Event Bounce | Transcription

Now if you are a event photographer, a wedding, food journalist of some sort, then bounce flash is going to be your primary tool when your working in journalist environments like the one you see here, which  happens to be at an event and we do a lot of events. Sorry, it happens to be at a wedding, which is a type of event.

But, let’s talk about this. I want to talk about tips first because we’re going to basically cover the different types of gear that we would use for this. And you guys can just see the gear list of the different options and items that you would have. Our preferences will come through naturally as we go through the tips.

Let’s start with the first tip. And the first tip is that your best bounce is going to come actually not from the ceiling, not from behind you, not from anywhere other than the walls, okay. The walls to the left and right of you.

So basically, all we do is take this flash and point it to the side. Okay, now if you’d like, if you want just a little more angle like the light coming down a little bit, then you point it to the side and slightly up. But this is your first and best option for bounce. And then simply all you’re going to do is point it at your subject and take a shot and you get this beautiful little bounce light. Fantastic. And it’s going to give you directional light. It’s going to look great, it’ll look awesome.

But, often times you don’t have a left or a right side wall to bounce off of. Or, what if the left and the right walls, they’re not neutral colored? What if they’re dark brown? What if they’re red? What if they’re yellow? What if they’re some color that you cannot use to bounce? You’re kind of out of luck in that situation. Sort of.

Well, that’s when basically we’re going to turn to the ceiling. So, ceiling bounce is tip number two. Tip number two is ceiling bounce, but it does require a fill. And we talked about this earlier, and we showed you earlier when we took that shot of Jeremiah. We used that overhead fill; we had no fill on his eyes. His eyes were basically dark, okay. They were becoming what we call “raccoon eyes.” They don’t look good. Unless you’re looking for that scary dramatic look, then fine. But typically at a wedding, nobody wants to look scary dramatic. It’s just not a thing.

So, what kind of fill are we talking about? Well, my favorite is just to grab a Fong Dong. Okay, you grab the Fong Dong and you put it on the flash and you shake it all about. I’m just kidding. Just put it on your flash. You don’t need to shake it all about. Not necessary.

Okay, so, what this is going to do is, once this is on the flash head, I can now bounce of a ceiling, and what’s going to happen is, light’s going to come out of this, it’s going to refract around the circle, and it’s going to have light pushed all around in all directions, okay? So it’s going to push some light forward, some to the right, some back, and then most of the light is still going to go to the ceiling. So I can still get a ceiling bounce, but this little dome is going to give me fill forwards and all around. Which will give me much better eyes at a, say, situation like this.

So, that’s great. This is fantastic. I can bounce up, and now I’ve used that. What if the ceiling is super vaulted? Or what if, by chance, you’re working outdoors? Well, domes, like the Fong Dong, and they make, you know, cheaper domes. We’ve talked about all the different brands of domes you can get. I prefer this guy because it’s portable, compact, it has good light transmission. And, well, it’s nice. It’s just nice. It has a nice rubber feel to it. It feels fantastic.

Okay, but it does come with a dome. Every single dome, or, yeah, every single dome comes with a cap, I should say. There’s a little cap that you put on the very top that seals it up, basically. And instead of letting most of the light travel up through, it pushes the light out forward. The only problem with that is that there’s not much difference between that versus direct flash.

So, if you have a vaulted ceiling. Or, what if you’re in rooms that are kind of like pitch black? And that’s the environment I wanted to show you here. This is one of those worst-case-type scenarios. What do you do in a worst-case-type scenario?

Worst-case-type scenario is rooms like this, where the left wall, the right wall, the ceiling, and everything around you is all black. I don’t know why, everything was black. I think it was because it was an amphitheater or something like that. It’s a theater, it’s not designed for weddings. So everything is black all around you. There’s nothing to bounce off of.

Or, what if you’re outdoors at night time? And there’s nothing to bounce off of? Well, you’re kind of stuck with a couple options. You could direct flash, and direct flash does work, and if you keep those rules that we talked about earlier, if you want it to look natural, you expose the background brightly. Now if it’s dark, keep the shutter speed low, 150 to a second. Go with a low aperture, f2, f2.8, ISO 1600, ISO 3200, and flash lightly. You’ll still get decent quality images.

