Brett Florens: Let's Talk About Lighting
Let's talk a little bit about lighting and about creating images really from nothing so one location ten minutes for the whole sequence to be shot uh different results and results that may be a little bit unexpected so in the old days when we were shooting film your rule of thumb wass the son needs to be behind you shining into the subject's face now why does that need to happen it's because you are going to get correct exposure that's pretty much about it it is going to be a horrible image you've got the bride or your subject this is not only about weddings is about anything you've got two subjects squinting into the light um you've got these big panda I kind of effect over herewith recognize like super dark it's you've got a strong highlights strong shadows and you've got midterms so in terms of your in terms of your history graham and your exposure spot on but it's just not great lighting so what you could do uh collapsible reflector is very, very cool this is this is uh I've only j...
ust received this probably six months ago I started using these about six months ago and the cool thing about them on you'll see that on the next slide I'm using a really great big scream but you don't have to use that you could use one of these because all I'm really doing is uh wanting to shade that diffuse the light so that the subject is from here upwards so that I can create an image. Now, let's, just keep in mind that very first picture we saw dark shadows doggy. So if we move on that day already, I'm charging fifteen percent more twenty percent more as a photographer, because the difference between that first image and that image is oh, my gosh, it's amazing! But what is it, it's, a it's, a it's, a scrim, diffusing the light over her? It is very flat lighting it's very much a great big giant soft box over her, so you don't have a huge amount ofthe contrast, but what you could do, and I've got a slide a little later doesn't show this exactly, but because of the amazing the grip side of things I used teo, you'll see in the slides, I've got the round one, a circular one as well, but you have to have two hands to hold that. The cool thing about this one, you can hold it with one hand, so if you've got an assistant with two hands, which most assistants have, you can shave her with the one and bounce you have the reflective surface on the other and bounced the light into her, so you got more shape and more texture to the to the side of the face and bringing in some contracts because there's not too much contrast it's still a beautiful shot so if that's what you like cool girlfriend okay so what do we do now to combat that horrible lighting from the front? These images were all sort of ten o'clock in the morning the worst time off the day to go and shoot on the beach with all this you know a reflection coming off off the sand it's really not nice so what are we going to do now? We turn the bride around so she's backlit right bank take a shot she's a little dark in the front the there aren't many mid times she's dark in the front the back ground is light so it's a very high contrast image what we going to do here to compensate for that there's a couple of ways that you can do that you can compensate for that on the top off your camera and on the cannons anybody here should come in okay, you've got there dile that you can change your exposure value with on the mickens the button is over here and what I just to talk about where the buttons are on your camera how many times do you have teo look at your buttons to know that your exposure value button is over there once so when you're shooting you can look at the image and go okay it's a little over exposed underexposed back up to their and change it on the fly changing day don't be like because that just looks as if you don't have much confidence in your equipment so I'm gonna be like okay cool that's beautiful good all right good job okay that's nice if I look at that I seconded to change my so bang I just put my annoyed that my buttons over there it sounds a little it sounds a little extreme but sit there watching tv and say okay I want to change from aptitude to manual let me see if I can do that without looking at the buttons it's kind of like an assess and putting his gun together so practice so you know where that is like when you're driving a car you know that gilly is over there so you know get to know your camera so that it looks as if you're competent alone time and you're not like okay but that's just that's just brand awareness as well but I noticed you used a captured priority and most of time when do you use menu use manual when I'm shooting with flash we have shooting with the external flash I'll shoot with it with manual you saw on the roof I shot with shutter priority as well so that my my shutter didn't exceed two fifty I even use programme mode as well sometimes you know if I if I just quickly pick up the camera and I need to shoot something is happening over there bank taking on priority mod party programme mode you can also change your appetite on on program you can still go to two point eight and you've actually effectively changed it to appetite authority if you wanted to s o I shit on all of the different modes I know that people are are you really going to shoot on manual nikon cannon a ll the brand's they're not going to invest billions of dollars in creating these amazing light meeting systems if they don't work, I wish you'd done matrix like meeting system you saw how beautiful those those images where I didn't have to do anything in the camera equipment is so incredible these days you just pick it up and you fire away so I used epitope priority used shut a priority and I used all of them the same as the white balance side of things you know use the different allocated programs of its cloudy shoot tony if it's sunny should sonny if you shooting with flash flash unless you want like if you're a bit seedy then going shoot on kelvin and just as you're doing so many people should order white balance it's like if you shoot one shot auto want balance is cool right now great background if you shooting from there take a picture of me right now one shot walter white balance bang you look at everything okay that's pretty cool but I'm wearing a blue shirt the camera is automatically going to see that blue shirt if you're on order white balance and it's going to give a little bit mohr yellow to compensate for the blue so my skin tone might be a little yellow you're going to come into the shot exactly the same lighting exactly the same place no difference you wearing a red top auto white balance is going to see that red top and throw in some green to balance that rate on your skin tone is going to be green my skin tone is going to be yellow so what are white balance is fantastic for one shot you know I'm not going to rely on auto white balance if I'm shooting all types of different image I want a constant white balance for each