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Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 1

Lesson 24 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 1

Lesson 24 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

24. Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 1


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Mark Wallace: Studio Strobes on Locations Part 1

so uh we are going to move over here and shoot and I want to show you that the gear that we're using so keep this umbrella on it so we're using is it so heavy we're using a pro photo be one and this is a battery powered studio strobe we could've used any number of studio strobes outside but since this has a battery built in it makes it much easier to work with there are many different types of serious drugs that you can either plug in like the alien bees have a little vagabond thing you can plug in pro photos got some battery packs I know that wrong color has the same thing so but this one I love because it's very very small and the battery lasts forever so that's what we're using its a full studio strobe outside the other thing we have going on here we have a pocket wizard that's attached to this and we're using that for meeting and then the last thing we have is this also works with a uh on a remote with a the ability to use t l with this and so we'll do that as well and so to show a...

ll of this stuff in a minute we're gonna bring lex out right and bring out right now because it's still raining and we don't need her right now but I need to show some things and so I've got my camera over here thank you um it's raining so we're trying to keep the rain off the gear this is so much fun it is a blast this is awesome there's about twenty people up here it looks like it's just me but there are people everywhere is so much fun this is cool okay so what I have on my camera mrs cracking me up john we're shooting in the rain on the rota this is awesome uh so on the lens here I actually have a neutral density filter this is what I showed you a while back and what we need to dio is because our studio strobes have a sink speed barrier of two hundredth of a second sometimes one hundred sixty eighth of a second if you want to shoot outside and I want to shoot it with a wide open amateur let's say of two point eight that's very problematic for our cameras so for example here I'm going to take my uh my new children I'm gonna rotate it so basically it doesn't exist and what I'll do is I'm going to use my through the lens meeting to figure out how much light is coming in over here just of the ambient light so I'm not using my light meter right now just going to use my built in light meter and I'm just gonna point it back here at the background because that's really what I want to balance too so when I do that at two point eight and I in manual mode by the way at two point eight I can see that I need to be way beyond to hundreds of a seconds we told that let me in my pocket was yours if you will marry oh thank you yeah I need to be way beyond two hundredth of a second so right now at two point eight my shutter speed is it five hundred and so I would have significant issues if I try to take a picture with a studio strobe mixing in ambient light all I have to dio with this neutral density filter is very very simple I'm gonna go ahead and set my camera teo a shutter speed of two hundred an aperture value of two point eight and my s o is at one hundred and what I'll do is I'm gonna point my camera again at this background and then I'll just rotate my neutral density filter and I'll just watch my meter inside go from over exposed to perfectly exposed and when we do that we'll see that it all works so well I'll do it first I'm going to shoot at two hundred thirty seconds at two point eight and you'll see this is gonna tether john I'll let you do the tethering for this so this shows up it's way over exposed at two hundredth of a second that show up yeah very bright it's over exposed so what I'll do I'm not going to change any of the settings on my camera I'm just going to rotate this neutral density felt they're using my built in light meter shooting in manual mode I'm rotating that rotating that and now my camera's telling me I am properly exposed taking the same photo that's going to come in and I guess I should turn off my flash to keep firing my flash on and that's gonna come in with a proper exposure so is that showing up now we're in the sun yeah we're in the sun so should based on the history damn should be a proper exposure on and I'll just look at my history yeah so we've got a good exposure there again john's looking at this and saying it looks over exposed our underexposed here but we can't really tell because the bright sunlight here is hitting the screen of the laptop what we learned yesterday we shot outside yesterday is that right or david for four yeah it's all running together we shut outside before one of the things we talked about was don't trust the screen on your computer don't trust the screen on your back of your camera is going to be wrong look at your history ram so that's we did so what we've discovered here is just twisting my neutral density filter I can get a proper exposure keeping my camera at two eight and two hundred so that means it is now I just need to adjust my flash so that I have a proper exposure to aids so now we're gonna have lex come out and it looks like it's stopped raining okay the drizzle is over we're gonna have legs come out here and I'll put this over here so like so we'll have you stand about right here ish we'll see if we can get that crane not in the shot wave power poles all kinds of fun stuff going on yeah we'll do like this okay so I'm gonna bring this about like this and we have cheerleaders cheering us on from below it