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Shoot: Shooting into Sun with Strobes

Lesson 15 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Shooting into Sun with Strobes

Lesson 15 from: Strobe Lighting on Location

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

15. Shoot: Shooting into Sun with Strobes


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: Shooting into Sun with Strobes

So we're gonna go and get this black cloth, and you're gonna be in a black leotard, right? We're start that, and we're gonna try to do something a little bit artsy, whatever that means. What does artsy mean, right? We're gonna play. But I think we've got a great shot out of this. So what, my goal was to get on top of here and shoot her up in the clouds, with this black cloth stretched over. But that's just not gonna look very good right now. I've just got a blue sky, well maybe that's my choice. A blue sky, let's see, well she's gonna change. Hope she's going down. So, if we get leotard, I've gotta get her up, so it's gonna have to be over there, so can we move all the camera gear in that direction? Are we gonna be good? Yep. I got a thumbs up on a good, move the camera gear. Keep the same light? Same light, only now I've got to get a different lens on. Okay. (people mumbling in background) Okay. Alright, so I'm not gonna use an ND filter on this one. At least not to start with...

. So I'm gonna put my 24 to 70, 2.8 Canon lens on here, version 2, beautiful lens. Joel? Yes. Why are you not gonna use the ND filter for starters? 'Cause I'm gonna shoot up into the sky. There's not gonna be a need, whoops where's my cap, there's not gonna be a need for me to shoot an ND filter on this. So, let's get, make sure, Cliff you got that. So I'll take this apart here. 'Cause we're not gonna need this right now. Take my tripod. And then let's get over here. This way right, Joel? (people mumbling) We're gonna shoot back that way. Same thing with the sun. Now this is gonna be a risk. I'm really trying to get her to do something a little bit different. So our black cloth, is so we're gonna, and let's start one end, let's find our one end here. So people are gonna ask me, where do you get this material? And I'm gonna tell them, I don't know. Because this was left by a client. Okay? And so, but it's stretchy. So let me show you, where's? This is stretchy cloth. Have a look. It's, so what I'm gonna try do is get her up on here, we're gonna take it over the top, we'll have two people on both ends, and we'll see if maybe she can kinda stretch into it, from the top of this. Yeah I think it's, some kinda bathing suit liner cloth. Is what they saw it as. It's like those mini skirts. You know, those stretchy mini skirts. Let's-- (mumbling) Okay. So let's take and we can move it here. Okay, so let's see, what's spinning right here? Is this one right here? Okay so, on this one we're probably gonna have to break my rules. We're gonna have to go like this, okay? And then. Get the power put back on here. Okay. Prop it down, I think this came, power's off. Okay. Turn it on. Okay we're gonna break my rules, 'cause we gotta go really high on this one. And I wish I had my radio poppers working. Let's try right about there. Alright. Okay so, let's get you up, where was that end, right there? That's the end? So, let's see if we can get you up here. On top of that? Yeah. I love it. You can put your-- Ladder coming. Okay ladder, I knew we had a ladder for some reason. (people mumbling) Be careful, some of these edges are really sharp. Okay. Alright so we have a couple options. One is, we take the black cloth around you, have two people pull, you go into it like this. That's one option. The other option is we go over the top, down to the side, and then stretch, and you go into it like that. Yeah. So, let's try that first, since it's kinda, so we're just gonna, I'm gonna hand this to you, and you just run it over the top of you, and then down the other side over here. So we'll need you on this side. And then John on the other side. Okay? So let's go down to F10, F9, somewhere around there, let's just see what happens here. Alright so turn around this way. Let's see. If we're gonna do that, then they have to be there to pull this way, so John go that way, go that way, so now you come and pull to my direction. And I'm shooting right into the sun here. It clear enough here? We'll see. Oh, we need to plug in. Yeah. Okay, we're plugged in. So it's kinda nice to have this wind blow this thing but, all I'm seeing is a little bit of your legs here, and just a little bit of your head. So, bring it down, see what that does, like this. Ready? Okay so I'm gonna have a lot of flare, it's kinda cool though. So do this. Put it back over your shoulders again, and then just turn toward me a little bit like right, so I'm gonna block the flare with my hand, ready one, two, three. Ah, kinda cool, kinda cool, kinda cool. Okay so I'm gonna look here. Okay so I see a lot of hair, and not a lot of face. So let's try here, there you go, right there. Ready, one. Now just, I wanna see your lips with your shoulder there, okay ready? (people mumbling) (coughs) Sorry about that cough. Alright so, Cliff, let's just let's move this in just a little