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Mike Fulton: Using the Flash in Auto Modes

Lesson 11 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Mike Fulton: Using the Flash in Auto Modes

Lesson 11 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

11. Mike Fulton: Using the Flash in Auto Modes


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Mike Fulton: Using the Flash in Auto Modes

camera mode I think is the greatest would say the greatest but one of the greatest problems that a lot of people fight over a cz well you're going to find that I shoot in a remote lots of times outside and people were like oh no you can't you can't be all manual if you're gonna be professional you can't shoot in any automatic mode well teach their own for me again the cameras so much smarter than me that I'm going to use the technology that's built into it in the mathematics that it can do in the formula equating that it can do to my advantage and so we're going to talk about that in this segment we're going to do some example some live shooting in this segment on dh I want you to understand and get past that hindrance that especially and no offence I'm a board directors of the people a I think it's one of the greatest organisations in the world for photographers and not the greatest but when I first got in a lot of people told me that I had to shoot manual and I just didn't agree with...

that and so I want to build the confidence that there's multiple ways that you can do the same thing and whatever works for you as long as you understand the pros and cons of that method and work around it to get to the final product who cares who cares because that's our goal is the photographer is to make photograph and it should be enjoyable and so you should be able to do it the way you want if you're a manual person by all means be manual but try the other methods so again we're going to get into it but in like in our three day workshops I have two types of people I have ones that are coming in that wanna learn and I have some that have been around for forty years and they know everything I'm saying but I'm not teaching with technique I'm rebooting their brain and that's what I want to do hopefully with you guys here and with you guys and the audience online is if you understand one way I just want you to trust me allow yourself to think of another way of doing photography without closing yourself off and not allowing a possible new technique to come in okay so let's talk about again cannon and I kind of put it up here they're almost the exact same there's hardly any difference in the little modes and the little different buttons or anything else there sports there's active there's no difference guys so so again let's get past that part auto we're gonna go over the different modes of your camera just really really easy we're gonna go over this section right here this is maura of your choose your settings yourself take various types of photographs this is where I want you guys to be sooner or later if you're not here today this is where I want you to work toward and we'll go into that a little bit later auto mode this is where I want you to get away from when it comes to flash if you're you in natural light it's okay it could work I don't suggest it but it has more advantages there if you're using a flash it couldn't really hinder your work and we're gonna talk about why it happens easy mode you can easily shoot just by pressing the shutter button I don't want you on this at all at all I want you to challenge yourself that's not a challenge with one thing in life especially photography is if you don't continually to challenge yourself you're going to fall behind someone's going to pass you by so I want youto always continue to challenge stuff because I've been in the business for twenty years at friends have been the business for forty years and we're still learning and that's the beauty of photography but you have to force yourself to learn so don't ever in a sense to take the easy mode movie mode and scenic mode or on a lot of cameras we're not even gonna worry about those two today because that's not what this class is about and we're not going to worry about the easy mode I talked about so I want you to get away from those and we're going to move into the other modes again I talked about auto mode again if you're on it I understand but I really want you to get away from it and I want to get you into the creative aspect of it so we're gonna really concentrate our camera settings on these settings here our camera the sex annalise satins because this is where I want you to go with it all right so we're going to start off with the p which is also shutter speed automatically this is the program mowed a lot of people still make fun of it if you're a pro photographer and it's kind of the auto but not quite his auto but it automatically set your camera at the camera's maximum flash sink speed which is generally one two hundred or one to fiftieth of a second I don't like that right there I don't like automatically setting my flash anything my shutter speed for my maximum of anything I don't like photography there's no generals a mean there's no exacts and everything so I could literally go into one place and you could go into the same place we have the same model the same camera the same lens the same everything and we're going to different fleet images because you're still taking the photo so this is why I don't like the piece because it's automatic and it really standardizes you as an artist and I really want you to kind of get away from that so shutter speed