Shaping The Light
We are now gonna take what we just learned with controlling the ambient light, and we are going to do my little process of shooting in an environment like this. But first, we're going to shape the ambient light to the best of our ability, and then secondly, we are going to add in some artificial light, that light from our flash, to shape the light and make it beautiful. And so we're gonna, sort of, expose two different things. So we have this beautiful fireplace right here, so we want this to be exposed by the sun, and then we wanna shape the light on Sydney with the flash. So as always, we have to first start with the light that we can't control, that's the sun. By the way, right now, it's about 90, 95 degrees out here. It's very, very hot. So you might see on my laptop here I have this umbrella. That's keeping my laptop from overheating because it gets so stinking hot that we have to do that. So all the cameras actually are in umbrella shade as well. Okay. So that's the only reason w...
e have that umbrella there. So the first thing I wanna do is we have this stand here, and on the end of the stands, and I have a little Frio, and that is normally used to hold a speed light, but you can also use a speed light or an umbrella. And so that's what we're gonna use this for is to hold an umbrella. What kind of umbrella, do you ask? Well, we happen to have one right here. This is a translucent umbrella. And so what I'm looking for is the largest translucent thing that I have. And so what this will do is this is going to do sort of what our sun swatter did earlier, and give us nice shade. And so you can see right there, (Lecturer grunts) oh man. The temperature dropped by 10 degrees. So what we're gonna do is we're going to do this so that we're putting Sydney in the shade as much as possible. And so I don't wanna hold this. So I have something here to hold it for me. And that is this. So we'll just put this over here, stick this on the end here. In fact, I'm gonna put it in this side 'cause that's gonna give me a little bit more control, and then I can control it by the knuckle. There we go. So naw, naw, naw, naw, naw. I'ma go over here. And let me take a look. So this isn't low enough. What I wanna do is... This is in the way. But what I wanna do is I wanna make sure that we have from here to here in shade. And so what I can do is I'm gonna crawl in here, and there's this articulating tiny little end piece here. I'm gonna use that 'cause then what I can do is I can then move this around. And I'm not sure if this is strong enough to hold such a big umbrella, but we'll try. And then Chris, I'm gonna just move this a little bit by myself. Whoop! Yeah. So that is not gonna be strong enough. I have to use this little piece right here. Ngah! Okay. It's all about the gadgets. That's all what happens. So what I'll have to do is try to get this out of the shot by moving this, sort of, like that. It's still not enough. Let me move this back a little bit like that. Okay. So just moving this around, now what I've done is I have made sure that Sydney is in shade, but I don't know if you can see behind Sydney, but the fireplace is not in shade. So, Chris, let's just have you step aside just for a second and come over on this side. So Chris is gonna come over here. So we'll have to move this based on what the sun is doing. But the first thing we wanna do is put Sydney in shade, and I'm gonna take a shot with no flash, in manual mode. And what I'm gonna do here is I'm just gonna get my exposure on Sydney correct. So I wanna shoot this around F-eight. And so I'm gonna dial my shutter speed to about a hundredth of a second. Wow. That is surprising. And then we'll take a shot and see how this looks. And we can see that Sydney is looking okay there, but our background is overexposed. So let me expose for the background. So I'm gonna point this at the fireplace, and I'm at about 500th of a second, and now you can throw that away. (Sydney laughs) Sydney, I'm gonna shoot right here. And then what we can see is now, yeah, Sydney is definitely underexposed. That's what we want. So we have... Our exposure on Sydney is controlled, she's in shade. We have the exposure set for the ambient light correctly. What we want to do now is add some light here for Sydney. