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Speedlight Photography Basics

Lesson 17 of 21

Shoot: Outdoor 2 Light Setups

Mike Fulton

Speedlight Photography Basics

Mike Fulton

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Lesson Info

17. Shoot: Outdoor 2 Light Setups


Lesson Info

Shoot: Outdoor 2 Light Setups

Okay so we're on the sun it's pretty much the worst lighting conditions we have and so I don't not really sure which camera look at because I can't see because it's so bright so fine like here I feel like I'm ricky bobby at this point are anchorman I don't know which one to look at but either way what we're gonna try to show it's exactly what we did previous of howto under expose howto overexpose and then go from there it's really really bright I'm squinting the sun is right here it's almost over so much like a wedding scenario so where you have twenty minutes thirty minutes an hour with the bride and the worst lighting conditions so this is gonna be really really a great great example of what we've been talking about and how we can make it happen so we can get um we get macy over here our model we're gonna jump right into it come on over here girl I want you just staying about right here all right it's hard to see the sun is right here she is right here I want you to come to turn this...

is much much better because I have the shadow on her face if she turns towards the camera you can see the sun on her eyes were squinting that's not a good so with that said the sun as we said before I can't change where I'm gonna be where the sun's gonna be so I have to revolve her and my shoot my session around the sun so in this case I'm gonna have macy stand right here so the light falls on her hair and so that's gonna be my one of my main lights that make sense I'm gonna take my main light and it's this point just to kind of let you know the setup I have one light they're both five eighties have any ones and a five eighty two for canada I had the radio popper px system mounted on them as you can see that we talked about yesterday I had the mag pod system settled top in case I choose to use any diffusers that I need to so I'm ready go and then I also have my lunatic lim quest velcro strip in case I need to attach any attachments to that so this is kind of how I go into a session I have everything ready I'm not sure exactly what I want to use but I'm ready for any attachments in case I need to use them so many thing is is my flashes and slave mode it's on channel one radio poppers or turned on and they're on the same one of the same channels I think at this point it's sixteen channel one but it doesn't matter as long as my radio poppers are on the same channel for each radio popper and my flashes are on the same channel, we're good to go, so in this case I put everything on one on the other case it doesn't matter, you could be on sixteen, you could be on one, you could be whatever you wanted to be on it's, always a safe, safe way to come out here and shoot and see if you can see the lights go off. As you could tell when I said earlier, you can't see this light going off because it's so bright outside, but if I had a diffuser over this, you can see the light going off. So this is what I was talking about in the very first part of the diffuser section very first part of the day where I'd put a stuff in and I cut the top off, so I knew that you could physically see that. Um hang on, let me show you if we had a soft box on here, even windy up, if this is such a nice day, so with this, you'll be able to see the flash going off and so that's the whole concept of that stuff in that we have, I am not going to use this soft box at this point, I'm gonna try it without we're going to see what happens if I have enough life I'll add one if not, we'll go from there so I have my two lights they're both on channel one they're both got radio poppers on channel one px I'm shooting tl or manual whichever I want to shoot and I'm ready to go I have macy where want so again I have a place where I want I'm going to put my main light where I think I want it to be at this point I don't have to worry about the sensor facing my camera we're gonna do some line of sight here in a minute cause I know that question's gonna come up all right very simple not trying to get artistic it all here first thing I'm worried about my background sir my master flash off so my slave flashes will not fire it all I'm on ly gonna worry about the background so I'm gonna stand here this is gonna be even exposure on the camera that's what the camera thanks is even I'm in a v mode my ay esos one hundred as you can see and that's what the camera thinks is proper exposure so it's taking in the exposure of macy is taken in the exposure of the sky giving me what it feels is proper exposure for that image pretty flat pretty boring so from there again I'm not worried about mason this point I'm going to under expos just like we did inside with the stage lights acting is the sun so I'm gonna expose one stop here so I haven't underexposed one stop look here take the shot now you can see the sky starting to slowly come into play you're starting to see some clouds in the background you're starting to see the skyline a little bit the telephone pole whatever else we got up here you're starting to see but I want to make it a little darker I want to make the background just a little bit better so I'm gonna underexposed another stop it's so bright I have a hard time even seen in my camera now you're starting to see the dark tips of the clouds you're starting to see the blue sky you're starting to see pretty much what I conceive with my human I I like that I'm gonna leave it right there and then from there I'm just going to turn my flash on leave my camera settings alone I don't touch him anymore at this case I'm shooting it three to one hundred s o and two stops under whatever two stops under is it's my shutter speed I don't care now I have my flash and I'm gonna turn my flash off toe on lee be a wireless transmitter so the on ly flash it will expose macey is this light right here? Perfect doing great mason and you don't see anything because I don't know if it went off did it go off didn't go I'll see I