You can do the exact same thing with the dome on. And you cap it so that the light gets pushed forward, but it’s going to look similar to direct flash. So how do we get quality lighting in those types of situations, in these worst-case situations?

Oh, by the way, just to demonstrate the type of light quality I was getting, I took a shot with the dome. Okay, now, this couple–don’t do this by the way on just all of your wedding shoots. My clients, they, and our clients at Lennon Jersey Photography, they pay a lot of money to have us shoot their weddings. Any time we use anything for educational purposes, if we’re doing things like that, we have them sign and be aware of it, so we’re not doing things just to mess around.

So what I did right here was while they were getting ready for this shot, I took a quick shot with just my dome, and I bounced off the ceiling into the, I think this is to the left. What you can see is a tiny bit of light, and I bounced hard. This is one-over-one flash power. We get a tiny bit of light coming back here, and then everybody else, you just see the room lights. You don’t see anything. There’s nothing on that side. It looks terrible. Part of the group is slightly lit. I would venture to guess that they’re only lit because a little bit of the fill flash was pushed forward. And that was it. Okay. The rest is gone; it’s in the black space.

This shot looks terrible. So, what do we do in these situations? BYOB. Doesn’t that sound like “Bring Your Own Barbecue”? I’m making it, “Bring Your Own Bounce.” Bring your own bounce to these kinds of situations. So what do you do?

Okay, so working in outside or dark venues or venues with colored walls, bring your own bounce. This is a bounce. This is the Fstoppers Flash Disc. While I love this little modifier, I don’t necessarily like to walk around receptions and ceremonies like this. It’s just a little bit too big. It’s a little bit too in your face for me. But what I don’t mind doing is I don’t mind holding this and just kind of keeping it near me or in my pocket or whatever and bouncing off of it.

So what I’ll do is I’ll just angle my flash like this, and when I take a shot, if the group is standing right there. Let’s say that you guys are the group. All I’m going to do is point at the group, I’m going to bring my flash right here, and just bounce right off this guy.

So now I get this beautiful diffused bounce light off of a little reflector that I’m holding in my hand. You can do the exact same thing. This is what I talked about earlier with this little guy. What is this guy, the Interfit? You can hold it just off to the side. Do the exact same thing. Get a nice little bounce off this guy.

Granted, the Fstoppers Flash Disc is going to push back a little bit more light, because it’s a white over silver. Okay. This is just a white, which is transparent which is going to let a lot of that light through. Either way, when you’re working in dark environments, usually your exposure is set with a high ISO, so this will still work totally fine.

But, this is what I mean for this bounce. Now, using this, I’m going around and getting shots like this. So whenever we’re doing the small groups–this is like a journalistic shot, they’re just in the moment doing their thing.

So, what is the setting for this bottom middle shot? Well, I’m on the 24-70, I’m at 35mm at 1/160 of a second, F2.8 ISO 1600. And this is the Fstoppers Flash Disc bounce at TTL, which, again, none of you use TTL. Don’t do it. I’m at 1/16 to 1/32 power. And it pushes back enough light to light them up, and it looks fantastic. It looks like they posed for this shot, right? And it looks like we had studio lighting, but it’s not. It’s just on here and bounced off of an Fstoppers Flash Disc.

But, what if I’m working with larger groups? This group, this group. Well, in those kinds of cases, I like to have my assistant carry around just a white over silver. And when I’m doing big group shots, if–and figure out if it’s appropriate for that scene you’re in. You know, if I’m doing a high-end celebrity wedding, I probably just stick with these small items. But if this is a wedding where people don’t mind if it’s all about the photos, they love this, I’ll have my reflector–my assistant–just bring around these foldable Westcott reflectors and when I’m ready to take a shot, she or he just simply hold up the reflectors and I bounce off of it and get beautiful lighting on these groups. And this is just simple bounce flash.