scenario, so I'm going to monitor how my white balance changes, but if I'm shooting indoors with tungsten, I'll put it on and then I go outdoors and I'm shooting in the shade ill shouldn't shade because they won't speak camera cos weinstein billions off dollars creating all this technology and we don't use it or we shoot manual, you know, so yeah okay all right so what you can do to combat the fact that it's dark in the front and you don't have much detail it it's too much shadow you going teo use your exposure compensation button you press that button you're going up on your exposure compensation and with experience you will know how much to go up so I'll look at a scene and I go okay look atyou know on us okay well the light's quite strong behind you maybe two thirds of a stopover well maybe three stops over sometimes you know and if you've got a good glass you shooting with great glass seventy two two hundred two point eight the nick on version I can go and over exposed by three stops and I'm not going to get a ll this ghosting that that happens with inferior lenses I'm going to get a crisp beautiful shot with the backgrounds completely blown out depending on lighting conditions mean people facebook me and email me all the time asking saying when you shot that shot how many stops over are you it's about the ambient lighting conditions I can't tell you now to go and shoot but at a window and shoot two stops over depends on what's happening there at the time so in this state I look at that guy I need to be about a stop over so I'll go and shoot that a stopover and now I've elevated the shadows to become mid tones and the midterms have become highlights and the highlights are blown out now I don't care that the highlights of blown up because over there I've got a beautiful ethereal shot with this amazing like wrapping around her and it's working it's in a great shot if she paid me thirty thousand dollars to go and take her pictures in barbados and I give her that she's like where's the beach, okay, it's not gonna work so you can if you're shooting in a dodgy area, which shouldn't happen because now we're targeting high inclines if you're sitting in a dodgy aaron it's backlit you, khun, use that effect to blow whatever's out in the background. You know, you could end up with some some pretty cool images, but it's not a technique that you're going to use every single time, especially if you're in a great, beautiful location. Okay, so what else can you do to compensate for that intense contrast? What you could do there is you bring in the collapsible reflector there, you see, we've got the the circular one, and I'm just loving this, uh, try grip one. So you bring this in? Yeah, I have this, and then I'm going to manipulate the light when they manipulate the light and then bounce in the mid times, so depending on over there it's coming in from quite a low you can bounce them back in from quite high you can bounce him in from the side it really depends on the the look that you want but over here basically now if you look at that that image that was before the one with the blown out background dark in the front quite like in the background now I've bounced in the mid times there wasn't that sparkle in her eye I'm bouncing that back in but the problems sometimes with this kind of thing especially when it's bright sunny light you like oh that's a bit you know with the reflective can be it can be a bit bright articulate to your clients say to them ok close your eyes pleasure and then you say right three two one open eyes as open eyes bang you've got your shot doesn't matter that two seconds later she's like whoa what was that about? Because you've got your shot so what a lot of people do is they will get a speed light to compensate for the hectic contrast on camera flesh speed lights on the camera great exposure I mean you exposure you're hitting it bang on isn't these mean it's tt all these things are super intelligent but compare that image to what we had earlier girls we don't like shiny it could it could I take that out in photo shop but I'm going to spend a lot of time taking it out and it's not it's not ideal what you could do is have your camera your flash off camera so either have them sink were they speaking to each other or you could use a a t t l extension cord in an extension it's called iss it's c twenty nine extent you can get them for canada's well it allows you teo take your camera or flesh and it's still tio I've got one and I use it for dancing so if I'm shooting the dancing I'm putting the flash up here and I'm bringing it in underneath here I never have the flash on the camera when I'm shooting dancing it's always and I'm just creating some cool effect and then this flash is talking to that flash my assistant's got it up on a pole and he's bringing in the backlighting and adding that third dimension but with that uh off camera flash you still have the issue a little bit with the highlight the blowing out of the highlights but if you look at the shape it's a lot nicer you still have that shopper shadow and you can get like modifiers to get a little soft boxes for it it's fantastic they and they work I mean you guys all know joan mcnally he can produce some amazing work with speed lights for me it just doesn't look like I'm high end commercial photographer that's the kind of impression that I want to give I want to give the impression and I know exactly what I'm doing on this is this is a big deal and I'm bringing in the the flash equipment so upstairs we were using the ellen from ranger rx like I said one thousand two hundred watts off flash output they do make another one, which is the quadra it's a lot lighter it's four hundred watt seconds in terms of the output for that which which works out to about eight times the you're the power of your speed light and you know when when we were shooting upstairs you can create images similar to that with speed lights but you really asking a lot of these little guys you know, if you're going be pushing out full power, you know, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty shots you're gonna reduce the life span offyour obviously lights like they are going to overheat they not they were not intentionally built for that when they first made them way. We've grown accustomed to manipulating them into being great tools for off camera flashing strobe ism and things like that, but they weren't they weren't made for that that's what these type of flashes were made for so we're on the beach now we've pretty much got the studio lighting going on on the beach and I have got perfect lights landing on her I'm in total control of the direction off the light the intensity of the latin what I've done here is I've balanced the flash with the ambient light so the amount of like landing on her I've got beautiful shapes on her you can see that the sun is coming through at the back and just kissing her shoulder it's really really nice light and I've got detail in the background