Lighting Setups


Mastering TTL Flash


Lesson Info

Lighting Setups

We're going to really kind of concentrate now we've learned in the first two segments basically what tl is and 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 underexposed from there get our exposure compensation correct and then 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 things? We want to kind of start working into that area and so as a general rule we like use three lights as a general if possible 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 lights is natural life the son because you're going tohave light coming in all the time so since you can't really control where that lights 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 the wet wedding scenario where you have the worst lighting conditions in the world generally because the wedding's at four you have to shoot it to get fifteen minutes we have to really revolve everything else around our sun so depending on 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 going toe push some light on your subject so generally that one light is what control where we put our other lights we like to pretty much and just kind of show you when you add this. As we quote just said, when you add flash to taste, you could make it very natural idea you could 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 underexposed to really bring in that color that grass and then just adult just pop the flash just a little bit. So lighten up arrives just to show the color of your 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 from 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 not only that well, 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 going to 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 unfortunate didn't work all the time because now you're going to be in bad locations or the behind you is not real pretty well that's where the high speed scene we talked about also comes into play because then you can blur that out as well. So this is the general way we'd like to shoot if we only have the one light we'll put the sun behind them and they have one artificial and we use that as the main and well 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 appear montana and say I don't even portland on the west coast you have such a softer light than we do down in texas and it's your advantage this technique is even better for you than us in the sense because you're going to 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 clouded I mean sunny days like this but it's still softer lots of times life than you are the closer you get to the equator you're close to the sun is going to be harsher so we like to use in sunrise sunset the sun on their face it's because the natural light is beautiful you can't get away from it it's just one of the most beautiful life 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 upsets us 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 field in that golden hour sunrise sunset if it's a cloudy day when you just have that nice diffuse look across their face, we're going to use that to our advantage and we can 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 a flat a brighter flash compensation to make the other side of the face bright. Or we can do option number two. Make a hairline, as I said, to begin with generally will do both option one into in ourselves. So we'll actually have to wireless flash units because we love love love that strong hair like that strong room light. We want that fashion glamour look it's kind of what I taught in the traditional way back years ago. Twenty years ago I started they basically told me with the light meter you meet in your main line. Your hairline you feel light is one of stout lower your hairline is to have stops lower. So that gives you a nice balance and never liked that look a student like that look, I want my hair light. The brightest light many times in the image of the strongest, so that just pulls them out of that backdrop. It really almost make sure images look three d almost a high definition if you do it correctly. It's not a high definition controlling, taken one image, but it really pulls them out of that backdrop and makes it look rich and touch. So we usually do this option one into when possible, and we're going to 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 hot 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 used 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 too. But when you add and we're going to 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 a light kind of what cody was doing earlier just holds out the light sticks to make a hair light, and then we actually cropped it where you don't see it in the final image of 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, you pop it in, and it makes it look like there's, a sun in the background. And so this is how we use a hairline and you can see the difference in how she fades into the background that dark hair fades into the dark blue that background and then when you put that hair light it just brings air out of that whole backdrop that's what we like to do with all our images doesn't matter if it's black hair brown hair blond 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 one to two or three to four you know my main at this and I feel like this in my hair this it gets really confusing especially you started adding a main feeling a hair you have three lights like in this example this is our football field for our high school which is brasses would embrace a sport. We have two main high schools down their share this football field and it's a cloudy day though s 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 son at this point it's so cloudy the sun is really just a just a job diffuser over your head which again in portland and seattle here you get that a lot so it's actually awesome to shoot when that as we get it a handful of days like this and usually it's going to 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 yeah, 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 angle to be the main light 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 couldn't really quickly get my main my feeling my hair like all by myself with these 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 warn 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 happens so much