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Speedlight Photography Basics

Lesson 5 of 21

Shoot: Slow Speed Sync

Mike Fulton

Speedlight Photography Basics

Mike Fulton

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Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Slow Speed Sync

Lesson Info

Shoot: Slow Speed Sync

All right, our model what's your name macey is our model all right? And can I get the lights lower just a little bit in here? Guys, I know this is traded live. I want to show you this technique as much as possible we're going to keep them on me but I want to lower a little bit here innocent setting us up. I know it's sterile, but we want to show the concept is we're using these lights kind of as the lights you see in the reception hall just general house lights that you're going to see and in the reception hall you're usually going to have less like this. Obviously we can't have too much light because then you could be able to see me on on creative life. But I want to show you some of the failures of this technique I want to show you the way I do it because if you add this to your portfolio it adds so much dimension and so much to your to what you're doing so several things I would get my camera I want to make sure everything's working again I'm gonna be emmanuel motema camera I'm gonn...

a be in t t l all my flash and we're going to get into t t l in just a second but it's tt l through the lands on my flash for cannon it's going to be e t t l so when I turned my flash on it says e t t l in the back for nikon it's tio don't get caught up in all the terminology just know that it's tt l we're in the third generation of that science and we're gonna go over that in a minute but don't get freaked out on it so I'm going to sit here I'm going to look I'm going to raise right now my s o is it low fifty so I know that's not not good so I'm going to raise it up to eight hundred that's a general starting point I'm not real sure exactly where I need to be I don't really care at this point I do know I'm shooting with a twenty four seventy so twenty four is kind of that magical number that if I get below that I'm gonna start having handshake so I'm going to start off at one twentieth of a second and I want a wide open and stop normally I'm probably gonna have to raise my have stopped here to lock out some light or raise my iife so because we have these bright lights so we're going to see what happens is a general and I'm gonna leave her here right now because I want to make sure to show your problem you don't want her right up on top of the background now why would that be want field and I wanted to feel and what would happen with potential reflection of light from the back into your lens? True, but there's one more very valuable thing what do I want these lights to do? Blur? What happens if she gets too close what's gonna happen in there? They're not gonna blur because my flash will actually like them up too and won't allow that to blur. So that's probably what's going to happen now unless I really shake so you just stand there and look great kind of turn off to the side a little bit one sided no, there we go. Perfect! I know she feels perfect. I'm gonna focus on her I'm gonna keep her in the center and I'm just going to twist you can see probably I don't know if it's coming up what you can see on the images everything is really, really bright you get a little bit of the blur but you see how it's really bright doesn't you lost the gold anus you lost the color because the flash is blowing it out not really what you want she's decently she's a little soft but you can see the light starts to come over her face too so what I would do is pull her out home macy, I want you stand about right here and now, without trying to step on the court and messing up all our technical stuff, give me a nice little pose, macy perfect love and do the same thing. Now you're going to notice that they're a little darker in the background when it comes up, the lights are here and you notice why wonder in the center I'm going to do with this curd and normally, if we're in a lot darker room, you wouldn't have nears much ambient light. I'm actually gonna lower my eyes so and see if I could get some of the ambient light out of here now you'll be able to see it a lot better should be darker and in night you wouldn't have any anti light, you would literally just have her and the lights behind her. What we try to do these christmas lights cause I want to show you the really strong example of it. We get a question turned down two hundred yeah, term. I go down to two hundred because I'm tryingto generally in a real life situation, you're not gonna have this so it's going to be opposite, but I don't want to change my shutter speed because I wanted to be a cz lowest possible, and I don't want to change my ass stop. Because I want that actually to be shallow as I possibly can so by next step is I'm gonna actually lower my half stop all the way to to eight and I'm gonna lower my eyes so as low as I can because that should give me and I want mason to step another step this way and you actually turn your camera not correct we're fixing to turn the lands in a second so there's a twist and there's a zoom and so you can do and that's the fun of this you can do both now if I get too slow I'm gonna drop it all the way down to one fifth if I do too slow and I do the exact same thing you see how slow that wass now watch what happened with the lights goes all over her face but that's