Learn to Light Your Photography | Matthew Celeste | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Learn to Light Your Photography

teacher avatar Matthew Celeste, Photography Simplified

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (1h 29m)
    • 1. Class Intoduction

    • 2. Intro / Gear / What You Need and What You Don't Need

    • 3. Assembly and Operation of Your New Gear

    • 4. Taking Photos! All the Technical Info You Need

    • 5. Examples and Explanations

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This course walks you through what gear to get, what each piece of it does, how to make it all work, and then lastly and most importantly how and why to use it to create specific looks. Always wonder how other photographers get that amazing sunset photo with their subjects looking perfectly lit? We'll cover that and more in this comprehensive course. If you know nothing about lighting, this is perfect for you. If you own some flashes and have no idea what to do next, this is what you need.

Be a strobist, master flash, control your light, and bring your photography to the next level.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Matthew Celeste

Photography Simplified


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Class Intoduction: Hi, my name is Matt. I've been running blue flash, my photo studio here in Rhode Island for over ten years. And during that time period, we've serviced over 500 weddings at a lot of photographs and we've learned a lot from it. And we want to teach you everything we know now about lighting and photographs easily, effectively and also on a budget. This class is broken down into a few main parts. One is going to introduce all the gear that you need to do this type of photography. The other is going to explain what all that gear is. Another section is going to tell you about how to actually use that here out in the field in the real world. And then lastly, we're going to go over some photographs that we've taken and explain exactly how we've done each one of them. This class is going to approach lighting in a very accessible way. Whether you're brand new and you never even used flash before. Or you've dabbled a little bit with on-camera or off camera flash is going to be a line here that you're going to be able to learn. We won't leave anything else. So you won't be lost. Once you learn how light your photos, whether you're on a job or just messing around at home and you just want to experiment. It's going to open so many new doors. You're gonna be able to get that sunset photo with your subject exposed properly in that beautiful background with all the light and the colors coming through. The one that's always so tough to get a camera. There's just no Ledi situation you're going to walk into and not be able to take great photographs. And that's the power of being a little later photographs. If you've already taken photography to the next level, and that sounds like something you want to learn about the Let's get started. 2. Intro / Gear / What You Need and What You Don't Need: Hey guys, I'm Matt from blue flash, and thank you so much for checking out this video. I'm really excited to share with you everything that I know about lighting. And I want to bring you to the point where you can command the light and make it work for you in any situation. And it doesn't matter if you know nothing about lighting. You don't even know where to attack the flash. How did turn it on anything we're going to take you from 0 to know exactly what to do and how to do it. So I want to give you a little background about me so you know where I'm coming from. I own and operate blue flash and we are a photo studio based in Maryland. We started back in 2009 and since then have added to our team 15 other people. We do a lot of weddings. We do hundreds and hundreds of weddings, which is awesome. It's a lot of fun, fast-paced, a lot of different dynamics. It keeps us on our toes and we're always learning new things. But one really integral thing that we cannot do without is flashes and lighting. We find ourselves in a lot of dark situations where putting the ISO up to 6400 and our aperture to 1.4 and the shutter speed down to 150th. And just praying that the shock comes out without some motion blur and grain and all that kinda thing. It's just not practical. So we decided to take the approach of learning how to light and learning how to do it really well and make it a signature piece of what we offer to people. And if you look at our portfolio, hopefully that's reflected in there and you can see the types of things that we do. All our wedding work can be found at blue flash photography.com. And on the other side of everything, we do commercial work. So that's blue flash photography.com slash commercial. And that consists of anything, head shots, product shots. We'll stay photos, anything like that that has entered into with a business. We photograph it. And that is another piece of it that really requires an expert level of lighting. You're going to take product photos. You absolutely need to light them properly so that it can be looking at is best for your client. So we're gonna go over all these things. But we're going to start from the basics. We're going to start with what do you actually need in terms of gear to make this happen? And then the next step is how do we turn this stuff on and put it together? And so we'll go through that, getting it all set up and getting ready to go. And then the last piece of it, which is probably the most important, is how do you use it and how to use it? Well, so we are going to walk through all these things. We're going to take it one step at a time and build on our knowledge and gave to the point where you're ready to get out there, start using flashes and your lighting and take your photography to the next level. Alright, photographers, here's the deal. You're going to have to buy some gear and make this happen. But luckily for you, I am a very frugal photographer and I've already done a lot of research and a lot of testing to find the best stuff for the lease price to make it work. And that's what I want to share with you in this part of the video. Now before we get going, I want to say two things. One, if you do buy any of this gear, please use the affiliate links on our resources page. They'll bring you right to Amazon or write to the product. And a few percent of the sale goes to us and it doesn't cost you anything different than if you went to Amazon and just search for these things. So it's a huge help for us because then we could take that money and produce future videos and other topics to put out there for you. And the second thing I wanna say is that we are not sponsored or paid by any of these gear manufacturers. This is just things that we found that work really well. And I want to give you essentially a kit of gear that'll get you going for the least amount of dollars, but give you good-quality. Okay. That disclaimer said, Here we go. We're going to start from the bottom up. So what's the first thing you need if you want to start using off-camera flash, we're going to assume that you have a camera and that's about it. So you've got your camera. It's a DSLR of some type that has a hot shoe or a mirrorless camera with the hot shoe, either one is fine as long as you have a hot shoe on your camera, this will work for, you know, the first thing you need to do is get a stand. You need something to put the light on. So we don't need anything crazy. This is a really inexpensive stand that works pretty well. Is that the best Stan on planet Earth? Not even close. Are you going to put a studio strobe on this thing? But if you're gonna use speed lights, which is what we use on location and for a lot of our indoor sheets as well. These are perfect. They travel easy, they fold up small, and then really light. So this stand will run you about $12. I would recommend getting two of these to begin with. If you need more by more. The nice thing is they're so cheap that if they do break, which I've actually not had one of them break Ami yet and we've used numerous stands at a lot of events. You buy another one. I find this to be a lot more economical and effective than spending a $120 per stand. Because if you lose it, if it gets stolen, if it gets damaged, you are at a 120 bucks. You do one of these things, you replace it for less than 20, no big deal. So that's a light stand. Now, once you have a light stand and you've gotta be able to put the light on top of it. But how do we do that? Well, you need one of these things. There's a lot of different ones out there. I've tried a few. I found these to be the best. They are, mostly all metal except for a couple of knobs, which is huge if you're gonna be using it over and over again. The durability factor is a big. I've broken these before when I bought other ones that had a lot more plastic on them. And these are not very expensive at all. So what this does is it allows you to swivel both this piece as well as the top piece. So if you've got a two, a double swivel point, which my old ones didn't have. So this is really nice. So this hot shoe right here is where the