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Speedlights 101

Lesson 31 of 40

Lighting Dark Environments

Mark Wallace

Speedlights 101

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

31. Lighting Dark Environments


  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

Lighting Dark Environments

So what I'm going to talk about now is how we can do some of those events. We just did groups. We did that, thanks for, by the way, taking a break from parks and rec to be on our show this week. That's really nice. So I like what you know that anyway anyway, that watches parks and rec gets that joke. Um, so you watch it now he will. Now, um, we're gonna talk about events like halloween. And when I say dark, I don't mean that halloween is a dark event, even though it sort of isn't creepy. But I'm talking about events that are take place at night when we just have no ambient light isjust pitch black so we're outside kids or trick or treating, or maybe your camping or something is happening at night with no light whatsoever. Now, in this situation, this is one of those to me. I don't care, like, who cares, uh, situations with ambient light if we get it great, if not it's, not a big deal. So that's, how I'm going to count these kind of events with our main concern is that we document the e...

vent so that we can show friends and family, you know, little kids doing something performing or something like that so it's just a document something for memories so we're not talking about, you know, artistic vision and all that kind of stuff we just want to make sure we get a shot that we can show other people to say, hey, we were there, it was a blast and it was terrific, ok, so what I'm going to do is show you a quick cheat and this works so well, the cheat is grab your camera, nikon can and it doesn't matter just get any camera that you have, um, kelsey's gonna bring out my tether cable here, throw your flash on your camera, make sure your flash is set to just straight e t l mode case we're going to let the ninja do his job, okay? That's what we're gonna do having a hard time coordinating my fingers right now, ok? So we're gonna let that do its job. I can't do this, you can, you can you can't do it with both hands, so I wanna make sure I have this in normal thank you takes two hands to click that I didn't have a chance so this is an a t l sent a normal zoom right? I'm going to switch my mode over too shutter priority mode so s on a nikon t the on a cannon now on my eyes so we don't want to melt down our flash so we're gonna be shooting quickly well, I'm going to do something to increase my eyes so to about s o eight hundred that is just totally arbitrary and I'm just choosing that because eight hundred is ah pretty sensitive so I want to be shooting in complete darkness and so I don't want to have my flash have to do more work than is necessary on most cameras also eight hundred is going to give you low noise maybe a little noise but not crazy noise and so with events like this the question I have is would you rather have a little bit of noise but images that air in focus and not blurred or zero noise and blurry images that are out of focus? You know I want to have a little bit of noise and preserve the memory. Okay? So that's why I'm going to do you want to make sure that my exposure compensation is that nothing zero my flash exposure conversations zero and then I can just start shooting and approve this what we're going to do is we're going to turn off all the lights at creative live we're going to turn everything off it's gonna get dark in here. I'm going to start shooting somebody's going to start turning off these lights. I know it's gonna happen. It's gonna be fast going. Awesome. We rehearsed this. Check it out. Lights are going off you go, lights are going off. Okay. John john's. A ninja? Yeah. Check that out. It's. Getting darker. It's getting darker. Little light coming from this guy right here. Okay, this is his dark as we can get it in here. We're trying to emulate what it's like in an absolutely dark environment. Now you can see me. So you know, it's not an absolute dark environment, but watch what happens as long as I remember all the different things that happened with my my through the lens mita ring all those different gotsch is I can shoot. So, sarah, come on over here and what we're going to do is I'm going to shoot toward also good this way. There's a camera behind you to read it right there. Awesome. Ok, so take a half step back. You guys hop up and take a little trip. There we go. So make sure you go this way, so you know, in the background okay so sara we're gonna look right at me I'm using my cheat now I'm not sure you can see this at home but you can clearly see it here when I push my show to release halfway sarah's face is illuminated by my auto focuses system being so I don't know if you get a shot of serious face being illuminated with this auto focus is this mean but that is one of the things that I love about using a flash at night is that you can focus in almost complete darkness so this only works if you're on single focus motive here and continuous focus mode this isn't gonna happen so we're getting not only light but help focusing at night so I've got that shot sarah's doing something funny I want to document that I take the picture and take a look at this shot is going to come up here on our screen you can see we have a well exposed photo and we really don't care about her ambient light if we had that great if we don't have that fine but I'm not really worrying about anything I'm just setting my camera and going so sara take a couple of steps back just keep going back and then go this way just a