so we started to understand direction of light which is crucial because once you understand the direction the rest should be pretty easy one of the biggest problems we have with photography today is years ago when we shot film we didn't worry about white balance we did it we just press the button and the lab would worry about it we didn't worry about exposure because we never knew that we were over under exposing him I remember when I used to get paper proofs back and look at my negatives and had analyzation numbers on them I get my anil ization and I'd look in a big oh my goodness oh my goodness look it out it's analyzed its one hundred fifteen it's one hundred forty that's the highest I ever got not realizing that I over exposed the image by six stops on the lap was ready to kill someone because they had the printed all down I remember when I first started shooting digital I would think oh the camera's terrible but it was may I didn't know how to expose my colors were off why your co...
lors often where that primarily off while the biggest place they're off is endorse everybody has trouble indoors because we love to use flash is our safety net and then we love to mix light so what does all of that really mean well here's the situation any given place you walk into there's going to be different lighting flashes basically blew it became a safety crutch we put it on a camera we take our image and then we say why is my background so orange why is it so dark why is it so muddy it's very very simple because we don't know how to expose a white balance correctly the biggest problem that happens with all of it is that you're mixing light it's a matter of understanding what color light is and then working with it why do I try not to use an over amount of flash because I know that I'm creating more work for myself because I have different intensities I have different outputs I have different colors it's very simple but we still don't do it the way we need teo you walk into a room this room spectacular it's easy it's a tv set it's all the same temperature light it's all balanced for daylight of fifty three hundred degrees calvin now am I telling you that you need to understand what kelvin means and what all these colors mean no not even close it's a matter of you understanding looking and saying this is daylight let me white balance for daylight move on understanding that yellow is tungsten understanding that those long bulbs in the ceiling or green they're more fluorescent understanding the flash and daylight although they're close and are both blue light they're actually different there's a little bit of a difference in it so what do we do we say oh don't worry about it we're going to shoot a raw file there's only one problem aurora file while it may be better for certain things if you go and start not white balance and correctly you just creating more work so the question at home is to you shoot a raw file dog or do you shoot a j peg shoot a j peg with the volume we're doing I don't need any extra work in it if you expose it right doesn't matter the quality coming out of these cameras now in the file says do you know how big a raw file would be coming out of a d eight hundred or d for would be huge as it is per year with everything we have we're using sixty four terabytes of space on our server per year that's quite a big investment isn't it I might as well go back to film it would actually be cheaper the point is I want to shoot it right exposed for it right if I'm going to shoot it wrong and think that I can correct every little thing in a royal file doesn't make much sense no so I'm going to simplify it for you right now I'm going to make it so easy that you looking so it can't be that easy it isthe right now the light in here is daylight so what I walk in and aired tunks tonight to it when you mix daylight and tucks the light what do you got I call it garbage it just seemed so much better I'm getting garbage because I'm getting mixed light the way photography works and white balance and works is very simple whatever the dominant light is is what you're going to white balance for correct so if I'm balancing if all the light behind me I'm in a church and right now I'm in regular light on putting flash on them it's wyatt the white balance for flash tony but what happened to all the light on the background what's gonna happen with it it's going to turn a different color have you ever looked at your images and said oh my god why is my background so orange why is it so muddy why is it so grainy admit what looks good on a monitor does not translate two good prints I remember our job is to sell prints that's what we focus on selling prince we make money by selling paper so the fact is when a mixing light if I'm white bouncing for flash that's going to become oversaturated it's going to be grainy it's going to be doc it's just not gonna look good so the first and most important thing I have to do in every situation keep it simple is walk in and identify what the main lightest I could walk in here right now and know that main light is daylight I could walk inside of a church and up on the altar know that the main light it's thanks tonight I could walk into a reception site and know it's tungsten if I'm walking into a public restroom I know that it's fluorescent have you ever walked into a room in your entire life it's a wow the whole rooms left by flash it's never happened has it and if it did that's quite a room now do I love flash of course I love flash because I could paint whether but I love it it's certain situations how did I make my life easy my life is easy because whatever the main light is I walk in and match it so what did I do I came up with something to simplify things from a there's a little little toy here this little one pound light this is not a sales pitch this is what I use that I happened to be apart of putting together it's called torchlight what colors to cap on here it's orange so when I turn it on what do you think happens what color light comes out of it so if I'm in a reception site and I choose toe like my subject with orange light and I white balance for that same arch light what's going to happen I'm going to get even consistent lighting if I need a little bit of filling my eyes right now when I take this cap and I do this what color is this light look you don't see the difference studio you know why because it's daylight so when I put daylight on me right now I'm not affecting their white balance when they're watching it I do this they have a little bit of an issue because now they have a discoloration on to warm so when they change