On Camera Flash Tips & Tricks


Quick Location Lighting


Lesson Info

On Camera Flash Tips & Tricks

Let me talk a little bit about some of the ways we approach lighting here so I've shown you the flash bender okay let's say we go into a situation like this and still a tough in this space because you've got a high ceiling but let's say I have a low white seal if I take this and do that okay I'm now gonna have some direction to my life right? I've got a wall behind me similar to the tv truck boom I can fill it in that way I suppose I don't have a wall with me and I want some direction to my life remember I excuse me pull this thing out okay and I can actually show you a couple of these cake all you want to come out and be the model come on go if taken had known this was in the job description she might not have taken the job so let's actually reverse it out so people can kind of see I'm trying to think of where the cameras are all right so look this is the worst thing that you could do all right the only time you're going to shoot a picture like this is if you're a paparazzi you really...

don't like the person and you want to make him look really really bad so let's show you a couple of ways to make direction this is cool right because it fits in my camera bag I think this cost twenty three bucks it's a really expensive investment on but what it does is it gives me the ability right to bounce my light now I'm going to give my life direction granted I'm going to make sure there's no light pull coming out of your head let's see we get and I always look at the back of my camera look like goldie ha okay, so we're a little hot let's take a look at our setting whips yeah, let me you want to go this way we'll go this way. Okay let's try it on so we think it's a little hot we might turn it down a little bit let's see, we're going to get yeah poor cake okay turns his light a little bit let's see here there's a reason I don't you tethered because I can't stand still this long I just want to keep going come on ok, but take a look at the light on keiko's face okay, we have some nice soft light we've got some wrap around okay, now if I go to this side ok this was white what's gonna give me softer if I go to this side which is gold and silver it's gonna warm it up a little bit I tell people you know, if you happen to live in new england or probably around here on dh it's march and he's looking a little pasty you might want to be using the warmup side so let's have a look at this let's move this way but just so it's not quite a pole coming out of your head I keep looking at the camera gonna keep doing it all day okay? So just warmed it up a little bit so a simple trick let me show you what happens if we go with our flash bender and let me just switch this out a bit this is what the back of my car looks like. Two all right? We're just gonna put this guy on forgive me for turning my back to you now, you know, it's syncing the last thing that I showed you if you don't happen to have a, um one of those reflectors, go to staples and buy three dollar piece of foam core it'll you know it's not as reflective, but it'll work just fine let's see how happy this guy's going to be there we get okay miss gay go! We should have a totally different light as I'm standing here wanting what's going to show they go so you can see the other one had direction this doesn't have any direction, but on the fly this is really good and these come in a couple of sizes this's a bigger one I find for working on news events this is really good if I'm in a situation when working alone bigger light sources in closer are going to give you nicer light you know what I rather use something bigger yes but it doesn't fit in my camera bag so it's not really practical so let me show you a couple of other cool tricks can I ask which comes people in china were wondering which specific flash bender is that that you're using? Is that the large well okay so the one I just demonstrated this is the small with the diffusion panel okay on its great I've done shoots where I don't think I needed so I roll it up and stick it in my back pocket and I've always got a nice light modifier this particular one here this is the larger one and then there's one bigger than this which is called the excel which we're going to get into but if the xl is too big for on camera so rick show the flow would like to know what's the maximum distance you couldn't get out of the bender penn's on your eyes so andi I actually have never really saw how far I could do what I put them on and it just seems to work I'm a big fan of it just seems to work you know so I actually get there and I don't have to tell my editor oops so let me show you a couple of other things okay? This is a really cool gadget but I do think this thing got to come with a ping pong ball or something so this is a fairly new item this is a son bounds bounce wall on let me just get this game mounted and what I've done you can buy all these different cards can I have some more cards miss keiko thank you just hold that if you wouldn't mind so that particular one is the one I really like we actually shot and and I think we actually have that