Expanding Your Photographic Vision | Transcription
What’s up peeps? This is the last tutorial for this course. If you’re watching this video, then pat yourselves on the back. Only if, you actually watched videos one all the way through this video. If you skipped, you take that pat back right now. In this tutorial I’m going to be showing you guys how to expand your photographic vision? What do I mean by this because this has been based in the entire concept, the entire purpose of Lighting 101, 201, 301, or 401? It’s been to expand your vision. In this tutorial, I want to do a little bit of a throwback to 101, as well as a little bit of a throw forward to 301 because we’re going to be doing some awesome stuff in Lighting 301.
Let’s talk about a typical scene. This is actually one of my client’s weddings. Yes folks, we are a client-serving studio. We shoot nearly a thousand paid commissions each year. This is where we make most of our money. Guess what? We get our clients to actually allow us to go out and film, and to shoot on site on these actual shoots so we can bring you real education; not just styled shoots and stuff that really isn’t applicable. These are things that are actually applicable that we do on weddings. Here’s a little throwback to Lighting 101. Lighting 101 if you remember was all about on-camera flash, right? We had our on-camera flash. We taught you how to bounce, how to light shape, how to create different looks. We taught you all these great techniques to create amazing images with just your on-camera flash. In the process, we taught you the entire foundation of lighting from temperatures to flash duration, to ambient, to flash balance. All the great stuff, all the things that you need to know about flash we taught you in Lighting 101 while creating cool images.
Guess what folks? These are techniques that I use constantly, even Lighting 101 techniques. I mean when it comes to a wedding, I have my off-camera lights. I have my big lights. I have my medium strobes. I have my pocket strobes. I have my constant light like the GL-1 and the Ice Light. I have all these tools with me, but I use the tools that best fit the scene and best fit my timeline. When I’m in situations when I don’t have time to pull off these crazy shots by getting my big light, my medium strobes out, and doing all these crazy things, I’m going to use my on-camera flash. I’m going to do certain things that are going to get me to the results I want by simply light shaping. That’s the entire purpose behind Lighting 101, 201, 301, 401 to help you to understand light to master it to the point where in any scene, in any circumstance, you know exactly how to get to what you envisioned and what you see in your mind.
Let’s talk about this first scene right here. I’ve got the bride’s maids in this tiny little room. It’s a really small room. I think it’s about 20 by 10 feet. It’s longer than it is wide. This is after the ceremony where basically the coordinator takes them to this room. This is like the bridal suite. The bridal party waits there after the ceremony while she clears out everybody to go to the cocktail hour and so forth, and to get ready for the reception. In the meanwhile, the bride’s maids and the bride is in there. They can’t really do anything. I walk into there and, “Hey, you know what? I’d like to take advantage of the scene.” I have them all there. I want to take some shots because why waste that time? I already have my assistant out covering details and covering everything else that needs to be covered. I want to get more photos.
This is a shot with the ambient light in that room, so with this on the Canon 24-70 Mark II at F2.8 1/100 of a second at ISO 1600. You can see that at 2000 Kelvin, we have a very poopy ambient light quality. There’s no flash fired there. That’s not a very nice shot. Once again we envision, right? All I needed to change this into something that would be great is better light quality. Remember, we talked about better light quality can change everything. The thing is that I don’t have my medium strobes. I don’t have my assistant and everybody there present to be able to help out. My assistant was on the way basically with all my gear. In the meanwhile, what do I do?
I’ve got my Gary Fong Dong on my camera. Again, I have no idea at what point we started calling these things Fong Dongs, but this is the Gary Fong Lightsphere. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing. It collapses. It’s small. It’s great. I had it on my pocket strobe just set on my camera. I was using a 580EX-II at the time. I still like the 580EX-II as well as the 600EX-RT, but the Phottix is a great replacement for that. The only difference when using it on camera is just the Phottix has a slightly slower AF focus. I still prefer the 580EX-II on camera for say weddings in low light conditions, but the Phottix is fantastic too. What do I do? I go, “Okay, well this light … This room looks very dreary, but it’s a white room. The walls are white. We have mirrors everywhere in the room. If I shoot it to be super white, then it should look really nice.”
I turn my little on-camera flash off to the side like this. I find at the corner of the room kind of around the ceiling where I got nice white. I’ve got no mirrors to basically reflect. I don’t want to reflect direct light off of them. I used the Fong Dong in situations like this. I use it on events because it pushes a little bit of light out forward. It’s pushing a little bit of light out forward in all directions which gives me a bit of a fill in the shadowy areas. I like that. It still allows most of the light to spill through because I don’t have the cap on there. Most of the light still goes towards the intended bounce while it pushes some of the light out and around; so we’d get a nice fill around the room.