still kind of a cool effect if used properly but if you slow down too much you're gonna have way too much shutter speed enemy noticed I shook and turn the camera it actually didn't take the photo until actually move the camera so that handshake is really starting to come into play that's why I try to tell you to keep it around whatever millimeter linder using which is why I like oops sorry which is why I like using the sixteen millimeter sixteen thirty five six seventeen to forty type range with this a wider lens maybe an official could work I'm not going to work because our backdrop you wouldn't be able you wouldn't be effective in this situation but the wider the lens, the more ambient light I could get in it usually works better so I'm gonna move it back up to around one fifteenth one twentieth of a second not changing anything else and do the exact same shot and now we're getting kind of where we want to be direct flash it looks nice I mean again we're not trying to do anything spectacular here we're just tryingto it's more the background effect the lights you notice how she freezes but if you notice where it falls off she's starting to get a little blurry where the fast twist is but she's in the center so that's tack sharp because that's where the flash is going on the edges get really really blurry and so that's what you have to concentrate on that's why I always say leave her in the middle or leave your subjects in the middle you don't want to put him on the edge so if we zoom in this is the zoom in you can do me and resume out I usually go zoom in and zoom out because it's easier for me you're going to get this effect so now it's a whole different feel and actually kind of shook it a little bit when you zoom in a little bit and see what it looks like try to keep it off the background, I might have missed that altogether. No, I got a little bit of it, but not much very simple if you bounce it for angle it like we talked about for raise it up, you're going to get it, but I want to see what the light does to her face there's not much light hitting her now and look how soft she is because the light has to be there to freeze this motion to freeze your handshake that's why I like having it direct on the flash paired off camera lighting because I want that directly there to freeze that action as much as I can, you can get away with it, but this is truly maura on camera technique, and as we get farther into the session and we get into the off camera lighting and the off camera meeting and actually mixing off camera with on camera, which is what one thing we're gonna due tomorrow, you can do everything that we're talking about all right here with wireless turning it off, doing dragging the shutter, doing fast, regular flash bounce everything and that's what we're going, we're going to end up tomorrow doing all that stuff does that make sense? Why like that? It doesn't look it you can also bounce but if we bounce it's very much the same I'm actually gonna raise my power my flash all way up and I'm just going to bounce which is going into the next segment but I'm gonna bounce a lot over here to her and we'll see what happens now where the light is bouncing off her and hitting her she should be a little more stable but it's still a little soft so it's not as blurry because I'm getting bounce it's a nice directional light but that's full power on my flash bouncing off this and coming back that's a lot now if I had a reflector right here which is not really gonna happen in a wedding situation it might work but if you had someone wearing a white shirt you could bounce off that white shirt as I've said before, I've bounced off people's backsides and say hey, can you help me with the photograph of the bride cash you're standing right here and a bounce light right up there but I said would you help me block the light for the bride? I wouldn't tell him I was bouncing off the backside but it works but that's why you want flash directly on her so if you move her back again I want you move back towards the bout right there send her up a little bit may see but right there give me a pose again here we already showed you if I'm here it's well that's way too much lot of forgot to lower it from the previous shot sorry about that that's a big mistake here if you do it again I want you to see the difference chris's hard but now it's blown out everything you're not getting the golden light but in this situation you could possibly bounce and again we're going in the other section but you could actually bounce some light here well it's still not that it's still not gonna be enough so this is why it's truly an on camera direct most people think he's a direct on camera flash it's horrible horrible lighting most of time they're absolutely correct but in this situation it's a little creativity it's a little aspect that's gonna add a lot to your poke folio does that make sense? You sure? Yes okay alright come back formation so let me do another zoom and I'm going to slow this down about one sixth of a second and I'm gonna raise my f stop up to about one eighth or one knife actually gonna do one fourth of a second oh thanks I'm an idiot it's like having a lens cap on I'm a professional here I'm gonna actually because it's so slow zoom in freeze and then you can get away with it I didn't move much but now she's focused so I knew where that's what I like to go in I zoomed and assumes it hit I zoom in when I push the button knowing that it's during that time the shutters open and I hold