little bit there you stop right there yeah be with our chat hosts be with them there we go so these guys let's say they're doing something funny and I want to take a picture of them take a look at this because my distance from my subjects just increased look how muchmore light I got on that background so we just saw a bunch of light so for this I actually got mohr ambient light and also we have a window right here that's letting it a bunch of light but watch what happens I'm gonna get really close to sarah she's at the same position that she was at just right before this I want to take a picture watch what happens to the background the background is going to become darker why inverse square law it just keeps coming on the closer you are to your subject the faster the light falls off behind your subject so if you're shooting with this film sheet just remember if you're far away from your subjects so I'm really far away from chat hosts here there we go good like awesome so jim and susan looked right up at me I want to use you guys is a cheat so getting really close take a look at how the background changes so this lots and lots of light it's all coming from the flash the second shot when I get closer to them the light behind them drops off dramatically so that distance from our subject matters for things behind herself now if this was completely black outside with no walls or anything we would still have two shots that worked look at this shot on the right that's a fun shot that's a cool shot that we could use to document here we are a creative live and this is what's going on check this out. I mean, this walk over here and I'll take a picture of the crew they don't even know I'm doing this. Yeah, taking a picture of the crew, check him out again I'm just letting the camera go and you can see that we've got people back behind the scenes working hard making things happen now look that we don't have everything and focus though, and so that will be an issue. You have to make sure that you understand that your main subject right here is gonna be in focus but behind not so much. So this works, it just always works. Sarah, come on over this way. One show, one more thing. So face this wall we've totally decorated the wall to be nasty, so face me this way. Okay? So we've done this a million times in this workshop already in complete darkness we have if you have your subject close to a wall, they're going to illuminate your subject and the wall itself and we can see that we've got this you're saying, what are those christmas lights about? Well we're going to show you that a little bit but dark events are really pretty darn easy just used the cheat put your camera on shuter priority mode said it to sixty eighth of a second make sure everything is on um auto and then go for it now kelsey's going remy elin's that's pretty spectacular this is a eighty five millimeter one point two lens and this lens is cheating I'm gonna admit that right now this lens is cheating got it got it all right that's from our last workshop tuned into that one you'll see what we just did okay, so I'm gonna put this eighty five millimeter one point two lends it has an aperture value of one point two which means they can just really gather the light now this lens is cheating it's totally cheating so I'm gonna take and put my again my camera is still in the same mood what's happening because the light is so low it's going toe immediately just jump that aperture openings why does it can and now I'll be able to gather a lot more ambient life so I'll take a picture and it's gonna look so much more amazing because it's a one point two lens my auto focus assists allows me to get that light in and look at this because this lens has an aperture that so wide it actually led in too much of the flash too much so I have to actually take my flash power down or I could decrease my eyes so so having this lens I can really do some things all stand back sir come this way okay do this right here take another shot and you're going to see again I have too much power right there so don't do that because you're illuminating the s o that we have a different camera that's lighting stuff up if you wondering ok so we have uh this is still over exposed why because we're letting in too much light too much light right now we can't control that someone take my eyes so down two two hundred even down to one hundred and now check this out I can shoot with a much lower I so and look at this shot when it pops up we're gonna have a shot at I s o one hundred that brings in a lot of the ambient light so I can get low noise I can get some amazing shots I'll take a picture of these guys over here they're gonna go oh I love it okay check this out this is just such a nice lens so this lends here we have susan and jim account nice that is and that background is just left totally just falls out of focus it's really really nice so a lot of people have fifty millimeter one point four one point eight lenses there's this eighty five one point two for shooting low light weddings or something and you do need teo make sure that you have some nice or looking photos with that shallow dip the field that really nice boca then that is what I would suggest using ok let's see if we have some questions and we're doing this in the dark we're gonna see if we have questions if we need to turn on lights for the questions we can I think at this point but we're going to come back off again in a second so we'll see if we have a question from our chat hosts about this little trick we dio so uniquely me asks did the speed like let you know what the red beam, how far away you can shoot um in them user manual in this way? Yeah, three auto focus assist