Speedlights 101

Lesson 22 of 40

Shoot: On the creativeLIVE Roof

 

Speedlights 101

Lesson 22 of 40

Shoot: On the creativeLIVE Roof

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: On the creativeLIVE Roof

All right we're here on the roof and I wanted to talk to you about how we decided to shoot what we're about to shoot and so as we look around you can see that we have some nasty buildings over here we've got some houses right back here behind us we actually have some cranes that aren't very good the sky is just featureless there no clouds there's nothing of interest back there and you have satellite dishes from the television station there you can see we have some features but nothing that we actually want to show in our photo but if you look behind me you can see a couple of things there really important number one we have this church and we have some green trees back there that would make a really good background to a portrait photo the problem is those trees are way over there and if there was a way that we could get those trees and move them closer that would really help out well there is a way to take trees like that and move them closer that's called compression we could take a r...

eally long lens and what a long lens will do a two hundred or three hundred millimeter lens it makes it look like the background is closer to the foreground than it actually is. The other thing that we get from that is our angle of view goes from really why to really narrow and so then we can get rid of some of the distracting things back there, like the power lines and that crane and all that nastiness, we get rid of all of that. So before we even start to shoot, I'm pre visualizing what it is I want to get. I don't want it to look like I'm on a rooftop with nasty power lines and cranes wanted to look like we're in a park with really nice soft light. You can see by the way, that the soft light doesn't exist. It's, horrible light and that's another reason that we are shooting in this direction. If you look right below me here we have a shadow that shadow is pointing this direction. I do not want to take sara and put her where she's looking at the light because if I do she's going to be squinting like this and it's going to be a horrible, horrible picture. So what I'm gonna do is that son that's behind us, we're going to use that as a kicker, light as a hair lighter rim light. We're gonna have it sort of be that silver lining around the cloud. So what I did right over here is we have sarah facing this way. And so we have this strong light coming from behind her. I'm gonna be shooting this way so we have those trees back. They're going to bring him close using a long lens. So the first thing I want to d'oh shoot this portrait and show you what it looks like with no flash in the mix and what we'll see is we have strong back light that's going to give us a silhouetted picture. I'm shooting in manual mode, so this is in full manual mode right now. I'm shooting it five point six because I want shallow depth the field with a long lens five point six is going to be just fine and I'm at two hundred, two hundred of a second and I did that earlier looked and saw how much light we have so let's. First take a look and see what we get two hundredth of a second at five point six with my lens fully extended, so I actually have to make sure it's all adjusted there we go sometimes have to turn on your camera for it to work. Okay, I'm sorry don't show that picture could have my flash on so let's show you with no flash on a no flash, what we have here is a photo that lacks a little bit of life. We have a decent exposure but her face isn't really popping now one of the things that I've learned and I make this mistake over and over but uh you learning to don't trust your lcd panel don't trust it because outside and bright sunlight it looks really dim and if you look at that you're gonna go oh this is underexposed and it's not right and you'll make mistakes you'll try to get this to be really bright it'll look great and then you go back to your computer you look at and everything is over exposed don't make that mistake hit the info button or the up arrow check your history graham your history graham is going to give you a better understanding of your exposure because it's like a temperature gauge is gonna be it doesn't care what you feel it's just going to tell you what the truth is when I look at this I don't see that I have any issues with my exposure except for I don't have anything on sarah his face here and my highlights or a little under exposed so I'm going to do next I'm going turn on my flash here and turn that on and I'm going to take a shot here so sarah looked right at me beautiful and I'm having a lot of focus issue there we go good so that so sarah cheat toward the light just little bit eyes toward me beautiful okay now we've got a shot that I really like here. I'm going to take a peek at that from checking my history. I'm taking a look at that, and that looks pretty good to me. We've got a shot. That's got some highlights on her hair, her her face looks pretty good, but let's, talk about some of the limitations of this flash. If I zoom out a little bit, we'll take a vertical shot here. This is head to right below her hands. I'll take a shot there and you can see that when we do that. Not a very good shot. Why isn't it a very good shot? Well, I gave up on my compression. I have too much of this rooftop in here. I brought in all those elements that I'd didn't want, and so that's something that you don't want to do, you want to do that, we're just going to get a lot of nastiness. I have too much in this shot and edit that out. I do that by using my telephoto lens. Okay, that was all shot with this on manual mode, this in just full e t t l and I can feel this right now and it is hot, and that means that this is really pumping out as much light as it possibly can. Let's, try something. I want to see if we can under expose our ambient light. I like really under exposed that and carve her out up here. So using this light, I already know we can't it's it full blast. I don't feel that it's about ready to melt down because it's it's hot to the touch with this soft box that's about as much light is it's going to ever pop out? So what we're going to do to carve her out and do this? Uh, so we're going to shape her using light from flashes instead of ambient light. We first need to work with the ambient light, so I want to do is get rid of it don't want to get rid of all of it. I just want to get rid of most of it. So what I'll do here is I'm gonna take my little commander him to get rid of it altogether, and the reason I'm doing that is just to show you that we're just using ambient light and what I want to do is I want to try to stay under my cameras, sink speed. In other words, I don't want to go any faster than two hundredth of a second because I want the full potential of my flashes without high speed sync once we do that maybe we'll come back and do some high speed seeing stuff if we have time so let me see what I need to set my aperture too to get rid of this ambient light so I'm gonna look