again so the f stop is the shutter speed automatically gets set your flashing speed and then the f stop automatically sets the camera's f stop according to the cameras built in programming so again it's doing the fastest shutter speed you can possibly get away with and then set in the f stop to give you that proper balance of exposure depending on what you're photographing again the main concept behind the p mode is that flash photography is the camera tries to set the highest shutter speed that you can hold with your camera by hand held and not rely on a tripod well that's kind of nice that's that's good but we're gonna talk about ways that you can get around this that really is not needed in just a minute so again if you're on p I want you to open up and I want you to get away from it and once you get to one of these other ones so tv which is shutter priority of shutter speed it can set the shutter speed between thirty seconds in the camera's maximum sink speed so I like this because giving you options now it's not just set automatic on anything and I think that's a that's a key to this whole concept and then the f stop it automatically sets the match the shutter speed that you have said so if you set and have stopped whatever it's gonna balance everything out this is good I use it occasionally I'm not gonna lie every once in a while do use the shutter priority but the one that I like it explains what is in this mode the camera works in phil flash mode which is winning tv mode it always tries to expose the back ground adequately well yes e absolutely can never do that of course um if I'm a situation where I need to freeze action I'm going to go to this mode because I can set my shutter speed toe what I needed to be the fastest and then allow myself stopped automatically set itself and I only need to worry about one one of those two items again as we said right before break the less mathematics I need to think about the better photographer I could be which is why I like some of these settings so if I'm in a situation where I don't need to worry about the depth of field or the depth of field is not as important as me freezing the action or the speed of what I'm photographing I would use this month but most the time I'm going to use this mood I'm in a rage he mode is nikon navy's cannon no different this is what I like when I'm outside when I'm outside and we'll explain why in just a second automatically set thirty seconds in the camera's maximum seek speed to match the lin's aperture you have set I like shallow depth of field several reasons one I think it draws attention to whatever I'm photographing if it's a portrait of a person but to a big big difference is if you're in those automatic settings it's going to set your flashing speed to set and then your f stop is going to be a eleven of sixteen it's a huge depth of field so most people out there that are not professional lt's are gonna set a huge depth of field and so everything in their image is going to be in focus you have this with shallow depth of field it completely looks like a different image your clients they're going to go wait a minute I can't do this I don't understand how they got this shallow depth of field and it's going to give more validity to you being a professional in their eyes plus I can control my depth of field if I have a groom which we're going to do some examples later on I think tomorrow especially we're gonna have a couple will have to like depth of field I want to have a bride and focus I wanna have a groom a little soft focus I can do that here I can change my iife stop from to eight took maybe five six give me a little more depth of field and then my shutter speed is going to keep up with me and that's important to me on dh generally if you're shooting wide open and we're gonna talk about how we can do that you're gonna have a very fast shutter speed so we don't need the tripod anymore because it one again we're going to get into high speed sink but it won to thousands of a second I'm not going to have a shake in my image and so to me that really opened up a whole because I learned on a tripod shooting very slow one sixteenth of a second had to have a tripod her everything was gonna be blurry and it limit me I got great images but it limited my versatility and my movement aspect so once you can kind of get away off that tripod it really allows you a lot more mobility again you can set the f stop aperture to whatever you like and we just talked about that and here's the main thing about that is in this mode if the shutter speed is some really low number so that you need a tripod to avoid cameras shaped blur this is why I don't use this inside I get away from a rave e mode on the inside because it's going to give me a I ship set the f stop and even in low light at two eight if you have a zoom to eight you're going maybe one tenth of a second one twentieth of a second on your shutter speed it's going to shake tremendously as a general rule of thumb and if you guys I know we talked earlier you were you shot films so you might remember this it was a general of thumb a lot of digital photographers have forgotten this golden rule whatever millimeter your folks you're shooting it whatever your lenses that is the slowest shutter speed you should ever shoot without getting handshake so if you're shooting a one hundred millimeter leon's the slowest your shutter speed should be is one one hundredth of a second any slower than that you will get movement in your images just by holding your camera now if you work around with I s r v r that's been developed the image stabilization