their white balance to meet up with this warm what's going to happen to the background it's going to turn blue it's the same thing so what I'm doing is I have three different caps for one of them's arch whatever mes forced it which is fluorescent on one of them is clear which gives me daylight the idea is the reason I don't use flash on location in most cases is because I always want my light to be more of a feel like so if I use flash the reason I'm bouncing off the ceilings because what's gonna happen I'm gonna do this it's too intense isn't it on them or intensity when they closed down my background goes daugher my background not only goes docker but you pick up more detail I mean do I look good at all right now you think I always look that's being very important the fact is where are you pointing that camera flash again you point to get up does this make a difference at all right now on me now what's happening it's too strong so the idea is to be able to control the lights so what I'm doing is ultimately turning it down to its lower settings because all I'm looking for and right now it's too well let but I'm looking for what the little daylight the main light is coming from my left right now isn't it so if I step up here okay I'm getting hit harder here this now is no longer side lighting I'm almost split like write a split lip right now you look at me there's a shadow here so if I wanted to fix it I could have this little one pound portable light here tonight I don't know if you guys knew this we're actually going to go into overtime tonight we're going to go outside and shoot at night because night time is the best time to shoot it's fun it's a paintbrush we gun of the time of our life shooting on top of the roof of this building you're going to see how I control all of it with this little like I don't need anything else because it's not a matter of how much you ad it's a matter of how you put it in there whatever like you're using should be a pill like so here's what you need to understand what's the message and again not a plug for my life the message is very very simple okay I want to be able to match the light so when you walk into every situation you need to identify what the main light isthe right now mean lights daylight if I have one of these studio lights how many times have you set up studio flashes and you feel like you're overpowering the subject with them well have you ever up to your eyes so and just use the modeling lights on them wouldn't that be a little bit easier make it into a constant like that's why I love my constant liked so much it's a matter of controlling where you put the light on learning how to use the light to make the light work for you so if it's tungsten we match it with the yellow cat with the arch cop if it's fluorescent we match with the fluorescent cap if it's daylight we match with the day like cap we keep it simple it's no more complicated than that now let me ask you the big question how many of you were shooting that water white balance be honest it is your enemy as good as it isthe could you order white balance me right now the answer's no why what's white you have me and application you have me a blue jeans you have being a black shirt you have me what a red war the only thing here you have this light thing well you have is the white molding or you're going to get an accurate order white balance you're not you're getting no consistency are you so there's two things you should do if you have even light if this room is clearly lit with daylight what should my wife balance bay six light what's daylight you know the little house with shingles on it and stuff that's a house which shade that's what your white balance is where I work with four white balances the house would shade tungsten flash five if you count fluorescent but it's very rare I shooting a terrible light and more importantly custom do you know how to custom white balance on do you need all these toys the custom white balance these disc and things no you don't you don't need anything like that all you need is something white and if you're doing a wedding what's wide her gown these cameras air so good now but order white balance is on ly is good is what you're doing so when you're tryingto order wipe outs and you're picking up the white dress on the altar the black tuxedo they're tungsten light here the window like coming in here this that the other thing is it gonna matter whether you shooting the raw file or j peg keep it simple identify the light match lytton and just you're on your way I shoot with those four presets that's it custom white bouncing his easiest could be balance off the dress put a white card in front of me just keep it simple don't over think it is that simple I promise you you notice one thing how many's off exposures that I have won and did I know it here's the thing over the next three days I promise you you're going very rarely see me shoot doubles because I'm going to understand how to expose I'm going to understand how to compensate for situations the more doubles I shoot the more confusion a year to my client it's amore workflow I shoot I'm going to show you so many poses over the next three days that your head is going to spend I want to make it as easy as possible I want to make you understand it so that your quicker and more efficient the message that I'm delivering to you now is quick and efficient shooting it's what it is can you create art quickly and efficiently of course you can you don't need to get technical you're overthinking I promise you you saw how easy it was just what the window like there to shoot keep it simple okay so we have to match the light what questions do you guys have here before I start getting into exposure different things definitely and in identifying the the main or dominant light your example earlier in if let's say and you're in the church so you have tungsten lighting and let's say it's in the middle of the day so you have blaring son outside and you have a window coming in which do you consider your well dominic what is hitting the subject that's what you need to figure out the white balance is going to be your main light needs to be on that subject so if you happen to have mixed lights let me ask you you have tungsten light over here up on the back of the older they have fluorescent on the other part of the alter your of window light what should you do do you know what you're doing right now you're adding another light to it you're adding flash which means now you are four inconsistent lights you need to figure out what's on the subject that's who's paying me and I need to white