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Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Lesson 12 of 18

Working Through a Scene Scenario

Susan Stripling

Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

12. Working Through a Scene Scenario

Lesson Info

Working Through a Scene Scenario

This is our nice behind the scenes image. You can see me right there. Apparently, I don't do good things with my hair on wedding days ever. And I wear the same sweater, which I have noticed cause I'm wearing the same sweater in every single behind the scenes image. Um, I was getting ready for a processional. The wedding was taking a really long time to kind of get started. My assistant was hanging out back in this room with the bride and her bridesmaids, and she comes to get me and she's like, Hey, there's interesting light going on in the room where the bride is it and I'm like, No, it's found, It's terrible And she's like, No, the light shifted. It's now coming through the windows and I was like, Ride, I'll be right there. So I came hustling it back there, and this is what I saw this incredible light coming through the stained glass window, and I'm like, Well, let me go over. You know, the bride's mom was helping her. She kept standing up, sitting down there, smoothing the veil. They...

're talking to each other. It's the bride's mom and her sister hanging out with her, and the first thing I did was I went to the other side of them. I was like, I want to shoot into the room with the light from the stained glass window, lighting them directly. Well, that lasted for about two hot seconds because that looked terrible. It's splotchy. You've got the lines in the window and they're cutting them off and they're making shadows. And the white balance is hilarious. There's, like 62 colors going on in the whites on. I just didn't like it. It just wasn't right and it didn't feel right. So I went back to the other side, shot straight into the window, and now it's getting better settings. And again the camera body doesn't matter. It's all you need to know is it's a full frame camera that can handle high I esos and it's Nikon cause Nikon Awesome. Um, 24 to 70 millimeters at 38 millimeters, 2/100 of a second F 35 s, 0 aperture priority exposure conversation 13 up. So for the first time, you've seen me bump my exposure compensation? Why all of that light is pouring in to the camera and the camera's going, Ah, and trying to equalize everything. When it equalizes everything, it takes away that beautiful glow of the light, and it almost turns them into a silhouette. You have to be smarter than your camera meter. I knew that I had to raise it up about a stop and 1/2 whether I'm in manual and I just dialling a change with either my shutter speed or my I S o r my f Stop whatever you have to do to get to your exposure, however, you have to find it. I just see an exposure compensation with the aperture priority. That's the way my brain works. I knew that I had to raise it up toe, let in more light. What you get is you end up with perfectly exposed subjects and beautiful light beaming through. If you're not there yet, go to spot meter and take a meter reading off of one of their faces. Their faces are perfectly exposed. Everything else is just gravy on top. That's pretty Okay, these air both before images like again, I just feel like sometimes I need to preface it that, like, if you think the one on the right is the after him like it's not so that's my assistant right over there. Sandra, who is at home watching with Aubrey, her daughter, and Abby the dog, which is very funny. Um, I fail in this amazing light coming through this floor to ceiling window. And if you look at the image on the right, you can see it kind of coming from an angle. Beautiful light, really great background. I want to show you that you can work through a scene. Your first inclination isn't always going to be the best one. So I thought, Let me put her in front of the window and make a really great silhouette. Those trees are gonna be really great elements in the frame. It's gonna look really cool. But I couldn't get her in the right place in front of the window if she was in front of the window in a way that I liked the angle and the view and the composition. Then the trees were going into her head. And if I got her in a space where her face was against the bright white so that I could make a silhouette I didn't like the composition, so I scrapped all of that and I brought her. You see where she's standing? Right there. I brought her about two feet further back into the room. The light is still coming from that window, and the first thing I did was I trusted my camera meter. If I just looked at it on aperture priority with exposure Compensation zero and I shot it. It looks like that that doesn't look good. So the settings we start with our 72 millimeters at 70 millimeters. It's because I couldn't get back any further. That's a piano, by the way that she's standing in front of. I didn't make that photo shop a to thousands of a second because my I s o is so low. My shutter speed starts going up. F 28 aperture priority on zero When I took my aperture priority and rolled it down minus 2.7. Now your exposure is correct. There's a three stop difference between the first image in the second image. So however you have to get there, get there, and for me I sort of had a hard time because I would look at something like this, and I'm like, um, but I've already got blown highlights. I don't know, like it's kind of bright. If I bring it down, it's gonna be too dark, but accurately exposing doesn't make things too dark. And my husband, who was who I learned my 90% of what I know from him. He and I both have a very dramatic lighting style, and sometimes we'll get clients that come in and they're like, own your images air kind of dark. I'm like, Well, and you have to explain to them