Shoot: Sunlight in Alley Part 2


Natural Light Control


Lesson Info

Shoot: Sunlight in Alley Part 2

Now we're going to change this and we're gonna talk about backlighting we're going to some full length tell me your first name again bethany we're going to the lovely and talented bethany over here we're gonna light her up a little bit I'll let you guys take a break for just a second so we're going to move down the alleyway we're going to move down the alleyway this way I love this funky grungy we got dumpsters we've got cautioned signs we got bad paint this is awesome I'm digging this I'm digging this this world of shooting it's going to head down this way a little ways make sure we got enough cable for a while great great great great alright yeah yeah this is fun there was a client we used to shoot for in san diego and we had an alley that was a lot like this we have these big green dumpsters and what's fun about a dumpster is it's a dumpster and it's green in there ugly but if they're over exposed by two stops and if they're out of focus twenty feet behind your model it looks like a...

light green pastel shape right so you know you could get a lot of work done in an alley if you just take time to slow down and pay attention to what you're doing so also bobby okay bethany all right so let's put you over here right there's good come back to me just a little bit right in there and I'm gonna turn you this way just a little bit this way right there yeah yeah yeah all your weight on your right to your left just like your left foot just push it and there you go there you go good okay so we're gonna bring this up let me grab that other uh transmitter I think I've got it kill that you got here so that should be on channel is it on channel one or two or channel one usually usually turn on the remote turned it off I think here we go when you're when you're working with these transmitters that workshops and things it's important to be able to go upto however many challenge thirty channels thirty forty channels but here on channel one I doubt that there's anybody on the block that's going too far off my life uh could happen but possibly not so let's do a couple of things here let's let me first I want a picture without the flash going off first off and let me get a good reading on her so I'm gonna take a reading now we're gonna talk a little about percentages of flash and one of the things that's iconic iconic is the world's leading meg maker of lime meters for photographers what they've been real successful at doing is creating a meter that will read for me in terms of flash percentages versus ambience so I always know how much of the scene is going to be flash versus how much is going to be a light if I want this to be a flash phil like just a little bit of flash. Phil, I want to go around thirty percent of flash seventy percent ambiance if I want my flash to be a main light, I want to be around seventy eighty, ninety percent flash. So makes sense and then fifty percent gives me one on one. It evens out my ambience, so I've got that option and the meter I'll show you how simple it could be. The meter tells me everything. Okay, so let me take an incident reading first without my flash and let's just see where we are first off, if you'll notice right here taking a reading you see how the sun is hitting the top of that dome of the meter? I can't let that happen, so I'm gonna make sure that I get that meter dome here protected from her face. So I usually put it right at the chin like this and that's where I take my reading and right there it says I can shoot at one twenty five f eight great, so let's take a picture at one twenty five f ate I know the backgrounds gonna be blown out but at one twenty five f ate her face will look like her face looks and that's the key to start off with is I know I'm gonna have a good exposure on her. I'm gonna keep this around my neck, actually, yeah, I'll keep it right here. So let me flip over the one twenty five. I'm going to eight. And for this, I think I'm gonna go vertical. So let me just change this that I'm using this really write stuff bracket. I'm a big fan of their products. I love this bald head it's the highest quality ball head I've ever had it's such precision galley it just it just makes life so much simpler for me. Okay, let me just take a quick yet you go and pull that back a little bit. There we go. Good, good. Send down right there. Great. Okay, so at first exposure, she looks like she looks. She looks great. In fact, let me just see if my plus and minus is on. Oh, yeah. I'm gonna go back to neutral. Mike camera was zeroed out there. Let me fix that. Here we go. So now I can go down to f ate here we go get sent down a little bit right there, great. Okay, so I got myself my picture I got an exposure and I'm losing detail in her hair her hair is back late and I got a big spike on my on my history graham on the right edge I know there's information outside of that pipe that I talked about that that reflective that horizontal pipe there's unlu zing detail not on her face so your face looks great so we're going to fix that so to fix that I got to separate those two right now my range of contracts is here to here the highlight of their hairs here her face is here and I've got