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Studio Lighting

Lesson 2 of 18

Getting Technical: ISO, Shutter, and Aperture

Zack Arias

Studio Lighting

Zack Arias

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Lesson Info

2. Getting Technical: ISO, Shutter, and Aperture

Lesson Info

Getting Technical: ISO, Shutter, and Aperture

we're talking about strop's right we're talking about lighting um we're talking about being in a controlled environment with controlled lighting you made it all right no worries um so yeah we're talking about photographing and showers right now I'm kidding I'm next right yeah right um no rachel just joined us her video was you know my studio's a shower great video we loved it I'm glad you could make it in so what we're talking about this weekend controlled environment controlled lighting all right that controlled lighting comes in to us via strokes flashes um and we're going to be talking about the difference between ah hot shoe flash all right uh you might be running around with these little hot shoe flash uh this weekend we're going to be working with alien bees I'll be talking about those more in depth coming up um but controlled lighting that's what this is I turned it on when I say I wanted on I point it where I want it pointed I defuse it I focus it zoom it I put a grid on it I m...

odify the light in the way that I want it modified and I am in control of the situation all right um we're going to be using both this weekend because I use both in my studio uh we'll talk about why I have both the some of you watching may have hot shoe flash and that's it um and you're thinking about well why would I buy this we'll talk it all through that coming up in gear um but it's good to have both I would say that's kind of the goal I get questions sometimes where people say which which is better should I buy a couple of hot shoe flashes or should I go by something like a couple alien bees which one should I have um and the goal is you have both you'll probably start with this typically more affordable unless you buy the new night connor cannons which cost more than this right um four hundred four hundred seventy dollars flash unit's I don't use the sb nine hundreds I do have a five eighty e x to er mei I hate it I had to buy it but I needed the a f assist at a job had to have it since the five demark too and it doesn't focus in this year on the surface of the sun I'll never get a sponsorship from either of them I use old nikon flashes reason being is they have a sink port built into the side and you pick him up for a hundred bucks um so we're gonna be using nikon sb eighties this weekend we're going to be using a couple different alien be models the four hundred's the eight hundred and sixteen hundreds all right so when these fire off we turn one of these on and for you watching on video you may see that flash you may not I'm watching the mano there went one but video doesn't always pick up the flash um the frame rate is such that it's switching frame rates of the flashes so quickly that the video never catches it s so for those of you watching flashes are lighting demonstrations on video and you go oh and there's our picture and I never saw the flash go video cameras don't always pick it up all right so um we've got this toe work with and when this thing fires off it's a fraction of a second in fact it's so fast that video cameras don't always pick it up all right so we are controlled environment controlled lighting and way have to control what that does now I do my one light saying um people ask me you know why one like zach why do you do the one light thing someone asked on twitter yesterday is it a philosophical thing is that it minimalist thing what it was that's all I could afford I had one single light source and that was it I have ten or twelve lights now I could do the twelve light workshop um you have one and eleven backups right um so I've slowly grown with my amount of lights that I have and when you start adding multiple lights two three four lights on a set you ever play that little game where you have the three little balls and you gotta move it through the maze and get him to teach their little spy position and you get one in and now you're trying to get the others in but then the first one knocks out and you've got to get it back and right that's kind of like lighting a set with multiple lights and then when you press the shutter release they all fire and you have a picture to look at and if you aren't breaking each one of those lights down and kind of visualizing what each one's doing you have a big mess of light and you don't know what to do to control it and you keep moving buttons and stuff on your camera and it keeps looking like that all right so we're gonna be talking about finding exposure we're gonna be talking about what controls the exposure we're going to be talking about multiple light setups and we're going to be talking about lighting ratios were also going to be talking about how to find our exposure with a light meter all right we're gonna be using a light meter uh flash meter uh this weekend how to do it without what all right and we have two news iconix to give away thanks to our friends it's iconic we're not giving this one away about this site craigslist sorry um but we do have two brand new c comics to give away this weekend over twitter so that's kind of cool all right so let's go to the white board when we are in a controlled environment we are not doing uh we're not mixing any kind of ambient light source indoor shot so there's no window like coming in we're not worried about skylights we don't have like bright tungsten spotlight's hitting our subject we're in a controlled environment we are lighting the whole situation from scratch it is all about aperture everything going through my head is aperture all right so this weekend unless something on forcing I go oh you know what let's try this but pretty much this weekend plan on but the shutter speed right because we have aperture and shutter speed shutter speed and for video sorry guys that might have been screwing with you er shutter speed we're going to put that to our sink our sink speed which is the fastest shutter speed that you can use with off camera lighting all right when I talk about six speed your camera body and it's different from model to model your camera body has a shutter speed and is the fastest seek speed the fastest shutter speed that you can use with off camera lighting before you get into like tt l hyper sink uh high speed sync things like that um so for the cannon five d I'm gonna be shooting the five d it sinks at one two hundredth of a second normally with hot shoe flashes I am going to be setting my shutter speed between one twenty fifth and one sixtieth of a second all right reason be when we're talking about strobes there's something called the flash duration the duration the amount of time that strobe is on when when we see it fire it's we're talking fractions of a second right but here we're talking fractions what's the difference between two hundredth of a second and one hundred sixtieth or one hundred and twenty fifth of a second right we're talking about very small little moments of time we're using alien bees their standard mon alights which have this kind of long flash duration so the flash powers up gets to power and sort of like takes its time turning off I I like it alien bees toe like flash powder which they just take forever right and our sink speed if I said my shutter speed to my sink speed here's what happens let's today I'm taking a vertical shot if you go beyond your sink speedy have you ever seen this where you take a picture with flash and half of it is lit with flash and then there's this big black mark you know or a third of it or two thirds of your pictures gone what happened is your shutter opens the flash needs to fire and then your second curtain a rear curtain comes and closes and end of exposure right so when you're taking a picture shutter opens flash fires while it's fully open second curtain closes behind done exposure if you go beyond your sink speed shutter opens flashes starting to fire while the other curtain is already closing so your sensor is already getting covered up thus the black line now with alien bees specifically not so much with hot shoe flashes because hot shoe flashes they could have a flash duration much shorter than alien bees all right alien bees they get up to power and they just kind of wanna we'll take my time turning off while your shutters like done so what happens on my five d and my d three as well I shoot nikon in cannon so when I complained about either one it's from personal experience I love them both I'll never be an olympus shooter