faster and visually it's easier for you remember which once my main which one's my field which one's my hair light and you look at your image after you take it the beauty of digital photography I don't understand why people don't want to use digital the back that's part of modern photography so we should use it to our advantage you want a strong hairline simply moved in don't want that strong here let you move it out again you add that flash to taste not just necessarily the front of their face but all the way around you might hit on a good point but I know you don't hear as much anymore about it no early and that when a 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 the guarantee of ansel adams had of you find in the back of his camera he would look at it every time I mean it's it's modern technology it's a tool it shows you what you image looks like you can look at it and get immediate feedback on what you're doing with your exposure on your and your flash don't be afraid to look at it. I mean, I don't have my cell when you're done under 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 wanna be honest if this digital we did this technique with film 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 a proper expose with digital we had flashed taste as 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, it can be done with two images mean two flashes because theoretically, if you just have one flash with gtl as I move this in maur maureen mohr mohr it should be left power let's power outed less power output because that pre flashes bouncing office space and getting stronger and stronger as it's coming back through the lens that makes sense so that he could put the flash right here and your flashes going give you it's going to squelch just down to we get almost no flash to give you proper exposure was a single flash you know you can't get the manual ratios we're talking about is going to continually stop that flash down, down, down, down, down, down to almost nothing and the further you pull it out it's got more power, more power, more power, more power it's only when you have two flashes but you'll see a difference now when you move one closer, this one get brighter, brighter, brighter because it's still seeing the combined life this one and humans we want to think all right, main and feel or you know we want to thank these two parts, but the thiel meeting 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 tow overexpose get that eighteen percent grave so it doesn't want overexposed wants to get that eighteen percent 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 going toe calls the thie mathematical formulas 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 main field and you could do that with however many flashes you want you could do it with fifteen flashes and you could put snoops on him and pinpoint the life 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 can 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 to summon a v mode I can shoot a shot at two point eight and then take the exact same location. All they do is just change one dive just you have stopped from two point eight two f sixteen or f eleven f nine whatever everything's going to be the same, you're going to the same under exposure and allowing the same amount of light in these guys are going completely make the adjustments 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 they get that starburst effects believing 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 eleven f sixteen so if I want that I will change my stuff do a to have sixteen takes shot and I'll get it or even higher it is a product of your linens so if you do this and you don't get it change the lens is out of the same setting you probably get it because it's the way the the actual aperture when it closes the blades of the aperture close down refract that's how you're going to get this and so we do this all the time leave that 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 light stand and we do shots like this again this is one of my I love the shot I love this family their local when we talked to their family basically they were the football team family this football team with the second fathers are 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 get together. So the boys really became a family which calls the play better on the field. Well, he was the offensive guard, the blind side, the movie that's, the position he played, he his whole job is to protect the quarterback and the mother love the quarterback, love the team. You could tell she's a mom, she kind of disliked everybody getting the fame and her son 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 that 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 game 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 going to sweat, so what we do, 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 fifty years old, approximately whose chemists at the camp at the chemical plant with a mohawk because he told his son that if they went so far in the playoffs, but he was shave his head into a mohawk, the whole communities, like I would do the same thing. So no one thinks this is weird because it's texas football. So his father, with a mohawk of fifty yard line, is rubbing his eighteen 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 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 of them in the front on the right side. I write his left to light his face up, and I took one shot and I looked the back of the lcd and I looked at each like independently, even though they're all there and I went ok, this lot of needs to be little stronger, salling moved it closer this lightning to be a little weaker and moved it back. This light needs to be fine. I love it took the next shot and this is what you get it's that easy once you start understanding how these lights work, that makes sense. Yes, now you mentioned that that you looked at the back of the lcd and you were able to gauge ah the lights as faras what needs to be pulled in and brought back so on lcd 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 sitting on the back of my candid camera they didn't have the file name if I possibly could have and I don't want any I don't want any graphics I want the images bigas I can because my eyeballs is what engaging 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 arm