Lighting Techniques Q&A
So going back to when we were shooting outdoors, and we were talking about that bright sunlight or whatever the case is, the question is under what conditions would you consider using a polarizing filter or any other types of filters. Do filters come into play?
Yes, okay, so if you're in a manual situation, okay, and you're shooting flash manually, you won't be able to move your shutter down above 1/200th of a second for your flash to work. Now because the light is so bright, you have to shoot at F11, F16. I don't wanna shoot at F11, F16. What's your solution. Well, if you put some sunglasses over your lens, it becomes darker right. So let's say I'm at, oh I got this perfect exposure in the background, it's F16, shutter speed 100 right, and that's the background that I love and I wanna keep it, but I don't wanna shoot at F16. I wanna shoot lower. The problem is if I lower my F stop, what's gonna happen to that background. It's gonna get lighter and lighter and lighter. It's not what ...
my vision is. So what I could do is, I'm at F16, right. I put some dark sunglasses over my lens. It makes everything dark. I need to make it brighter. How can I make it brighter? Lower my F-stop. Get it? So now, I'm not touching my shutter speed. My shutter speed is still at 100th of a second. I could fire my flash. But I wanna make it darker, so I can lower my F stop. So I put sunglasses over my lens, which is called a neutral density filter, where a polarized is good, but it only takes it down two stops. I'm at F16, I wanna get down to 2.8. How many stops is that? I think that's like six stops. Or so. So, you have to have You could do a variable, where you vary the stops between two to ten, but those work. That's fine. But sometimes the quality of the variable, you'll get some vignetting on the side. And some people don't like that. Or you could just go to straight stops. I have, I find that for me a four stop is perfect. So I have a single. Now that I have a single four stop, that usually works for me, because I'm not shooting into that bright sky. When I'm using my portrait lens, I'm usually shooting with some nicely lit trees behind them and so forth. So I don't really need to go down the six stops. So four seems to work for me fine. And so what I do, is I put a four stop. So if I'm shooting in the bright sun, but I find something darker in the background to shoot, like some trees, most likely that's gonna be about F8 or so. So if I lower it down four stops, I can What's that. That's gonna be five, six, four, two eight. It's gonna be about 1.8 or 2.0, which I love shooting at. So that's why four stops works for me. So does everybody understand that concept of using neutral density filter to make your lens darker okay. And then instead of raising your shutter speed or lower your shutter speed, you just lower your F stop and it keeps that shutter speed within that range to use your flash. And that's a very easy mess. Now, what does it change in regards to your flash power. It's all the same. Because you're actually putting the same amount of light in it, you're just lowering your F stop. So nothing really actually changes. What I will say is this though. Is I don't like shooting at high F stops when I'm shooting a portrait. Because when you're at high F stops, you get a lot of sharpness and detail. And do I want the pores and the imperfections of the skin to stick out more? Not really. So that's why I like shooting portraits at 1. because it has a smoothing effect on it. And it's easier when you go in and post process. Right. And I can show you that later. Does that. I hope that answers the question. Good.
That was a brilliant answer. And I absolutely love your concept of putting sunglasses over the lens. It makes it all make sense. (laughter) So thank you for that.
Okay, so. Kelly Newman and a lotta beginners might be in the same scenario where they have just on camera flash, and they don't have sort of this ability to take it off. Is that a situation where you can do any of these things, or is that where you'll bring in the video light?
That.. well. Is the on camera flash like indoors? Or is the on camera flash outdoors?
I am not sure. Kelly, you can let us know. She just says does this work with on camera flash. I don't own a detachable flash.
Um, okay. The problem with on camera flash it sticks at, it's at the distance you are at to your subject. So let's say, for example, bright light and I got one flash. I have to always be six feet from my subject. All the time. And I'm not going to get any shadows. Right. So if that light is firing at me, and I'm not getting any shadows because its not directional. So you get zero shadows. But it will work. You got the on camera flash. You can get a good exposure, but you always have to be six feet from your subject in bright light. Indoors, you can bounce it off a white wall or a ceiling and you can make that work of course, but then what happens I've been in venues where the ceiling is black. What are you gonna do at that point? Right. So you're very limited. You can do some things. And guess what. Why don't you just go old school? Get a PC to PC cord, 15 foot cord. You can attach that to your camera, put your flash on it, and now you have off camera flash and it only cost you a few bucks for a cord. I've done that before. Sometimes I used to just keep a cord in my bag. Because what happens if you're triggering system doesn't work? You're stuck. But you gotta cord in there, right. You can get the flash off camera, then you can set your other flashes to slave mode and make them fire when it sees one flash, and you're good to go. That's just a good safety thing, you know, you get hired, you're getting paid 10,000 dollars to shoot a wedding in Paris and then your triggering system doesn't work. You gotta have backups on backups. Okay? And so having a PC cord in your bag, it's an easy solution, just in case. And if you're on a budget and you wanna do off camera flash, perfect.
