana and Seattle and even Portland on the West Coast, you have such a softer light than we do down in Texas, and it it's to your advantage. This technique is even better for you than us, in a sense, because you're gonna get those deep blue skies a lot easier than us sometimes, especially the ones here on the coast. When the mist comes in or even have cloudy, sunny days like this. But it's still softer left times light than you are. The closer you get to the equator, you're close to the sun. It's gonna be harsher. So we like to use and sunrise sunset the sun on their face because the natural light is beautiful you can't get away from, and it's just one of the most beautiful light there is. So you want to use that. As I said earlier in the program, we forget to use natural light sometimes, and it kind of upset afterwards when we go back and we noticed that we're not using that life. So we want to be able to use that natural light as the feel in that golden hour sunrise sunset, or if it's a cloudy day when you just have that nice diffused look across their face, we're going to use that to our advantage and weaken. Do option one or option two. So option one is that the sun is too bright on one side of the face. We want to lighten up the shadows on this side with option one, or you can reverse it and make the sun where it's the feel like So you under exposed to where the bright part of the sun is now the shadow side of their face and use of a brighter flash compensation to make the other side of the face bright. Well, we can do option number two. Make a hairline, As I said, to begin with, generally we'll do both Option one and two in ourselves so we'll actually have two wireless flash units because we love, love, love that strong hair like that strong rim light. We want that fashion glamour. Look, It's kind of what I taught in the traditional way back years ago. years ago, when I started, they basically told me With a light meter, you meet your main light your hairline Muirfield light is one F Stop lower your hairline is to f stops lower gives you a nice balance and never like that. Look, a student like that. Look, I want my hair light the brightest light many times in the image, the strongest. So that just pulls them out of that backdrop. It really almost makes your images look three D, almost a high definition. If you do it correctly, it's not a high definition, cause we're only taking one image, but it really pulls them out of that backdrop and makes it look rich and in touch. So we usually do this option one and two when possible. And we're gonna show you later on just how important just how dramatic a simple hairline will add to your images. If you don't use a hairline, so many people, when they're going outside, they think they just need the light in their eyes. Just pop the light and that is the foundation. If we're doing a portrait session, our home main goal is to get enough color in their eyes so we can see it because it doesn't matter what color skin you have. What complexion, what race? Whatever. You're still gonna have a separation between your eye color and your pupil, and we want to be able to see that because that's what people look at when you're looking at me, you're looking at my mouth or my eyes when I'm looking at, use the same thing. So when you look at a portrait, you want to be able to see the color of their eyes, and they need to be in focus. And so that's my main goal with option one here. But then, so many people forget about option two because they think they have it. They have the live in their eyes, and so they don't worry about option to, but when you add it, we're gonna show you later in the program. Just how strong that option two is, for example, is the photo on the left. There is without a hair light in the photo. In the middle, you see the hair light with the light. Kind of what Cody was doing earlier just holds out the light stick to make a hair light, and then we actually cropped it where you don't see it in the final image where you don't see the standard, you see the light. You could even make that look like the sun. We do that lots of times on cloudy, nasty days. Pop it in and it makes it look like there's a son in the background. And so this is how we use a hairline, and you can see the difference of how she fades into the background. That dark hair fades into the dark blue of that background. And then when you put that hairline, it just brings or out of that hole backdrop. That's what we like to do with all our images. Doesn't matter if it's black hair, brown hair, blonde hair, red hair doesn't matter. We want to bring them out. It really, really adds a lot of dimension, and it's extremely easy to do. So Here's the other thing that we do our manual ratio. We don't really worry about the so called traditional ratios from 1 to 2 or 3 to 4. You know my main at this, and I feel this is my hair. This it gets really confusing, especially if you start adding of making a feeling of hair. You have three lights like in this example. This is our football field for our high school, which is brasses would and browser support. We have two main high schools down there. Share this football field, and it's a cloudy day at this point. But even if it's not cloudy, you can use the same technique. So what we do is lots of times because there's no sun at this point. It's so cloudy. The sun is really just a just a giant diffuser of your head, which again in Portland and Seattle. Here you get that a lot. So it's actually awesome to shoot in that, because we get it a handful of days like this, and usually it's gonna have a huge storm afterwards. It's not just part of the environment. So when we do this, we actually have our main feeling hairs artificial. And we'll put him in the middle and just by the distance, the subject of these lights. So Cody will be shooting. I mean, he's there, and I'll have the main in the field here, however I want. And so if I'm shooting in an area that has like a football field and I want to shoot him this way, and I want this to be the main light, I just pull that in. And then if I rotate around and I want this tangle to be the main like this, I'm shooting this way now. So now just pull this in and be the main line and they're all powering up the same power and so I can really quickly get my main, my feeling, my hair, like all by myself, with the stands and with this technique, and you can get completely different. Look, depending on just how far the distance, the lightest from the subject. No, you were asking about this earlier, Malcolm, that that's what you were having problems with. And I find when you try to just each one the power on each one, absolutely. You're going to get the final results that you want. But when you do with this technique, it happened so much faster and visually, it's easier for you to remember which ones. My main. Which ones? My field, which ones? My hair light and you look at your image after you take it. The beauty of digital photography. I don't understand what people don't want to use digital the bag. That's part of modern photography, so we should use it to our advantage. You want a stronger hairline, you simply moved in. Don't want that strong hair like you move it out again. You add that flash to taste, not just necessarily on the front of their face, but all the way around. You might hit on a good point. I know you don't hear as much anymore, but I know early in the digital was just taken off. People that