to make sure it's not bright to bride or not bright enough and I look on the other side and just basically the light where I want again add flash takes on added a light to my taste that I want for this image and I have a visual image is 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 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 call some issues as well you know what a proper exposed history ram looks like, 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 wildest flash units it goes bb if you have an improper exposure it's going to go b b b b b b b 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 b b b b b b b every time you click the shutter and you're gonna have freakin nightmares about that because it's all you're going to hear it's like this honey melody and so we just turn off the alarm so literally where I would 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 just the lights toe to suit my needs I know a lot of people use the hist aground and we just we just don't use it at all so I don't know is that what you were you want to know ok, so does this make sense again less math, more art, more visual so I notice in there that you guys had like all the diffusers and stuff are you guys going to go through all that and why he would use of the only yeah the only time I'll be honest the only time we've ever used future and actually pull that one off the only time we would ever use it usually inside like set on very cloudy days like this and the reason why on the cloudy days we're going to lose about a stop of power through this flat if I'm on cloudy days you can afford to lose to stop because I'm not be only a 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 you little army bounce for just a little diffuser that little cap it comes like for night connors one that comes with it you need to be a way where when you put that cap on for nikon users, your zoom feature actually goes from the normal twenty four to fourteen millimeters. So you're really going to have a softer amount of light when you put that on what we do lots of time before we started using the radio proper system when we just used the line of sight that we talked about in the previous segment, 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 brought outside, I can't tell if this flashes going off unless you do this and flashing in your eyes and then you can't you're stumbling and you can't see anything for the next ten minutes about putting that omni bounce on their cut in front and also didn't defuse it, but it will reflect the light on the sides, so the photographer khun 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 these in diffusers outside. When we do use the looming quest set up a lot. This is a denny's foldable soft box. Those were the two that we would use and using on cloudy days are inside reception halls, that kind of stuff. I remembered my joke now I have not said one word since he's been back in my brain for a long time. Okay, you ready? I don't know how to deliver it with ease. You did what you call a mexican with a roberto roberto. I waited an hour for that. Okay? You have anyone aware wass you know what's. So scary is I've known him my whole life. I don't think I've ever heard him say that joke. That's what's actually scared so here's the lights and you could see the settings were not using high speed sync 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. Mona chose to go instead of the wide open shelling field. I went to f eighteen to really get everything super super sharp because that was the image that I wanted that was what was in my head for the shot. 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 two, eight, three, two or something and also an f eighteen and I like when I first went two to eight to three 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 two eight three 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 is like f nine eleven and I didn't have enough light wouldn't sharp enough for me that's when I raised my eyes so allow more light and all the way across the board and then raised 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 will look like in question, yeah, I dio I usually with seniors shoot solo and rhodesian seniors or grad grad sessions they're not like seniors, so a lot of people in 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 you and that's a that's a beautiful that was one of the reasons why years ago we went with these 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 can be twenty thirty mile an hour wind and there's nothing really here they don't move there's nothing really here bored to catch on the wind and so it's not going to fall over yeah and another thing if you had a soft boxer anything you it will have a better chance of falling over. So that was another reason why way like using no diffusers did together ran to that question ok here's another one it was raining the lights artificial with these air all photoshopped out but just going to show you and it was raining really quick and I want 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 stands so there's always something wrong no matter how good you think you are there's always something wrong with an image that other people will look and so I've looked at it and she was right a wider stance does make a tough guy look so wide that stands up wider than your hip 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 a thousand people to do love it will then go with a thousand people so don't take everything so personal in his artist we really, really, really have our feelings on our sleeve who really really have a hard time listen to any negativity about our images because we're so close to but generally if you trust the person that's talking to you, they're going to help you but that just so don't over analyze too much susie was absolutely right about it would've been a 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 of lights down, I took one shot looked in my own city adjusted the lights moved in the distance took another shot and we got out there it was that fast and that's the advantage. There's. No battery packs, there's. No anything it's light, portable, easy, flexible and a lot of situations. It really, really comes into play your vantage here's. Some other ones. This one he's probably gonna hate me if he's watching, but he asked me to swell up his arm