sony shooter no not banging on anyone shooting olympus don't send me an e mail but I'm a nikon cannon kind of those are the two powerhouses that's two camps I live in when I go especially with alien bees at two hundredth of a second which by the manual it should be able to sink now it says I think you need to goto one sixtieth with off brand lights but I get this little bit of a ej vignette just a little bit um it's a little heavier at two hundred but there are times I still pick it up at one sixtieth and it's just a little vignette and also example photos this weekend is we start shooting and so that's why I dropped down the one sixtieth and sometimes I have to drop down to one twenty fifth to get rid of that little edge and it's just a little bit just a little little little bit I'm trying to watch myself on the monitor and I have to move in the opposite direction that I see myself so it's confused um so this weekend my shutter speed is like locked in here all right when we're talking about lighting especially if we're going to go on location the big mantra is aperture controls flash exposure shutter speed controls ambience exposure ambient exposure being whatever the available light in your shot is it's the blue sky it's thes video lights that are on continuous light source right that is kind of controlled by shutter speed and then you use your aperture to control your flash exposure everything we're doing this weekend is flash exposure we're not mixing in tungsten lights were not going to be mixing in the blue sky we're not going on location anywhere uh where the sky has to be part of the shot or streetlamps or none of that so in a way it's easy you khun take shutter speed locket in somewhere around your sink speed and forget about it so we're going to forget about sync speed r shutter speed this weekend but everything is going to be based around aperture alright most likely I'm going to be locked in tow s o one hundred I'm shooting a five d mark two this weekend uh it natively goes toe eso one hundred many ni cons you will be at I s o two hundred natively or you could drop down to what is it l one point oh is an equivalent for ni con el one point oh is the equivalent of cheating and s o one hundred people say well you lose three stops a dynamic range when you do I don't I've pixel people a nikon l lo s o one hundred picture and then shot same picture it I s o two hundred and put him up together one hundred percent and you know I don't see it like so whatever um but I'm gonna be staying with a low eso thiss weekend most likely I'm going to lock in right here and stay there all right I s so one hundred so I've taken shutter speed out of the equation I don't have to worry about shutter speed I don't have to worry about my I s o if I have to worry about my s o I will explain why if that situation comes up I may say you know what I need to change my I s so for this specific reason that's in front of me right now very rarely do I need to do that but the time will come up if I say I'll never change it then guess what I'll have to change it for hundred times this weekend so wei come backto aperture or f stop all right I say aperture I say f stop for those of you just getting started all of this madness it's one and the same aperture f stop aperture f stop it's the same thing it is the size of the opening in your linens it is thie amount of light entering your camera aperture controls the amount of light entering your camera shutter speed controls for the amount of time enters your camera why do we not care about shutter speed because the amount of time that thing is on done a fraction of a second so we can't control the speed of the flash it's not going to turn on for half a second if it does it'll blow up right that tube turns on for one second I've seen old uh we call them nova bombs um because this man sometimes you get an old twenty year old pack and then suddenly it just freaks out and the flash tube just gets upto like full power and won't cut off and just it exp uploads uh nova bomb um so aperture controls the amount coming in all right so we have a wide open aperture let's call it two point eight this is not to scale someone's going to send a twitter ah that's not scale actually they need the diameter needs be one fourteenth eighth of a second of ah fraction of thiss and if you want to drop skill you need to get it all to copulate er and whatever f eight eleven twenty two all right two point eight four five six eight oh we'll get a twitter about that let's do this right sixteen two point eight eh four five six eight eleven sixteen the next one of course would be twenty two over there at the edge all right aperture we have a wide open aperture in our linds it's allowing all the light if it's a two point eight lens that's a cz much light as it will allow in all right uh as we closed down we're allowing less light in correct alright so less like khun get through an f eleven aperture then it can a two point eight aperture all right so when we fire our flash it's controlled by aperture just put that in your head all weekend long I'm gonna be calling out apertures alright I'm at five point six and if you say well why aren't you saying your shutter speed because I've already locked that in so let's just say one twenty fifth of a second to kind of cover me for everything so I s o locked in might change shutter speed locked in most likely won't change aperture is going to be going all over the place this weekend now aperture there's a couple things that we have to consider for aperture right um what's the number one thing when you say aperture what's the number one thinking thing in your head when you're making a picture and you're thinking aperture depth of field right how much of that photo is in focus and how much of it is out of focus your depth of field you can have a very shallow depth of field right shallow depth of field wide open aperture very shallow depth of field you get the eyes and focus and the background goes out of focus right if you need to start growing getting a greater depth of field greater depth of field you start closing your aperture down right so we have a shallow depth of field we have greater depth of field if our aperture is controlling the exposure of our flash it's also controlling our depth of field so typically most of the time when I walk onto a set and I've got to get ready here comes the client all right I want to photograph this client on this set this is my background what I have to think about is what's my depth of field needs to be um let's say I've got a fabric hanging up and I want that fabric to go out of focus I just want the color of the fabric and maybe a little of the texture of the role of the fabric but I don't want the fabric to be sharp I want to be out of focus so I'm thinking I need to be here I need to be I need to open my aperture so I'm just gonna walk on that set knowing an aperture value in my head two point eight let's say now let's say I'm shooting that person on a white back ground and it's going to be a full body shot on a pure white background there is no background to go out of focus or in focus its two fifty five white it doesn't matter if I set up my lights and I'm shooting the five six great I'm in five six okay but what if it's a band and suddenly one guy's here and then somebody else's back here and then now they're staggered and if we do an overhead shot here's my white seamless you make a little room up here toward thinking overhead shot here's my white seamless running down and I've got band dudes staggered my depth of field needs to cover this amount of area oh if I want them all in focus and I have they're not standing shoulder to shoulder on all on one line maybe I need a greater depth of field so when I focus on the person in the front person in the backs in focus as well so I walk onto that set knowing maybe I'm over in this range of a target I need to be hitting the f ate f sixteen something or another right it's one single person f four five six whatever white background pure simple white backer I have whatever oh but now the background has texture now the back there's something to the background I want the background out of focus I want the background maurin focus I need more members of this group in focus I need less members of the group in focus right so when I walk on a set I'm thinking aperture I don't worry about my shutter speed I'm not worried about uh my I s so um I'm thinking where does this light when I set up my strobes I'm looking for this target aperture okay we're gonna talk about how that happens so may erase all of this right now if you are sitting there and I'm calling out numbers like two point eight four five six eight eleven sixteen twenty two and you don't