looked at the back there camera. They called it chipping, and they made it sound like it was a bad thing to looking back to camera. Well, it's not a bad thing. In a guarantee of Ansel Adams had a view finding the back of his camera. He would look at it every time. I mean, it's modern technology. It's a tool. It shows you what you much looks like. You can look at it and get immediate feedback on what you're doing with your exposure and your flash. Don't be afraid to look at it. I mean, it don't have to myself, where you're not a professional, you spend too much time looking at it. No, it's it's there because it's it's a needed tool. And so I mean, don't be afraid to use it, because I'm gonna be honest. If this digital we did this technique with FAM some, but it was very we couldn't add flash that our taste with film because we didn't have the instant feedback, we had to just get flashed proper, exposed with digital. We had flashed taste cause we get that instant feedback we get that instant gratification or instant dissatisfaction, and we can actually adjust instantly to make make us happy. And to me, you use it to your vantage. I just I don't understand why you don't so to me, this technique is extremely easy. And so, by doing the triangle method or however you want to call it can be done with two images. Me to flashes because, theoretically, if you just have one flash with T T l C. As I move this in. Maura, Maura, Maura, Maura it should be less power, less power outed, less power output because that pre flashes bouncing off his face and getting stronger and stronger as it's coming back through the lens that makes set So theoretically he could put the flash right here and your flashlight give you it's going to squelch just down to read it. Almost no flash to give you proper exposure with a single flash unit you can't get the manual ratios were time, and it's gonna continually stop that flash down, down, down, down, down, down to almost nothing and the further you pull it out, this guy's more power, more power, more power, more power. It's only when you have two flashes, you will see a difference now when you move one closer, this one to get brighter, brighter, brighter because it's still seeing the combined light from this one. And humans we want to think our main and feel or, you know, we want to think these is two parts. But the detail metering system thinks it is like we said, is one part. It doesn't know how many flashes air out there, and that's how you need to look at this. It just needs to be the same amount of power. And so by this one being closer, the whole goal of details not to over expose get that 18% gray so it doesn't want overexpose. It wants to get that 18% great card. So this one technically will be the one that's gonna trump everything, even though they're going out, put the same amount of power. But because this one's giving Maurice strong ratio, it's gonna calls the the mathematical formula. At the camera flash does to drop the power down, and so therefore, this one will automatically be brightest. This will automatically be your weakest so maine and feel, and you could do that with however many flashes you want. He could do with 15 flashes, and you could put snoops on him and pinpoint the light. You couldn't do it as much as you want. And it's. It's a really simple, simple way to create a beautiful ratio without having to think of mathematics. And so when we were out shooting, we do this a lot where we actually could just set up a shot, put the person in the middle, and we can shoot. And again, as we talked about with the technique I can literally have. Since I'm a Navy mode, I can shoot a shot at 2. and then take the exact same location. All they do is just change one dive. It just your F stop from 2.82 F 16 or F 11 F nine. Whatever. Everything is gonna be the same. You're gonna be the same under exposure and allowing the same amount of light in. These guys are gonna completely make the adjustments to take the shot. And so you get two different images that look completely different in the exact same location. But you get that starburst effects to get that starburst effect. We leave it in all the time to make shots edgy like you saw in the hairline. Example. To get that starburst effect, you need to be in a higher number of your F stop. You need to have a huge, more bigger depth of field. So F nine F 11 F 16. So if I want that, I will change. My have stopped from 28 to have 16. Take shop and I'll give it or even higher. It is a product of your lens. So if you do this and you don't get it, change the lenses out of the same setting. You probably get it cause it's the way with the actual aperture. When it closes, the blades of the aperture closed down, refract. That's how you're going to get this. And so we do this all the time. I leave the leave them in there again. We left the light stands in these images so you would see the set up. You can see the battery pack hanging off the images. I mean, off the lights stand and then we do shots like this again. This is one of my I love the shot. I love this family, their local when we talk to their family. Basically, they were the football team, family, this football team with the second father star high school, never gone on game. We're in Texas, so it's Texas high school football, and a big reason to do with that was this family. This is this young man's parents because they're the one that brought all the family over all the football team over to their house and basically just had a get together. So the boys really became a family, which calls play better on the field. Well, he was the offensive guard, the blindside, the movie. That's the position he played. He His old job is to protect the quarterback and the mother, love the quarterback, love the team. But you could tell she's a mom. She kind of disliked everybody, getting the fame, Anderson doing all the hard work and not getting any of the glory. And so, by talking to that when we went out to the field, that was the shot that I wanted to capture. I wanted this image to look like he had just worked his tail off in a full football game. They won the gang and now he's sitting on the bench. Why the quarterback is getting the glory. That was my concept behind this by talking to the parents. And so what we did. And it was our winner, which are winners about, like, now here in Seattle. Um, so what? It wouldn't hot where he's gonna sweat. So what we did, we rub baby oil on him? It was kind of funny because they're hard core and football in Texas. So you had this father of 50 years old approximately, who is a chemist at the camp at the chemical plant with a Mohawk, because he told his son that if they went so far in the playoff that he would shave his head into a Mohawk, the whole communities like, yeah, I would do the same thing. So no one thinks this is weird cause it's Texas football. So his father, with a Mohawk 50 yard line, is rubbing his 18 year old son down with baby oil. And no one thinks anything weird about this because it's Texas football. And then we got into roll around kind in the Astro turf to get the black for the little pieces of tire. That's an astronaut to get the dirt looking on him. And we had three wireless flash, just like we showed the image before. I have one on the far left, one on the far right. And then one in the in the front, on the right side, I write his left, light his face up, And I took one shot and I looked the back of my LCD, and I looked