The Power of Light Part 2


Natural Light Control


Lesson Info

The Power of Light Part 2

This is this is basically a window light uh skimming across and she's standing in her doorway and her between her bathroom and her bedroom and you know this is one of those pictures away it's like oh, this is a fun picture well, let me tell you the reality of it once I tell you what you're about to see then you're going to go now I see it what's in the background is a clear glass shower door you see the handle on the left that I didn't crop out the little metal handle and look in the background through the glass you'll see there's a blue shampoo bottle in the in the shower so we shoot where we can and that was the best place in the house for me to get this great light quality on her and I know it's seenu and said let's you right here so we shot a doorway in the bathroom and that's what we do sometimes we have to do what we do here's jamie little from espn sports and this is this is the beach in san diego this is about thirty or forty five minutes after sunset it was after sunset you kn...

ow john sexton calls it quiet light when when everything's quiet when that sun is dropped you've got depending on your eyes so independent what you're trying to get do you still got light in the sky that you can still work and sometimes that's where some of the greatest pictures come from and most people think up sons down, we got to stop head back to the car, wait a couple of minutes before you do that and look around and think about longer exposures and especially today we can get away with it because of the great episodes that were working with for the first for years. How many? How many others were scared to go up to four hundred so grain noise can do that? You know, I regularly shooting thirty, two hundred now I regularly shoots sometimes at sixty four hundred it's amazing what we can do. I'm sure in the world of forensics, you guys are capturing things that you've never been able to do before, and I also twelve thousand and even more that's true, we get a lot of detail out and we could even do long exposures. We do a lot of fluorescent photography ten, fifteen seconds, right on dh just the detail is phenomenal you're saying things you've never been able to see before. So this is an elevator this's, a hotel at the where the elevator opened on her floor and I grabbed her and pulled her off the elevator and took a portrait over was just the window like funny old gal she was great, I'll never forget her great story there our job in one of things that I talk about a lot is that I'm not so much on some days, not so much a photographer's I'm a contrast controller, and I know that if I photograph something dark in order to produce contrast, I have to have something light and if I'm photographing something light, I have to have something dark. You guys were making notes on light white paper with dark ink because you need the information I need the information on this table that highlight that soft box reflected in that black highlight tells me everything about the ball. It tells me what it tells me it's round it's not flat, it tells me it's got depth because I've got a keystone looking highlight it's sharp it's so it tells me that it's, highly reflective it's, highly polished, it tells me everything I need to know about that abel that's what highlights to, on the other hand, if I'm gonna photograph something white, I've got a deal on the other side of the scale I've gotta deal with the shadows and the shadows tell me everything about something that is white makes sense think about the tool that you're about to use when you're about to photograph something that's very very light or something that's very, very dark or someone that's very, very latter, someone it's very, very dark okay, you might you might choose a different tool if your photograph in someone with, you know, an african american with really dark, dark skin, I might choose to use more speculator life. Smaller light sources. Mohr create more highlights to greet, create that shape and form in texture as opposed to someone with really, really, really, really light skin. You know kelly o'donnell from ireland or scotland with really, really white skin were all I need to work on is the lower side. The sale, the shadow side makes sense. There's miss mandie one light portraiture this's eliza, one life shot where I've got the light away from camera beyond ninety degrees to my subject, coming back across the face to give me that light quality, and I've gotta turn just a little bit too, or I'm letting a little bit of light spill onto the background so I could pull this off with one light and I think that's one of the things in the studio, this is the way my brain works outdoors, I think exactly the same way, same thing here on this portrait of aaron, this is one light, and we'll be able to reproduce this exact same picture outside today with sun, with ambient light and with flesh, and we'll do the same picture outside it doesn't matter to me as long as it's a light source I you know I don't I don't think you know the sun I think of as a main light outside just like the main light in the studio I used in the studio what's really interesting is that we place our subject where we want him and then we move the light around till we get the shot that we want when we go outside the sun is already placed for us we start our subject there and we move our subject until we get the light we want totally different deal once one is always stationary though well the sun moves but not very fast we can catch it and the good thing there's there's a really good thing about working with the sun recycle time it's rather quick this show just got picked up by the santa fe photographic workshop there using this in national answers who's sitting on the photo magazines this this year coming up we're excited about that so size of the light source is always relative to its distance to the subject size is relative to distance and that's going to be a big key to what we're talking about today and creating depth and shape and form and all of that it's all about size changing everything about a photograph so for example