So the first thing that you did today. You had the video lighting and the flashes.
And there were one next to each other and there was a difference in the color, in the temperature.
Was it on auto balance? White?
I don't even know what I had it on. (laughter)
Because one was very warm, and the other one was 5,500.
You're gonna get a varying of light, and also this will change whatever its firing through, will change the color temperature too. So I was firing, so I've got a video light that is a slight variance in lighting as my flash probably. Every flash brand is different too. So you can get the N brand flash versus the C brand flash, Nikon or Canon or whatever, or Sony, and you'll fire them and you could notice a difference in the lighting there too. It just depends on what you're doing, right. But for me, I just generally need it in that area. That is not even a concern with me. Not as long as I'm way off because in post, that is one of the most easiest things to fix. So I just need some light on my subject, so I'm not gonna go, oh that light's different, I'm not gonna use it. Right. You're gonna find a variance no matter what you use. So you're not gonna get the perfect situation all the time. It depends. Oh. Even if you're shooting in environment and there could be green grass everywhere. That green is gonna reflect on your subject. Or you're in an area where there's some nice autumn leaves you might get that reflected on your subject too. So that's just. I think when you shoot in the studio all the time, then ya. You want it right on. But in the real world, it's quite different. You just need it close, because you're gonna get a variety of light reflecting. Then you're gonna get mixed light. You're gonna get some warm light coming in, some cold light, then you're using your own light. And it's just gonna be a big mess. But as long as you get it close to what you want, then it's all good. And that's how I feel about that.
And that's actually just to build on that specifically, because a question from R Graffelo was if you mix the flash and the video light, and those you know have potentially two different color temperatures,
It's not a big enough
Are there any other considerations?
Ya, it might be two different situations, but I use one as rim light and one as main light, so it's not like I'm using both together on the same person. And so the rim light, if it looks a little different from the main light, that's not even a huge deal. And a lotta times I'll gel the rim light too, right. And so that looks cool. And with my post processing, I am looking for color. I just hate white light. And so if you look my post processing, right. You saw the one right before. I don't like that. This is way warmer than you see straight outta my camera. And so I am always altering those things to my taste. And so that's not too much of a concern. And I think because if you use it as rim light it won't even matter for you.
Great, thank you.
We have a couple people including Dee from Philly asking about high speed sync.
Now I know that you were able to show us about having the background go to dark
Can you talk a little bit to high speed sync.
High speed sync is great, right. If you got another hour, I could talk about that, but we don't. But high speed sync, there's certain limitations with it. What you're doing when you're using high speed sync, you're using a lower F stop, but you're really working that flash hard. You're making it firing multiple times, as that shutter is going over your censor, right. So therefore you can never have it fire on full. So I think at most your flash will operate at one eighth power when you're in high speed sync. But if you drop your F stop way down low, then it still will be sufficient to do certain things. But so that's what it's doing. It's making, as that shutter comes across your censor, and so what happens is your, the first shutter comes across and because you're using, because when you use high speed sync, you gotta be at 1/8000th or at least 1/4000th of a second to shoot in bright light at 1.8 without an ND filter. You're pretty much at 8000th of a second. Okay, so therefore as that first shutter is coming over your censor, a second shutter immediately has to close it to create that fast of a shutter speed. So you have a slit. So that light has to pass across that slit. And so what your flash is doing at high speed syncing, as its going across, your flash is firing many times to light it up. Boom. Light it up. Boom. Light it up. Boom. Light it up. And then it lights it up. That's a lot of stress on your flash and you can't get full power out of it. So there's some limitations there. And so you just have to be careful, its very easy to overheat your flash. Especially if you're a trigger happy person. If you're a click click person, click click person, click click you know, those people. They just have to take two no matter what. Click click, click click click. You could possibly overheat your flash in 10 minutes. And it will blow out your flash. I love high speed sync but in moderation. If you're not gonna go crazy with it. Because I'll do high speed sync and then we'll be sharing the whole class is using my one flash on high speed sync and all of a sudden it stops working after 10 minutes because it's overheating. So you have to just be careful of that. It does work in some good situations. Yes. I like it.
Can you ever use a, or would you ever use a beauty dish on outdoor shoots?
Ya, a lot of people use beauty dishes. It has a certain look to it. It has a semi-hard light, soft-light look to it. And so that's why it's called the beauty dish. Because they want those glamour shots, because usually they're wearing nice jewelry, they're having a bit of color and texture and sequins, right. And you want everything sharp there, but you still want it soft for the face. And so it's a good compromise, and some people use it because maybe it's a little bit wind resistant or whatever. But for my particular taste, I really just love that soft light on the portrait. And because I'm not. I just love that softness that it creates. A beauty dish is okay but like I say, it's a tweener thing. It's between an umbrella and kinda between hard light. And so just depending on what you're doing, if you're doing a bit of fashion and glamour, it might be perfect for that situation.