Introduction to Rick's Work


Quick Location Lighting


Lesson Info

Introduction to Rick's Work

So what I want to do is I want to show you a little bit of my work, I'm going to talk to you about it and you know, you folks out there watching feel free to write and ask us questions you folks in the audience who were nice enough to give up your dane, come join us, feel free to interrupt at any point. So listen, in a little while in the presentation, I'm going to explain why my hands are coming through this backdrop on you can follow us on rick friedman, dot com or on location lighting workshops on facebook, so we'll get started here. This was kind of an amazing thing to me. I shot this when I was about twenty three years old, and I had the honor of being part of an organization called black star. There was a gentleman named howard chap nick, who ran this great photographic organization who would find young photographers and bring us along, and I was actually that age was already shooting on for newsweek on a regular basis, which, as I look back on it, it's pretty mind boggling to me...

to andi was kind of funny, this not I was actually on assignment to photograph george bush and my guy lost not being haunted, I immediately jumped in my beat up old volkswagen drove twenty miles, dumped it in a snow bank and ran in and back then you could show up at a political event and run right in security want security and this is on his birthday. This is something we did of caroline and john john and it's interesting. I mean, I have been photographing them at least her really since my very early career andi I actually photographed her three weeks ago on a project that I was doing for the kennedy library again we get to meet amazing people to be in the presence of ted kennedy and nelson mandela and actually get paid for this. I mean, how cool a job is that financing the you know, it's a different kind of lighting than I would normally do. This was part of a long project I did on cops and gangs or as I described it in all expenses paid trip to america's worst neighborhoods andi went on for a long time and this is out in east l a and lighting on this picture. Okay, we'll talk about lighting well, this picture is lit with one police car in one magway that's the only lighting in the picture so when we see light we use what's there and do we need to supplement it and I think that if I had let this with a stroke I would have blown the character out of the picture uh, this is a moment, it's just happening. I have to run in, analyse it. You know, the fact that the officers let me get in this close, but we have to analyze the light and grab the moment. This is actually called this when sunrise over plane crash there's a plane number years ago that went off the runway at logan on you know, obviously, we didn't like this image, but we analyzed the light that was there, and you're going to hear me talk about something in my lighting, which I refer to is, you know, you start your exposure with the element you cannot control, and then we had the strobes in later, but we take a look at this image, we start our exposure in the background, another photograph from the exact same of that we were able to get out there again, grabbing exposure, these sort of stories of very fluid you're moving, you're trying to get your pictures, you're trying not to be in the way of the first responders and there's also, that thing in the back of your mind, of how long before the offices very nicely asked me to leave this is part of ah, piece that it was working on a book when this train wreck cabinets book called infrastructures on we were illustrating aspects of infrastructure my part of the project was to illustrate things that didn't work. I woke up in the morning and I turned on the radio in boston and I heard about this train wreck this was in louisiana and I just jumped on a plane and went no assignment nothing on by the time I got off the plane I was on assignment on, you know, one of the things when you do this, you do that kind of work that I do, one of the most important things I think is to get along with everybody be nice to everybody I know this sounds like common sense, but be nice to everybody just because you have a camera doesn't give you a pass to do whatever you want this was a case where I happened to meet the coastguard photographer we were chatting and he was looking at a three hundred to it so something bigger than this on my shoulder on dh he said to me, wow, if I get you up in a chopper's here and where you could take a couple of frames for me it's like, let me think about it yes, you bet I don't have to rent my own helicopter and the folks who were actually were renting choppers they were like paying a thousand dollars an hour for chopper and they had a minimum altitude of a thousand feet and the government provided my chopper this thing was so steady you could just stand that lena they tried your hardest and you could lean out the door and our minimum out to was when we sprayed water on people it was unbelievable. It was really a cool right? They wouldn't let me take the chopper home though. It's really a bummer. This is another story that we've done where you go and obviously I'm not goingto light these next two photographs, I'm going to try to capture what is there on a lot of the time we're just meeting with the meter in our camera, you know, this is it's a moment it to me, this I look back on this image and to me, it's a very surreal moment I will give you something a little lighter to look at. I like I like your reaction books. The actual name of this picture very cleverly is the laughing clinton's that was hard to come up with this actually hung and hillary's office in the white house we shot this this picture's been all over the place it's been published about sixty five times thie part of this that's mine is the portrait of hillary this came from an event and when I go shoot an event, I'm covering the event, but I'm also looking for what other pictures air there I do a lot of work is an agency photographer meaning I'm shooting it giving it to my agency letting them sell it so whatever the situation is, are there other images to shoot and there's always something else to shoot him and I was saying, you know when you're shooting turnaround the picture looks completely different the other way so this is a case where was not there to do a portrait of hillary but the portrait worked out same thing with this picture of w this was at an event I saw the flag this was lit nice light I just waited till he turned and went way off to the side on this was actually kind of fun I was in an airport one day waiting for a plane killing time in the bookstore and it's like oh cool I sold a picture this picture has been around a lot no it's kind of interesting when you cover you know especially bush forty one I mean he liked the photographer so he could go play golf and we'd all be invited to tag along with the current president if you're in the pool when he goes to play golf you sit in a van the only pictures you have to see the current president's hitting a golf ball is when his photographer releases it when somebody sneaks through the woods and gets it secret service doesn't like when you sneak through the woods and again, this is another newsweek