flash will end up going. We'll get to that. And this is the part that goes on the stand. So you mount this on the stand and then you can swivel this in all sorts of different directions. And this hole right here will allow you to put an umbrella into which we'll also get to. This is hugely important. You want to have a hole to be able to mount an umbrella or other modifiers to it. So this goes on top of the stand. And in the next section we'll put everything together. You'll see how that fits. Well, you'll wanna grab yourself. A couple of these to get started. All right, so far so good. Here's where it gets a little bit hairy. Now, when you take a picture of the camera, you need a way for the camera to tell the Flash that's not on your camera, that you press the shutter button and you wanted to fire. The best way is with a radiofrequency trigger or an RF trigger. Now, here's a couple of them. And these are great cactus V5 transceivers. And I use these things all the time and they never miss fire. You'll find with certain triggers that they don't fight all the time. I've tested these abuses a ton. Awesome, never misfire and really inexpensive. There's a lot of caveats to this. These triggers run about $75 for a pair, roughly. You can buy much more expensive triggers and they'll have a lot more functionality. But you don't necessarily need it. And because we're trying to build a practical light kit for a reasonable price. This is where I want to point you. And to be honest, this is all I use. I don't own more expensive triggers. I don't need those functions because as we'll talk about later on, I shoot completely manual all the time. So these triggers, you might hear people call them DOM triggers. They're not trying to insult them. It just means that there's no smarts in them and just tell your camera says the other one fire. That's the only thing. In the more advanced ones, the ones that costs more money. You can use one of them to tell the other one what power to fire the flash on or to turn off completely or all sorts of things like that. These fire or don't fire, that's it. That's all you control. Now, since I purchased these Years ago, there have been new ones that came on the market by young Nuo. And those I would really recommend if you're gonna go dumb triggers, then these are great. But you can get the young news for cheaper. And I do have some friends that use those other photographer friends. And they work really well too. And they're much, much cheaper. So if you're gonna go this way, I'd say go with yellow news. They have the same functionality and they're a lot less expensive. Alright, so we get a light stand. We have our light now and we have our triggers. What are we missing? A light? So what's the best way to have a portable lighting system? It's to use speed lights. And speed lights are small compact lights that run on battery power, as opposed to a studio strobe, which is generally larger and needs AC power to run. I'm gonna unapologetically recommend one speed lights you. And I would say by as many as you feel like you need lights, don't even bother with anything else. It is a young Nuo. Why n 560 dash for? The dash for is the current version. And they started on one. They had to they had three, they had four. I've had the one, I've had the two, and I skip the three and ended up with a four. These are awesome. This flash as of this video was $71, and it does everything you're going to need and is just as powerful as the flagship flashes that candidate an icon make, which would be the SB 910 at the moment or I'm not even sure what cannons is because I'm a Nikon shooter. These flashes are just as powerful. $71. The flagship flashes for the Canon Nikon sell for 67 $800. So you can see the value in getting these. When one of these falls on the floor and breaks and cost you $71 instead of $800. I promise you're going to feel a lot better. I had one of the expensive flashes break because I started off and I didn't know any better. And I bought a Nikon flash. It was actually the lowest end flash they offered. It was three or $400 at the time, came crashing down on the floor at a wedding and it broke, the flash tube broke and the flash was dead. And I was out three or $400. And after that happened, I started to explore. I said, This doesn't make sense. I can't buy a $400 flash every time this breaks and all this kind of thing. And I found these, I tell everybody to get these. These are the best thing going in photography of any piece of gear you can buy. Now, the thing that's awesome about the dash 4s, That is incredible for $71 is that inside of this flash is actually a built-in trigger. So the triggers we talked about before, the cat is V5. So the young news, you actually don't even need those if you buy YN 5-6 hours, because inside here is essentially a built-in trigger soon now you don't have to spend that money. All you have to do is have one of these on your camera and any of the ones that are off camera you can control from this flash. Not only can you control it by saying on or off, but you can set the power of those flashes from this flash. So even though the functionality is more advanced than this, then you would get with one of the DOM triggers. So this is like a total, total no-brainer by five of these things and stick them in your bag and call it a day. So this is our flesh and we'll talk about using this width and without the triggers in the latter part of the video, because I actually still use the triggers because this is my only dash for my other ones of the dash T2 and the dash one. And until those really die, and I need to replace them. I'm not actually taking advantage of the wireless trigger built into the flash because they need to talk to other dashed fours and I only have one, but I have used it with other people's dashed fours and it worked beautifully. So that's our flash. This is our light source for double a batteries that are right in there. And this thing will fire all night long. We use them at weddings and I don't have to replace the batteries one time in the entire night, which is really convenient. And we'll talk more about that as well. Now will explain later why you need a modifier for your light. But for now I just want to show you the modifier that is probably the number one and to get at the beginning of your flash journey, and that is a shoot through umbrella. So I'm sure you've seen an umbrella before. This is a white shoe thrown umbrella by Westcott. And I used to use a couple different brands before this one. And then I found this in the beautiful thing about this umbrella is that when you close it down, the shaft actually pops into and it gets really compact. These are in the twenties of dollar 25 bus or something like that. And this will turn your speed light into a beautiful light source. And as you can see, it's pretty small and it's cheap. So this is, this is great. As many splices you have by that many umbrella is maybe an extra one just so you have it. Case something happens because they do tend to turn into parachutes when it's windy. We're gonna talk more about modifies later on. Can let you know why we stick this thing in front of the light and what's the purpose in what are the ones that are available? But this is definitely the best place to start for modifiers. So go grab yourself some umbrellas as well. So earlier I mentioned this field-based take batteries, double a batteries, and you're gonna go through a lot of them if you shoot a lot. So I would highly recommend you getting yourself some rechargeable batteries because you don't wanna be thrown batteries away over and over again. It's bad for the environment and it's bad for your wallet. So by ourselves from rechargeable batteries, right here in my hand, I use Amazon basics. They are awesome and they're pretty cheap. There's a lot of other brands out there. I've tried a bunch of them. Pair stone and a loop, dorsal energizer. Ten energy. There's just so many brands. But by reading a lot of forums and reviews and using a lot of them myself, I can tell you that these Amazon basics are the best value out there. I've also read that they are actually rebranded and a loop batteries, which loop is kinda like the pinnacle of rechargeable battery. So Amazon takes them, put their label on them and sell them for a little cheaper, which is a great deal for us since I stock up on these guys. And you'll also need a battery charger. And if you don't have one, I'm going to show you a great one that you can grab. If you're doing a lot of photography, you need to charge a lot of batteries at once. So you're going to need to charge all those rechargeable batteries. And the best way that I've found after I graduated from the charges that only have four slots in them and plug it into the wall and wait 14 hours. Is this energy Tn 16T. And as you can see, a hold 12 batteries at once. And this little digital read, all right, here is really great because you pop the batteries in, plug it in, turn it on, and it'll show you how much more it's got left to fill each battery and it gives you a separate read off for every slot. So you can put a few batteries in here, you can fill it to the max. It