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Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Lesson 10 of 18

How to Combine Lights in Scene Scenario

Susan Stripling

Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

10. How to Combine Lights in Scene Scenario

Lesson Info

How to Combine Lights in Scene Scenario

So this looks bad. It is a regular everyday hotel ballroom. It was a Radisson or Hilton or something like that. The bride and groom had a very nondescript table set up, and I never want people to think that I am showing these examples to say that their reception was bad. Nobody's reception was bad. It's to break the misconception that wedding photographers have that I can Onley take amazing images if I am in amazing scenarios, and it's to show that you can have a perfectly lovely room with a very simple table. It's the background is like a curtain, and there's twinkle lights hanging from it. It not every wedding is going to have a $1,000, budget, but you have to be able to take $1,000, pictures no matter where you are. So I'm working my way through the room and with my assistant. If I didn't have an assistant, I could still do it. I just need a light stand, but I'm working the way through the room with my assistant, and we're seeing the bride and groom's head table. There's not a lot a...

nd way of decor, but they have to Champlain champagne flutes sitting on their table. And I wanted to take a picture of the champagne flutes, but I wanted it to look really, really great. You can see my assistant in the corner holding what looks like a large lightsaber. That is our ice light. This is That was ice light. Version one. We now have I slight version two, which I'm very excited about. If you don't have an assistant to hold your ice light, put it on a light stand and just pop it right there. You don't need a person to hold it. It makes it easier because Aiken, gesture to her. Move up, move back, move around. But if all you have is a light stand, put it on a light stand and go to town on that. We're not using a flash here, because why pulling out of speed light? Putting up a speed like popping a speed light. When we could just pull that, I slide out, Turn it on. We use it a lot for details. So what does it look like when you've cut two champagne flutes and some twinkle lights in the background? In a nice light? It looks like that and this is actually straight out of camera. This one is straight out of camera. So how did we make it look like that? Well, it's a combination of the lighting. Obviously, those champagne flutes would not illuminate like that if we hadn't used that ice light from that angle toe. Light them up. It's a combination of the twinkle lights in the background, but then it's a combination of all of those things, plus the settings that I chose. 72 200 millimeters at 200 million readers. We talked about that perspective shift where when you're at 200 millimeters, it makes your background look much closer to your subject than it really is. You can see how far away we are from that wall of twinkle lights back there, but when you look at the final image on the right, it looks like it's right behind it. But it's not. Ah, 160th of a second, because again I can shoot at a slower shutter speed when I'm hand holding this lens and no one is moving around in front of it. F 28 I s 0 900 because I'm allowing my auto I s O to pick my I s o for me aperture, priority, exposure, compensation, nothing. And the reason why exposure compensation was nothing is because you already have a lovely bell curve hissed a gram. When you look at this image, there's nothing too crazy Dark. There's nothing too crazy. Bright The camera looked at it. Nail the exposure on one. So if you're in your reception rooms and a lot of photographers say, Oh, you know what? I shoot these receptions and they're not fancy. I can't make them look good because they're not fancy. Yes, you can. You absolutely can. So hotel room. This is a basic average, everyday hotel room you'll see kind of anywhere. But that light looks awful before we move on. I wanted to take a quick second and talk about how I light a lot of getting ready images and detail images, and this image is a very good example of what I change. So when you see this image here, you have several different light sources going on in here. You've got the light coming in from the window, which is one light source at one color temperature. Then you have to bedside table lamps that are a completely different light source and a completely different color temperature. What I'm going to be shooting in this room, whether it's a detail or someone getting ready or a portrait, these two bedside table lamps are not gonna help me. In fact, all they're going to do is hurt me on A lot of photographers would look at a scene like this and say, OK, I'm gonna bring in a flash to overwhelm all of this. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna turn this into this by just turning off those lamps. That's all I have done. I took the two lamps, I turned them off. You can automatically see that the color balance is much better. And now I only have one light source that I'm working with. I can use that window as my primary light source without worrying about what these two other dumb lamps were doing in the background. I'll turn off overhead lights. I will close doors that have light spilling into it, that I don't need anything that I could do to get at the one light source that I need, whether I don't have any light source at all, and I have to make my own light or whether I'm gonna use the window, which I usually am in a room like this. I don't need those lamps. So when it's time for the bride to get ready, or when it's time for me to shoot the details myself for, my assistant will actually go through and turn the lamps off. So what do we do with this? Once we turn the lamps off? Well, we took this desk chair. Would you see over here to the right, and all we did was pulled it straight back so that it's right over on the other side of this bed right there. Probably about free 3.5 feet from the window, and I set the bride's shoe on it. I really liked the laces of her shoe, and I was trying to take a picture of the groom's ring, and I'm like, What if I just hang the ring on the laces of the shoe? So there's several important things going on here. The light source is from the window, which is here, this one right here. So if the chair is over there the lights. Kind of coming from the side, which you can see. I put this set up on this chair so that there would be a black background because I just wanted a stark, dark background. The only thing that I wanted to see where the laces, the ring itself and the light. And there you go. Either you hated that or you were like, How did you do that? Um, so how did I do that? Nikon D for millimeter. 160th of a second. See, here is an example of I had been shooting something else with it beforehand. Put the macro on. I usually lower my, um my shutter speed when I do that, but I didn't, But it doesn't matter, because my I s o only went up to 3200. It's not like I needed to make sure that I could lower my shutter speed so that I could get my I s o down. I'm cool with my I s 08 32 100 here f four. Now we talked earlier about how I shoot my rings at F nine, F 11 F 16 and Mawr. I'm shooting a guy's band. There's no diamonds. There's no depth that I'm trying to keep. And I wanted the look of F four with the macro so that really the only thing in focus is one tiny part of the ring, and everything else is just a lovely graphical element and or not the primary center of attention aperture. Priority Exposure Comp minus That's because again, the camera meter doesn't know what to do with this. Over here, dark background bright light is going to try to equalize it. You're gonna end up with an image that's almost two stops. Overexposed if you trust your camera.

