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Zack Arias: Gear, Money, and Building Your Studio

Lesson 26 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

Zack Arias: Gear, Money, and Building Your Studio

Lesson 26 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

26. Zack Arias: Gear, Money, and Building Your Studio


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

Zack Arias: Gear, Money, and Building Your Studio

just a recap this's studio lighting and by studio lighting I mean we are in um we're in a space where we have control over the space that we're in we have control over the light that we're using its not available light it's not window light there's nothing wrong with that please please know that hey there's a photographer over here making noise right um um there's nothing wrong with with that the purpose of this class is um lighting strobes flash dealing in a you know in a controlled situation under control lighting all right so we've talked some about exposure uh we're not worrying about shutter speed this weekend we are going teo lock in at a six speed maybe a little lower in that and we're going pretty much lock in at an s oas well and we're going to be dealing with the aperture and flash power alright aperture and flash power we've had a few comments on twitter saying hey said that once why is he saying it again from my teaching experience a lot of times people you say something an...

d that's the first part of processing it they're thinking about it they almost have grasped onto the idea and your three questions on down the road and then you say it again and it starts to become more clear all right some people need to hear it one time and that they got it the people like myself need to here about one hundred times until I finally understand what's going on all right so um we're gonna be using a lot of equipment but this weekend and you're going be seeing a lot of lights a lot of modifiers everything from uh thirty dollar umbrella um or set a bed sheets that cost you no ten dollars um two and eight hundred dollar octa bake I think that's the most expensive modifier I have yeah why's it called an octa bake because it takes oct one hundred dollars out of your bank right it's a beautiful gorgeous thing the doctor bank I once made a joke about the octo bakes that you don't need to know anything about lighting this was in the gulf photo plus shootout that I had with david hobby and joey hell and I came on stage and I said well I could use this ocd abate and but you know that's for people who don't know anything about lighting because you just turn it on point your subject that's great knowing that like joey loves that octa bake and I knew that joey was gonna walk on stage grab that octa and walk into my joke and he never did punk um ok eso as much as I love my wife's art and um how I need to buy her new shoes um we're going to clear this off all right so what I don't want to have happen eyes for people to watch this and go I got to spend thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars on lighting equipment to get those kind of results there are times when thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars of equipment are required for the job at hand there many times I rent what I need because I don't own the kind of lights or kind of modifiers or whatever um and over time I have built my lighting kit up all right so I get asked a lot of the questions of which lights should I buy um what lights do you use what modifiers who you know all of that so I want to kind of start touching on some of that stuff of what we're going to be using uh this weekend for our lights were going to be doing uh alien bees all right alien bees now then I have alien bees and honestly showing up at a photo shoot with alien bees as a professional photographer sometimes feels like I'm showing up to prom in my mom's toyota all right that they are sexy they are industry standard highest quality you know you show up in a mercedes and you've arrived right and I'm showing up and you know in eighty one corolla with the door fallen off so what I kind of feel like sometimes with alien piece um alien bees are inexpensive all right we're going to be using their model lights they have a new one coming out called the einstein I haven't even seen them so I can't speak to them I can speak toe what their real literature says they're going to be but we haven't seen him in practice yet nor am I going to really talk about the zeus system it's mainly the mono lights all right so they have the four hundred the eight hundred and the sixteen hundred alright alien bees and they are priced at two hundred and twenty five dollars basically uh two hundred and eighty and three hundred and sixty I'm rounding up the numbers that's like three seventy nine ninety five or three fifty nine ninety five or whatever uh not including shipping tax baba blah blah so the four hundred eight hundred sixteen hundred sixteen hundreds their most powerful mon alight they say it's six hundred and forty watt seconds true what seconds but it's uh but it's like it's sixteen hundred watt seconds virtually I don't know like they call it what is it six hundred forty watt actual lot seconds and sixteen hundred effective watt seconds to me that's like saying well this car has one hundred horsepower but if you take the windshield out it feels like it's got two hundred horsepower it's got a hundred horsepower alright it's six hundred forty one seconds difference between these lights is one stop of light all right you start off with the four hundred it is the eight hundred has one more stop of light than the four hundred the sixteen hundred has one more stop of light in the eighth all right this has more like this has less all right so if we were to chart this out we have the sixteen hundred from full power two one thirty seconds power alright this would be the sixteen hundred then the eight hundred comes in here somewhere like that all right this is the eight hundred and then the four hundred comes in here like this so at full power the four hundred the alien be four hundred is two stops under the sixteen hundred at full power all right four hundred at its lowest power setting one thirty second power is two stops less than the sixteen hundred at thirty second power there stop of light from each other so a lot of times say well should I buy the eight hundred of the sixteen hundred if you're going to buy one buy the sixteen hundred because you're going to get you want if you're buying like this is my first strobe was my first monologue I'm purchasing if you are purchasing a mano light over hot shoe flashes you were doing so for power all right six hundred forty watt seconds ah hot shoe flash they're they're not rated in what seconds those marketing materials they go in guide numbers guide numbers and what seconds don't don't equally combined but you khun guest inmate that hot shoe flash and from model the model there are little different it's seventy five tow hundred maybe one hundred twenty five watt seconds let's just calm one hundred watt seconds when I've done my meter readings my flashes there about equivalent of one hundred watt seconds this is six hundred forty one seconds a good bit more power so if you're gonna buy one light to start off with I suggest the alien be sixteen hundred all right uh where I got started off again I got the sixteen hundred and then I bought two eight hundreds trying to save some money all right because uh it's you know eighty dollars less so I saved one hundred and sixty bucks by doing two eight hundreds and then one sixteen hundred we recently just bought a four hundred we bought some used alien bees guy was selling a couple of them we bought the used ones we've got a pretty good deal on it and I was glad to see a four hundred in the kit because there have been times when I'm like what you were saying earlier you have too much light and you bring it all the way down to its lowest power and it's still too much light well that four hundred now comes in at two stops less on its lowest power so if my sixteen hundred is five point six on its lowest power my eight hundred would be f four and now that four hundred will allow me to have two point eight at the lowest