doesn't really matter. It'll let you know what's going on. This is really handy. Even better is that each one of these slots hold the WA. But if you can see down here there's a small little tab. You can pop AAA isn't this too? And that's important because if using Triggers, those all Teachable is, so this is great. You know, get one to need market 234. Who cares? This Wikipedia batteries charged. And it also has this button up here that says refresh. And what that lets you do is if you use batteries for awhile, sometimes they have what's called memory. They won't necessarily charged to their full capacity. And that comes from not draining them all the way and charging them and not during the motorway in charge of them. And that will happen through the battery and hit refresh. This will go through an algorithm where it fully drains the battery, fully charges it up, fully drains, fully charged, and it has it goes through cycles like that to kind of refresh the battery and get it back to close to what it was like when it was new. So really handy Louis Wirth, that this is an inexpensive and it does a great job. And again, I've used a lot of battery charges and this is by far the best one. Another modifier that you can use on your speed lights that comes in handy, especially with head shots, it as grid excuse the bead up package. But I use the heck out of this thing. And I keep this in my bag and it's all torn up, but the grid itself is really nice. I will say that it's not the most elegant way to get it onto the speed light, which is with a Velcro strap. It's kinda tough to keep on there. But the grid works well. And we'll talk about exactly what this does to the light in later in the video. But these are really inexpensive as well. These are not a necessity, especially when you're starting off, but it isn't a nice thing to have in your bag. When you get a little bit more advanced. We'll talk about that though. And these are made by uptake. It's called speed grid. And again, links on the resource page. Something else you can add to your speed light to do something a little bit more creative or to do some color correction. It's called gels. They're not jelly, they're not soft or anything. It's just a piece of plastic, essentially like a heavy duty Saran wrap, if you will, that's got a color to it. So here's a package of gels that I've got. And a very common one is called CTO, which is color temperature orange. And you can see it right here. Very faint, very light. But what that does is you put them in your speed light and it'll change the color of the light to more match the ambient light in the environment. And we'll go over Jillian for color correction later on. This pack in here has a bunch of different colors, all sort of pink and green and blue and yellow and anything. And it's a little kit that you buy for a few bucks. And you can put those of your flash to create colored lights instead of just white flashlights in your photos. And you can just do some creative things with that. So there's a nice to have in your bag. Again, not a necessity, but a pretty inexpensive way to expand what you can do with your flashes. And last but definitely not least, because you're gonna need a way to carry all this stuff. And so what I find is there's an awesome defiled bag on Amazon that is the perfect size. And it holds everything you need and it's really durable. I loved this thing to ever single wedding, I shoot every single regular shoot, commercial shoot, anything it is. And it's all in here. There's my letting bag and it's got the stands, it's got the flashes. Everything isn't here. So when I know I need to light, which is almost every shoot, I grabbed my bag and grabbed my camera bag, and I'm good to go. So this is perfect. Cms on a couple colors if you care about that. And it holds everything we talk about in this video. Alright, so that is an exhaustive list of all the things you need to take flash photos. There's a few things I left out because personally I don't use them, but I want to mention them so that when you hear the terms or you see them listed online or anything like that, you know what they are and you know why you might not necessarily need it. And one of the main ones is TTL. And this is a term for a function that a flash could do. And it's basically the flash will talk to the camera and vice versa. So if you go to take a photo and you press the shutter button halfway down, that camera is going to tell the flash, Hey, I need this much light to expose this photo correctly at the settings that I'm set two. And the flash gets that message and it fires whatever the camera tells it. So. It's essentially automatic flash power, and it will calculate it based on what the camera sees. There's a few problems with this. If you're in a studio setting and you're taking repeated shots, let's say you are setup for head shots and you're taking photos and you haven't on TTL. Well, you might adjust the camera a little bit and it might recalculate, and you get varying flash powers from Florida photo when in reality you're seeing is not changing at all. And you want to have consistency. So TTL is not useful for that. It can be useful in some situations like event photography. You can mount your flash to the top of your camera. Didn't CTL run around and just take pictures and hope that the camera makes the re-calculation. Personally, I don't like it. It's not always right. Just like your auto modes in your camera on, not always right? And figuring out the exposure, you're going to have the same problem with your flash. I prefer to be in control of the flash. I prefer to know exactly what it's going to do and adjust it the way that I want it to be adjusted so that I get the results that I know that I want. I shoot and full manual on the camera and I shoot full manual for the flash. The other benefit besides being in control is that all the gear that you need is a lot less expensive. You don't have to buy a flash that can do TTL. You don't have to buy triggers that can talk TTL. You don't have to worry about any of that stuff. My mantra is always simplify. Make things as simple and basic as you can, but get the results that you need to get. And that is a really great balance point to be at. And you save yourself some dollars. Do. If somebody asks you, hey, why don't you use pocket wizards? And you say, What the heck is a pocket wizard? Well, here's what it is. It's a trigger, like we talked about before. Pocket wizards are the smart version of a DOM trigger. So with pocket wizards, you can have a TTL flash and it'll communicate that TTL data back and forth so you can wirelessly, wirelessly have TTL. They come at a hefty price tag when you can get a set of triggers for $35 that are dumb triggers, or you can buy TTL triggers for hundreds of dollars. I think you can see one of the advantages of shooting manual. And it also makes you a better photographer because you're going to be really in tune with what's going on with the light, what's going out, the exposure, you're going to have to pay attention to it rather than just blindly pressing the shutter button and linear camera do all the work and hoping that it gets it right. Now I know this is an opinion and I'm not stating it as gospel. Some of you might disagree, some of your friends may disagree. That's cool. Everyone's got their own thing. But this video is what I use in real life photo shoots that gets the job done and does it well, and costs are reasonable amount of money. You can definitely spend thousands of dollars on your light setup and have every bell and whistle that there is in some way to argue that that's worthwhile and that it really helps. Others like myself might argue that it actually is a hindrance and it's not very helpful to have those things. So the way I think about it is why pay extra for something that I really don't need. So hope that makes sense. If it doesn't send me a question and an email, I'd be happy to help the email the contact information is on the website and I can explain that further. 