Mark Wallace: Intro To Flash Photography


SkillSet: Best of Lighting


Lesson Info

Mark Wallace: Intro To Flash Photography

this is intro to flash photography and uh just to remind you this is just these air just the basics weii did a three day workshop here creative live of in depth speed light stuff and so I'm going to do my best to give you what you need to know in the next hour and a half to understand speed lights but for all the goodness of speed lights check that out because there's so much that we could cover that we just don't have time for so why do we do flash photography well the thing that we're running into on the one we're shooting with the other lights the constant lights before if you remember we had issues with the ambient light that was floating around throwing off our photos right and we couldn't really do much about that except for turning off the lights that were around us that's how you control constant lights you just anything that you don't want to show up you have to turn off and so that is usually not something that you can do all time and so we want to be able to compensate for t...

hat the other thing is with a speed light or a studio strobe you can actually freeze action and what I mean by that is with normal ambient light or natural light or light that's always on you are at the mercy of your shutter speed so if you have a slow shutter speed you're going tohave blur with a speed light or a studio strobe you can actually have a slow shutter speed and have a crystal clear photos because the light is actually what freezes the action not the shutter which is sort of cool and so you can mix these two things you can actually have something that's blurred in the background and something that's still in fact we did that this morning michelle you this picture of ryan really fast that we did to sort of prove this out it was so much fun here it is so we did this this morning this is ryan our producer and uh these are these are two sources of light so the light that's on ryan is coming from a speed light and the lights that are blurred are actually these lamps that we see right here and so you can control ambient light and light from a flash independently and so basically you're getting it's similar to a double exposure actually you have two different things you're controlling at the exact same time and so that's a yes man that kind is that the same kind of effect you try to do you know that j j abrams kind of video effect yeah well j j abrams eyes infamously known for his lens flare kind of stuff and so in video it's it's not the same video you don't have to have two different sources of light you mix independently well see it's a different concept but the answer is no it's not the same but what you're thinking of is his limbs flowers he's shining lights into the limbs that's what he's doing so all that star trek e stuff that's what's happening there so a little bit different okay so the other thing is yeah we can mix our ambient light and her flash a really cool effects we can do things called rear curtain seeing khun dragging the shutter and they're going to see it's really sort of fun and so the thing to understand though is there are two different things floating around we have light that is just out here either from the sun or from the room it's called ambient light our natural light and that's the light that normally we we can't control we have to respond to it and then we have light from our flash and that light we can control me do whatever you want to it we're gonna learn about these two things and so I want to show you very quickly lex is going to come out here and we're going to do a demo with these little lamps here and I will show you very quickly I'm going to show you how I'm doing this yet we're gonna get to it but I'm going to show you there are two different things happening right here so I want you to stand uh out just a bit like they're gonna put this pretty close and then we're gonna this is gonna be fun okay so what I'm gonna do here I'm gonna make sure that we're set to the last photo here is I'm going to show you that they're two different exposure was going on at the same time so for this I'm shooting in manual mode and we're going to do one thing that's really cool here so now you have to smile there I am f twenty to complain no and what I want to show you is not john wow you've changed quite a bit so so notice in this shot the lamps are all turned off its magic let me do that again so all the lamps behind lex click I have magically turn the lamps off here it comes in a second joke yeah think magic so how is that happening watch this I'm now going to turn those lamps back on very very quickly and here we go are you ready okay we're like yeah this is a fun okay now I'm gonna make those lights go back on boom go on lamps I think you know this sort of wacky what's happening is thanks lex I am controlling the ambient light and the light from the flash independent of each other and that is the beauty of speed light and studio lighting you can control these two things opposite of the other so this first shot that we had I set the camera and the flash in a way to eliminate as much of the ambient light as possible and so it's not that these lights are turned off it's that they're so dark the only way that you can see them is light from the flash is actually illuminating them and so the light from the actual lamps is not showing up in the exposure there's not enough light for it to work on the second shot that we did I did the opposite I actually allowed that ambient light to come in but on both of them get the light on lex consistent and so we can see these two things here is two shots unless wei have light coming from the side on