balance for it and deal with everything else what's the best way to do that a mixed lighting condition what should you do custom keep it custom if you can identify what the main light is what should you deal jesse custer custom order is not the answer yes I know photographers who shoot the whole job on order and they don't they never pay attention to the white balance just like I'll fix it with the raw files do I really want to be going through that workflow but changing our server over now so we were going over the amount of images we have um on the transfer for this year as of october second was when we did it we will over five and a half million images could you imagine fixing white balance on five and a half million images so you want to never have to worry about that again he gonna tell you to do it shoot it right find board too short and expose it correctly I am going to simplify it when you saw me with the camera was there much of a thought process about what I'm doing no doesn't mean on better it just means I'm relaxed it's about being relaxed and letting it happen letting it flow you have to realize it is this simple I walk in here this is a dream to shoot in here right now I killed to shoot in this situation all the time is the background great no but the lighting's is perfect as it's ever going to get I'm gonna be able to make the magic happen just by working with them and if I don't have it I don't want to carry around big expensive lights I used this the battery last five hours on my walking around with it on all the time no I turn it on when I need it I can control the intensity when I'm shooting the parent dances when I'm shooting cake when I'm shooting all those different things during the reception and toast do you think I'm using flash I'm using this I have it on my stand I move it around and I control it and then I matched the light how many times during the course of a reception to your backgrounds go pitch black and the subject's hair blends in when you're doing an indoor portrait how does it happen I don't have to sit there and calibrate everything and figure out how much power out of each there are times I do it but I want to keep it simple I want to control what I'm doing I want to keep the same lighting party but more importantly I want to match it the only time that I'm not going to match it is when I'm in a studio environment and I'm trying to create different things okay which will show in a second all right what other question yes we're shooting at night say a wedding outside yes would you use that of course because what's going to happen let me ask you are you going to be able to get the intensity of your flash down to what you really wanted to bake you're gonna overpower the subjects when you have to expose its sixtieth of a second at faa what's going to happen to the background I'm gonna teach you not to be afraid of slow exposure I'm gonna teach you not to be afraid of high are yourself the cameras are very capable now if you want to know why you're still getting green at four five thousand or so there's nothing to do with cameron has to do with you not lighting it correctly if you have good lighting it works I just proved this in a class we did in studio they said to make it like your images are better because you have a deformed I get the image quality out of an iphone because I know how to light it we can set up good lighting and I could shoot it with the iphone do you think the image looks good it does because I had the lighting right it's all a matter of knowing how to match the light and find the direction of it you'll be in good shape and you're going to see tonight no flashes when we go outside I don't need him I want to keep it simple I don't have time because again how much time do you get to do a session a cz anybody ever said to you hey you got twelve hours get it done or is it you got twelve minutes to five hundred shots which do you hear let's be realistic and practical all these great images it's not a matter of being able to create a great image in an hour it's a matter of being able to create one hundred fifty great images in an hour you need to be able to move quickly and efficiently and that starts with understanding direction of light and more importantly the type of light ok any other questions yes she double but what about like in a group situation I may shoot a double a triple but when I'm doing it I'm looking around one of the most valuable rules that my father taught me he said before you take every image during it let your eyes circle the viewfinder as it's happening because I'm looking for the backgrounds I'm looking for the distraction and my head I'm looking for something on the side looking to see who who's closing their eyes or not now I am I telling you shouldn't take doubles triples of course not I've done it my experience is probably a lot more immense than most people at home I've learned to see it and so will you but if you take six or seven or eight of the same family pension doesn't work how many times have you taken a family picture and they gradually get doctor do you know why that's happening it's happening because your flashes not recycling fast enough when I have constant light what happened keeps its same yes question from the internet from adrian far in england how do you deal with the white balance when the lights are constantly changing like on the dance floor at a reception while the lights are constantly changing in the room what's happening is the lights at what he's talking about or she's talking about is the fact that the djs now have telekinetic lighting which is basically white what color is it led lighting so what I need to do is make sure that the lighting is not on the front of thumb where is it it's on the back of them I want to shoot into the deejay because if I shoot into the deejay what does it do to my background it opens it up but if I have a kinetic light slamming the subject on the face what's going to happen I'm going to expose for the bright light therefore my backgrounds going togo daugher kinetic lighting is the best and the worst but if I go into a room does everybody know what connecticut eating is that's room lights it's mood lights so if you walked into reception room you'll see the colors change they'll be baloo they'll be pink they'll be orange if you allow those room lights toe overpower your existing lighting that you're using is it ever gonna work can you white balance for pink light if you custom it's not gonna work so the point is use it as a back not as a main and stay away from certain colors this is a time where I go to my speed lights