3. Assembly and Operation of Your New Gear: Alright, so you put your ordering, you waited too long days for Amazon prime, you get this stuff to your house. And then finally, all the boxes are on your doorstep. So you grab, bring him in your house, open them up, throw the packing material everywhere, and get really excited and then realize, I have no idea how to hook the stuff up. So that's what we're here for. Let's put this all together. You're going to start off with your life, stan. So get that thing out of the box. Loosen up this little knob up here, and open the legs. Once you extend those out, you can say in that NADH back down, don't crank it too hard. It is a piece of plastic so it can break if you'd go nuts on it. And then you're gonna open these little tabs right here and extend the telescoping arm out so that you can increase the height of the light stand. You have two of them. They get about seven feet tall. I don't need them all the way extended for this demo, so I'll put that down right there. So wherever life stand. Now, we need to put something on it. So we need to speed like now. Take your speed light Mt, and make sure that you unscrew this part enough so the opening is big enough to fit right on top. And then you can crank this back down. And this is all metal so you can you can use some muscle on that. And you wanna make sure that your joints are all ten down. So then I'm going to flop over when you put something on top. And now for the next part, you may or may not have triggers. If you bought the dashed 4s, which I recommend, you're not going to be putting the triggers on because they're built in. But for the sake of demo, and because I still use triggers, I'm going to do that. But you can skip this step if you have the dashboard and you're not using triggers. So on top of the speed light, Mao is what's called a cold shoe. And saw the cold shoe because it's just like a hot shoe except there's no electronics. It's just the mechanical part. And on top of the trigger or rather on the bottom is the piece that mounts into the hot shoe Oracle's shoud when he went on and that just slides right in. And then once you do that, you can crank down this little screw on the side. Now, I'll show this to you. Its got a flat head slot. Now had this awesome thing that I got from Amazon as well, which is a key chain flat and a key chain Phillips head screwdriver. And I'll put a link to it. But it's really handy for stuff like this because when you want to make this tighter than you can with your fingers, just stick that flat head in there and crank it down so that you make sure that it doesn't go anywhere. So once you do that, the next step is getting a flash on there. And let me just show you on top of a trigger is a hot shoe and that's where the flash goes. And I'll bring this down just a little bit. Okay. On the bottom of your flash is a hot shoe mount. So this just slides in, like building a big tower of top shoes and closures, but put that on and there's a circular disk and the one on the flash, and you turn that clockwise and then I'll crank down and you'll feel it get tight. Flashes and going to go anywhere. And the flash head swivels around and you generally going to keep it in this direction. So this is our light setup with no modifier. Now if you want to put an umbrella in which I recommend you take your umbrella and open it up. We'll see me after this, but and you put that right through the hole that's in the stand and tighten that down. Let me turn this around. There we go. So I'll do that again so you can see it so right into the hole and tighten the sound in the same way that this has a flat head on it. This does as well. And this you really want to crank down tight if you're going to be outdoors and there's even a little bit of wind. And even indoors, it really doesn't hurt. Get that screwdriver in there and crank this tight so this umbrella doesn't come out in the hall and go flying around because I have had the haven't before. So now we are set up. And this is a standalone flash system. And this can be placed anywhere you need light. And we'll talk about what an optimal placement is and all that kinda thing a little bit later on. But for now this is the setup on your camera. If you're using triggers, then you would put another trigger on top of your hot shoe. If you're just using the dash fours and you don't need an external trigger, then you're gonna put another flash on top of your camera because that's going to be your controlling unit. That'll allow your camera to talk to your flash setup that you've got. And you can have one of these somewhere where you're going to have 20 of these. It does not matter. You can scale this up to do shoots with tons of flashes if you're really needed for some crazy reason. That's the beauty of this. And this setup is really only about a $130 with everything, maybe a 150. And that is so cheap for the Stan and the mountain, the trigger and the flash and the umbrella. And you're good to go. So you can see how if you wanted to have like a four light setup, it's not really that expensive, $600 late and you've got four lights. Four stands for umbrellas, for triggers, and you're good to go. You can do anything with four lights, anything except maybe lead near plane. I mean, but for normal portrait shoots and weddings and things like that, four is more than enough. We generally only use two. And that's usually perfect. And if we're just doing a couple shoot or some like that, one is perfect. So that is the setup. And the only missing piece now is how do you use it? So that's what we'll talk about next. Alright, see you've got everything put together and now you gotta figure out how do we make this stuff work. So what we have is our light stands setup that we did before, except we tilt the umbrella off so we can see what's going on with the flash on top. Look at the trigger right in between our speed light Mao and our stand. Now you may or may not have this piece right here, the trigger, depending on if you're using the wind 5-6 hours that we talked about that have the triggers built in. But for this example, we'll use the external trigger. And this could be my cactus V fives or it could be the yellow Nuo triggers that we talked about. Or really any other type of trigger. This is always going to be the place that it goes right underneath the speed light. So for the sake of the cat, does V5, The first thing you have to do is set it to receive their transceivers, which means that they can either transmit or they can receive depending on what you want them to do, which makes them really versatile. Instead of having a dedicated transmitter and a dedicated receiver, which some trigger sets do have. So let's turn this on. We're going to flip the switch back to the RX position. There's RX and TX. Rx meaning received Tx1 and transmit. And this is going to be receiving because what's going to happen is we're gonna use another trigger to tell this trigger to pop this flash. So we've got this turned on and receive. And the order of this doesn't really matter. But you can turn the trigger and you turn the speed line on first. It doesn't matter. And we're going to turn the speed light on. So we're going to hold the on off button and we let it go, makes a couple of funny noises. And then the LCD on the back is going to be on and our pilot light will be green initially. And then once the battery is charged up the flat sheet which turns red, that means we're ready to go. This path delay also doubles as our test light for the flash is kind of a pain to push on the own news for whatever reason. So you might even feel like if a button, but it is, give it a good hard push. And you'll see that flashed pop. And you also have another light down here, rebel though, the pilot light, which is essentially your recharge lights. So that light's going to turn red really quickly and it's going to go back off. And while it does that, it's recharging the flash in, telling you you need to wait before you can pop this flash again because I'm not gonna do anything until I'm charged. And so that's going to vary depending on how strong of a flash you have set two. So right now we're on 132nd, which is pretty low power. But if I bump this up by pressing the right-hand button right here, you can't see it on my screen, but the trigger value is going up. Flash value of policies. We're going up and now met one over one, which is full power. So if I press this testimony again, it's a lot brighter and that light stays on for a little bit longer. So we're going to go back down to a low-power just for this example. So now you've got this set. So our flashes on our trigger is set to receive. And the last piece of this on this end is this side of the trigger has what's known as a channel dial, and it's got numbers on it, one through 16. And the channels allow you to fire different flashes and not the others and basically selectively fire the flashes that you have. In our case, we only have one external off-camera flash right now. But if we had maybe three flashes, we can put them on separate channels. And then from our trigger say I only want to pop this one or I only want to pop this one and only one, pop this one. By controlling the channel on the transmitter. For our simple test, we're gonna put it on channel one. And then we're gonna take our other trigger, which is the same exact thing as the one that's on here. So we're going to set this one to transmit. So I'm gonna flip that same switchover to TX. And then we're gonna make sure that our channel dial is also on one. And that means they are going to be talking on the same channel, which is what we want. And so the first thing we wanna do once we have this onset of channel one and this on instead of channel one. Is we're gonna do a test and on the V 5s in every triggered has this button in a different place, but there's usually one button on a, on a DOM trigger and it's the test button. And so on the V fives, it's right over here. So when I press this, this trigger is gonna talk to this trigger until the flash to fire. And I'll face this this way so you can see the flash. And I'm going to press this button. And the flash fires no wires, and we're almost there. So that's not very helpful because this doesn't really take a picture. So what we wanna do is take our camera. I