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna bring this over here, and I'm gonna bring this really close. And I forgot one thing. Chris, I'm gonna have you run over and get the silver five-in-one reflector. So it's one nice thing about having a Chris is that he is Johnny-on-the-spot really fast. Now, why do we have such a large light modifier? Well, if we had a small light modifier, what would happen is we could clearly tell that this light is artificial. What I wanna do is I wanna make this try to sort of match what the ambient light is, but because the ambient light is so nasty, I wanna be able to shape that. But see, the other reason this is round, I want it to be a nice round shape to match what we'd see from the sun. And if we have a catch light in Sydney's eyes, it's a round catch light. So we're gonna try to get this, sort of, close, and I'll see if I can get in here and shoot this. So I'm gonna let the flash figure out its own exposure using TTL metering. So once again, we have set our ISO, we have set our aperture, and then our shutter speed, now we're gonna match our exposure using the flash power. And we're gonna do that by allowing our flash to use through the lens metering. And I'm gonna get down here as close as I can, take a shot, and I'll just look at that. And you can see that now we have light from the side. I like that. I think the flash needs to be a little bit brighter. And the other thing I think we need to do is we need to take our ambient light exposure down a little bit. So I'm just gonna make some adjustments here and make the shutter speed faster. Beautiful. And then... Okay. Now we're getting where I want it to go. I'm even gonna take the ambient light down a little bit more. I'm gonna take that down to about a thousand. I'm gonna open up my aperture a little bit. So I get a little bit shallower depth of field. I didn't like the depth of field we were getting so I'm gonna go down to 5. which means that my shutter speed now has to be about a thousandth of a second. Turn a little bit toward this light. There you go. Hold that right there. Beautiful. And get over here a little bit. Let's check our exposure. And, ah. Now we're getting where I want it to be. I like that. I need that background to be even more underexposed. So I'm gonna take my background exposure down. And let's move this just a little bit farther back. Can you move this chair. Just so I can get the chair out of there. (chair rolling) There we go. There we go. Okay. I don't like the light falling on the background so that's why I'm moving around a little bit. In fact, Sydney, let's have you stand up. So the problem with this is if we go back to my computer really fast, let me show you the the thing that I don't like, is we have this light right here on the background that's creating this hard line and I don't like that. So what I wanna do is move myself around where we don't see that at all. And so, to do that, I've gotta move Sydney over. Like that. Okay, now hop in there. That means I'm gonna need to move my umbrella a little bit. Something like this. There we go. I think we're still good. I don't know if you guys can see anything. You guys can't see anything. I've blocked everybody here. So let me move this up a little bit. Is that better, Matt? Can you see? Okay. All right, we're gonna split the difference between a good photo and a good video. And so, normally we don't have video cameras, I have to actually see what's happening, but now we'll do this. I'm gonna bring this around. So it's a little bit more directional. Yeah, we can just leave it right there and then let's start over. So if you don't like what you're getting, it's okay. You can recompose things. So I'm just gonna look through my lens. Ah, now we see much more of the background. I like that. So first let me get the background exposed correctly. 16 hundredth of a second. I'm gonna get down here. Can you turn your knees a little bit more that way? There we go. In fact, I'm gonna have this whole chair moved a little bit. So stand up just a second. We're gonna move the whole chair that way. There you go. Just like that. Yeah, there we go. Okay. I'm so picky. There we go. That's what I want. (camera clicks) Now we'll take this shot. Okay. So now what we need to do is we need to take our flash exposure up a little bit. So I'm gonna move the flash exposure compensation up and I need to move this back. Sorry, Matt, can I move it by an inch? Is that okay? Okay. And now, let's see if we can get this to balance out. This needs to move back just a tiny bit. There we go. Just like that. That's all. That's it. Okay. Perfect. All right. Now we're starting to dial this in. So now what I'm doing here is I'm looking at my computer to check the exposure, which is a really bad idea 'cause it's so bright out here, I can't see what's happening. So I'm gonna look over here at my histogram, and I can see that it is underexposed. So the whole thing is underexposed, and so I need to change that by about a stop. So I'm gonna take my exposure compensation up. What is the number on this one?
What is it?