because he wanted bigger guns for the ladies. And so we don't photoshopped 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 fifty images that most even that's, our largest package generally. And I think this is one thing even that wedding photographers can learn from. The more you show, the less quality you're going to become, and 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 just looked a little bit different. But then, if you just show one, you show the best of that serious, and they move on to the next one to show the best of that one. Give them two shots instead of giving him twenty shots by open by giving maur you actually the human mind you actually open up the human mind to regret and doubt by giving a more and so when you want to sell a product, the less you show them or sells you will have because they don't have that doubt regret in motion that opens up so by having two of the image that looked the same, they loved the first one and then the next one all the guy like, I don't know to elect the third one you like the first one, 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 the 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, one knowing some of their needs, we make sure we feel those needs, and then we're an artist with the rest of decision 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 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 did. We really haven't gone over today because I know a lot of people, especially starting off a thousand dollars for two flashes, a lot of money and so normal we have one, but absolutely when we choose, and we haven't got into it yet the manual method, but we also she manual with manual, you can't get high speed sinks are always that f sixteen or above, because we can only go one, two hundred won to fiftieth, 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 sync 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 mouths, you put two or three flashes on there that we use well, we have another question from the six nelson something I can't get my head around one moves a speed light called us fill light away from the subject on all three lights are unequal settings why would this light readjust itself? I'ii go brighter to compensate but up to the power level it's set up but it's a great question with one that would if anyone do that come up with one that would do that and we have three if this was the closest and the other one's air farther back if I move this one back it will just problem lower the power of allah because this is the one that is trying not to two below the face out so to say make this too bright but if this is right here and you're happy with this light whatever this is you can move these pretty much wherever you want and the distance the subject is going to be stronger or weaker if you move forward or backward does that make sense let's just reiterate one life just for the if you only use in one light t t l 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 going to be proper exposure excess continually shut this light down as it gets closer it's on lee when I have to because again they're both that flash campuses marco goes out there polo here we are it doesn't know if there's one flash to flashes are thousand season combined light, so they're both given the same men of 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 going to blow it out so he's not going to have a hot spot which is burned, but this one's going to be firing and this is where we find that they're both could be stopping down so you will see a ratio of brighter and and then less light on your field if 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 rebooting the brain because the part of them not understanding this is in their mind they're already are. They're continually thinking the other way, it's much like if you speak english in 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 helps reboot the brain and it makes sense when they start doing it they're going to 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 going to run with the ones that have a harder time wants to know every little detail it's going to take longer it's a technique to work but it's a very simple but that's that's how it works so hopefully he or she will get out and they'll do it a little bit and I'll make more sense do you have a standard of distance that you know to move the flash that equals a stop of light? Are you just shooting and then guessing how far you need to move the light or do you just know after so many years of experience well the t o is going to give you the proper exposure is long here within that six stops the power because you can go down to negative three up two 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 is going to give me proper exposure and I could be here and it's still going to give you 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 it 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 is much light is it's gonna have so I can move it in and get it brighter a little bit? Because it's still going to be a plus three and it's gonna give us much life is a can if it's you move it in and so you actually concede in your field of use 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 could pretend like this is your field of view. This your frame this with 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 that's just outside my field of you so it's not working totally hard because the father away it is the more power I'm gonna need to a lot of my subject quickly, your battery's down. So here is exactly where I would place it just outside of fieldview 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 it indoors or with diffusers lots of times like when we shoot with larson, we actually have the soft box, the bottom of the softball, like on my shoulder. And so the big soft rock comes way over and it gives us a nice flat wraps around the light gives this is beautiful light around. Well, with these guys it's, such a small light source, you really want it almost I love or just slightly above my level. It depends with guys we have a stronger brow line, really heavy brow line, and if you get it up too high that broad lines going to throw a nice deep shadow in their eyes, you get over too far this way, you're going to have a huge shadow coming all the way across their nose, so we really just try 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 