to get those two closer together so in order to do that what I'm gonna do is add light to the face and bring her up here then readjust my exposure and bring them both down here get the idea does that make sense? I don't have to explain it except this hand thing there's my hand gesture you know it's what I do all right, so let's power this guy up you're on there. Let me see where we're at test wise um let me take a reading here and say let's go to non cord set my mode to non cord one twenty five point at that test button on the remote good right there let's go one more time right there says eleven three so it says, hey tony, if you shoot at eleven three at one twenty five, the background is gonna be a little darker than it wass lets take it up just a tiny bit above that so let's take this this guy here I've got it minus two let's just take this minus and I'm gonna take him up so there and hit the test button again go ahead and going in and dump in first like you're using yeah I will let me go and read that one more time and one more time great so what I'm doing this is a pro photo six hundred cute six hundred b it's it's made for this it is a battery pack that is heavy and clue ji and a pain in the butt and it's brilliant you know it is a lot of trouble to take this thing outside that battery's heavy man doesn't do its work though I can get three or four hundred pictures that full power on a charge and full power is six hundred what seconds I never shoot a six hundred watt seconds I'm always around two hundred one seconds I'm always way below the maximum and I get great quality life and the color balance coming out this is incredible so right there it's telling me shoot at one twenty five, eleven two thirds eleven and two thirds if you think in digital f stops above eleven is what's the next stop sorry thirteen what's next about that sixty forty fifteen more team and then the next one is sixteen right so in third stop increments so we're going to go up two thirds above eleven and we're gonna turn this on not fired and let me fund there's two thirds above eleven is that fourteen me back up just a little bit I'm moving around a little bit squid and rotate that head toward me just a little bit bobby just spin it yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah there you go there you go good good good that's pretty fun right there bethany do this for me just push your right foot further away from you now dragon in towards you like this yeah freeze right there now turn your head this way a little bit that's it ten down a tiny bit right there don't move don't move! Don't move! Holy toledo! What a shot pop on ready set go if I blow on it there you go. There you go. See the difference I'm gonna move around a little bit so I can get rid of that daylight back there above the tree and just get that building behind her I like that building that neutral building and you're all sam but what are you gonna do about the fence? Well, you know we're tethered to a studio in an alley give me a break you know there's a fence we'll do all we can here I'll change this thing and power down in a second let me do this again chin down a little bit for me right in there a little sparkle in your eyes on this and bethany yeah yeah yeah yeah good, good good who that was pretty turn your head this way a little bit more bring that to me, bobby a half step just toward me the whole the whole stand just a bit right that's it that's it right there and now rotate that lead that head back just a little that's it that's it now we're talking now we're talking good bring your shoulders to me a little bit right there yep send down a little bit more and bring your head around right there with your right hand just push your hair back on the left side yeah there you go just hold it back there just like that right there perfect don't move don't move don't move hold it right there good beauty, beauty winning, winning let me just check my info if I check my history graham here yeah, we're looking pretty darn good you guys were looking great now I've got my history I am again all of my information, my history, ma'am is a pyramid. Everything's a triangle. I got a zero here. I got a little gap. I got a little gap over there. Everything is falling. Word's supposed to fall makes sense. And in this case, the reason for it is because I did what the meter told me to do. And if you look at the meter right there, let me show you and I'll show you guys and then I need to show this to the camera. But look at the percentages. Look at my percentages right here. You see that seventy seventy percent is what? That's, my sweet spot that's what I am after in this situation now, when I roll that thumb wheel, all I do is change. I don't have to change anything on my light or my camera. What's. What happens as I change my thumb will if I shoot a sixty of the sixteen it's fifty percent if I shoot at a thirtieth, the sixteen and a half it's. Forty percent. If I shoot a fifteenth and twenty two it's twenty percent get the idea. It does all the math for me. I want to think about it, it's, all built in every sick connick meter and most people only notes here absolutely it's built in it, it's a really great selling feature for this mirror and most people don't even know about it