need DSLR, doesn't matter. The brand can be a mirrorless cameras solids. You have a standard hot shoe. And be careful because there are a couple of camera brands that use a different hot shoe. I believe sony might be one of them. But just check your, your hardware before you start attaching things to your camera. But for nikon Canon for sure, these are fine. Everything is made for that. Take this, put it on your hot shoe as if it were a light. But it's not so you just slide that on. And then there's a dial or attorney wheel that lets you tighten the pressure on that. So now we're attached. And I don't have a lens on this camera. It doesn't matter for this test. We're just letting the camera fire the trigger and we're not actually taking a picture. But what's going to happen now is I turned my camera on and then this is still on, and this is on and I'm going to press the shutter button. And you'll see that the flash triggers because every time I take a picture with the camera, it sends a message up to the hot shoe that says fire. Whatever's on top of that hot shoe, you need to fire. And in this case, the trigger is waiting for that signal. And once it gets to it essentially relays that signal over to the other trigger and fires the flash, which is not attached your camera. So that's the basic concept of firing off camera flash is it's pretty simple, especially when you're only using one. But really you could have three other flashes as long as you are all set them to channel one. Every time you press this trigger button, all three flashes will flash exactly the same time. And now you have the freedom to put these anywhere and do lots of creative things with your life setups. If you want to flash on top of your camera, as well as have an off camera flash. There's still a hot shoe on top of the trigger, which allows you to also mount a light on top of that. So when you take the picture, not only will it trigger the off-camera flash or however many that you have. It's also going to trigger the speed light that is mounted to the top of your camera. So that's an extra step of versatility that you have. And you may or may not want that light coming from the camera, but alias gives the option. You can attach it, you can just turn that light off and you'll still find the off camera flashes. There's all sorts of things that you can do to get different books with the same setup. So the only thing I wanted to make a note of is that you'd want to have some type of modifier in this, in most cases, like the umbrella that we talked about. But that doesn't effect on the electronics. You just sit the umbrella in there and you modify your light. You'd point that down. And now you've got a nice soft light source that you can position anywhere you want. So we just talked about how you can find the flashes when using external triggers. But I wanna make one quick note about not using any triggers and having the triggers be internal loop flashlight with the wind, 5-6 hours. You're not gonna get into crazy detail about what buttons to push on the flashes and what menus to get into to get them all set. But I want to give you the general idea and just show you the hardware setup when you are in that situation. Notice what I have here is our light stands setup, but there's no trigger in between the speed light stand and the speed light itself. And then on my camera, rather than having the trigger on top, I've got my speed light mounted directly to my camera. And what I'm going to end up doing is all the control about who's talking to who and what flash power and things like that is going to happen directly on my YN 5-6, 04. And once they're set up properly, they're going to essentially talk directly to each other without any triggers in between either of these. And for a lot of detail on that, you can just check the manual for the 564. It's going to tell you how you can actually set the power for the external flashes, set them up on separate channels, set them up on all different things that you have options to do. And it's very, very, very versatile in it's very lightweight as far as set of goes because you've got a stand amount and a light in another light in your camera. And you now have a two light setup wherever you go and it's wireless, so highly recommended. But I just want to show you what it looks like when there is no trigger in the mix. 4. Taking Photos! All the Technical Info You Need: All right, so you know what to buy, you know how to put it together and you know how to make it work. So what's missing is how to actually use this to take really great photos and bringing photography to the next level. And that's what I want to talk about. So in take a step back from the details about how to press buttons and set things up and make everything talk to one another. And just talk about a little bit of high-level lighting information. And so what I want to start with is the quality of light. And there's all different types of light that you can utilize to take your pictures. And they're all going to give them a different feel and a different look. So some basics are, you might have heard terms like soft light or hard light. And what that's referring to essentially is the definition of the transition of shadow to light on your subject. So for example, if there's a very hard light source on me, then where the shadow hits, if the light is coming from this direction, then I'm going to have a shadow on the other side of my nose. And if I have a very defined line where it's extremely dark over here, in very light over here. And the transition area is extremely small. That's a hard light source. And a lot of times that's not a very flattering light source for portraits. But it can be used for certain things. It depends on what you're doing and if you're trying to be creative and things like that. But in most cases, for a portrait of a person, you would have a softer light source. And that's where the umbrella comes in and where we're going to be diffusing the light. So rather than the light coming from this little flash head, it's gonna go through the umbrella and it's gonna spread that light out. And what you have as a result is the transition of the shadow to be a lot larger and a lot softer. It's much more graduated. So rather than seeing essentially the line of my nose on my cheek, you'll see that it's darker, darkest here and then it starts to get a little wider, a little lighter, a little letter until we are out of the shadow area. And you don't have a distracting shadow line. So why does the light control that? How do we control that using lights in different ways. In the way that you have hard light sources is when either the light source is small or the light sources really far away, which essentially makes it small. So the sun is really huge, but it's also 93 million miles away. And for that reason, because of the distance, the sun becomes a very hard light source. So during a day when there's no cloud cover at all, and you have the sun mill the afternoon very high up in the sky. And you're going to have hard shadows on the ground. You can see yourself on the ground, your shadow very definitively outlined. But on an overcast day where it's really hazy and there's cloud cover in the sky. Shadow may not even be there at all, or it's there, but it's very, very, very subtle and there's no definition in the shadow lines. And so we're taking our local son, if you will, which is a very small head on the flash, a very small area where the light's coming from. And we're gonna put our own diffuser in front of it, which is the umbrella, which does something similar that the cloud is due to the sun during the day. And we take that the light hits it and the light starts to go all different directions and the light source becomes bigger. And we have soft lander subject. You can see in this example right here that there's a soft light source close to the subject and it's giving you soft shadow transitions. Now if we were to take this light and go 30 feet away and put the umbrella on it. You're not going to have a soft light source anymore because the distance of that light to your subject is so large. And even though our light becomes it's two inches, it start with and then we have maybe a 24-inch umbrella. And that 24-inch is 30 feet away. It might as well be the bare Flash head, because the proportion of distance decides the light is so large. So those two things are always working in combination with one another. And you have to keep them in mind when you're picking your diffuser and you're picking your physical location of your lights. If you want soft light, your best bet is to get as close as possible. And you also are going to want to diffuse this. You can't really ever get a soft light with a bare Flash head unless you bounce it. And so bounce is a way to take your flashlight this without using an actual diffuser like an umbrella or a soft box, but still get a nice big light source. And you can bounce this off of a ceiling. If you have a white ceiling that's low enough, or you can even bounce it off of walls or other objects that are large enough to reflect that light back onto your subject. So for example, if