both of the shots on this one it's a little bit uh maur light thin on this one because of the way I exposed it but the nice thing is you can control these two things independently the question is how do you do that you guys look like you're like spellbound right now like how did this happen okay that's magic so let's talk about how this works we have to exposures ambient light and light from our flash and you can choose toe let the ambient light show up or you can choose to eliminate that and so when we were shooting before and we had that blue color cast coming in from the ambient light if we were shooting with a speed light or with studio strobes we could have actually eliminated all of that and that's why I love using this so let's talk about these two exposures and how they were so if we have um an image like this one here this is a shot that I I took in phoenix for some workshop somewhere you can see that the background in this is the same in both shots right the same both shots on the foreground this shot here has no flash on this one we have phil flash that's helping us out to make sure that our model is illuminated and it matches the background and the reason that I did this was this was on a really bright hard light sunny phoenix day and so if we put our model just out in the open son we'd have had these horrible shadows and she would have melted because it was about one hundred degrees when we shot this and so we found a tree we put her in the shade which is this right here and I exposed for the background and then we added a flash and that balance those two things and so that's one of the reasons that you might wantto balance ambient light flash because you get these really interesting exposures um there is I need to do this little beach doodle we'll see if we can explain this for you so you wouldn't get that they're all right this is my most excellent beach doodle so I'm gonna draw a photo dry picture of lex on the beach and see how this turns out so let's say we have to do let's say we have um here is the beach then we've got this water that's going down here and we have here's lex she's in the bahamas with her hair she's smiling all right there she is and what's happening is it's at sunset I know I don't draw very well so what we have here is we have this very very bright light like that it's shining very very shiny and what's happening is this is actually coming this way we have this sunset that's pretty crazy then we have this tripod and I have a little flash on this so what was happening here is that like that like that way have two different areas of light in this photo we have light from our flash and we have ambient light that okay two totally different exposures and what we can dio is we can adjust our camera to expose for this light and then we can tell our flash to illuminate our subject so there's enough light on this side of our subject to match the light over here we're compressing the dynamic range of stuff we talked about later so this is ambient light this is light from our flash and we're going to mix those two things independent of each other so let's talk about the soldier triangles and how we do all that but is this clear so far how we have these two different things don't put that back there there's our beautiful picture of lex with her hair it's awesome I know it's pretty accurate isn't it it's pretty awesome all right so ambient light we have to react to it right we can't control this we have to just sort of take what we get we can do some modifiers with our california sun balancing our five one reflectors and all that kind of stuff but we can't control it has the tendency of changing and so we have to be able to react to that in a certain way and the way we react to that is by using the exposure triangle and this is something that we all know and love so we have our aperture value we have a shutter speed we have and we can look at that and make it work so I'm gonna show you something with these pictures that we just shot to sort of help you out with this so in this first photo right here notice that I shot at two hundredth of a second f twenty two right and so if I shot it two hundredth of a second of twenty two with no flash I would turn my flash off just no flash it off no flash and I'm going to take a picture of those same lamps okay some in manual mode f twenty two at two hundred of a second don't take his picture of the lamps we're gonna get is this going to get this picture right here darkness all right if I take this and I shoot in aperture priority motive two point eight watch what happens aperture party more than two point eight take a picture of the lamps click what I get is a bunch of lamps right as we would expect so think about the exposure triangle just for ambient light and these two pictures side by side so these two pictures side by side in this one I had my shutter speed of two hundred apertura f twenty two and I eliminated all the ambient light forget about left so we under exposed this ambient light on this one I shot a two point eight aperture party mode in this shutter slowed down and we got all the lamps exactly the same way that I just did right and so the exposure triangle that we all know and love for ambient light works exactly the same when you have a studio strove or speed light involved it controls the ambient light all right so that magic that we saw before with these lamps going away and lamp showing up it wasn't magic it all all we were doing was under exposing this air exposing it correctly that's it yes yes teo talk about how all that works in a second the only difference is in this picture and in this picture we had a flash firing that consistently illuminated lex and so we had two different exposures