at each light independently, even though they were all there and I went OK, this light, that needs to be little stronger, so it moved it closer. This light needs to be a little weaker. Moved it back. This light needs to be fine. I love it. Took the next shot. This is what you get. It's that easy. Once you start understanding how these lights work, that makes that. Yeah. Now, you mentioned that that you looked at the back of the LCD and you were able to gauge, uh, the lights as far as what needs to be pulled in and brought back. So on L c d. What are you looking at? Her? Each light. I personally just look at the image. I don't look at anything else. I don't. I like the setting on the back of my cannon camera. They didn't have the file name. If I possibly could have it, I don't want any. I don't want any graphics. I want the images. Bigas I can because my eyeballs is what I'm gauging, because I want my this image to be what I want. And so I'm looking at that. I might even hit the zoom feature and zoom in on each where I know each lightest is hitting, so I actually can focus on each individual life. So I would zoom in and look at just this side of his are to make sure it's not bright, a two bride or not bright enough. And I look on the other side and just basically the light where I wanted again add flash to taste, some adding the light to my taste that I want for this image. And I have a visual images, an artist. I have that visual image in my head, and so it's very difficult for me to tell anybody what I want until it just happens, and so to me, I want to see that that image full feature. Some people love to use their history, but for us, because we're under exposing the image already from what the camera thinks, it's proper exposure that can really cause some issues as well, if you know what a proper exposed hissed a gram looks like. And so we just kind of stay away from that. And then on another note on that for you Nikon people and that can with the new system, you have an alarm like for Nikon a proper exposed. If you have your alarm set on your wireless flash units, it goes BB. If you have an improper exposure, it's going to go BB BB, BB, BB. So every time I take a shot because I'm under exposing the camera thinks it's improper exposure. So you're going to hear that BBB BBB B every time you click the shutter and you're gonna have freakin nightmares about that because all you're going to hear it's like this honey melody. And so we just turn off the alarm so literally where I wouldn't say we're smarter than the camera, but we're smarter than what the camera thinks we're doing. So all that visual the we just don't use. I just use just the photograph and and adjust the lights toe to suit my needs. I know a lot of people used the history grams, and we just we just don't use them at all, so I don't know. Is that what you want to know? OK, so does this make sense again? Less math. More are more visual. Yes. So I noticed in there that you guys had, like, all the diffusers and stuff. Are you guys gonna go through all that And why you would use the only Yeah, the only time I'll be honest, the only time we ever use a diffuser. And I actually ended up pulling that one off the only time we would ever use it. Usually inside, like said on very cloudy days like this. And the reason why on the cloudy days we're gonna lose about a stop of power through this flash on cloudy days, you can afford to lose to stop because I'm not be only plus one on the max because it's so cloudy. There's not a lot of difference in the life. But on a sunny day, I need that light. I gotta have it. So I don't want any diffuser on here. Now. One thing that we did mention earlier is lots of times your little omni bounce or just a little diffuser. The cap it comes, like for a night condoms, one that comes with it. You need to be aware where when you put that cap on for not gun users, your zoom feature actually goes from the normal 24 to 14 millimeters. So you're really gonna have a softer amount of light when you put that on what we do lots of times. Before we started using the radio proper system, when we just used the line of sight that we talked about in the previous segments, we actually would put a nominee bounce on here or diffuser, and we would cut off the front end. So it's not defusing it at all, but what it is like if Cody shooting and I'm out here on a full sun and I have this like this, it's so broad outside. I can't tell if this flashes going off. Unless you do this and it flashes in your eyes, then you can't. Then you're stumbling and you can't see anything for the next 10 minutes about putting that omni bounce on there, cut in front, end off so it didn't defuse it, but it will reflect the light on the sides so the photographer can see if this is actually triggering. So it's a visual art more than a diffuser for us when we did the line of side issues. But generally we don't like using diffusers outside. When we do, you use a limit quest set up a lot. This is a Denny's foldable soft box. Those are the two that we would use and using on cloudy days, our or inside reception halls, that kind of stuff. So here's the lights, and you could see the settings were not using high speed sink here because it's so bright. I didn't need it so and I wanted the really, really oversaturated really, really sharp image. So I chose to use my Navy motor, chose to go instead of the wide open shallot field. I went to F 18 to really get everything super super sharp because that was the image that I wanted. That was what was in my head for the shop. And so again it allows me to be the artist, but I will say is I've said it several times before. I actually took the shot wide open and actually took the shot at 2832 or something and also in F 18. And I like when I first went to 2 83 to I didn't like the background. I really wanted to be able to see the stairs. I wanted you to see that the stadium was empty, that he was sitting there after the football game. That was that was my vision. And with it, the 283 to the shallow depth of field really took away a lot of that visual. So then I went up to as much as I possibly could with my F stop, which was like F nine or 11 and I didn't have enough light. It wouldn't sharp enough for me. So that's when I raised my I S O allow more lighting all the way across the board and then raise my F stop up to get more depth of field until I got that background exactly what I wanted in my head, and this is again a perfect example using this technique completely wide range of freedom with your camera settings. It just depends on what you want. The final product look like Question. Yeah, I dio I usually with seniors shoot solo and Canadian seniors or grad grad sessions. They're not like seniors. So a lot of people think high school seniors and I've always shot with reflectors. And it's a challenge. Like you said, because of the wind, do these when you have them out. Are they pretty resilient with that? That's a beautiful. That was one of the reasons why years ago we went with ease on the beach. We just use a cheap Monta pot him a little. Just stick it right in the sand and it'll hold up out here. It could be 2030 mile an hour wind, and there's nothing really here. They don't move. There's nothing really here for it to catch on the wind. And so it's not gonna fall over. Yeah, and another thing. If you had a soft boxer, anything, it will have a better chance of falling over. So that was another reason why we We