Photographing With Flash
We're now going to take some pictures in the studio so we're going to rearrange a little bit here you guys can all watch live I'm gonna move this stuff over to the edge we start taking pictures I'm gonna walk you through what we're going to we're going to do eh a single flash photo we're going to a single flash with a reflector in fact I think I have this on my screen here yeah putting it all together I'm going to show you the custom white balance that's pretty cool so when we do this I'm gonna have my model stand appear and hold my my great card to show you how all that works and then we'll go through these four scenarios and if we have time we'll do even more and I encourage my audience members to throw out ideas you know try this try that and then if time permits I'll also show using gels and how jails might impact our photography so here we go let's get some photography going so let's see crew I'm going to move this camera over here and let's start with a single light let's start w...
ith our um big pro photo soft box and we'll move the other flashes off to the side in the lighting equipment off to the side all right in our model can come on over you can be a place holder for now come on in so good cia all right so I'm gonna have you stand about right here in general all right and most of the shots today are just gonna be torso enough so we won't be doing full body full body shots right and today is all about technique for for the flashes and the menus so we're not going to do a lot of like high imposing but we do want to smile if you got a smile in there maybe a little sass if you got a little sass all right cool already so let's talk through the nikon system okay first thing I have to get a commander and I have to get a remote right so I'm going to use for my commander flash I'll use an sb office pecan and sb nine ten that would be my commander for my remote all use an espy nine hundred all right so I think I got my espy nineteen here yep I think my nine hundreds on my light stand yeah all right so let's start then with uh start them with the remote flash this is the s p nine hundred so I'm going to go here to the remote and I pushed the uh what's going on in this flash oh you know what I had this flash a few weeks ago I was using this flash and I said it for a special kind of remote it's called s u four mode so it's a great opportunity to show how well I know my flashes so I have to go here into my menu and goto s you four mode and then go down to off and then I go back to exit an hour in regular remote mode um I'm going to do something cool that was a guy who asked a question earlier today asked about a hand held light meter if you want to use your light meter and have remote flashes you got to be an suv for mode so if you need to know how to do that simeon email I'll help you out all right so remote so this is going to the key light so I'm gonna go to channel one group a and it already is their channel one group put this into the pro photo lite turned out to knock you over and remember we're in the optical system now right so it has to be line of sight so I'm going to be biased the body of the flash so that the little sensor khun see the commander there bring this down stick it in there it's in channel one group a and now the next thing going to do is talk about proximity in general all this isn't always the rule but in general your light source should be about that the same distance away from the subject as the size of the light source you know so this is about three four feet in size the light source should be about three to four feet away for the smaller ones are going to get a little bit close to you were going to be in a little bit closer so close counts get close the closer you get the more the light wraps around the subject and what I'm doing now is I'm assessing how tall she is I wanna nice catch light in the eye on dh we'll see what it looks like it might be a little bit low sometimes like the light to be a little bit higher especially for people who have double chins little bit higher light can hides the neck area so you don't have a double chance we have to worry about that as much all right so here we go this over here uh see I think I'm going to end up hand holding so when I set this up I'll set it up over on this side so we're closer to subject okay turn the camera on turn the flash on and now this is going to be the master flash unit so I'm on master and I know that's channel one group a so I'm going to select a is currently t t l and now I have to make my flash power decision flash power well I'm going to start out at plus one and see what happens b and c are currently programmed but I don't have any other lights in the system so I don't really have to it doesn't matter they're just going to speak out to nothing so being see even though they say tt ellen manual I don't have to worry about it all right the less thing we're going to do is we're gonna check tethering and make sure tethering works so go to my laptop and it looks like we are tethered here's our first photo from the day and now we're going to take a test shot are you ready all right so why don't you walk that way just like three inches yeah that was like six feet three inches matter all right ah back to the five step plan because I got to keep on on message here so five step plan step number one sink mode well where we add in the studio so I'm going to push my flash button and go sink mode normal sink great step to flash mode t t l because that's what we had set here in the commander so tt l and then flash power I was at plus one ok are you ready here we go picture number one look right in the camera one two three all right let's see what we got all right we got our first result now the studio tv is configured a little bit differently than the laptop in terms of overall brightness so I'm actually going to assess the brightness of her photo from my laptop and uh I'll just show the world that too if you want to compare the laptop actually shows it a little bit darker but let's just say that that looked too bright okay let's say it looked a little bit right here on the laptop it actually looks about right to be honest with you but for the sake of discussion let's say it looks too bright so here's what I'm gonna do I don't have to go to the flash now I can just do it right here from the commander unit so I pushed select again go over a hoops I pushed it too many times and now I pushed the plus and minus button tio activate flash power and I just dial it down I was at plus one I'm going to take the next one that plus point three so I took off two thirds of a stop of light and we'll just take that photo again all right here we go one two three all right so that one's that's what two thirds of a stop brightness difference looks like right on