one from the flash that was always on and one that was ambient that I let work and didn't let work that makes it so far okay so tell me goring here's your bonus points because you got that um how does that work when we have a flash involved so teo meeting we all know is through the lens mita ring and it's stupid we all know that but let's talk about how this works we actually have again we talked about this yesterday the light goes through this it's a mirror comes up here to our pinter prison and that's where our meter is right there and then we can see through the lettuce but when our flash fires in the flash fires this mirror is up in the light comes straight through so there's nothing that can get to this light meter and the flash on ly fires ask when the shutter is open so how does that work how does the camera see the light from the flash to figure out what to do and this is a um big difference between speed lights and studio strobes this is one of the biggest differences so tl metering with speed lights uses something called the pre flash what I like to call the ninja and so like so I'm gonna have you come out here just for a second and I'm going to explain how this works so if you will just stand right here and what we're gonna do is we're gonna have this camera right here and what we're gonna do is just for this I'm going to put a flash on my camera hey and this works the flashes on the camera it works if the flash is off the camera tl me during all of this the same thing but just for illustration purposes I'm gonna have a flash here so what happens is this all happens in slow motion when I press the shutter halfway down the shutter release halfway down on the camera starts meet during the ambient light hey it's looking around for the ambient light and saying what's the proper exposure like it normally does all the ti tl stuff that we normally would do that's happening and it's trying to figure out what the exposure is for the background what the lamps are just the ambient light okay so it figures that out and that's how it sets the shutter speed or the aperture value if you're in aperture party mode or shutter priority mode that's how it works if you're in manual mode then you're manually using the light meter but it's still me during all of the ambient light okay it hasn't figured out how much flashes needed yet that hasn't been established when you press the shutter all the way there is this thing that happens at the speed of light what happens is this flash fires toll a little pre flesh and it hits the subject boom that bounces off the subject and it goes through the lens and then it goes exactly the same path as before and it goes to the little light meter and it says oh this is how much light is coming from this flash and it needs to be either more light or less light to accurately illuminate this thing then the shutter opens and the flash fires that correct amount of light boom to the subject that comes through here and then the exposure is made so I call it the ninja because it sort of comes out you can't see it yeah and it does that thing okay so that's how tt l metering orcs with the flash and tio metering with a flash has the same issues as tpl meeting with ambient light it's still expecting this flash to hit whatever it is it's illuminating and average that to eighteen percent gray and so if we had a flash and a white wall and a black wall it would still come out gray just like it did yesterday and so there is something called flash exposure compensation where you can tell the flash hey take what you think is right and increase it by a stop or decrease it by a stop and so you can still control that and also with flash exposure compensation what you can do is that how you change the exposure on your subjects that being illuminated by the flash so what we did earlier and someone have you stand there again and where is that little up to pop there it is there it is okay if you notice I'm gonna stand out a little bit when I put this little soft box here because I put it to the side I did that on purpose because I didn't want that to be spilling on the background so we could see that very clearly so I did that so let me show you very very quickly very quickly that flash news business using this we show you really really quickly it goes all right this is gonna be so much fun yeah all right so I'm an aperture priority mode here and I am going to take a picture of lex and the lights and that was a very slow shit fire I didn't fire what did it oh it's same some kind of crazy mode here jericho's the light's not on oh you have to turn it on then that's what you're saying okay yeah thank you for your coffee yeah all right all right let's try this again who one more time and aperture party boat let's just edit that whole part out can we do that edit that out right now we have lex there okay so now when we see uh this shot of lex you khun by the way I'm glad this happened you can clearly see this is the ambient light with a very slow shutter speed this was a thirteenth of a second with this one here forty eighth of a second but notice she is overexposed and so what we would need to do is go in and there's this little dial here that we can actually say hey let's take this there's a little up and down thing here I'm gonna tell it hey take this and make it a stop less and weaken take the light on lex and take that down to say you know what you've got it wrong we don't need that much light on lex let's take that down a little bit and make a little bit more natural and so we're controlling and notice the background didn't change just the light on elections and so the point is we're controlling these totally opposite an independent of each other really fun right thank you