power setting so like one modifier will be using this weekend is the beauty dish I have a beauty dish for alien bees uh I don't have a good way of taking a hot shoe flash and sticking it in that beauty dish but now I have the four hundred that I can shoot it two point eight whereas before I had to shoot it five six or use neutral density on my lens to get me the two point eight that I was looking for so if you were to buy let's say two two eight hundreds and one sixteen hundred a good studio set up is goingto have you at nine hundred and twenty dollars for three lights you have to eight hundreds in the sixteen hundred you're starting to work in studio situations you're going beyond the one light set up you need a main you need a fill in a background or you want you want to blow out a white wall the white and then light your subject that's three lights you're going to need minimum where in about nine hundred twenty bucks for studio lighting that is a great deal in fact there are there are light manufacturers out there I won't name names but there are ones that that you could do this we're about the same amount of money or less ish of of the low priced studio strobes thie on ly ones I trust are alien bees there are other manufacturers they're these ebay kits there's it's garbage all right uh six hundred forty watt seconds here three hundred and twenty watt seconds on the eight hundreds if I am buying a strobe I'm typically not going to buy a strobe less than three hundred watt seconds like I wouldn't buy a hundred watt seconds studio strobe I've seen those I have one it's called nikon s behavior all right if I need a hundred watt seconds and he was in a hot shoe flash all right so nine hundred twenty bucks say well that's a lot of money I know a lot of people that are doing like the cannon tt l system or the nikon tt l system with you have a five eighty e x two on the top of your camera in a five eighty x two on a light stand and those were four hundred something dollars apiece your eight hundred twenty eight hundred and thirty dollars you're not too far away from this and you don't have this much light and you're just under a thousand bucks you get two nikon s p nine hundred's won his master one is commander what is whatever you know between the two to sb nine hundreds of four seventy apiece current pricing um where a thousand bucks almost right and really we have one on our camera commanding the other one on the stand so we have all one light set up unless you have this one set a little bit of phil c l s people don't write me emails you neither judge mcnally because I know joe's watch it because you know he's like lighting lou I learnt something it's not from me but um if you watch my chase jarvis live thing the other day someone asked who's your number one hero in photography right now hands down is joe mcnally so I make fun because I love the guy all right so nine hundred twenty bucks we've got all right now other players in the lighting industry I'll name this I'll name some names but I'll be nice um I'm looking and the next year to toe upgrade out of alien beast at some point you want to stop pushing the raft for and you want a mercedes five hundred right at some point at some point now there is a price to be paid with alien bees number one is consistency when I take a meter reading and I take another one and I take another one sometimes like it varies from pop pop to pop it's not dead on like if it's five six sometimes it's foreign plus two thirds sometimes it's five six plus a third averages five six after ten pops but it kind of various right color consistency when I change from half power or from full power the half power my color can shift with the alien bees now the new einstein's air supposed to kind of start fix some of that they're going to be more expensive all right you get what you pay for except for this class thiss classes a bargain at twice the price no so you get what you pay for so I'm looking at nine hundred twenty bucks for three lights I'm gonna have a little exposure shift I'm gonna have some color shift but a nine hundred twenty bucks now I am a big believer that you build your business with your camera and not your credit I am cash and carry now I used to build my business on credit I was twenty thousand dollars in debt I had better lights but I had a lot of debt now I do not have debt I don't have the nice lights that I'd like but I also don't have a credit card payment I have to deal with and if my photography business it first must take care of my family then it must take care of my studio and my crew which is just a cz close to family as my family is and then it can take care of camera manufacturers and their families and if my family is not taking care of and my studio and my crew are not taking care of I can't be taking care of commitment camera manufacturers just yet when I have extra money left over and everyone's taken care of and I could look ninety one hundred twenty days out my schedule going I still have some jobs coming in I'm still going to be feeding my kids for the next three or four months I have some extra money left over now I could make the decision of here's where I'm going with my life decision I'm in business for almost seven years and I'm still rocking alien bees um here's why let's take a pro photo now let's start off with ellen crumb um the three manufacturers I'm most likely going to jump too and I haven't decided which yet manufacturers not that they care about me but pro photo ellen chrome wrong color and to a certain extent hansel hansel makes this gorgeous location pack it's very expensive but anyways the party twelve hundred lithium just but it's like four grand so let's start off with ellen chrome and ellen chrome six hundred watt second model light equals and these are all current pricings on on being h nine hundred and forty dollars for one alright on equivalent pro photo five hundred watt seconds not the air model one thousand ninety dollars and oh baby talk to me brown color I love brown color stuff you want to talk about consistent color at all power settings every time that thing fires and that color is consistent and that exposure is consistent all of these hit that bronn color is like the king of it bronc colors fantastic lighting equipment all right boo ba do six hundred watt seconds six hundred watt second is going to set you back for one light eighteen hundred and seventy dollars wei have three lights over here for nine twenty way have one ellen chrome over there for twenty bucks more now then mohr is not better well you get three lattes for twenty bucks less that's better because you have three instead of one that's kind of like saying you know oh you have a quarter I'll give you two pennies for that now you will have two things oh thank you right works with three year olds right so don't look at this and go wow for thousand bucks right I can have three lights or a thousand bucks I could have one here's the deal for a thousand bucks you will have one better quality light it is of better quality more consistent better color so on and so forth the thing with alien b is for the budget is pretty damn close and you can pull off whatever kind of job you usually need to pull off with some alien beasts are they sexy no do you want to show up photographer parties and go looking by alien bees you know no you know hey man look at all my bronc color you know well and I'm usually like look at all your credit cards no that's not true either because I know very sexy photographers they have their equipment and they own it um there times that like I read a lot of pro photo I love pro photo equipment love it love it love it great great great great great lights industry standard pro photo and if you show up in a rental house it's most likely filled up with pro photo here so the thing is you're starting out alien bees is a great place to start you could run your whole career with alien bees you know the nice thing about alien bees is their customer service is like second to none all right second to none and please know that all of these came camera manufacturers I'm not getting endorsements or payed mac group on full transparency mac group works with pro photo they've been very generous with us but everyone knows