know these numbers you need to know these numbers like you need to put them into your head um and drill them let me do the aperture values here we're gonna start with one point four to two point eight four five point six eight eleven sixteen twenty two and you might run in done thirty uh five millimeter format you might run into an f thirty two every now and then these are whole f stop numbers when you start saying things like you're scrolling around on your aperture wheel on your camera you see six point three what is that I don't know um no six point three is five six plus a third seven point one I think it's six three seven one five six six point three is five six plus a third stop one third of a stop like one third of a cup of sugar one third a gallon of water um one third to stop a light seven point one would be five point six and two thirds or they could be f eight minus a third f eight minus two thirds five point six so when you start seeing things like six point three and seven point one or you might see four point five or five point o those aren't third stop increments those air basically fine tuning all right you shot a picture of five six you need to just find tune it a little bit you can do so by third stop increments of aperture but the's hold numbers here are these air hole stops if you do not know these if they're not like just in your brain and you could recall them at any second you need to know these especially as you start getting into multiple lighting scenarios all right because you're running around and you're like my main lights at five six I need that background like to be two stops under at two eight you need to just know these numbers if you I don't know the numbers drilled them into your head until you do the more comfortable you become with this stuff the more comfortable you become with your equipment the more comfortable you become with your camera if you're staying in your camera going I don't know how to change my amateur which die elicit you aren't comfortable with your camera you you aren't comfortable with camera look atyou internet um I get so many questions leading up to this was how do you pose models how do you deal with subjects on set how do you interact how do you get them comfortable you know where it starts is understanding this and being comfortable with my light and being comfortable with my camera this stuff is in my head ready to be recalled my light I know what I turn it on I can go over I can adjust power settings and my camera I could just run it from here and pull it up to my face and take a picture I'm comfortable with the gear I'm comfortable with the technical so when my client was stands in front of me and I'm starting to talk to them I'm not freaking out about this stuff I know what it does I know how to control it so you want to know howto have your subjects comfortable in front of your camera how can you concentrate on how to pose them it is by first becoming comfortable with this you know your numbers you know you're apertures you know your shutter speeds you know your s o settings and we'll have another one to throw at you here in a minute which is flash power all right you know your flash power um and this stuff becomes an appliance in your head my camera's in my lights aaron appliance like a refrigerator you go to the refrigerator you open it up you grab your saying which stuff out you know if you're adam sandler you find elvis behind the mayonnaise um anyone remember that one that's some somebody will remember that there's elvis in my refrigerator um but don't you just open the refrigerator you get stuff out of you kicked the door closed you don't even think about it the only time you think about your refrigerators when it stops working you open it up to smell hits in the face you're like what's wrong with fridge it's a little humid in here right same with my cameras in my lights I'm not really worried about them unless they stop working as long as it's all working I am mohr concentrated on my relationship with my subject and for me on a photo shoot with a person that is the most important part of that chute is my relationship with them and if I'm having a good relationship with them and this camera's not getting in the way I am able to connect with them if I can connect with them and capture that through a camera I can get you is the viewer of the photograph to connect with them as well if I'm fluttering back here and I'm brand I'm nervous and they're probably nervous too and you get too nervous people like I mean that's like sixth grade dance that's right hi hi do you want do you want to do a photo shoot maybe I don't know right hey how's it going I'm zack here's my camera don't worry about this you know what I'm not worried about it you don't need to be worried about it either do I care about this no I don't care about this I'm not worried about this stuff let's talk let's find out who each other you know what we're about and what we do and you have kids what kind of music do you like it if I know it's like a corporate head shot I gotta do I read the sports section you know who's playing hey how about that local ball team went that a great game when that dude did the thing that was awesome you know he got up the plate and hit the touchdown it was awesome um I can't when I find out the client's like big into sports I'm just like oh god what am I gonna talk about um yeah so numbers aperture flash fires these are the only numbers going through my head absolutely so I know when I was starting to learn to use my camera um the thing that confused me the most boys running through those third aperture chunks would you recommend to people when they're starting out learning this stuff t just go with full aperture jumps a cz an adjustment on the camera um not really because you're going to need to get used to him um once you learn these those numbers make more sense to you so the question the question was uh would you suggest as people are starting to learn these numbers you could go through your menus and turn off third stops and it can be full stop half stop or third stops and so the question was well let's just cut the third stops out on just work with whole stops you could do that but you need to get used to the third stops at some point right and it's nice to be able to find tune I will find tune my my exposure pretty regularly by a third of a stop back in film days with thirty five millimeter sl ours you might be able to sneak a half star change but a lot of times it was full stops especially shutter speeds full stop no thirds in there anywhere uh as soon as elektronik shutters come came out and onboard computers we started having the ability to find tune which is kind of nice tohave so I would just say get used to him but put these main ones in your brain all right so sometimes like a fifty one eight where does one eight fall right here between one foreign to all right okay um so we're talking about aperture let me check my notes up here all right when we fire this off this has power settings we have to control the exposure of this flash all right and on the back of this can we zoom into the back of this flash head back here you got that camera guy all right could we get into here but doop doop getting close getting close were there pretty much all right we have this little slider right here controls the power output of this flash all right we have an alien bees be sixteen hundred model light if I put it up to here it is at full power it says so right on the back full power then I can pull it down to here and it's at half power then we have quarter power all right eighth sixteenth thirty seconds so that is one thirty second of full whatever full maybe whenever you take a flash and you put it on full power whether that this is the same for a hot shoes this is the same for strobes this is the same for alien bees as it is for ellen chrome now ellen chrome they have a different they don't have half power quarter power they they go upto like one pack may say seven and then you can bring it down in tenth incremental stops from their um we'll talk about kind of the variations what we're doing is changing the amount of light coming out of that flash all right so here it goes we have full half quarter eight sixteen thirty seconds let's go on to sixty fourth for our alien be our alien bees going to stop here at uh thirty second power not thirty sixth power thirty second power alright full half quarter eight sixteen thirty seconds uh little hot shoe flashes like my espy eighties go to sixty fourth one one twenty eight go down to one hundred and twenty eighth of full it's just bidding a little bit of light helps like flicking a lighter kind of like right in the relationship between these settings