um you know just how much easier it is to get pleasing looking photos with just one little speed light and a a blow pop what work is that we're recalling that is a glow box I think this is what we're giving away from manorama by the way is this thing it's pretty awesome isn't it is very very cool okay so back to the power point we have are the so nineties the power point the keynote right I'm in africa so meeting with speed likes we have the pre flash that comes through we talked about that um we want to talk about I'm going backwards sorry um this if we have the aperture that only controls quantity of light when we're talking about ambient light right the shutter controls the duration of light that's usually if a fast shutter we have frozen images slow shutter we have learned images and then I also controls sensitivity that's ambient light but we want to do is we want to forget about ambient light just for a minute okay just throw it out of your mind we're not gonna talk about that we have these three things we have quantity that's how much we have duration we have so what we really want to do is we want to focus on these two things and understand how they work with our flash so we're going to get rid of the so and so we have these two things quantity and duration so quantity is controlled with anya light by our aperture duration is controlled by our shutter and what we need to talk about and greater depth is that pesky shutter what is it doing because quantity when our flash fires it's always going to go through the aperture nerlens right that light's always going to go through the aperture nerlens but with the flash something else is happening here so with our shutter it actually doesn't do anything for flash exposure the shutter doesn't impact the flash at all and this is something that you have to get your mind around it's like the shutter doesn't even exist it's not there it's a troublemaker so why is that the case so here's how our shutter works we're going to show you how it works normally and what sync speed is and what happens when we throw a flash in the mix and to do that I'm actually going to play a little video for you so the video is I think the next there is important to understand how your camera's shutter works your camera's shutter has two curtains and these curtains have names the first curtain and this second curtain they open and close to reveal light to the sensor much like a curtain opens and closes in a theater to reveal what's happening on the stage let's take a closer look when you press the shutter release with your finger it tells the camera to open the shutter the first curtain opens to reveal the light to the camera's sensor then the second curtain follows behind to hide the light then the curtains reset and wait for you to press the shutter release again let's watch that again notice in this animation that the first curtain opens completely before this second kern begins to follow this only happens at slower shutter speeds usually speed's under two hundredth of a second now watch what happens when we speed things up when the shutter speed is faster the second curtain can't wait for the first curtain toe open all the way if it does it won't make it across in time notice in this animation that the shutter is never fully open it just reveals a slip of light as it travels across the sensor and the slit becomes smaller as the shutter speed increases sync speed is the shutter speed on your camera that allows the first curtain to fully open before this second kern begins to follow in other words it's the fastest shutter speed you can use with a flash let's take another look at your camera shutter this time with a flash in the mix when your camera shutter speed is set to sink speed or slower a few things happen when you push the shutter release button the first curtain opens and as soon as the first curtain is fully open the flash fires then the second curtain closes normally if we have our shutter speed set too high we'd have problems let's take a look when you press the shutter release the first curtain will begin to open but before it's fully open the second curtain begins to close when the first curtain is fully open the flash fires just like it did before but this time part of the sensor is covered by the second curtain this will cause our photo have a black area and the faster your shutter speed the more black you'll have in your photo okay so that's the pesky shutter so the shutter doesn't matter because it's fully open when the flash fires okay so the first curtain opens were flash fires the second curtain closes so it's as if the that shutter isn't even there it's just a big open hole just the flight goes through that so um what controls the exposure of the flash right because the shutter isn't involved anymore yeah that does not exist what else do we have oh yeah we're only talking about light from the flash so the shutter still impacts ambient light we're just talking about light from the flash don't forget that so what controls are flash exposure if r shutter isn't involved we have a new explosion triangle toe work with here and it's sort of fun so we have dust there are aperture and output from the flash so our aperture is still gonna control light is going to be smaller or larger to let in more light or less light and that is going to impact ambient light and light from the flash shutter doesn't do anything because it's always open but the flash itself has different power settings so the flash khun have less power or more power and so that's what controls the exposure in fact in on a speed light it can only get so bright and so there are times when you have a huge soft box it doesn't have enough power and you're gonna be underexposed