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On Location Shoot: Portrait Using Strobes & Wide Angle Lens

Lesson 13 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

On Location Shoot: Portrait Using Strobes & Wide Angle Lens

Lesson 13 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

13. On Location Shoot: Portrait Using Strobes & Wide Angle Lens


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Develop your Artistic Vision


Learn Strobe Basics


Which Strobe Is Best For You?


Strobe Questions Answered


Balance Strobes with Ambient Light


The Sunny 16 Rule


Choose the Right Modifier for Strobes


Lesson Info

On Location Shoot: Portrait Using Strobes & Wide Angle Lens

So, that was the side-by-side. Alright, so we have one more. One more video. This is taking my new 35 millimeter 1.4 lens which, the image that we ended up with, that's the image, I kinda did a little treatment to it last night, I was sitting there watching the news and just did this in my hotel room. But that's a 35 millimeter lens shot at 1. and wide open with an ND filter. 35 millimeters, so it's not 200 millimeter, it's 35 millimeter. So we know a 200 millimeter gives me pretty shallow depth of field. On a 35 millimeter, is it possible? Now we're gonna do something really fun. You know that when you have a long lens you get a shallow depth of field. What happens if you have a wide angle lens, or a semi-wide angle lens, but had like a 1.4 aperture? Then wouldn't it be great? Well, here, let's do it. Canon's got this new lens, well, it's actually they've had, this is the second version of it. It's the 35 1.4. So I'm gonna do this, same technique, now with a semi-wide angle lens. This...