on the back of that flash is one stop of light all right so when I change that light from full power toe half power I have cut the amount of light coming out of that by one stop where's our other one stop relationships right here if I go from f ate the five six that's one stop of light if I go from full power the half power that is one stop of light correct so if I go from full power to quarter power one two two stops of light then I can make a change by two stops here wherever I make a stop of light change whether it's via aperture or flash power I change it by stop there I can change it by a stop here or if I look at that light and I go you know what I need two stops less light out of that flash I could go and dial two stops less light out of that flash what you don't want to do is come over here to the back of your flash scratch your head and go click no um uh client tell you when to stop stop okay um click you know there is a relationship between this little slider and your aperture values and the goal is that we find our one proper true good exposure we want to find a great exposure but we want the ability to make a change from that and to know which direction we go in all right so full half quarter eight sixteen thirty seconds for the majority of this weekend those air the power settings we're dealing with full power half power quarter power eighth power sixteenth power thirty second power all right so what does this look like full power that's a lot of light right that's a lot of light at full power and to make a proper exposure at full power if I come in and hit you with like full power from this flash it's a lot of light it's like all the light it's got on you do you think I need to shoot you at one point eight wide open I'm probably like that's a lot of light I'm going to bring my appa church down because it's so much light hitting him to make a proper exposure so let's call full power fifteen f sixteen alright let's call full power f sixteen hypothetically alright hypothetical situation all right so we're at full power and I get f sixteen and let's just say hypothetically that's a great exposure on you all right I've taken my flash lips have dropped my eraser I point this at you at full power bound I fry your eyeballs with light all right and I take a picture and I looked at the back of my camera we're not getting into a meter yet we're just chimp and um praying and spraying um and f sixteen looks great wow full power f sixteen looks perfect let's just call that hypothetically are proper exposure but now I have to make a decision of well I'm shooting at f sixteen here but I want to shoot it f four that's it full power this looks good at sixteen how do I get the f four well if these are one stop increments and these air one stop increments I can start to count this out if it f sixteen I'm at full power if I cut my power in half I lose how much light one stop so if I'm it full of f sixteen at half I should be at eleven well if I cut this power again in half I've lost one stop of light so if I go from fulda half that I went to sixteen to eleven if I go from half to quarter I'm eight by goto eight I'm going to be five point six I go to sixteenth I'm attack four and I could get down to two point eight if I want it so just to connect these lines so everyone can see it a little bit better and I want to get rid of sixty fourth power since we're not really going to be talking about that all right so you've got to start somewhere I say this in the one line all the time where do you start somewhere somewhere if you don't have a flash meter we'll talk about meteors coming up if you do not have a flash meter to go in there with the meter and say click okay f sixteen and I set my camera f sixteen I take a picture and I'm there you don't have a meter so I just said it you know said it full I wouldn't say set your light full all the time but let's say you said it to quarter power you took a couple exposures and you found f eight to be your proper exposure so hypothetically speaking I say okay nick what I want to do is I want to have a sit seat there I'm going to go quarter power lets you happens and I'm going to take a picture uh at five six clique whoa that's overexposed uh let me stop down one more stop f eight o f eight looks good so I could shoot your picture all day at quarter power f a and have good exposures but as a photographer I'm thinking I don't want a scene much depth of field is I'm getting with that fate I want to shoot it two point eight right as the photographer you're making the call I don't want to shoot f ate I want to shoot two eight there was a question that came across on twitter yesterday all right ah what if you're trying to hit f four this is how I do it I turn my light on I take a picture I can find that exposure say well quarter power f ate looks good if I'll cut two stops of light out of my flash because I want f four then I need to go from quarter to eight two sixteenth less light coming out of the flash now wide open aperture to grab it I could get my f or or you can say you know what I want to shoot this portrait of two point eight that's what I want to do I could come over here and started full power but more likely than not unless things this things like fifteen feet away from you or something if it's this close to you at full power that's probably not going to be two eight right so sixteenth power white sixteenth power got to start somewhere I was I want to shoot it to eight I'm going to set it at a lower setting and take a picture click and I'm going to evaluate on the back of my camera and we'll look at that and I'm going to say you know what I could use a little bit more light from there because I want to shoot it to eight but that's a little too dark so let me bring it up one more stop click okay now I'm in my neighborhood all right so you have a target aperture that you want to get you think think it through a little bit um my target apertures f two wide open right big powerful strobe like this not going to be full power it just unless again it's you know twenty thirty feet back where we're talking about portrait so we're gonna be dealing with portrait's portrait's portrait's portrait's this weekend um we bring in the light close I have an idea of what the aperture needs to be two point eight lower power setting then suddenly a band shows up and it's four five people in a band okay and I want to stagger them back so the first person's here the last persons here that's five six that's five point seven feet five feet seven inches that need that I need depth of field going from here to here right huh I'm not going to thirty second power now I'm going up the half full because I need to start at eight to get the depth of field possibly go tto eleven following what I'm saying so setting power is dependent on me walking onto the set with a pre visualized idea of the depths of field that I need that makes sense and if I'm thinking I need shallow depth of field I want a shallow depth of field at two point eight I probably don't need full power so let me start low and build my way up um if I need you I need a lot of depth of field for this shot I'm taking a shot of the owner of this space and I want to see everything in the background and I need to see like all of this I need a greater depth of field maybe I need f a f eleven somewhere in there so I better come up with my power settings all right so when I walk on set this weekend and I say here's the shot that I want I'm going to consider what the background is on would consider what my depth of field I want for this shot to be and then I'm going to start out somewhere on this spectrum of power to get me there makes sense on what walk this through over and over and over and over again all right um okay so let let's let me throw this at you we are gonna put a big modifier on are like like a octa bank we're gonna get a knocked a bank out big huge seven foot monster dr bank massive thing soon as we put it up all the like video feed will go dead because all the cameras khun sear the octa pick you know um it's just a big old massive thing well it takes a lot of light to fill that thing up and then spit it back out at your subject okay so um let's just say we fill it up with light and we're shooting a band and we have it at full power and we get five point six half power will be f four quarter power will be two point eight uh eighth power will be too this will be one point four this is um linds we don't own right I mean you all you one point two glass shooters great but not many of you watching have a one point oh they have been made but um good luck getting anything and focus so you're a full power five six full power five six you're shooting a band and you need a you need one