I was standing here and I had a white wall right about here, I could take this light, position it so that the light is pointing at the wall. And then it's going to bounce off that wall, it's gonna hit me. But what happens is this tiny light ends up hitting this large wall area and that bounces. And now this wall is the light source and that's a much larger area than this flash was. So we have a very soft light on me hitting me from this direction. Some things to watch out for when you're bouncing light is that light will pick up the color of any surface that it bounces off of. So you might remember earlier I said, oh good white ceiling is a good bound source. But if you have a color ceiling or more likely a colored wall, that be careful because if the wall is red and you bounce your light off of that wall, you're going to have red light hitting your subject and you're gonna have a hard time and post-production giving their skin tones to look right. Once in a while. You might want this for artistic effect or whatever it might be. But in most cases, when you're taking regular pictures, then that color is going to cause you a lot of headache. So be careful what you bounce the light off of. And remember, it's always going to pick up the color, even if it's just a brown or like a tan color, it's going to warm the light up. If it's a light blue color, it's going to cool light off. And you're gonna have skin tones be very different than they would if you just use the light source as it was. So be careful when bouncing, but it can be a really handy thing, especially with event photography. If you do have a way ceiling above you that's low enough, then you can put your flash on your camera, and now you have mobility and you can move around, bounce that flash off the ceiling, and get a really soft light source coming down a subjects. But remember this also is that the distance of the ceiling is gonna make a big difference. If the ceiling is 20 feet up, then your flash may not be powerful enough to get 20 feet up in the air, bounce off air sealing and come 20 feet back down and still provide a strong soft light source on your subject. So a lot of things come into play, but keep bounce in mind because it gets you out of troublesome situations when you don't have access to a diffuser, but you still need to good light. One huge advantage of shooting with Flash is that it allows you to capture that great looking at sunset and have your subject to be properly exposed. This is the only way to get that money shot where the subjects are visible in the sun and the colors in the sky and everything going on in the background is not blown out. What happens is if you take a picture without a Flash in this situation, you're going to either have to expose for the sky behind them, which will turn your subjects totally dark and you'll have a silhouette or you expose for your subjects, and there'll be properly exposed, but the background will be completely blown out and you'll have no color in the skies will be totally white. So you kinda can't have both, but you can when you use a flash, the idea is that you set your camera to take the picture of the background because you don't have control over the brightness of the background. So you set your settings, keeping a few things in mind. Number one is that you need to stay within your sync speed of your camera, which is usually 1 250th of a second. For a shutter speed, I would recommend to stay at 1 200th or below, because some things can happen at 150th depending on your triggers and your flashes and all this kinda stuff because you're right on the edge of what it can do and you may miss sync and then you don't get all of the flash in the frame. I'd say stick with 1200 and the law safer and it's not too much of a difference. So you say camera went to 100th. Sarah ISO, whatever you need to set it to, maybe 200 is a good place to start. And then you set your aperture for what it needs to be to expose properly. So get that background and look exactly like you want. Make sure you maybe underexposure just a little bit to retain that color in the sky if you have a good sunset going on or sunrise wherever it might be, and then leave your camera alone. And now you have to take your light. You probably wanna use an umbrella. We do this very often at events, will take our couple out at a wedding, pulling from the sunset and we expose to the sky. And then we take our light with an umbrella and we get it as close to them as we can without it actually being in the photo. And we're usually on full power with the speed light in this situation, because this is about as powerful as a sunset sky would be at dusk. It's just about the same intensity level. So one flash does the trick, get that as close as you can and test it. Take a shot you back on should look exactly as it looked when you just set your camera up for it. And now your subjects, instead of being a silhouette, should be completely lit by your light source. Now if they're overexposed, back your line up a little bit or turn it down a couple steps on the flash power. If they're underexposure, the only option you really have if you're not full power already is to get a little bit closer. Or you have to tweak your settings and let the sky goes a little bit brighter and let more light in from the flash. But it's a balance. And just remember that the two things were pretty separated. So you have control over both, in a sense. You have control of the background with your camera settings. And then you have control over your subject with your light power and proximity. So that's all that picture is. It's not as intimidating as a lot of people think it is. It's not as complicated as people think it is. So please give this a try. All you really need is to take something outside. It can be an inanimate object. Go out at sunset, set your object down. Expose for the sky, light your object and take another picture and just get it right. You will get it. It's not hard and the results are really, really great there I catch it because a lot of people don't attempt this time of photography. And they think it's extremely complex when really, that's all there is to it. So I definitely urge you to go out there and give that a try and master that concept. And once you decouple your ambient light from your flashlight, you now have a really powerful technique. This is blending your light sources and when you can master that, you're in really good shape. So definitely give it a try and keep at it. If you have trouble, please send us a message, asks us what the problem might be and we would be glad to help you. Sometimes when you're blending your light sources, your speed light is a totally different color than the light that you're blending with. And this can happen a lot if you're indoors and you're in a venue or a room where there's incandescent lights or fluorescent lights and wherever it might be. And those are not going to be daylight balanced because speed lights are typically anywhere between five thousand and six thousand K for a color temperature. And if you don't know what that is, when you are white balancing your photo and post-production, you'd have that slider and Lightroom and Photoshop wherever you editing. And that will allow you to change the white balance of the photo. And that scale is in Kelvin. And that's just a reference for the color temperature. Mid day outdoors. Outdoors with full sun is usually about 5500 K to maybe 6 thousand K depending on the time of year. And the flashes are manufactured so that if you use them in conjunction with that type of outdoor light, than the color temperature of both are going to be similar enough where they can blend very nicely. But if you bring this inside and you have an incandescent light, which is usually about 2700 K, which is a lot warmer, and Philomel orange, then you're going to definitely see a difference. If you white balance for the incandescent than your flash is going to appear like a blue light. And if you white balance for your flash, then your incandescent is going to appear very, very, very orange, almost read. And if they mix and you have a person in the picture, it's pretty bad and you're going to end up having to make that pitch or black and white pretty much or else you're not going to be able to save it. So what's the answer? Besides black and white photography? Well, there's something called gels and they're basically little pieces of plastic that are colored and you can put them in front of your light and the light blast through it. And like we talked about before, when light bounces off the sources, when light goes through sources, it also will change the color of it. So the idea is that we take our 5500 K light, we put an orange gel over it. And when the light passes through that orange gel, it turns orange. And if you put the right amount of orange on it and the right type and all that. You can match your speed light to your incandescent ambient lights inside. And now they are the same color temperature. And now you can very easily why balanced the photograph just like you would if you only had the one light source. So that's balancing your color temperatures with