sounds like this awesome okay so now we have this light set up and I have this set so it's going to illuminate the front of her face we're going to get sort of a uh tall we're going to shoot the tall side of her face so I'll be shooting this way she'll be looking that way um shoot from this direction I'm gonna get my light meter here I've got it I hid it from you john and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna meet her this toward the camera I'm meeting the same way that I would miss if I shot downstairs and what I want this light to meet her on lex is two point eight was the aperture value we predetermined so I'm gonna meet her this light and it meters at ten so we'll go over here I'll let you do this from now on I'm going to lower this way down we'll try this again that meters at seven one so let's see if we could go even farther down that still at seven one that's down to you yeah so the thing is hot the thing with this is I forgot to change my light meter right so the reason that this is meandering differently is remember we've adjusted the the exposure using a neutral density filter and so I have to compensate for that on my light meter the other thing I'm gonna walk really close to this camera so tell me when you can see this camera guys love this is that close enough you can see this mohr less good we're good ok get the knot so there's a little teeny percentage right here and right now it says zero percent what that means is zero per cent of the light that this light meter seas is coming from the flash and the more flash that comes in this percentage is gonna climb until I might see fifty percent eighty percent or one hundred percent so if it's a one hundred percent that means this meter sees no ambient light on lee light from the flash fifty percent means that sees half the lights coming from the flash hafiz ambient right now it's saying it on lee seems ambient light the reason only sees ambient light because I forgot to compensate for what my uh my neutral density filter is so right now it looks like it's about it's got a little scale on the side here it looks like it's about four stops of light so I'll do is I'll adjust this by four stops really quickly yeah so right now saying one point six so let's increase that give it another stop of light there even more just a bit more like two more stops of light there we go are two point two right now to eight now our two five or more flick two point eight and this says seventy per cent of the light is now from the flash so now let's see if I made my adjustment correctly so I'm not sure I did I'm just guessing at that that's one of the things that's great if you have instead of invariable if you have constant neutral density filters you'll know it's exactly two stops or four stops whatever the stops are so let's take a peek see how well I did all right alexis gonna look right at me there you go perfect perfect yeah so and did that flash fire now have turned on me now did not fire I didn't turn my pocket was you're done there goes keep forgetting to turn on my pocket wizards okay channel seventeen yeah it's all good I just didn't have turned your five perfect got it all right now if you could do this john looks like we have our exposure dialed in you can see that we have a balance and exposed the ambient light just a hair backgrounds out of focus background out of focus which is what we want way got rid of that that nastiness susan is dropping things there half a blink as cool half a blink just want I just looked right at me lex beautiful beautiful just like that excellent and now we have that balance between and a very grey seattle background and a very bright sunny lexx which is really good and so that's how that works it is pretty simple we can try some other things too let's try instead of shooting with a um uh beauty this year we're going to try to do is we're gonna try to shoot with a four by six soft box just to see how we can evenly illuminate that and it'll be similar so john uh yeah let's do this going to bring this over if you hold that I'll lift this yeah radio hernia wait you two stay don't move uh you stay I'm gonna put this down it's getting really windy it's getting very very windy also shooting outside we I have a plan to do some stuff with some big v flats is too windy they will definitely blow away sewing to not do that we also have a big umbrella that we might shoot with if it doesn't get super windy but the problem with the umbrella is if it's really windy we have a potential of breaking the centre column when it falls over okay perfect or that's good and I'm gonna raise this up just a bit uh perfect I'm gonna move this over that alright lex let's have you take a step let's have you be right here right there so everyone so on this first let me adjust again my ambient like it's changing a bit it's changing a bit so again I'm gonna look through I mean in the background right now just a hair so we need teo adjust the adjustment on the meter so it's gonna be about three and a half stops let me do that let me show you what I'm doing on this so again should it come to you okay perfect how's that right there is on this meter what we can do it so if we push both isos we get this adjustment what I'm saying is hey we're under exposing by four stops because that neutral density filter is blocking four stops of life like just adjusted it a little bit so I'm going to go down too about three and a half stops of light I'm using the scale on the side of my neutral density filter to estimate what that is this is a this a little estimation and yes we have a question over here yeah I just wanted to know the placement of her and the soft box like a she dead center or a shi on the side no she's to the side so we're about a forty five right here and we haven't really dialed it in yet