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Before We Begin

Lesson 2 from: Working with Speedlights in the Studio

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

2. Before We Begin

Not all cameras and speedlights are created equal. Mark explains some significant differences and defines what it means to shoot in a "studio." We explore the differences between using speedlights in the studio vs. shooting on-location.

Lesson Info

Before We Begin

before we begin, let's talk a little bit about what it means to shoot in a studio. So we have this studio here that's been set up to sort of duplicate what you might see in your garage in a small studio or on location, something like that. So I'm using the term studio a little bit loosely. It could be you shooting with speed lights at a specific location, It could be you shooting with speed lights uh in the living room, it could be used shooting with speed lights in your garage or a full blown studio like this Really, the difference is when we're talking about shooting with speed lights in the studio, The light, 100% of the light is coming from our speed lights. So we're not trying to balance ambient light, maybe location light light coming through a window, something like that with the lights from our speed lights. That's a very common things shooting in the studio. We're just specifically using our speed lights to do 100 of the lighting. Now, we're gonna make an exception to that. At...

the very end of this class, we're going to do some fun things, but 99% of this class is going to be 100% of the light coming from the speed lights. And that's what I mean by working with speed lights in the studio. So don't get hung up when you see this studio and it's really big and crazy and fancy it could be anywhere. So just think studio as in all the light is being controlled by your speed lights and we're not concerned with anything else. Okay, now that we know that, let's talk a little bit about some of the gear that we're going to be using, we're gonna show you a little bit more here a little bit later on. But not all speed lights are created equal. So I have a couple of different flavors here. So these are canon speed lights that I have brought over. These guys are also we have some good ox speed lights right here. Um, flashpoint speed lights the same thing. We have a Sony camera, this is a Sony speed light for Sony camera, this is a canon speed light for a canon camera. And so because these look very similar, you would think that all of the different capabilities are the same. Most of them are the same. But what you'll find is depending on the speed light, you'll have different things like this. The heads of these are a little bit different. So you see this one here is round this one here is rectangular, we'll talk a little bit about why that is. So maybe the properties of light are a little bit different. The other thing that would be a little bit different is the capabilities of maybe an older flash and a newer flash. So for example, if I look at this cannon flash, you'll see that it has this red thing right here, this is for helping with auto focus, auto focus assist beam. It also can transmit and receive to a different canon flash. If we had two of these guys, they could communicate back and forth with this optical thing here. It also has this little ports on the side that we're gonna be using a little bit later. This sport is for plugging in a remote trigger. So it's got some basic features. If I pull this go docks flash here, you'll see. It also has this auto focus assist beam that's right here. You can also optically talk to the other flash but it doesn't have that support for plugging in a remote trigger. So it's just got almost all the stuff that the cannon does, but not quite all of it. But the majority of things between these two different systems are the same. The things like zooming and setting the power and the ratios and all that kinda stuff we're gonna get to are going to be pretty similar. So we're gonna try to keep this class on the lowest common denominator. In other words, the stuff that all speed lights do. So we're gonna try to keep this generic enough. I'll show you in a bit uh, some very specific things to Canon specifically. Um that might be different than Nikon or Olympus or Fuji film or whatever system you're using. Don't get hung up on that. We're gonna keep it broad enough so that you can do everything that we show you in this class. Now there are a couple other things I want to show you here and that is how you're going to mount the speed light. So I've got some tether tools adapters here. So this is an umbrella adapter, you can put an umbrella through this little hole here, so if you've got an umbrella, you can stick that through this, this little hole here and so we'll be doing that to mount our speed lights on our camera. Um, we also have a bunch of these guys right here. So frio photo has these adapters. This is the frio stand, so it's just got a cold shoe here or you can snap on any cold shoe kind of thing. So we have that. So it's a frio stand. This guy doesn't articulate. And so what we have is we have what's called the frio arch, which is this and it's got a little Ball head here so you can articulate your flash and put it in whatever place that you want. That's a really cool thing. And so what we've done is we took a frio stand, it's