Shooting Our First Portrait in Shade
We are now ready to start having some fun. We've been just sort of bogged down in all the technical stuff for too long. I want to take what we've learned and create a nice editorial shot of Sydney. And so we're gonna do that first here in the shade and we're gonna balance again our ambient light with the light from our flash but now I wanna really try to shape that light and then make it look a little bit more beautiful. So, we're gonna do that with several different lights and different modifiers, and well, they'll see, we're just gonna walk through it. So to begin with, what we're going to do is we're going to use a speedlight. So I'm gonna grab my Canon Speedlite and Chris is gonna help me, he's gonna be a handheld light stand. And so to keep things easy, we are going to from now on, we're just gonna use TTL metering on a flash and then flash exposure compensation to change those settings because why not? It's easy, it works really great. So the first thing I wanna do is Chris, it's...
all hooked up. He's gonna get this link set. So we still aren't linked yet. And yes, now we're linked. Okay, so what we're gonna do is Chris is just gonna sort of stand here and we have nothing going on except a speedlight. So we haven't done any light modifications. I'm gonna come over here and sort of sit down and we are going to first look at our ambient light. I'm in manual mode. I'm at F4, I want shallow depth of field, ISO and at F4 I need a thousandth of a second. And so now let's take a shot, click. Okay, and so you can see we have our ambient at light set. It looks really good and our flash is not linked. So we need to do that. So it is almost there, there we go. Okay, now our flash is turned on. So we have set our ambient exposure triangle correctly and now we're gonna let our camera set our flash exposure to match. Okay, so Chris is holding that flash there and I am going to take a shot here, perfect. Now, what we can see is the light on Sydney is just not flattering at all. We have these really, really hard shadows, look underneath her chin right here. You can see this light is just really nasty. And then we also have really specular light. So look at right here, she is shiny, shiny. We don't want that. The reason that that light is so shiny, shiny is the light from our flash, it's such a tiny, small light. It's almost a point source of light. And if you remember back on understanding light and light modifiers, we want soft really, really large light. And that will surround the subject, it's more diffused. What we need is a softbox. That's what we need. And so we have this guy right here. It's all attached, yeah, okay. So this guy is a Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe adapter that you can put a speedlight in. I've had this thing for 13 or 15. I don't even know, a long, long time. They don't make this anymore. There's an updated version of this. It's even better. It's still called the Ezybox but it looks a little bit differently because they've made it even better. It's more better than the one I have. So we still are in E-TTL mode through the lens metering for the flash. And the only thing we've done is we're now making our flash much, much larger so that we can soften that light. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna have Chris bring this in as close as we can get it, the closer the light, the larger the effective size of the light, the larger the effective size of the light, the softer the light and the softer the light, the less shiny it's gonna be, the less specular and it's gonna look better, okay. So, all of that stuff specular and effective size and all that stuff. Make sure if you don't know that is the understanding light and light modifiers, we go into great detail on that. Okay, so we have this pretty darn close. I'm gonna have you bring this. So try to get this flash head and aim it right at her eyeballs. So we want the light to sort of coming directionally at her and you're gonna have to go back about two or three inches, stop right there, good. Okay, so now chin down a little bit sink, perfect. Let's take this shot. And we are seeing an issue. As soon as we put that softbox on the flash at high speed sink, because our light is diffused, well, we don't have enough light coming from our flash. It's not powerful enough. To prove that, I'm gonna go in to my flash exposure compensation. I'm gonna put it at plus one. And we're just gonna try again to see if that can give us any more juice. And the answer is no, no more juice. So that flash is going full blast at high speed sink, it can't go anymore. So what we can do is we can try doing something a little bit, it's a little trick. So on a speedlight, you can zoom the light in and out. And so that's what we're gonna do now. So if you can take that light and change the zoom and we're gonna go to about, let's go to about 100 millimeters. And so it just got windy really fast. So about 100 millimeters. So it set, the zoom is at 100. And so let's see if that, it's just like zooming in a mag light. One of those flashlights you can zoom in, it's focusing the light from really wide to more focal, yeah. It's getting it there, more of yeah, whatever, words are bad. And so we're gonna try this again. So we're at 100, that's where the zoom is. Still not enough, can you zoom it as close as it gets which is, I think you can zoom it to about-
Max I have is 200 millimeters.
