Speedlites: The Basics and TTL
Welcome back today to ofthe picture perfect lighting here a creative life on location we chose this location because the me and the good people that creative life we wanted to choose a location that was somewhat difficult to use but also had some basic things you would find on a regular shooter you might be find yourself into so this place has some serious complications yesterday we spoke about the swat analysis on the swat analysis of our location just talked about walking into a room and finding the locations quickly glancing about the locations opportunities locations, strengths, weaknesses us and so forth so basically the idea is when you walk into a room you don't walk in oblivious to what's going on you walk into a room as a trained photographer and you say okay, I see this I see the windows I see the floors I see the walls I see some dark color woods and basically that should give you a little bit of an indication of what challenges you can expect throughout the photo shoot what...
tools or or equipment you may need on so forth today we're going to, um talk about a topic that I've been wanting to teach for a long time the way I'm going to teach you which is the issue off speed lights which as you know, speed lights are usually a scary topic for a lot of people I don't understand uh it will actually have to understand it is intimidating is complicated, but we're going to make it super easy. I think if you just take a different approach to speed lights, you'll realise they're not scary at all. You can totally control what they do on my wish for today is to really put you in the driver's seat and put you in control of speed lights and if you feel like you need a little kicker of light, you'll be able to just pick up a spear that quickly turn it on, make it happen and you'll be like that's no problem at all instead ofthe saying no, I just want to stick to natural light because the speed that would be to carry too complicated I don't know how it's going, how it's going to behave I don't know what I'm going to get I don't know if he's going to give me crazy result and I'm gonna look like an idiot in front of everybody um so this class hopefully today is going to be no problem speed like give it to me, let me turn it on and do this and you should be good to go I want you to totally expected behaviour, understandings, features on, then we're going to spend the second half of the day doing some serious trouble shooting this location, creating some pretty beautiful images we have great models we have kellen we have amanda so we have a great day set up for you before I start the beginning of the speed lights I just wanted to do a quick a quick review off I know some people were asking a lot about this that ten uh things I look for when I walk into a location now we are on location so I feel like it's appropriate to kind of go over this one more time. Um the first one wass I look for the brightest non direct light the brightest on direct light means light is going through a window or light us hitting a wall on then it's just bouncing around so I look around the room and I say where is the brightest light possible? Second one is do I find any do I see any clean backgrounds that I could easily go to? The point of this list is for you to be able to produce great photos quickly without crazy amounts of equipment on do an amazing job so to do that you have to have some sort of go to list on the clean backgrounds obviously you're going to help you get your message across without distractions the third one wass do you see any natural light motor fires, any white walls any, um any red walls like it just depends if you want to a color caste also um things that could modify the light. What is the color off the floor? What is the color of the walls? Anything that you could modify or used to modify the lights would be one. The next one would be surface. Correct. Heuristics. How reflective are the surface? Is this location is actually quite interesting. The roof, which we usually used to bounce, slide off it's going to be pretty hard to use here because it's it's got a metal, uh, roof when he's got a steel beams and he's got a lot of stuff going on in the ceiling. Probably difficult to bounce and that's why we used it. We also I also discussed looking for quake lansing at the direction of lights like where's the light coming from uh, just quickly glance where is the sun? Where is the strongest light coming through right now? The sun is actually coming through somewhere. Andi can't really find it somewhere in seattle, direction of light. The next one is shadows on the ground on the wall so if you see the sun or the light, creating shadows on the walls are on the floors could be a possible picture that you could take on something that most photographers probably just walk right through and you may not know they may not see it or you will, especially after this course the next one is clean pockets of light this works more outdoors if your are outdoors and you see the sun going through trees and palm trees or what have you it casts shadows on the walls if you can see between the shadows you see a clean pocket off light that's where you could take a really great shot with some graphic elements because the shadows create those graphic elements there. Um another one is rooms with openings to the outside, so if you have a room let's say like a garage that's that's goes to the outside. If the light will go from opened down on the garage because it's an opening it will basically go left and right allow you to put the light right on your subjects face instead of having to deal with the light coming from above and then having to put a reflector underneath to bounce the light back or what have you when the life is coming directly this way gives you a lot of possibilities so we look for locations that have horizontal lighting. Is that a vertical lighting? The next one is do you find existing separations between subject on dh background that could be color for example a mother's