the light so much you do have to be more accurate with the placement and if if for instance, so you doing that same shot where you have this just outside say, I'm we're doing a really bright sun shot and I have to get this very close. Well, all of a sudden, this light pattern is going just like we talked about earlier is not going to reach his whole body, so in this case you might have to introduce a secondary flash a lot of his legs so you don't get just this well, it in this falling off in the darkness and that's an extremely, really extreme conditions or you can actually just turned one sideways as well too. So you're getting a little water 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 at one two thousand, the second three point two, so we're obviously using high speed sync we had a shallow depth of field, the sun and that sheldon fields it looks 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 it's going to go to the sun and then we use the sun rays toe literally just guide the viewer's eyes right down to your client that's all by design but now over here and there's nothing back there in the back view of that first image in the second image we're at f twenty two so the son has got those nice type beans and the reason why we did that huge field 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 two point eight, 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 if it wasn't for because I had the seventeen to forty so it only went to have for a shot at it f four and then just changed my have stopped to have twenty two took the shot when I got back in the office studio I like the twenty two and that's the one image I gave I didn't give her both because again less is more but with this technique you khun if you don't know, shoot both ways and then you figure it out when you get back that calm and your clients and I got to know any different or not your clients are going to know that you're doing a test shot, your clients not going to know if you're going to shoot two point eight and f twenty two, your client didn't probably even know what that is. They just think you're constantly taken images so their energy level stays up high and they're continually happy and it's better so said, the more I can shoot and keep that energy level high instead of having to go back and forth just my flashes where their energy levels high and it is there in front of your gear, they're injured, level goes damn and 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 going tohave in the final result, do you guys have like it looks like you guys have two different settings? Which woman in your mind would be better? Tio save battery life or is it the same? No question if you do not use high speed think you're going to have better battery life and even if you don't use tl, you'll have better battery life so manual non high speeds think is your best battery life method? Because that's all it's not doing any mathematics is just saying fire fire don't care if it's overexposed under exposing didn't 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 going toe just for you in the light changes you don't thanks so much you confined to news your flash compensation but it's going to get you in the ballpark and in high speed scene the faster your shutter speed goes, the higher that number your show defeat, the more battery power you're going to basically use so at one, three hundred three twenty or four hundred 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 two thousand one eight thousand using more more that makes sense that you know why what you do you understand? Do you understand why that like that? It was a question I think you clearly don't understand now do you understand why you would use more battery power the faster your shutter goes in the higher the high speed yeah because the pulsing is china's shove that and that kind of those curtains tighter and tighter this force in that light there sorry we just ate lunch no it's fine so again one two thousand a second three point two one to fifty of the second f twenty two huge difference in range and you can do whatever you want with this technique where before if you don't use high speed sync 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 going to be in a beautiful beach with american landmark behind you you're going to be an alleyway with a dumpster and like you know 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 alley way, you have a beautiful garden and a beautiful found that maybe you want to see everything and so it really allows you to adjust her camera settings for the location that you're in he didn't tip down in a little bit earlier but zoom feature we want I don't want to go over the power this room featured a lot of people don't even realize but in here we talked about earlier generally most lashes except for the new nine hundred siri's and the new six hundred serious for nikon cannon they go as you said from twenty four millimeters one hundred five millimeters it's a functionality of your flash the actual flash too 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 function 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 on ly feature that you have to physically go over to that slave and zoom it in her out on that individual slave you cannot resume the master and expected to tell the slave resume there's some new camera systems that will do that so just be aware that it 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 the most you don't realize what you can do this is a shot this is a real life scenario is one of our wedding client 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 right at her we take the shot this is what we get and twenty four 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 money 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 the of the image if we zoom in it in the seventy millimeters you start to see a nice little light around her spotlight effect and if we zoom in into one o five it looks like I did this a layer massive photoshopped 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 there to where now she's almost even though the groom is infront 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 use this all the time to be dramatic where their images to add flash the taste will tighten up the zoom feature in our flashes and like I said, the new nikon nine hundred