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SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Lesson 13 of 29

How and When to Use Your Hot Shoe Flash

Pye Jirsa

SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

13. How and When to Use Your Hot Shoe Flash

Lesson Info

How and When to Use Your Hot Shoe Flash

But now that we understand some of these basics weaken, start using these guys to help us out, right? So let's do our monolith example and tow by. One of the questions that had come in was from Able London. Who said, Should I use flash directly to the person's face if I don't have a soft box? Or should I avoid that as much as possible? Flash directly if you don't have a soft box. Okay, um, we do some examples of flash. I'll give you a quick example. Flash done well directly, is generally when it's done for effect purposes like when we want to go for a hard edge look like for a punk fashion type? Look, when you want to go for something just a little bit edgy or if you wanted to look like a 19 seventies photograph direct flash because in 1970 everybody direct flashed every single thing, right? So if Daniel were to come against this white wall and want to create that punk, look, we could do that very easily with direct flash. And so I'm gonna say this. I'm going to say that flash direct o...

ff every single type of like there's no such thing as a good or bad light. What I would say is that there's a right kind of light for the look that you're going for. So if, for example, here, let's say that I want to let's have you all the way against that wall and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna set my in camera exposure to, like F 56 So we get a very dark look to the image. Let's actually look like 71 okay? And I'm gonna go ahead and dial this to Ah, I always shoot manual flash for everything. So I'm gonna put this down to 1 16 power. Let's just get a gauge and see if that works, but was fired. That Okay, I'm now. I'm gonna power it up, so I'm gonna go up to, like, 1/4 power. That was really dark. Okay, So what you'll see is this has that, like, does that not have, like, the celebrity against the wall editorial Look and feel to it, right? That was direct. Clash has the hard edge under the chin has all that kind of stuff. So that's a case where I would use direct flash because it fits the look that I'm going for now. If you're in a C and you're shooting a kid and you want your child to look, you know, like a child and not like they got into the partying too early, you know, then I probably wouldn't use that effect because it's not necessarily the right lighting style for what you're going for. So in practice, when you're shooting like if you, if you absolutely have to use a fill flash from your camera yeah, it's like your last resort. And what I would say is, if you're shooting and you want the scene to look natural, that fill flash should just be barely there. Just a soft, soft Phil toe lift, a little bit of shadow, and that's it. As soon as it becomes the dominant light in the image, your image looks flashed and it looks not so good. Okay, otherwise, we're gonna show you right now like some basics of how to get the light off the camera. So with a hot shoe flash, Okay, I'm proud of we could. I'm pretty sure that the Creativelive team will fill up the white board with whatever they want to fill in this one, right? Cool. That's all I wanted. Now, one quick thing with that editorial looks 10 right there again. Daniel, this is the mistake that most of us do generally. When you're doing the editorial shots, you're shooting this way, right? Typically, it's ah, kind of. Ah, that type of a portrait. Now, the problem is that once we do that, okay, notice how in this job look pretty natural with the flash lighting going right under the chin. But you see how Here it starts to go off to the right off to the right everywhere, and you see no shadow on this side, so use a bracket. If you're trying to get this look and you want that shot, you use a flash bracket to bring the flash up top even when you're shooting like this. And that's what the editorial people will do is they'll put a bracket on and move it back and forth. Cool. So let's say that you just have your hot shoe flash and you want to create off camera lighting. Weaken Do that. We'll do a couple different ways, actually, let's do I'm gonna grab this guy, actually. What? We'll have one of you guys hold it because I think it is easier. You can use a stand for this, or you can just hold it. There's gonna hold it. So let's have you stand right here, Daniel. Perfect. Okay, in this scene, you guys can see how nice the window light is. It comes in and it fills in. But let's just say, like, first. What if we don't have the window? So what if this is closed off and we want to create a directional light on her? And all we have is our hot flash. And we have something that weaken use a like a bounce. Right? So we're gonna do is grab a reflector. I'm gonna work you guys into the shop because there's a couple steps to make it work. Steve, when we have you do this, it is not dirty. I wasn't holding like because it was dirty. I just you know, it is easy. I promise. It's all good. Adds color. Okay, So what? We have you dio that too much coffee or something? Well, what's going on? That's weird. Will tremble. Okay, hold on to this with two hands. Okay, I'm gonna do Now is this time I'm gonna think backwards through what I want. I want the wall to appear nice and bright, but I'm not really want to see that we have a wall back there, So I'm gonna go ahead and just lower my aperture down to f to again. I'm gonna bring my live you up just to see where my exposures at And it looks okay. I'm not I'm not picking up too much ambient light right now, right? We're gonna be using primarily this flash. So when you knew now Ximen Flash and I'm in manual, I'm gonna just get a quick little test here. Let's turn this off. OK, so there's a little button right here, and I have this set. It's generally set to depth of field preview. When you put a flash on a lot of cameras will default it automatically to pulse the flash. So you guys see the pulsing pride trying to put in your face is actually put in your face because, you know Yeah, OK, it's OK. OK, so if it doesn't come set that way, then just go look in your manual and figure out how to do that. But the nice thing about it is I can see exactly where that light is going, and I could just make sure it's bouncing off that. So I'm gonna go 1/4 flash power, and I'm gonna dial this down to maybe 18 because we opened up quite a bit. But keep in mind that we're bouncing, so we're losing a little bit of light in that process. I was going to test it out. I'm gonna say, Daniel, bring your chin a little bit to that side. Bring the eyes to