like using no diffusers that together ran to that question. OK, Here's another one. It was raining, the lights, artificial, these air all photoshopped up just going to show you. And it was raining really quick, and I wanted to get the shot really fast and I got home and I love the shot and just like a good spouse, my wife, because you have it would have been better if you widen the stance. So there's always something wrong. No matter how good you think you are. There's always something wrong with that image that other people will look. And so I'd look at it and she was right. A wider stance does make a tough guy look so widen that stance a wider than your hips. Generally, it makes a better looking, tough guy image, but also brings the point that don't get so upset. When people say stuff about your images, take it with a grain of salt. If they're not right. So what if one person doesn't like it? But you got 1000 people that do love it? Well, then go with the 1000 people. So don't take everything so personally as artists. We really, really, really have our feelings on our sleeves, really, really have a hard time. Listen to any negativity about our images because we're so close to him. But generally, if you trust the person that's talking to you, they're gonna help you. But that just so don't over analyse it too much. Suzy was absolutely right about it. Would have been stronger image if we got his water legs, but it was raining. We literally ran out there. He wanted a shot. We threw a couple lights down. I took one shot, looked at my LCD, adjusted the lights, moved in the distance, took another shot and we got out there. Was that fast. And that's the advantage. There's no battery packs. There's no anything. It's like a portable, easy, flexible and a lot of situations. It really, really comes into play your vanity. Here's some other ones. This one. He's probably gonna hate me if he's watching. But he asked me Teoh swell up his arm because he wanted bigger guns for the ladies. And so we don't photo shop these images up like this. For all our sessions, we generally for our senior graduation high school graduation sessions. For those overseas, that's a big, big part of portrait sessions here in the States. Um, we showed no more than 50 images, and most even that's are the largest package generally. And I think this is one thing even the wedding photographers can learn from. The more you show, the less quality you're gonna become in the less impact you might just have less is definitely more because you can really drowned out of session were given a whole bunch of shots to just look a little bit different. But then, if you just show one to show the best of that Siri's and they move on to the next one to show the best of that one, give him two shots instead of giving him 20 shots by open. By giving Mawr, you actually the human mind. You actually open up the human mind to regret and doubt by giving them more. And so when you're want to sell a product, unless you show them or sales, you will have because they don't have that doubt or regret emotion that opens up. So by having two of the image that looked the same, they love the 1st 1 and then the next one, I only got like I don't know I like the 3rd 1 You like the 1st 1 and then they say, Well, just pass on it. Let's go to the next one And so they don't end up buying it so less is more. And so we only process a few really strong images across our board on all of them. But that's again by our conversation, like I talked about with that groom shot before the lunch break. That's by talking to the conversation with the client, knowing what they want. Knowing some of their needs, we make sure we feel those needs. And then we're an artist with the rest of the system. The session because part of being in the business of photography, not the photography business, is your job is to fulfill the needs and wants of your client. Once you do that, then allows you to be an artist. And again, this allows us to do that. This technique. There are a lot of questions coming from the Internet. Can we interject now with a perfect all right first question up is from pro photographer who asked, You ever group flashes in the same area to get a larger light source That's a great, great question, and absolutely we do. We really hadn't gone over today because I know a lot of people specially starting off $1000 for two flashes, a lot of money and so normal. We have one, but absolutely when we shoes and we haven't got into it yet. The manual method. But we also shoot manual with manual. You can't get high speed sinks or always that F 16 or above, because we can only go 1 201 to 50th. And if we're in a location where we don't want that huge depth of field, and we only have the choice of going high speed sink and it's a bright, bright day, absolutely will put two or three these flashes from Maine kind of even out. We need more power. So that way we can blur the background out and still get the light on their face that we want. And we have some really inexpensive little bars. They just go across that had two and three mounts. You put two or three flashes on there that we use well, we have another question from V six Nelson, something I can't get my head around if one moves a speed light called us a fill light away from the subject. In all, three lights are on equal settings. Why wouldn't this light readjust itself? I e go brighter to compensate, but up to the power level, it's set at the It's a great question with one that would if if anyone do that, we'll come up the one that would do that. If we have three, this one is the closest and the other one's air farther back. If I move this one back, it will just probably lower the Powerball A because this is the one that is trying not to blow the face out, so to say, make us too bright. But if this is right here and you're happy with this light, whatever this is, you could move these pretty much wherever you want and the distance the subject is gonna be stronger or weaker if you move it forward or backward. Does that make sense? Let me just reiterate one life just for the if you only use in one light detail method, and I take a shot from back here As I move, it took another shot. Another shot another shot, another shot, another shot. Each one is gonna be proper exposure. Exist continually. Shut this light down as it gets closer. It's on Lee when I have to, because again, they're both that flashed campuses. Marco, who's out there? Polo. Here we are. It doesn't know if there's one Flash to flashes are 1000 sees a combined light. So they're both given the same minute power. So I could move one closer and this one will appear brighter. Yes, it is going to squash this one down, so it's not gonna blow it out. So he's not gonna have a hot spot where just burned, But this one's gonna be firing, and this was going to find where they're both could be stopping down so you will see a ratio of brighter and and then less light on your field. This is a very difficult thing. That question he just asked her, she asked, is a very common one. Very, very common. We haven't workshops, and until we get out and again, continue that rebooted in the brain because the part of them not understanding this is in their mind. They're already or they're continually thinking the other way. It's much like if you speak English and trying to learn another language. Your mind. The big argument is you're still trying to think English when you're learning this language, and