siri's and the new cannon tears will go to two hundred millimeters here even getting a tighter band you can buy us new you can put other stuff on there a lot of other things we actually because I guess for stupid rednecks from texas we actually just use drink uzis beer cases the little we'll just cut off a long neck and stick it right on the end of our flash and there's there's a snoot. So instead of paying forty dollars for its new dot goto convenience store about two dollars cuzzi and I have a snoop that pulls out right my camera bag and is great for a beer after your wedding. So another example one light we meet her too 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 meter on our subject than under exposed when it's really dark inside, we have to switch our camera to manual mode off the chemo because in this metal light our shutter speed wouldn't be fast enough switching 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 little bit 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 sentence again and then just adjust your flash compensation. We're in your client and you get image like this. This is just one light, very simple very, very simple. We raised our iast 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 esso possible, we talked about it today. This is where we're getting really spool with the new cameras, the new esos, but still always use the lowest I so possible we'll give you better color, saturation, less grain and make a sharper image because the one image issued two thousand on is the one she's gonna want a huge wall poster, of course, so I always try to use the lowest I so possible, so if you need more light and you're at the lowest shutter speed me when we talked about before break, if I'm the lowest shutter speed is whatever millimeter I'm using in this case we're at one twenty five we could actually go down to one sixteenth of a second if we wanted to because we're using the sixteen millimeter of sixteen millimeter sixteen thirty five so you could we could probably lower the eye so and lowered the shutter speed some if we wanted to but always use the lowest yet I saw you possibly can get away with here's another one one light really using the over saturation of the of the environment and there's the light coming in from the side it's a little higher than that but that's just to show you this concept but look at the shallow I mean look at the v f stop and the shutter speed and there's a lot of depth of field there again because we're using that sixteen millimeters we were using a seventy, two hundred like you said mike on the beach and you zoomed all the way and 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 one six crop on our canon cameras like a seventy the fifty sixty now the new seventy coming out it's a crop frame which is one point six crop not consciously around one point five and then we use a full frame so our lenses that 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 results of the sky in the background and everything else. So for those that are listening to 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 lin's for you can see allow more that light 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 as dark that's the same as being outside during the nighttime so we meet for this beautiful background and then we just expose the one wireless flash exposed her properly makes sense ptl meters everything force very, very simple here's the part for example one twenty fifth of a second because we're sixteen millimeters that's the slowest shutter speed we could get without handshake if we were any slower that we'd have to raise the I saw it from one sixty up mohr 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 said and shot up wide angle it really accentuates makes the legs look longer says she looks a lot taller than she is you have a little plus size model this also slim her down both effects are very pleasing to your client I promise you don't do this technique with a tight frame she'd only wanting with this because the last thing you want to see is up someone's nostrils with the boogers in my nose just doesn't look good the on ly 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 wanna slash just a lot of her face very very simple makes it shop again two point eight so I got the high speed sync in this image multiple flashes in this case we actually turn our flash on our camera instead of just being the wilds transmitter we always talked about we actually turned it on to actually exposing the images well there's a very cloudy day we wanted to make it look brighter which it does you see the very shallow that the field this is the two hundred millimeter lands at two hundred at two point eight there's hardly any depth if it I mean any death it's all very shallow depth of field focus right on arrive you could see on the hat on your left or right, you see a light come in and you could see it hit her cheek and we have one on the other side down low and then we use the field lighting on the flash on the camera just kind of equal everything out to make it a nice, soft really kind of flat. We're 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 turn this on and by us being two hundred millimeters and all the way back, the light on our camera is automatically going to be feel that because of the distance of subject is so far greater than the other lights. 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, then the window you were at a wedding, I don't how many times this has happened, it's raining or cold or taught you don't go outside don't have time to go outside oh natural light was what the image would look like with natural light over exposed 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. Well, the side that you see that's 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? We get this. And so this side is all natural, light and expose for. And this coming in right here is all wireless flash. And then what we also want to do is a new in this image. You can even under expose even mohr and make that natural light, which is the bright side you could actually under expose. Even mohr 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 light pattern if you wanted to, does that make sense? Because once you start doing that and you could start controlling the light made to feel where you're in control of everything, it doesn't matter what