got a quarter-20 thread and we'll just connect those two things together. And so then you have a way to mount your flash pretty much any way you want. We also have this little guy here, this is called a frio grasp what it allows you to do is to clamp your flash onto something so we might need to clamp onto a wall or something like that, we've got that. There's just a lot of options. There's also this big guy right here. This is a frio reach kit, so it's got a an articulating arm that you can lock down and a giant clamp. So if you have a flash in a soft box or anything that you can imagine, this guy will allow you to position that pretty much anywhere in any way that you want and then you can lock it down and so we might be using this occasionally depending on what we're doing. So we've got that. So that's how we're attaching all of these flashes. And so if you're wondering how the heck are all these things coming together? That's what we're doing. So I'm not gonna really show you that later. We're just gonna be popping stuff on our umbrellas and our stands and stuff now, you know how we're doing that? There are a couple other things that I'm gonna be using. Um we're gonna talk about the modifiers that will be using as we go. But I do want to show you specifically a couple of things I've got these little guys right here. These are Rogue flash vendors. So I've got Different sizes and stuff. These aren't even the new ones. So these that I have, I think are from like 2012. So there's some new rogue flash vendors that are even better than what I have. But what these guys do is they allow you to lock you, just sort of stick this on your flash head and then there's little velcro thing here and it locks on and then you can bounce light and do all kinds of really cool stuff. And so these guys, I absolutely love them. We'll be using these as we go. And then also I have some grids, these are also rogue flash bender grids that we'll be using. And so you can see there this sort of restricts the light and so we'll be using those to keep the light exactly where we want it to go. So lots of cool stuff. I just wanted to show you that. So as we go forward, you would see exactly what's happening. Also, I'm gonna be using this Cannon are five predominantly for the class today. The reason for that is it's my camera that I use all the time in the studio. We can tether it to my laptop, we can do all that kind of stuff. I've got lenses for it. And so we're not gonna be switching back and forth between Canon and Nikon and Fuji and Sony were gonna stick with a Canon camera just because that's what I own and use and again, we're gonna stick with what pretty much all different camera brands will be able to do. But what I wanna do is I want to sort of go in here and show you some of the things that you can do with your flash and the things that are common among all brands. So if I go into the menu here, I'm gonna zip into my menu. I'm gonna go into this thing called external speed light control. This is what you would see on the back of your flash or even on the menu of your camera. So if I go in here, I've got some different things that are sort of specific to Canon. But let me just point out the things that are common to all different cameras. And so one of the things that's really important is this thing right here called slow Synchro. And so this is something you'll find a different uh name for it, but it determines the shutter speed. That can be used when you have a flash on your camera or your remote controlling a flash. And so it says the camera can go this fast, that this shutter speed or this slow. So if we look at this, you can see that I have mindset To be the fastest shutter speed at 200th of a second. And the slowest shutter speed to be 60th of a second, which works for almost everything when you have a flash. But sometimes you might want to slow your shutter way down, we're gonna do that toward the end of this class. And if I try to do that, this wouldn't work unless I change this To go all the way down to seconds Instead of 60th of a second. So you might have to dig into your menu to do some of the things that we're gonna do in the future Or if you're shooting in the studio all the time, you might just want to fix your shutter to 200th of a second. We're going to explain that in the next section. Alright, let me show you a couple other things. I'm going to go back on the menu here. Flash function settings. If I click this, you're going to see these five things now. Normally these five things, I would just adjust on the back of my flash. We're gonna be showing you that we've got a close up camera. I'll be going to show you how to do that on the back of your flash. But just to make it really clear what I'm doing, I'm gonna show you what it looks like in the menu to talk through what these different five things are. These are the five things that are five things that are very common across all brands there named different things, but they're consistent. Think of this as the air conditioning and the heating and the cruise control and the wipers and all that kind of stuff in your car. If you have a dodge and you hop in, you might have the slider for heating and cooling hot or cold, You might have a dial for something. The radio might be up high. You might have a navigation system that's weird and wonky. You hop over and to afford, we're gonna have