image coming up so this is an image that we shot with this gadget medic probably with this exact one on we were down in imaging yusa in atlanta and they had hired me to come down and play with the toys which is a great job down there and I'm supposed to meet this wonderful model and I walk in and maybe britain and it's like we're all walking around going cough a and I turned around and I look at this light remember turnaround looked the other way it'll look completely different but one way looked like a convention center the other way had this cool ambient light coming in so I turned to britney and I said quick put on your makeup and we actually shop this which they used is an ad we shot this before we had our morning coffee with absolutely no planning whatsoever anyway that's the kind of like you can get out of this thing so wei have the new keiko hi I'm rick by caitlin look keiko get taller and your hair color changed go all right so let's just kind of do this and let's say we get you going to come right to me leaning towards me a little bit that's great in the show with that light that's nice let's see we got do one more well read it because that's more and you look like so that's looking a tad under to me so it's turned it up that's because somebody left the strobe turned down probably may let's try it again hoops remember he said about tripping on wires I'm good at that came right to me I would say we're gonna get the suspense is killing me look at that light isn't that sweet light okay and you and I obviously worked together a tremendous amount of time way really know each other well and we understand how each other works and we spent a huge amount of time lighting this all right let's try one two more it's coming to me that's not you come to love it and turn this way love it that's great let's see we're going to get sweet one light zero lighting effort by the way just don't hold your camera by this plastic arm this does fold down so you actually can throw this thing in your camera bag and I've played with a bunch of them this happens to be the one I like maybe because it's the one I've used but it's really kind of cool so let's take this thing off and let's play a little bit more so what happens when I get there and I find they have a white wall? Well, we don't actually have a white wall so can somebody hand me a white wall, please? Is that coke can on a wall because you know, you get to a place and let's say we were gonna put it on I guess we'll put it over here, keiko because I don't want to block the audience here so bring just once you just bring their let's put that right about there is so am I messing you guys up tv crew know just keep it right like that okay, so imagine this is a white wall and you and I meet will go hey, we need a portrait let's bring this here so come in a little closer to may and hold that up in incheon to k go there you go and let's see, we're going to get here come on well, we're a little blown out on that one let's try that again so it's turned towards the wall yeah that's nice don't say we're gonna get you. Keep looking at the camera like it's going to appear. Here we go. Okay, so anyway, you go. You have a white wall. And if we don't have a white wall, we've got a piece of foam core or we go into the back of our camera bag. Okay, and were taken, you know, which is the right thing. There is no necessarily right. A wrong nothing. It's, what you like is the person creating. What makes you happy? What effect you want? You know, sometimes in an ideal world, I'd like to have cake. A walking out with a large piece of foam core all the time. But it's kind of tough if she wants to ride a bicycle. So you know, what's the right thing within the situation for what we're doing. Thank you. So, um, that's let me try a couple more images on dh. We shall keep wound. We have any questions written. You tell us the name of that sun bounce? Sure. One more time. Yes. This thing is called a bounce wall. Boutwell. Great. And normally, when you buy it, it will come. I think with the silver one or may come of the golan and then you can buy these cards. And we've actually use these things and reflectors on product shots there just a very cool, reflective piece of material. So I thought it was a great idea. I have to know when I first started, eh? Kind of had my question until I played with it. Still should have a ping pong ball itself will show you a couple more do we have? Ah, I think we can let's go ahead and keep going and then we can jump in with questions a little sure. This's drag queen. Bingo. There a couple of things about this image. This was not an actual assignment. Keiko said hey, there's having those drag queen bingo in a bar up the street I said cool, let's go. So I wasn't really working, so I grabbed my d eight hundred my seventeen to thirty five through a speed light on it light model for and went to have a fun night so I get there. Obviously, these people are very shy. That was the first issue on take a look at this. Okay, anybody want to guess how long this exposure is? This is a handheld photograph. One flash hand held. This is a two and a half second hand held exposure in a fairly dark