that's exactly what's going on here. You have to get out, and the more we get out and actually do this physically do it. It helped reboot the brain, and it makes sense. When they start doing it, they're gonna go. Holy cow. This works. They might not know Wise, I said, There's two types of people, the ones that don't care. No. And it works. They're happy. They're gonna run with ones that have a hard time once, no, every little detail. It's gonna take longer for this technique toe work, But it's a very simple, but that's that's out work. So hopefully he or she will get out and they'll do it a little bit and will make more sense. Do you have a standard distance that you know, to move the flash that equals a stop of light? Are you just shooting anything guessing how far you need to move the light? Or do you just know after so many years of experience, well, the details going to give you the proper exposure is low here within that six. Stop the power because you can go down to negative three up to plus three. So as long as you get within that six stops of power, I don't really need an exact distance. And again, that's that's a manual concept that I need that exact distance for a stop of life. I could be here with the one line. It's gonna give me proper exposure and I could be here, and it's still going to give me the same amount of light for the most part on him, because as long as I'm in that six stops of change now, if I'm at plus three here and I'm shooting from where you guys are sitting, I'm shooting codenamed Plus Three and this lights not bright enough. Now I can't raise it anymore. That's as much light as it's gonna have so I can move it in and get it brighter a little bit because it's still gonna be a plus three, and it's gonna give as much like is it can. If it's you move it in until you actually concede in your field of you. So you're looking in your camera. You could move it into you actually see it, and then you pull it right out of field of you. Pretend like this is your field of view. This your frame. But this with the light, I would have it framed up. So it's just outside of the field of you, so it's not in my image. Typically, I would have this flash as close as I can to my subject. It's just outside my field of you. So it's not working totally hard because of four other way. It is, the more power I'm gonna need to light up my subject quickly. Your batteries die. So here is exactly what I would place it. Just outside of field view stands not in, not in my view Finder. That's where I would set it. The other thing they haven't really talked about. But if you're used to shoot in indoors or with diffusers lots of times, like when we shoot with Larson, we actually have the soft box, the bottom of the soft boxes like the in my shoulder. And so this big soft toxins way over and it gives us a nice flat wraps around the light gives. This is beautiful light around with these guys. It's such a small light source. You really want it almost eye level just slightly above eye level. It depends with guys. We have a stronger brow line, really heavy brow line. And if you get it up too high that brown lines gonna throw nice deep shadow in their eyes. If you get over too far this way, you're gonna have a huge shadow coming all the way across their nose. So we really just tried to throw it about this angle. If I'm shooting this way and just a little bit above eye level, that's been a re. That's really difficult for a lot of photographers that shoot indoors a lot or have soft boxes or even outdoors with a diffuser. Because this is not defusing as much not spreading light so much, you do have to be more accurate with the placement. And if if, for instance, say you doing that same shot where you have this just outside Sam, we're doing a really bright sun shot, and I have to get this very close. We'll all of a sudden the flight pattern is going just like we talked about earlier. It's not gonna reach his whole body. So in this case, you might have to introduce a secondary flash. It's a lot of his legs, so you don't get just this well lit and this falling off into darkness, and that's an extremely really extreme conditions. Or you can actually just turned one sideways as well to So you're getting a little bit wider pattern here. It'll spread out. So as we talked about, you're in complete control of what you want. So the shot on the right Excuse me on the left. Is it 1 2000 of a second? 3.2? So we're obviously using high speed sink. We had that shallow depth of field, the sun and that shallow depth of field gonna look like that soft ball of light. Well, when you have a bright subject like that humanize going to go to the brightest thing in the image first, so we know that. So it's going to go to the sun, and then we use the sun rays toe literally. Just guide the viewers eyes right down to your client. That's all about his eye. but now over here and there's nothing back there in the back view of that first image in the second image were it F 22. So the sun has got those nice, tight beams and the reason why we did that huge feel because you got the Golden Gate Bridge in the background and you want to be able to see that you don't see it right away because the bride is the first thing you see. But if I was at 2.8, you would never know that that was the Golden Gate Bridge back there. So but again, especially with the Golden Gate City scenario, I shot that shot. It was enough four because I had the 17 to 40 so it only went to have four. So I shouted F four and then just changed my F stop to have 22. Took the shot When I got back in the office studio, I like the 22 that's the one image I gave her. I didn't give her boat because again less is more, but with this technique, you can, if you don't know, shoot both ways and then you figure it out when you get back, back home and your clients not gonna know any different, you're not your clients. Not gonna know that you're doing a test shot. Your clients not gonna know if you're gonna shoot 2.8 in F 22. Your client doesn't probably even know what that is. They just think you're constantly taking images so their energy level stays up high and they're continually happy, and it's better. So instead of the more I can shoot and keep that energy level high instead of having to go back and forth just my flashes where their initial it was high and then is there in front of your gear, the engine level goes down, then they come back and the energy level goes back up. We just ate lunch. How hard is it to get your energy level back up after lunch? That's what your decline is doing. You're going up and down, up and down. It's impossible to keep that energy level up high, so the more you keep it high and keep it up there, the better images you're gonna have in the final result. Do you guys have like it? Looks like you guys have two different settings. Which one in your mind would be better to save battery life? Or is it the same? No question. If you do not use high speed sink, you're gonna have better battery life. And even if you don't use T TL, you'll have better battery life. So manual non high speed sink is your best battery life, because that's all it's not doing. Any mathematics is just saying Fire Fire. I don't care if it's over exposed Under exposing taken care, leaving you to adjust everything and in the situations with change, you have to go back and change everything and everything else with t t l. It's gonna adjust for you when the light changes so you don't