let me draw something out here if you think about creating death think about him having a hand in a market to kids they draw balloon that's what they will do there is your balloon way no better. We know that if it's if it's gonna be a balloon it's missing some things I don't know that it's a balloon because it doesn't have this it's missing some element it's missing something that shows me the dimension of it and it's missing maybe this right in a world of of representing something two dimensionally that's oven object that's three dimension our goal is to produce death. We have two pretty step I can't produce death unless I can do this and I have to do this all day long and I've got to do it under control and I can't miss. So I know that if I use a bigger source and my highlight gets bigger, it becomes softer, the shadow becomes softer, everything changes or if I backed that up in that highlight becomes smaller, my shadow becomes sharper, everything changes so we have to know we have to understand our tools really well and that's part of what this discussions about size relative to distance as I move a light source, any source and this means of sun with with a diffuser on it or or soft box out sad or whatever it is that we do, we use as we change that light source the size of that light source either it's it's physical size or distance to my subject if I increase the size of the source it diminishes the actual brightness of the highland and a softens edge of the shadow so I've got three controls there the sharpness of the highlight the sharpness of the edge of the shadow and the brightness level the highlight so if I increase the size of the highlight I can soften the highlight and soften my shadow depending on what I use in fact let me just move over let me see if I've got one more slide right there yesterday roberto talked about the law of the inverse square here's the way this works and he explained it really well but let me just recap this for those that weren't here yesterday life falls off by the square of the distance I promise we're going to get into great pictures I promise we're going to take pictures today I promise it's not all going to be science and boring stuff stay with me you guys all right so here we go so on the left my soft boxes three by four soft box that's five feet away from the base okay five feet away on the right it's moved from five feet two ten feet fam I doubled the distance and it became one fourth the size and the highlight became four times as bright get it it's physics that's what happened now? Don't you talk about exposure yet that's different that's quantity of light were talking quality of light so any time I increase a light source I will always soften the edge of the shadow and I will also diminish the actual brightness of a highlight that's why the soft boxes in the studio here big and soft to create soft shadows if it was small many spots you guys know what that would look like? You've seen that we've been through that but it's all about size relative to distance that's what we do in our world it doesn't matter to me if it's in the studio are out in the alley are up on the roof, which we're going to take you guys up on the roof today too, by the way, way we're gonna do roof picks you know everybody's like you want to shoot on the roof all sure let's go on the roof everybody's like you want to shoot on the roof absolutely. Does this make sense? It has to make a little bit of sense and if you're getting a reflection on to somebody's face, I've heard people say all her skin's really oily really is your skin really oily or you just using really small light sources you know, increased the size of the highlight and you can smooth out those shiny little hot spots on someone's face to be a little bit more pleasing like on the left makes sense think about photographing a couple if if that indeed the size of the source also has to do with the sharpness of an edge of a shadow think about you get a phone call tomorrow in your little studio where a couple want you to photograph their fiftieth wedding anniversary what's your first clue age how old are they? They're not young if they're celebrating fifty years together right? So they're in least seventy and more right? So they all share one thing at that age wrinkles and what do wrinkles appear? Ez shadows they appear shadows however I have to correct you on one thing they appear settles on light skin on dark skin they appears highlights what think about it? Same with a blemish blemish on someone's face on a high school senior a blemish doesn't appear is a blemish that appears is a shadow of a blemish, but on the african american kids it appears as a highlight. I've got to know this junk you guys, I got to know all of that because I'm in control of it. I'm in charge of how this stuff appears right? So I know that if they're coming in for this portrait and they're celebrating fifty years, I know I want to make them look great I want to make I want a complimentary likeness I want to enhance their face not make them go om old great so if I can soften the edge of the shadows of the wrinkles by increasing the size of my source I win they look great and I get a good picture so point there don't use a small source if you know someone's gonna have wrinkled skin use a bigger source give him a little break help them you could do that not not just that you can't do that but you should do it it's your job complimentary like unless you don't like him very much and you don't want to buy anything you could do whatever you want okay so this is a case another again I'm letting light skin passed my subject in lighting my background I've got three before soft bucks here and again we're going to the same shot outside so I've got my three by four soft box and here's my subject let's say I'm photographing bread so here's brit here's my subject right here and I've got my soft box there my cameras there and just before I shoot I'm just gonna go and I'm gonna tweak that box over a little bit rotational e so its head and some of its head into the background great I don't have to have a second light back there not everybody has to lights not everybody has