the exact same thing, but maybe you have dials instead of sliders and maybe the navigation is in a different place. It all behave the same way. But you know when you're flipping back and forth between cars and buy a new car, you're like, how do I turn on my hazards? Where is the thing? We know it's there. It just might be in a different location. That's the same thing with all different camera brands. All the stuff that I'm going to show you here, it's gonna be in your camera. You might just have to dig in your manual and figure out where exactly that is. Just sort of think about it as different controls for different car brands. All the same. Just different places. All right. So let's hop back over here into the menu and the first thing I want to show you is this thing right here called E T T L. Cannon calls it E T T L. Most other manufacturers just call it T T L and it stands for through the lens. T T L E means electronic electronic through the lens metering through the lens metering. And so the option is if I go in here, I can either have T T L, manual flash, multi, external and manual external. We're not going to use multi, we're not going to use external flash metering or manual, external flash metering, we're only going to be going back and forth between E T T L. And from now on, it's going to call it T T L E T T L and manual. Those are the only modes we're really going to be working with in this class because those two modes are consistent in behavior across all brands. So you'll hear me, hear me talk about T T. L. Or manual and we'll change that on the back of our flash or in the camera. That is a standard across all different brands. The other thing we're going to be talking about is how we connect our off camera flash and we take this off the camera. How do we connect it to the camera itself? And so again, we go into the menu here, you can see we have different wireless modes. So in the olden days you would use optical transmission. So optical transmission. What that was is this little, there's a little light on this and it would transmit a light to another flash. That flash would see that light and it would sort of control it that way. The problem with that is if you put a soft box or an umbrella or this light wasn't pointing at the other light. Exactly, it wouldn't work. And so thankfully newer flashes have been upgraded, not only have radios in them, that's what we're gonna be using. So if I go into this radio menu here, um, we'll go in here. There's all kinds of different things that we can do with that radio transmission. We can use groups and all kinds of things. So down here you can see uh, which channel you want to use. So maybe you're shooting with somebody else you might want to have yours on Channel One, somebody else's on Channel Two. You can do cinder flash finances a cannon specific thing you can talk about which flash groups. We're gonna talk about a little bit later which ones you're controlling and then your radio. I don't even worry about that at this point. The point is, we're going to get into how you use this radio triggering stuff as we go forward and show you different flavors of that cannon and also Pocket Wizard. So I'm gonna turn that off for now and then the zoom zoom is something that we're going to be showing you as we go forward. It's a really important concept for working with speed lights in the studio and so we have a complete section talking about what that means, but I just want to show you that it's there. Now, let's talk about a couple other things. This right here is to set first curtain, rear curtain or second curtain sync and high speed sync. These three modes. First curtain sync. Second curtain sync, high speed sync or sometimes they're called first curtain sync, F. B plane, I think sink. Uh rear curtain sync. It's all the different names for this second curtain sync thing, we'll get to that. And then high speed sync. So this middle, one second curtain sync FP, plain sink. I have to look at that. There's a weird one for Nikon, it's called that. But anyway, it determines when the flash fires. We have a segment all about that because it's also something that's important to learn. And then the last thing here in the menu, so I'll go back here and make sure that's on first curtain is this thing right here? Flash exposure bracketing. And so that helps you control the exposure when you're shooting multiple times. Maybe the flash is really bright are not so bright. And so you sort of get multiple exposures from one shutter press will show you that. One thing that isn't in this menu that we're gonna be doing a lot is called flash exposure compensation. We're going to talk about that stuff when we get to how to control your exposure with your flash. That's coming up very very soon. In fact, it's the next thing we're going to do is how do you control the exposure with your flash and your camera. How do these two things work together? And so that's what we're gonna do next

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tether Tools Pro Kit Discount
Tether Tools Starter Kit Discount
Frio Grasp Mini Discount

Ratings and Reviews

Erika Matkovich

This course has been amazing! I have learned more through this class than any other YouTube video. Thank you for being so thorough. You are giving me confidence to add OFC to my work.

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