that I speak my mind all right just because I don't want none of the haters out there going well you're just saying that because we called alien be said hey we're going to do this thing and they're like well we're kind of busy we got other things and they're doing so well they don't need me appears they're selling plenty of lights right so nine hundred twenty bucks three lights great place to start so zack what should I get two alien ba hundreds and a sixteen hundred to start one day you'll be broken pro photos ellen chrome brown color dina lights make really nice um gear um I usedto work in studios that had a lot of speed atran the speed of trump black line is pretty nice um but you know my my uh the thing I'm most proud about of my photography career is not my equipment but that my kids are paid hardened fed not paid fed I'm paid they're fit that is my status symbol here are our four kids and they're fed with a camera all right I might not have a eighty five millimeter one point to linz I don't own one of those nor do I own the fifty millimeter one point two I have a reason I'm putting this up here um if I had to start today from scratch all right we ready for this if I had to start today this should answer kind of a lot of questions what linds is what I have what this what's that ifyou opening a studio today walk again saying here's my space I need to start a studio with everything here's the basics of what I would do and I'm going to run it high and run it low you could go out and buy a five d mark too all right and that eighty five is going to cost you eighteen seventy these air I pulled these all off of being h today that fifty millimeters going to cost you fourteen eighty and that five demark two's gonna be twenty five hundred dollars and we are at a grand total of five thousand eight hundred and fifty dollars we have to absolutely gorgeous lenses and a nice five d mark two at five thousand eight hundred fifty if I had to start from scratch today I would buy a used five d mark won the first one and I've seen him for a little less than a thousand I've seen him for a little more than a thousand let's just call it a thousand I would buy an eighty five millimeter one point eight and I could pick up one of those for three hundred and forty dollars and I would buy a fifty millimeter one point eight and I would get one of those used for ninety bucks and I am sitting at fourteen hundred and thirty dollars so I have just picked up a camera and two lenses for less than the cheapest thing on this list and I'm doing this on a budget because I want to preach you start simple you start off with budget year and you grow over time all right I'm not going to come in and do this workshop with fifty thousand dollars worth of gear and have you sit back and go well if I had fifty thousand dollars worth of gear I could take that picture too cheap stuff right the reason I say the five d mark two is because I love the full frame going back to the sensor question I love full frank all right I love the full frame um if the d seven hundred was going for a thousand bucks on the used market I'd put that up there too all right but a fifty and eighty five in a studio setting will set you up I wouldn't mind a little something on the wide side like a thirty five millimetre something like that would be kind of nice but that would get me going and I could do a lot with that camera and thes two lenses in a studio setting if I'm shooting weddings or events I definitely need a wide angle a twenty eight millimeter twenty four millimeter um add to this list please note we're talking studio stuff all right so we're going to be using a lot of uh grip stuff so we're gonna have things like c stands this is a c stand you got that camera guy um got c stand here big heavy see stan comes with an arm her there's a list real quick as craig sarah on creative live we have a list of all this gear we're using right so is it under the zacarias course okay just got paste in the checked in here on it so all this gear that we're talking about we have links to be in a church um it's in the chat room but it's also on the creative live website too right and I'll be updating it onto my block as well so when I start talking stuff and you don't know what we're talking about we have lists of all this stuff c stands for a studio my favorite light stand for studio setting it's kind of a pain to take on location you need an assistant if you're going to start taking c stands to their heavy and their bulky they don't break down in the small backs so I'm going to get four c stands I'm going to get one rolling stand an avenger rolling stand I'm going to get to pocket wizards to sixty inch umbrellas ah westcott fifty inch soft box ah westcott twenty eight inch soft box a set of grids and a boom all of that that's five light stands to pocket wizards uh that's four light modifiers uh at five if you count the set of grids and obey boom arm for one of the stands so let's just call that grip it's not all grip but let's call it grip miscellaneous that is seventeen hundred and forty six dollars knew your savvy shopper you could not that probably down to like a thousand twelve hundred bucks all right we get our alien bees of two eight hundreds and a sixteen hundred right to eight hundreds and a sixteen hundred that's nine hundred and twenty nine hundred twenty bucks for the lights and we go with our used kit are used five d mark one in eighty five one eight fifty one eight all right we are at fourteen hundred and thirty dollars on that that gives us a grand total of four thousand and ninety six dollars four thousand ninety six dollars I went to public school if my math is wrong please correct me on twitter all right notice this check it out I've got a camera I've got two lenses I've gotta set a pocket wizards I've got four stands I've got five modifiers I've got three lights my two lenses at four thousand ninety six bucks I'm pretty much ready to go I need some like a roll of seamless and maybe a crossbar that I could get it kiev for ten bucks and a couple other little miscellaneous let's just call it five grant that's my lights that's my stands some modifiers that is I'm opening the door ready to go into business if I go out and I have the full eighty five one two in the fifty one two gorgeous gorgeous lenses don't get me wrong and a brand new five d mark too to throw him on I'm a five thousand eight hundred fifty bucks I got one camera body in two lenses I don't have any lights I don't have any modifiers I don't have any stands I don't have I don't have a lot now I do have some beautiful lenses I have beautiful glass but do those take way better pictures than the eighty five one eight in the fifty one eight no I'm here standing in front of you as a photographer who feeds his kids and has been published internationally I'm not here to tell my business but I have a successful photography business and I have eighty five one eight that I picked up for two hundred twenty five dollars I have a fifty one eight that paid ninety bucks for I have a thirty five f two I paid one hundred dollars for for good clean lenses and I build you know a business off of the back of those I built the business off of back of a d seventy really the d seventies my foundational camera that I was able to get this thing back off you buy one of those for like two hundred fifty dollars now do I want to go back to the d seventy no I like my full frame sensors am I still shooting in the seventy no by the seventies like sitting in a bag somewhere like I'd have to find it in charge it's battery still have it but it's mainly because it's just sentimental so I'm building a studio I have a camera two lenses pocket wizards lights stands modifiers for four thousand ninety six dollars now let's uh let's build one uh let's build the best all right so what we're gonna do is we're going to get the same amount of grip same stands same modifiers all of that seventeen hundred and forty six dollars all right then we're going to go with um we're going to go with the new um let's see seventy uh what we're going to add to this is a twenty four to seventy two eight that's going to bring let's add that uh plus twenty four to seventy because that's a good linds I'll be using that this weekend