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Shoot: Increase Strobe Power while Shooting in Sunlight

Lesson 16 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Increase Strobe Power while Shooting in Sunlight

Lesson 16 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

16. Shoot: Increase Strobe Power while Shooting in Sunlight


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

Shoot: Increase Strobe Power while Shooting in Sunlight

Let's see. If we didn't have these buildings, and I say this not because I'm, you know, trying to be a complainer, but if I didn't have these buildings and I could take, let's say we had her on a big rock out in the Arizona landscape desert or somewhere, and we had this rock and she's on the rock with this cloth going in all directions, that was-- that would be killer. Right now I've got all these buildings that I'm trying to block out of here, so it really limits to me what I can do, but you see what I'm doing with the cloth. This is kind of fun. You play until you get something that, you know, that kind of comes up with a little bit artistic. So, weirdly, the sun, if I went like before-- I'm just gonna try this, where you actually block the sun. Let's see if I can get in here. Right here. (camera shutter snapping) That way I kinda go right up the... right up into the sun. It's kind of a cool look, too. Now... If I put more power out... I can darken the sky. So let's do this, Cliff. L...

et's go and let's see what we really get-- let's see how dark we can get that sky. So just tilt it down, and I'm gonna go... Here, do it right here. Tilt it right there. Tilt that one. Tilt it down. Do that same thing. We're gonna go... Okay, so... One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. That's a one stop. Let's try one, two, three, four, five-- a stop and a half. Let's go back up, and then that same look. And I'm gonna try to see if I can light you and darken the sky a little bit more, so we're gonna go down we're at 2/100th of a second, we were at F9. We're gonna go to F13, see what happens. Really kick some power on her and knock the background down. And now we got, look at the little clouds, little bit of wisp, finally. 'Kay, so let's see if I can get right in here, like this. We're gonna pull this down. Okay, I'm gonna block the sun. Right there. And of course my... My light's on the wrong side. Just walk it around. Just walk it around. Just pick the whole thing up and walk it around. I need to get a little bit more on her face. Come right up as close as you can to John, and then swing it. Now swing it toward her, just swing it a little bit more toward her, here we go, ready? Gonna block the sun, focus on your face. One, two, three. (camera shutter snapping) Yes! So 'kay, do this: give me as wide as you can, wide as you can, actually, let me hold this and see what happens. 'Kay. I'm gonna go like this. Right there. 'Kay, now multi-tasking... One, two, three. Now look over your shoulder that way. (camera shutter snapping) Beautiful. Love it! Can you guys see it on a screen? It's coming up? 'Kay, so go a little more wide your way, a little more wide your way, here we go. And then, just kind of bend at your waist a little bit toward me, I wanna see just-- No, no, no. Now drop your chin, just I wanna see a little more of your face, right there, ready? One, two, three. Now look over your shoulder even more, like we're kinda like... Now look the other way, let's see what happens, just look the other way. Now look at me. 'Kay. It's definitely interesting. I like you looking over that way a little bit more. So look down at where that UPS truck just went by. Right down there. I just put a plug in for UPS. 'Kay right there. Alright. You wanna see? [Female Interviewer] - I can see there. Can you see it? Isn't that interesting? It's definitely different. Now I got a little bit of wispiness on the clouds coming over the top of her, it just changes everything. So had we had really dramatic, like those clouds over there, I think it would have been a little bit easier to work this, but there's something there, you know, all these... Just throwing the element, the cloth in there, it just kinda gives it a little bit of a... Something different you wouldn't normally do. So, any questions? We have questions? I think what would be awesome would just be to recap sort of how you got through that session out here of kind of getting to where you ended up. Well you can see she's on the air conditioning unit, which makes her higher, which makes it harder to bring the light around. It's like, just adds to the whole thing, right? So I'm shooting up, that's the good thing, is I don't have to be on my stomach on the ground, but really, look at these wispy clouds now. Look at this. Ooh. Now I'm letting the modifier block the sun. (laughing) Oh, this looks good. This looks good. And make sure I block right there. (camera shutter snapping) So shooting up is kind of neat look, right? 'Cause you gotta be very careful with it, because... So I'm at F13. If I can go a little darker, F 14, see what happens here. Don't wanna be necessarily this... That's about right for the wispy clouds. Can you just raise that up just a fraction? So that gets a little bit more, right there. Just a little bit higher, 'kay? So I'm gonna go like this. If I take this approach right there, I get the buildings in there. But if I zoom in just a little bit, right there. Now do this. Give me that like you're hugging that, bring it close to your-- yeah, like this, and you're just really wrapped up in it. Exactly. Now, now, let's look at me, like it's more of a portrait. You're some famous actress, which you may be, and Here it is, right there. Here is is right here. 'Kay let's just get that hair right out of that face there. I know that's really hard 'cause the wind's blowing from the backside of you. Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes. These are beautiful. I wanna try to block that right there. So let's see, let's do... let go of that for a second, just see what that one does. Do this, and then bring that right there. Now look over your shoulder, look that way. Right there, right there. Ready? One, two... Now just bring your eyes to me. Yes. Now, every time I snap a picture that cloth looks different. Right? It picks up a different pattern. So the good news is if I can just sorta let that sun hit it, and there's probably one shot in there that's perfect. Right there. Alright. That could be my shot right there. I mean it's just fun. You could use red. This is not, actually, the wind's blowing this better than I thought it would be, but this is not, this is pretty heavy cloth, so typically you wouldn't want to probably have this thick of a cloth. This is a stretchy cloth, which is really what, I like it, but, so if you take a model out into the elements where, or even on a higher building, so we're just a little too low, 'cause we got these buildings right here, but, like I was in L.A., and I shot off a rooftop. It was perfect. We see the whole skyline. So that's one scenario you could do with a model. But even a boulder like at Joshua Tree National Park, you have, you know, your model, the material flapping around would be great. One light, battery-packed, all on location, so... But that's it. That's kind of my... You can see that's a pretty heavy-duty stand. That's important with this wind. This doesn't seem like a lot of wind, but you put a modifier up, it's really nasty. It'll blow right over. So question. Did you have a question? Yes, we do have a couple final questions for you. First one: you were talking earlier about breaking the rules, breaking some of your rules. What were those rules that you were breaking? Well, usually I have my boom horizontal, so I have one axis on the thing, but because I have such a long throw, and I have to get really high, if I get that thing way up there and used every single section on my stand, it's gonna be a little tipsy up there. So I just thought, well, I'll just throw it up like that. But you see how hard it is to move around though? It is not easy. So that's how I broke my rules. And I broke my rules by hand-holding. I don't usually hand-hold. But I'm at 2/100ths of a second, so that's not too bad, F14, which is getting close to not the best sweet spot of my lens, but there's times you just gotta go with whatcha gotta go with. So there was a question that came in since you were teaching ND filters earlier, what would happen if you put an ND filter on it? Well right now that would raise my F Stop up a little bit. Okay. To wider aperture, so I could probably get around... The three stop I get about F5, 6, maybe. Somewhere around there, which would be not bad, in terms of my sweet spot of the lens. So a three stop would probably work here.

Class Materials

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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