have thanks so much You confined to new your flash compensation, but it's gonna get you in the ballpark and then high speed sink. The faster your shutter speed goes, the higher that number of your shutter speed, the more battery power you're gonna basically use. So at 1 303 20 or 400 of a second, just slightly above my flash compensate flashing speed, I'll use a little bit more battery power than if I was under it. But it was 2000 and 1 8000 I using more and more that makes sense that you know why. What you do, you understand? Do you understand why that, like the law, what was the question that you clearly do not understand? Now, do you understand why you would use more battery power? The faster your shutter goes in, the higher the high speed because the pulsing is trying to shove that, and the those curtains are tighter and tighter. That's forcing that like Sorry, we just ate lunch. So no, that's fine. That's fine. So again, 1 2002nd 3.2 12 50 of the second at F 22. Huge difference in a range, and you can do whatever you want with this technique. Where before, if you don't use high speed sink, this is the Onley image. You can get the only style, I would say, and it's a great style, but you're limiting yourself because there's lots of times you're not gonna be in a beautiful beach with American Landmark Behind you, you're gonna be an alleyway with a dumpster and, like homeless people, are trash or a portable bathroom. You don't want to see any of that stuff, and so you'll be able to blurt out. But then, if you walk out of that alleyway, you have a beautiful garden and a beautiful found that maybe you want to see everything. And so it really allows you to adjust your camera settings for the location that you're at. All right. You did tipped on it a little bit earlier. But zoom feature. We kind of want to go over the power of the zoom feature, and a lot of people don't even realize it's in here. We talked about earlier. Generally most lashes, except for the new 900 Siri's and the new 600 series for a Nikon and Canon. They go, as you said, from 24 millimeters to 105 millimeters. It's a functionality of your flash. The actual flat two will move forward and backwards inside about battery. I mean the casing of your flash. It's a functionality of yours, and you talk about multiple flashes, its functioning of your slave flash and not the master. When when we use this technique, until now everything that we adjusted, we adjust from our master flash, and it commands the slave. To do that. Zoom feature is the only feature that you have to physically go over to that slave and zoom it in her out on that individual slave. You cannot zoom the master and expected to tell the slave resume. There's some new camera systems that will do that, so just be aware that that is it is coming. Like I said earlier in the program. Once one camera company comes out with something, they all start trickling down. That technology is starting to trickle down when you control the zoom from your master, but the vast majority of what's out there today you will physically have to go over to the slave flash and adjusted. But I want to show you a visual how powerful it is that most people don't realize what you can do. This is a shot. This is a real life scenarios. One of our wedding clients from years ago and he's were photographing him were basically meter in the natural light coming through the window for her were using artificial light on her, a wireless flash. So Cody's taking the shot. I'm standing right beside Cody with flash like a minute ride at her. We take the shot. This is what we get and 24 millimeters, which is standard, most flashes default to. That's the lot you have on her, see a little bit, but it's really kind of muddy. It's kind of it's kind of dirty. It's really at this point. It doesn't really draw your attention to her. She's almost a secondary part of of the image. If we zoom it into 70 millimeters, you start to see a nice little light around her spotlight effect. And then if we zoom in in the 105 it looks like I did this a layer mask photo shop. But this is strategy. Can we just turned it? See Pia you little to get a spotlight right on her. So now you go from an image where she is just their toe, where now she's almost even though the groom is in front, she's almost still the highlight of damage. She's still very part of the image, which is what you want and all that is built into the flash. So we uses all the time to be dramatic with our images to add flash. The taste will tighten up the zoom feature in our flashes. And, like I said, the new Nikon Siri's and the new Canon tears will go to 200 millimeters. You're even getting a tighter band. You can buy a snoot. You can put other stuff on there, a lot of other things. We actually, because we're I guess we're stupid. Rednecks from Texas. We actually just use drink cozies, Burak, Uzis that we'll just cut off a long neck and stick it right on the end of our flash. And there's a there's a snoot. So instead of me paying $40 for a snood, I go to the convenience store by $2. Cuzzi and I have a snoot that folds up right in my camera bag and is great for a beer after your wedding. So, another example. One light. We meet her to this time for the for the background because it's so. This is really almost is after sunset to the human eye to really even darker than what we're collecting here in the camera. So when the light is that dark, when it's really bright, we meet her on our subject, then under exposed when it's really dark inside. We have to switch your camera to manual mode off the A V move. Because in this metal light are shutter speed wouldn't be fast enough. Switch it to manual. And because the background is not so different exposure than our foreground, background is the background. The foreground is our client. We can action meter for the background so you literally could turn off your flash. Point your camera to the setting sun, get the proper exposure the color that you want the movie to your client. Don't touch the camera settings again and then just adjust your flash compensation. You're in your client and you get image like this. This is just one light. Very simple. Very, very simple. We raise their eyes so up to just make sure we had a fast enough shutter speed that we needed that we wanted. And it's very, very easy. One life makes sense. Always use the lowest. I s o possible. We talked about it today. This is where we're getting really spoiled with the new cameras the new ice owes but still always use the lowest I so possible cause it will give you better color saturation, less grain and make a sharper image because the one AM aje shoot 2000 on is that one. She's gonna want a huge wall poster up, of course. So always try to use the lowest I s o possible. So if you need more light and you're at the lowest shutter speed mean when we talked about before break if the lowest shutter speed is whatever millimeter I'm using in this case, we're at 1 25 we could actually go down to 1/16 of a second if we wanted to, because we're using a 16 millimeter at 16 millimeters 16 35. So you could We could probably lower the I so and lowered the shutter speed some of who wanted to but always use a lower shipped I so you possibly can get away with. There's another 11 light really using the over saturation of the of the environment. And there's a light coming in from the side. It's a little higher than that, but that's just to show you the concept. But look at