and my flash because I needed toe over power so that I could diffuse the background but I'm not going to allow the deejay like this is if you have to d j light what is a white light just coming in and slamming me during my dance and we're looking at each other number one I'm going to look heavier because embroider number two I'm going to expose for this the backgrounds going toe doc why not go on the other side excuse me use it as a backlight that's going to make a lot more sense isn't it that's what you're looking for people are still struggling with the concept because uh big mike just said how much time do you spend doing custom white balance in a dynamic situation setting a new white balance constantly will interrupt the flow won't it no it won't because you're not what they're thinking is when I walk into a reception I'm obviously they think I'm custom white balancing all night that's not the case it would pay if I had kinetic lights coming this way if I connecticut lights here in room lights it I know the lights are coming from that direction what am I saying shoot in this direction um I'm moving the couples around when we get the posing you're going to see I'm keeping them in an area with consistent light consistent patterns I don't want to keep moving them so if I have good light here right now and I got what I want do I want to adjust no I'm going to keep it consistent but if I know um I'm going to bring them we'll close when I have kids when I have a light hitting me here tungsten and this way got daylight here and tungsten on this side will it ever work no custom white bouncing is for situation you can use the same custom white balance for the entire reception if you use what the same light as your main light the idea is I don't want to walk and stay over here and have one white balance and then a minute later start posing over here dear why because if I do that I'm gonna have inconsistent settings so I want to keep it consistent from where they are awesome thank you for that and question from goose can you tell us what the name of the world light years this is my light it's on my web site don't go in like it's coming down tonight all right any other questions before we move on to exposures are we understanding this or not how do we need to see examples of why this would it work can I bring in one of my beautiful models bring it over here let me show you so you get a better idea just so you see what I'm talking about what the look you could take a seat right there beautiful and we're going to talk about exposure because this becomes very important when we get to this in a second but let's take a look here if I bring this light in here is there a difference in her right now can you hold this for one second thank you so let's take a look we go right here we're going to talk about the difference and exposure between subjects now if you take a look you could already see she has a catch light in her right uh huh right die how left eye doesn't have it it's much so let's take a look all right there hold it now I'm just going to change right here and just going to turn off my flash is excellent stay right there beautiful on let me go into perfect almost there right there's a white balance from them so let's take a look I want you to notice it sounded really really slow okay and we're going to talk about that and exposure in a second when it comes up okay take a look is there a discovery ization of light you look so excited there that's our son okay there's a discovery ization of light isn't there because this side is clearly arch and this side is more normal now can anybody tell me why what am I balanced for right now they like for daylight so by being balanced for daylight that's why that's turning arch do you think that's gonna look good when we try to make a portrait out of it it's never gonna look good is it so it's understanding I watched the difference sorry take a look right here turn your head a little bit good just like that stay there okay now take a look at the difference if you look there be a more consistent look okay you haven't even tone throughout now watch how we change if this is because of the brightness of the light so turn your body a little bit beautiful and turn your head back to make a little bit more bring your on back out here turn your head to your right a little bit jessica situation they're excellent now you're gonna look right in my hand so let's take a look right here good eyes here beautiful smile excellent take a look now look at the difference when we make it our exclusive main light and looked the difference in the openness off the portrait why did that portrait open up so much can anybody tell me no it has nothing to do with it I turned it down because before I made that light so dominant on exposed for the brightness of that light I could have never made a cooking are soft and beautiful she looks
Doug Gordon is a New York based professional photographer, writer, and speaker. Doug runs Patken Photography, a family-owned studio with a staff of 27 shooting 1,000 weddings every year. Doug has been a professional photographer for 22 years and a
I loved every minute of it! I watched and re-watched the Live show 3 times and now have the video version to burn into my mind. I don't get sick of watching it, I learn something new with each viewing. I have notes upon notes, inspirational quotes and I was truly inspired. I saw you live at your workshop and I wish we would of covered the business section a bit more in depthly because after watching you here on creativeLive I was floored! I can't wait to attend another one of your workshops because you are a wealth of knowledge, energetic and you inspire me to be better! I'm so glad I wasn't afraid to try even though I was terrified at first. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing mentor!
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Doug is AMAZING! The way he teaches makes it fun and easy to understand. The way he poses his couples are so fast and easy to learn, I have taken my photography from mediocre, to world-class. I would love to meet him and thank him personally one day. Thank you Creativelive for introducing me to Doug, and thank you, Doug, for introducing me to CreativeLive! The best community for learning!!!
Doug has so much enthusiasm, it is beyond measurable. He is truly a fantastic motivator. He helps you understand the best ways to work with the light you have and shows you some very simple yet effective posing techniques. I highly recommend watching and buying this course if you want some great advice on improving your photography.