gels. Gels can also be used creatively where you might want a green light coming out of somewhere and maybe a blue light and red light. You can mix them all together. You can do just different effects. That's creative use of gels. But for color correction, they can also be used. A CTO is color temperature orange, and that's the one that you would use to balance with indoor lights. And if you have fluorescent lighting, which is a pretty prominent in a lot of places now, that light actually tends to be a little bit in green. And so you can put a green gel on the flash and you'll have to vary the amounts. You can stack more than one if you want a stronger, you can just use one if you want it less. But you might need to put a little bit of a green into your flash to match the fluorescent. And then again, you'll have the same color temperature and you can easily balance and post-production or in camera if you prefer to do it that way. So that's a little bit about gels. Color correcting with gels, very important when you're shooting indoors and you're mixing your flash with the existing lights in the building. So now you might be wondering, when I take a picture of somebody, where do I actually position the light? Should I put it at their eye level? Should I put it below them pointing up? Should I put it above them pointing down? And the answer is, more times than not, you're going to want to above them pointing downward. And the reason for this is that as humans, we're very used to seeing people lit from above, whether they're in a house, in a building, even outdoors with the sun, the light source is almost all the time above them, coming down toward them. And so when we light from underneath, we have shadows on the faces that were not used to seeing except maybe around a campfire when people are telling ghost stories and they have a flashlight below their face. And if you like somebody with a flash from below, it's going to have that Campfire look. And most of the time it's not very flattering. So you want to mimic the natural light that we see in our day-to-day lives with artificial light. So you'd want to have it about on a 45 degree angle. And this can vary, depends where you're doing. Pointed down and your camera is straight ahead and you want the light either to the right or to the left of the camera just a little bit. The more you end up coming around to the 90 degree mark, the more dramatic that shadow is going to be on the face, and that has its purpose. But again, for a traditional portrait or headshot, you're gonna want it not too far off camera axis, a little bit above the person pointing downward. After you get comfortable with one light, you might get the extra try more than one. That's great. But let me give you one piece of advice that will really help you. Just take it one line at a time. So set your one light up. Take your picture and see what it looks like. Once you get that under control and you know what that light is contributing to the exposure. Now you add your second light. Take a picture with a second light and see what is looking like. Once you're comfortable with what that looks like, now you can add a third, fourth, fifth, and so on, depending on how many legs you want. But my point is, understand what each one of the lights is individually contributing to the picture. Instead of just turning for lights on and taking a test shot. Because when you do that and you start that way, you have no idea what's doing, what. It's also helpful, even if you set your main key light up and get that where you want it, you might want to turn that off and then turn on the second light, see what that's doing by itself, and then try them both together. And it's going to be a little bit of a back and forth. It's an iterative process. You tweak one light, the other one might go up or down a little bit, a little move away. That's fine. But if you ever start to get overwhelmed and you start to feel like I cannot get this little away. I want stop term all off, start back with just one and build a backup. It can very, very simple process. As long as you don't try to bite off too much at one time. So one line at a time, understand each one. And sometimes less is more. Six light setup is not always better than a one-way setup. It just depends what you're shooting and how the look of the photo is supposed to be. Overpowering. Ambient light is pretty similar to what we were talking about when we take the photo, a sunset with the speed light letting our subjects, except sometimes people will do it in mid day when the sun is at its brightest. And you kinda take control of the outdoor light by having your artificial light be the key light, and your son be your secondary light source. This is tricky to do only because the speed of light is not as powerful enough to overpower the sun on its own. So a lot of times we'll use studio strobes for this because there are a lot more powerful and you have to have battery pack and all this type of thing to make it portable unless you have a power l in nearby in a field, which you usually don't. With speed lights. You might think, well, maybe you'd use to at once at full power and you have double Light. And yes, you do have double the light. But in camera world and the way cameras work and the way light is perceived is that it's exponential. So two lights is actually just one-stop more of light, which means that you would just increase your aperture one setting. And that would account for the extra light. It's a little bit difficult to think about because you would think that two lights is just gonna be like way more light, but really it's not. So you may be over, over part of the sun, but it would probably take 45 speed lights in midday to do so, it becomes a little bit impractical. That's why the sweet spot for using a light light, this is sunrise or sunset. Or it can be an overcast day, in which case, the whole ambient light level outside is a lot lower and you can probably match it with a speed light. So studio strobes are the way to go if you're trying to overpower the sun during the day. But for everything else, the spotlights are great. So this is the thing with flashes called recycled time. And what that is is the amount of time that it takes after you fire the flash for to be ready to be fired again. And what happens is the speed lights is that you've usually got four double a batteries. And then in the speed light is a large capacitor. And so the double a batteries charged the capacitor. And when you fire the flash, it dumps the energy from the capacitor into the flash tube. And then that capacitor needs to be recharged from the batteries. And that's what the recycle time is taking into account. So if you fire a flash at full power and you dump that capacitor completely, and now it has to charge up all the way again. And that takes usually, depending on the flash manufacturer in the model that you have, it can be two to three seconds. But if you fire the flash at say, a quarter power, then you're not going to dump that entire capacitors energy. Only a quarter of it is certainly has to recharge twenty-five percent as much as it would if it was a full power flash. So this is a reason why you might want to keep your flash power lower than full depending on the kind of shoot you're doing. If you're doing a fashion shoot and you have a model and they're moving around and doing different looks. And you're shooting, shooting, shooting shooting. Full power is not gonna give you the type of cycle time that you need to do that shoot properly. So something you can do if you do need full power is take two flashes and put them both at half power and put them together. And now your recycle time is cut in half. But you still have the same intensity as one flash at full power. And if you really wanted to, you could do eight flashes at an eighth of the power and they're going to recycle really fast and you still have that full power pop every time you take a picture. It's a little bit impractical to use 8x speed lights to do that. You probably want to move over to studio strobe at that point. But just so you can understand the concept and how it works. And if you batteries are wearing down and they're getting lower than that recycle time is going to increase and increase until it just doesn't recycle at all. So you may notice that your flash is taking six seconds to get recycled. Well, YOU batteries and probably dead. So pulling out, charged them up and get new ones in there. And the recycle time should go back to two or three seconds on a full power Pop. Have you ever seen the photographs of a water balloon? There's something that goes through and pierces the balloon. In the skin. The balloon has already kinda retracted off of it, but the shape of the water is still the balloon shape because it hasn't fallen yet. Or how about the photo aware there's something that goes into a area of water or maybe milk and there's the drop coming out and it's kind of frozen in midair, anything like that? Well, you're freezing motion. Speed lights are a great tool. The name speed light is basically given to it because the flash duration is very fast. A studio strobe are, isn't