and with your permission I'm gonna zoom way in are you cool with that all right let's look at those catch lights in her eyes beautiful big great catch lights all right excellent so that's using one light all right that's using one single light now it looks pretty good there is a nice dramatic effect in that one photo because the light source is so big the light actually wraps all around her face it's a really nice look overall but let's say that we wanted to fill in the shadows a little bit off of off of her left side okay in the screen here it's off of her on the right side of the screen so how do we do that well reflector all right so we're gonna who wants to hold a reflector should we live so the audience when you guys come up and grab the reflector right so you are now a human powered light stand okay so you just grabbed that I'm going to tell you how to position it so a lot of people when they start using reflectors are confused about where it should be positioned they think sometimes that it should be in the back right so let's do it the wrong way first so let's say we go like that right that's the wrong way to use a reflector because you want the lights basically shut off the reflector and hit her in the back we don't want that so really the reflector needs to be here in the front and as I always say close counts right so this feels a little bit weird the first time you're setting up your light it feels funny because you're like feeling ill constricted don't worry about it the model will get used to it eventually everything will be just fine we're going to create this little kind of area of beautiful like just like that great and I'm gonna shoot right through the gap here okay we'll shoot the same picture but this time with the reflector oh and one more little tip for you you noticed what I have going on with my commander flash I have my commander flash kind of pointing up I do that on purpose because I wanted to broadcast toe all the flashes in the studio and I probably should have even put my little diffusion dome on there so that actually broadcast better to the group um as I said earlier that I had this flash set for dash dash dash meaning it's not going to actually contribute to the photo but here's the dirty little secret that night khan will never tell you it actually contributes a little bit just a tiny little bit and so what you'll get is you'll get this beautiful big huge bold catch light in the severe side and then you get this little pinprick of light from here so move this away and now it's just commanding and it's not adding any light to the scene all right here we go one two three let's take another one who in two and a half all right thank you you can go ahead and set that back all right so let's see what we got there that's looking pretty good that nice look and notice as I soon I'm gonna zoom in on her eyes again so now we see kind of to catch lights right see the nice big one from the soft box and then we see the reflector the reflector catch light moved in there oops yes so here's one without the reflector and then there's one with the reflector subtle but helps bring helps fill in the shadows all right I'm going to do another shot like this I'm gonna really quickly though I'm gonna grab my umbrella so I'm gonna move let's go ahead and move this soft box er smooth out of camera range maybe over there whatever works for you okay and I mean I mean basically do the same thing with one flash um and an umbrella just so you can see the difference between what an umbrella looks like versus what soft box looks like and this one I got to get the body rotated in the right way the flash is gonna be like that and this is gonna be like this so here everyone watching is probably going oh it's not linus site anymore well I'm hoping and praying that the lights going maybe bounced off the ceiling and get to the little sensor okay so about there would be like that all right one shot like that okay here we go one two three cool nice not bad it's a nice looking photo and again if you're a catch light snob that's where you're gonna look you're gonna look right here in the eyes and you'll see that the umbrella is not as clean you can actually see lines and lines and said that catch light so single light well this and also a single light with the reflector so let's now go to the next one let's do a three light set up so for this one what I'd like to do it I'll do the big soft box back on stage left case of big stuff box here let's do let's do what you do for the second line you guys have a request for the for the feel light so the key lights going to the big one all right big umbrella for the pill o all right that sounds good so that and then as I'm setting this up let's put the little soft box wherever that is let's put that in the back for three hair light or for a kicker all right you go ahead move around back and that's going to end up all end up being a up high for that one all right ok so back on camera so I'll get up I'll set up all the light the flashes now so we currently have the s p nine hundred that's set for channel one group a and I'm just going to move that to our key light and the word key light what that means is um this the main light it's the light that really causes the overall effect the overall look so that's the key light so there's channel one and group a ready to go fill light that's the secondary light let's pick and s p seven hundred gonna set that for remote and I'm going to set it for channel one group b channel one group because it's the second light and my setup and I push okay oh and I need a foot stand and for this one I'm also going to show you how to do the custom white balance thing so I think you're going to like that see how much I can fit into the last ten minutes or class so here we go put that in there great into the light stand and now I've got this line of sight issue I'm just praying and hoping it's all gonna work because that that flashes actually kind of its hidden behind the big umbrella now is there a flash currently in that one okay so I need to find another flash let's take an espy six hundred and old school so this one now I'm going to turn it on and I'm going to sit this one in remote mode remember zoom and minus and then you go and you said for channel one c so this is the background like one c and we'll put that in there and here I am actually going to rotate the body once were once remounted great so now I rotate the body and then rotate the head back in there we go and now I'm going to use this as kind of a separation like between her and the backdrop and it will be out of camera but the goal is to show rim off of her shoulder ok so one a one b and one c now we go back to the camera and when you get into the more complicated lighting set ups a lot of times you you're just wondering is