and it's in all of this iconic meters sorry okay so just roll that thumb will around do what it says you're going to get the different percentage values how great is that? Okay, so let's do a couple more things here um don't don't let me show that can show their guest on camera to you guys how do you wantto best see that? Let me show you right here in this position one twenty five eleven point which is you know a third below sixteen I'm soon it f fourteen just above the eleven eight on the top right corner it says seventy percent that's one after that gives me a main light outside if I roll my thumb wheel down sixtieth at sixteen gives me fifty percent if I shot a sixty that have sixty if I go down to a thirtieth I could go up to sixteen point seven and that would give me forty percent well I could go to a fifteenth and shoot twenty two and get twenty percent get the idea it's so awesome you guys that little feature right there that percentage feature is the smartest thing about this meter and nobody uses it nobody talks about it and what brand of meter again is it sick connick s e k o n I c n and they've got several brands, they got a new one that just came out called the four, seventy nine and it's a touch screen just like your iphone and it's. Just a touch screen and I got one but I haven't mastered the touching yet, so I'm still using this one but this is great meter it's a seven fifty eight and what I love about this one is I've got this big holes here because I can turn this guy like that. Now it becomes a one degree spot meter I can shoot through it and take spot readings so that shooting landscape work I can place eighteen percent value at that rock down there in that river is pretty helpful stuff. Okay, let me do a couple more of her right here and but I do want to change. I want to power this down a little bit and I want to back off of my aperture lt'll bits so I can kind of throw those fans a little bit further out of focus. So let's go minus ago minus there. Now, that should be just a little bit of wink of light and let's move let's, move! You and her both back here. So let's, move you guys back here, I'll hold that he's gonna come back, come back right about there okay, so now, dear let's put you back over this way in fact, let's move it this way just a little bit more now come forward about a half step. There we go. There we go. Another half step this way. Right in there. Right in there. Now we're cooking. Okay, good. I like that. So again, in this case, I'm gonna take another reading and I'm gonna use my meter and we're gonna hit the test button again. We're gonna check this and see words where it is. Okay, one hit the test button for me. Just hit the test button. Bobby on the on the on the transmitter there you hang on to it one more time. Oh, sorry. I got to go back to the mod. Okay, one more time right there saying one twenty five and eight. Well, I don't want to shoot at one twenty five eight what can I do if I go up to there? That gives me twenty percent five, six, eight let me power that up a little bit more. I went down a little bit too low with it in my power let's, go back up there and hit the test button for me again, okay, so now let's, do that one more time ready, set, go okay, good so now I can shoot now I'm going to try to set a half at fifty fifty so I'ma shooted f ate out of two hundred and that gives me a fifty percent on my percentage so you can see the ambience versus the flash at fifty percent and you'll see the difference all right, so two fifty at eight it was even half a divan. Ok, so two fifty date you look great. You look great right there. Good well that's pretty nice that's pretty clean let's let's move that a little bit further away from her just a bit if you don't mind kind of keep the same distance and move it over like two feet or so that way great about like that and I'm just gonna close us a third of the stop and let's do one more shot right there let's just let me do one more now let's. Just bring your head around further and let your head come down a little bit down, down, down, down, down and just separate your feet a little bit further even and maybe maybe put your hands on your hips for me on this one and really turn that way a little bit further with your hips yeah, yeah, yeah bring your head way around and down just kind of like kind of bend down a little bit that's it but I need to see your face can you kind of push your hair back there you go you hold it back it's ok alright send down right in there yeah yeah yeah good, good, good, good good great no I like what I'm getting there but I do want to do one more thing I let's move that light sorry let's move it even further away here I'll help you guys I'm not a photojournalist I'm not a photojournalist I'm not a pj guy that captures and records what is there I'm a I'm a photographer who creates what is not there I've never been a pj guy I'll shoot pj work when I'm covering an event when I'm doing a social event like a wedding which I thankfully don't do anymore also known as combat duty but I'm not gonna get into that but I did my share of five or six hundred weddings over the years and I know what my strengths are weddings and pj work is not my strength this is give me control and I can come to life so to