So, very easy, very simple techniques that yield beautiful, beautiful lighting for larger groups. And they work in any situation. So remember, when you’re in a bind, there’s no walls to bounce off of, there’s no ceiling, you’re outdoors, it’s dark, it’s bad colored walls–whatever it is, BYOB. Bring Your Own Bounce.

If you want to go incognito, just use smaller ones that you can handhold yourself. You want to get the best light possible, use a full reflector. Usually I’ll have my assistant tuck them away, so they’ll just fold them up, tuck them away when we’re not shooting. We only bring them out for a shot. And in between shots, I’m not having her hold it up the whole time. If it’s a small in between-like journalistic moment, I’m using my small guys and I’m doing it myself. When it’s the large group shot and everybody’s ready and posed and ready for the shots, I have her hold that.

By the way, what are the camera settings for these? Let me just go over these real quick. This is the top middle and top right. So, we’re at the 24-70 again, this is around 30mm in focal length, 1/60 of a second at F4 1600. We’re bouncing at about one quarter to 1/16 power, depending again on the group’s sizing and the distance. So if the group size is pretty large, I have my assistant stand a little bit further back, and I’m around one quarter power. If the group is smaller, my assistant will move closer to me, and I’m at 1/8 to 1/16 power.

One thing I wanted to mention as well, this bottom left shot. Why did I put an x-mark on that guy? Be careful of reflective surfaces in your backgrounds, okay? But when you have an actual glass or mirror surface, if you’re holding up a reflector–you can see it right there–when you bounce off of it, it’s going to brighten up, and it’s going to show in the window. So as soon as that happens, basically we just turn the group and you just fire at an angle where you’re not going to get the reflection of yourself firing off the reflector in the shot itself. So just remember to watch out for those reflective surfaces.

So, now, we’ve kind of covered it all. And by the way, if you’re at an event and, let’s say, you’ve forgotten your reflectors. I don’t know why. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. Let’s just say you’ve forgot your reflectors. You have no handheld reflectors, you have no large 5-in-1 reflectors. Well, knowing what we know about light modification now, what could you possibly use?

If some of you said–I’ve got to stop doing that pause. That lame children’s video pause. But, if you were thinking a white shirt, or a white napkin, or something you could possibly bounce off, you’re absolutely right. And in fact, we now have a standard where in the studio, any time we go to a shoot, we wear white shirts and black ties.

Why? Because often time if I’m in a pinch, and I need to get a shot, I’m going to grab my third shooter or my lighting assistant, I’m going to sit them right next to me on the dance floor, and I’ll pop a shot right off of his shirt, just like this. I’ll fire right into his shirt, firing against whatever subject I have, and I get a beautiful bounce off of his shirt. So it creates a very simple bounce any time you need it. So we just wear white because it does actually come in handy at times where you might not have, and we always have our gear with us, but at times it’s just, I’ve got to get a moment. It’s happening right now and I can’t have anybody go run and grab something, or I don’t want it to look, you know, kind of intrusive. I just want to fire a shot. I’ll grab my third shooter/assistant, have them stand next to me and just bounce off his shirt.

You can use any of these in any situation. And that’s why there’s rarely ever a situation where you need to use direct flash. Unless, for some reason, none of these techniques have worked and none of them are possible in your current situation, then possibly direct flash. But remember the techniques we did teach you on direct flash as well.

CHAPTER GETTING OVER THE FEAR, HYPE, & MYTHS

CHAPTER 2: THE BASICS OF FLASH

CHAPTER 3 UNDERSTANDING LIGHT

CHAPTER 4: ON-CAMERA FLASH GEAR BASICS

Chapter 5: DIRECT FLASH DONE RIGHT

Chapter 6: STUDIO LIGHT? JUST BOUNCE IT!

Chapter 7: MORE LIGHTS, REFINEMENT, & CREATIVITY

Chapter 8: CASE STUDIES

Chapter 9: BONUS CHAPTERS

Total Course Run Time: 8H 17M 4S