everything communicating properly whoops everything communicating properly so what we can do a lot of times we can push the modeling light button and when I do that it should trigger all the lights in the system if they're all listening on the right channel and group before I do that though I got to make sure that they're all configured here on the master flash so the master flash em is set for dash dash dash cool that means it's not going to communicate not goingto contribute but only communicate the a flash that one there t t l at plus point three cool the be flash that's going to be t tl and since it's a fill flash I wanted to be down I want to be a little bit darker so I'm going to set that one for like minus two the sea flash the one in the background see flash we're going to set that for well here you can choose you can have a b a t t l flash or you can just have it do emanuel output aa lot of temps for my background flashes I set them for manual because t t l means through the lens metering and sometimes trying to meet her that so it brightens up in the appropriate amount and it's actually the inappropriate amount so well all that said I often set my background flashes for manual output so I will use manual and just because I'm guessing I'm gonna guess manual at one sixteenth power all right push okay I pushed my modeling light and I'm looking at her okay so what's communicating what's not communicating that back one is communicating this one is in my on channel one that one a and that one should say one b and it does okay I think we're good are you ready because I am here we go one two three who and then I don't know if the microphones in the studio could pick it up did you guys hear the beeps all right I have a whole chapter in my book it's called the beeps will set you free and the beeps really tell you a lot about what happened what's happening when they beat like that it says they fired properly so you'll hear this be the first to is like a baby and then there's a long beep beep and that long beep is when they're all charged and ready to go again oh my goodness look at this photo so there's one with just a single flash and there we are with three lights in the studio huh just makes me happy it's just really cool just so fast we got a whole studio set up and now let's let's mess around with it just for a minute in fact let me dio maybe two things going to accustom white balance is to show what that looks like and then we'll do one modification to the lighting make and maybe change the ratio between the front ah the key light in the field light so I'm gonna grab my white balance tool here okay we'll show this show this to camera this is called a nisi balance it's a card on so white pounds target so what I'm gonna have her do it she's just going to hold it here in front of her and then I'm gonna shoot this in what's called custom white balance or preset white bones the nikon system and that way I get my colors absolutely perfect so I just want you to hold it like right below your chin towards the camera so I'm gonna push my white balance button here get to sell the way and then here on the top of the camera right so here on the top of the camera rape of my thumb that's wiggling you can barely see it but it says pre p r e and it also says the one so that's a preset and is going in memory location d one so here's what I do I lift up again and I push and hold white balance I give it about two seconds and then if you look carefully you'll actually see it's blinking p r e it's waiting to do the measurement of the white balance while it's blinking zoom in and I shoot that great card target so I'll get it all set up and then the camera man what I want you to know zoom in on this right here it'll say the word good when I'm done okay so here we go again pushing hold it's now blinking or should be blinking come on there we go nuts blinking a zoom in on the great card take a picture and it says good and that means I got the good white balance so now my wife owns the set specifically for the lights in these in these modifiers and the lights in the studio and now as I take the picture will just take one more here one more shot and here we go one two three also see what that result is good you probably won't see a whole lot of difference between the two just because I was using flash white balance before and the custom my bones well actually the custom white balance this is the custom this is the flash custom white balance is a little bit warmer maybe a little bit more natural all right I've got two more things I want to show before the end of today's class I want to know how quickly and easy you can modify these lights and then I want to show finally the radio trigger system so let's say as we look at this photo let's say that we actually want this side of her face to be darker and let's say we want even more rim light off of her shoulder so I'm going to do two things I'm gonna darken the side down and I'm gonna brighten up the backlight okay so I'm gonna leave a that's true pay and you leave that alone b I'm going to reduce the power of b down to minus three and then c is in manual mode currently a sixteenth power I'm gonna amp that up I'm going to go up by two stops just so you can really see what happens so much sixteenth so two stops his eighth and then quarter oops there go him wrong way their egos eighth and then quarter so we're ready to go all right last shot one two three listen to those beeps and already to fire again cool so there's our shot look at her shoulder you'll see the brightness difference of light on her shoulder all right and it actually the brightness hit also impacted the front of her face because there's so much more like coming out so that light was probably actually reflecting off of the front of our soft box anyways you generally see how easy it is to modify your like
Locations and studio setups don’t always cooperate with your ideal vision for a shoot. Professional photographers use wireless flash systems to increase their mobility and expand their creative options. Flash systems also cut down on the amount of time photographers have to spend correcting images in post-processing.
Mike Hagen is a professional photographer and industry expert. He is a seasoned instructor and the Director of the Nikonians Academy. Join Mike for this class, and you’ll learn:
After this course, you will be able to manage flash systems and shape light to your needs. You’ll be able to set up synchronization modes that alternate different kinds of flashes, and incorporate light modifiers like umbrellas and soft boxes. Start improving your shoots now!
- How to use Nikon’s wireless flash system on location and in the studio.
- How to use on- and off-camera flashes.
- How to set up your camera for a shoot and link it with multiple off-camera lights.