because there's just not enough light coming through so that's why studio strobes workout so the flash exposure triangle looks like this we have our aperture value and so and then we have flash output instead of shutter and that flash output does something so the aperture now is going to control the quantity of light just like it did before death the field all that kind of stuff the flash output actually controls quantity how much light and it controls duration and so our shutter used to control duration for ambient light the flash output actually controls duration for our uh r strobe and so here's how it works that shutter opens up the strobe fires bohm on and off and the strobe fires at speeds of five thousandth of a second ten thousandth of a second twenty thousandth of a second it's pretty fast especially with speed lights are really really fast and generally the lower the power the shorter the duration of light is and so if you have a completely dark room and let's say the shutter opens who and it's open for five minutes and it's completely pitch black so the shutters open for five minutes but the flash turns on and off and it does that at two hundredth of a second how much light that the camera actually see it only saw two hundredth of a second of light and so it's the equivalent of having a shutter speed of two hundredth of a second or a thousandth of a second or five thousandth of a second if you've noticed your camera shutter speed usually goes up to about eight thousandth of a second and that's it but one of these guys can shoot the duration of about twenty thousands of a second so you can actually have a really dark room and use a speed light are really fancy studio strobe and freeze action better and the fastest shutter speed that you have on your camera and that is why sports photographers use speed lights and strobes all the time because they can shoot at speeds shutters see that air pretty slow but they can use a really short flash oration and freeze that motor cross guy or the baseball player or whatever and it's totally frozen and because you can mix those two exposures you can actually have a blurry ambient light exposure and a totally frozen uh speed light exposure so you could have frozen and blurry saying picture it's crazy isn't it sort of awesome alright I s o is going to control sensitivity still going to control sensitivity we're going to forget about s o for a second so what controls the ambien exposure well we're talking about flash generally what people will tell you is the aperture controls the flash exposure and the shutter controls the ambient light exposure that is not exactly true because the aperture is still going to impact the app of the ambient light but what you can do though is slow the shutter down to get mohr ambient light and speeded up to get less ambient light so let's do that really fast so lex is going to come back out and we're going to shoot emanuel mode like we're gonna actually have you stand a little bit farther away from those lights like this and put this really close so that we can really control how this stuff is working I did turn my flash on this time hey that it works we don't want I photo to come up here quit okay no problem no problem so what we're gonna do here is going to shoot in manual mode in manual mode what I'm doing is I'm telling the camera I'm gonna manually exposed the ambient light but you go ahead and still do your tio mentoring for the flash so that's what's happening in that scenario so what I'm going to do is I'm shooting right now I'm going to shoot at f eleven so I'm sort of restricting the ambient light and I'm shooting at two hundredth of a second in two hundredth of a second the fastest I can shoot normally with this flash because of that sink speed I think we're gonna find out with speed like you could go even faster than two hundred because we all know that you're like wait a second I can shoot really fast that's called something else so here's what we're going to take a shot of lex and the background lamps and what we have here is just lex we have no background lamps coming up here there we have it we've got just the lexx so what I'm going to do is I'm on ly going to take my shutter speeds right now the shutter speed is at two hundred of a second I'm going to take that shutter speed I must slow it down to one hundred I'm slowing it down to one hundred perfect could click and now we're going to see is the lamps are starting to peak in to this shot so it's coming in here in a second now we're starting to see those lamps little bit I'm going to take this now and I'm gonna slow my shutter speed down to thirtieth of a second so do that perfect you can hear that shutter getting slower and slower right and so now with this one we're going to see a little bit more of those lamps and I'm going to keep on going on I go down teo cm is going to meet her this like you go down to a sixth of a second sixth of a second room thought my flash did not fire flash did not fire her my batteries went dead on my flash there it goes yeah so a sixth of a second what we're getting that's the flash didn't fire is now we have lots of lamps and lex so by slowing my shutter down or speeding my shut her up I am effectively under exposing or exposing correctly the backgrounds that's why uh is commonly said that the shutter is what's affecting ambient light on one of the things we can do just to show you I said that you can have a blurry image and a still image we're gonna have you go back into those just a little bit about right there and I'm gonna leave this at uh let's do maybe fifteenth of a second and I am going and can you do this because you're much there you you're tall I'm actually gonna kinda go leaving slower than