we're gonna have to sort of move this over and see what we get yeah but it's it's about a forty five on something like this um I would normally and we might do this in a second doing on access where I'm shooting very close to this soft box and the other thing that I would try to do is our sun is about here so I'm gonna have the soft box in the same direction is our natural light if possible to try to make it not look like we've thrown a bunch of artificial light in here so and this is not really apparent right now because we have zero shadows there are no shadows here um if we had shadows I try to make sure that the natural light and the uh artificial light or line so that we don't have weird cross shadows going so that's that's what we're doing and the other reason were adding artificial light here besides the fact that it's a workshop and we're tryingto teach this is this light is so flat right now there is no formerly so by adding some artificial light what we can do is weaken under expose the natural light and expose our artificial light correctly and actually add shadows or shadows don't exist and that sort of also what we want to do okay I'm gonna go and meet her this very quickly a meeting to that that meter's at two so let's get about almost a stop of light so I'm gonna have you turning this way just to hear that that meters it too still that's a full stop to bump that up because it's getting no flash still is ten percent keep cranking it up give me another stop trying it's two point two to give me a little more I'm all the way up to full power now you're always up to ten yeah try it okay and in this case so this is a five hundred watt second light there we go have felt stronger that did feel stronger so there we go that's it for five so something wacky must have happened let's take that sour down try it and we're getting radio interference it looks like so um let me try I mean oring from this side sometimes pocket wizard system or any radio system outside if you're next to high power lines which we are those power lines or lots of metal there's lots of electrical stuff will interfere with the radio signals so we're gonna do the best we can here that's three point to john so take that down a little bit more so that's at four I went down and you went net britain yes owen needs to go down in power just a bit yeah all right now we're two five okay so we might not have been doing when ever been refreshing all the way that may have been what was happening yeah it's all right now are two five let's try that we're gonna try and see how this response I want to show you something no that's goingto really you'll see also how to do this really very very quickly all right so now we're at two point eight and now we have this beautifully lit well balanced shut just like that come in all right so let's just play just a little bit let's have that excellent turn into the light just a bit beautiful okay excellent easy sneezy so as long as your radios are working it's pretty simple to do this very very simple to do this and only what I do if you don't have a variable uh very goal in the filter get like a four stop three two stop and then you can just train change them out and then you can no on your light meter exactly what the compensation is instead of guessing based on the little scale on the side because it's not a really accurate scale it's just a sort of fish scale right we have lots of time for questions before I make everything go oh that's why this is so amazing let's answer the questions on how to do this how about let's take a question from donna who says could've circular polarizing filter be used in place of the envy filter assuming it stops down enough for your sort of thing no a circular polarized or what it does is it takes light that's refracting at different angles and eliminates all of them but a certain one and so what what it does is it eliminates stray light doesn't change the exposure just eliminate stray light so that that would not work in this situation let's see there's a question from bill in boca who would like to know what would change in full daylight conditions with the artificial light be used to neutralize the natural light shadows or how would you measure the amount of artificial light needed in full daylight to accomplish okay it's the exact same thing in full daylight as it is right now the only difference is right now are shutter speeds are what we're at to hundreds of a second we're using about three and a half stops of adjustments in full daylight wait be using probably six to nine stops of adjustment under neutral density filter so that's one thing that would change the other thing that would change we talked about earlier would be we'd be paying attention to the sun lights shadows and trying to match where those are but one of the things that we're not going to be able to do is if we're in full sunlight and we have really nasty shadows coming across somebody's face it just really doesn't work to add artificial light to eliminate those shadows you'll still have those shadows they'll just be softer sort of the stuff that we saw downstairs with the little flag and the two lights coming in that's the kind of stuff that you get and so what I like to do if it's a full sunlight is the first thing I would do if we were shooting out here is we have these v flats the same v flats that we used yesterday way would take those and we would build a box around lex and we had create an artificial shade little space and that way we have eliminated all the nasty shadows and then we would fill her in with the artificial light on balance to the background and so the first thing I always do shooting in natural light in full sunlight which is what we normally get in phoenix is fine shade gotta find shade immediately so that we don't have to