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Speedlights 101

Lesson 30 of 40

Group Lighting

Mark Wallace

Speedlights 101

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

30. Group Lighting


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:11:19
3 Flash! A Drama in 4 Parts Duration:18:42
6 High Speed Sync Duration:15:03
7 High Speed Sync Q&A Duration:25:15
8 Shutter Priority Mode Duration:23:12
9 Manual Mode Duration:50:21
10 General Q&A Duration:19:21
11 Color It Duration:15:53
12 Diffuse It, Twist It, Pull It Duration:17:29
14 Shoot: Softbox and Umbrella Duration:41:44
15 Shoot: Three Light Setup Duration:21:56
16 Shoot: Freezing Motion Duration:17:39
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction Duration:06:28
2 Bouncing the Light Duration:36:18
3 Off-Camera Flash Options Duration:29:03
4 Light Modifiers Duration:08:15
5 Limitations of Your Flash Duration:20:48
8 Light Metering Duration:13:48
9 Light Metering Q&A Duration:42:50
10 Guide Numbers Duration:18:52
11 Built-in Meter Duration:20:28
12 General Flash Q&A Duration:24:10
  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Light Shaping Duration:36:58
2 Group Lighting Duration:46:18
3 Lighting Dark Environments Duration:17:37
4 Indoor Holiday Photos Duration:23:10
5 Outdoor Events at Night Duration:13:46
6 Lighting Dark Events Q&A Duration:13:14
7 Portrait Lighting Duration:32:22
8 Portrait Lighting Q&A Duration:21:57
9 Butterfly/Clamshell Lighting Duration:16:06
10 Q&A and Lighting for Men Duration:24:12
11 Final Q&A Duration:06:15
12 Ninjas! Duration:27:02

Lesson Info

Group Lighting

So what we're going to do is answer the question that I've seen sent to me a billion times and that is how do you shoot groups? How to issue groups that's what we're gonna do groups with speed lights and so, um here are a few things that I recommend if you can use multiple flashes so I want to start out with a single flash in our group I didn't tell you guys this year the group so we're going to the students or the group, so we're not we're gonna try doing this with one flash once we do one flash or going to add several additional flashes, we're going to try different modifiers and things and sort of show you how this works and remember the inverse squat square law applies in other words, if you have light really close to your subject it falls off rapidly in fact, you forgot to do that so sarah, let me show you we have to show you this so apply to group do we still have the soft box by any chance wayne use this road way can use the road the road work gonna work. Okay, now we need a, um...