can't even see that it goes off it's so bright even exposure hardly any light whatsoever on er I have it on high speed sync as you can tell my shutter speed was one fourth thousands of a second so you have several options here we can either raise the power my flash which I'm going to all the way to plus three and I'm gonna take another shot so this is plus three everything I got in this flash nothing that's the problem with these little speed lights on a bright bright day I want to show you that you can't force these guys all the way up when you have such a bright background and a little guide expose the foreground so what you have to do is find a happy medium in a way I can do that is several options one bring it up from two stops under toe one stop under allowing a little more ambient light in does that make sense? Make sure this is set correctly now you're starting to see some light on her face so about raising that exposure up a little bit allowed a little more ambient light as I said earlier while this is artificial light it's still ambient light and so I want you to be able to understand that you could on lee do so much with one little flash on a bright son but now that this plows air going over the sun I could take another shot and I'll be able to get a lot better exposure now it's easier now it's not so extreme and now actually can raise it up or lowered a little bit the other option is I can raise my f stop from three point two so maybe five five, six even eight if I want and while I don't want it to drop below one, two hundred seconds still want to use high speed sync but now I went from what was the one before sixteen hundred one, sixteen hundred and now I'm dropping down to three twenty two dark sorry I didn't get it I don't like it I'm gonna raise it up now it's too bright so I feathered it too much I put it right on her face and it's way too bright so now it's way too bright which is great because that gives me a lot of issues and I'm going to I'm running I know it sounds like I'm fumbling but I'm running through a lot of these issues on purpose because I was trying to step you through the whole process of what you're gonna experience I'm actually take my glasses off since I don't need to see anything at this point all right take this off okay so now I know I have enough light once I have enough light for her I can really play with the settings that I want so at this point I'm gonna lower my flash power because I like my flash bar to be less than three if possible because it's going to save me on my batters and again I'm not worried about opposing I'm not worried about anything I'm just trying to get enough light I dropped it to stop it's too much I'm gonna raise it back up it's hard to see but that's kind of flat light but it's gonna work let's go with that because I'll just in a minute so now I'm gonna get the second light the way these didn't denny z z stands works we haven't talked about it is you'll get them when they're collapse like this you wanna unloosed in this crew raised this leg up and then close this down lock it down and then the legs open and close on you all right sun's kind of coming from this side so I'm gonna put the hairline on the other side the sun's almost directly overhead worst lighting conditions you can get all right so now I have two lights right at her perfect way over exposed on purpose even exposure on my camera way too dark because what did I do? I changed my exposure when I shouldn't have so I'm gonna drop my exposure back down turn your body a little bit this way perfect another hair is getting in your way perfect so now you actually see the rim light but you don't see this light but I like my room light so I'm gonna leave my room light exactly where it is and just adjust this light for where I wanted to be on her good and now we're getting what we want we're getting a nice face I think there's enough light in the eyes it's hard for me to see because I can't even see the lcd but you're getting light in the eyes and you're getting a strong room light which is what I like with the sun coming down so basically I have a nice even light here I have a strong room light here and I'm using the sun to pull out her hair over here so it's a three lights set up using two artificial once you get this zoned in exactly the way you want now you can move around anywhere you want here and you'll be fine that's a simple tt elway and of course I would have done it in a couple shots without trying to step you through the process but I want to show you one neat thanks you just stay on her I'm gonna get this one thing for you manual guys since my flash was on ly sending the signal the neat thing about radio popper let's say my flash breaks I'm down to two flashes I can actually buy radio popper junior transmitter and I physically can control the power of my cannon flashes with the px system on it right here in manual mode so now I can do the same thing but him in all manual zach same set up but I can control group one group two here so I'm gonna take the exact same shot manual mode the frontline is too dark so also I have to do is turn this knob right here and we'll raise your lower my power on my flash but I want to see I want to show you a problem there I don't have a class to talk to but I did this on purpose because I wanted to see there's a problem my shutter speed is one four hundredth of a second I don't have ti tl anymore so what's gonna happen. I'm above my flashing speed and I get that black bar across my image which is not good so I have if I do this in manual mode I have to drop down to my flash sink speed or you're going to get that black bar all the time air images and you see it across her face right across her eye is a black and white line however I wanted to bring this to your attention if you're in the studio with a strobe, that black line will be very extreme once that'll be all black one side will be light with this system it's kind of a grady it so what I've done in the past is have actually lowered my shutter speed around two one to fiftieth of a second I know this sounds a little goofy but actually turned the camera you could turn it upside down and and I didn't have enough light in her eyes, but the grady