through my lens and when I looked through the lens I'm looking at the meter here and I'm seeing that about five point six about five point six I'm under exposed a little bit at eight about two stops and you're exposed I'm gonna go all the way to ten and sarah looked right at me there you look awesome let's see what we get ok so we have a very underexposed sarah that's what I want we could see that we're getting a lot of light coming off of this highly reflective rooftop and so that's causing us some issues going to try to lower my camera maybe shoot horizontally take another shot here and you could see severely under exposed that's right where I want to be because now that says I can control the light if I have enough power but now what I need to do is I need to be able to shoot I actually went to f ten I need a flash that's bright enough to illuminate sara left ten so kelsey, if you'll take this first what we're going to dio is do we have something just is holding a speed light ok, let's have who is the flash? I'm the flash okay, I should come on up come right over here so I'm gonna have you right here and then what I want you to do is hold this so we're holding it vertically now the problem is holding it this way the flash can't see the commander so what, you're going to do this twist this around like that? Ok, the other thing is this is in is in the right mood just checking that ok? Just like that, okay? And we might also have to do this so it can see where I am all right? And then my commander, I'm putting the commander back on, we're still in full tl mode here and I'm f ten we're going to see if this light has enough juice to eliminate her, so make sure this is horizontal they're not shooting up into the sky but right at her they were going to come back here and do this. You were taking a shot and we do have enough light we do have in a flight pretty spectacular so let's see what happens when we try to get more of a full body shot so this is right about the knees good all right we're getting some light there now what you're seeing here also is I was able to overpower the ambient light as long as the ambient light that I was dealing with with those trees because the trees air darker their dark green when I start including this rooftop in this guy even enough tens to hundreds of a second I can't do it so it's a little trick if you can't overpower the ambient light you might be able to overpower something that's in the ambient light like a dark building dark green trees shrubbery something like that so we have this we're gonna make sure that we keep this compressed so we only are working with the trees have to back up a little bit there we go good awesome okay now this isn't very flattering because the light is really really hard so what we're going to try to do here do we have an umbrella adapter we're going to try to get an umbrella over to see what happens only add an umbrella and see if our expectations are realistic so we know we can overpower the light outside with this light but this light gives us the appropriate amount of light was not flattering can we get flattering light up here so kelsey's going toe rigged this up for us really fast we're going to try this with an umbrella bouncing off um and see how much light we get now base on our experience downstairs where we did all the media ring and all that kind of stuff what's your guess do you think this is gonna work so the students behind us they're all going no it won't work we'll see we're going to see you so kelsey's got that almost totally rigged up here okay where is going to do a voice activated light stand that's what this is called the voice activated light stand or you just say move over here move over there it's a person it's pretty cool okay except for you're blocking this with your finger we need to make sure that this conceited way go ok now pointed toward her there we go good good you love it closer no closer look closer little closer closer still closer still there you now back up just a hair. They're going to look right at me. Sara here we go. Okay, now this check it out. We did get some light but not enough light to surround her. We'd have to bring this around to do that. We need to add multiple lights, but we were able to do this pretty well with this flash to get some nice soft light but what we need to do is add more and more and more lights to tryto control this so pretty spectacular that were able to overpower that light now we don't have time this would probably take us another half an hour or forty minutes to dial that in get it perfect make sure we had everything right and so the point here is not that we got a perfect image because we need to move along, but we were able to overpower the light as long as we noticed what we were controlling that background let's try the same thing but we're going to do is what have you come over here, sarah? And so caution come on over here we go and I want to try to do the same thing with these ugly buildings because those ugly buildings are much brighter then the trees so the first thing I'm going to do is see if we can even overpower those buildings so just ambient light just ambient light I am oh underexposed daniel light so sarah looked right at me good no flash, just ambient light we're able to under over power the buildings there under exposed the sky is still seeping in fight pan out here a little bit, zoom out a little bit, take a picture you can see that that sky keeps seeping in so we're not able to do that let's see if we can add a flash so it cuts you come on back over here and then we're gonna have you on this side we'll have you on this side and then what we'll do is yeah there you go. So kelsey, can you hold this just for a second so I'm gonna, uh help you out here just a little bit so you hold this hold it like this so that way you're not inside the flash there you go. Yeah there you go much better in that way you're not blocking any of this kind of stuff and then use this shaft to sort of payment you want to be a say that this thing is going toe shoot her right in the face basically ok so make sure that is going right at that direction and we'll see what we can get here as well and so I'm keep rotating this way so take about a half step back that way backward there you go ok so now let's see if we can get enough light in here to overpower that so I know that it's like very bright ready one, two three we go good, good, good, good and we can waken get just a little bit of light thank you forget so what we're showing you here is we can overpower the light we can make sure that we have two different exposures with the background and the foreground and we could do all kinds of things before we go on we have just not very much time left I think we have a bunch of questions coming in doing if not we'll keep going okay let's let's hear those questions? Okay, hold on one second mark okay, we're holding on one second. I want to show you what we're doing next though said josh come on over we have the quantum flash here we're gonna give you a little preview of what's coming up after lunch this is a quantum flash and we have it hooked up to a pocket with her