scenario you give, you're always going to be able to make a good image with these flashes, always anywhere, any time of day worst case scenario a light and you'll be able to make an image here's a reception hall 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 when he first started off, we were not nice venues were in old dark casey halls or old just buildings that were built in the fifties and sixties they 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 going to say yeah, because I can't focus I can't do anything for you turn them on and you're going to 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 this shot what's what's important in the first and shot is all the people stand around got it and it was that important you want to see that it's not really the first dance to me is about the bride and groom and their their first dance their love for each other I mean it's kind of an emotional shot and so basically I don't care about the back like I was saying earlier about but how much you underexposed background 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 going to be my bride and groom so basically the djs made his announcement he says, okay, we get rid of the first and everybody take your places and he's doing 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, I guess to their left but in front of me so that's gonna be in the background there wedding cake. And so I started up my cameras in manual mode now because as mike said earlier, you gotta be careful she's a navy inside because if you're not careful, sometimes you showed a speed can dip very low it was a dark venue, so I'm switching to manual mode I take a shot which what the camera thinks his 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 turn away will take another shot till 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 image you we get the only thing we did to that I'll be on turning black and white when put a vignette to it that's about all that we did and so it gives you know 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 going to see all that trash surrounding them you're not going to see the people here's another when you can actually see the flash going off left it in there you can kind of see the people but nothing is really important the only thing you see is the bridegroom and this works in any venue and if you don't have a balcony he just hold this light stand up having assistant holders like stand up and do this it's very simple and the media will meet her for you but by under exposing that makes the shot very dramatic very dark very moody has a lot of emotion and you can adjust the power of that flash from up in the balcony right there on your master flash so you're under exposing underexposed and 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 here lcd the next shot will 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 were put in one or two of these and that's it will be in the wedding album they won't get a ton of him just those few you had mentioned in this shot you started increasing the shutter speed too would you have accomplished 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 gotten dark enough for me so if if I'm in a situation where I want more drama mohr moodiness and I'm under exposed by three and it makes things a little dark but I want a doctor I can always switch over to manual mode and increase my shutter speed mohr to decrease the background by more stops than three stops and let's explain that a little bit more when he says if only by three stops you're many your canon cameras not kind again has the advantage of candace finally kicked catching up to many of your canon cameras well on ly have two stops of exposure conversation on both sides if you look the meter you can you can people you have the center meter a little out of the middle and it's going to go too negative too it's going to go plus two that's the stars 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 on go to five stops the new cameras for cannon seventy the mark three few others they go five subjects have ten full stops of exposure compensation well in this case we're only worried about the negative we're not worried about the possible we're tryingto remove life 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 it's much as you want under or over. Does that make sense? Does it again? A v gets us rameau gets us in the ballpark because usually that five now, with all cameron the new modern cameras that five stops either way is the ball park we confined that range eighty will be close enough that we can just find tune it manually with the dial in the backroom kitten icon on top. But in extreme situations like this, when you're going from that from this so that you gotta remember it's still daylight outside, it's 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 going to have to knock out five more than five stops generally, and most photographers just don't think to do that. We're so taut, whatever like we see, we had just that we use it and that's it, we don't remove the light that started there, especially in a in a venue like this. But by removing it and adding your own and that's a whole another image, and I guarantee you there's, not another photographer, that's in this venue is going to get the same shot. It doesn't matter what kind of gear they have. They're just not going to get it. So this shot right here pays for your bill. Makes that bride notice. She chose the right photographer by just doing something of this nature.

Class Description

Through-the-lens flash (TTL) is a powerful tool for every successful photographer — but it’s also an intimidating system if you don’t know how to use it correctly. Join creativeLIVE for a two-day workshop on simple, effective ways for using TTL and off camera flash to create studio lighting in any environment.

Veteran photographers Mike Fulton and Cody Clinton will teach you what TTL is, how a wireless flash works, and walk you through a wide variety of flash techniques. After two days of hands-on instruction, you’ll understand the science of metered light, how to troubleshoot both manual and TTL metering, and the basic concepts of “flash placement.”

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to elevate your on-location photography skills, transforming every location into a studio.


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.