in't well, actually, you actually put a grady in the sky, which looked like a photo shop filter, which we do all the time when our skies blown out and I need to get some darker skies, you'll see the light here, but you'll get the effect I kind of didn't quite show up on her face, so you have to drop below two hundredth of a second for this camera or one one sixtieth I like to stay at one stop below what my flashing speed is and then the lights will actually show up in her face as you can see way too much. So remember when you go from tt l to manual, you have to go below your flashing speed, so when I use a junior it's beautiful that I can actually control my lights wirelessly, but I have to go because I'm in manual mode I have to go below my flashing speed and then I can adjust any power that I want from a little I'm gonna go all the way down there won't be any light on this next shot and from the front and then I'm gonna blast it here and also I'm doing is changing my group here so I have two flashes I had this on group one and I had that on group three and the reason why I do that is the three knobs group two is the middle so I know group one is the front and group two is the group three is the back and it's much easier when I get enough power in a struggling situation for me to remember that group one is here group three is here and I don't need to control worry about anything because I get a little fat fingers will get mixed up with room to okay so we're gonna shoot manual for a little bit I'm gonna bring in our other model now that kind of just laid that out you can have your glasses on if you want okay we're not squinting all right I want you back here you're fine right now makes me want you about right here and I want you to turn into this yep put the light on you actually let's put it over here makes that once you turn this way wait your weight on your back foot you don't turn that much come back a little bit helps right there turn your chin this way I know it's bright and I appreciate it perfect with this set up not each light is exposing the same amount of power so I can actually do a ratio so I can actually make this one stronger than this one weaker but what I like about this is the little depth of field perfect makes you take a step this way way over yeah, perfect look here not of the flash now when you look at him in the background she's decent she's got decent light on him but he's a little dark so I'm gonna raise the light up by just simply turning this knob which is gonna control that flash and I'm gonna light him up. All right, look here so now he's really, really bright. If I had my light meter with me I could easily have my light meter with the new light meter a pocket radio popper not pocket was a red pocket. I can actually trigger these lights. I would trick it. It would give me the reading and I could actually figure how bright is gonna be if I needed to or you do it this way one shot you look and then simply adjust I'm making big extreme changes so you guys can see the difference actually like that looking they're perfect all right, so that's that and he's a little soft but now I want to go back to tt l and I want to do one difference. So now with this set up they're all going to be the exact same power this light and this light will be the same parker's they're all in the same groups that are all on the same channel and when I'll put when I control my master they're all going to both control at the same time go up and down so I'm gonna take this shot and I'm gonna lower the power a little bit because I think she's a little hot now she's really hot what just happened there? I love when this happens because this is what most people hate about tl you probably didn't hear you might have picked it up in my mike when this flash went off it really, really, really recharge you had to go and it just built up that power. What happened is my flash is in this didn't pick up probably or dine or didn't pick up what happened with tee uh because I shot so fast is win this tl communicates my master flash sends out the signal slave flashes picked up the signals saying fire that pre flash of one thirty second it bounces off our subject comes back through the lens does its calculations and then sends out another command of what like to fire it and then sends out the final command of fire what happens is this flash and this the master flash the slave no it needs to pick up that information in a certain period of time so this master flash is sitting here send that to signal waiting for it to come back sending that signal wait for it to come back waiting waiting didn't hear it and it just is all I got to get this going we don't have a certain amount of time so it's a screw it and he just fires the flash and he gives everything it possibly has ah fooled up of the flash so much more than one to one so when you're photographing in t t l this is the number one issue you're gonna have with tl is when you have bad exposures and most of time it's a way overexposed image it's because your flash that meeting system did not come back there t t l properly or through the master flash properly to give that that calculations correctly so it's gonna by default do a full full dup of power in its capacitors so when that happens you have two options one you have to let a recharge it's gonna take about seven seconds for this flash to fully recharge too you need to check your battery power to make sure you have plenty of batteries these guys will will literally crash batteries very quickly with tl especially in full sun that is one of the drawbacks of it if you check all that when if it continues to happen just change your batteries out no matter what even if you put in brand new alkaline batteries she just went to convenience store just bought the alkaline put in new batteries because I promise you those things sit on the shelves a long time you could have one bad sale in a lamentable your readings the next step if you continue to get the problem and I don't know if we will hear or not I'm going to see too much lower one more time and see what happens yep I'm continually getting the problems so what I would do is I hit my mode button on my flash and I will pop this flashing