is kind of different. And I've done this, might wanna grab that, you wanna take that off there, John? So we're gonna shoot at 1.4, now again, we don't have, I've done this at like, in the desert actually. We don't have the desert out here, but we're gonna still try this. So I have an adapter on here, I think I can screw this on. Actually that's not gonna work. So what we're gonna do, is we're just gonna hand hold it. You gotta be careful when you hand hold a filter, a round filter and you touch the front of your lens here. Some lenses actually, it's so delicate that when you touch it, it's gonna go out of focus. So gotta be really careful. We're gonna try that though. Alright, so let's go, let's give you that. Let's get Sofia, she's over there eating. Let's go back here. We're gonna go really wide. So I'm gonna be really close to her. No, oh, could ya, Cliff right here, come here. Right here. Okay so, Drop it down? We can now lower this thing down, this is good news. Good news. Okay, so right about there. So come forward a little bit more. Right about there. Okay, now we may have to adjust my light. So, 35, Canon, 1.4 lens. Okay, so what I gotta do though, is I've got to account for, my three stop, what did I just do with it? You put it on your camera. No here it is, kay. Account for my three stop, so 2, nah, nah, nah, we gotta go 1.4. 1.4, and so that's going to be, well let's just fire one off. We're gonna fire one off here. 1.4 and let's just hope for the best, right, we just cross our fingers, is that how photography works? 'Kay, alright so, I'm a little bit, probably a little bit under. So let's go one, two, three, four, five. And I'm gonna knock the background down. Here go straight on, I want you, right there. Look at the wind, oh yes. Beautiful, beautiful. 'Kay, look at that. Alright, so lemme go a little tighter with you. A little higher up here. So 1.4, I got 60th of a second right now. Right there. Probably a little bit over still, so let's go to 100th of a second. 'Kay so that's gonna knock the background down. Actually I wanna maybe get your hands in there. Let's go, lemme just go, yeah like that. Go down a little bit here, back up just a fraction, and see if I can get that, right there. 'Kay ready? 1.4, kinda interesting. I have darkened the background. Now let's just, yeah, do one hand down like that, that's good. Yeah, bring that shoulder toward me. 'Kay, so I gotta make sure I focus right on her eyes. Ready one, two, three. So 35's not, it's a pretty wide lens, but I like, I'd even go as wide as 24, so I can work with this lens pretty well. So, let's do this. Why don't we walk her in the direction of the shade. Can we do that? Let's walk in that direction. So now we're back underneath the dark canopy. So let's try it again here. So focus, right there. What this does is, now I've got, there was just not enough darkness around her and I couldn't, well I probably coulda gone up 200th of a second, but by just walking under the canopy, gives me another little bit darker scenario feel, right? So I have a little more control of what I was gonna do. So you'll see, I like the results of it, but... A lot of times, I'm not really looking at her so much, but looking at the background. The light looks good on her, but I'm like, the background's not quite right. So I'm gonna move, that's gonna be my variable to change. One of the things that I do is this. If you set up, and you're cranking through a scenario, and it's, it's not quite working, right? I'm very good at saying (snapping) let's just move, let's abandon, abandon ship, let's go somewhere else, right? Let's just try something different. So in my mind I'm thinking, you know what, I don't really like the background. Let's just see what happens if I go in a darker scenario. So it just, when you see the results here it's a little bit, I think a little bit more control on her skin, her skin pops. 'Kay, put my three stop in there, we got people walking behind. Let's see one, two, three. Oh, yeah. This is kind of a cool look. I got, my horizon's not very, very good here. So, straighten her out. It's kind of important. Okay, so focus, one, two, three. Now really, let, yeah do something... Yeah, let's just bring that shoulder, just bring it like that, kinda curve toward me. There you go. 'Kay. Focus. Beautiful, ready, one, two, three. Oh, I love it, I love it. Oh, my gosh. Now, we can lower this just a little bit because of the fact that I just want it right over the top of my lens, okay. So let's come back, back it up a little bit right there. Is that too low? Can I clear it? Nah, I think you're good. Now what that's gonna do is it's gonna shorten my shadows which, for beauty, We need to lock this in more than I can. We might have to go up. You do have to go up a little bit. Yeah, it's slipping anyway. Here's let's just do this, let's just do this. I'm breaking my rules You're breaking your rules. I'm breaking my rules. Tighten this down. Here we go. Ready, focus. I love it, I love it, I love it, that's perfect, that's perfect, one, two, whoops, one, two, three. Oh yes. Gorgeous. I kinda like that, yeah do that and then maybe turn, yeah you just turn at me a little bit right there. If we focus on you, 1.4, 100th of a second, ISO 100. Okay I was a little tight, little tight. Do that same thing. Just a little too tight. I love the hands, I love the hands. Beautiful, beautiful, right there. Gorgeous, yes. Now, if I go a little longer on my shutter speed, I can get a little more ambient coming in. But see, it doesn't separate her as much. So let's go to 200th of a second, let's see what that does. Right there, don't move. Gonna refocus that shot, right there, do it again, just stay right there, just stay right there, right there. One, two, three. Yes, right in the lens. 200's a little too dark. So I think my 100 mark is about right. Again, that's for my, for my what feels right for me. Oh I like that. Same thing, go look that way over your shoulder, yes. One, two, three. Beautiful, beautiful. That is amazing. So if I flip it, let's see if I can get away with going vertical... Horizontal with a wide angle lens, it usually hides a little bit of distortion more than if I go vertical. It's a tough one to pull off. So I shoot 24 millimeter a lot with athletes, but usually it's horizontal. You go vertical, mm, so we'll see what happens here. But usually I take that scenario horizontal. I love horizontal, but let's see if we can get away with it going vertical here. Which might work better with this lens. Right there, one, two, three. Now go back to that one thing that you were doing, right? 'Cause you had the. Right there, yeah. So you remember what I said? Be careful, this lens, it seems to be okay, but like my 50 1.4, if I tap that front element it goes out of focus. (snapping) So on this one it seems pretty solid. I'm not sure if it's the internal focus, but you might check it, check your lenses, make sure that that little tapping doesn't knock something out of focus. Now, do straight on, let's go straight on. Everything's straight up. Straight up and down here. I still think the horizontals look a little bit better. Little bit better for what I do. So let's do a straight on and we're done. Straight on, here we go. Get my focus point right there. Okay, we got someone walking here, but here we go. One, two, three. Alright, there you have it. 35 millimeter wide angle, but with a very shallow depth of field. 'Kay, well that's our three videos for now. I actually like this wide angle look that we were doing. The shot that I did earlier, a couple weeks ago for Westcott, I did that wide angle outdoors, oh it looked incredible. So there's still some room for, I've only done that a couple times now with that lens. So I'm hoping to experiment with that lens a little bit more. So you might have a wide, a really wide angle lens that's got a pretty wide aperture, that you could try too. So, questions. Yeah we have a couple of questions, Joel, from online. Would using a gray card be advisable when using an ND filter? Well, okay, so a gray card's gonna give you, if you zoom in on it, get your exposure, that gives you your ambient. Actually, it's not gonna help you with the strobe unless you have a flash meter that is a spot type, what do they call it, a spot type, not a reflective, or incident, not incident, but reflective. Which again, I don't even know the names of those it's been so long since I said it. (laughing) But no, I gray card really wouldn't help in this scenario. 'Kay, and then another question is, do you go out in the field always with strobes, or sometimes with reflectors as well? Are you ever involving reflectors? Pretty rare that I ever just use a reflector, and I'll tell you why that is. When we look at strobes, especially outdoors, we're using strobes. I can create a look that my eye cannot see. I can knock that background down, and it thrusts me into an arena, or a look, that is not something that I see every day. Just like a long exposure blurs waterfalls, right? You don't see that, you see water falling, but not like in a blurred motion, right? So my theory is this, and this is just my opinion, which is worth whatever it's worth. That is I don't even see this scenario right here, with the really soft out of focus, that's not something I see every day. Right? My eye doesn't see that out of focus look. I can create that in a camera. I can create a dark background. I can have her pop. Or like that one guy I showed you with the custom motorcycle. He's poppin' off the page. That's something that my eye doesn't see every day. So if I'm gonna create images that people wanna look at, they wanna see something they don't see every day. That's my theory. So people show me pictures, that I go, I look and I go, that's nice, but that's something I see every day. I'm not interested. So you gotta keep your audience's attention. So create something that is something we don't see every day. That's more interesting. And I do a whole thing on thinking outside the box. And I talk about that whole concept. So, so that's, maybe I shoulda said this at the beginning, I kinda did, hopefully. But that's why I'm going to all this trouble. Is I'm creating something that hopefully is interesting enough for you to stop. So as an advertising photographer, you know how much time someone looks at my images? Three seconds. If that! A billboard, you look longer than three seconds you're gonna run into the person behind you. You know, a magazine? Flip through, flip through, you know. Three seconds, you get three seconds. If you don't grab 'em, they're done. They're just gonna pass right over your picture. So you gotta grab 'em. And so I would say, create an image you can't do, and you can't see in real life, and it's gonna be more interesting.

