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Working with Flash

Lesson 13 of 13

The Whip Pan Technique

Pye Jirsa

Working with Flash

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

13. The Whip Pan Technique


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2 Reasons to Use Flash Duration:04:11
4 Understanding Flash Duration Duration:13:00
5 Direct Flash Done Right Duration:06:22
6 Direct Flash vs Bounce Flash Duration:11:30
7 Light Qualities Duration:13:19

Lesson Info

The Whip Pan Technique

So when you get bored you start doing funny things with your clients this is one of them and in half the time it like turns into something that like every client wants this that's the case of the whip in I think justin if you ask him he's the first one that did this in the studio I'm actually going to call him out until he everybody hear what he called it he called it the piece ever pee shiver and he said because he no one like you finish peeing you on he did that with and it created that looking I'm like so how many people are watching this now no that he was the first one that probably did this and that that's what it was called so for better and worse esso I have a plate on the by the camera now you can do this handheld guys but it's the same principle as what we did a second ago with with the dance floor and that kind of stuff right? The only difference and what I'll do is I'll pop the twenty eight seventy understand gin for convenience purposes you know I dig the twenty four seven...

ty especially cannons the mark two version of it but I always feel like I like the looks of my prime so much better that if I can always just trying to do my primes but for seventy such a convenient thing okay and why not the basis of it all right, so we're gonna do is I put this on here I have ah me photo tripod and I have this top head just loose okay, so I'm gonna do is pop a shot and whip it whip it so let's switch the feed just like and show them what this is gonna look like for half okay? So that's just this room so way control the brightness with this time because we need to use shutter speed for two control like the whip that we're getting right so I'm gonna leave the shutter speed of the fifth I'm gonna bring the appetite like f seven one or even higher if I want to just pull down the ami like mme or I'm gonna go to eleven and then fire way do it with the ladies mine is what we have him right let's deal with the ladies I have even more simple and we could get something actually looks cool. Okay, so that's with the ambience. So what? What lights are being picked up in here? Because look around you could probably identify the lights they're being picked up when we do that spin yeah, they're all like the background and everything like that yep my kelvin is still at, like four thousand kelvin right cause I switched it because I put a cto on so it's still very cool with them yeah, that was much more painless and I thought it would be yes, I would love to it's probably happen a lot with this whole thing wrapped up so these are going to simulate like, you know, any lights like I've done this against office building I've done it against whatever it is you just need background lights, okay that's all eh? So let's put one let's say like right here and actually have my couple come and stand in for one second I want to see height wise where you guys are at in years they're so tall holland beautiful just stand right here, ok? The trick to doing this you can either do this in one shot where you can do it in two if we do it into some kind of easier that way because your background doesn't necessarily work right? So what we do is we'll do it in two shots we'll do one for the background one for the couple and we'll just blend them in photo shop a little bit you can do it in one shot as long as the background works and what makes it work is you need an area the frame that stays black that makes sense so you need to put them in an area the frame where no lights are gonna pass over okay, so what we're gonna do is let's lower this to about right here and we'll raise this one two above their heads I think I have no idea what it's gonna look like I can guess kanai raise this up a little bit higher I've never done it with these kind of life before so I think it would look cool yeah well a mom so they're not so bright because they're really bright facing the camera I think we can turn down the that's the highest this guy goes it'll have to do I might have you guys like open up the stance actually okay cool I think one of them is brighter done that one or that this one's on me oh it's sensitivity uh nifty let's just do a little test um yes I do actually okay so we got a little tweaking to do here I'm gonna do is raise this up there's no way we have an apple box maybe or something we can raise that up higher and then I could do this all in one shot work who would have thunk it okay I'm gonna focus on them and I'm just gonna lock it in so it stays already so maybe what we ll do jonah's years is pretty high so maybe we'll these have you guys open up the stance so just kind of like open up so we shortening out a little bit and then pulling them listed is just to the same post that we did last time it's simple and easy when closed eyes lovely back this up just a little bit okay and then with a flash in the back I'm gonna turn that up a lot because we went upto eleven good call I heard okay, okay, now he's got to do a little test shot lena had then and let's just see fifty I think we're getting some sort of oh it's the rv flats see this right here? You see this so that's a b flat so we need to move it out you're gonna get there's a lot of room light are we able to cut out the the walls do that we can cut the those guys ah, there we go. Magic uh so much better oh, no let me get this in the know okay, reset again. Okay, okay guys, can you hold that pose again? Okay? And then john we're going to is let's just take the flats out so they're out of the frame. I think we can just leave the lights there, all right? We can start to see it actually come out, just go down a little lower guy's gonna get open up a little bit more, okay? I know this is like super weird, okay, I'm going to give you guys a little more room in the frame too so the audience can see where the lines are going so normally we would crop this in a little bit tighter back a little bit. We still see that ben perfect. Okay, here we go. We're about half a second f eighteen shooting full power on the flash one hundred eyes and I'm gonna pop you one more guess okay? And is going to show you that whole thing this ties it in perfectly. Why are they blurry? Well, full power the flash flash duration laceration so we need a tune that down so we're gonna go down to one quarter power the only thing those lights are really brave I'm at one hundred eyes on f eighteen we're picking up a lot of the lights are nothing. Cut some of it down let's just face him away like that's facing like that that's perfect that's better let's just face it a little bit back and then that's much better let's go like right here I'll tell you when they're right on much better perfect. Alright, guys leaving. Okay, keep leading us there aren't actually second one's probably going to get in this room aerial one after that. Okay, so you can see the effect that it's having that's perfect and you guys can take a seat um and you can see what's happening in the room around it, right? So we actually have that little guy down there so granted when you do this on site that the reason why we need to have and we're catching also like the white walls were catching like all those things in the frame that are going to make it like we need more back we need more depth to get the light further back but so long as they're in a area the frame that stays dark you could do it all in one frame but if they have light trailing over them, then you need to do it in two frames so what I would have done is just, uh actually let's get goes back for one I'll show you how to do it real quick and two frames and then we can do it. Yeah, let's, do