an adapter dea has to eat you. Yeah, somebody changed this too. Changing this to radio kara infrared control putting it on slave mode is what I'm doing okay when I put this very, very close to your face so coming this way and face that way yes fisher nobody that way you go ok? This is really really close to her face okay? We're going to try not to fry your head get really really close very, very close and it's all tl we're going to shooting an aperture value let's say of eight two hundredth of a second let's just make sure we get some I think every good, beautiful hold that right there. Okay, now what we're seeing here now I'll zoom out so we can see two versions of this shot two versions of the shot so we're seeing here is the light just falls right off but we're going to stick with this shot will listen let's not show the other one but this light starts here and it just falls off ok, so that is inverse square law see it this background right here it's really dark lots of light it just falls away if I go back here though and take this light back here now it's at a distance from you and I'll take that same shut ok, now we're going to see more of the background because they zoomed out a little bit what we'll see is that the light falls off most of the light is pretty much the same all the way back here this is even light so when you move your light back from your subject what happens is the amount of the illumination um when it's far away it's going to be the same here as it is here as it is here you know, if you have a light quite a ways away if you have lights really close to your subject the people in the front are going to be illuminated and people right behind them are going to start to be dark so you want your lights back so that you don't have that light fall off that comes off really dramatically okay, so let's set this stuff I'm going to do a one light set up to show you how this works. So can I borrow this one? Yeah. Ok, so I'm stealing my, uh speed light this is just a normal speed light I'm going to set it to teach yell mode and then I'm gonna have you guys come over and what we'll do is, um have you all stand against this wall? John, can you come help me hold this this camera you guys get together that you got a great I'm making sure that my cameras set are my flashes that the proper mode which is just normal gtl mode okay, great. Stick this on my camera unlock it first here we go stick so my camera okay, so I'm using just normal tl mode, and what I have here is I have this rogue, um, flash bender it's really awesome. And so this is going to allow me to have a much larger source of light here, so we'll do that first, and we'll see what we get. So you guys come together a little bit. I'm going to do this. We're gonna have people closer to the earth here, people farther from the earth in the back. So josh said, you come right back here in the back sewing add some some depth to this, and it should look, this is not great posing, but you get an idea. So this is just me using this flash modifier that's really, really large. What we're going to see here is we have an issue, so this pops up, you'll see that it's under exposed underexposed okay, so I'm gonna take my flash exposure compensation up. I'm taking that up. We'll see if we get enough out of this little guy right here and I think we probably won't, because we're diffusing the light so we can see we're just getting about as much as we're gonna get, so what I'll have to do? To use this on camera flash with this modifier, I'm gonna have to open up my aperture and that causes issues with groups because you'll be in focus, but when we get back to josh, he won't be in focus because of the depth of field and so I want to avoid that, but I'm using sort of a wide angle lens. I'm not really close, so I think that we can get away with that someone I'll open up my aperture value and I'm shooting at three point five and since I'd change my aperture going to take my flash exposure compensation back to nothing, you guys for being so good, like now, watch what happens when you just opened up my aperture, we're going to get a lot more light here, lots more and we'll see that everybody is in focus and in a pinch, if you have to, you can do that, you have to have sort of low light if you try to do this outside it's not going to work and we would play with this many tweak the exposure little bit, let me show you what happens when I take this off, I'm taking this off, I'm just going to use my built on flash here we'll let it illuminate just normally and watch what happens to the shadows in the shot, so the shadows in this shot well, see, we have really unflattering light. It's really flat. We've got glare coming up these glasses, he just sort of a snapshot he shot, which I don't really like. So what we want to do is you want to have softer light we want to add, you can see that we have shadows over here that are really hard shadows, hard shadows there. If this was a larger group with more depth to it would start having shadows on people's faces. And so with one speed light, you can do a group shot it's better to have multiple speed lights and so that's what we want to do next if you guys have a seat really fast, we're going to rig this up. This is gonna take a little while to rig it up. Just hop off there, we're gonna bring you back. So what I'm going to do here is we're going to try a couple of things, and this is what we're doing here just come on out. So john and chelsea have helped me rigged this up, so they're gonna rig it up right now. So what I'm doing is I'm putting my flash in, um remote mode so it's on slave mood, these air all in the same group, something stick this one, they're going to use three flashes try using three flashes here and we're going to raise them up and we're also going to put a remote control on this guy right here okay glad we have the crane it's awesome it's good it's good it's good we have all three of these guys with the's rogue soft boxes on them and the act I guess the question is why would I use so john they could step this way there you so why would we use the soft boxes instead of umbrellas because they're really portable and easy to use and if we're doing different things besides just a group shot we can crumple them up throw him into the bag and we have all kinds of options and they're easy toe pack and fly with an election stuff so we're going to try these first and then if we have time we're going through some umbrellas onto this okay so kelsey's got that all rigged up got this one in the center ok checking everything now one of the things I want to do here we'll go to this camera here to show because I want to get an equal as much out of this is I can so I wanna make sure I manually zoom all of these to fifty millimeters so where these zoomed to fifty millimeters so kelsey's double checking so fifty millimeters zoom this is a five fifty check this flash here turn it on and a manually zoom it to fifty millimeters. Okay, now originally, when we started this morning, I did that little test to show you what we got