that's in some of the lenses of canada nikon but as a general I don't want to rely on that remember that golden rule and you're going to be fine this is why so many people I don't know if you have it when I get it all the time because we photograph lots of little league so we have a volume business and everything else and I'm out there and people coming up looking at cameras and you know we shoot our little leagues with maybe a sixty or seventy d not the biggest baddest camera out because you don't need to and so they're coming up with their mark freeze or you know they're bigger cameras and they and they they want to talk to me about all the stuff and then they have the inexpensive like seventy two three hundred five point six linz and they want to know why they're getting horrible photographs in low light they're like oh it works great during the day but when this when the baseball field lights are on I don't get any images they're all blurry and this is why because they're zoomed into three hundred millimeters then the light goes down and they only can get about one one hundredth of a second on the shutter and every image is blurry so remember that it is a very very valuable tool especially if you're shooting low light and we're gonna talk about that in a second for and even show you examples like in reception hall if you don't have flash it's going to be blurry and if you do have flash was going to show the background will be blurry so just remember that so shutter speed camera mode how they affect the flash so this you can set the shutter speed in manual mode and you said it to anything you want so if I'm not in a v ray mode I'm in manual mode on my camera those the two mode is that ninety nine percent of the time I shoot the only a few times would be in the tv movie shutter priority which we talked about I don't mind manual I enjoy manual but outside when I'm a navy mode if I only have changed one thing I set my f stop where I wanted to be if the sun comes out it's gonna automatically just my shutter speed for the proper exposure and if the clouds come over the sun it's gonna lower my shutter speed forget the exact same exposure I don't have to think about all this emmanuel so emmanuel if I'm into ate all the time and that happens I'm constantly looking in my light meter in my camera adjusting my shutter speed to get proper exposure so I literally a navy mode and take two shots and two different complete lighting environments and have the exact same exposure where emmanuel and constantly changing so I just had to buy a v outside because of the wedding environment that I learned this in because things happen fast and I didn't wanna have to constantly keep changing all my lighting situations on my camera and sometimes it's so bright it were photographing on the beach because we live on the beach I can't even see my meter in my camera let's really shove it to my face I have glasses that was a hindrance for me I don't want to take off my glasses and then I would lose my glasses so it was even it was even harder to do that exactly that yeah so manu is great you can set the shutter speed anywhere between thirty seconds and cameras maximum sink speed they have stopped you consented anything so obviously manual you khun set you complete control this in the film days was absolutely a necessity you had to do it this way off camera lighting and the technique that we're really going to start getting into the end of today and all day tomorrow is the way that I teach it is really a digital world technique it allows you to take the most of this digital camera that we have and use it to its full phyllis because you get that instant feedback I can teach people studio lighting and thirty minutes what took me half a year to learn before infield days because I don't have to do any measurements I don't we get that instant feedback so it really really this technique we're going to be showing you was really really valuable to today's modern technique so for flash again we talked about we want to stay manual we're inside in low light and that's kind of where we're going to go with this segment so we're gonna actually takes the shots here in a minute with our model we got a few more slides but we're going to concentrate on manual mode we wanted basically slow down the shutter speed because we haven't got above flashing speed yet so in the old days my camera flashing speed was one sixty of the second today's most of your cameras or between one two hundred so if you have like the five day march to the mark three for candidates won two hundredth of a second if you have the sixty seventy eighty garcia and he's not even out yet if you have those it's one two fifty three seconds and then icons most number one to fifty if some of you can even go a little higher but so generally or between the one two hundred one to fifty per second you can't get above that with your flash think speed or with your use flash photography and we'll show you some examples of what happens when you do so and then a v mobile more outside when there's plenty of light so when I'm going outside tomorrow when we shoot on the roof I'm gonna be a navy mode I'll be or a mode if you're not gone and I'm going to set my f stop toe what I wanted to be and I'm going to allow the camera set the shutter speed to what it wants to be because of that point I don't really care what the shutter speed is it it's going to be brought enough it's going it's going to freeze my action because I care about the depth of field that's what I worry about you that's what I want to control I want to control how much of the skyline of