We go to 1/100 a second F2.8, ISO 1600, we’re at 2000 degrees Kelvin. We have a CTO Gel on the lens. No, do not put your CTO Gel on your lens. On the flash, we have a CTO Gel. Then we bounce at around one quarter to one eighth power off the side of that ceiling-ish area. Now our light comes top down. It fills the entire room. We got an ultra-white look. Now comparing these 2 images, hey that actually looks really nice. We have kind of like the super white look. It cleans up the ambiance in the room. It looks fantastic. Now, we get down to here. I want to get a couple of bridal portraits, so I do the exact same thing. This time, I bounce off at the left side of the room because I know that she favors the left side of her face. I’m lighting that side to make that the brighter point in the shot. We also have the hair kind of down on that side. I want to kind of favor that.
We get the exact same thing. This time I’m shooting with what we have the 100 millimeter on there. We’re going for a close up shot. I want this to be a nice bridal portrait. We get the shot at 1/100 of a second F2.8, ISO 800, and 2000 degrees Kelvin bouncing again off the left side at roughly the same one quarter to one eighth power. Then a few minutes later I come back to the room, I got a bunch of shots with them. I got shots with like each of the bride’s maids. I got her solo. I got a couple different shots. We can’t go anywhere. For not being able to go anywhere, I think we pulled off some pretty cool shots that she’s going to love. The groom comes back in the room and she goes, “Can you get a couple of shots of us too?”
I go, “Absolutely, I’d love to take you guys out later on. We’ll get some beautiful natural light shots. We’ll do all those things that we want to do.” She goes, “That’s great. We can’t move right now. Let’s just do a few here.” I say, “Fantastic, I have a couple ideas already.” We take a couple of shots just like the ones that we did earlier because she actually requested it. She said, “I like a couple of those nice, bright and airy shots.” Okay. We do a couple of those nice portraits in that room. Same exact light set up. After I get those, I showed them to them. I say, “Okay. This is fantastic. Now, I have an idea here. Let’s get a beautiful dramatic shot of you guys.” She goes, “Okay, that’s fantastic.”
At this point, we’ve already been on an engagement shoot. They trust me. They know me. They’ve seen the images that I’m creating. They know that if I’m going to do something wacky, it’s going to be for a good reason. I’m about to do something wacky. This go around, I get my 70-200mm out. What I want to do is I saw that there’s the chandeliers up at the top of the room. You can see one right there. There’s one in the other side of the room. It’s again, kind of that 20 by 10 lengthways. I get up on a table on the other side of the room standing right behind the chandelier. Guess what? If I already use the same light that I did earlier, it wouldn’t look good, right? I knew it wouldn’t look good. I knew it’s going to look like this white kind of mess. It’s not going to be moody. It’s not going to be dramatic. It’s not going to be anything.
I know that if I can put an ambient light on them to brighten them up, just a light on them, a main light on them that matches the color of the ambient light. Then I can utilize the ambient light as kind of this mood and dramatic look, and have them be the brightest point of the image, and have them look great. What do I do? We bust out the Lowell GL-1. Now this, let me set this on the table right now in a position that is extremely precarious and ready to fall off. This is the Lowell GL-1. This along with the Icelight are 2 of the constant lights that we’re going to be introducing to you in Lighting 301. Lighting 301, we’re going to be talking about more now than just flash. Now, we’re talking about multi-point flash set ups; multiple off camera, pocket, and medium strobe setups as well as introducing constant lights. On top of that, using constant lights in conjunction with flash to get great and amazing effects.
This guy is cool because it has a little zoom here. I feel like blinding [Logan 00:09:22] right now. How do you like that buddy? I’m going to blind you guys now. Okay. The zoom control on this is really fantastic because I can make this zoom in to be a spot, or I can widen it out. What I do is have my assistant holding this off to their right side; off to camera right. I have them zoomed in. What we’re doing is we’re brightening them up just barely past the brighter areas of the ambient light. I want them just to stand off the background a little bit. With that, I dial into 1/100 a second, F2.8, and ISO 1600 because that gives me my ambient. It gives me my background exposure. We brighten them up and I have this light being held on them. I stand up and I shoot through the chandeliers. The first shot is this image right here. The second shot is this image right here where we shoot the reflection off the mirror that’s actually directly behind them.
Again, exact same room from ambient light to a complete white out with just on-camera flash. It’s a directional white out, mind you; to a dramatic image with constant light with the GL-1 which is Tungsten, matched to the ambient light. Completely different images in the exact same room. This is all about expanding your photographic vision. We talked about it in this chapter in understanding and interpreting, predicting what’s going to happen when you change your camera settings, when you change the scene, when you change ambient light settings, and flash settings? Now, we’re going to take it a step further as we get into Lighting 301. We’re going to introduce more flashes, more lights, constant, and flash all combined and using conjunction to expand your photographic vision. I hope to see you all with Lighting 301. I hope you guys have enjoyed Lighting 201 as much as I have enjoyed creating it for you all. I’ll see you guys in the next video.