more stop depth of field your target is f ate you're a full power you cannot give it in the more light into that octa bank and there's no way of like throwing another flash into it let's just say you are at s o one hundred alright esse o one hundred full power five six but you want to get to f eight win do I change I s o in studio when I met full power I'm on ly getting five six out of it I need to go to f eight if I will increase my I s o two hundred I've increased sensitivity delight by one stop in order to compensate for that one stop I need to stop down my lens one stop this s o one hundred five six if I will change diets so two hundred I can now shoot f ate my losing you know following along with me internet you with me internet google it I have a question go for it I find so it's kind of a story problem I find small space so I'm just like making do with what I have and I wanted to faster like I want a wide aperture and my lights powered all the way down I want to point but still too bright and I can't get my light further away joey do you know what he did that's a great question all right let's discuss that and before we leave this uh we'll discuss this a bit more and start taking questions but that's a great when we're gonna go the opposite direction all right let's do that because that will get us to the next place I want to be so let's say you are powered down all the way and you've got your light in really close to your subject and best you're getting is five point six all right so let's build this out eight eleven sixteen twenty to thirty two all right so you've brought your light all the way down to thirty second power you're in a small space the light is like right on top of your subject all you can get like you're five six but you want to shoot at f too all right so we have four two point eight two we have to drop that light three stops of light you're already it I s o one hundred so you can't bring your I s o down anymore right if you just if you were to shoot this picture at f two in this hypothetical situation you would be three stops overexposed now I've heard some people say well you got enough dynamic range in today's digital camera shoot it three stops overexposed and pull it back and post I'm sorry but to pull three stops of over exposure back and post is a whole lot of fairy dust to sprinkle over your picture you can do it but it's better to get the right exposure it's gonna be a better picture so what happens here you're a thirty second power lowest power your five six you have too much light so this is where in a studio situation if I'm using something like an alien b or some other more powerful strobe this comes off of the stand and enter the hot shoot I'm in a studio I'm in a controlled environment whatever there will be times a client comes in I want to do that um you know I want to shoot this portrait one point eight I want to just I want this one I and focus I want the rest to go out of focus that's the portrait that I want to make right now that alien be has way too much like so my first thing I do is I take the alien be out I bring in a hot shoe okay so that the hot shoe in power range might run to here it could take me from two to f ate the alien be could take me from five six to twenty two lower power higher power if I want to shoot it f twenty two are probably not going to do it with a big soft box with josh you it doesn't have enough light so I need the alien be sixteen hundred or equivalent well I want to shoot really close a deaf too well now has too much light so I need to go to a smaller powered stroke there's another way of doing it a couple ways of doing it uh dan the man my man can you grab a rolla andie for me dan's gonna come in with a roll of neutral density filter I'll show it here in a second you think better power down please don't like source forty is one of those builders that let's stop and stopped on a couple stops it can either way okay same same same if you can get your exposure to f too either through putting neutral density filters and sometimes you can take this leave oh that's one big sheet I was expecting with two sheets you khun take it this is to stop indeed so this is to stop neutral density you khun take it and double it up all right the thing about neutral density is it is a neutral color this is you got that camera guy um sorry I will try not to say that for the rest of the weekend or else I'll say it all the time um you can double it up to cut it down even more the thing is it's neutral in color so it's not going to change your color balance your color temperature of your light um and or you can put neutral density on your limbs you go either way I have both I have a neutral density for I have to stop neutral density on my linens and I think maybe this is one stop I think this is one stop neutral density I had dan pick up one stop because we could cut it down and keep sandwiching it on until we need to bring it down and this is a matter of clipping it onto your light but see sometimes like if I have this up inside of a big soft box and this is off of it it's kind of hard to get that on there it's easy to clamp it here you clamp it with little clamps but as soon as this thing comes off and it's inside of a soft box and it's it's a viable fifty inch soft box and try to neutral density the whole front of the soft box like I need a big old huge fifty eight sheets of this at that point logistically if I'm trying to gel that I'm just going to go to the smaller light and that's when I say um it's best to have both you have a small hot shoe or two you have a couple mano lights you know strobes or two that's the goal because what's gonna happen is you're gonna walk into that set you're gonna go I need more light and you know which like to go to right yeah your experience will start to tell you who I want to come in here really close shoot f too small light and that's what you get out of the bag oh big group of people large space big light makes sense okay derek we got a question in the chat room from fast tracks um he wants to know if you're using an intra density on the lens how do you focus uh well I have a to stop neutral density on the linz um and I used to you really ate or faster glass so I'm viewing it two point eight I throw a nd filter on it it's kind of like viewing through five point six um I continue prickly focused through it um I've I've been thinking about that variable uh neutral density you know varies from one stopped eight stops at some point in time like a date stop neutral density you have to like focus lock in your focus and then put eight stop neutral density and take your picture because it's so dark you can't see through it if you are in a low low light situation and you throw two or three stop neutral density on your lens you can't see so having modeling lights or enough available light to focus with an indie filter um it's not the best situation um fast tracker um but it gets the job done and um and sometimes it's because the light is so close I need the neutral density that that modeling light when I'm talking about a modeling light I'm talking about a constant light source and it's so close to the subject that that's giving me enough light to focus all right susan is the question I have a question from the chat room from tom on the roof he asked for judging your exposure to u turn the automatic brightness of the screen off or do you only check the history ram and what he calls the blink e's great question when judging exposure I always have that auto brightness ofthe forever always like I never have auto brightness it's for the screen on the back your camera uh some led by default well we'll go to auto brightness that's the most annoying feature ever in the history of digital cameras I don't know why they even have that um I do check my history graham a good bit for looking at the history graham right way have our darks are shadows are mid tones and our highlights and I'm looking for a pretty wide spectrum depending on of course the situation that I'm photographing if I'm photographing one person in a white dress on a white pierre white background my history graham looks like this with this huge spike here because there's so much white in it um so I typically don't want to clip my shadows or clipped my highlights yes earlier there was somebody asking if they don't have a light meter do they just look at the history graham and I think you just opened up a whole class dealing with what and how to look at a history when judging exposure here's the thing I do when judging exposure all right you have to get to know your camera I'm gonna preach that so many times get to know your camera I know my dethroned when I take a picture with my d three and if it looks perfect on