that brings this kid up to uh where's all my stuff seven thousand two hundred and fifty dollars for our kid we have in eighty five one to a fifty one two in a twenty four seventy all around knock about lindsay to eight and then braun color lights were going to get three brown color lights all right for a grand total of fourteen thousand six hundred and six dollars way have three brawn colors are they amazing yes is the eighty five one two great uh huh so is the fifty rock in here in the studio you're not shooting at one two you know uh that question about what do I do it a wedding when I can't use flash buy one too if that's your main soul business you know if its not your main soul business I'm not running around my studio going oh my gosh I wish I could go to one point two like I have to stack so much neutral density under my strobes to shoot at one point to it and they'd be forty feet away fourteen thousand six dollars it's shiny it's beautiful you got top of the line you're walking in there you're the pro you got the best equipment all right I'm walking in here with crappy equipment barely holding together gaff tape in the holy spirit keeps my equipment together all right it's it's alien bees I walk in with my peers and they're talking to have you tried that new moola dish on the pro photo such and such know have you tried the new beauty dish on the alien be you still in school evidently but you know what a four grand I got ten grand left over and I find a studio space for a thousand bucks a month guess what I have ten months of studio I have a studio but I have a space to build my business I have four thousand dollars to take pictures I have ten thousand dollars left overto promote my business right I have ten thousand dollars to feed my children all right zach feed his children fund I have ten thousand dollars that khun promote my business that khun get my brand going that can pay for the deposit and six months of rent on a space is that can go into a new computer system because you're gonna spend more time with computer than your camera so if you've still rocking an eight year old mac you might need to upgrade you gonna upgrade your that amount of money ten grand you khun take a business and grow it or you can go out by all the coolest awesome this stuff in the world and be in debt and still not have a business or have all the nice stuff that you can talk about to your photography friends but your business is struggling your family is struggling you're dying under debt if you have to get to here with debt don't do it if you could do it cash and that's not you know cashing out a four oh one k kind of cash if you undo it cash great do it if you're really super disciplined with your credit I know some people who've built a business on credit but they're super super disciplined and they cannot handle there debt I'm one of those games are this guy who credit card you know I have all this stuff I'll pay for that later I can handle the minimum that's fifty bucks a month I can handle that you know for the next three generations of my family paying it off right I don't handle I don't handle that well and many people I know in this field doesn't handle that well either we're just not kind of wired up that way right so that's why I preach against it so we are using the best equipment this weekend in the world I would love to um but that doesn't mean we have to take crappy photos well I don't have good equipment so of my pictures won't be is good no that's even more pressure on us we have to take great pictures we have tto build a business we have to take care of clients we have to walk in this situation and we have the issue in front of us it's a challenge we're going to take our limited equipment and make something happen on the flip side of that we are going to pull the eight hundred dollar octa bank out we're going to pull out strip lights that I absolutely love that with strips and the grids and omar four hundred bucks apiece and they were becoming my new favorite modifier four hundred dollars apiece but it's almost seven years of business I've only had those for about a month it's not like well I've had these for five years talk to me twenty years down the road from now here's the two things I hope you will find eh I've been able to upgrade my equipment and b I'm actually still in business taking pictures that is what I want you to see in my life twenty thirty years from now I have the nicer quip mint I have the nice cases that it goes in I have worked myself into that equipment I have earned it with my camera and I'm still in business and I'm still taking pictures I could walk in here today with all the greatest flashes and strobes and all the stuff in the world and impress the pants off of everybody looking all that stuff's at cats and you come find me in two years and I'm out of business and you're buying it off of me because I'm just trying to bail because I have bills to pay right I know that ain't got nothing do with apertures and shutter speeds but so many people been asking talk about business talk about business talk about business might talk about business starts here what lights are you buying what modifiers air you using all right all right so I'm gonna talk just for a moment about modifiers I want to introduce you to some modifiers um I'm going to give you a basic idea of so when I start talking about him tomorrow it's not completely foreign language and then we're going to take questions and then we're going to walk you over into the space next door to see where we're going to kind of be working tomorrow starting tomorrow morning and then hopefully a new cast a brown coat soda from the country of england will find its way into my hand all right so um modifiers we've talked about lights kinds which one's down nearly the serial numbers we're going to be using umbrellas that is an umbrella way we're going to be using soft boxes that's a box and it's soft er we're going to use beauty dish all right uh umbrella soft boxes beauty dish at the bank we're gonna have a seven foot and a four foot we're goingto have a sixty inch and eighty six inch monster we're goingto have a twenty eight inch a fifty inch and then a twelve by fifty strip and we're going to have a twenty two inch white not silver white beauty dish this is a soft box uh we're gonna have grids we are going to have just straight flash from a reflector straight flash from a reflector um bedsheet yeah we have a bed sheet all right uh we are goingto have reflectors and we are going to do some flags and screams flag scrim silk this is a reflector so for those of you watching online you said okay what kind of stuff are we going over us faras modifiers alright sixty inch convertible umbrella at being a tch they have one that's called made by impact that's like their house brandon's thirty bucks and that is my number one best like modifier zach which one you are uh you know what umbrella to by the impact sixty inch convertible thirty dollars at being h it's a great if I add that if I had to have just one thing you said zach here you go one thing one thing only the next six months of your life most likely I would pick the sixty inch convertible umbrella because I could kind of do them it would be the most versatile you know macgyver kind of modifier I can open it I can close it I can reflect out of it I can shoot through it but you do a couple different things were gonna go to soft boxes what's the difference between an umbrella soft box big question I get a lot of times which one should I have umbrella or soft box that's like which should you have car or truck right um it depends on what you need neither one is better than the other they're different I pick out a soft box for one reason and I pick out an umbrella for another reason it's typically on how I'm trying to control the direction of that light if I need the wash up a person and an environment with light I'm probably going to an umbrella first if I want a nice soft light source on my subject excuse me but I don't want it spilling so much on the environment that they're sitting in I go to a soft box all right um we're going to use the beauty dish all right there's gonna be times when we could use an umbrella and a beauty dish and we could go