the manual so if I'm not getting good t t ell reception I'm gonna pop it over to manual mode from e t t l to manual now my flashes air in manual mode it takes away all the problems way hope not much light I'm gonna raise it up still not much it's still picking it up and there's more like when you have problems with t t l pop your master flash over into manual mode and take away all that mathematics and you won't have to worry about it or you could do what I'm about to do I'm going to switch out this flash bear with mike you're up for a question what you're doing yeah, of course so um every lighting situation is different, especially when you're going out doors right? How much pre visualization are you doing with your lighting setup previous to a shoot and how much are you doing on the fly during you know, during an event I want to be honest, I should do a lot more pre set up and previous visualization that I do I I kind of get a rush off of that pressure of trying to find something and figuring it out um and so when I'm having fun with the senior session, I'll do that because I know we already got some good stuff yeah, we're walking the streets I'm fine for a wedding I don't like to play russian roulette because it's a business and you're there to make money and you're there to make good quality photographs so I do mohr visualization more pre planning with a wedding so I try to get to the church on time early or if we're getting wherever she's getting ready, I try to get there in plenty of time already visualize where I want to put the dress work, you know, for dress shots where I want to put the couple if we do a first look I already have all that planned by the time they even get dressed so great thank you alright so we're gonna do lot of sight with this flash and this is the new six hundred make sure I get in the right mode alright it's always good before you go out just do a quick test all right example what I talked about in class I'll show this for you can pick that up here I'm communicating with that flash it's going off here because it's not exposing I had the flash up in the air it's not going off so here's that's talked about I'm talking without a space so to do lot of side outside getting plenty flash there you're going to see the flat because I'm just gonna back up in plenty flashier plenty flash here you get good range with line of sight and optical in full sun if you're communicating properly but needed teo I could always turn my flash right here I could even zoom my flash in to tighten that band down and point it right at that receptor that's picking it up still going off and I can control that light anywhere I want as long as it's going off so optically is a lot better than you think if you understand how they're communicating remember this is what's doing the signal sending this part right here is what's receiving the signal so with that said let's take off the radio poppers for right now this one's fine fine but let's do optical for a bit because my main goal here is to show you while I love radio poppers and it's the wireless transmitter for me if you don't have the money to buy radio popper I don't I think you have to go out and buy it right now and you put it in your budget to buy it a little bit later. All right? So receivers of both flashes a pointed towards me this is completely optical no radio popper involved just lina side. Same shot flash going off on both of them. I'm in very low power. I'm gonna move this flashback raised the flash power up even then I was hoping it wasn't gonna fire but it fired. This is one problem with after you're gonna have if I had a seventy two hundred on here, you probably have a failure buy me turning my lens this way my camera this way this flash cannot communicate with that flash because my lenses blocking it it's still firing. Let me lower the power it's a little hot simple. I want you to go sit down on the edge back there yeah, no, you're fine myself actually inside and lean against it yeah, breeze confined you blow off great lives gonna kill me I don't think this is gonna work but we're gonna see your legs a little this way it fired even from this distance optically it fired and I said I didn't know it was gonna work so with this I could zoom in on her and it nor him and then I can come back and make a shot just with both of them in there and that's way over exposed so I want to talk about that now so now I'm gonna underexposed amore going back to high speed sync and my flashes should not be near strong here you can see the flash going off in the back on purpose because I wanted you to be able to see that it's firing so you can get up and come over here I'm gonna do something else right quick okay so come up here so now that I know my everything's fine and everything's good let me get that one flashback and that was a good twenty feet twenty five feet my fault I forgot to bring my little, um higher my little multiple bar up here but what I wanted to show does this question always comes up just kind of act like you like her just kind of come in for engagement session um I see what you actually get over here on the side yeah, come over here and kind of behind her. Yeah power stance yeah like you like her if you get a situation where you don't have enough power you can put two flashes together this question always comes up one can you get like plus six out of these guys if I put him together no you're not going to get plus six or double the power you're only going to get full power out of both which is doubling the power because they're side by side and you're doing optical you need to be careful not to line these up like this so you could make sure that that sensor is being shown perfect so I may be in this one on may see this one more on him and I'm actually gonna zoom a man because I want to show you the effect I have a bag around where I want it now these are my main lights really, really bright because what I just did I was focused every bit of this light in a tiny tiny source like we showed you earlier and put it in one place absolute ridiculous amount of power and that was that plus three so now I'm gonna lower it all the way to negative three and show you the range that I have by sitting