Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations


Strategies for Shooting in Difficult Situations


Lesson Info

Working Through a Scene Scenario

As I have been 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 we're the same sweater which I have noticed that I'm wearing the same sweater and every single behind the scenes image 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 in and I'm like no it's not it's terrible and she's like no the light shifted it's now coming through the windows and I was like right, 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 there 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 sixty two colors going on in the whites on di 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 ay esos and its nikon nikon awesome twenty four to seventy millimeters at thirty eight milliliters two hundredth of a second after five s o two hundred apatow priority exposure conversation one three 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 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 a half whether I'm in manual and I just dialling a change with either my shutter speed or my eyes or 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 goto 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 it'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 I'm 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. I found this amazing light coming through this florida 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 going to 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 like to the angle and the view and the composition than 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 what she's standing right there I brought her about two feet further back into the room, the lightest still coming from that window and the first thing I did was I trusted my camera meter if I just looked at it on apatow 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 seventy two, two hundred millimeters at seventy millimeters is 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 a photo shop to thousands of a second because my eye is so is so low my shutter speed starts going up f to eight aperture priority on zero when I took my aperture priority and rolled it down minus two point seven 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 going to be too dark but accurately exposing doesn't make things too dark and my husband who's who I learned my ninety percent 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, oh no, your image is a kind of dark unlike 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 almost never put my client in the shade I hate the shade the worst thing in the world is a rainy, overcast wedding day on what I love we'll go to a wedding day and it's like overcast and everyone's like oh yeah I mean if everybody says this is better for pictures it's like nature's 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 wanna 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 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 son 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 two hundred millimeters my shutter speed is fast enough so that they're not blurry I'm in force so that they're both in focus so two hundred because that's how it rolls and exposure compensation plus point three because I just wanted to brighten their faces up a little bit it's a 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 lionel I mean it helps but this is in the middle of new jersey same wedding different. Same building. We shot inside with 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 khun b made here. Let me put my subjects directly in this light like that twenty four to seventy, a sixteen hundredth of a second and s o two hundred five. Six because I wanted her and her sister in focus exposure compensation plus one point seven. 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 brighton or dark in your image. I promised you a room with plastic flowers. This is a wedding. I shot it's at a place called celebrations and been salem. Really nice people really well done than you. They have multiple weddings at one time, but they do a good job of, like, keeping everybody going, making the clients who are really good. But I walk in and I see this room and I think, what am I going to dio like this is their wedding, right, like these or 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 her I don't like it doesn't matter. I need to make this look like a million dollars because that's the way being at their wedding makes them feel how can I do that? Well, what? I can do it I can get out my I slight or your twenty dollars like 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, the flowers or silk and plastic? There were stains on the floor it's 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 ice slide 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 shooting still apply one hundred sixty eighth of a second f two eight twenty five hundred I'm at two hundred millimeters, the two hundred millimeters is important. The two eight 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 to ate it pulls it off of the background the combo of the two, eight 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 five hundred dollars for fifteen hundred dollars for you can't 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 going to go in with forty two speed lights and strokes in every corner and change the way the room looks, because 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.