on the background. Remember when I put it to fifty? We got a good got a good distribution of light that's why we're doing that? So always test before you start shooting to figure it out before you get there. Alright. So group hot back over there, we gonna try three different flashes now one of the things and I'll quote joe mcnally on this when you're shooting groups a lot of times, it's not about having beautiful light it's just about bringing the light and that's sort of what we're doing here. We're tryingto bring the light where we have enough light to illuminate a group of people and we have three flashes and noticed these three flashes aren't really widely spread apart. I have kept them pretty close to me. The reason for that is if I had a flash way over on one side and in the flash way over the other side, we'd start getting these cross shadows so we don't want cross shadows. We don't wanna have a light that's way over on that side. Casting light over here, getting a shadow over here and one over there casting a shadow over there getting weird shadows on the faces so I'm sort of doing what I told you is something that you don't want to do, which is front light this is front soft light and for groups I think that works, so what I'll do is we're still tethering take this off my try project so we can get a delaware, the camera I'm going to shoot this way and we're going to see if it pops the light it may or may not so inside we have the benefit today all three flash yeah, how does that happen? So it's a great question the reason they flashed is because they're looking this way they're sensors or this way so this camera over here can show that so these guys are looking that way when this goes off, it hits that back wall, it bounces, it comes back and hits these guys, so I'm bouncing my remote controller off the wall if I was outside and I was trying this exact same thing, these would not fire doing this exact same thing will not work in fact, I'd have to figure out a way to have to get back flip these around so the theme is linus site is a pain it works but it's sort of a pain okay, so let's, see what our three lights do? This is at three point five, and you can see that at three point five. We have plenty of light, plenty of life. Nice. Colby like that? Plenty. Plenty of light. That's. Awesome. Let's try it is a keeper. We're going try going up to eight, right? We want to have a depth of field where we get everybody and we might have to raise this these lights because you can see we're still get some shadows on the arms. But if we had time, we would fiddle with that a little bit right now, we're getting to where we want to be. The goal is everybody in focus nice soft light. And so the other trick that we have so catch it looked right at me is we want when I take a group photo here's a little pointer. If you have a group of, say, let's, say fifteen or twenty people it's a corporate event, what you wanna have is every single person needs to be able to see with both eyes both eyes. If they can't see you with both eyes, that means the camera can't see their face all right, and so make sure you communicate that if they can't see you with both eyes they need to move and so if we have a large group that's the we're going to communicate I might look at this and say sarah let's have you go this way just a little bit so with that way sarah there you go good gonna fill that gap josh coming in a little bit excellent. All right, so you know if we had some time if I do this right I could even have brenda from the background show up here we go now at this f eight we have just not quite enough lights not quite enough light I know I'm getting some awesome awesome facial expressions michael speaking over the corner there it's close so what could I do? I mean, I s o two hundred I can increase my eyes so just a bit so I'm gonna do that I'm gonna bring it up to our s o eight hundred going to bring that up and so we'll see if that gives us enough serial killer I like that and now we're in a place where we have light now if I look at josh on this next photo here there we go. Yeah, we even overexposed noticed josh as a josh has a shadow across his face and so once we see that we can start moving these lights around and adjusting them and filling in with those are and so we're close with just these three little soft boxes so I want to do is take a couple questions kelsey and john are going to flip these output umbrellas on them and then we're going to do it against you guys have a seat, sara take a break and then culture has a question where am I focusing on? Yeah, so on this I'm focusing here so I think I was focusing on sarah she's in the middle it's I'm focusing on the middle focus point and and if you think that's where we were yeah um I'm trying to allow enough depth of field to get both get both things I'm gonna move this out of the way so we're not blocking our chat hosts here that better area thank you you're welcome. All right. Question from tom b large business groups say twenty people in rose would you just go for front light or would you go for creative life? Oh, man, I would just go for front like um that's a hell mary shot in my book with speed lights that is definitely a let's let's do our best to try to get this to work now. One of the things that's really important is the thing we talked about yesterday keep it really speed lights or not magic they're not going to do everything if I have a group of twenty people that I want to shoot then my first inclination is to get them outside and open shade and let the sun illuminate them that's going to be the best source of light in my book, so outside we'll have a nice shady area it's going to eliminate everybody was going toe be the best thing if you want to add some punch, then maybe had some speed lights now, thie guy that I think that does this best is joe mcnally. He does this kind of stuff all day long on dh he has post on his block. I'll see if we can find a a link to it and he has an association with one of the firefighter houses, the firehouses that went to the towers at nine eleven he's been taking their photos over the years, and he does a group portrait pse and he blogged how he illuminated and I think it's a group of twenty people, and I think he used twelve speed lights, something like that outside and he had them all on lite stands, and so we didn't have enough room to do that in here, but he had the brackets where he had three flashes, so three flashes, three last three flushes, three flashes, one on his camera, all of them triggered with pocket wizards, all in manual mode um, and I think they did that in you know, not a very long amount of time because at any point they would have to be might be call it to a fire and so, um, his philosophy which I agree with wholeheartedly is if you have something like that manual mode you know don't take any chances using multiple flashes as many as you can and then treated them with something like a plus to pocket one plus two plus three something that's just going toe make them fire and then dial everything