back and forth between the two and depending on how we set it up you've never really see the difference between either one of you there are certain things to these modifiers um I'll just finish up we've got the seven foot and the forefoot octa bank beautiful seven foot if I have I think your question was how do I replicate available light natural light seven foot doctor bait feather it off your subject papa sucker off if I have to just pull window light out of a bag immediately is that seven foot doctor just it just is alright uh grids little grids making little circles of light wherever we need it to go uh straight flash no modifiers just straight flash we'll take a bedsheet blow a light through it and see what happens I'd rather use this as a modifier than a back ground all right no bed sheets for backgrounds were going to talk about bad studio lighting breeze reflectors were going to say blag screams and silks this the flags and screams and silk is getting into the higher end of studio lighting this stuff is the like just pulling it out of the bag and trying to figure it out kind of lighting uh this is we're starting to spend some more money up here it's worth it and then this is also going to happen and this happens with me sometimes with this beauty dish ah I attribute it tio you know I grew up in south and I just don't have all the words but what I'm trying to say there are times I pull out a light and I use it because it has this look and you're going to say well what look is that zach I I don't know I don't quite have the words but it just does this thing it's just how it falls off and it's just this feathered it well couldn't you get that look out of us off yes you could get that look out of the soft bucks but this beauty dish it just there's something to it all right where does that come from experience you shoot a thousand pictures with that soft box and then go shoot a thousand pictures with that beauty dish and there's going to be something sometimes it's like well I use a beauty dish for this reason boom boom boom boom boom and this is exactly why I'm using the beautician and other times I pull out a modifier just cause it just gotta feel to it and that sucks teaching it because you're here to learn and I want to know exactly why you used to be today just because it's kind of it's just it's nice right there and at this distance and it just it could I use soft box of course you could course you could use a soft box for that so there will be times that I just run out of words and I'm sorry I'm from south it happens a lot but I talk a lot do you think I know a lot of words as much as I talk all right so that's the stuff for that we're going to be working with um we're going to start on white seamless and then move from there so questions yes if you have any in regards to buying used equipment tips or warnings their story I'd buy all of my used equipment from three sources uh people I know or I know online and you know like there I've known him on a forum and I trust him uh being h I trust their rating system and k h k h dot com based out of atlanta yes but people I know o r know over a referral you know like a buddy of mine called me and said hey I got a friend who's selling alien be stuff are you interested in any of it um yeah I'm interested in it and it's a friend of his and he's that kind of thing being h k h I will troll ebay like I have a couple of medium format phase one mommy a hassle glad medium format saved ebay searches just to see what's out there on the used market and they've gotta have some really solid feedback and not be overseas even if they have solid feedback id I don't want to buy a ten thousand dollar camera from overseas and get lost in customs there it gets tied up somewhere I'd rather drive to it um that's gonna be a long time till I buy one of those but but sometimes ebay question in the chat room from quite a few beers the differences between like white lightning by policy buff and the alien be stuff ah the difference between white lightning and alien bees it's all policy buff right the white lightning typically uh got a little bit better of a build ah little better quality a little bit more money I just bought into the alien be system another thing to think about that just set off in my head is when you're buying into a light system it's like you're marrying into a family and when you buy and delights it's not just these lights what modifiers do you want what soft boxes will you eventually grow into and you want this light but you want a soft box from another manufacturer do they sell the appropriate accessories to fit their soft box onto your light that you've bought you could get into one great system like calm it calm it makes great stuff but they don't sell a lot of in the states you buy into the comments system other manufacturers might not have all the speed rings and accessories to fit their stuff on the years um so I went with alien bees because of price because of reputation um and I can go toe west cotton by a soft box and they sell in alien be ring that will fit it so the accessories go cross manufacturer following up on that question this might have been asked earlier but uh floes ari says for someone considering buying new lights one of the advantages and disappear differences between a pack and head set up versus the model lights set up great question great question the question is what's the difference between a pack and head set up and a mano like set up um main thing like let's say this is a packing head set up over here I would have power pack down here or hanging on the and then the head goes up here the nice thing about that is if I get this ten feet up in the air I can come over here to the pack and control the power right now in the new days we have like new systems that I could get a pocket wizard system or at alien be system and set the power setting from over here a camera I don't have all of those doodads I have tto walk look at me do you think I need less exercise like I need the walk is much as possible right so pack down here I can control my buddy mark climbing he loves having a pack head system because he doesn't want to have to put his light in the air then bring it down making adjustment put it back up come over to the pack and change it packs typically have more power you khun you can pack a little more punch into a pack um all the circuitry and very dust that's required for that then you can into amano light system um sometimes mano lights have a pact systems have a smaller head since they don't have to put the whole all the circuitry up in the monologue so like brown color heads you get really tiny pro photo really nice small compact little heads that can kind of be put in odd little pace in places where I'd be a little harder do with alien bees or larger mono blocks like white lightning's air pretty hefty um so uh ah packs are usually more expensive you're usually spending more money but that's yeah you wanted anything about recycle time recycling time sometimes packs have a faster recycling time than mono blocks do and then that's a great thing I didn't bring up between hot shoe hot shoe and strobe his recycling time if I shoot this off at full power and I shoot that off it full power I gotta wait a bit for this thing to come back that one's back on in a couple seconds boom ready to go um so uh sometimes strobe is better than hot shoe for recycling time um sometimes packs have faster recycling times than mon alights do but I know samana lights that have awesome recycling times then I know some packs that are slow is christmas it's not the case over everything susan so we have many many europeans watching and they pretty much they've been thing about the alien bees they're not able to get those they're so they're wondering how to set up a black market that's a different a little different were just so many people fast there there's oh who is it I recently saw somewhere that somebody in the uk was suggesting a brand I'll have to ask in fact let's ask on the internet for those of you in the uk watching this and alien bees is currently not distributing their equipment there but we're looking for something that is reliable fairly consistent and of good value for the money what would you suggest