seattle icy or the roof or whatever I wanna have in the background it could be you know the church if you're shooting the wedding it could be the you know the pier if you're on a beach in my environment where I'm from we have the runoff of the mississippi river everything on my beach is ugly were the very back of the gulf of mexico from the tip of florida to the peninsula of mexico and so everything that gets fallen off a ship comes up on my beach as well so it's very brown it's very sane is very muddy and then on top of that we have the largest chemical plant in the western hemisphere in my backyard so it's not real romantic for me to get out on the beach and you see trash brown water brown sand and the big chemical plant in the background I couldn't use a reflector because I'm on a beach it's fifteen miles an hour wind on a good day because that's a kite in my area so I had to learn to use a flash but then my problem was I had to learn how should get that depth of field out that's why I use a v outside I could blur that bag ran out so if I am in the evening and you see the lights of the chemical plant now they're just blurt out beautiful lights of golden lights in the background you can't tell what it is and so by me being able to control that depth of field really became an empowering tool for my photography where are the other way around it just you saw the trash on the beach and you saw the chemical plant in the background and it just wasn't nears attractive so manual mode inside a gravy mode outside when you get below that golden rule of whatever millimeter I'm shooting at my shutter speed automatic get below that that's when you switch over to manual mode on your camera does that make sense I want to make sure that's clear because we always have our students that say that and I workshops and then they go I don't want my photos of blurry and then they go well you're all navy boat and it's it's ten o'clock at night so it's not gonna happen okay so slow sink dragging the shutter is anyone ever tried this it's not the easiest but it's not the hardest I could like this I just took my dad to the masters it was his dream we just got back from masters golf tournament and I quibble eight slow sink dragon a shudder to the game of golf it's the easiest thing to do but it's the hardest to be good at and so it takes practice and so when you actually do this technique it's very creative you can do a lot with it in camera which again we talked about before I like to do as much as I can in camera I don't like to uh rely on photoshopped photo shop is a great tool fact I've learned a lot from the creative live photo shop classes but I still have to get us much as I can in the camera I don't want my life to change I don't want to have to change the posing I want to get all my lining and my posing down and exposure properly and then fine tuning in photo shop and so dragging the shutter does that but there's several examples here and I wanted to show you what the concept is extremely slow shutter speed we're in manual mode on our camera extremely slow shutter speed and the flash the subject is close enough to the flash on your camera this is not an off camera technique it's an on camera technique so the flash will freeze the action and then we're the flash falls off that's the blurriness that's where the slow that's where the handshake comes into play does that make sense so you're going to slow your shutter speed down depending on what lin jia yue's I suggest you use a wider lens because that allows me a slower shutter speed because if I'm shooting at seventy millimeters I can only go to one seventh of the second but if I shoot a sixteen millimeter I could goto one fifteenth of a second and not really have any handshake just by taking the photograph and that one fifteenth of second is going to allow a lot more ambient light in that dark room does that make sense yes sir would you be turning off your image stabilization then to use this technique that is a very very good question generally yes I would I would turn off most the time I don't even use image stabilization to be honest it really it on a long wedding day or along wedding it really eats up your battery I have a great friend who was my mentor in sports photography named bob levy out of houston he is a unbelievable sports photographer and I used to shoot on the sidelines with them side by side in the texans texans games and I was there and I had my camera same assumed I had a four hundred millimeter to eight samos him and he came over to meaning halfway through the game of batteries halfway danny looks alright when he turns up my eyes and he goes you're just wasting it's just a waste of battery power don't have it and it never hit me until then there just because I haven't doesn't mean I need to use it all the time and so start concentrating on what the pros and cons of those tools are and just use what you really need and don't have all the bells and whistles and so on that story I was standing on the sidelines in the corner and I had the time I think it was the mark camera two like seven eight frames a second and here comes the play and I just unloaded just released the camera and just let it fly and he goes click and I go what and he looked at my images and I met there was a ball there and in the balls aren't in his arms and I looked at him and it was just on his fingertips and that's when I realized there's also again technique there's an art behind this I can teach you all this site and that's what we're going to go over the next two days but it's still up to you as the photographer to change the way