beam is what we're talking about so in your cameras user manual it will tell you how far that can go. I think with this guy right here it's about a distance of fifteen or twenty feet, something like that in fact, sarah go way back there to that wall I'm going to see how far we can go I'm gonna put heard about fifteen feet away and we'll see if it reaches back there so you can't see it can you see it from there so I'm not quite sure but I think it's it's about fifteen or twenty feet max but check out your user manual it will it will tell you that next question next question from new dog can mark shoot some movements in the dark like simulating wedding dance I can not yet we're going to do it next but yes wedding dance absolutely sara do you dance? I'm from montana I don't dance okay and alex minsk ass do you recommend the technique of exposing to the right when taking pictures with speed light? Uh yeah so exposing to the right names to make sure your exposure is is far is as bryant is possible without losing details so it comes from the term exposed to the right manger sister graham is sort of to the right of the exposure, so if you've seen the history and everything is sort of to the right, the principle is raw files have more detail in the highlights than they do the shadows. So for shooting raw exposed to the right because in post production you can bring out a lot more detail from a shot that has properly exposed to the right then an under exposed to the left because there's more detail over there but yes, we could talk about an hour about that stuff, but exposing to the right is a good thing if you're shooting and raw if you're shooting in j peg then you just want to get a right exposure of correct exposure and not worry too much about that. If you overexpose though you're headed for problems, if you over expose a photo, there is no detail it's it's gone, all those highlights are gone if you under expose a photo and you're shooting raw, you have a better chance of yanking out some of those shadow details. Fact, try it, just shoot in rock under expose intentionally and then over expose intentionally by about a stop and see which one you can recover more easily, and I think you'll find that the under exposed when you khun recover more easily, they're as part of the photo basic stuff that I think you know, you've got a lot of creative life courses that talk about that stuff on, I think that's something people could could really benefit from absolutely there has been some confusion of whether you're shooting at a sixtieth or two hundredth of a second. Um, jeremy was wondering, I am shooting at its sixtieth actually, I think I just bumped my thing, but sixty eighth of a second is what I'm saying to shoot I think I bumped and I went up to two hundred, so if the metadata let's see yeah, that's two hundred that's, what happened? Yeah, so I think I actually only rolled this land sixtieth of a second is where we should have been I accidentally I think hit my my dialogue on my camera thanks for telling me I didn't I'm like oh yeah we were two hundred sixty is where we should have been you'll see that the images it will be essentially the same and we're gonna turn lights off again a little bit and I'll just I'll show you that that we'll get similar results and do tune a dang would like to know in a dimly lit room with tungsten light like a dinner party what works best bouncing the flash or shooting with the flash head on and I'll throw in another one would you try and get your flash off off camera yeah so um any situation like a question like that is it is very difficult to answer because I can't see the room I don't know what the light looks like I don't know what the ceilings were like I don't know the walls are wider gray or blue or black so the thing that I would suggest this takes the principles that we've applied and you'll have to make that decision based on the your best judgment so what I try to do is I start with the ambient light so day one we talked about that start with the ambient light and decide if you want to use that as your main light the main illumination and just augmented with the flash, or if you decide that you need to use the flash as your main light and then just use ambient light toe argument that so if you're in a room and there's quite a bit of light, then for that, I would probably just bounce a little bit, maybe add some highlights to people's eyes, you know, do some things like that if you have an assistant it's great to have an assistant holding a flash off camera specially for table shots or something, so you get that flash up higher to the side, you can add a soft box to that, get more pleasing light, so you will have to make that determination. Is that room somewhere that you can shoot with? Just flash as an augmenting lite? Or do you really need to have flashes your key like your main light? If you're flashes your main light, then you have to figure out the best way to control that light to make it look good if you have low ceilings. If you're shooting closest close toe walls, you might want to bounce that light if you don't have low ceilings or your walls or dark might want to add some light modifiers or umbrellas if you have that ability, you know the room's not too cramped, so it's really one of those things that is by situation, you have tio to figure that out. So, again, look, what is the ambient light? Can I use that as my main light? If not, what options do I have with my flash? Can I saw for the light? Can I bounce the light? Can I use light amount of fires? And once you go through that sort of decision, workflow, you'll you'll know what to do.

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.