place. As my light drops and drops and drops, I can can't hold the camera much slower the strobe is what's freezing the motion so if we take a look in here at the person in the center there hit with a stroke that motion is frozen. What I did to get the exploding effect is that as this long exposure is taking place, I'm zooming the lens so that gives us this effect so this is stroke this is strobe and then this becomes available and then there's a celtics game going on in the background which always that was funny. So this is a combination you know, of using the available light which was virtually none and using the strobe and zooming I joke about you know, this is this is a technique for those you do weddings and long receptions and you're about three yeah, you're rolling your eyes exactly there about three hours into the reception and you've already shot everything you can possibly shoot but they said you need to be there so you're still there on so we will start doing things like this or we'll do long exposures and spend the camp put the bridegroom in the middle long exposure would just go like this with the camera and you'll get the swirl and then the strobel pop and they'll be sharp in the middle of the picture yeah, but these air morale agusan howto and detain yourself in the third area reception when you're about ready to kill yourself oh, this is gonna be the last image that I'm going to show in this section here this is jack the driving cat on I want you to take a look at jack jack is lit with a strobe there catch lights and jack's eyes now few cats driving have him look at the road not at you but take a look at the background this car is actually moving so because jack and I are moving at the same pace and I'm the one who looks really terrified this point on all I'm doing is I'm just bouncing my speed light off the ceiling is all I'm doing on because it's a fairly slow shutter speed and jack and I are moving together we have this feeling of movement so that's kind of the beginning of section one I think what I'd like for people to do I think I'd like somebody to come on up here and shoot some photographs okay you have your camera do we have a connection for her camera is that no we don't ok guess what? Well well head we can do with mine just remember this is photography not rocket science all right, so we're gonna let you I'm going to show you a trick my camera's okay focus on the back button okay? We focus on the back button reason is I can put my finger halfway down on the shutter and be ready for the moment all right if I focus on the front button when I'm doing this recomposed I can use the focus exposure lock in the back okay or you're looking at me puzzled that's ok, we're going to be okay by this ok it's only a split second from the time I hit that shutter all right until I push it down but in my world that could be the moment than between getting the picture of the killer cut out in the middle were getting it on one side of the other so it's just a way to cut down more time if this focuses on the front I have to worry about it refocusing so I'm gonna come to you I'm gonna focus on gonna recompose yes all what I've done is my focus button is back here on mine I'll show you on your camera okay, maybe we do a break we can do that. Okay, so let's quickly show you, um switch that out for you for a second uh what kind of camera you should okay, because pretty much when we like yeah that's good of that one. So what I want you to do we're gonna have our lovely model come back onto set please great. We're just gonna know when you put this thing on, okay, I suggest until you get to the habit of you know how to do it I suggest that you put it down don't try to be balancing your camera just just until you get used to it. Okay, so I want to show you one thing here and let you make a frame with my camera treated with tender loving carried to make my living with it because you look at my cameras and you couldn't tell I actually don't necessarily treat them with tender loving care, so I'm gonna let you do this. We're going to set this up for you, so you're gonna focus it on, let you see what you can do with it. You take my toy don't rob, they bounced but only once, you know, we're both gonna look their butts going come up here considering how much effort you put into this. Yes, and how many times you've used this set up, which is now one frame that's pretty cool. Okay, that's, the beauty of this kind of a system it's one flash on the go. So when you're shooting that ben, are you? How are you adjusting your settings and knowing that's goingto kill? Did you expose? What did you just exposed sindhu and pick the caravan shot it. Okay, so what would I can make a complicated if you want, but we don't have to like way had it was set up for it pretty earlier correct eso when you did it though were you did you do your meeting then off I did know majoring it's a completely flash picture so as long as I'm overpowering all this ambient light that I completely control the picture so if we go back to rock n roll is on a couch that's a mixture this's straight flash okay, thank you and you talk just a little bit about your general