it here because if I don't hold it here and kind of moving you're gonna have actual actually pretty cool you're actually gonna have usually a messed up shot but it's actually not bad does that make sense as I was saying if I have a long shutter and I move it too much that's usually what's gonna happen maybe they go you're going the lights all over their face and so when you have the lights all over her face generally you're shutter speed is too slow you need to raise it up some or you're doing too much twist and shout makes sense I like the twist because it's easier for me if you notice I'm not twisting a ton I'm not doing this if you do that you're goingto have crazy lights all over her face and that's what a lot of people think you have to do you don't want that like you looked just then you're like so it's literally very little very, very little nothing heart very very little shape gives you a huge huge difference in the slow shutter speed you see I'm at one fourth of a second and I'm still freezing her she still not blurry in her face you're going to get a little the lights down here it's hard to see but there's a little softness on her fingers and her owner elbow where the twist is but it's not bad so the slower your shutter speed, the less movement you need to do as well. So in a low lot low light situation with this technique, you could barely barely barely turn it and you'll be fine but in a lo license in lower your shutter speed more but the more light which is here, which this is not back is this is a lot of light in here and we're at one four, but I raised my mind f stop tau tau, normally I would be a two, eight, three, two more wide open take away everything is in the background, the other people dancing, whatever is going on now what can also be done if we shoot high school seniors or whatever else you're doing low like maybe nighttime scene photography, which we do lots of times when we're in galveston houston will photograph is the sunsets brown downtown and we'll take a break, maybe dinner, whatever and when we come back it's completely dark, we'll have all the street lights and you just street lights is reusing these christmas lights, this holiday lights and it is the same thing, so I'll have her out in the street had the lights will take a shot with everything stable and then I'll actually lower we'll do drag the shutter image as well with the all the street lights is well and it completely changes the scenario of what you're trying to do so you're shooting at eight so you're kind of sacrificing your depth of field a little bit here I am but you're just you know because because we have the stage lights it's a little brighter I needed to knock him down but I wanted to show you you can shoot it low I so you can do anything as long as you understand how that s o f stop shutter speed relates to each other, you can do it but in optimal situation especially with today's cameras I like the slowest shutter speed they can get away with is usually right around the millimeter that I'm shooting it's wide open f stop and if that's not enough light I'll go ahead and raise my eyes so up because again it's sixteen hundred this is an old mark two that I if you look at it it's just worn down because I used the heck out of it I love it and even in sixteen hundred you're fine with the new mark threes in the noon icons you can get away with thirty, two hundred all day long and you're and you're fun, you're golden so with the new with the newest so's you can get away with just about anything you want to do when it got when it comes to these new cameras and I saw so let me get a drink here a second does it matter whether you're using front curtain curtain what a great question and that's where we were going next you and I are on the same page I like that it can what is front and rear curtain do you know what that actually is of your doing the flash actually goes off relationship to the shutter exactly so you have two shutters and you basically and we're going to do some more examples in just a second makes you so you can relax just staying right there thank you she's all postal perfect I think what you like lock up on me and fall you have to curtains first in your second and so the first carton is when the curtain opens the flash fires right away and in the second curtain closes and they reset second curtain is the opposite so when the first curtain opens up it absorbs the light and then fires at the very end when second curtain's closing so what would that change um where it freezes the absolute subject absolutely mean basically what it is is when it freezes if you want trails after throwing a baseball you want them the classic fast pitch with a trail behind it which one would that be? First or second curtain second while you went to war behind that are not blurred in the direction that the baseballs exactly. So you want second, so in a slow shutter. So as you open up the shutter it's gonna catch the blur and then rise the second carton clos flashes and freeze of the action if he had first, which is some examples I'll show you in a minute it's the opposite looks like it's being thrown at them. So the balls trails coming far behind it and then the ball's coming towards the picture instead of away. So yes, it would change it if you want to. Generally, though with this we just leave it first carton unless it's some motion. But then if it's emotion this kind of it kind of defeats the purpose I mean, you want to freeze this motion, so maybe if they're spinning, maybe