that okay so watch what happens here on this the second shot here we're actually going to have the lamps in the background so not that one the next one coming up so what happened was because the shutter was so slow I actually blurred those lamps but lex is not blurred because she's only illuminated by the flash and the flash's fired so quickly that she's not blurry pretty cool to totally different exposures and you can control those independent of another so the other thing I want you to do is go like this really fast in front of your face really really fast so this is a sixth of a second maybe yeah sixth of a second and she moved her hand really fast watch what happens to her hand totally frozen right we are seeing a little bit of ah ah blur around the edge notice her hand right here it looks like it's transparent so it's not the blur from her hand what's happening is when she was doing this I feel like michael jackson doing this flash fired and then she kept moving and some of the ambulance came through and that's how we have a transparent hand and so a lot of people think you're um send me notes saying what happened I was shooting a picture of my kid in my living room or whatever and I got a ghost I'm sure you've everybody has seen this if they have used any kind of flash with your camera we'll get like ghost child or ghost person and you'll have you know a room with these people that are sort of ghosted and what's happening is the shutter speed is really slow and as people are moving flash fires and freezes them but then they keep going and mohr of the ambient light comes through and so you get ghosts that's what's happening they're two different exposures it's pretty cool okay we're going to keep going here I think we just did yeah we we just did this demo that works let me show you some quick adjustments that you can make using a speedo now remember I am going over like this is the highest of high levels because to go into how the candid camera works versus the night converses the sony they're very similar but they behave a little bit differently and so the speed lights one of one of course we're going so why have you come out just a little bit perfect actually I could do some very very quick adjustments and these adjustments are um consistent to most cameras so I'm gonna put this in aperture priority mode and the way aperture priority mode is goingto work is it is going to try to always balance the background with the speed light that's how that works but it will drop the shutter speed is lows it needs to go and sometimes on a canon camera it'll go so slow that you can get that background blurred image a nikon camera's most of them there's a safety and on aperture party mode with a flash it will only drop to about a sixtieth of a second and so you it prevents having backgrounds that are blurred you can override that in nikon cameras and you can do that in manual mode on a cannon but that's one of the big differences between the two but what I'm going to hear is I am going teo very quickly adjust the exposure on my background nikon people this does not work for you sorry you can't do this an aperture party mode so don't be frustrated it works if you do manual mode um so here we go so all I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take my first shot take my exposure compensation down by negative three bam and then I'm gonna take my exposure compensation up by three and I want to show you what has happened wei have three different shots one two three one two three here we go what's happening on this first shot this is exposed correctly on this shot I took my exposure compensation down by three stops so what it did is it just took the background and it under exposed that and left lex exposed the exact same way so just by using exposure compensation on a canon camera you can adjust the background exposure pretty darn quickly this when I said over exposed and everything is over exposed so rarely do you say exposure compensation plus for the background because it can recap iq on everything in the scene so that is a really really quick way to change the background nikon people if you want to do this just shoot in manual mode and use your in through the lens metering and shoot s o meter the background and then all you have to do is roll the shutter slower or faster than the exact same thing that's that's all you have to do okay for the opposite of that so we're going to take a couple shots of lex ever bring you out just a little bit more what I'm going to do here is there something called flash exposure compensation and that is usually set either on the remote control or it's set on the flash itself and on different makes and models of flash you'll have to find on a lot of nikon cameras there's a little button on the side that you push and that's where you do flash exposure compensation so it's different on different makes and models and we don't have twenty minutes to go through all twenty different makes and models read your manual there's a flash exposure compensation dial somewhere on your flash or under camera so what we'll do is first we're going to take a shot of lex and the background bam and oh I still have my exposure compensation to plus so let me reset that you set that good okay now on this shot here so this this shot coming up next not the overexposed one that I did on purpose on accident okay we've got a great show this looks business look like coming to bennigan's where we have great fries it's sort of cool like this the exposure on her face is just a little bright because what's happening is the tcl meet oring is trying to compensate for all of this dark behind her and so the flash is actually throwing too much light on her face so what I'm doing