settings shutter speed after all that stuff and what you know you're doing tio whatever. No. Well okay, so I mean my one of my general settings well, as long as I'm over pyre my ambient light in a true strobe setting so I know that I can look at this light and I but I s o two hundred I set the camera one hundred twenty fifth at five six and I know that's going to overpower this now depending you know, when I shoot my portrait ab stop is about excusing five six is about as much as I'll stop down depending on your subject. So if you have a beautiful young face like this shooter at five six or fate you've a face like this keep it around to wei don't want a whole lot of debt the field so you know, think about your subject, okay? I mean, nobody wants to say wow, you made me look really sharp and old so you know, that's it and also look, I mean, what kind of lighting is going to be right for this picture? I mean, I think the bounce wall looks great for this if I don't have the bounce while one of these reflectors looks great, this looks great it again it's really the effect that you want? Yes, please why're you using the modifier versus bounce wall? What are you looking for? You know, I'm going to tend to use this mohr on an event if I was doing the rock and roll picture with the bounce wall and I'm in that little crowded room that's the wrong thing and I can't be doing this now I can when I get near the white wall, I can easily be doing this. It really is. What is that situation? So let's, shoot a couple more frames for you and let's show your maybe some of the differences within the bounce wall, so I'm going to switch this thing out. By the way, this thing weighs absolutely nothing so it's completely warm it up and let's see what we're going to get, perhaps try putting it together the proper way, rick now we should have a much, much warmer image than we had before and again until you get used to mounting this thing, put it down man let's see what we're going to get so I'm gonna be turning a bit side with you just like that we're gonna go like this and we're going to hopefully get some nice shot it's lovely but I didn't do that they're gonna come right to me that's great, you know, come on, we're just goofing around let's see, we're going to get one more we're a little under we didn't quite let it recycle that's where the extra batteries would be coming in now it picked it up ok, so and if I'm shooting it at four, you know I'm going to get faster recycling me. One of the drawbacks of working with speed lights is that they have limitations on recycling. The other thing I find with some of them is that they'll tend to heat up andi you know that khun b an issue I find if I'm shooting a wedding or a event all those photographs that I'm shooting ahead of time. All right, I take the strobe on and I put a new one on before I start because it somehow just seems that is there about, you know, is the bride's about to make it down the aisle? Not really, when you want the thing that to die the other thing I found you know is we're outside in bright sunlight thes you're likely to overheat faster the night cons just tend to shut down even though you can turn the thermostat off but you know the newer one shuts down slower but it will eventually so you need to really be careful is we're pushing these things and heating them up so all right let's do wanted to more of this that's come right in that's nice come read to me love that may I have your hand in the picture nice I'm still looking to see what we get that's beautiful guy that's really, really nice so this is a larger version ofthe a reflector this's also a son bounce one it has a handle it's fairly easy to hold you know big light sources in close we're going to give you better lights what always right to have a big light source is this practical so I don't know but that should be a beautiful picture of the floor so and again you notice that all the stuff that I'm showing you I could do all this by myself I don't need an assistant no, I like having an assistant you back love eminence system but I don't necessarily need one for a lot of this stuff on dh you know there'll be times the story will come in and there may not be time for us to get together so I need to have all the toys I mean tools any so that's beautiful come right to and let's bring you had a little more towards its like they go from here. Nice floor picture, rick that's, great, like the shadow. Actually, you know, obviously we could crop that out, but what you'll see is we go along, that a lot of people worked really hard at getting rid of shadows. I love adding shadows to my pictures. I really I just like the effective, and I think that I like that one say I do some my best work by mistake. Let's, go back, go back towards the wall a bit, yeah, let's, try one more of these and then russia will go to questions if you'd like to cool. Okay, let's, turn to his weekend right there. Forget nice, okay, you can get these in different sizes. There are lots of different brands this one's really nice because it's, rigid and it's got the handles, but it's too big for a frisbee.

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.