in manually so with that you don't have you know, have a room for a ninja's no room for names is there yeah, that log I'll see if I can find that link because it's you could just see it and we didn't we didn't have enough speed lights to do it here cool thank you m f from switzerland would like to know would mark use bound slash for groups to get more coverage? Is this something that would work in a really badly lit room if you could use bounce flash if your speed light has enough month? So one of my favorite group uh lighting setups is a single strobe on a large wall and so I've shot groups of eighty people doing this, but I'm using a twenty, four hundred watts second really powerful light and it just it basically makes a wall like this so twelve feet by twenty feet just one gigantic soft bucks. But with for that you really need yesterday somebody asked, when would you ever need that much power? Well, there's one of those times and so to do that with the speed light, you're going to have to have enough power to a illuminate the wall until little nato wall that size. Remember, we just did that the zooming stuff you'd have toe zoom in, and once you zoom in, you're gonna get a smaller thing. But if you're in a space that is really dark and you have white walls, I think you could get away with it so we might try that. If we have some time we have to find a white wall that we can bounce off. But in a space that has enclosed with ceilings and stuff, you could bounce and get some, especially if I had two or three speed lice in just seven to max. You can you can get there, but a space like this where we have ceilings that are twenty feet tall and a white open room it's not gonna bounce the way we want. So yes, maybe depends on the road. Okay. Question from jen seven six seven seven I noticed there's a slight claire and people wearing glasses eyes their way to prevent that in a group shot yes, so glares caused by the angle of reflection that's caused by the angle of incidents. So if this was a pair of glasses right here, if I shot with my speed light straight into those glasses it's going to reflect straight out of those glasses into my lin's and so on that's because it's reflecting at the same angle is my flash so my putting my flash up that reflection is going to go down lower so that's why we want to raise those lights so raising the lights causes thie light to reflect lower and eliminates those those eyeglasses from having glare now that principle the angle of incidents in england reflection is it's only for things that are flat and so when you have convex eyeglasses, well, they can reflect at a weird angle so you can't always get rid of all of the angles and cut that down, but by raising your your flashes, you'll you'll help out quite a bit. You might have to have somebody just to remove their glasses a little bit on their head and you can get rid of that as well. Um prototype m from san francisco asks about what's a good aperture for group shots and I know you've touched on that a little bit, but do you have a mathematical equation? Whether it's two people for people six people eight people is too where you prefer to be first term square two times the first times a second term squared we'll give you know it was made in a um first inside outside last from high school you know where that came from so no, I don't have the math and liberation but depth of field this is really what matters step to feel how much of your images and focus and depth of field is impacted by three things so not just the aperture so the aperture and if you have a wide open aperture like two point eight or one point two that gives you shallow depth of field but there are other things that come into play there if you have a white england's that white angle lens is going to give you more depth of field so we're having we're shooting in about a thirty millimeter lens here which means that probably around, you know, five I'm still going to get uh ten or fifteen feet something like that in focus and then the other thing is distance from subject so the farther you are from the subject the more is going to be in focus and so you know if you shoot the moon at two point eight you get the entire moon and focus if you shoot you know model at two point eight really close you get their nose and focus on everything else falls out um and so all things being equal except for the distance, the farther you're just you're subject is from your camera, the greater depth of field, and so using a wider angle lens from a greater distance gives you the ability to use wider apertures. Now, what is the mathematical equation? Google depth of field calculator and you'll find that you can put in distance you can put in your aperture, you can put in your linens and it will tell you what that is and that's how he figured out. So just google depth of field calculator and you'll find bunches of those online and you can put those in. I'm sure there's iphone and android absent all kinds of things, so I don't do a lot of groups, but I do aa lot of portrait's, and I know that with my seventy two two hundred millimeter lens, if I want of person in focus, I need to be at ten based on just shooting a lot with that lens of tens where I need to be anything less than I'm going to start getting shallow depth of field. So what I would do if I was shooting seems a lot I just get a few people or get a tape measure or something, and I do some experiments with this lends at this zoom. How you know this aperture, how much is in focus and work out the math? And once you haven't figured out, it will never change. Ok, so we're going to try not to block all of the cameras that are filming the creative live work shop. And, uh, as I say that I'm blocking the camera, it's filming, so we're gonna take these up. We're gonna take these up higher. Yep, like, stop blocking this, kelsey. These still said it. Fifty millimeters, ok, still said it. Fifty way. Have these about, uh, fifteen inches away, twelve inches away, about a foot away, a little bit more than a foot, would you say from the umbrella? Okay, we're going to do the same thing. So group, why don't you pop back over? Oh, my face, you want to know what will be good right here. So let's squished together all right just like camp become closer there we go so here's another thing that we can do so maybe this camera here we can show this what I'm doing is I'm trying to tell these guys to get closer together this way so josh come closer this way and so I'm compressing them for depth of field so josh pretend like you're lazy eighth grader and and step back a half a foot or so so you might have somebody that's doing this kind of thing you really have to get to them and say no no come closer and then grab them by their beauty you can come in and just get people closer at corporate events this is really difficult to do because grown men are like no I'm not going to do it you know and they want but try as best as you can tio get these guys to work out I'm not so sure what what's harder to shoot corporate guy who's fifty or an eighth