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Zooming and Setting Flash Orientation

Lesson 8 from: Working with Speedlights in the Studio

Mark Wallace

Zooming and Setting Flash Orientation

Lesson 8 from: Working with Speedlights in the Studio

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

8. Zooming and Setting Flash Orientation

Mark gives a quick demo to show why using manual zoom on a speedlight makes a big difference. We also take a look at vertical vs. horizontal orientation of off-camera speedlights.

Lesson Info

Zooming and Setting Flash Orientation

let's talk a little bit about zooming and flash orientation. And so when we have the flash off camera or even on camera, it will change the light will change based on if this is sideways like this, this is a vertical shot or if it's this way horizontal. So changing this orientation changes some things. And then also there's something called zooming that a flash does that can change how the flash works with light modifiers and all kinds of stuff. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna do sort of a down and dirty demo of all of these things over here in the close up zone. I have set up this camera and so what I'll be doing is I'm gonna zoom my lens in and out and then we want to show you something. So what we're doing here is this as I'm zooming my lens in and out. You see this right here, it is changing. So go back, let's show you this zoom this lens right here. So this is zooming in and out. So as I'm doing that, you can see that this is changing. So why is that doing that? Okay, let me...

come back over here to this main camera so I can sort of explain what's happening. So the behavior is this is made to do this on purpose because when the flash is on the camera it has to illuminate the entire scene. And so if you're zoomed in on something, you can see much less. And so the flash has to zoom so you see much less. And then if you zoom out to see more of a landscape, this flash also has to change to zoom out to spread the light. So the light from the flash speed light is changing. It's being focused or widen out just like the lens is zooming in and zooming out. So when we take the flash off the camera, so we're gonna take this flash and take it off the camera, we've got one over here. Well by default, this just stays to whatever the default zoom is, which might be uh 80 millimeters millimeters. 50 millimeters could be 100 millimeters, who knows? But this is set to a specific uh light spread is the specific zoom. So what we want to be able to do is to take this and make the light zoom way out or zoom in because if we have a soft box on here or for shooting into an umbrella, we want to zoom this light out so it fills the entire soft boxer, it fills the entire umbrella. Or if we're shooting something with the speed light, we're shooting something far away. We want to zoom it in. So that light is very focused. So let me show you in real life terms how this works and then we're gonna get to this horizontal and vertical thing. So here's what we're gonna do. I'm gonna take my flash, I'm gonna set it sort of dead center on this actually before I do this, let me come over here and show you this zoom in and out here and how you can change it so that you understand what's going on. Okay, so we're gonna go to this this close up really fast, I'll focus it up just like that. Okay, so what we're doing here is over here, we have our flash exposure compensation and right here we have a button that changes the zoom. So if I change that zooming out, So it's going 530 200 in and out. And so what happens is on the other side. So I'll zip this around to the other side. You can see that as I'm assuming this, it's changing that as well. So let me show you that with this pointing to this background right here. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to have this set to 28 mm 28 mm. And the flash is off the camera. So I'm gonna be taking a photo of my flash and the stuff that's behind it. Okay, it's sort of a wonky photo, but it really helps you understand what's happening here. So here we go. This is the flash set to 28 mm. So we will look at that, you can see that the background, the entire background, this entire white piece of paper is illuminated, edge to edge because our flash has zoomed out really, really wide. So what I'm gonna do now is I'm gonna take this flash, I'm gonna change the zoom two, 200 millimeters. So in other words, I've taken that zoom and I've said zoom way in. Now, we're gonna take that same exact photo, Man. Now look at this photo, look at how this looks on that white paper, so we can compare those two side by side and you can see that the one on the left, there is a wide even distribution of light and on the right, that light is zoomed way way in. So what does that do? Well, not only does it restrict how the light is working, but it also changes how much light is coming out. So when the light is zoomed out to light up a lot of stuff, there's just not a lot of light to get there because it's