plus three and then point that at the camera right there when this guy so what we have it here is this is set up so when we uh oh, here we go yeah so we're gonna have a remote control here. So do we have another plus three? Ok, so we have one of those coming and what this guy will do for us is allow me I think this one has no batteries another this one will allow me to fire that flash. So now when I push this that fires I'm gonna put this on my camera here in a second and we're gonna give you a sneak peek of shooting in full manual with the flash and the camera and a light meter so we're going to do that as soon as we take questions here unless we don't have any do we have some we do we do we do all right not so would like to know when me during the ambient light where are you pointing your camera at the dark building at mid tone area somewhere I know you talked about the trees ok let me show you exactly so what I'll do instead of describing it tio I'm going to take pictures of what I used to meet her so when I meet erred on the trees back there I'll take a picture of what I actually meet her done okay so I actually metered on that tree right there that's now showing up so when I was looking that's what I saw through my viewfinder when I was meeting on the buildings over here I looked through and that is what I shot so that was what I was taking a looking at through my viewfinder two meter those buildings so that's where I was looking if I wanted to meet her the sky I would actually is pointing to the sky and there it is just sky and that's what I do so I hope the pictures show better than me just pointing exactly what I'm eating so but that's what I used to meet her the ambient light and you could see that the sky is much brighter than the buildings and the buildings are much brighter than the trees okay we have a question mark from drew michael who's in cincinnati could you talk about how to use it neutral density filtered to decrease the shutter speed and depth of field in senate conditions when using a flash yes, so a new tradition city filter is something that you can put on end of your lens and it's basically sunglasses for your camera and so what it does is it decreases the amount of light that comes through the lands that decreases all of the light that comes to the lens. It's called a neutral density filter because it doesn't change the colors that air coming through it just takes the intensity of the light down and so basically what you're doing is if you had something that was extremely bright, you could take that light put a neutral density filter on it and a half the amount of light is coming in and so instead of having it be f ten, you could shoot out to stop lower than that, which I don't remember I think is what that is and then if you put a two stop neutral density filter in, then it could open up your aperture even maura three stop nutrient density filter you're just taking a light and putting in half half assed much light, half assed much light again happens much light again, so eventually what you're doing is you're really, really making it dark it's like putting one of those things if you were a kid and you looked at any clips and maybe had almost like welding goggles or something and you can look at the sun it's the same thing you're putting this really, really dark piece of glass in front of your lens now what happens though is that's going to cut down the ambient light significantly so you can open up your aperture and use a wide aperture for shalit up the field but then that flash is coming through the lens has to be much much brighter to compete because it still has to go through that neutral density filter and so if you have a new children city filter the flash that you use has to be that much more powerful so it because it eliminates not just the light from the sun but all light and so you really have to have a punchy flash to able to use those neutral density filters on your camera ok mark I think there's supposed to be a solar eclipse tomorrow is there a solar eclipse tomorrow also speaking of eclipses okay, I have a question from caroline bandido who's from lake havasu city, arizona yeah, london bridge is falling down and she asked I only have white studio umbrellas well, they will work good in an outdoor situation like this you only have studio I'm didn't hear I'm sorry I only have white studio umbrellas well, they were good in a situation like this yeah, that will work we had I think the number that we had was a white studio umbrella a shoot through umbrella if that's what she's talking about will work even better because more light will go through that so yeah, they'll work silver is going to be a little bit better because it's more punch more reflective than white but it really depends on how bright it is outside but right now we're doing just fine now last night so here's something just really, really important last night at the shoot we were taking pictures with the sunset and we were really having a difficult time overpowering the son. So why is it that today in the middle of the day we're able to overpower the sun where we couldn't last night? Well, the difference is behind us we have these dark things dark trees, dark buildings, those air much darker. Last night we had nothing but sun and extremely highly reflective water and so light was just streaming into our cameras and so how you should ambient light matters, but what is in the background matters just as much, so sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't depending on the the light that you have to work with, so you gotta be really cognizant of that, okay? And just to clarify for moxie blue you're just using an umbrella holder with a hot shoe mount is that correct we're using an umbrella holder with the cold shoe mount in other words, that hot you actually has connections going through it and there's a communication from the camera the cold too is just basically the same thing that's on the top of your camera but it doesn't do anything you just hold something so yeah it's an umbrella adapter we're going to show you that after lunch we ran out of time to do that we're going to show you one more thing now because we're just about out of time I want to show you a preview of how you can shoot with a light meter and everything in full manual mode so what I'm going to do here is I have my camera in full manual I haven't said a shutter speed of two hundred and aperture value of I'm going to choose thirteen I'm choosing that at random because I know that earlier we chose ten and overpower the light is going to go with thirteen to see if we can do that so kelsey's going give me my light meter we're going to show you how to use one of these guys but right now what I have is I have a light meters sit in a mode that meters not only ambient light but light from a flash at the same time it does both at the same time and the sake onyx I'll do that so what I'm gonna do is I know I have to have my flash meter at f what did I put it up there at thirteen? My flash needs to be a f thirteen to get a proper exposure so josh, come on over. Josh has our quantum flash this quantum flash has a