Filling and Refining Existing Light | Transcription

In this video we’re getting into Fill and Refining Bounce. Now, what’s interesting is that these types of lighting setups, what we’re doing in these videos, is far less dramatic than the other shots, but I actually feel like the difficulty level of Fill and Refining Bounce is much more difficult than dramatic light? Why? Because dramatic light is simple. You simply go into a scene and you just overpower it. You go into a scene and you just go full power on your flash, and you start firing away, and you balance and overpower light. Great. Awesome.

Refining, or adding fill, these small changes to modify color, to modify direction, to modify the amount and quality, these are the things that in my book are more difficult because they take a little more experience to understand, and to see. It takes a little bit more of a softer hand to know that, “Hey, for the look I’m going for I don’t need full power. I don’t need even close to that. I just need a small kiss of light.” Anything that just requires a small kiss, well, that’s a more difficult technique.

All right. Let’s talk through these. The primary tips is that a soft fill, it can be used to refine the quality or the direction of existing light. We’re kind of going to do all of these in these 3 examples. Number 2 also, lighting from the same direction as existing light, if you want to amplify, is a fantastic tool. It’s actually what we’re doing in this shot right here. We’re actually just simply adding to the existing direction of light and amping it up with our flash. Number 3, just as before, expose first for the background, analyze your subject, and then add the light afterwards. Okay?

Let’s start over here. With the gear list, of course, only some of these things are going to apply to each one so just feel free to take a look at the gear list and you can decide what you need in each one of these scenes. We’re going to use certain things. I’ll talk through each of the gears that we used for each one. Yeah. There we go. Okay, starting with the top left, this was an actual engagement session that we did with this couple. They wanted to do like a Saturday mid-afternoon lifestyle session where it’s something that they might do on a Saturday. Might get together, they’re going to cook. They’re going to enjoy a nice little brunch together before going out with the puppies, and so forth. We’re literally shooting to mimic their typical day. I love these types of sessions because they end up being very natural, and very just light, and candid, and they’re really fun to shoot.

As you can imagine, as far as the lighting goes, I want to have a light that matches that kind of emotion. Fun, natural, candid. If I shoot this and overpower this entire scene, and I just have this little spotlight right on them and it’s super dramatic, it’s going to look really strange. It’s not going to look like it fits what they’re doing. Instead I walked in the scene, I took this first shot. I just took this first shot, and I looked at it, and basically, we’ll show a couple other images too, but basically what we have here is the top left image is on a 50mm 1.2L lens. Again, any 50mm will work, but we’re at 1/200 of a second at F2, and ISO 400.

What I end up noticing is that the ambi-light’s good. It’s coming through the window and everything, but it’s kind of a little bit lacking in color, and just in quality. The color of it is just a little bit more on the green side because it’s bouncing off their walls, and all the other stuff that they have in their house, which has a slight green tint to it. It doesn’t have the cleanest look to the overall color. Also, as far as the brightness, and contrast, and everything, it’s just a little bit lacking. So what do we do? I think, “Okay, I just need a soft amount of light. Just a soft amount of fill flash just to kick up the color a little bit, kind of clean it up a little bit and get a brighter overall look. I want to shoot this scene to essentially be what I refer to as pure white, or high key.” I want it to look bright, and look airy. Not blown out, just bright.

On camera right I set up a stand with a white over silver. Set it up relatively high. All I do is just aim my flash right over to that side. I dial the zoom in to 105 and I just bounce off of it. We’re bouncing at an extremely soft amount. Okay? Keeping the camera the same, we’re bouncing it around 1/8 to 1/16 power, or even less. We’re just adding a subtle kiss of light. What that light does immediately is just cleanup the overall look in the shot. It cleans up the color, cleans the light, gives a little more pop to the image, and it looks fantastic. I love it. Then we just go through and shoot that exact same way throughout this entire scene slightly moving the reflector based on my position, based on whatever we’re doing at that point.

Image number 2. Now, this top image is just natural light. How was it shot? It was on an 85mm 1.2 MarkII. This is at 1/200 of a second at F2 and ISO 50. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with this first shot stylistically. It looks great. It’s a nice, natural light shot. It has a great feel to it and I dig it. The only thing is that it lacks direction of lighting. Sometimes I like to add a little bit of kiss of direction. Right now it’s just kind of flatly lit, but it still looks good, and it’s still totally acceptable. I knew I wanted to add just a little bit of flash, just a little kiss of flash again, just to kick it up a little bit, add and amplify a little more catch light and so forth? What do I do?

Again, white over silver reflector just placed off to camera left. We’re shooting fairly tight on her. With the same settings, 1/200 of a second, F2, and ISO 50 I’m bouncing at around 1/4 to 1/8 power, and based on the power of the flash right there, I’m pretty sure that we did have the 5 stop ND filter on because that would have been way too much if we didn’t have the 5 stop anti on. From this we get this nice, we basically just modify. We’ve refined the direction of light. We’ve added a direction of light to the shot. We get this beautiful catch light. We get a very soft light, that white, diffuse light. Looks fantastic. No additional work done. This is the shot.

Over here at the top, Yvette. Once again in the desert. Here we’re on the 85mm 1.2L Mark II. Again, we’re at 1/160 of a second, F1.2, ISO 100. We’re with the 5 stop ND filter. What have we done here? We’ve added a silver reflector that’s catching the sunlight, and it’s getting close to around sunset right now. We’re catching sunlight. It’s still fairly bright, but it’s kind of orange too. We’re also cutting off the light from the background just by scrimming her from the back. I have a reflector behind scrimming the light from the back so we have no light coming in from the back. Not no light, but it’s basically just blocked, or essentially just dimmed down. We have no direct light from the back. From the front we have that silver adding light into her face.

At 1.2, ISO 100, and at 1/160th of a second, this is the shot that I get. Now, it’s a little bit dark, and also the light doesn’t quite wrap the way I want it to, but everything else about it I love. It looks really fantastic. The thing is, I don’t want to raise my ISO. I’m at ISO 100. I want to have the best image quality possible for this image. I also don’t want to change my aperture because I’m at 1.2 I can’t allow any more light in. I don’t want to change my shutter speed because I’m at 1/160th of a second on an 85 and I want to make sure it’s tack sharp so I have as much detail as possible, so what do I do? Power up the flash. Sun is setting, so it’s not completely set, but at least the light that we’re getting from the sun is no longer that 5500 degree Kelvin light, so I put a gel into the flash.

We put a gel right on the flash head. With that CTO Gel I bound into the reflector so it’s matching the same light that’s coming from the sun and going into her. Now we get a beautiful soft wrap around her. We brighten up everything. We amplify the light going into her eyes, and essentially all we’ve done is we’ve added a refining light that amplifies existing light. The existing light being that silver reflector that we’re adding in sunlight. Now we’re just boosting that up more with more power, with the flash. Another great use of it, if you’re kind of locked in terms of settings, and you can’t get additional light, add light with the same direction, the same everything, just by matching the direction of existing light, and then pumping more light into it. It works fantastically in virtually any situation.

All right. That’s it here. For here we were actually using a stand, and the other places we actually had things held. Just decide. Most of the time we’re going white over silver for all of this. I think actually, except for this one might have been just silver. I think this one’s just silver. Yeah, this one’s just silver. Everything else is white over silver.

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