speak and I'm happier you know and I think the things that we're all happier doing is the things that we'll do the best so okay let's do this again again bring your head around up and down down down right there and hold your hair back yeah right in there good, good, good okay, so I'm liking that. So I'm gonna make a couple of changes here. I'm gonna shoot a couple of things. Oh, somebody want to see a full length. You back up. Can you just turn your hips that way? A little bit further? Well, your feet too. Just a little bit. Yeah. There you go. Now let your right foot really push it away from you and now drag it back in right there. Perfect. Perfect. Now arch your back and over and down a little bit. That's it right there, that's it. Come on, back up. Another half step. I don't want to bump into your shot here. Sorry. I said I warned you. There we go. Better. You look great. You look great. Nobody moves, nobody moves, nobody moves. Awesome. Your eyes right at me on this one right there. Don't move! Don't move! That's pretty fun, that's. Pretty fun. So you're starting to see the idea here. I've got complete control over this. The highlights of shadows, everything about it. I do want to come in and do something horizontal here real quick. And up a little bit closer to her so let me just pop this around real quick and let me just come right in here and do this again great right there good me back up a little bit. Okay, bobby can you, um one second chin down? Just a little bit better? Let me just look at your eyes here right there. Good, good, good. Well, that's great. Your eyes look fantastic right there. You guys are seeing that like, quality pop up can you see what's happening there? All of a sudden? We've taken a pretty ugly situation and we kind of kind of made something out of it that you know again I could sell it and the thing is I've got full detail full range all the way through this file that's the key is again it's a word control control in the dictionary is defined as the power and authority of the guide or manage I'm not a control freak, but when it comes to the picture I don't want to miss when I pulled that trigger everything that is in here had better come out right there are I've failed and I don't want to fail as we move into delay's ok, so I got one here from slinger photo could you kill the ambient light and work with the sky if it's blue yeah yeah, you can but you have to again if I'm gonna do that then I would probably choose to do that with my speed lights and the reason for the use of the speed lights is the high speed sync I don't have my high speed sync when I'm using this guy right? Because I've got a chef I've got a focal plane shutter so I'm back to losing my ability to sink faster than that but the answer is absolutely you can but use your but use your speed lights and bump it up okay sure you can cool so a few different people including sam uk who says what if I don't have a psychotic light meter is there anywhere anything I can do to determine the ratio between ambient flash no sorry you know I mean I mean this is this is this comes to me a lot and especially from people who aren't full time working uh I can't I think of my light meter and think about me being a a cabinet maker, you know I go to work and I've got a cabinet that's going to be twenty two and a half inches wide it's thirty one inches tall on its eleven inches deep I can't put that board on that saw and go that looks like it's about eleven inches I gotta measure and with my pictures with my meter, I've gotta know what that densities are. I've got to know the difference from the ambience to the shutter speed. You can get pretty close, and you can test it. Tested, tested sam sam from uk. Yeah, you contest it like crazy. Sam. You can write down a cheat sheet if you do that right down a cheat sheet and type it up and tape it to the back of your flash. So you know it ten feet. If you shoot at a eleven, the sky looks like except two fifty. Build yourself a cheat sheet, and you can do that. If you test it enough and write down the results well, long as you're on manual, that will do that. But if you're on the matter of the auto features, you never know what's gonna happen to you. Get out there.

Class Description

Natural Light Control is part of our special week-long event Lighting Toolkit.

Join award-winning photographer Tony Corbell for an in-depth exploration of how light works and how it can be controlled to create dramatic images.

After decades of shooting prominent figures — including three presidents — on location, Tony has developed a set of tools that will help you shoot confidently in any setting. Many photographers test light as they work; Tony’s methods will allow you to understand and plan light before you even begin.

Tony will guide you through the basics of light quality, quantity, and direction. Tony’s unique methods will resonate with amateurs, seasoned professionals, and everyone in between.


Dave Humphries

Tony keeps it simple and gives good examples, although occasionally I had to pause the video to study them well enough - because the editor was keeping the timing overly tight in a few places. In some cases it would also have been nice to have two shots side by side for comparison, but Tony was great.