cover it's the same idea you know, covering a story events that are happening but I'm always looking for that portrait this is nine eleven on I was in boston course logical thing to do was to head to new york I called time magazine and I said I'm on my way and they said no no go back to boston this story began there somebody needs to cover boston and coast guard the guy's coast guard base we're not allowing photographers to go out on the boats I managed to make friends rather quickly with the commander who brought the boat up and he turned to somebody it's it's my boat I'm taking him out we went out on patrol with him around boston harbor and you know, being a bostonian you know, this is one of those surreal pictures of my city um I put this in because all of a sudden he's back in the news carries but a lot of time covering carrie not the most fun campaign but certainly not the least fun hey was okay the instant ing about covering john kerry and covering you know certain people when you look at them right take a look at the light that's in their eyes ok? This gentleman is very deep set eyes and that pictures even flash willed and his eyes were still that deep sat this was great the vice president's great to cover on this was when he decided that he might get to be president so we're up in this house in new hampshire on interiors you know, long time senator wants to president united states is getting ready to speak and they don't even have a chair for him so the guys just sitting in the doorway like my turn yet one of those things you know, we we covered presidents and we're always trying to get in front of that straight on shot this particular case you know, I'm just the press rises way over here and I'm just a wandering around looking for that different picture him outside the perimeter the lights right on the governors in the background and somebody just holds that sign up into a beam of light this came from election night when this we shot you know when you're when you're covering any event look for your angles look for your life so I loved the graphics of this image and then I found that if I went to a certain point see the highlights around his head well there's a back light and all I had to do is figure out where to be okay in order to put the back leg directly behind his head now I've got my hairline like courtesy of the lighting crew this was uh his first inauguration this was a really, really long lens and it was really really cold out there was like no degrees we're freezing this is the governor of massachusetts um this was great when this came out because there are thousands and thousands of pictures of the governor on obviously the picture editors whittled it down to a reasonable number and this is the one that he chose and actually the reason there scribbling on the cover he signed it for me this was great fun when the red sox signed dice que I got to work for newsweek japan my wonderful assistant keiko romy was the one who arranged it so we got to go to baseball games and shed a lot of baseball and unlike glenn I'm really not a sport shooter I love doing it it's a lot of fun it's a good thing I really don't have to make my living doing it this is we put this and I always loved this photograph on dh this is a very kind of printed photographed today this photograph has done quite a number of years ago if you take a look in the middle here this is this gentleman's computer monitor okay this is the beginning of google glasses at m I t quite a number of years ago on we well walking around emmett to walking around the media lab and we're looking for photographs to illustrate a story so I have no idea that this exists we walked around we meet this dynamo's, amistad, starner on dh who was now georgia tech was then at m I t and he says, let me show you what I'm doing and I loved photographing academics, especially scientists, because they get all excited about their work, kind of like photographers, you know? I mean, the scientists know they'll be in the lab three a m and we'll be sitting in front of our computers if we're not shooting a three I am so it's always great fun to illustrate, I mean, to interact with these folks. So in this case, he's showing me the beginning, a wearable computing, and I'm thinking this is so cool, but we have no idea we're going to do no, he says here, take the glasses, then he tells me what it cost to make them, and I'm thinking, you really shouldn't touch these so just a little bit on the lighting in this particular image, there was no planning, we had no idea that's even existed. S o we find a computer monitor for the background, andi, I said, I'll keep going into this. So I start my exposure back here, and I have to get a proper exposure for those glasses and for the monitor, and then light it in such a way I'm not throwing glare. And in case that wasn't complicated enough, we actually threw that yellow highlights in there on in a little while by the end of today everybody's going to know how to do this there's no great mystique to this and then we go to this and I'm photographing tony bennett a performance on just great access and it was just like, wow, how cool is this to go from the last gentleman who's put his computer in his glasses to photographing tony bennett and the photograph the dalai lama who is just I've had the honor of photographing him numerous times and he's actually delightful and he tells jokes and then he lasted his own jokes sometimes he tells the same joke here after year it's kind of cool, I could come up with a caption on this, but I want you can all make of your own caption on this image I love this this was that one of the inaugurations on I just sort of love the juxtaposition of the rock cats in a lincoln and, you know, my days sometimes go from that to this. This was a few weeks ago in watertown, massachusetts, after the bombing and they were looking for the bomber and I don't know why these gentlemen thought that a bunch of people carrying cameras with somebody to point rifles at but they're very convincing when they yell at you and this is mae being crushed by a lens running down the street. Having a cop yell it going, run faster. And I'm thinking, this is a fast as I go in this age.

Class Description

Quick Location Lighting is part of our special week-long event Lighting Toolkit.

Join world-renowned photojournalist Rick Friedman for an introduction on how to optimize normal light to create stunning, dynamic images.

During his course, Rick will share the techniques he’s learned during his three decades of shooting presidents, scientists, and the world's brightest innovators. You’ll master doing more with less equipment, finding the light in a wide variety of settings, lighting locations quickly, and more.

Rick’s background will inspire you to use your photographs to tell a story, and his expertise will give you the foundational lighting skills you’ll need to shoot with confidence.



Of all the Creative Live classes I've watched this was the most fun and the most motivating. Rick's easy, unflappable style and humour makes it easy to take in what he is saying and doing. Highly recommended.


Rick Friedman does an excellent job in this course. He is a true professional who really knows his craft. He is an entertaining and excellent presenter.