the shallow. I mean, look at the F stop and the shutter speed, and there's a lot of depth of field there again because we're using that 16 millimeters. If we were using a 72 100 like you, said Mike on the beach and you zoomed all the way in, it would be hardly any depth of field whatsoever. Everything in that background will be blurry. So that's another reason why when we shoot our weddings, we use a 16 crop on our canon cameras like a 70 the 50 60 now the new 70 coming out. It's a crop frame, which is 1.6 crop night cons, usually around 1.5, and then we use a full frame. So our lenses at completely different on the cameras as well. So we actually have a full range, and each of these work better. If you're trying to learn this technique, A wide angle is usually better to learn this technique because you'll be able to see the result of the sky in the background and everything else. So for those that are listening and you guys in the audience, if you're trying to go out and you want to learn this, I was just probably put on a water lens for you can see Allow more that like to come in and Seymour the effect. Here's another one indoors. So this is indoors. This is in Houston. This is on the hotel bar. Um, it was open during the time we were good friends. The manager, thank goodness. But we stuck her up on there. And so now we would meet her. This image Here we meet her for the background, right? Because it was dark. Well, that's no different than inside the building. We're meeting for the background because that's basically the same is dark the same as being outside during the night time. So we meted for this beautiful background. And then we just exposed the one wireless flash to expose her properly. Makes sense. DTL meters, everything force very, very simple. Here's a part of example 1 25th of a second because we're in 16 millimeters. That's the slowest shutter speed we could get without handshake. If we were any slower, that would have to raise the I sought from 1 60 up more to bring in more ambient light all across the board. Here's example. This is ah, one of our high school seniors. She she was probably around five foot, maybe. But if you got down low is Cody seven shot up wide angle. It really accentuates. Makes the legs look longer, so she looks a lot taller than she is. You have a little plus size model that's also slim her down. Both effects are very pleasing to your client. I promise you don't do this technique with a tight frame should only wide angle with this because the last thing you want to see is up someone's nostrils with the bookers in their nose. It just doesn't look good. Onley wide angle with this technique, but it works very, very effective. It's just a simple doorway in Galveston Island, and we just stuck her in there. One wireless slash just a lot of her face. Very, very simple. Makes sense again. 2.8. So I got the high speed sink in this image. Multiple flashes. In this case, we actually turned our flash on our camera. Instead of just being the wilds transmitter we always talked about. We actually turned it on toe. Actually, exposing the images well is a very cloudy day. We wanted to make it look brighter, which it does. You see the very shallow depth of field. This is the 200 millimeter lands at 200 at 2.8. There's hardly any step, the fit, any death. It's all very shallow depth of field focus right on her eyes. You could see on the hat on the your left her right, You see a light come in and then you could see it hit her cheek. Then we have one on the other side down low, and then we use the field lighting and on the flash on the camera, just kind of equal everything out to make it a nice, soft, really kind of flat with just a few hot spots. So in this case, we took the shot we didn't like. We need a little more light. So we turned this on, and by us being 200 millimeters and all the way back, the light on our camera is automatically going to be feel like, because the distance the subject is so far greater than the other life. All right, here's Cody and this is what we're gonna be doing a little bit later today and tomorrow, when we really get after it in the window. You were at a wedding. I don't How many times this has happened? It's raining or its cold or a tot. You wanna go outside? Don't have time to go outside natural light. This is what the image would look like with natural light. Overexposed the outside to really be able to expose that one side of her face. So what we would do, Cody, actually metered for the bright side of her face, that bright sun and made that proper exposure in the camera. So, in other words, he under exposed the image for this side. Will the side that you see this in focus are in exposed right now would be really, really dark. So then the one wireless flash would expose that side properly. And these are the final you would get. This are you would get this. And so this side is all natural light you exposed for. And this coming in right here is all wireless flash. And then what we also want to do is in your in this image, you could even under expose even mawr and make that natural light, which is the bright side. You could actually under expose even mawr making that I just feel side. And then you could actually up the power of your wireless to make the field side. Now the main side, she would actually could reverse the like pattern if you wanted to. Does that make sense? Because once you start doing that and you can start controlling the light made to feel where you're in control of everything, it doesn't matter what scenario you give your always gonna be able to make a good image with these flashes, always anywhere, any time of day. Worst case scenario line, and you'll be able to make an image. All right, here's a reception all, and this is something that's probably pretty important. We like to show this a lot. You could see me up on the balcony. It's a nice reception hall. This is an outside of Houston, but most of our, especially we first started off. We were not nice. Venues were in old dark Casey halls or old just buildings that were built in the fifties. You know, in sixties that were really ugly. Nothing very pretty. And it seems inevitable every time you have a venue like this. The venue wants to turn on the lights when you do your first dance instead of turn off the lights. And if you don't know any better, you're gonna say, Yeah, because I can't focus. I can't do anything. You turn them on and you're gonna get shots like this. The daylights out there you are. You're going to see low ceilings, paint that's coming off old wood paneling, whatever. You're going to see all that ugly environment. But let's think about the shot. What's what's important in the first and shot is all the people standing on God can Adam is that important? You want to see that? Not really. The first dance to me is about the bride and groom and their their first dance, their love for each other. It's kind of an emotional shot. And so basically I don't care about the back. Like I was saying earlier about how much you under exposing back on depends on if the background is important to your image or not. Well, to me, the background is not important to this image whatsoever. It's all about the foreground, which is gonna be my bride and groom. So basically the DJs made his announcement. He says, Okay, we get rid of the first dance, everybody take your places and he's you and everything up. So I walk over here. I like this angle because through this angle, I've