spreading all over the place when you zoom in, it's really packing a punch bam. Think of it as when you're watering your lawn, you've got one of those old fashioned water nozzles when you widen it out, the water is going everywhere, it's just sort of sprinkling. But if you want to zap your kid, you make the nozzle really strong and focused and then you can get them really good. Same thing with our light. If you zoom in the light is gonna be really punchy and go to a really specific place. If you widen it out, it's gonna fill up and be really nice and soft. So when we're working with soft boxes and things like that. We want our flash to be zoomed out. We want this flash to illuminate all of the soft box. So we have to sort of find the sweet spot. Where are we zoomed in enough to get enough light to pack a punch but still be wide enough to illuminate edge to edge or soft box or umbrella or whatever it is. You'll have to experiment because it changes based on the distance of the light from the subject. But that's a nice thing about having your calf, your flash off the camera. You can do all those experiments. Okay, let's talk a little bit about this horizontal and vertical. So I'm going to leave the light Zoomed in and just for a refresher, we're gonna shoot the same photo. We just did. This is the light zoomed at on the background and it's the same shot we just did before. It's identical. You can see that the light is very horizontal because the sensor is horizontal. This light is designed originally to be on the camera and so it's going to match the orientation of the camera. Oh, what happens Teresa? We're gonna have you come out here, we're gonna have you stand almost to the back of this paper was gonna have you stand here looking awesome. Okay, I'm gonna put this flash just to the side of my camera, I'm gonna zoom in just a little bit. I'm going to take a photo them Now look at this photo, the light is wonky, so notice how the light is horizontal across the background. So Teresa's legs are dark and it just doesn't look great. If I go over here, all I'm going to do is I'm going to change this light so it is sideways like this. So instead of vertical, it's gonna go sideways like this, I'm sorry, instead of horizontal, it's going to be vertical like this and I will put this right here, I'll sort of point it at Theresa to the best of my ability. Now I'm gonna take the same photo again. Same exact thing I miss just a little bit, but you get the idea you can see at this picture now the light is vertical, so I'll take another shot. I think I just did that like a little bit better. Take a look at these shots. Now we have a vertically oriented light. So let's put those two things side by side on the left, that's a horizontal oriented speed light on the right, that is a vertically oriented speed light. So we're gonna come back here to camera three to matt's camera. The implications of this stuff is that if I'm using this. So Teresa, come on over here. If I'm gonna position you right here. There you go. If I want to have a light that sort of sculpting Teresa. uh, Theresa's cheek had cheek and Teresa mixed up Teresa's cheek right here and I was using my flash horizontally. Someone's gonna take this off CC by the flash like this. What happened is I would get this horizontal illumination which isn't gonna work right? So by moving this vertically then I'm gonna get light that's going down sort of like a strip light and illuminating the side of her face, her shoulder, all of that kind of stuff. So your light, how you have this directed. It really matters now. One of the things that's interesting to note is that some of the newer flashes are round. So Teresa, I think if you go over there there might be around one, I don't know, we'll get you on in a second. But some of the newer lights have round heads and the reason for that is this exact thing. Sometimes you don't need a square head, a round head is going to work better because you have to worry about that orientation. In fact, yeah, thank you Teresa, she got one for me. So you can see that some of these heads have round heads on them and that's exactly so that you don't have such a big vertical horizontal light coming out. It sort of spreads that in a circular motion instead of horizontal. So some do it a little bit better than others. Some of them just have a lens. Some of them actually have a circular light back there, so not all flashes are created equal. If you're really doing a lot of off camera flash stuff, you should probably get a circular head, something like this. This is a good XV one so that works really, really well. Okay. Speaking of multiple speed lights, that's what we're gonna do next. We're gonna start adding more than just one speed, like to try to start sculpting light and learn how to control all of those different things.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tether Tools Pro Kit Discount
Tether Tools Starter Kit Discount
Frio Grasp Mini Discount
NanLite_WALLACE5.pdf

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