wearing a yellow dress so I could put her in front of a gray background that would be a contrast I would be a separation another one could be separation through light you could put a light in the back or the windows could give you lighting in the back and that lighting will change the luminosity levels off the wall keeping your contrast between the subject and the background on the third one could also be called us to be just just contrast of any kind so color light um things like this would work the last one on the most difficult one the one that's probably the more difficult one to understand is the reference point on last night I thought about it and I wanted to explain that one more carefully I reverence point is crucial reference point if you're going to learn lighting you wanted to wait realistic reference point is the part people miss so I'm gonna spend a minute discussing this one if you are by the beach and it's somewhat sunset right? If you are in the beach on you put your couple or you put your fashion model or your high school senior in the beach a lot of times we get excited about using our flashes on our toys or whatever and you flash him with your light flashes daily balanced it's fifty two hundred fifty five hundred k something like that if you don't know what that means is the kelvin temperature for life the sun are whatever the beach is doing it's like seven thousand like it's something warmer or something just like a warmer color let's say it's a sunset or whatever people love sunset photos in the beach yet I see the sun set and then I see the flash just blast a couple with daylight and I'm just like all right you have a flash that's basically with access to me is you own a flash you you know how to turn it on and you know how to put it in your camera I you know, I think the key is what is the reference point off the ambiance off the scene for example, the light in the beach at sunset is warm a bounces again against tan polar sent making the light bounces up even warmer rights you have this warm feeling so your flash has to come out in the same worm beautiful tone it doesn't have to be except let me repeat that it does not have to be exact, but you wanted to sort of be in the same vicinity off what the situation is in this place. For example, we have red walls, grey walls and we have windows thank goodness for the windows because the windows can give me a reference point because the window is it's daylight balance because it's daylight outside so I don't have to worry about making my flash warm toned or yellow or red I could just keep it white because the windows are a reference if you were to put a subject here and you were to put that red wall in the back or whatever you see windows in the background it would be believable to say the window like this eliminating your subject even though it was actually your flashy limiting your subject that's what a reference point is's why would make delighting believable um I think that's a huge ki ahn also at the end of the day we're going to spice up our pictures with some hot sauce with we're gonna put some hot sauce on our photograph so they say something instead of saying nothing um I guess I can I was going to say my corn thing again but it's like you don't want I don't know I eat popcorn with chili on it I don't know if that's a normal thing okay tapatio pop okay you put it it's delicious without it it's no good republican has butter for a recently makes it taste better so less to some put some spices on your photography so when people look at your website it's like wow, look at the lighting, look at the beautiful posting look at the read of composition I wanted to I don't want I don't want you to look like every other two point five million photographers in the world that just your natural light only try becoming a photographer, which means you play with all kinds of lights. Every light is part of your team let's go ahead and get started. Weigh the most fun part ofthe everything the speed light section of this course. So all right, you may have noticed yesterday I was shooting with cannon and nikon cameras. Um, why don't I shoot with both? Because I want to why do I want to? Because they're both excellent that's why I went to when people ask me, why do you prefer it? Doesn't matter what I prefer is what you prefer, um, kind of nikon, although the same exact things, they're both beautiful cameras, they produce their just a tool it's your brain that I'm after not not the not the tool. So here we have nikon speed lights can't speed lights, they are the only difference between a nikon speed light and I can speed that at the moment is that the cannon one has radio transmission, so it has a building basically a building park away stirred inside on this one doesn't is optical, so its line of sight however, the night gone flash has a lot of features that the cannon flash doesn't have, so they're both kind of go up and down so that it really doesn't matter, okay? Speed, lights, they're like the monster of photography they're like the scary monster that comes and wants your night and wants to buy you all right, it's like you dream of I can just see yourself waking up and going to your husband or wife would be like this p lace after me again speed light is after me again I can I caught up with you when everything's, right? Um they're not that scary. Their black boxes they're little computer inside a little light, super friendly looking pretty good to go at the scary no. Okay, all right. So, um let's talk about what a speed like actually iss asked the light it's actually not a monster believe it or not, speed light is on ly a means to an end. It is something that you are toe a little ah, little kicker a little influence it's something that helps you when the light is not adequate it's not going to make the natural light look flat people think flash looks flat it doesn't look flat at all. It looks just like normal light it's just another or normal light so it's just a means to an end it's not supposed to be anything else