three or four some people start out with one makes sense here is a combination of ambient light and flash and we're going to a lot of that today his old donald on a movie set andi this case it's again my three by four soft box, which I brought him will use its my favorite tool I use it all the time pro photo are five bucks a box and it's just a great size it's a perfect all around size on dh it works great in the studio works great on location is just a real nice size for me and we're gonna talk about that in just a second little bit more in depth before you get too involved in that I want to go over one more thing here when I talk about the things that the vinci said about creating depth and shape and form and texture and dimension think about this here's a here I've got this lovely portrait with mainline on my right of camera and that I've got these two accent lights coming from behind here's what happens if I turn them off now you can't see the information if you're using white ink taking your notes I need to separate her hips and her waist from that dark background I can't see what her shape is I'm not getting information so I'm taking a six inch by thirty six inch strip light and I'm placing it back there I'm just winking it on being right there now I can see the information not consider shape makes sense if there's any signature thing that I have in my work, I almost always worked with an accent like or two because I really want to be able to get true shape and form of my subjects, okay? And then another side. I just felt that it was needed there as well. So I think there we go in the final, I retouched out the highlight on the piano hinge that she's leaning on, but it gave me again the whole idea here and what I'm mostly want you guys to get with this segment is that the the information about depth it's all about creating depth? Okay, wedding photographers for so long have just shot with a flash on camera for so many years and it's just record keeping pictures and that's fine, but we could do better and we could doom or and now that we have higher ia so's, we are seeing people doing better and doing more things. And I know photographers that are shooting weddings now at s o sixty four hundred with two, eight prime lenses that they never turn on the flash you know, they're shooting at one twenty fifth it to eight in a dark country club now, and they're able tto get great pictures well lit good shape like quality without that on camera flash look so we've never had that before technology is our friend divinci said you mess not mark any muscles with hardness of line but let the soft light glide upon them and terminate imperceptibly in delightful shadow from this will arise grace and beauty to the face yeah, we just thought he was an artist the guy's a poet what a talent what? What? Where did this guy come from? I mean, good grief. Here's what's interesting him. You know, michelangelo da vinci, rafael all these guys live in the same time frame and they were on the same town going after the same dollar from the same client. How would you like to go into competition with that? You're worried about the part time photographer down the street taking your wedding work away from you. You know, it's like, how would you like to go in against those guys? Any questions about that? Can you can you think about this? And can you start to see maybe a little? You know, I'm not all too much all touristic, but I do know that we have a responsibility when we take on the mantle of being a professional photographer to try to do the best we can, you know, and we also can get away with things most people can't get away with people allow us a little bit of a wider berth we get a little bit more you can stand in front of a u s president and tell him what to do and it's a great feeling there's nothing like saying you know you can't just quit smiling for a second posing I'm not a good poster so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on it but I found this cartoon I thought was great basin all the head tilt maybe I better explain this again look at those head tells a supposing attire offers that have to post people for a living my rules is very simply this if it'll bend bend I don't care if it's a neck or a head or a shoulder or arrest or a finger of tow our wrist or ankle or knee if it'll bend bend it if it's a man bend it hard if it's a woman bend it soft makes sense so for example, if a man you know you might pose a man standing like this this is pretty natural pose for a guy stand around a cocktail party but if I'm going to photograph his wife her hand might best be suited if it was bent a little softer but I am saying if it'll been bended okay that's all my posing lighting that's my posing lesson right there let's go study part let's go study posing with tony that won't take long but you know I mean, I've got a photograph photograph in the bride and she's standing with oliver wait on one foot here and most people just, you know, have their need pushed in a little bit like this we'll find let's have a push your foot away from the away a little bit further and then just have a drag her foot in like bam freeze right there now got all the s is involved, every thing is bent and everything looks more elegant makes sense so that's the tip of the day bend it okay again, let's go backto like quality and quantity and as we as we dig into this a little bit more in depth throughout the day, you're going to hear me use terms and say things that most people haven't really thought about, but I'm kind of a simpleton I didn't go to college and so for me I try to break everything down into the simple list. You know, I just want to make everything as simple as I can, the lowest common denominator. So I found that if I think about this I came up with on the left side of this page, I came up with four things that are what I call the applications of light, okay additives, attractive transmission, reflective additive transmission additives attractive transmission reflective that's it that's what I get every picture that I've ever taken every picture that you've ever taken have employed one of those on the left either add added light to