Class Materials

Free Download

Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Bonus Video - One Light Portrait

Ratings and Reviews

Christopher Langford

I love Joel, even though I'm not a big fan of his style. He's a great teacher, really down to earth, and best of all, humble. He's a true professional and knows the business. Even if you're a seasoned photographer, I believe you will pick up some great tips throughout this course. What I enjoyed most from this course was learning Joel's thought processes and how he takes on challenges.

Dana Niemeier

After seeing Joel at Shutterfest 2016, I am a fan. He is intense, but that is inspiring. I especially like the segment using ND filters as I live in Florida where bright sun can be an issue! His teaching method sets the student at ease. You see him make mistakes and then figure them out! Makes us believe there is HOPE for us in the learning process! I also bought his commercial photography class as an add on. Great to see him work and think on his feet. Thanks CreativeLive for giving artists this platform that reaches out to artists around the globe.

Gilbert Wu

I did enjoy the class despite not being used to the American product placement culture. The British say “the proof is in the pudding”, Joel’s pictures are fantastic and create drama. He has the eye. I like his very down to earth approach which is far better than many youtube photographic charlatans. Apart from the techniques he shared, one very important thing I learned from this class is “Be an artist and not a technician”. If you want to learn from people who can take better pictures and more confident and experienced in his/her work than you, Joel is one of those people.

Student Work