pocket wizard on it and so it's radio controlled this iconic light meter has a pocket wizard built into it so when I push this button to measure the light it's going to fire this flash so josh is our human light stand I'm gonna have you come over here a little bit on access so we're going to bring you back so this come on back come on back come on back there we go just like that okay, so I'm gonna do is I'm gonna meet her to this light gonna put this right here and when I meet her that light fires I should not look at it now I can't read my light meter, but it meters that f fourteen, which is just a little bit brighter than we want. If we had time, we would just adjust this a little bit, but instead of doing that, I'm just going to change my camera fourteen now one thing I want to show you, I don't know if you can see this this says that my flash is f fourteen really really bite there's an eighty percent right here? What that eighty percent says is that eighty percent of the light in this scene is coming from the flash twenty percent is from ambient light and so what I could do is maybe I could meet it over here so don't point it at me take another meter this meter's f eleven and it's saying that forty percent is coming from the flash which means sixty percent is coming from our ambient light and so this meter allows me to see what the mix is between my flash and my ambient light and so if I have something I want to get to I can do that really quickly it's a really cool thing so we're gonna show you how to use a light meter after lunch but right now we should be set we're at fourteen right fourteen okay I've already said it josh is going to stand right there this isn't gonna be beautiful but we're at least going to make it work and so sarah looked right at me and we did we get a shot there yeah we did fire I'm looking at that you can see that we illuminated sarah's face and that looked pretty good I'm going take this we're gonna I'm going over exposed just a little bit by opening up my aperture so let's have you cheat toward this flash there we go there we go. Good. Take another shot and you could see were illuminating her with this flash and we have no ambient light at all are very little ambient light. What I could do if I wanted to I could add some ambient light how could I add ambient light? Somebody tell me slowing down my shutter excellent. So what I'll do is I'll slow down my shutter speed. We'll start bringing in some ambient light so f eleven at two hundred there's that I'm gonna go down to one hundred we get that? I'm gonna go down to sixty eighth of a second there's that. Ok, now we could see in this series we just checked yet so if you see these side by side by side, you can see how we're able tio increase that ambient light almost none a lot more a well balanced image. And all I did was I just changed my shutter speed from two hundred down and down again finally to sixteenth of a second so you can see how fast and easy it is. Once you sort of get these two exposure triangles to control either one of them to say yes, I want more ambient light, less ambient light, more flash less fast and you'll get to the point where you can do it very, very, very quickly and that will work not only with the quantum flash but you saw earlier that with their speed light an icon in our cannon were able to overpower this light here as well. So it's something that you can do with just a little bit of practice and you're really going to be out to have great success all right? I think susan and can have something to say and then we're going to take a break. Ok, that sounds good. We do have a ton of questions but maybe we can refer them back after lunch I'll tell you what let's do this let's take two questions I'm going to give this to these guys they could start heading downstairs. Well, that work and then that way we can and do some q and a while they get the stuff downstairs in that way we can get the best use of our times that works the students start migrating that way kelsey is going to help you out and we're just gonna answer questions why they get going. How do you determine the size umbrella that I need for doing portrait's and that's from greece? Okay, how do you determine the size of the umbrella for doing a portrait? The larger the umbrella, the softer the light and so it really depends on how soft you want that light now to appoint speed lights really it's they're only going to fill up so much of a large umbrella, so what I normally do is if I have a full shot head to toe, there you go, sara full shot head to toe was perfect timing, then what I'll do is I'll use as large of an umbrella as I can if I'm just doing ah, head shot, I'll use an umbrella that's maybe a foot foot and a half, something like that, so it really depends on your personal taste preferences, but a normal size umbrella works for most things as long as it's, not a full body shot. Okay, there are quite a few questions here mark about, um, overpowering the ambient light, one from truck who asked just to clarify when you say you overpower the ambient light, are you saying you're able to under expose it? Yes, that is a I love the way that question was asked because I was like, I need to rephrase that, so we're not overpowering the ambient light were under exposing the ambient light that's what we're doing, we're under exposing the ambient light, but using a fast shutter speed in a small app, twitter remember, the aperture allows light to go through it from the flash, and so as long as our appetites are flash is powerful enough to illuminate the subject at they smaller aperture we're going to be fine regardless of the shutter speed because it doesn't shutter speed doesn't control the flash it all so yeah, we're just under exposing ambient light so when we can't overpower the ambient light, what I'm saying is we can't have a shutter speed fast enough and an aperture small enough to under expose the ambient light and let enough flash get to our subject so that's really what I'm saying also there are I know we talked about the meeting last night you said you were usually an evaluative, but a lot of people would like to know in this kind of ah changing light harsh light how are you? How are you meeting? I'm still in a value to have motive I will be an evaluative mode all day today and tomorrow and next year in the year after that. So um I don't really use any other mode except for evaluative mode and the reason for that is when I get into difficult lighting situations. I jumped to my safety net, which is full manual mode and I use a light meter to get a proper exposure, which we're going to show you evaluative motor matrix metering mode is going to be terrific in almost any situation spot metering can really help out toe isolate things, but we're going to be in a value to mode the entire time the reason for that is when we jump to this other modes. It's going to be one of those things that could take us longer than we need to spend time on it. Because it's different for different cameras. And they're different ways that those cameras interact with their flashes. So we're going to stick with value. Tiven, matrix metering.