the back of my camera I know my camera well enough to go that's under exposed about half a stop it looks perfect that's exactly what I want it's underexposed well it looks perfect it's under expose soon as I pull that picture in the light room and pops up it's under exposed so I need to open up another third two thirds of a stop my cannon is it's about right it's about a third stop off so I'll hit that his two gram and take a look at it real quick and uh okay sorry I just know there's gonna be a twitter on what I just said but anyways um I did hit that history graham um s oh yeah it's been a long week and we're just getting started everyone way haven't even busted open up newcastle yet alright so no your camera alright no your camera no your camera know that like take a bracket of exposures with your camera from under exposed to over supposed take that card out of your camera put it into your computer pull those pictures up in light room or bridge or whatever you work on pull those up and find the one like that's the exposure I want to start with take that card put it back in your camera and scroll around or move around to that picture and start to compare on my calibrated monk calibrated calibrated monitor on we're going to talk about that this weekend on my calibrated monitor this is the exposure I want to start postproduction with what does it look like on the back of my camera it it's off this looks brighter than that and you can change your brightness settings of your screen a little bit it helps a little but you're just fine tuning so I just know especially at my nikon when it looks a little too bright on the back of the camera just a little like uncomfortably bright perfect exposure so you can just look at it really quickly and go yeah if you don't know history graham and you're not comfortable understanding history um take some time with it takes some time of being in lots of different situations understanding how the history ram works um if I take a picture and it's all pretty much just there's a lot of the other shadows there's highlights and my history graham is kind of dropping right there and I still have this whole third or quarter of a screen to make up I know I'm under exposed I'm gonna open up by two thirds of a stop trying to get that to go like that ride with the white dress in the white background well when he has graham look uh brian and why little history ma'am class over here we have zero and over here we have two fifty five this is shadows all right this is highlight way have shadows way have highlight you go out on your standard seen big wide angle scene of a big vista there's gonna be highlights there's gonna be shadows there's gonna be lots of mid tones these air your mid tones all through here right if you shoot white bride in a white dress on a white background that's a lot of highlights that ah a lot of lighter tones there's not a lot of dark tones of dark shadows in that picture so therefore ah hissed a gram is made up uh from zero to two fifty five a level of how much of number two is there how much of five is their you know whatever so it creates this chart and light dress like background we're going to see that history graham build over here and if it's a pure white background well see it just go ahead and spike so there is zero like that's just spiked all the way out that's what that would look like uh you know what's a black bear in the woods look like at night history graham uh lots and lots and lots of shadows lots of shadows very very very little highlights right so is that the wrong exposure now that could be the proper exposure is that the wrong exposure for the bride on the white wall yes because light colored dress like colored wall we need to see that history um over there question chuck and twitter would like to know where the spike what ideally be ah meter shooting a great card I think if you had a full frame great card I don't know you know like honest to god I don't really care about history grams and you can start pixel peeping it to death I figure technically a great card should look like a fricking building um probably won't but it should be somewhere in the mid tones with no shadows in no highlights right it should be all now it's never going to look like that but it should be some sort of something ish like that if you had equal amounts of of tone in a picture your hist a gram wouldn't like that somewhere all right the number one thing I'm looking at all right at the end of the day I don't really worry too much about history graham the biggest things I look at is to make sure that I'm not real heavy over here win if I'm shooting ah guy with dark hair and a dark suit on a dark background I'm expecting a history graham to look like this but if it's a medium background with medium toned clothes and medium tones everywhere else but my history am still built up the shadows then I need to open that up with more exposure alright the the number one number one history graham thing I worry about number one and I really don't care much about any other history ram is my rgb hissed a gram um rgb told omg rgb let me find a green marker weii did a lot of tests with colors and blue and green don't show up great rgb history graham red green blue right three primary colors making up your picture the one thing that I'm worried about is I will take a look at my blue red green blue so we'll have let's just say that as a blue and then my green comes in and it does that I want my red to come out of shadows and go back down in the highlights in the same sort of fashion but what happens sometimes especially with caucasian skin tone or light hispanic asian lighter skin tones typically this is where I find it if there's not like and I'm not talking pure white blown out background just normal kind of set up suddenly there's a spy spike in the red channel that's typically the red channel in the skin's starting to blow out when it's your normal sort of scene it's an average background it's not to dark's not pure black it's not pure white she's your average background your average number of you know colors on the clothes and I'm looking at my camera and I usually have blinking highlights turn I always have blinking highlights turned on and there's nothing blinking at me but I'll check the rgb hissed a gram and I see the sudden huge red spike in the red channel that typically mean I feel like edward scissorhands up here that I am plus two thirds of a stop over exposed what I have found is that means that like on the forehead the bridge of the nose cheek bones are blowing out exposure if there shouldn't be something blowing out of an exposure like a appear white wall that red spike shouldn't be that high up when all the other channels are not that high up so therefore if I will bring my exposure down two thirds of a stop that red spike disappears and I keep all the information in all of the channels make sense that's getting real fine tuned the question is does that apply to darker skin tones it does but it's usually if you're plus two thirds of a stop over what I find what I found in my experience if if I take someone who's got very dark african americans get on really dark um skin complexion I can see it visually maura at two thirds over exposed I go I've over exposed there then I can with caucasian skin tones when it may be fine but I may be losing the forehead in the red channel and that's getting real nit picky and if I do see a spike and that's my final picture in light room a you know a flick of fairy dust recovery first and it's gone and it's back it's not like rebuilding three stops of over exposure it's a third to two thirds stops over exposure s c s on the internet is asking what do you calibrate your monitor with we use thea we've used a couple things we've gone from the monaco optics to uh the lucy blue uh puck and were now using the x right color monkey which plug we have to to give away this weekend ah and tomorrow before we get shooting um I will be going through calibrating the monitor and how to use that but the color monkey is fantastic I've done a lot of research um I am not getting please know I'm not getting paid by westcott x right mac group um I have purchased all of these goods that I use myself none of the stuff that I use has been given to me but they have given us stuff to give away other questions about expo we have a little bit more about exposure here's what we're going to uh let me let me get over a couple more things with flashes and we checked my yes let me go over a few more things and we'll take a break all right get up you guys watching on the interwebs you've gotta get up go to the restroom unless you have a laptop um I want to know how many of you are watching creative live in the bathroom