in that you have a gold in your mind you have a vision the flash helps you execute that, um flashes also portable light so if you are in a location where you need light, you don't have to bring the son that would be really heavy and hot, but you convey your flash. Sorry, it was an early morning, four o'clock in the morning today, so I'm two red bulls later, okay? Portable light the third one is this is actually one with people in the charms they're going to probably argue about speed lights are actually the same thing is not your life okay? The only there's gonna speed like a natural light it's the speed light, it has a quick duration time so it's a strobe on natural light is continuous light. We'll talk about what that means, but the actual light that comes out off the flash is exactly the same energy as the sun. So when people say I don't use flash is because I don't like the style it doesn't. That also means I don't use natural light and because they're both the same exact thing. So, uh, the flash also allows you to be in control of every situation. So if you are doing a heavy, uh, job with high stakes or you just want to do a really good job and you don't have windows where you have a cloudy day or a rainy day. The flash puts you in control of whatever you want to do if you understand it, you can do anything with it that a window can it doesn't make a darn difference it's a problem solver any problem? Anything? If you have raccoon eyes, you could just put a flash on their eyes and you can just minimize the power super simple put some light in their face on the last one is the one that I'm known for that the flash is that pull that should be practised it's not a too that even after this class you're going to listen to this class you're going to listen to his class over and over, but I think of the day this you're still gonna have to take this course and you have to practise what I'm teaching you here and you're gonna have to experiment and you're gonna have to fail and you're gonna have to mess up and you're gonna have to redo it again and that's totally cool you you stole my first photos of my first year last yesterday I wasn't exactly great either. So okay when I was thinking about how to teach the speed like class and get rid of the scariness, I thought there's really two things that make a speed like the speed let's go into two main groups, okay two main groups so let's see this is really important two groups for speed lights the first group is their speed lights. Does the thinking for you that's? It's you can say okay, you think you think talk to me, tell me what to do. Okay on then you listen and then he does it. Okay, that second one isthe I think for you you'll be quite I do the thinking you'll be quiet. Ok two categories flash, please do the thinking for me I don't want to think I have a headache option two flash I love you but please be quiet. Let me do the thinking for you that these are the two the two teams that the speed let's play under easy, pretty cool. Um the problem with the flash in the world I believe whenever I ask questions about why this is so scary it's really? Because of the first team the team were the flash things for you when as soon as the flash things for you all kinds of things starts to happen, you start getting into meat. Oring matrix metering, spot metering whatever be entering central waited waited floored pinata pineapple metering like I love everybody metering it's like so weird. Like all these names, many people are like, what the heck is the difference? Who cares like the flashers thinking for you so it's trying to have a brain is trying to compute all these things and he talked me through all this metering and on the company's put all the school names like center waited and outdoor waited whatever the names are it's just it gets crazy so I think the best thing to do if you are in a rush or people are walking towards you or away from you or you're moving like crazy let the speed like thing for you that's totally cool but if you have ten seconds to control something it's probably better that you control the light so those are the two camps okay as soon as the flash starts to ah think for you you are no longer really in control you're going to start thinking okay? You take a picture, it looks flat you're like I want less light on your like less light last light and then you push the flash exposure compensation but you're nervous because you look weird on you miss the bun and then you try to tell it to go less flash it doesn't have voice command it's very difficulty and then you put it again on the flash the flash assumes just puts like everywhere you're like no, I want light on lee here and then the flashes doesn't know what you want so so that's I think the main problem so we're gonna good going to move on when more absolute basics okay we have amanda anywhere ready okay um probably think that should be connected let me connect the real quick I don't know much but I know there's much not good okay you're home watching and you already know some of this great now you get you get to reinforce it if you do not know this so you have little holes in your knowledge of all this this is this you probably feel those holes up and make it so super simple for everybody okay um the first one is ptl ptl is we're going to talk about the two camps the two camps are dtl is the camp for the flash things for you if you don't know what it means is through the lens so basically this these meters chance a pre flash I don't want to talk technical so sense of pre flash it sends information back and it was the camera how much how much light the flash put out okay so I'm gonna turn it on I'm going to switch this to just tl metering hey it's a t t l metering um I'm just gonna get the flash do its thing this is camp one camp one is flash do the thinking for me okay I'm now flash is in total ptl automatic my oh that's totally trigger friendly finger there okay I'm gonna put my eyes so at two hundred just to kind of do whatever I'm going to put my aperture at four