me. Perfect. Okay, let me do is brighten up a little bit, and I'll probably just take it up in my eyes. So I'm just going up to 200 eyes. So actually, gonna drop this down, too. 1.4 and let's go. 200 I. So let's just see. I want to get it bright, but not to the point where every single thing is blown out. That's good. Okay. Was that not just ah, hot shoe flash and we kind of have Ah. I mean, if you saw that on a website, we would be like, Oh, that's a cool, natural light like that's a really great natural light shot. Right? And we're just bouncing essentially. Now, The way that this can go wrong is that you'll notice that even off to the side like this, there's a little bit of spill that's gonna come forward onto her. Okay, So this could go wrong very easily if if I want the light right here to wrap closer. And I aim this towards that and I have this aim towards her like this. Okay, I'm gonna point forward more now. What's happening is if you look at this next shot, this light is now spilling forward. Right? Because we're trying to bounce. But this is placed too close to her face toe. Bounce into her. You can actually see because we now have two independent catch lights gonna get. See that. Let me see if I can zoom in here. Go to OK. Do you see that in the catch light? There is the flash. There's the reflector. How do we fix that? What if I want this? Look in the light. What if I need to have that? How do I fix it? Do what you could, but Let's say that we want the light to be there. Like, I want my light right here because I think it's gonna create a cool look and wrap to the thing. So what I could do is I'm just going to use the back of my hand. This is the This is the I forgot my grid way of doing this. Okay, I'm gonna put my back my hand right to that. Okay? And I need to adjust the flash power because we still got We got a little bit closer, so let's just take the flat power down by maybe a stop. OK, But you see how on that next shot, both the light was removed. Same thing here, lights removed. So let's go ahead and zoom out. Okay? We have more rapid Atmore. Everything. Now, the way to do this without having to use your hand up all the time for the shot is you just grab a grid. Where is my grid? So we use magma's because they're really cool and simple attachments. And by the way, we don't get paid to say this stuff. So we use what we like. Companies like toe help us out than they do. But otherwise we just we always just use what we like. So it's a magnet that I have attached to the top of the camera. So whenever you are ready to go with a grid, you just throw it on. It sticks to the So this grid is what filters the light in one direction. So notice like Martin Amis towards you guys, Let's do a test. That'll be right. Sorry. I would point it somewhere. Actually. You know what I think? Everyone conceit. If we do it off this can you see? Now, Do you need a deposit? Like 30 seconds to let your eyes readjust? Okay. You see how it's spilling? So when I pulse, you can look at it if you want. No. Okay. Um, you see how it's spilling against? The wall is spilling everywhere. Can you see that? We can see the whole shadow a sooner this comes on. You see how much of that is reduced so automatically we eliminate that. And so now I can bring her back, and then I don't have to use that guy. Could just have this here, and I can fund a light bring up right there. Perfect. Just like that. And I can actually push the light forward, and I'm going to do just dial it my power a little bit, cause you're grids will reduce a little bit of power. So I'm just going from 1/16 toe. 1/8. Okay. And that does basically the same thing is my hand would. So we just block out that light. Okay, So I want to show you guys a little trick that I like to do a lot, which is not Zoom in on a photo. Let's open up the window. So we're talking about kind of What if we didn't have the window light, right? Sorry. No, it's a little adjustment. Okay, so now we do have the window light, but let's just say that we want to modify and manipulate that light a little bit when she was standing right here, if I brought your chin a little bit to this side. There you go. Let's say that we just wanted a little bit of a softer, like quality on her like we can. We wanted to still look like it's window light. We just want a little bit more rap. We want a little bit less highlight. What we can do is target that little spot of light and manipulated so I can do the exact same thing that I just did. I'm gonna have you bring that right here. The Steve, you're gonna block that existing light from her. Okay, We're gonna keep our exposure on the relatively bright side. So 1 200 F 1.4 and let's go down to I. So 100. I'm gonna bring this down a little bit in flash power, okay? And now I'm just gonna dial up a little bit on my flash. I was even looking at the flash are the viewfinder. It was awesome to take it out of high speed sink. Okay, there we go. Good. OK, so all we've done now is we've just taken the natural light. We've added this over it. So basically, what we can do is have a lot more control over the natural, a nursing. We can still shape it to look like natural light, but we're gonna have a larger caps light now in the eye. We're gonna have a softer rap because we brought that light in super close to her with a more diffused light. This is a little more speculator, so we get less highlights and so forth. So this is What I'm saying is is when you go into a scene, use these in conjunction toe what's available to you to kind of find, tune and manipulate as opposed to just overpowering. You know, overpowering is kind of the first thing a lot of people want to do when they get there Flash.

Class Description

Pye Jirsa and CreativeLive held an open Q&A based on the lessons taught in Photography 101, Lighting 101, and Lighting 201 classes. 

This course includes questions based around the fundamentals of using your digital camera, camera flashes, and the intricacies of posing.  Pye demonstrated with live models and gear to make this a free course that truly benefits your catalog! 


a Creativelive Student

Pye is an awesome instructor! He explains everything in a way that you understand it. He is a wealth of information. Love all of his classes!! I love Creativelive and SLR Lounge! Continue doing the great work that you do!!

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Pye is an amazing teacher! I've learned so much from him over the years - both in person and through his tutorials. What's even more amazing is that he is able to do it LIVE! He is able to clearly explain complicated concepts through easy to understand lessons. I highly recommend his courses to learn everything from the basics to advanced topics!


Wow! Pye is an awesome instructor! I've learned SO many things - nuggets of gold!