bit. So my light's not showing up enough, so I'm gonna walk it in a little bit. You're gonna do that same thing, that exact same thing. I'm breaking all my rules here, by being, I'm hand holding here right, ready? One, two, three. Ah, yes yes yes yes. Very cool. Okay so John, grab the the one part of the cloth on the other side, pull that one only. Or pull that really tight, same thing with that pull the other side, let this part blow. Does that make sense? Okay? Alright ready? Beautiful. Okay, now let me see a little bit of your body, there we go, pop through a little bit. Yeah let it pop up a little bit, let's see what happens. Oh yeah. Okay whoops. My strobe's going off, correct? Yeah. Okay. See what that looks like. Now, the only thing I've got now, is I've got this building back here, which is really unfortunate, this would be really good, but I'm seeing this stupid building. So let's pull this, let it, well unless I can go any lower here. I don't know if I can get out here, let's see, focus. Alright Cliff I can't, no I can't do that. But I'm gonna get her to block the light. Let's get her to block the sun, right here. Right there. Let's see what that looks like. Yes, okay so I'm gonna go, now two of them a second, I got my blue sky. Let's say we go right here. Okay focus, right there. I want, block that lens. Unfortunately your hair's kinda blowing forward, but now I don't see the that light's not really giving me much of a, so do this, let's try this way. Maybe spin her the other way, so the wind's blowing your hair back. See what that does. Okay, that looks pretty good. I just, I can't, I love this flapping, the only problem is just, all I see is ugly buildings. So let's get this. (people mumbling) Let's see if we can get this to come down. We could probably hold this side a little bit lower. What happens if you take one arm over the top? Like, and grab it, like that. That looks kinda, kinda looks like a dress. Now I wanna see your lips, there you go. Now my light here is a little off. Oh actually it looks pretty good. We'll keep it right now. So let's pull this like this. Now look out over that way, just spin. Now can we get a little wrinkles in here, at all? Now look at me. Alright, so let's see what I've got here. That's kinda neat. I just wanna see a little more wrinkles. So, bunch it up a little bit. Bunch it up. Let him do it though, let's see what happens if he does it. Okay. And now of course we've got a jet trail straight down the middle of my shot. Of course, Photoshop will take care of that, right? Can you believe it? Yeah. 24 millimeter right now. Okay, so let's take a look at that. Oh, that's looking good. So see how the streaks are coming across there? Yeah. That's what I want. So it looks like a dress. Okay so now just take the, try to get that hair, the wind to blow it. Ready, one, two, three. Now maybe, if you take, if you take that hand. There you go, maybe like that. So this is my, kinda like a, little like a parachute dress kinda feel. Okay, now, what happens if you throw it, bring this part over, get underneath it, and let it go over the top of you. So get underneath it, let that go behind you, see what happens. This just a thought, let's just see what happens here. Okay now pull it down tight guys. You're gonna have to stand back up though, so let's stand back up. 'Cause I got the lights set up for you. Yeah, exactly, pull it in, kinda like this, there you go. Let's see if this looks, yes. When you lean that close to the box, you're losing your audio. Okay. So if you wanna talk about stuff just back up. Alright so we're gonna back up here. We're trying to get, and my light is really, not exactly the way I want it here. So let's, here's my light source, so I want you to look into that. Look into the light source, right there. And look down, look down, right there right there right there. See what that looks like. Oh yeah, I kinda like this. So now, John? Yeah? Pull it really tight. See what happens. John, just, come this way, John, a little bit. There we go, there we go. Focus, one two three. Yes yes yes yes. Alright so now, I gotta make sure that I get some detail in these wrinkles. I wanna see some wrinkles. So do this, John. Flip it so that, that side falls over, yes. There you go. There you go. And then pull up that one side a little bit. Yeah, so we see some more wrinkles. Okay there you go, good, good, now you got wrinkles, now you got wrinkles, right there. And I'm good except for, that one little set of buildings right there. So I'm gonna see if I can go in a little tighter here. Ready, focus. One, two, three. Now look at me. I have to really bring my hand up to block the light. Okay so I've got a pretty good look here. So, let's try that where, we walk this around, and now you're pulling into it. Okay? So walk this around, and then she's gonna, you guys pull back. Give her like a, let it really pull. Okay ready? I love it, I love it, I just gotta make sure now my light's really off here. So let's, do you think you could walk it around to. Do you want me to drop it down, Cliff? I got it. You got it? Okay, now just swing it from right about here, swing it toward her a little bit. Right there, here we go again. Same thing, I love it, I love it. I'm gonna