point no on my shutter speed at one eighty okay I'm going to take a picture of w amanda over you I I'll just show you I'm not even gonna think ready watch this I'm just gonna go okay there you go on look the first picture the exposure's dead on okay let me see the exposure that a little dark great now if you're at home you're saying that's a pretty darn good exposure it's a little bit dark why in the world do you guys think the exposure's almost there that the flash is doing all the thinking for you so I look at the direction of the flash I pointed it this way I pointed it a wide angle twenty four millimeters on my land somehow at the widest my land's khun go the flash is doing all the thinking for me the exposure is pretty good but it's a little bit dark why do you think that isthe rachel austin go ahead is it because you're shooting towards the window that is right see thank you so if you are shooting over you she's great and all but the land's it's a twenty four millimeters so there's more of the scene that just her sorry it's not all about you sometimes sometimes it's about the window behind you so if you turn the cameras just quickly towards that window behind her that window is brighter than she is so this is where it starts to get you know this is where it starts to be like okay what's going on so to make a long story short the camera has to make a decision how much light do I put out the way makes a decision is to the camera's media ring system the cameras monitoring system is programmed by really smart people smarter than me tell the camera, grab everything in the scene and just eat it maybe that's not a good don't eat it just grab everything put it into like a party on then whatever if it's too dark make it lighter if it's too light make it darker I wanted to just be eighteen percent great right gray so if you have half white half black on the exposure it's just gonna be a the camera will say thank you that super easy put him together blah blah blah gray but if you have yellow black skin tones floor and you have all these things and then the camera says, wait a minute there's a bright window outside so there's a lot of light therefore I don't need to go crazy with my with my flash for with I don't have to go crazy because there's already plenty of light in the scene so I'm just going to make the flash almost there but a little dark if I was to put amanda in front of another situation with there's no window then the camera will say okay, I see everything there's no crazy window in the back or something super bright so I don't need to do it let me mess let me let me do something kind of fun I'm gonna put amanda here in front of their light um for the studio and I'm going doesn't has a really bright light ok totally okay let's go in front of that light right there and turned towards me I'm going to point my camera at the bright light you should already know that cam was going to say okay I have a man in front of means doesn't know her name that was just me then the flash is going to say wait a minute there's a crazy bright light in front of her so I'm going to turn myself way down I don't need to go crazy so let's see okay let's take a look at that picture there and you can see that even under exposed to even more the only reason why the exposure still decent is because there's a bunch of black around it and that black is kind of playing a role okay remember it's going to mix all the colors and put them into trying to make them into a gray so let's try another one where the flash things for you so can you stand? We don't have like a dark anything here, huh? Can you stand there stand riding between the windows remanded over you that's amazing little more this way ok they should give us actually there's a lot of dark tones in here so the flash may go a little brighter this time. Okay? So let's see no he went it went fine just give me a normal exposure yeah, just a normal nice exposure so let me see here why did you give me a normal exposure all there's a highlight on that thing move a little bit more this way if you can highlight on highlight on which thing there's a highlight on the middle ok, so that medal that information of the height the brightness of the metal got into the center and he said there's something bright there so I don't have to go turn it down actually there's a window here so this would be a hard example because that's going to get into it to let me see if we can make it work yeah that's almost a little too much light now so yeah too much light on totally flat cool cool what's happening is I took away the window I took away the highlight in the metal beam I'm basically always so what's her black hair the red, the red wall her yellow dress actually made you sit kind of safety exposure a little bit and that's all good now if it's so unpredictable then why's it so hard why is it so if it's unpredictable? Why do people use it right here's? Why? Because sometimes you don't have time to set up everything and you don't have time to say I want this amount of light sometimes you don't know what the starting point this and you have two seconds to get a picture, those air good moments that just to put it on t l I know they're good woman to put into jail for example let's say she's walking towards me right she's working out off my focal plane so basically she's getting closer to me and closer to me and closer to me the closer she gets to me them or the lights going toe impact her if this was on manual, if this wasn't straight manual and she was ten feet away from the camera and then all of a sudden she was five feet away from the camera and then two feet away from the camera that's that light is never going to change is going to be a very powerful light hitting her on everything she gets closer is just gonna look totally blown out and totally blown out if she walks towards me now the flash will compensate for the distance every single time so that is crucial if you are a wedding photographer on the brightest walking down the aisle and she's walking towards you