maybe I don't want to know that okay so I've kind of moved all of my stuff around now I've lost it here we go okay so aperture controls flash exposure flash exposure comes up and down via power settings full power half power quarter power eighth power sixteenth power thirty second power all right now let's take a look at strobes strobes in my head how I consider these two we have a stroke if I want to say strobe on once a stroke if I say flash this is what I mean speed light hot shoe whatever they're both stroke oops but how in my own vernacular and vocabulary I'd just say that's a strobe that's a flash okay so just a lay out the laying the you know level the playing field this weekend I say we're going to use a strobe or we're going to use a flash all right to me they're the same thing light is like light is light if I put this up in a sixty inch umbrella and I point that sixty inch umbrella you and then I switch out the alien be and I point sixty inch umbrella at you it's sixty inch umbrella light that's hitting you now one there'll be a different color temperatures will be different amounts of light but when I put one of these up into a modifier it's that modifier light that I'm really thinking about not what source is coming from if I need less light here we go if I need more light I go to this all right I need more light I goto a stroke I need less light like you were saying earlier I goto a flash all right so it is what it is but let's talk about strobes strobes are typically rated in lot seconds all right now you may not have alien bees or you may go rent something you typically can't go to a rental shop and pick up alien bees it's gonna be ellen chrome's going to dinah lights going pro photo most likely pro photo uh it'll be him sole it'll be there'll be all sorts of number of different manufacturers out there that you can pick up right so wei have watt seconds let's say you pick up a one thousand watt second pack and for those of you in the u k what is it jules jule seconds there jule kilometers or something right and you're I don't know uh what seconds one thousand watt seconds and you go over to the packer to the head and there's not half power there's not full power there might not be quarter power like you like but there's numbers and dials on it and it may say one thousand watt seconds you cut your power in half you lose one stop of light correct cut your power in half you lose one stop of light so you may see a switch that says five hundred two fifty one twenty five all right and you know you're you're not going to see one that says sixty point five but it may say sixty or more likely than not um uh may go seventy five that kind of thing all right but when you were cutting watt seconds in half you are cutting one stop of light so if you walk up to a one thousand watt second pack and you cut it in half to five hundred watt seconds that's one stop of light now toe add one thousand year at one thousand watt seconds and you need one more light how many one one more stop of power how many what seconds do you need to so it goes let's start at one hundred watt seconds two hundred four hundred eight hundred sixteen hundred thirty two hundred watt seconds we're talking not esos even though there's same s o we're talking what seconds here so we have a thousand what second pack wei need one more stop that is two thousand watt seconds it's the same thing is full power half power quarter power you start whatever full power is if you get a sixteen hundred watt second pack or sixteen hundred watt second head half power quarter power eighth power sixteenth power all right because well I happened to say well I want to go rent some of this stuff then you need to understand well okay it's a sixteen hundred watt second pack and there's a eight hundred four hundred two hundred a one hundred numbers on it what do those mean as you cut what seconds in half you lose a stop of power as you double what seconds you gain a stop right all right uh you get to sixteen hundred watt packs together and you have thirty two hundred watt seconds of life I typically never really need that much for what I do I'm an editorial portrait photographer I work in studio and on location it's rare that I need to run into thirty two hundred watt seconds was an architecture photographer if I was doing some higher and advertising work where I needed the light bigger spaces or more people or greater depth of field or if I was joe mcnally um and then it's like times one a hundred you know and joe's at work lighting up an entire telescope on the mountain of in hawaii from the space shuttle like he does all right so so far what we've been talking about is still with just a single light source now way have our subject here we're gonna put a soft box on him and now I want I want a light on the background you're going to see why I'm a photographer and then I want another like kicking in over here one two three lights this is our subject right here here's our subject was my ridden we've got one light here two lights here three lights here how do we control them all through power settings and if if you feel like okay you're going too fast you're going too fast remember tomorrow as we start shooting we start slow and we talk all this out it helps me to get this information out on the table so it's not all new information in the morning but as we start shooting I start recalling all of this remember this remember that this is how we do it this is how we take this information and we apply it all right so wei have three lights I want to come in I want to like you um I'm gonna put this big soft box here I want another light over here as a rim light and then I want to put a light on that background and I have all these different power settings I could deal with the easiest way I'm going to start to build this set is I'm gonna have my subject in place typically I know where they're going to be and I have a mannequin head sitting where they're going to be so when they walk in oh I've got you set up plop and I already have my lights set up with a few tweaks right I am going to set my main light first I find my aperture I find my flash power I get that tow where that is the proper exposure I want and let's say that is five point six let's just say it comes down to it I'm going to shoot a portrait view at five point six just to clarify it on your graph where the camera is oh you can't tell uh seal out in cyberspace is curious there we go there's a camera yeah sorry about that so cameras here shooting at this person overhead view soft box little kicker light background light five point six before my main light let's say I'm happy with that eye and let's say that's uh quarter power whatever that locks in and this locks in this doesn't change all right this isn't going to change it all once I'm happy with my main light source and the aperture in the flash power I then turn on my second light and I take a picture if I don't have a meter I take a picture and I evaluate what that second light is doing and if I say it's too bright I go over and I adjust flash power down on that second light I don't change aperture for it because if I change aperture for that light that changes my exposure for this light start one at a time you build your first one in you get it set and that locks everything down everything else every other light that comes into this scenario is first locked in here and then flash power settings go up and down on these until you have it where you want you set your second light you get that where you need it to be you take your third light and then you take a picture and you see what that third lights doing and you go and adjust flash power up and down until it's where you needed to be that's how we're gonna be working this weekend so uh I'm going to talk about lighting ratios on set I was gonna come up here on the on um the white board and talk about light ratios um but I think that's going to be better done on set when I can set light ratios up one two one two to one three to one four to one lighting ratios I am going to get into all of that this weekend is we shoot um uh we're going to talk about media ring I'll do that as was shooting the one thing that I want his consistency and if you are in a controlled environment under controlled lighting you better not have uncontrollable exposures and that is why we are using uh manual exposures flash settings this weekend there will not be any c l s there will not be any cannon e t t l there will be no tt help there will be no automatic there would not be any auto white balance there will not be we are in full absolute control of this situation there is absolutely zero reason we should be waiting for something we should be relying on anything automated