grader not sure are high school or at least eighth graders don't wear blue tooth headsets um okay all three fire yes yeah missy yeah all three fired okay, so we're shooting f eight we are at eight hundred that's her eyes so I'm going to take a picture awesome awesome look at this I think the umbrellas are the way to go take a look at this shot yeah so it's a much much nicer specifically look at josh so josh before had some shadows on his face we were getting cem some problems because we had smaller sources of light these larger sources of light here casting a much, much broader net or bouncing stuff off the floor and so by using large umbrellas like this you see that were almost totally shadow lis and we could do some things like fix her white balance and we could dialling our exposure but you can see the quality of light is much more pleasing with these large umbrella so kelsey let's have you and john come in so if you guys could come over by this side here we're just going to add a couple more people here just to show you that if you just have people showing up you can just keep going there you smile one two, three oh, I took the picture I'm against saying one two three okay so you can see we got our group we have michael's eyes posted in their nice nice right now with this I think I would take my exposure compensation down just a hair we're going a little over exposed there we go I'm looking at my history and to make sure we might have we have a lot of dark clothes here so we have a dark shirt, dark shirt, dark shirt, dark shoot and we know that the ninjas looking for eighteen percent gray all these darks, they're starting to throw us off. And so remember t t l a stupid you have to make sure that you understand eighteen percent gray is a hundred percent wacky and start dialing that stuff in your history. Graham it will help you out. Way to go, guys. We're going take a couple more questions. John kelsey, if you can get these off quickly so that people can see us on camera and the guys I can actually show our chat hosts because they're blocked right now by that thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Take him all the way off. Okay, let's, talk about the questions that we have. Ok, can you could you have gotten away with one speed light and one umbrella let's? See? I don't think so. We could try it let's try it let's. Just bring one of those out. Alright group back you go the way that we did it no way wouldn't be able to get rid of that. Get away with that. We're going tio five fifty five maybe just to make sure we're just grab one of those five so by chance we just happened to bring the old flash we're gonna bring the newest latest greatest technology that we possibly can to bring this out someone set this up one of the problems we're gonna have with this guy is if I move it off access at all we're going to start having some of those shadow issues okay so bring it in closer closer together there we go all right we're still f eight still at faa john and kelsey hopping here so we can have apples to apples still it f ate my exposure compensation is the same and notice I'm standing in front of this umbrella that life is just going right around me it doesn't care that I'm standing there one umbrella yeah way could weigh could indeed okay we got the blanks and so we'd probably do a couple of those but river my eyes so is very, very high and we've made the room dark so we took the room and actually it took the ambient light way down let me take this down tio something closer to aya so one hundred so that would emulate what it would be like if we're trying to combat really bright ambient light and see if we can get away with it then my guests no okay, so I so one hundred taking a shot and you can see that if we had a bunch of light in the room we would have this borrow right it is not going to get there okay? So if you're depending on a single umbrella it's like serial killer it's just getting punching on day three. Alright, guys, have a seat. Give you this, john. Oh, today is just getting started. It's. Awesome. So, yeah, you could get away with a single umbrella. Um, with high I esso and low ambient light I see of questions with the first thing that pops into my mind is just just by raising the ice, you're going to get starting. You're gonna get more noise and more ambient light. And so if we had a bunch of ambient light in here, you know, all the windows were open because we blocked all those. I'm not we creative live guys blocked all those windows and make sure all the light was really low. So I asked him to do that if we had a really bright light, if we were outside and just tried that there's a new way, that would have worked. Not a chance. Probably do that with my six hundred that's, correct? Yeah. So we use the most powerful cannon speed light that we had if we use the four. Thirty, which is sort of what you the equivalent we had that is has about half the amount of power is the five, eighty and so we wouldn't even be mailed to d'oh. What we were able to do so yeah that's why when you're looking at a flash and you haven't purchased your flash some of the things that you talked about the power output matters a lot to get the the best you can the best you possibly can the zooming stuff that we talked about that doesn't come in every flash to try to get one that matches your camera, the ability to change the illumination patterns, all that kind of stuff don't come in every flash get the one that is the best built in light meter stuff that we showed you doesn't come in every flash there's like all these little hidden things and if you don't know about those you look and say, oh, this was two hundred this one, six hundred I'm going with two hundred because I could get three of those and then you find out later, well, I could have done all of that with one flash and plus bunches of other things, so I recommend get if you're a cannon person if you can afford it savior coins get the six hundred when it comes out. If you are a knight, come first and get the sb nine ten and if you're in olympus or sony or other brands get the top of the line flash if you can if you possibly can, all right question from woody houston, hawkeye what he noticed you're standing between the umbrella and the subjects and would like to know if that affects the light of the group. He says it does not appear so it does not. So much so, john or kills you. Can you bring the umbrella? Um, so there is definitely a trick to this is definitely a trick to this. And so if I am standing, if I'm standing close to this so much of this camera can see this light is going to go around me ok, it's going to go around me. But if I have this up a little ways, most of light is just traveling right around my skinny little head and it's going to the group. Okay, black and I'm gonna go to this camera right here, okay? Final shooting here. You can see most of this umbrella with that camera if I walk closer and get right here noticed my head is now blocking that umbrella and my nose is getting really big. But if I move closer to the