she's not squinting because I'm pushing in the the reflector and you'll notice that they use the umbrella if I'm shooting on the fly it's a lot easier to use the umbrella then that big soft box we used upstairs but because upstairs we shooting in one place we're not going we don't have to unpack and pack I can use that soft box and is going to be great light I don't have to you know at a wedding I probably wouldn't take that big soft box with me I'm going to use an umbrella because it's quick it's easy put it up put it down take it down and off we go so beautiful light that's balanced with the ambient light what you can do then is perhaps bring it a little closer and like we did upstairs crank up the power which is going to mean that your background is going to appear to be darker because you're exposing for the like that that is landing on her you're not exposing for the background like exactly like we made the sky a little darker upstairs, we've made the sky darker over here too, if you remember the very first image how horrible the lighting was, now we're creating an image like that, and if we wanted to go a little bit mohr iggy can put it into black and white up with a contrast, and you would never think that that was shot at ten o'clock on the beach waves potentially supposed to be the worst time of the day to shoot those power packs will last a lot longer than what you will uh yeah, they they meant to last a very long time you could shoot three hundred, four hundred shots with those with those perfect, it really depends on your flash output if you've got it on maximum is going to obviously be less, but but I've never had a battery go dead on me for because if you think about in terms of the wedding, like I said a little earlier, high fashion, I'm not shooting every single shot high fashion I'm shooting the stuff that is staged as high fashion, I'm not I'm not shooting as high fashion, I'm shooting for the high fashion influence, so you know what we did upstairs that the battery when we first thought it was on one hundred percent it's all one hundred percent do you still carry a backup for the concept of a backup no for the flash okay the mona part we've spoken about that um I don't have to speak too much about that um are there any questions out there on the internet with regards to the equipment and where we're going with that you know we did have a question from huff photo earlier which was what is your take on tamarin sigma versus nikon not the kit lenses but the higher end types such as the fifty militar millimeter one point four on the twenty four seventy do you stick now you know that I'm a brand ambassador absolutely so your initial thought process would be off course he's going to say nick on however when I run workshops I specifically tell the people coming on the workshops don't buy anything before you come just keep your kit as it is when you come on to the workshop you can use mice my lenses my camera to see what is what what the possibilities are and I had an incident way a photographer boat a non branded lens and on nick on lens hey bought it the day before the workshop twenty four to seventy two point eight he came on a workshop and say well this is a fantastic opportunity to put them side by side and have a look and they wass difference it is not a massive difference but there is a difference so I would personally I just think in terms of your brand image I think that it's uh I think to have everything uniform is better for your brand image but I do acknowledge that there are companies out there that make great equipment and that that work you know it does work but I have found that side by side it's not exactly the same but maybe you like the other one you can say it's not the same but you might like the other the other ladies on I do understand the financial implications if you're doing it purely for the financial implications wait until you can afford the real deal if you're doing it because you like what the other lens is doing it well, what the other lens is doing that then stick with it because it's about your brand and it's about what you like because if you shoot for yourself clients are gonna book you for what they have seen so they coming to you because they like what you like so that that's what makes it a lot more that's what makes it so easy in terms of being able to fulfill your client's expectations because you know that they like what do you like? So if you like the effect that one specific lands is giving you you know go for it it's just there is a difference whether you like the difference or not, that that matters. All right. Next question is from curious who is curious if you carry lenses on you for quick access and if you d'oh, what bag do you suggest for that? For a wedding, huh? I don't worry about lenses for quick access. My assistant would be carrying a backpack with him on dh if I need deadlines, I just say, you know, twenty four to seven in fact, it's quite if you are working with your assistant, I mean, you obviously are working with your system, but it's quite a cool system to have where you name your lenses or you number your lens is like for me, the the seventy two two hundred is number one because you asked me about my desert island lens. My seventy two, two hundred is number one twenty four to seventeen to thirteen to twenty three fourteen to twenty four three and you just make it up like that. So I could be I could be safe. For example, I could be in the church where taking a shot and I see something that maybe I need the wider legs. So I'll be standing at the front of my assistant and I are watching each other and I'll be standing at the front there and I'll be like and he knows to go and get len's number two and you'll bring the twenty four to seventy everybody stands up for him and he will walk around like that and I'll go okay, cool. Thank you. So I think communication with your assistant is very cool because you can't be in the front of the church going like I need that lens on either if you just discreetly guard like you just a speaking go like that I mean, they're gonna they're gonna, you know, and that's communication as well. Great. All right, thank you, brett. Next question from brian white do you have a secret weapon piece of equipment that we would be surprised that you carry in your bag? Well, a cz you can see I'm not really full of secrets, and I think I think that things like this things like the prism and trying teo emulate other techniques and coming up with new things that make your work different. I think that's that's important, but I firmly believe that we're here on creative life and you guys are sacrificing your time to watch us aunt to watch these presentations. Some of you might be buying the downloads, and I think it would be unethical for me to have secrets so I don't have anything secret in my bag that that makes me any different to anybody else so what? What? I mean, what you see is what you get. So, yeah, no, no secret weapons.