hit us on twitter I don't live there I can't I tell you they're um kind of a question summing up a lot of people's thoughts in the chat room um pocket wizard versus like ebay radio triggers first says just plain dear pocket wizards are the industry standard pocket wizards rock era time I mean it's radio based on dh there times that you get a little interference and issues like that those ebay slaves although they've gotten better you see uh radio slaves for fifty bucks you know what I tell you to do take fifty dollar bill light it on fire and you have a better story then I lost a job because I bought these cheap slaves trying to save money and I screwed up the job because I tried to cheap out on radio slaves and I bought those really inexpensive online radio slaves and lost the job like had to do a reshoot because of those things they were so on reliable I hear they've gotten better but whatever pocket wizards aren't called fifteen people up in atlanta say dude I need to pocket was I have it I say do I need ellen from sky port um you might have to call jerry he might have those I don't right alan chrome sky ports are great if I bought ellen chrome gear I'd probably get their sky ports because I could sit there and dial it up or down I don't have personal work you know like experience with them except for when I rent ellen chrome gear that seemed to have worked pretty well my pocket wizards I rely on him everything else has been may I know people have the cyber sinks our cyber commanders or whatever it's called from alien bees and eleven um um they say they're not pocket wizards but they work pretty well and pretty reliable I personally do not have any experience with them so I can't put like my stamp of approval on it pocket wizards I can also like the multi max and versus the pocket was multi max versus the other pocket wizard so pocket was there basically has this is an older one we get it plus two pocket was basically has kind of three pocket wizards out now you got that can you focus on that one you got it all right here we have b like craig ferguson and this email um plus two transceiver they have the new flex t t l such a such you know my thoughts on t l already so you know my thoughts on that then they have a thing called the multi max these air one hundred sixty ish bucks apiece the multi max is air almost three hundred dollars a piece I think this has four channels one two three and four the multi max has thirty two channels all right the multi max is programmable you can set a delay you khun set multiple pops you can you khun fire this bank of lights than this bank flights if you're just a person out shooting pictures you're just a photographer you're shooting portrait's and events and stuff you'll be fine with a pocket missing pocket wizard plus two transceiver that's this one yes um the multi max comes in if you're shooting sports or big events where there's like fifteen photographers in fact if you want to guarantee your seat and help all right go to like a n ba game or an nhl game with a pocket wizard plus multi max sit up in the stands and hit that test button cycling through the channels in some poor fool on the sidelines is going to be freaking out because their lights are in the catwalk on they can't just run up there and find out what's going wrong but that's how you get into your seat help karma will come back and get you idea it then they're wondering about optical slaves as well would you suggest just buying two pocket wizards and go with optical slaves arrest for all the money stuff that I was putting up there that's that's a great question what about optical slaves so when one flash fires thie other flash season and fires at the same time right that's an optical connection typically what I do is I put a pocket wizard on my main light and my alien bees and mine icons mine icons have optical slaves in them as well but the main light fires and fires the other ones that typically works in a pretty good situation are in most situations I don't need to have a pocket wizard on every single light the problem is if you're in an area where other photographers or shooting or are other flashes air going off or if you're in a corporate environment with a lot of floor essence that will flicker that's inflorescence that you don't always see but it's always there can like wreak havoc on optical slaves you'll turn on your flash and it just starts going bye pop pop pop pop pop pop pop pop it's like club europe up in the house on didn't you have the pocket wizard everything uh when I got my first set of pocket wizards it took me almost three years two and a half three years get my very first set of pocket wizards of my own and it's like someone joked on twitter that that I think it was joe dallas said zack has a you know his flash on a pillow at night no it's my pocket wizards they have their own pillow you want to talk about using pocket wizards versus the tt l flash control system and canon nikon speed lights I just you know the tt l system it's has its place you confined to knit you khun sit back there at the back your camera and bring this one up plus three and this went down minus point seven and that's cool there's a lot of technology in there and then you fire and if you're in t t l mode it may be awesome and brilliant and it may just be horrible and it may be awesome and brilliant for ten frames and then change on you some reason um going t ell if I do tt l the right way I will spend more money trying to have a multiple tt l light set up then I will having some other kind of set up um and I just don't trust t t l now you can go into the tt l system and run your lights in manual mode and then you have full control over the situation and you can I can take that flash over there and bring it down to eighth power and I could take that flash and take it up the half that's all cool and dandy but at the end of the day I would much rather have pocket wizards because as soon as I leave ny cons creative lighting system and go get an alien be guess what my pocket was that goes with it and when I ran a pro photo guess what my pocket was there goes and fires that pro photo my pocket was it goes wherever I needed to go and if I want to fire my camera body remotely I can do it with a pocket wizard everything has multiple purposes including my radio triggers I've a question so I have been looking to upgrade to some strobes but mostly for outdoor use stop more power to knock out the ambien so for the people using studio what would like what was your reasoning from moving from hot shoe flashes to strobes and it was the same reason that you had the question was eyes looking at the upgrade from hot shoe flashes to studio strokes on dh main reason going on location and knocking down ambient light that's the number one reason I bought the alien be sixteen hundred wass and I bought it with the vagabond battery pack so I could take it on location and have six hundred forty watt seconds at my disposal um the main advantage in a studio situation of strobes russia's hot shoes are modeling lights a constant power source you know I'm to change batteries out and recycle time so I need my lights the fire and recycle boom whom whom with hot shoot flashes I'll start wearing them out near an end of the session and that one might wear out those batteries may die before this one dies and then suddenly that lights firing fine but that one's dying so I got to go replace batteries there and then pretty soon I got to replace him here I plug these in the wall I have modeling lights I see what my light is doing how it's falling that kind of thing that is the main reason there better than hot shoes in a studio environment another technical question regarding the sink speed and whether or not you have an opinion on the technologies that enable the camera to sink it higher flash feeds I'm all about technologies that can get us higher sync speeds question is you know what's my idea on that I love higher sync speeds as long as I'm not having to marry into umm you know one specific system but in in a studio setting sink speed really isn't kiefer me um I'm worried more about sink speed on location dealing with bright ambient light sources that I am in the studio in the studio I'm not worried about it