Class Description

Wedding photographers can’t wait for perfect conditions before they work – when the clock is ticking and people are waiting you have to shoot, even in less-than-ideal locations.

In Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations, Susan Stripling will show you how to troubleshoot common calamities like; a wedding party getting ready in a room with no light or family portraits slated to be shot in a terrible location. You’ll see how Susan has handled difficult shoots and crazy lighting challenges and get insights and inspiration for overcoming your own difficult situations.  

Ratings and Reviews

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user 1c7bd6

Wow! Fabulous course! Ditto with the above reviews! Thank you, Susan, for giving us such helpful information for shooting weddings in such challenging situations. You have such a brilliant and quick mind for making the magic happen! The camera settings by each photograph was so very helpful. Since I didn't write anything down I shall be in search of your books. Susan's class is a must for anyone considering a career in Wedding Photography. Thank you Suan and Creative Live!

Kat Penniman

As the description says: MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING! Spot on! Thank you Susan for sharing what you know and helping me become a more creative photographer despite less-than-perfect scenarios. As photographers, oftentimes, we find ourselves placed in a position where we are expected to create beautiful photos in the midst of difficult situations like low light scenes or crappy background. Her explanations are very clear and she definitely knows her craft. She cares about her clients and she's determined to give them great pictures despite what's thrown at her. If you are a strobist or use flash in most of your work, this course is not for you. But if you a natural light photographer and sometimes struggles to take photos indoor where light source is very challenging, take this course! You won't regret it!

Jessica Lindsay-Sonkin

Susan is amazing. This class is a pile of case studies, with behind the scenes and camera settings, to help you find the light. There are parts that can be repetitive, but that is because Susan is passionate about helping photographers memorize this message and put it into practice. A worthwhile watch!