right here at the same shot that's not bad but a little muddy so I think probably about negative one is about where I want big steps or you can learn and that's not bad but I want you to notice especially on him how the flash really you lose the tone that we use the flash on the bottom of him that's because it zoomed in however if I zoomed in for a tight shot just a headshot kind of tilt your head towards her yet serious look on both they go that works I like it I want a little more background so I'm gonna under expose a little bit more I got you in seattle again it's fine, dude it's all good one more time I'll do three one, two, three perfect flashman go off why didn't flash not go off there's no one to talk to so I'll tell you flash didn't go off because I'm too far ahead the censor didn't pick it up this is one reason why I love having my external flash because I could just turn this backwards and the flashes will go off. This is a huge advantages I talked about over having a wireless transmitter so when you want to zoom in you on ly khun do a tight shot like this you cannot do a wide shot all right, so now I'm gonna zoom it back out and it is bright in seattle I am shocked you get headache yet same identical shot at twenty four millimeters now a lot more even lighting even plane this is why I always leave my flash on a twenty four millimeters when I'm shooting so pretty pretty standard stuff I'm gonna do a wide angle so you can actually see the sky so I'm under exposing picking up the sky love that leave my exposure compensation alone putting my flashes in front my flash compensation and I get the shot now that is a stop and one third under oh my exposure I am at that last image which you can see was at one five hundredth of a second of f ate so now what I want to do is I want to drop it down two to eight I want less depth of field so all's I had to do was change my f stop I don't have to change my shutter speed or anything I'm gonna stop in a quarter under no matter what if I go to eight we'll raise it all the way up to have twenty two nothing changes I'm gonna zoom and see really khun see the depth of field change that's it f twenty two this will be it f two point eight that's all I'm doing is changing that one day I'll look at the background a seattle on those two images one is half to point eight one is twenty two I'm doing no mathematics whatsoever I was simply changing that one dial right here for my f stop that is a huge, huge huge advantage when it comes to shooting a rave mode over manual when you're out in his bright sun as we were shooting this, the son came back out even brighter but I didn't have to worry about it because my camera is going to keep up with the two point eight so that last shot was it twenty five hundred of the shutter speed maybe when the sun wasn't out it might have been one to thousands of a second but it's gonna automatically make that adjustment for me to capture this sun change which is why I love now we're losing the sun again so it's probably gonna be a little bit different I'm gonna shoot this way all right I want you kind come over here just yeah yeah come over here and I want to know what not to do it just about right here right here is gonna be worse for you apologize all right here is what you don't want to do if you can see it's very tough but the sun is right there even at noon the pinnacle where you're in the world there's really not a time of the day that the sun is gonna be directly directly overhead I mean it's gonna be close there's gonna be always some angle that the sun is gonna be it so first this is exactly how we do it I know we're all limits because we're chained and we have different elements here because the creative live but if I was going to shoot up here right now this is a bride it have to be that direction that we've been shooting but let's say you love this background better and you want to use that background and they're looking into the sun because maybe that's just ugly ugly ugly so the way you khun do it is get creative with the posing where they're not necessarily looking at the camera so I want you to kind of turn this way and I want you to pull your hair back a little bit where I could see it I want you kind of look this way I know it's gonna be weird kind of hold hands like you love each other yeah well let's get this all right and what I want you to do I'll just look down don't even look at the camera just kind of looked down cheesy pose I know no the spectacular I'm just trying to shit prove a point so when you have a situation where they have to stare at the sun get him to look away do shots where they're not looking to the image at all just kind of looked down I will actually want you to both kind of look off each direction you can look off this way kind of looked down perfect need more like so I'm gonna raise my light up but the background is exactly where I wanted to be see lacey, turn your pull your hair back just a little bit or look a little bit more towards the camera because I can't see your face and I want to see your skin over your hair perfect all right let's get enough about worry about the quality photo but if you look you still see the blue sky you still see the light of their eyes are the lad on their face for separation and again it's very difficult for me to see because I can't even see my lcd but I'm guessing because I could see blue sky over here I still see blue sky over here because I'm a navy mode so I don't have any change I don't have to worry about the change in anything and that's what I love about eighty but don't get them to face the sun see how what lacey is doing right now that is what you never wantto happen and I see photographers do this all the time because they like the background I know it sounds stupid because I've been sounded stupid all week but it's like planting a garden you cannot plant a son plan in the shade and expected to live or a shade planning the sun expected to work you can't put these people in bad lighting inspect to get a great photograph you have to look at the lighting first and deal with what you can when it comes to the sun. And then use these little guys tow. Light up what you want when the sun is using the third light.