if I'm worried about anything at all it's that flash duration member talking earlier about flash duration and talking about where my racer is this is another reason why people spend more money on lights all right now you can get online and talk and look up flash duration you're gonna see these very elaborate charts and times and the t one part of the curve versus the t five curve whatever whatever alright so basically it is the fire the flash has to get up to power fire and then it comes down right let's call that the alien be flash duration and let's call it slow all right so I know the question was it sinks speed but in studio I don't care about six speed I'd worry more about flash duration there are some flashes that will get up to power very quickly and come right down out of power but when it's done right and you can speed up your flash duration by going lower in power usually the more power you give it the longer the flash duration but there are light like dinah lights are great they have very flat fast flash duration and here's the deal when you are needing the photograph in motion you need fast flash duration you need that flash toe last is short of a possible time is possible all right so let's imagine a ballerina in the air flying through the air and you want to capture that ballerina in mid air slow flash duration you'll actually get motion blur I mean they're booking it through the air and in that fraction of time they are moving and you are lighting that distance that they have moved and if you zoom in at a hundred percent you'll see blur they are moving this distance here but you've lit them for that amount so they moved from here to here instead of from here to here kind of thing all right so in studio it's not about sink speed for me it's about flash duration the new alien be einstein are supposed to uh the shortening flash duration and getting better color consistency and they're going to cost in a little bit more money I think therefore hundred something five hundred bucks but I'm very interested in seeing how they do um if I had to shoot a lot of like dance if I was shooting a lot of it dance photographer shooting dance I would be spending money on flashes to get a better deal faster flash duration because that would be crucial to my specific business model uh there's a question in the chat room about if there's any modifiers you build yourself or you know do it yourself type thing um typically no I mean I will have these I say I have um mark built um they are a four by eight frame made out of one by twos and then it's stretched over with ripstop nylon and therefore foot by eight foot silks that week and diffuse light with and then we have two of those and we can clamp them together to make an eight by eight wall of diffusion panel and pop a couple lights through it for a really soft full length kind of light that's about the on ly d I y thing idea I mean some of the stuff is held together as a do it yourself kind of thing um if I was just building a business like I see stuff on flicker all right where people like I built this soft box out of cardboard and tin foil and you know stuff in wax paper look at it they took a week to build it it's if it gets too warm it melts and it looks like I'm not pulling that out to a client there is a certain level someone asked on twitter do you sometimes need strobes instead of hot shoe flashes because it's more impressive to use strobes in front of your client instead of flashes and I have been an assistant on set where we set up twice as much gears we needed because when that client walked on set whoa half the lights aren't firing we don't need him but it looks impressive right I'm not like if I don't need them I don't do it and but I'm also not gonna bring a homemade tin foil soft box out either right if I was just getting started and shooting my buddies find make your own soft boxes you get to learn you get the I know how soft box goes together you get to learn how light works you made it yourself awesome you walk on set and somebody's paying you to be a professional rent it borrow it until you own it from the chat room someone has said I've read that custom white balance should be done anytime light powers changed more than two stops and does this apply only to low end gear like alien bees or high and you're also uh typically applies to low end gear we're going to talk about that tomorrow like alien v's if you really want to dial in on color um then you want to take uh you know we're gonna have a target this x ray color passport thing and we're gonna shoot it at full power we'll shoot it half power we're going to shoot it quarter power because the color temperature changing lights like braun color brown color is known to be like dead on so it's not is crucial the better equipment you own all the calibration yeah can you bring that up I think dan this's the color check her passport we're going to be using this flips open has all of these known targets it also has a cool light room plug in stand alone software you take it you take a picture of it it reads these chips it creates a custom camera profile for you it also has a dead neutral white balance target all right here that you can use to create a custom white balance I will typically just shoot this in deal with white balance in post instead of doing it on camera I couldn't do it I have a better workflow in post with this than I do stopping everything and making custom what's that park danger don't pull that cable other questions question on whether or not the deterioration in color from aging of the flash or from just flash to flash consistency is that really something to worry about in practical terms usually not the question is the worrying about the deer deterioration of the color of flash as the flash gets older I'll put in there too is your modifiers get older all right I used to have an old westcott soft box that I'd bought used it's been eight or ten years old when I bought it and I mean it was just yellow yellow yellow yellow light and I could not bring that soft box in and mix it with a new umbrella because the color temperatures of those two modifiers were so vastly different that I could not color correct for either either won most of my lights I have are of the same vintage of the same model manufacturer a year if you buy a twenty year old speed of drawn speed atran pack and go buy a new ellen chrome head and you try to mix them you may very well have serious color issues if you have all twenty year old speed atran equipment then that is your baseline and you can usually work around that it's your modifiers over the years that you will have to ditch because they're just aging and getting yellow and trying to mix an old soft box with a new soft box uh doesn't always work can I jump in on that then one of the questions poking around in back of my head is if I have a couple of higher quality lights like pro photos or ellen chrome's on dh I need to pad that setting their setup out with something that's a little less explains expensive like an alien baby would it be best to them just used the v's on like for background likes to blow up my yes it would be better to take those lights and plug them into non essential parts of the photo like skin tones aren't being lit by them you just you just want a little flashlight across that back wall and if it's fifty calvin off who cares right like that's no big deal if you like this person with a pro photo and this person with alien be on dh suddenly you may have such a color difference you would have to be worried about but like it's one of those things once you buy into pro photo like the internal pressure is your next light is going to be a pro photo light not another alien be once you jump into a system it's you want to be in that sense like once you shoot full frame you don't ever want to go I'll have this is my backup now you won't know you're gonna have to justify away to buy another full friend cameras back up um there was a question in the chat room a while ago from a guy asking whether or not it's a good idea to invest in more lighting or maybe a backup body if it's a good business decision alright if you are in this for business you must have backups so if you have one camera body you do need a second