you could have a trail doing first dance. Maybe you could do it second card and it would spin and you'd have that trail and then it would freeze them in place that for this type of shots I would just leave it in first curtain, but I would suggest you play with it, I would suggest you go in there with first and second card and take shots if you have a dog running around cat whatever cats will run around but whatever take pictures of anything you have cars going by on the street it works really well just don't blind the cars and make him wreck but it will it will work really really well can you repeat the basic settings that you start with when you ring it when you're going to do these types of shots the aperture and the shutter speed I know we have a slide for it yeah um basically what I do is I'm going to set my shutter speed toe whatever my millimeter is that right off the bat I might go a little lower but if I'm using twenty four to seventy I'm gonna shoot it right around one twentieth of a second one twenty fifth of a second and then I'm gonna lower my f stop to probably the lowest that I know that that lens is going to be decently and focus because some lindsey's will be too late but maybe they're a little soft too ate some so you might want to raise it three two maybe three five or something so I that's just your lands I know that that's a starting point I had a sixteen twenty sixteen thirty five at one point like I said that I knew it to eighty was a little soft so it never shot it to eight always shot three two that's my foundation and then I'm going to raise the eye so up oh and I'm just going to turn the flash off and I'm gonna take a shot in the room a couple shots look on the back of my camera see how light or dark it is and I'm gonna raise my so until I get the ambient light that I'm happy with once I get the ambient light where I'm happy with I don't touch my camera settings again then I turned my flash on and then I just adjust my flash compensation as you saw that one when I bounced I put it plus three and he was fine on the bounce but when I put direct flash it blew out so I'm gonna just my flash compensation toe where my client is properly exposed and then I'm going to start playing if I twist too much or don't twist enough I could maybe slow my shutter speed down a little bit, raise it up a little bit to get the actual motion that I want but that's basically a step by step on how I would I would do the drag a shutter and again it looks easy and it is easy I can say that I would like to golf very easy to do but it's hard to get good photos and so you're really gonna have to kind of practice to get better and better at the session great yeah well on the same note for settings sharing on the chat rooms want to know how do you set the camera to front curtain versus rear curtain? We're kind of get ahead of ourselves but I'll answer a little bit it's um depend on the camp but it's usually in your menu system and they'll be setting the little first or second current click in and just have a drop down for first or second by default setting first carton because that is what you want most of the time but you can go into the second curtain and get creative with it generally second curtain does not work in off camera flash modes it's only an on camera flash aspect so be aware of that um there are some that we're getting a little bit better in technology but as a general just know that it's an on camera flash concept awesome thanks mike we're getting a little discussion in the chat rooms about no discussion in the chat room I'll have a lotto so I know it's not directly related to our content but it is it's a great question I don't like what ally? So personally I don't like auto anything in the whole scale of things I know that a v or a is auto in a sense, but I'm still in control of what my final product looks like when you're in auto white balance or auto eso you're not in control with that final product looks like and I suggest to get away from that I don't really care what white balance you use I personally use flash white balance if I'm using flash if I'm into kelvin situation, I'm gonna use like a fifty, two hundred fifty eight hundred number, but I want to be on something all the time because if I'm an auto just like otto I so white balance I'm gonna be all over the place one image might be really warm out when it might be really cold and I'm having to correct every individual image and post and it takes hours where if I'm off a little bit on all my images, I can highlight him and click one little you know, click with the mouse and they're all corrected same thing with auto, so I don't like one image would be if you notice how it's changing there so to get the effects that I want, I don't want the camera mito actually focus in meet her on something else and it's going to jump up to s o eight hundred and then I'm gonna meet her on maybe the white of something else and it's going to drop the I s o down to one hundred it's completely going to confuse you it's going to give you a hard time, but you're not going to know why? I'm not getting the exposure that in my mind, I think I should get, and I'm not getting it. So I suggest getting away from the auto I. So it is getting better on the new cameras. There's, no question, but just set it at a number, and then again, raise it up. That's, the last step. You such a shutter speed, check your f stop and then raise I assault to get what you need.

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..