you can put this on tl and just let the flash to the job for you so you're not trying to take a step hold on hold on brian hold on let me turn the power down keep walking keep walking take a take another one turned the power down great keep walking keep doing this you're doing great like that's just gonna be horrible so let's do a walking shot I'm gonna have you there's windows everywhere let's see let's start there amanda and then we'll walk towards will walk towards me start way back there way back now if you're watching online you already know that there's a bright window in the background so you can already estimate that is going to be a dark a bit of a dark exposure okay so um let's see go ahead and walk towards me good stop good continue stop good okay if we look at those three four I don't know if we can do that but if we look at those three pictures you will see that the exposure was perfect every single time or it was the exact same exposure every single time see that uh take a look ok perfect. The photo on the left has the most amount of window therefore, the flash said this is really nice and bright I don't need to work very hard, so I'm just going to put a little bit of light on on a man then that's it the second picture, she feels up more of the frame so less window shows up so the camera the flashes okay, I see some window. I see her taking up about a quarter of a frame I'm going to put out this amount of light now and compensate for that. Then when she comes forward, the camera says, okay, now mother takes up fifty percent of the frame, the window's, only fifty percent of the other side, so I'm joined I'm just going to put more flash I mean, I'm going to put more flash to compensate for that because the window so bright so we have three different explosions that looked pretty good if that window wasn't there. If that was just like a clean wall, the exposure's would have been pretty much identical. Okay, so that's t t l for you, this is dtl trying to make everything into middle grey okay, so that's pretty much is there a question on that stuff? Yeah, I'm just wondering, I'm gonna stiff you can scoot over so people are asking about still asking about what mita ring you're using in camera trying to understand well, where is it reading? Is it reading off of her face? Is it reading? So you talk again about your in camera mita ring so the meeting questions I usually stick two matrix metering, which means they basically evaluates the whole scene. These cameras are so advanced both cannon and icon that even if you have matrix metering or whatever it's going to be smart enough to know, okay, I'm going to the matrix metering, but I'm going to put more emphasis on one section of the frame that's why they have the ones called center waited, which means a measures the whole scene, but he puts more emphasis on whatever's in the middle right on in the whole output of the flash and the camera is based on what that little middle section reads with only a little bit of influence off the off the rest of the scene when you put a camera on spot metering, which is like the tiny little three to five percent when you look through this it's only going to say, ok, I have this entire frame, but I'm only going to look at five percent of the little frame and I'm going to measure everything based on that little five percent so then the camera in the flash talk to each other and say forget the window forget everything I'm just going to look at the five percent circle in the middle of the frame and I'm going to base my exposure based on that the reason why I don't switch between matrix metering and center waited and spot metering and all this other stuff it's because I don't want my brain toe have more work to do I wanted to be on evaluate the whole scene and I will make the changes for you like I will say for example I can say can you go back to the out the window there okay right there is perfect I can take a photo for here and then say I know you're going to think the scene is very bright because you see a big window and I know that you're going to make the flash output very light because you say I don't need much flash but the scene is really white it's already it's already there so then I know that so I can say I'm going to turn you talk listen to me and I'm gonna turn you up two stops okay so I can take a picture of her now and then look at the camera look with the camera did now right and then I can see to the flash okay flash that was I got a little crazy let's go one stop on lee okay, so you do whatever you do you think based on the scene you do your own calculations on then I'm gonna tell you once you're finished with your calculations go one stop brighter, okay? And then you get this exposure and I would say that's actually a proper exposure do you guys see how much thinking you have to do on t l like look at the questions they're coming in like what metering do you use and all these different stuff it's a lot of thinking you're talking metering types compensation or flash how bright is the scene? How dark is the scene? How doe I mix everything into a middle gray it's like you have all these things that the camera's thinking in order to make an exposure so that's t t l it's used when you are walking someone someone's walking towards you someone's working away from you when you're in a bind and you had to do something quickly they just let the flash to something for you and take care of it that way. Um if you are slightly like confused just ing this, you have a brain. The flash has a brain in your brain and the flashes brain work in two different ways. When you tell the camera when you tell the flash to think for you, you're turning on the cameras that the flash is brain on the flashes brain only things I'm going to take whatever I see and I'm going to do I'm going to put enough flash so when the exposures. Wait. When the luminosity levels or the brightness and darkness levels get mixed into a ball, that ball will turn into eighteen percent. Grade. Is that cool? Super simple, right?