now it depends on your amount of risk all right uh for me I started my business back on one camera body and put money into other things before I brought a second camera body but I was going out on portrait sessions and the risk I took was if my one and only camera body went down we re book the session and these aren't like rolling stone cover assignments I'm shooting the smith family in the park and then I'm shooting you know jam the singer songwriter um and if he can't make if we can't make it happen today we can make it happen tomorrow kind of jobs so I could take that sort of risk when I shot weddings my buddy mark had a backup for me I am not walking into a one time event with one camera so business decision are you going to be a portrait photographer that khun reschedule based on the fact that your one and only camera body blue if I was that portrait photographer I'd want a good solid camera body and a light of some sort and if it was either by light or by a second body I probably would by the light knowing I'm taking a risk but I'm only going to take a risk on stuff I know I can reschedule I'm not going to take that risk on a wedding ever I'm gonna walk into a wedding with four cameras that I borrowed from my friends and my grandmother I've got point shoot at a wedding before just in case you know kind of thing because you just don't want to hose a wedding you're done you're done you don't want to live with yourself after that not that I have yes this's a little bit changing the subject a little bit I have a question from a v in the chat room and they'd like to know if if they're having seamus white a seamless white photo shoot with one light would you recommend shooting through an umbrella or bounce off the umbrella shoot through our bounce yeah att that point it kind of doesn't matter I'll talk about whether you do reflective umbrella or shoot through umbrella tomorrow okay if you're shooting on white seamless and you're just doing one light on it on let's say you're doing a full length and your lights going to be six feet away doesn't matter really if it's reflective or shoot through you can pixel peep and start to see the difference between those two so either way either way anyone else we're about to wrap up for the evening so couple more questions and then I want to just we've gotta roaming camera we're gonna walk over to the other room real quick yes uh tyler would like to know if you're going to touch on the subject of um you know kind of building the business a little bit he says he has all the gear but he's just having trouble getting people to come to him a some point we'll try toe have like a sit down I can't turn it into a business quite that be ah whole day you know s o I want to really try to stay focused and on lighting if I ca n't touch on more business as we walk through the process I will do so I think I will have to come back into a business class because half questions so far like that I've gotten have been business business business promotion marketing social media business yeah I'll try to season in this class with some business all right so do we have the roman camera that uh just the camera and I can roll over there real quick yeah ready all right so here's what we're going to we're going to just roam over next door I want to introduce the live studio the live internet like I feel like I'm backstage at the jay leno show can I say jay leno or do we have to pay him something okay so this is our space that we have over here all right um down at the end of the space there's megan hawk into the space white seamless we're going to start on a nine foot roll of white seamless tomorrow we're going to start with that we're going to take that white we're going to take it gray we're going to make it dark um we're going to be shooting tethered a cz muchas possible um and shooting tether shoot tether shoot post shoot see you going tio we're going to a live view through the camera lens will be doing that I shoot tethered I'm shooting tethered mohr these days but I still like to just be handheld shooting on dh chip it off the back s o we're on I mac for the tether this is the color monkey calibrate er that I've been talking about so we're gonna be using that calibrating the screen way have a small little set that we're building here we're going to keep it very very simple just a pure white set to start with then we're going to re dress it and that's megan's job so she's going to redress the set uh can we go over here this is uh one by a four by eight sheets of plywood um eighth inch paint grade or stain grade on one by three frame and they're just clamped up on these things that we call wall jax the's wall jacks are being really like make sure that this doesn't fall over by putting about twenty five pounds of sand on it so just a simple little set simple little pieces they don't take a lot to build them and you can slap them together and start painting home you khun two of all sorts of stuff a little sets like this here we've got modifiers laid out that seven foot octa I talk about that's my seven foot it's awesome I love it it is a commitment to pull out you don't you're not going to show up at someone's home with nine foot ceilings and pull out your seven foot doctor so it takes a little space here is the four foot all right this is the white lightning or alien bees policy buff forefoot octa bait this is the westcott octa bank we have our sixty inch convertible umbrellas I've been talking so much about this is reflected way take the black cover off and we could do shoot through alright way have the westcott eighty six inch like beach umbrella this thing is massive way have one of these to give away this weekend as well very large large shoot through umbrella this's the twenty eight inch westcott apollo that we're giving away this weekend not this one you'll actually get a new one twenty eight inch the thing I love about the westcott apollo soft boxes here's my soft box and now it's ready to go it goes up and down like an umbrella I love that about it and up here is big momma I call it big mama that's the fifty inch right up there we have it on a rolling stand and a boom and this is much nicer of a boom than I have in my studio this is my next piece of equipment but I can control it like this usually it's my short little butts got to get up on a stool and go up there and dork with it um but yeah so we're on a boom with the soft box we'll switch that out beauty dish here we go twenty two inch white beauty dish uh we have grids for it that will pull out er we've been asked about ring flashes uh I do have the alien be ring flash again ah picked it up because it was used that I got a good deal I'm not a big fan of the ring flash and when I got this thing I thought that's pretty stupid that's about the dumbest thing I've ever seen in my life what is this this is stupid then I put it on the ring flash and shot a picture with it and I'm like oh my gosh that's cool like I spoke too soon this is the moon unit um whatever it looks dumb but it's actually kind of cool light we'll shoot a picture with that so umbrellas octus we got grid we got the beauty dish oh the strip with the egg crate thank you dan uh my new this is like if you want drama in a box it's a strip light right here twelve inches by fifty inch with this removable grid we'll talk about that um that can come out but I think pretty much I will always shoot this with a grid in it there will be times I take it out but I love this thing we'll shoot with this you'll see what this does um all of these modifiers have a purpose and I need to control the light and sometimes I need to wash the place with light and sometimes I want a light on this thing right here and on nothing else and that is why these air here I want a bunch of light great this I don't want much like great this I want a little bit more than that but not quite as much as the other okay great that that kind of thing and as we're shooting tomorrow I want to say I'm using this modifier for this reason oops I don't like that let's change why am I changing because this modifier I hope to give me a different outlook or a different loker different effect some sort all right

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.

Student Work