existing light that was already there which we're going to do in just a minute one got side well had flash two ambien situation that's additive so attractive where you're trying to take the light away from where you don't need it right transmission were you have like that transmits through some type of an interruption often a pop up diffuser you know those pop up those guys I never know what to call him so always just tell you know the assistants grab that you know they know what isthe those air disposable by the way you can't ever pull them back down so I have to throw more angle but you know go buy another one are reflective where light is bouncing off of something off of a building off of a white shirt often when I used to shoot weddings years ago my my assistance what always wear white shirt and I would often have them find photographing the cake so julie's my cake and I'm shooting here I would have an assistant right there and I would make him take off his dark jacket and turn his back to me and I would take my flash and spin it, name it at his shirt so I would head bounce off of his shirt and I would get beautiful light softly coming across my cake instead of flat lighting into my cake I was like, how do you like these case with bob? I used bob lighting, so but often then, you know, I'm pairing one of those applications of light on the left with one of the tools on the right. Okay, so sunlight portable fly studio like for ambiance that could be a continuous source. It could be one of these kino flows that could be it could be a fluorescent tube. It could be what it could be a nice light. It could be whatever you choose but one of those, you know, one from column a always goes with one from column b and today is exploring all those four applications and that's what we're going to do today, we're gonna we're gonna beat up all four of those things you game, okay? Here's an additive situation where basically I've got a given amount of light and I'm adding light to it. So this is outdoors and I want that this is the background that the client wanted we but we needed to make it darker and they wanted this vintage look, so we brought in a flash, a pie strobe up high coming down and basically we took a I took the shot without the flash firing until we got the background density what we wanted and that became a shot. In fact, it was two fifty at sixteen. Great that's my exposure than I just powered up my strobe until I got to sixteen and pulled the trigger. And that's, what happens makes sense. Interesting thing about additive light. Often what happens is I see photographers everywhere that flash outdoors gets so confusing and it really doesn't need to be so confusing. Let me explain to you that we we live in a world of reciprocal exposures within photography we have recess placating exposures always think of it his gears that just kind of locked together five hundred five six is the same exposure as a sixty that f sixteen, right? Those were those were locked together. Those exposures work great together in an ambient light situation soon as you turn on the flash, all bets are off. They no longer touch. Now the aperture is controlled entirely by your yeah, I mean the end. The flash is controlled entirely by your aperture and your background all and mintz is controlled entirely by your right. So the two aren't together any longer as soon as you bring out flash in and its world which explains why you can't put your camera on a v r program put your flash on tl and go outside and get all the pictures that you want exactly the look the way you want the camera doesn't know what you want it doesn't know what to give you because it's not it doesn't know what you want we're going to talk about some e t l e t tail outside in a second but I'm going to choose the shutter speed and exposure I'm not gonna let the camera do that I'm gonna let the camera figure out how much flash I've got I mean the flash the flash stuff for the detail but the rest of it I've gotta be in charge of and that's the thing that some photographer seemed to miss with the additive technique think about this this is late in the day shooting against the sky if the exposure was opened up for her face without flash what do think this guy would look like wife totally washed out but detail was needed to be in the sky so you had to bring up the flash to be able to pull it off cowboy bob again here this on a movie set and in the background there's a bunch of stuff that cannot be moved and it's like well we can't move that how we're going to get rid of well can get rid of it well can we move somewhere else and know you gotta shoot right here? Well what we gonna do easy you take the flash outside it looks like a window light shot it's not it's flash outside the window firing through the window because as soon as I turn on the flash then I can separate those two bump mike exposure up I mean but my shutter speed higher and make my background go darker and that's what we did it's the only way I could get rid of the junk in the background makes sense I have to have all these little tools in my toolbox you guys because I don't know what's going to happen when I go out on this next job I don't know what's going on and I don't know what kind of equipment failure is going to happen we have failures from time to time does that ever happen? Anybody yeah no, everything always works perfect for me this is a picture that I did for I was interviewed on fox news in san diego and what was the challenge with this was as I as I pulled up to the studio I knew they were going to interview me and I knew I was going to a shoot with miss san diego and I expected it to be in the studio what I didn't expect it was gonna be in the parking lot and so you know here here thing here is that here's your challenge you gotta shoot miss san diego you gotta nail it they're going to interview you live they're going to bump toe a sixty second commercial and come back and all your picture's gonna be on tv feeling a little pressure right? And then couple that with pulling into the parking lot tohave the producers say oh yeah you're going to shoot right back there in the back in the parking lot and as I