200 millimeters, so we're zooming at 200 millimeters. We're gonna see if that gets us there. And when we do that, it just doesn't. So what have we learned? We have learned that a speedlight sometimes just isn't punchy enough. So what we're gonna do now is we're going to try to see if our Elinchrom ONE can get us there. So we have this. And one of the things I want to show you with this light is we put on an octabox on here. We are gonna be using almost all day-to-day round light modifiers, roundish. Why? We're shooting outside. And what we normally have in the ambient light is a sun. The sun is round. And if we wanna try to make it look like the light that we're putting on our subject is matched with the ambient light, we need to use something that will have catch lights, specular highlights, any reflections, it should be round, so it doesn't look obviously artificial. If I was shooting inside, I would probably use a square modifier so that everything looked like it was coming through a window, windows are square. But we're outside right now. We wanna make this look like the sun. So all the light modifiers we're using today are gonna be round. It's something that's really subtle but I think it makes a big difference. Okay, so we're gonna try this. We're gonna move this really darn close. I'm gonna turn this guy on. And then I'm also going to switch from my Canon to my Elinchrom transmitter. Get that guy on there. Okay, and let's see if that's flashing as it is. Okay, so we have just moved that a little bit and then also let's take this guy here, move it up just a hair like that, then move this guy down just a hair and it's good. Okay, so, now what we're gonna do is Chris I'm gonna have you move that as close as you can get it. So a little bit closer. So keep moving in, keep going in, keep going in, keep going in. Keep stop, come back about right there, right there. Okay, so we're all the same except now look what happened. Now we're getting enough punch from the Elinchrom ONE to get us there. And so we can even do it a little trick to get even more light from this Elinchrom ONE which I'll show you in a second. But one of the problems we have with this is on the opposite side of the flash. Things are too dark. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna have a silver reflector. We wanna have silver because it punches the most light. By the way, we're outside. There's a little bird just joining in on us. So I hope you're enjoying that. So, Chris what I want you to do is we're gonna bring this much, much lower, and we're gonna get it as close as possible and then I'll have you back up. And so we're reflecting light from this. And so back up about six inches and move that the way my hand is moving this way, the other way, opposite way. Yeah, keep going, keep going, stop right there. Let's see if that's close enough to make a difference. It sort of is maybe come a little bit forward and see if we can bounce some in, there we go like that and let's try. In fact, I'm gonna shoot vertical so we can even get a little bit closer, so you can move even closer Chris, keep coming in, keep guys, go back about an inch. Stop right there, okay beautiful. All right, there we go. Now look at what we did by shooting vertical, bringing that in, we have a lot more light coming from the side. In fact, if we put these sort of side by side, you can see that on the left her arm really dark right here, that pops in there. Really dark on this side. When we go vertical and we bring that closer we have a lot more fill and because we're shooting in raw, if I need to, I can go in here to the shadows and I can pull that. I can pull that all the way out. And then if I want, I can go and maybe add a soft vignette to that. And whew, that is pretty cool. I can even maybe crop that in, a little bit less headroom there, something like that. And then now, oh, I really love that shot. That is so much better than what we started. What we started with was this, ah, what was that? In fact, let's compare those two things side by side. We'll compare those two shots. What a huge difference that is. That is a massive, massive, massive difference. And so by using a flash with little bit more than double the output, getting it really close using the proper shape of light modifier and then bouncing in light, we are able to create something that was even better than that. There's even more we can do. So what I wanna do is I wanna make this a little bit softer and I wanna bring in more light from the flash. So what will control more light from the flash? If we can't get more light output from the flash there's one other thing in our flash exposure triangle that we can change. That's the aperture value. We can open the aperture value if we have a lens as the wider aperture. And we do, we happen to have an 85/1.2. So we are going to do that right now. I'll give you this. You give me that. And this is so cool. This is Chris is 85/1.2, by the way. And I'm so happy to use it. So we're gonna use this guy right here. So 85 millimeter prime at 1.2 lens. So the depth of field is gonna be much, much shallower. And so what I need to do is go back through the my depth of field chart. First, I've already set up my ISO value. The second thing I need to do is set my aperture. So the aperture is not F4. Oh no, I wanna go to an aperture. Let's try 1.2. That might be too wide for this. And now that I have that, I need to set my shutter speed. How do I set my shutter speed? Look at the ambient light and look at the ambient light. And I'm increasing my shutter speed and yeah, at 8000th of a second, it just can't get there. So I need to close my aperture a little bit. So sadly, we're gonna be shooting at two which is still pretty darn wide. So, because we're shooting at two, F2, that should let a little bit more light from the flash. And so we should have a little bit more leeway with that high speed sink. 