try to get the buildings in on this time, on the right hand side. So I kinda see a city, kind of a city. Hold on, is it better? Give her, give her some. There you go. Yes. I love it. Alright so now, actually, I don't have enough buildings in there. So what I'm gonna do is, I'm gonna get the buildings out, so it's right about here, okay? So I'm gonna focus on you, ready? One, two, three. Okay so now we got, just the blue sky, black, I love it. Virginia, get your hair as back far as you can, and then I'm gonna go and try to get this. So you, yes, yes. So we're 200th of a second, F9, 100 ISO. Which is about, about right on my exposure. So the blue, her face. I can darken the blue sky a little bit more. So do this, try to pull that up a little bit. Let's see what happens if we just, a little bit, yeah right there. So get a little more, there you go. Beautiful, now do this. Just, I wanna see your face a little bit, right there. Go forward like you were, like you're really stretching, right there, right there. See what that looks like. Okay that didn't show up. Right there. Love it. I like that V coming up here like that, that looks real good. Now let me see a little bit of that hand coming over, just a little bit, like you're grabbing it. Yeah. There you go, there you go, ready? But look back out forward again. Right there. Okay. Now if I go this way, just a little bit. I go out there just a little bit. I lose a little bit of my flare, but I get a little bit more of her face in there. I like this. Okay ready? Now look at me. We'll just have one, have one looking at me. Okay it's kinda interesting, I love this leading line here. What happens is if you guys walk that way, just a little bit, so that, it's a little more coming toward me, see what happens. There, just a little bit. Okay. What would happen if you brought it all the way up to your chest? Like that, so it looks like it's the whole dress. Now bring your other arm over the top. Like this, like it's underneath your arms. No, no, like your arms are on the top, bring both over the top. Like that, there you go. Perfect. One, two, three. That's good, looks like Marilyn Monroe. Kind of a Marilyn Monroe look. We got that one building. See if I can get, if I didn't have these buildings, I could probably go a little wider, which I actually kind of like. Let's see if I can get all cloth coming toward me. So let's bring, bring it over the top, let's see what happens if you're wrapped in it. No not, no, I wanna see your face but, so, maybe John, you come underneath. So we criss cross a little bit here. And I want all this cloth in the foreground. Okay? Come on the other side of me. I wanna see just all cloth here. Now the only thing is, is I need my light back. Here do this, we'll just flip it. Let's just drop it down, and just spin it. And it's going over top of her. So I wanna just see all cloth coming at me. So that means you might wanna be leaning, you'll probably, hopefully you'll, we'll pull you back just a little bit. Not too much, so John you gotta hang onto her. Don't let her go man. Don't let me go gentlemen. 'Cause I don't have enough insurance. So let's see what happens here, if we come, come over here right with me, like this. So I wanna see all this, all this, yeah like this. Okay, so give it a good tug here, and Cliff? Yeah. You wanna spin that, here. Yeah just spin, spin this, like this. A little bit, like that. Nah, a little more. Okay. Now I'm good to go. Now we can raise that back up. Okay. So all cloth, here we go. So let's go, John a little bit that way. I like this, I like this, I like this. Okay. Alright. Focus. I love this, see how all these lines are coming along here? What would happen if, let's see, if you go, John you grab this one. This one, okay switch. Just switch. And so, now I don't wanna, I don't want it in the middle, but I wanna all one big piece here. So like this. So you grab here, and then you bring that arm way out. You bring that arm way out. Yeah be careful, this is really. Okay, here we go. Don't wanna cut through the fabric either. Focus, one, two, three, okay. It's kinda crazy. That is a big hit. So what if you did it round your waist, the same thing? Yeah? So, we get some arms, and then like. Here we go. Okay, so now maybe like you're off looking for a little bit, yeah, little more. Yeah I wish I could get that building out, but. I love it. Now the only thing is, John, when I get in here. I just get, I don't want the big shadow here. So let's kinda, yeah, like that. So you're up a little bit, you're down a little bit. Just, there there there there there, perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect perfect. Okay now give me that little more, a little more like you're the queen of mountain, queen of the air conditioning. But not quite your head so far back, I wanna see your, right there. Ready, one, two, three. See what that looks like. Beautiful. Now, the only thing is, I see this kinda blocking your face, so. That shoulder? Yeah, right there right there, right there, ready? Here we go, one, two, three. Now let's just lift this one up. So you can block the building, one, two, three. Now look at me, look at me. Yeah. It's kinda fun.

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