pulled around the corner here's what's going on in the parking lot let me hit this next button there's a little doggy fashion show there are three djs on a live radio channel on the magic ninety two point five all broadcasting live broadcasting from the parking lot fox news there's all this stuff going on and I've got you see where my backgrounds hanging I got to get right in the middle of that and pull this off who? And it kind of throws you for a minute and then it's like okay, wait a second, take a deep breath what's what are we dealing with? Oh, it's additive techniques so we're just going to use your speed to control the ambiance and the flash and you okay, I got it, sam, and you pull it off first pop because you have to know your foundation so the sun could not be in the works position look at that look at my shadow, her shadow my assistant, kevin, ran and grabbed this gigantic piece of cardboard from a dumpster because we didn't have a global that big the sun was coming directly in the barrel of my lands, and I could not do anything about it. So we ended up shooting, basically with one flash outside one big soft box left of camera as a main light, and everything else was controlled by my shutter speed there's the final with and with the wind machine turned on, so the flash on her face and the highline arise from the big soft box. Everything else is controlled by the shutter speed makes sense in questions about that before we step away into the next thing you guys have any questions over there before we move on? Well, we like to say, tony, we always have questions, absolutely. So, you know, a lot of a lot of questions as faras everything that you've been talking about, I'm going to throw this one out from lakota wolf. When it comes to the quality of natural light is the best of photographing color, or black and white get the best contrast. Oh, oh, I stayed away from black and white for a long time, and in the last five, six years, I became a serious black and white guy again when nick software released silver effects pro all of a sudden I am dig in black and white, and I'm making some great black and white quality work, so I think the answer has to be lakota is that dakota? Look, I think I think the answer has to be it depends on the subject and the totality of your subject. In other words, there are some subjects that in color lend themselves to be great in color, and then there are some subjects that in color lend themselves to be great black and white. If you've got a lot of of primary colors, think, think about how, how colors change in black and white and how tonalities go into grays, and if you've got extreme, vibrant colors as long as they're different colors, sometimes those will make great different tone allergies, but often the colors become the same tonality and great and in black and white and it's not so great, so you have to kind of know what colors do best in black and white and what type of color filtration you might choose to put over a black and white file on the words you know in film, we would always use a yellow or an orange or red filter outside because of the clouds we would pop that, and what they was doing was taking the skies that's blue and making it darker, popping the clouds out and so you just kind of depends on also what the job is that you're shooting is for is it is it something for yourself or is it for a client but it often to me it's dictated by the tone ality and the color that's in the picture you know that that's the telltale for me is what's what the colors in the picture you know let me just let me just have one last thing that for example, most green most average green photographs exactly is eighteen percent great most red photographs exactly is eighteen percent grade so if if I'm photographing julie today and we're in the park and julie's wearing that red sweater I'm not going to make a black and white because the ground is gonna be the exact same tone alice her sweater and I know that and I've got to know that going in before even start this makes sense that's crazy that was, you know, blew my mind and I'm not even sure I'm sorry wait great now I'm like looking back on my pictures and well that's why they mike gonzalez says so does the time of day matter for quality of light and mike is asking from brandon florida yeah yeah it does I mean especially if you are shooting in color the warmth that it is hard to duplicate and replicate that warm time a day late what late in the afternoon and and the direction of light and the and the angle of the life you know, if indeed divinci had something to say about that being the forty five degrees? Well, I know that once like gets lower in the sky, the quality of the picture does increase, the warmth increases, the softness increases, everything gets better but there's a danger and that is therefore things that that will cause you trouble with working late in the day and that is first off is you know you're on your location on you're about to photograph britt on vacation with his family and you forgot something the car and you ran back to the car to get a double set of double a batteries and when you come back you've lost a stop of light, right? Because once that sun his twenty degrees, it drops before you know it so that's a problem second problem is generally you want that warmth behind them like on the day that means they're being lit by this big open sky, which is usually blue. You gotta compensate for that blue either with warming filter, warm it up somehow change your color temperature in your camera from daylight to flash or flash to partly cloudy or shade somehow I've got to get warmth in this picture because it's being lit a little cool third is they almost always have a four year old on they've been sugar in that kid up all day trying trying to get him in a good mood and you're out there wide open at a sixty if there are thirty of trying to freeze his little hands right? And then the fourth and the most important of all is how many of those suits can you do in a day you can get you get one and if they cancel on you photography one tony zero if you're keeping score and it's not good, so if I can control that sunlight