it. You could turn the lights off on for this one, let's. Just turn on my as well do this, pull each other in again one more time, guys. Yeah, we'll do the same thing that's gonna get more awkward before it gets better. I'm just saying okay, perfect. Okay, but your brush the hair back again on your side so that it kind of all stays right behind you so we want to avoid that kind of stuff right there you go, okay, so what we would do is we pop off one single frame and see I didn't touch the camera right oh do we let like turn off the lights on oh that's a lot of light I mean the heads and again see that's no cut light oh did I make an adjustment? Oh yeah city it seems brighter than it was a second ago alright, we'll just do it with the there's another case where like you might just want to do it in two shots just for the sake of doing and take shots good enough so what we have on that first one is going to be basically just them so they can just hold still it doesn't matter my flash powers it could be one over one because they're holding still for the first frame and what we're going to do is just do the exact same shot but we're just going to slow it down to get the motion of the shot and for this one that could stay in it or they could be out of it it doesn't matter so let's just have you guys pop out for a sec sorry okay? And then we're getting the cycle again yeah, I think the shot that I got was actually a lot darker it didn't transfer let's go back to the slide all the show over this line okay, so we shoot a shot for the couple holding still we shoot a shot for the motion and then what? We end up having a plate shot with couple in it and we can blend back the amount of lines that we want the scene just by again doing a simple photoshopped composite so in scenes like let's go the okay so this is what a whip plate would look like this is done in one frame because they're in an area that's dark and I kind of like the light trail going over them and it's just a silhouette anyway um this is done in one frame. I like the way that that looked okay this time I'm hand holding on just twisting the camera off. Okay, this was done in two frames. Why? Because the john for our building at actually has significance to them that's where he proposed and so I wanted to actually have that visible but this area is still pretty bright so I just did a whip for the background and I did a plate shot with them hand it's like holding still we just put them over the top of each other and just blend back in so we get the right amount of balance there there we go. This is bonus content now so whatever we do from here on out is all bonus you have any questions? Do you deal with low light um focusing little eye focusing stick to your center focal point your center focal point the point is always gonna be the strongest on your camera, so stick to that if you're shooting on like primes at one for you would have a hard time with little light focusing put a flashing your camera so you get the emphasised if you're on nikon, it has a have sex is it was really nice. I don't know why candace don't but that's just the way it is. I think a lot of cameras actually will have a built in, but stick to center focus and recompose helps oh, one other thing look for contrast points in your scene, so a lot of times, like the most common one that I probably get is a bridegroom walking down the aisle, right? It's semi dark in there, it's not very well lit and not a bright group program um, they wouldn't walk down together strange, so if the groom's walking down the aisle the most typical contrast point you're going to get is right here where you have his tie, his white shirt and his tux. So you got white on black, so if you put your focal point right over that area, it snaps to focus really quick because it's an area of contrast, I'll shoot, I didn't I'll shoot formals on one four one two like, but it's like I prepped the group and I say, like, look, you guys go stand in this line if anybody's in front or behind you going blurry like it just depends on the scene in the look that I want to have but I do a lot of my formals wide open because it looked beautiful. Look amazing. Um, him everybody's room. I'll shoot. It was really difficult to get a contrast point. Yeah, yeah. Um, first answer is gonna be a little more tricky if you can get again. There's generally gonna be some sort of contrast point with white on black. Like the dress on a tux, you know, because address on top. But we we have white against black so you can focus, like, right towards like the shoulder right here. You can focus in a lot of there. There. That's. Another trick. Just find a contrast point and use the center focus and recompose. Thank you. Yeah. J p photography wants to know what flash modifier wood to use for photographing group silver umbrella scattered light amazingly, but are harsh but white ones air softer, but don't spread the light as well. So what would you use a pure shooting, a big group, okay, so a big group shot generally, we're going to use something white on those kind of things just because it's a more diffused light like we talked about and like, I like a softer, more flattering look for those types of images. What? Well, dio again, this is going to be like one of those full course things we teach a technique of, we call it umbrella feathering okay, we'll put an umbrella up, we'll place three flashes behind the umbrella, so they're all on independent stands. And so if you imagine this john, can I get you to hold this umbrella up? I'm gonna demonstrate with two flashes and okay, so this is the umbrella that's the group, right let's say it's, a group of twenty people, so it's feather fairly large group is in front of us like right here, okay, so what we do is we'll place three flashes behind it. The first flash is going to aim kind of towards the closer side of the group. Okay, so basically we're goingto point all these flashes feathering across the group's let the left side spill on the left side of the group, but try and get as much light to the right side, the group and this goes in the inverse square law type stuff what we're doing is we're zooming, each one of them so the one on so let's say that this is the umbrella and its place right here. Hold that right there. Okay, so this is going right here. This is going to be fairly wide is going to like, say, fifty mil this's going to be about eighty five, and I'm the one that right side is at one o five. This is going to be a quarter power. This is a half power. This is at full power. So what we're doing is we're feathering the amount of light that's transferring across the scene so that that far side gets an equal amount as the close side. Okay, it sounds much more complicated than actually, it takes about two minutes to set up. Once you get used to doing it, its very easy, and you get even light across an entire big group just using these small lights. But I like, do that answers questions, like had nothing to do he's like, should I just use a white umbrella or a silver? I'm like, let me answer that with ten minutes of talking. So the answer was white umbrella for us, your flash. Would this be the same as using a grid so it's, similar in principle, but different in effect, so a grid cuts down the amount of light, right? Because you're putting a black object over the front of grid is going to cut down your light, but it does, in essence, pin the light to a certain place. Grid's air, generally mohr, powerful of a zoom of a pin than your zoom, actually is on the camera. But the zoom on the camera isn't going to reduce your flash power. It's going to still transfer that flash power off the grid is going to reduce lashkar, but it gets into a finer point beyond a grid there's, a snoot a snoop will actually like if a grid would light up, say, john. In that area, like that piece of the wall, a snu I could, like, throw it directly into his nose, get a pretty pin point accurate grant, you tell me, so you have zoom, and then next step would be grids and then snoot, but each one of those agreements and was going to cut your life, too.