is I'm pushing this little button taking my flash exposure compensation which flash exposure compensation here we go down by stop they will take a shot them and then I'm gonna take this down by two stops and will take a shot and I'll take it down by three stops don't think shot okay so much fun so let's take a peek at these three shots and you can see how it's all do all four I guess you can see how we're changing the output of the light on her face lots of light enough light not very much like fact these two last one's here look identical because what's happening is the ambient light is bright enough that the flash really isn't making an impact to the scene so that's what's happening in this was completely dark in here we would probably see greater difference between those two things all right what questions do we have so far thank you we have lots of questions or no questions lots let's have those questions because this is a really good time to dive into that anything from the studio audience no they look pretty good yeah okay so like mark we're getting a handful of people about talking about how what you're using to communicate with the flashes new york new york wants to know if I'm using a speed light on manual mode triggered by a pocket wizard doesn't matter what the esso on f stop is to set on the speed light itself okay so let's take a detour on triggering remote flash is um there are several ways that you can do this um if you want to use tt l meet a ring with the remote flash when it's not connected to your camera your options are you can use the proprietary system from cannon or nikon cannon has a radio trigger which is what I'm using right now and it's excellent so it's actually this flash thinks it's on the camera itself so it's behaving as if it was on the camera and this controller mimics what I could see on the back of this flash so it's as if this flashes on the camera but we don't want the flash on the camera because we get nasty light we want to take it off and modify and all that kind of stuff so you can use the proprietary cannon system nikon has its own system a cz well and what it does is it uses either the pop up flash or a remote commander teo trigger remote flash and uses light to do that cannons older system used on infrared light which was notoriously bad because as soon as you put it a soft box or something on this little front sensor on the flash now this guy is here is to since communication from another flash it can't see it and so it's it's highly unreliable or if you put it around a corner behind a wall you can't trigger this flash because you can't see the signal that's why radio is a much better way to do that it's a line of sight is basically what can in an icon of use for years so actually had some kind of light that would tell this light what to dio and uh it was pretty good but it would break down in bright sunlight wouldn't work behind walls etcetera and so about two thousand nine I believe pocket wizard came out with the pocket wizard minnie and flex and they allow a nikon and canon cameras to use radios to control remote flashes using tt l and a bunch of advanced functionality and stuff and so those were the first radio triggers the pretty expensive but they're excellent we have some here actually on dh then cannon came out with her own system about two years ago for radio and so I'm using the cannon system but those are the options you can use pocket wizards you can use cannon or nikon proprietary stuff then there's another pocket wizard system that and maybe john you can grab just my couple of plus threes there there's a box um they uh there's another pocket with your system which is used mainly in studio lighting and all it does is there's a radio signal that goes from the the camera to the flash and just tells the flash to fire that's it and so what you have to do is you have to go into the flash and put it in manual mode and thank you it looks like this so this little guy here would actually have a little plug plugs into the side of the speed light usually a dangling off the side here something like that there's another one of these on the camera and all it does is say a flash and so what you have to do is you lose the ability to use the through the lens meet a ring for your flash you have to adjust everything manually and use a light meter to figure out how bright that light should be and they essentially become studio strobes so what happens and so the question is do you need to adjust esso and aperture is that right that was the original question okay so um you don't really have to know that so on and I'm guessing this person is a nikon shoot because I'm nikon flashes sb nine hundred and ninety nine tens you can use these things called you can basically tell the flash hey I'm fifteen feet away I'm shooting s o two hundred my amateur is five six and the flash will know how much power to output to get a proper exposure it's old school but you don't need to do that when you have pocket wizards because you could just use a light meter and put it in full manual mode and adjust that so that's how they were going to think about it in terms of a studio strobe you going to do after lunch that's how that would work okay what's the next question next question is from christine rose photography who would like to know if you have your strobes on the lowest setting and want to get okay but you cannot open your aperture enough without the picture being over exposed what is the best way to get this look okay say that one more time so we have too much light coming in you know what if you have your strokes on the lowest setting and you want to get okay oh the boca okay we're not we're not having this conversation we're not having this okay