subject, I'm blocking mohr and more of that light. So the trick to shooting in front of an umbrella whether that's, one of these and relatives of those giant parabolic umbrellas is you need to be as close as possible to the umbrella itself so the light can move around you is soon as you start moving away you're blocking more and more light and so that's why I was standing really, really close to that umbrella so yeah, you can't just turn it on and go wherever you want because you can have issues thank you, mark and as far as your position when shooting groups w h photo like no do you recommend using a stepladder? You're a tall guy but for different size higher is better for groups. Yeah for groups definitely you wantto it's better to be above and shoot down that it is low and shoot up. I really don't like shooting up people's noses and I see this a lot and portrait photography were or people do this kind of thing because they think it looks awesome and you're seeing is like in their nasal cavity it's horrible. So if you look at the shots that we did our if you tuned into the shots we did on location a couple nights ago at the sunset shot andi think even on facebook you can see behind the scenes pictures of me taking the porch it's that we got I'm actually standing on an egg great, I actually elevated myself on dso I like tio get up in our studio and when we do location stuff, we have a little folding stepladder that we got it home improvement store for twenty or thirty bucks something like that and we use that all the time and it's great because you can get up just a little bit or quite a ways and they're really lightweight and easy, but you know, I'm a big pro of getting uh, if you can't get up, then have your subject, sit or get down a little bit, but on then twist the camera if you're saying they're doing a portrait will get there, but yeah, higher is better in my book question from m d o photography, who is michelle from cape town, south africa? She asked if I want to take a group photo and I want the background darker than the people in it. What I only need to adjust settings, or does that have to do with the positioning of the umbrellas and flashes it does it does? It does have to do with the position of umbrella and flashes, so in this scenario we had, and it has to do with the position of your subjects to the background. So if your subject is here and your background is right behind them like this, you're not going to be able to separate. You're subject from your background, you're just not gonna be able to because the flash is giving about as much light here is it is here because the inverse square live it's all sort of following falling evenly, so if you want to do those two things separately, you have to have a couple of things going on one you're going to have to have your subjects at a greater distance from the background or these, this background is going to have to have some kind of illumination that can be controlled separately, and so it might be some source of light, some lamps it could be, you know, the city at night something, but you've got to get your subjects far away so that I think that is is the most important thing is to figure out how to separate those things. If you have a lot of ambient light outside, for example, on dh, you have a building that's half a mile away. Well, that building half a mile away is probably getting the exact same life is falling on you right here, and so you would have to really over power or under exposed those buildings and have a lot of juice. Teo illuminate the subject, so it really comes down to remembering that we have to exposure triangles. And the first thing to do if you want to try to separate your subjects from the background is to make sure that you either have the background illuminated on ly by ambient lights and the subject eliminated on lee by the flash or have two different sources of light maybe some lights on his own be here and some lights in zone a here and you can control this independently um yeah that's that's how you go about it we are going to do some of that stuff when we shoot some of the sport's this afternoon and do some of the portrait ah a little bit later on today we're going to show that but yeah and a groups have said setting you have to be up to take the group away from the background to control those two things and apparently so is just a larger scale of all the other stuff that we've done terrific marking you demonstrate how you choose where to put the flash along the shaft on the umbrella and that relationship yes people are also asking about reflective versus a shoot through umbrella okay, so let me show you how I figure out how to do this. What I do is I stick my flash on my umbrella and what I'm going to do here is just pop a little bit of light and I'm just seeing how much of the umbrella is illuminated by this okay, so what I can do to make this practical um so I'm going to take a picture and something to see how much of this is being illuminated so really just do this by my eyes but that will not show up and the video salty if we can do this right here okay, so when this pops up, you can see if I was in a dark room. I got to see this with my eyes but we're not I'm looking at how much of this umbrella is being illuminated by the light ok, so that is at a fifty millimeters zoom want to change this? Zoom too let's say twenty eight twenty four millimeters twenty four millimeters I'll take another shot. Take another shot. I am way got about this much the next one's going to come in here so it's a much wider distribution of light it's not it doesn't have this hot spot here now it has uneven distribution, and so the first thing I'm doing is figuring out how to illuminate the umbrella evenly with this with with having it zoomed out as much as possible. I know based on what we did yesterday, I'm losing tons of power, losing a lot of power. And so even though this gives me even illumination, I'm not going to go there because I'm losing too much power by doing that, I'm gonna go back to fifty actually let's go to I'm gonna go all the way up to one hundred millimeters which is as zoomed in is this flash gets just to show you what that looks like so we can see most of the umbrella here when we get to this next one see how we're just getting this hot spot there, so we're really losing the benefit of the umbrella by zooming way and we're getting a lot more like back, but we're losing that a large source of light so for me fifty millimeters is the sweet spot. So that's that's how I got to fifty millimeters now, how far do we put the umbrella in the in the little shaft here? So let me get it for the wrong thing. We put it really close, okay, this is a few inches away. We're going to see that we're going to get sort of the same kind of thing that is blinding me when it's really close that's about six inches away, you can see that we're again, we're going to lose the benefit of the umbrella. We have this huge hot spot here, we're losing the whole bottom half of the umbrella, so what I want to do is take this and put it