they're not dark. They're properly exposed. It's just a different way of using light. So in that exact same venue, then we go outside. I'm wearing a different shirt because it's winter, but again, still, apparently I have to put my hair up. So I take the bride and groom outside and I find the light for them and I put them directly in the light. I can almost never put my clients in the shade. I hate the shade. The worst thing in the world is a rainy, overcast wedding day on what I love will go to a wedding day, and it's like overcast and everyone's like Oh, yeah, I mean, it's Everybody says this is better for pictures. It's like nature soft box. And I'm like and inside. Unlike this is horrible Like everything is flat out there. There's nothing I can do here. I'm gonna go home, but I don't go home. I stay and then I cry. But I put my subjects in the sun in any of you who have ever heard me talk before. The principle of keeping your subjects in the sun with a straight line between the sun and you subjects here sun directly behind them. I'm standing in the path of the sun. You can see it from the other angle. Here, you can see that they're standing in the sun. The sun is hitting the top of their heads. There is a dark background behind them. And you get this. Why does it look like this? It's at 200 millimeters. My shutter speed is fast enough so that they're not blurry. I'm in f four so that they're both in focus. I s 0 200 because that's how it rolls and exposure compensation plus 2000. because I just wanted to brighten their faces up a little bit. It's very simple. I'm in right next to the parking lot outside of the venue. You don't have to be in Napa to find beautiful Lytle. I mean, it helps, but this is in the middle of New Jersey. Same wedding, different. Same building. We shot inside with the bride of the piano. We went outside and shot kind of by the parking lot were walking back in. And I see this. I see these arches and I see this light. And then I see these arches and I see this light, and I think something interesting can be made here. Let me put my subjects directly in this light like that. 24 to 70 a 16/100 of a second at eso 205 6 Because I wanted her and her sister in focus Exposure compensation plus 1.7. Because for a change, I wanted to brighten everything up. Bring it up a little bit. It's no different than being in manual and changing your settings to brighten or darken your image. I promised you a room with plastic flowers. This is a wedding I shot. It's at a place called celebrations in Bin Salem. Um, really nice people. Really Well done venue. They have multiple weddings at one time, but they do a good job of, like, keeping everybody going, making the clients feel really good. But I walk in and I see this room, and I think, what am I gonna dio like? This is their wedding, right? Like these are these clients wedding. They picked this. They love this. It doesn't matter what I think of this. Whether I think this is the most beautiful room I've ever seen or I don't like it doesn't matter. I need to make this look like a $1,000,000 because that's the way being at their wedding makes them feel. How can I do that? Well, what I can do is I can get out my eye slight or your $20 light that you bought from Home Depot or whatever video light you've got. I pulled out my video light. Now, sometimes I'm very fortunate and my clients will have a lighting designer light their venue. That's great. But what if you don't have a lighting designer to make pin spots on the tables? Um, the flowers or silken plastic. There were stains on the floor. It's a It's a tough place, but I wanted to make it look beautiful. I love the clients. I thought they were wonderful and I wanted their images to make them feel wonderful. I flight now I have pin spots. The clients don't look at this and say, Oh, you did great. A great job lighting my venue. They look at this and they go our wedding. I loved our wedding and that's what you want. I've got my assistant holding the eyesight. If you don't have an assistant, pop it on a stand and move it around. She's just holding it like let's say this table is that table and I'm over there. Shooting my assistant is probably right about here. We've got the new ice lights where you can dial up in doubt. Then the power is very strong, but you back it away. You move it forward, you dial it down, you dial it up and I'm not not working with Flash. So regular principles of shootings still apply. 160th of a second F 28 eso 2500. I'm at 200 millimeters. The 200 millimeters is important. The 28 is important. I don't need to do anything with my exposure compensation because the images are very well balanced anyhow. But it's that little addition of the video light that really elevates the images and makes it look the way it feels to the clients. And even if you just light one centerpiece when you expose properly for that one centerpiece, if you've got your exposure dead on, everything else in the background that is not lit will be darker. Bye bye on comparison, and it will make that one table kind of stand out a little bit more. And then they had these lovely cards. On their table is just a little note to their guests. Same thing. Shoot it long It pulls it off of the background. The combo of the 28 and the long lens really isolates your subject. And if you had seen these, that could be the plaza with a floral arrangement that they paid $500 for $1500 for you can tell that they're silk. It looks really nice. Same here. It looks really nice on my job is to make everything look really nice. I'm not gonna go in with 42 speed lights and strobes in every corner and change the way the room looks, cause I don't want them to look at their wedding pictures later and be like, Where were you armed? Didn't look like that.

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.  


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!