you shoot to change the science in the arts and that's what I'm going to try to hopefully relais upon you I'm gonna give you the science I'm gonna work two days to give you the science but I really want you to take that and expand and go into the the art aspects of it so here it is this is the settings for that one eighth of a second I'm shooting with the sixteen millimeter linds one eighth of a second so very slow I'm going to get handshake three two f stop because that lands at the time I know it was not real sharp it to eight so I put it up to three two and then a high rise you're gonna want to use the lowest aya so possible to get away with the shot that you need there's no exact science behind that today's new cameras you can get away with a lot more so that you could in the old days I know you had your mommy um medium format and if we got above eight hundred it was grainy grainy grainy and today I'll forget leaving on sixteen hundred all day long and there's no difference I mean is a huge advantage in low light so my suggestion is set your settings your camera your f stop and your shutter speed where you want it for this technique take a shot natural light and be it just bring in the ambience and if it's too dark you raise your eyes so keep raising it until you get to where you like the ambient light the background and then you leave your camera settings alone yes but you mentioned that you this would be an on camera flash technique absolutely why could you not have off camera flash giving you assuming that is pointing directly at your subject it is pointing directly at yourself then you're going to be off the side you need you technically can it can work better results will be on camera so I guess that's more of a clarification because if you notice in this image you notice in this image they're in the centre you put him in the center each time and that's what you want you want to put him in the center and allow the blurriness to go around because again this technique is not easy you're going to get everybody blurry lots of times and so you'll take fifty shots and get one good win it first and then you'll take fifty and you get five good ones then you take fifteen you get ting do because that's the way it needs to work you'll probably never get above thirty because I still don't but because you get to slow a shutter speed you get too fast and we're going to show you how to do this in just a second show you a lot of failures and if you notice this image has the zoom and the other one had a twist until there's multiple techniques you can also do with this you can even get more creative if you want if you have a tripod I know a lot of people the state of texas you go to the capital and they zoom in and out when they're doing that with long exposures I mean you really can get some creative stuff with this so but it's a general you said your f stop I mean shutter speed you said your f stop and then you raise your eyes so to allow for the room light does that make sense and then you keep your subject in the center and then you twist zoom with the lands and we're going to go over all that because that way everything is going to blow around them and they're going to be focused on the centre it also allowed you do a creative crop in post if you want to do that just depends on what you want to do in photo shop for like room or whatever you can you can put him off to the side and three three quarters whatever whatever you want to do the point is you get it focused you get him in the center because if you put him off the side it's just like anything else especially if you twist the center is going to stay the same the outside is going to be very blurry so the farther they get on the outside the more blurry they're going to be become they're going to go does that make sense he wasn't out when you notice in the center in the center just all that did here was just zoom the lens and when I took that took the image resumed it out and so as I took the shutter and that between that one sixteenth of a second assume the limbs and that's what's giving you the blur back here very slow shutter speeds flash on camera it's not about the whole skins of making a world renowned winning image it's about a technique because you're going to take tons of photos of them just dancing but if you get him on the dance floor like the shot before and it shows movement it adds a little more life to it especially if you have a really boring wedding because then the broad's gonna go how do you remember all these people dancing I'm like yeah there was one song they dance for half a song and you got fifty images and you do a couple like this it really adds to the whole portfolio of your of your presentation so it's a very easy thing but the problem is there's lots of false to this he noticed should be changed on each one of them because it depends on what linds I'm using it depends on how much blur I want if you get too much blur if you twist it too much you'll have lights that go over their face there's a lots of little things that could go wrong so when you do this technique expected no that that's gonna happen and just keep practicing questions okay kind of review we want to be in manual mode inside and low like a or a b mode outside with lots of light when it drops below the hand whatever millimeter you're using your shutter speed drops below that you go into manual makes it man you're concentrating a lot

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Ratings and Reviews

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.

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