'Cause I want even a little bit more than what we had. Okay, so let's see what we get now. And I'm at a prime, so I might have to back. I'm gonna have to shoot vertically. Okay, let's see what we get here. Ooh, oh, it's so creamy and soft. I really like that. So now we have this really, really shallow depth of field. And even though we got more light by opening the aperture, we got less light by increasing that shutter speed to 8,000. It's that battle between high speed sink that really crazy shutter speed and the aperture value. And so, what I wanna do is, well, I wanna go to the next step and that is more power, I want more power. Now, just to be clear what I could do is I could go in to my develop module. I could open up the shadows of this shot, I could because of the quality of this file. I could go in there, I could add a little vignette. I can do what I need to do to get this photo to the correct exposure in post-production and it's just fine. In fact, it's just a beautiful, beautiful portrait. So we can get there if I don't chop our fingers off, we can get there with what we have, but I prefer to do it in camera. And so we can get there with the 130 watt-seconds we have with the Elinchrom ONE, but let's do something else. Let's bring this guy up. So this is an Elinchrom ELC and Elinchrom has optimized high speed sync across the board on almost all their flashes. Now this flash is a studio strobe that you can plug in. It does have high speed sync. So it behaves the same way that all of our other flashes do. And Elinchrom also has some battery powered 500 watt-second flashes. I just don't have one. And so you can use something that is in this kind of thing where you plug in, or you can use a battery powered system. So there's many, many different flashes to choose from. I'm working with what I have, which is a powered flash. So that guy is turned on. What I need to do is I need to make sure it's synced with my remote. So I'm turning my remote on and off. So now that's connecting and then I am going to make sure that that's going to fire and it's not firing. Let's see why. Oh, 'cause I have to turn on the flash. I didn't turn on the flash, I thought it was on. I'm human, it works. Okay, so now, what I'll do is I will turn this on to sync with that flash and then once that is all good I'll make sure that it fires. I love doing live stuff because in the YouTube videos we edit out all this stuff where I make mistakes and mistakes are made. And I think you should learn from the mistakes. Okay, already this flash, I could feel it going. It's much, much beefier. It's about five times as powerful as the Elinchrom ONE. So this is 500 watt-seconds Elinchrom ONE about 130 watt-seconds and the speedlight is about 50 watt-seconds. So we're jumping a lot in power. So what we're doing is again, F2 8000th of a second and TTL metering on our flash and CAPOW and immediately we can see that we have overexposed Sydney. And the reason for that is I had my flash exposure compensation to plus one, to try to get as much as possible out of the speedlight and out of the Elinchrom ONE. We don't need it for this light, 'cause it's so beefy. So I'm gonna go back here again and perfect, I love it. I'm gonna get a little bit closer you, yes, yes. Look a little bit toward that light. Yeah, that's what I want. That's what I want right there, okay. Now look what's happening. Now we're getting just tons of light from that reflector. We're getting tons of light from ELC 500 watt-second light. In fact, we might even have too much light from our flash. This might be too much light. And so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take this and I'm gonna change the flash exposure compensation. I'm gonna go negative one. I'm gonna take it down by a stop. What a privilege to have so much light that I can say take it down. Okay, exactly right like that. Bamo yeah, now we are there. That looks so cool. The other thing we can do is I'm gonna move this flash back a little bit, 'cause we have so much power, it should work and let's see if we can shoot a horizontal shot instead of vertical. And so I've gotta get back a little bit 'cause I'm shooting with this prime and a little bit more. I'm gonna have to chop your head off, I'm sorry, but that's all the room I have, okay. Okay, for this one, what's happening is we are under exposed just a bit because my flash exposure compensation was negative one. Let's put it back to zero. I'm going back as far as I can. Can you bring your hands closer to your body? Ah, now I don't have to chop you off. And there we go. Now look, we have a balanced exposure of the ambient light and the light from the flash. Again, I like a vignette on shots like this. So I'm gonna go in, I'm gonna open up the shadows a little bit. I can play with the overall exposure. I can season this to taste and then we can see this full shot. And that is what we're talking of about when we're talking about taking a photo and giving a correct, an appropriate amount of light. So our exposures are set for the ambient light and the light from our flash. We're doing flattering light where we're using a soft wrap around light and we're preserving as much of the ambient light as possible so that background looks wonderful even though it's out of focus, that's what we want. This is a great environmental portrait and that is exactly what we're going to. So we've taken all the stuff that we've learned and we're just layering that and layering that. One of the things though that we need to do is move out until this harsh environment we call direct high noon sunlight. And when we do that, we have to first control the ambient light and make it pleasing before we add any flash. So the next session, we're not gonna use any flash at all, we're just gonna work with ambient light.