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Small Changes, Big Results

Lesson 4 of 5

Ballerina Session

Roberto Valenzuela

Small Changes, Big Results

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

4. Ballerina Session

Lesson Info

Ballerina Session

I wanted to show this for a while because this is that this is something that was really special moment for me. My sister asked me to shoot my niece for her ballerina she's, a really big ballerina in phoenix. I've never shot a ballerina in my entire life, but I don't need to because I know how to light I know how to pose and I know how to compose write. Most importantly, I know what parts of composition make a photo more intriguing to see if you go online, you're type ballerina photos a lot of times you see people in a studio and they're just kind of going like this or doing something and they're just let equally and I say to myself, why did that photographer not push himself? Like, why do you have a studio? You have a background, you have two lights, you put it in f ate and you and you just like the model you just like the ballerina doing what they do it's boring, like then people wonder why their studio suffer because of the economy or whatever people say your studio suffers when you...

look standard, so I gave it a shot on dh I tried doing something kind of fun and unique, and I did everything by making small changes take a look at this this is me and minus and this is during the this is the very end of the photo shoot this is the last after we took the last photo we took a little group shot how cute is she right she's something she gave up going to school she's now homeschool too shaken dedicates seven hours a day on ballet yeah and if she's like the most dedicated thing ever like she's she looks smart but she's a powerful brain you know just a smart one I went toe I have a little make makeshift studio on we didn't have a lot of time for this so I wanted to do something kind of fun and special so I put some blackboards there on dh I put powder in her I put powder in her dress the reason why I did that because when you think of ballerinas or gymnasts what did they do with their hands before they go? They put chalk they put powder and stuff so yeah, you go ahead and say that again chalk in their hands yeah, they put chuck remember what I said give the post context why I suppose the way this if you guys remember that and then out of the entire class I'll be happy if you can give the post context like when she was having her martini glass and it was normal so for this um I put pattering her maybe powdering her in her dress on dh ballerinas are always making this like micro movements, aren't they? They're kind of like they come and go like this and it is micro stuff so I was thinking about it and I decided a cool way to capture that that will be creative push yourselves is using struggle skull pick flash I'm not one but for you so basically I put four flashes one there one here one here and one here I've sent them all to the same channel all to the same group and I had them all struggle scoping the flash while she moves then I had a hit hit her dress I mean her to to like a drum when she did that it looks at her hands were doing what she normally does but this this amazing powder came the flash froze the powder her head moved back and forth like I told her to and he created this picture. How fun is that? Okay, that this was done with just a speed lights and a camera. Could I have done this with three speed less or too yes you could have it could have been done with two two lights but it was just done with four just like going back like the back of the tooth or whatever but when you look at the photo full resolution it looks like art on the photo was actually quite fun to take all I did was said from here what am I going to do as an artist that's going to be a step higher than the other person? Darn it I ask myself that every time before I push my shutter button what am I going to do that somebody else or the rest of the photographic community will not even think about you know and that's what makes your studio succeed through any economy, any hardships no matter what city or town you live in, people will always pay for this ok? They will always pay for this yeah go ahead and you have a question are you okay? Here's a big one changed the emphasis is what compels you when I met katia, her eyes are freakin out of these world beautiful okay also her entire structure and her face just compels me if I was doing a photo shoot off her I'm already even right now I'm looking I'm seeing the photos that I'm taking I've already seen the lighting, the post I'm seeing it but I would probably illuminate her face in a pretty penny like I want to to racial sort of clean but a little more emphasis on one side but I would put a lot of light on her eyes and exposed for the brightest light that's going to give that attention into into the into her eyeballs I can do that with a snoot you know, so I would be I will put a big light here on right next to the big light I would put a snoot with another light just to give her a kick of light right in your eye that's going to give her that sparkle that I want so what compels you so here's what I think is what I did when, um when ballerinas dance once the thing that is the most attractive like e I think is the legs they look they moving toe into this sewing machine movement is like this like