Class Description

Join Mike Fulton for a comprehensive course on speedlight photography — including how to use this versatile flash system to increase efficiency and expand your creative ability.

In this course, you’ll master all of the many buttons and features of speedlights. You’ll learn about each of your flash’s settings: manual, TTL, direct, bounce, off-camera, and more. You’ll explore the relationship between your camera and your flash, so you can move away from shooting in auto mode and toward capturing more nuanced, dynamic images. You’ll troubleshoot common flash issues and gain confidence manipulating the light from your speedlights to get exactly the look you want in your photographs. Mike will also cover the lighting choices that take an image from being just nice to look at to being highly marketable.

This speedlight photography course is the definitive experience for anyone ready to become an expert user of this powerful, adaptable lighting system.



Someone should tell this nice guy, Mike that he should restrain his comments and do his homework and structure the course and sticks to it. Of 100s of pictures he took not even one was inspiring or great shot. Yes, he did say that "I am not going to make good image", why not I ask? I do believe he is not only a nice individual but knows the tech side, not sure if he can make artistic images.

a Creativelive Student

I am in the midst of watching this class through the videos I purchased and am very impressed by how in depth the information is. VERY happy with this purchase. I like Mike’s ability to make concepts easy to understand and also that he shows you by example what he means. As a direct result of watching this class, while visiting family yesterday I found myself looking at my grandson’s face as light was shining on him through a window and thinking to myself, “Oh, that is short lighting and when he turns his face it becomes broad lighting.” Thanks, Mike. Can’t wait to see what other gems of understanding I have in store for me in the rest of the class videos.


Excellent course, especially when I learnt something within the first 5 mins of watching it. I have found Creative Live courses to be very thorough in detail and equally practical in application. 10 out of 10 Creative Live support has also been 💯 % helpful Thanks guys..