Class Description

Learn how to achieve professional results during real world shoots, working in less-than-ideal scenes, and with absolutely no time in Working with Flash with Pye Jirsa

Pye has lots of experience shooting in high pressure situations with minimal gear. In this class, he’ll teach on-camera flash bounce techniques that you can use to create 1, 2, and even 3 light setups using simple and inexpensive light modifiers. Pye will also help you add motion to your images and he’ll dive into the basics of off-camera flash so you can take advantage of the additional flexibility and creative options it affords. 

Best of all, you are going to learn lighting from the bottom up. You will see just how powerful the gear you already own can be, while learning about inexpensive stepping stones into the world of off-camera flash.



Not only is this a great class, but Pye is entertaining to watch. I'm a natural light photographer and I wanted to learn more about what a flash could do for me and my business. After watching this class I have not only learned more about flash photography but also learned that it can help boost my photos and create more beautiful photos even for my family clients. Great class I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about flash photography.


Great course, Considering that I am a professional photographer that is always searching for new ways to work and make my workflow more efficient and my work more creative, I find this class to be very helpful and interesting. I already own 3 pocket flashes and I realize that I don't exploit them as I could. It also made me realize that I was more in the «the more gear you buy» mode and not enough in the «exploit your gear and be creative» mode. So for the price, I think it is worth it !

Ali Plantz

"Working with Flash" was a great introduction for learning the basics of using a pocket flash, as well as providing opportunities to explore more advanced concepts related to light and its manipulation. I would definitely recommend this class for anyone who is wanting to familiarize themselves with the how flash can transform your photos and how its control can provide a creative avenue with artistic results.