that theta you've seen that happened right on they make this little movements and they look amazing and they do this big movements so to me her feet compelled me her legs. So here is the photo that I took um so I put four flashes again. I change the position of flashes a little bit and I had her go from the left to about two and a half feet to the right and I had to do it with a little choppy, choppy, choppy, choppy legs like that. Okay, this is the photo that came out of that one by the way this is out of camera like the only thing I just it here's the contrast this photo you stays out of camera once this photo's finalized I will actually clean up all this, but I wanted to show you the organic photographs so you can see what it what it looks like when he comes out. Okay? Just like that one. Which do you like more? This one or the other one? You guys like this? One more interesting gets cool. Roberto, how long was the exposure on that one? Uh, I think a second, thank you on the flashes. Went off about seven times in that second. So you would like to to to to to to to to to like that while she was moving her feet. The problem with when she was doing it is that she was moving, um instead of moving totally left, she was moving kind of in a curve on that ruin. The photo that's. Why this class is labeled small changes, big results because it was that small change that I noticed she was actually moving in a weird direction that made her make the photo that looked good. So I said, I'm going to draw a chocolate like, don't go over that just go straight through it. Ok? The point of this is that when you can't leave this creative life building, I want you to maybe feel empowered to think what compels me before you take a picture don't just grab someone like a tea and just take a photo from head to toe and then that's it on just like her well think about it what compels you what is the part of her that you want to show you know so just examples like that um we went upstairs to the to another part of the building andi and I saw this streaks of light going through some blinds on the streets of light were pretty nice on one of the things I love about my niece is her eyes her eyes are just like really big and they're like very light green really beautiful if I was to put her face by the wall on dude did something like this and she was just there by the war he will be afford overhead right but I have to take it to another level and I said what could she be doing that tells me a little bit about her well what about arenas do before they perform they stretch if she puts her legs up a normal person would look stupid doing that but with her it's a ballerina shoot it's okay for you to have her leg up so here's what I got out of it that's small change opening bringing her leg up makes it look like she's stretching for a performance so here's what the result of that is it doesn't look like she was using the pole to stretch because she's about to go on perform. And then I changed this post to this one. I think she was getting ready to go on the stage and this is all happening because I ask myself what compels me, okay, the shadow on the lighting was just phenomenal took advantage of it. The other one is change positions to two harnesses like we went to the roof on. I saw that the son was there and I noticed a and then way were shooting elsewhere. Then I noticed the sun, and I said, you know what, let me make a small change against this class is all his small change. You make the change. So I told ellie to go from one section to another section. I put her on top of an air conditioning unit until her head west covering the sun on. Then I made the posts, and it looks like this that's a lot of, uh, some crazy contrasts pretty right.

Class Description

You can make a big impact on your final images by making a few small changes while shooting. Learn how it is done in, Small Changes, Big Results with Roberto Valenzuela.

In this class, you’ll learn tricks and techniques for getting an incredible image without relying on extensive retouching. You’ll get to watch Roberto at work as he discusses what he looks for in-camera and the eye he brings to lighting, posing, and framing. He’ll demonstrate how minor adjustments to each of these elements can really make an image pop.

Get better at getting it right the first time in, Small Changes, Big Results with Roberto Valenzuela.  

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I can always depend on Roberto Valenzuela to come up with great content. This short lesson really got to the essence of making those small adjustments in posing and lighting that refine your photo. He shows what bringing creativity and not settling for the usual can make on your photography. I just watched Robert Scott Lim in Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques and he was saying something similar and showing how making small changes to refine the shadows in your photo can take your photo from ordinary to world class. Roberto is one of favorite photographers and he always get to the point and I don't get the feeling he is saying things just to fill up time, brag about himself, or mainly to sell you on buying his gear or whatever. He is true generous teacher.

a Creativelive Student

It is a short but nice course full of tips to improve my photography. Very basic info but valuable for sure

Rafael Santiago

Nice short course on not overthinking and keeping things simple.