and make it appear like I shot it late in the day, then I win and I'll show you something coming up how to make that happen that's awesome look thank you let's. Go ahead and keep on okay again. Flash outdoors this is a disney I used to shoot a lot of work for disney on always show this picture is one my favorite jobs down there. This is for a brochure that doesn't produced on their wedding photography down there they that property in orlando does around three thousand weddings a year and they're great jobs. They do really beautiful, beautiful work down there it's not it's, not cheap cheesy photography, it is highest quality, there is it's incredible what they're doing and so it's fun for me as I was shooting that sunrise being in the park first off it's sunrise by yourself is pretty cool, you know? So I'm shooting away and then I just and I said, not a sound man it's too bad that that skies that castle's blue because the sun was coming up behind me and the sky's getting more and more and more blue and I'm seeing this blue starting to get brighter and brighter and I thought, man there's going to be a point here where the blue of the castle's gonna match the blue, the sky and it's just gonna be flat and ugly and lack what I call color, contrast and there's a guy ten feet away leaning on a rake this the worker guy and I said, well, I wish that castle wouldn't blue in this guy went, what color would you like? Listen, really so right behind the fence was a row of flowers and I said, well, just match those flowers kind of pink magenta looking flowers I said, just match that and I got that on and it's just because I asked, you know, if I had not asked, I would never have that man and that's, what I'm saying about photographers, you guys are kind of a special breed people will go out of their way to help you get your work you just have to ask sometimes, you know, and don't take no for an answer, you know? You just have to keep you have to keep at it, especially if you know it's going to make the picture better. You've got a staff, you know? I know this is this is okay, but I think we could do this and do it better. Well, it's a little bit more trouble, I know, but it's going to make the picture better if it's going to make the picture better take the effort that's all don't take the easy way out just because I'll see that nothing's it later. Don't fix it later fix it now everybody that knows me knows that that's my number one soft box off the soapbox soft box that's my number one soft like my number one so box while I was there too one is exposures, I don't miss exposures, I might not be the highest impact shooter in the world, but I don't miss my exposures and the second thing is, you know you can't you can't shortcut quality and anything that I can fix before I pull that trigger trigger I do, I would rather not spend all night in photo shop fixing what I spent all day shooting, so I don't spend much time at all in post production almost none if I could just say tony you're talking about quotes one of my favorite quotes I always go by is shoot for perfection not for correction I call it pre touching some people call retouching I called pre touching if that hairs in your eye and I'm looking up thinking I could fix that later no I can't it's going to reach in here and I'm just going to fix it right now because why why why don't lose twenty minutes later fixing it I don't have twenty minutes people are missing dinner with their kids every night we gotta fix that part we got to stop doing that okay so so now we're talking about flash and ben together this is my garage so I'm in the garage with my soft box shooting with my background out in the driveway so the ambient light that you're seeing that's kind of halo and all around her is the is controlled by my shutter speed and that main flash just like miss san diego is the shot that's lighting her face and that's where the temperatures said makes sense I love garage door lighting and I'm going to show you some more in just a second but again here we go now it's out outdoors again there's my flash my main light flashed pops off and then I've got a strip light that's giving me that outline of her hips in her waist and her arm get the idea if that goes away if that light is not there, the shot is dead to me I've got to get the highest quality out of every picture that I that I can't you know it's a real simple job here's how the shot was let you see the soft box in front of the bike and then this is my strip light back here in the background. Now I noticed my first test that that small strip light and it's got a warming gel taped inside the inside the soft box, a war member gel taped right over the flash tube and we'll do that outside as well, but what I noticed was in that position that light was hitting too hard on my ground behind my modeling behind the motorcycle, so I raised that light up and I aimed it straight up look at that look at the angle of that soft box now, you know, somebody would walk by that doesn't know much about starving go I'm not one of that guy he's not even aiming that light at that model, but I know exactly what I was doing I was using the bottom edge of that soft box to go below the line off of the ground, and I was getting plenty of light on her, okay, that was my goal and that's what ended up with and then again, you can see how bright it is outside it's the middle of the afternoon. And this is what my shutter speed control gives me by just bumping my shutter speed up, up, up, up, up, I'm comin down the ambience, and then the primary subject is being controlled by the flash and that's, all measured by my meter. I live and die by my light meter. You know, I'm one of you that I know when the transition happened, I heard I heard big name photographer's going. Finally, I can stop using my light meter because the digital I could look at the back of the camera, man, my, my, my statement is, you've never needed to meet or more in your life than you do right now, you don't have a light meter, you can't get the accuracy that you think you can get, you just can't, and you're fixing stuff all the time.

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.