6.3. So my flash is maxed. 100% So I might have to open my aperture to let a little bit more light in. So that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go down to 4. to try to get a little bit more of this flash to come in. We might even have to go down a little bit more than that. Now we're getting a little more light. Yeah. So the histogram just changed a little bit. It's close enough now that I can go in here to the computer, and if I need to, I can brighten that up a little bit. I can go in here. I can take a vignette and add that, make that evened out. So I can get a shot that's a little bit more pleasing and what I want. So it's okay to shoot raw and make minor adjustments in post. There's no shame in that. That's what I'm doing right here. Now the other thing that we'll notice if we look again at the computer that this shot right here on the side of Sydney opposite the flash, there's no form. So her hair is falling into complete darkness. So, Chris, I want you to come over to the other side, and let's try first, the silver side, and I'm gonna get you to move as close as possible. And we're gonna try to get that on Sydney's hair. And so go back... Just move the disk this way just a minute and stop right there. Stop right there. Okay. Let me take one more shot here. Yeah. Now what we're getting is we're bouncing a little bit of light on the opposite side of Sydney. So you can see what we're gonna do. Let's do two shots in a row so we can show. So what we're gonna do first is we're gonna do a shot where we have that reflector. So move it a little bit closer. Closer, closer, closer, closer, stop. Move your left hand back a little bit. Stop right there. And we're gonna shoot this. Stay right there, Chris. Okay, take it away. And don't move, Sydney. Okay. Now let's see if we can compare those two things side-by-side, and you can see how we're opening up the shadows on this side of her arm compared to this side. And so, I like having that reflector. The nice thing, though, is, remember, we can always go here, and we can sweeten this up by taking this and opening up our shadows. Now we can see the curls. We can make these edges a little less nasty by adding a small vignette. We can do some things. Again, I cannot really see what's happening on this computer because it's so bright out here. I have to trust my meters. I have to trust my histogram, and then just know and trust that I can go in and post and do some things. So now that I have a shot that I think is, sort of, close to what I want, what I wanna do is just shoot a few different shots. So we're gonna use that silver. I'm gonna move this out just a little bit here to try to get a little bit more front light. And then let me see if I can get my composition locked in. We'll just shoot a few of these. And this is how it goes. So once you have things dialed in, then you can, sort of, start making your composition a little bit better. So, Chris, take a half a step back. There we go. And then, Sydney, can you take your left hand and put it closer to your right hand. Yeah. Because we can't get the shadow exactly like I want it... Chin down a little bit. There you go. Perfect. There you go. And then we're gonna wait for the flash. Excellent. And then what I want you to do is look at the flash. Look straight at the flash. Yeah. Put your face toward it. Exactly like that. (camera clicks) Perfect. Okay. Now let's take a look at this short series of shots that we just did. And you can see that we have... And that's coming in. We have some options there. We can start moving with this. We can start sculpting it. Now the thing is if we had no video cameras here and you didn't have to see what we were doing, we would be able to move this, make a much larger shadow, we could widen out that shot so we get her full body, see more of the background. We could do a lot more. But the problem is as soon as we do that, all you would see is an umbrella. You wouldn't be able to see what we were seeing. And so, we have intentionally made this tighter than I would like. But the important thing to understand is we followed some steps. So we used our exposure diamond to figure out, first, the ambient light, then the exposure from our flash. We shaped the light using a nice round light modifier. And then, we also brought in some light from the other side using a reflector. So we control the ambient light got an appropriate amount of light, then we did a flattering amount of light with this guy. And then, we also preserved the ambient light to the best of our ability. We fulfilled the thing we set out to do, and we were able to do it very, very simply and quickly. And if this was a real photoshoot, I'd probably have stay out here another 30 minutes or so just to make sure we got something that was an ooh-ah photo. But that's how you do it. Okay. Now that we know this, we know these steps: control the ambient light, add in some beautiful fill light, add in some reflectors if you need to, combine those two things, play with the exposure. We are now gonna have Sydney change into a swimsuit, and we're gonna go take some pictures by the pool and show you some different ways to use depth of field and composition to get a great photo.