almost to the end of the shaft, which is sort of where I normally throw that, and then what we'll see is we get some nice benefit of this flash here, so having it farther away, much larger light source, so I like to put it a little farther way it could be the ninja doing that trick yeah so we're just looking at the distribution of like now one of the things that this has going on for this little bracket that's not so good. Kelsey do we have another one of those let's bring this bracket out this bracket was I'll show yeah, but we got you think you got you got you got you ok so if you'll notice on this bracket notice it's at an angle umbrella is at an angle the reason it's at an angle if you notice on these pictures see the umbrellas way too high in the umbrella it's eliminating the top not the bottom so if you can find a flash bracket that has an angle, what that's doing is elevating the flash are elevating the umbrella the flash hits right there into the umbrella on what some people do is they click there flash all the way down not realizing that the extra click they think they're getting is is diminishing the power there. Flash so what you really do is try to find one of these umbrella adapters that has an angle and then when you put your flash on there make sure that it's the right place so it should be the umbrella should be going up on the flash should be hitting sort of right in the middle so I'm also trying to get that to hit right about right there and so what? This guy stevens? Yes, it's on fifty I'll take a picture of this one with a different kind of adapter will turn this one off on john I'm gonna give you this just so we don't get to muddy death I'll just use this guy it's a shoot through so now I'll take a picture of this one it's like umbrella one o one today so this one you can see that the angles a little bit different cia we have a much nicer elimination so just the bracket will make a difference. So this is a bracket that's angled and the umbrella is almost completely to the and we have about four inches at the very end of that and there you have it shoot through umbrella so shoot through umbrella allows you to take the outside coverings off so once you have that off there it'll screw their chewing works like that. This guy here is busted so sorry about that see being used gaffer tape to hold it all right, gaffer state works every time. So what this does is it shoots right through that umbrella and gives us really nice soft lights all shoot the wall seems sort of see what that does give this nice nice soft light and I'll say this is a great shot because you can see how much light the umbrella absorbs lots so what, without that they're so sarah, can you come over here for just a second and maybe kelsey, we could get a different shoot through that's not blowing out the sides here if this pops and just, you know, false on you, don't worry about what I'll do here is we'll just take a picture of sarah with the shoot through umbrella and you'll see it's gets really nice. Soft light. I think that one is not supposed to get two busted. One saw simple issues. This right here. This should work just fine. Okay, I'll move this out to be a little bit more front light. You see on that when we're getting soft, light but it's not as soft as our soft bucks, we'll do another one. Nice front light here. Another nice, soft, soft, soft light there. So you see, we're getting nice. Soft light. One of the things that has shoot through umbrella doesn't do is it doesn't control where the light falls, so it za, similar to a soft box except for light, is going to go on the background on the subject and sort of spill all over the place. I had a soft blocks here, the background would be much less illuminated because light wouldn't just be flying everywhere. Okay all right let's take a couple more questions and then we have to do a break how about why don't we just go right to break let's just go right to excellent it's about that time mark thank you so much before we go mark is going to be starting a seven city tour from his hometown of phoenix arizona mark can you tell us a little bit more about that too? Yes absolutely it's called the mark wallace workshops tour and it is four distinct workshops in seven cities the workshops are going to be live on a different convention centers and studios we have a gigantic screen they're gonna be using to show you the results of what we're doing so we're gonna be doing light room for work flow that talks about how to get your photos into light room key wording those making sure you have all the metadata attack managing catalogs all the different modules I'll be going through so the develop module the web module the print module all of that stuff so it's a complete start to finish overview of light room for if you're a white room three person eyes absolutely applicability to you as well the only thing that we're talking about in light room for is the new develops stuff well so he headed jumped from lightning three delight room for and convert your catalogs over on dh then the map module some of the new goodies that's in actually cool so light room for we also have digital photography basics. So if you're new to photography and you want to know things like depth of field, inverse square law, elements of composition, with the rule of thirds is to know about contrast in color and storytelling and those things. Then that is the workshop from you. We also have to lighting workshops. One is working with speed lights, and that is actually a version of this workshop. A lot of people said, hey, can you please come to more cities and we just can't go to all the cities that we want to go to? And so we said, well, let's, just make our first stop at creative live, and so anybody anywhere in the world can tune into our speed, lights, workshops so that's, why we're here and the fourth is studio lighting essential. So that is studio lighting using a light meter, understanding a light ratios shaping the light. And we're gonna be looking at all kinds of different soft boxes and lot of fires and umbrellas and showing you how to do portrait's. With studio lighting and everything is going to be live, showing up on this gigantic screens almost the size of this wall. And so, as we're shooting stuff, we'll have people coming out of the audience and trying things out its hands on. We've got a lot of stuff going on and it's it. Mark wallace workshops. Dot com is going to be spectacular. I guarantee it. We're starting next weekend next weekend, phoenix, arizona. Then we come to seattle. Then, the following week, we goto to los angeles in the new york city dallas fort worth than miami. And then, finally, we go back to houston to hang out in texas with our friends like joey joyner.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Once you know what’s happening with your camera and flash you can do almost anything. Speedlights open up a new realm in your photography. They are light to carry, quick to set up. And you never know when you're going to need that extra light for a more dramatic image.