Class Description

If you’re new to studio photography, or even if you’ve been doing indoor shoots for a while, studio lighting can be a real challenge. The sheer amount of gear required and the inherent complexity of the equipment mean that there are always lots of variables—and lots of ways to make mistakes!

This weekend-long course taught by renowned music, editorial and advertising photographer Zach Arias breaks down the technicalities of studio lighting into manageable chunks so you can get a handle on what you need to do in almost any studio situation.

Zach will cover a wide variety of topics, from how to build a studio to shutter and aperture settings to posing groups. By the end of this in-depth course, you’ll have the skills to tackle any type of indoor shoot, whether it’s in a huge warehouse or your spare bedroom.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build your studio and buy the right gear for the right price.
  • Create and shoot on a white seamless backdrop.
  • Set your ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
  • Understand depth of field and shooting groups.
  • Do head shots with a beauty dish.
  • Use all sorts of flashes, including strobes and hot shoe flashes, as well as modifiers.
  • Handle multiple shoots at once.


a Creativelive Student

I'm an alum of both the OneLight DVD and Zack's OneLight in-person class. I pre-purchased this course because I knew it would be amazing. I was a bit worried that there would be overlap from his other course offerings but was pleasantly surprised. I tell every photographer that I meet about Zack, his classes and the wealth of knowledge up for grabs on his blog. If you have never shot in a studio or if you are seasoned pro, I guarantee you'll get more than your money's worth out of this course. Zack's work pays his bills, not the equipment companies. Therefore, he can be up front about his likes and dislikes. Zack also doesn't screw around with people, he's the real deal and tells it like it is. Mark my word, buy this class and get the best ROI of anything else you'll buy this year. Zack has the natural gift of teaching. You'll quickly realize that it's not about the latest and greatest gear, it's about your client's needs and knowing how to find solutions with what you've got. Enjoy.

Martin B.

Zack - you're the man inside all of the studio classes !!! I've seen a lot of teachers, which are doing studio classes, but you do this on a very lively manner. I've never seen sudio classes like you do ;-) At fist I like your kind of "Cheap Shots" ... you take great images with a kind of inexpensive gear - especially the one light stories. Most of the other photographers are teaching classes by using a lot of light - you can fix the same shots with only one light *thumbs up*. By my selfe i'm teaching "low budget" stuff, but many people are going the other way ... don't know why. Even the available light is the most powerfull light you can work with. Also my theory fits with your "one light" kind of take this shot. Many people should think about your style of photography and related back to the beginning of photography (Adams, Feininger, ...) ;-) Keep on teaching/living your kind of photography - it's worth it - this class is worth all the money ... and much more !!! Martin (


Excellent class and worth every single penny! I have always been a big fan of Zack both in regards to his quality of work and skill set and who he is as a person. You can watch all the Youtube video tutorials in the world and you will gain some good knowledge, however many are holding back some information they do not want you to know about. This class has taught me so much about lighting where I feel much more confident with the technical side and can focus more on the creative side. Well worth your investment!