compete with horrible shadows so unfortunately we have nice diffuse light here um and we don't worry about that and it's warm out isn't it alexis freezing you're gonna be ok oh man he just likes to turning blue it's so cold okay uh other questions yes from photo graphics miami what power light and what seconds would be needed under full sunlight okay great so it depends on the modifier so let's say that we wanted to use a four by six soft box right here um I would I would speculate that the least amount of power that you would need a careful sunlight under a summer day in most places um would be around a thousand watt seconds arm or I don't recommend shooting in the middle of the day you know finding time of day that works but uh I do have the magnum reflector john if you could go grab that there are different types of modifiers that you can use and those modifiers will allow you to shoot and you get a much more punch than a very diffused light so if you're using a modifier that is hard light modifier you can afford to shoot with a five hundred watt second light or two hundred fifty watts second light in fact we'll do some stuff we're going to shoot with this guy on and show you can shoot from quite a distance and gruesome pretty pretty amazing things the other thing I want clarify though a lot of people talk about overpowering the sun right overpower the sun with our studio stroke that doesn't happen what happens is you take the ambient light's all the light that's falling on your subject and you just under expose it that's what you're doing you're under exposing the ambient light and then you're adding light from a flash to give a proper exposure so you're not overpowering anything you're just under exposing that thing that's it so it's not that you need a bright light to overpower the brightness of whatever you're shooting what you're doing is you're under exposing and then shooting teo a correct aperture value so if you're inside and you're strobe can shoot a f sixteen they can shoot it up sixteen outside there's really no difference so yeah you're not overpowering anything you're just under exposing the ambient light okay great I think andrew has a question so in these conditions here how much of that lately lights power are we utilizing were eight eight out of ten but these air remember these air exponential so it doesn't mean that we're at eighty percent so we're at eight and then we have one more stop twice as much and then one more stop which is twice as much so we're not even at fifty percent of the power of this light yeah at nine we admit fifty percent and mark that balance that you're going between as faras your light power and your ambien light is that something that just come from years of experience or or tell us a little bit about that working on ways to do this you're gonna have a light ratio essentially between your artificial light and your your ambient light and so what I normally do is I will try to balance I'll try to expose my ambient light properly first and so by adjusting my neutral density filter to get that to say we have a proper exposure and in second I will try to uh make sure that my artificial light meters the same aperture value so if I balance this at four point five I'm gonna meet her this a four point five so it looks like they have in equal balance or a one to one ratio for me I like to take the background and under exposed a little bit mohr using by half a stop to a stop depending on what it is uh back here we have a pretty grey city I mean there's really no color there's nothing seattle right here is very monochromatic not very interesting if you turn around and look that way which we can't there's the seattle center and there's the the music thing whatever it's called it's got tons of color and be awesome so if you're shooting that way a few blocks down I do the opposite I want to have all that color coming in and I would expose equally or even underexposed the foreground to gets more saturation on the back so it really depends on what I'm shooting and I'm trying to accomplish if we're in a garden or something with lots of flowers and color again an equal balance um it really depends on where you are and what you're doing you that you want to take one more before we move out one more and then we're going we're gonna move on alright we'll fill birdie wanted to know if there was any specific gear that used when it was really windy or if you have any solutions for the that absolutely people use people so if you're in a windy environment it doesn't matter I mean you could have tons of of sandbags on your gear the problem is this is still going to blow and so if this is blowing or if you have a very large umbrella it's going to be blowing and it doesn't matter that it's anchored securely it can still break and with the person the person actually hold that and keep it from having some kind of damage and so I avoid shooting in windy situation if it all possible fact we did a photo shoot where we we uh it was for pro photo actually and they shipped me a very expensive very large parabolic umbrella now this things with hundreds of dollars and we went running out we set it up and we had one shot to get this thing and we took some pictures and it was great we're like awesome now let's turn the cameras on and right before the cameras were on this thing with sure and the whole thing just went snap and it destroyed the umbrella and so we had to have uh I don't remember what we did we'd like rigged up some kind of crazy thing but yeah that was a six hundred dollars a gust of wind it was really bad

Class Materials

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Studio Set Up - Learn to Light

Ratings and Reviews

Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.

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