Class Description

Once you know what’s happening with your camera and flash you can do almost anything. Speedlights open up a new realm in your photography. They are light to carry, quick to set up. And you never know when you're going to need that extra light for a more dramatic image.

This workshop will give you the confidence to incorporate small portable flash in your photography toolkit. From shooting receptions at weddings or adding drama in senior portraits, this workshop will include lots of live shooting examples that will help everything make sense. Get ready to take your photography to the next level. Once you start working with portable flash, you'll never understand how you lived without them.

Reviews

Alexander Svishchenkov
 

Great! I'm so thankful to you, CreativeLive, for providing this great opportunity to learn an important subject of photography - Speedlights - from the professional Mark Wallace. He is such a good teacher and explains everything in real-life situations and on slides. As he fires his flash, I instantly see the resulting photo on my screen, so this is theory combined with practice. I'm in fact watching you from Belarus, and it's midnight, so I'm fighting with sleep, but I can't get myself away from the screen. this is my 1st CL experience. I'm very grateful for running a rewatch of the previous Day the following morning, so I woke up and saw what I'd missed. And it's totally free! Thank you so much for a true first-class education!

Aussie David
 

Truly a fabulous class. Mark has such a gift for taking a complex subject and making it so understandable and fun at the same time. Mark is easily one of the best instructors out there. Highly highly highly recommend this class.

a Creativelive Student
 

Thank you!! You rock!!! I just purchased the videos and I am looking forward to learning how to use my Nikon SB 910. I knew I had to purchase the videos as I have been glued to my monitor soaking up as much information as I can and neglecting my family. LOL Mark, I am grateful that you are sharing your knowledge and for the CreativeLIVE team providing the education to me. I am so excited to put all this information to use. Thank you for the wealth of information!