got the wedding cake to the right over here. Behind them are, I guess, to their left, but in front of me. So that's gonna be in the background there. Wedding cake. And so I start my cameras in manual mode now because, as Mike said earlier, you gotta be careful shooting a V inside, because if you're not careful, sometimes your shutter speed can dip very low. Um, ifit's a dark venue, so I've switching to manual mode. I take a shot, which what the camera thinks is proper exposure. It looks exactly like this, but again, I don't want to see all the environment. I just want to see my bridegroom. So I start basically increasing my shutter speed to stop out all of the light in the room. So take a couple shots eternal. We'll take another shot until I get the room almost completely dark. And then I introduced the flash from the balcony and I get shots like this. So what was the broadest chandelier like he said was barely lit. And that's the energy we get. The only thing we did to that I'll be on turn it black and white. Put a vignette to it. That's about all that we did. And so it gives you. Now, this is a pretty venue. But you do the same technique in another venue, and all you're going to see is just the client. You're gonna see all that trash that's surrounding them. You're not going to see the people here. Here's another one. You can actually see the flash going off. We left it in there. You can kind of see the people, but nothing is really important. The only thing you see is the bride and groom, and this works in any venue. And if you don't have a balcony, you just hold this lights end up having assistant holders like sent up and do this. It's very simple. And again TL will meet her for you. But by under exposing, that makes the shot very dramatic. Very dark, very moody. It has a lot of emotion, and you can adjust the power of that flash from up on the balcony right there off your master flash. So you're under exposed under exposing, exposing, You get where you like it. You hit the shutter button to release everything it does that meeting mode that we talked about in the first section of the class today and it comes back and it gives you the like. And if you don't like it, you can raise it or lower toe what you visually see on the back of your LCD, the next shot, it'll meet her. Take it, Boom. You got it. And then at that point, we just keep taking photos as they dance. But really, you just need the one. When we get these two shots, we'll put him one or two of these and that's it. It'll be in the wedding album. They won't get a ton of just those few you had mentioned in this shot you started. Ah, increasing the shutter speed. Would you accomplish the same thing by exposure compensation? Was there a reason you did one instead of the other great question? Yes, because with in this venue with exposure compensation, if I just under exposed by three full stops it may not have got it dark enough for me. So if if I'm in a situation where I want more drama mawr moodiness and under exposed by three and it makes things a little dark. But I want a darker I can always switch over to manual mode and increase my shutter speed mawr to decrease the background by more stops than three stops. And and let's explain that a little bit more when he says, If only about three stops, you're many your canon cameras. Nikon again has an advantage. Can is finally catching up. Too many of your canon cameras well on Lee have two stops of exposure compensation on both sides. If you look the meter, you can canon people. You have the center meter, the little line in the middle, and it's gonna go to negative two. It's gonna go plus two. That's a star you can go with. Nikon usually have five stops. It'll show three, but then we'll have you can actually go a little air and go five stops. The new cameras for Canon 70 the mark. Three few others. They go five steps. You have full stops of exposure, compensation Well, in this case, we're only worry about the negative. We're not worried about the positive. We're tryingto remove like so in this case, he's probably seven stops, maybe under. So even with the five at night, kind of the new cameras allow you to do just your exposure. Compensation probably isn't enough. So therefore, that's why you would actually go to your man man and adjusted manually. Because that way you're not really worried about that, and you could goes as much as you want, under or over. Does that make sense? Because it again a V gets us are a mode gets us in the ballpark because usually that five Now, with all Cameron, the new modern cameras that five stops either way is the ballpark we confined. That range 80 will be close enough that we can just fine tune it manually with the dial in the back of Kit Nikon on top. But in extreme situations like this, when you're going from that from this to that, you gotta remember it's still daylight outside. It's in a room like we're sitting in right now, and we're knocking out all the live by under exposing. You're gonna have to knock out five more than five stops generally, and most photographers just don't. I think, to do that. We're so taught. Whatever light we see, we adjust that we use it and that's it. We don't remove the light that's already there, especially in a venue like this. But by removing it and adding your own, and that's a whole nother image, and I guarantee you there's not another photographer that's in this venue is gonna get the same shot. It doesn't matter what kind of gear they have. They're just not gonna get it. So this shot right here pays for your bill, makes that bride know that she chose the right photographer by just doing something of this nature.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Light Patterns.pdf
Lighting Diagrams.pdf
Off Camera Flash_ TTL Metering.pdf
The Basics - Why the TriCoast Method.pdf
Understanding High Speed Sync.pdf
Wireless Shooting.pdf

bonus material with enrollment

TriCoast Resource Guide.pdf
What is TTL.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

On the Mark Photography

[From intermediate hobbiest with moderate number of paid shoots]. I took the class because I knew nothing more about flash photography than slapping the flash on top of the camera, turning it on, and taking my chances. I could not have purchased a better class. Mike and Cody covered so much in such a clear way and with such great examples. Especially helpful are the shooting sessions where they work through the lighting situations, incorporating what is possible to do and what the client might want. I so appreciate their willingness to share what they do and how they do it. I now know some direction to take and what I need to acquire minimally to apply this to my work. Thank you!


Great experience and partially because of toned down Mike. I heard very few utterance of the word “idiot”. It is apparent that Mike loves to talk and is in a habit of repeating same thing again and again but I did see a better Mike and much useful content, all credit goes to you sir. Finally, a suggestion let Code talk when he holds the fort. He being behind the camera should get a chance to describe his vision. All in all very useful course and well executed. Thanks Mike & Code.

Rebecca Chapman

What a phenomenal class. I have learned so much. Not only did I learn how to master TTL but I feel confident in the science behind it. This allows for great on-the-spot problem solving. Great job, guys! Thanks for a great - and fun - class.

Student Work