This workshop will give you the confidence to incorporate small portable flash in your photography toolkit. From shooting receptions at weddings or adding drama in senior portraits, this workshop will include lots of live shooting examples that will help everything make sense. Get ready to take your photography to the next level. Once you start working with a portable flash, you'll never understand how you lived without them.


Gary Hook

Mark's wealth of knowledge combined with his engaging and 'fun', experimental approach to teaching is a winner. I learned a great deal but what truly reinforces the learning is that he actually shows what he is talking about. He gets a question and quickly sets up the practical demo for the answer. Brilliant. Given that this session took place some time ago ( but by no means diminishishes the tremendous learning value) the lessons and knowledge are based techniques that will stand the test of time; however, if I was advising Mark on his teaching techniques, the main are a of 'focus' would be to be more effective with his demonstrations. He holds the back of the camera up, makes his point quickly and then moves on, just as the video is locking on. Great idea to talk about what button you are pushing, but when your fingers are obscuring the 'learning point' it diminishes the effectiveness of the demo. Overall great course which I will watch parts again and highly recommend it. Thank you PS Give both Kelsey and John and huge hug as they are all-stars making things happen!

Alexander Svishchenkov

Great! I'm so thankful to you, CreativeLive, for providing this great opportunity to learn an important subject of photography - Speedlights - from the professional Mark Wallace. He is such a good teacher and explains everything in real-life situations and on slides. As he fires his flash, I instantly see the resulting photo on my screen, so this is theory combined with practice. I'm in fact watching you from Belarus, and it's midnight, so I'm fighting with sleep, but I can't get myself away from the screen. this is my 1st CL experience. I'm very grateful for running a rewatch of the previous Day the following morning, so I woke up and saw what I'd missed. And it's totally free! Thank you so much for a true first-class education!

Aussie David

Truly a fabulous class. Mark has such a gift for taking a complex subject and making it so understandable and fun at the same time. Mark is easily one of the best instructors out there. Highly highly highly recommend this class.