book book covers like okay I'm okay are you okay no way that we're going to get this so start in the chat rooms what if you have your stroke on the lowest setting and want to get out of focus background okay but you cannot open your aperture enough without the picture being over exposed what is the best way to get this look a neutral density filter is what you should use and we're gonna do that if it doesn't rain even it doesn't so neutral density filter what you could do is its sun glasses for your for your cameron so if you're shooting to get great boca at one point two and are some wide open aperture and there's too much light streaming and yeah you just put sunglasses and it knocks down that light and so uh it'll fix the exposure and the filter I use is called a neutral density variable neutral neutral density filter and so you can actually roll this to get it you can actually look through the lens and see the light meter moving it works great and so that's that's what you should use is a neutral density filter to get boca I'm going to get beat up after this and feel it okay all right what's next we're good we're good we're good okay so let's talk about a couple things that we have in common potato potato boca okay um there we go all right things we have in common good um with ambient light the shutter controls the duration of light with the flash the flash put controls the duration of right light with ambient light aperture controls the quantity it still controls a quantity in flash with ambient light so controls sensitivity and it also controls the sensitivity in a flash and so let's say the opposite is true that you're trying to shoot with a large soft box or something and you don't have enough light so it's not the neutral density problem it's we just don't have enough light to illuminate the subject because the flash can't throughout enough light well you could do a couple things to help that you can just increase your s o and that is going teo make the flash of the camera more sensitive to the light from the flash and the light from the ambient exposure and so what you would do is let's say your flash outputs at a hundred percent and you're under exposed by a stop you could increase your s o from let's say s o one hundred two hundred and now your flash is going to be just fine and then you would take your shutter and you would increase it by a stop tio compensate for the difference in that or you could uh compensate by changing your shutter by a stop but if you do that guess what now you're flash has to have more output because thie aperture is also controlling the flash that makes sense so you're like oh I'll just increase my s o and then I'm just find what you find is now the flash is fine but now the ambient light is overexposed and if you don't have enough room to go on your shutter then you've got another problem for you might have to keep doing those adjustments so it's it's good to know what happens when you adjust each of these things

Class Description

This comprehensive collection of CreativeLive’s most informative and hands-on lighting segments will prepare you to walk into any lighting situation and take a great photograph. 

 In SkillSet: Best of Lighting, you’ll watch clips from classes taught by leading photographers as they tackle a whole range of lighting challenges. Featuring some of our best moments, you’ll learn about: shaping natural light, working with unpredictable wedding lighting, managing speedlights and getting the most of out of your studio lights. You’ll also get a run down on lighting theory and fundamentals. And you’ll hear it from industry influencers: Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, and Joel Grimes. 

 If you just started dabbling in photography and want to kick-start your lighting education, or if you're a seasoned photographer wanting to add new tips, tricks, or tools to your toolbox, you'll find just the thing you need in our lighting compilation.​ 

Love what you are learning? Go to the instructor's page to purchase the original class.


1Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie 2Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie 3Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan 4Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie 5Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1 6Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2 7Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3 8Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light 9Mark Wallace: Position of Light 10Mark Wallace: Intro To Flash Photography 11Mike Fulton: Using the Flash in Auto Modes 12Mike Fulton: Slow Speed Sync 13Mike Fulton: On Camera TTL and High Speed Sync 14Roberto Valenzuela: Multiple Speedlights 15Roberto Valenzuela: Multiple Speedlights with Multiple Subjects 16Scott Robert Lim: Creating Drama 17Tony Corbell: Light Control and Shaping 18Tony Corbell: Beauty Dishes, Softboxes, Reflectors 19Tony Corbell: Live Demos with Lighting Tools 20Tony Corbell: Tools of Light Q & A 21Clay Blackmore: Basic Posing 22Clay Blackmore: Refining and Lighting the Pose 23Clay Blackmore: Posing Two People 24Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 1 25Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 2 26Zack Arias: Gear, Money, and Building Your Studio 27Joey L: Using One Light on Location 28Joey L: Using Two Lights on Location 29Zack Arias: Modifiers: Octabank, Softbox, Strip Bank, Umbrella 30Zack Arias: Modifiers: Reflector, Grids, White Beauty Dish, Etc 31Sue and Felix: Shoot Studio Light - Backlight 32Sue and Felix: Studio Backlight and Lens Flare 33Joel Grimes: Photographing Motion 34Joel Grimes: Shoot: Athlete in Motion


Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.