oftentimes more powerful than the speed of light, but the flash duration is much longer. So when you're trying to do motion freezing speed, lights of the way to go. Now again, the camera to take the picture at the right time is a whole different subject. But there are triggers that are used for the camera, which will then trigger the flash, which will freeze the motion. Now you could set your shutter speed really high, but then you start to really reduce the amount of light that comes into the camera. And so that's not usually a practical way to freeze motion. And a lot of cameras max out at maybe one for thousands of a second where a flash duration is actually shorter than that. So do you have anything fast that you want to capture without any motion blur? Then you'll usually want to set your camera to eliminate all the ambient light and just use the flash to make your exposure. And that way, nothing will actually have any motion blur to it. There's two main modes of flash on a camera. And one is called front curtain sync and once called rare current sink. The terms are from a while back when cameras had a different shutter mechanism. But that's kind of irrelevant. The concept is what's important. And the difference between the two is when in the exposure does the flash fire? So with a front curtain sync setting, when the shutter opens, the flash will fire. In the sharable stay open for the duration that you set it for, and then it will close again when it's done. On rare current sink, the shutter will open, stay open for the duration you set it for. And then right before that shutter closes. The flash will fire. So the difference is when in the exposure does that flash fire? And the reason why that actually matters is there are some situations where you have subjects in your photo of that are it's own light source. And then you'll also have your external light source, meaning your flash, that is going to contribute to the exposure as well. So a good example and probably the most common thing that this is applicable for is if you're taking a photograph of a car at night and it has headlights and tail lights on. And so as that car drives by, you're gonna take a picture and if your shutter speed is say 1 second, that car is going to move through the frame a little bit. In that 1 second of time. The lights on the car are going to burn into the exposure for that full 1 second. So you're going to have a street scene, streaked headlights in photographs before. Now the card itself say the doors in the hood and everything like that. They're not lights, they need to be lit, and that's what our flash is gonna do. So if you do front curtain sync, let's think about what happens. The cars coming along and the picture gets taken, the flash fires. So now the car is frozen there because the flash froze it at the beginning of the frame. Now for the rest of that 1 second, that car is gonna move through the frame. And as it does, those headlights and tail lights are going to burn into the exposure. So what you have in your final image is a car here. And then you'll have streaks that continue along. So it's gonna it's gonna look like the light streaks are in front of the vehicle and the tail lights are going to actually go through the back of the vehicle a little bit, if that makes sense. Now if you do Rear Curtain, then you can have the car and it's going to open the shutter and causing that come through. Now the headlights entail it's a burning into the exposure. And then at the very end of that second, right before that shutter shots, we're going to have a flash pop. And now the car is frozen on the other side of the frame. And the headlights are behind the car and the tail lights are behind the car. And so there, that gives the sense of motion forward, whereas the front current sink is going to give the sense of motion backward because of the shriek of the light. And so you can take that concept and you can apply it to other things. But that is what's going on with front and rear curtain sync. And just keep that little bit of information in your back pocket because it might come in handy if you're in a certain situation where you actually care when in the frame that the flash fires. And want to give you guys one little trick that I learned, the speed lights really just in the last year. We photograph a lot of weddings and sometimes there's not really a great place to take a picture of the rings. And couples usually need to have a photograph of the engagement ring and the two wedding bands together. You might have seen pictures of rings hanging on a flower or whatever it might be. But sometimes there just isn't a good spot. And I was in that situation at one wedding and I wasn't quite sure where to take the photograph, so I took the rings and they put them on the floor. It was just a regular hardwood floor. And I took my speed light and a later down on the floor and I pointed at bare flash from the back of the earnings toward them, toward the camera. And I set my camera on the ground and I put the macro lens on, got nice and close and I focus it up and then took the picture. And the result was this really strange looking for in the rings lit up in a very cool way. And what I realized what was going on is that the flash was raking across the floor. So all the texture, all the dust, everything was getting hit with light at at like a completely 90 degree angle to the camera lens. And it was letting enough in a way that we don't normally see with our eyes. And what I realize is that you can use flash in ways like that to let us see things the way we don't only see them and when we see things like that, sometimes it just doesn't look good at all, but sometimes it can be really interesting and it can have a really pleasing look. So don't be afraid to use a flash in a non-traditional way. The worst that can happen is the pictures and look good and you just take another one, get out there and put it at different angles. Use different modifiers. Should the flashed through things get strain shadows pointed out, pointed down, bare Flash all over the place. Two of them, three of them, gels, anything, put all these things together. And you will find that you can create so many more types of photographs and you could, with just the ambient light that's available to you. 5. Examples and Explanations: One of the best ways to learn about lighting is to look at photos and trying to deconstruct how they were lit and then understand why. So what we're gonna do is look at about 14 photos that we've taken at various events. The one I want to start off with is a headshot that we do and this is a pretty standard setup for us. Earlier in the video, I had mentioned that we use grids on speed lights for certain things. And the main thing we use grids for is when we do a head shot. And you'll notice the background has kind of a gradient behind the person's head that is brightest directly behind them. And then the further away from their body and head that it gets, it falls off into darkness. This is achieved by putting a speed light on the floor, pointing up toward the background. And the speed lights about a foot to two feet away from the background, pointing up and a little bit angled. And we've got a grid on it, a quarter-inch uptake a speed light grid, a really cheap accessory for your light. And what it's doing is it's concentrating the beam of light. So that isn't spread all over the place. And when you have it on that slight angle from the ground level, it's going to create almost a circular pattern on the backdrop. This just makes for a really nice background that's a little more interesting than a flat color. And this is definitely a number one use for grids. A can be used for other things, but this is our go-to for headshot background lighting. So I wanna move on to some wedding photos. Weddings are a challenging type of shoot because you're always moving fast. And you don't always have as much time as you want with the bride and groom. And you're also constrained to use the environment that you're thrown into. But with that said, when you have control of your lighting, you can make some things happen. So this picture here is a black and white, and the couple is in the room that the bride got ready in earlier. So the room isn't too big and there wasn't a whole lot of interesting anything going on in the room. So we picked this couch, put the couple down in. What we've got is an umbrella shoot through a shoot doorbell out to the left, camera left. I'm probably about two feet above the groom's head and angled down and to the right of the, pointing to the right of the couch. And you can tell that by looking at the shadows, they're soft, which is a giveaway that we're using, a diffuse light source and a rather large light source. And the shadows are toward the right of the subjects falling on the couch a little bit. And the reason why we lit from the left rather than the write is because their phases are on the left. And that is the most important part of the picture that we wanted to suppose properly for. And the kind of letter when they fall off into a little bit of darkness toward the right. And you can notice on the wall to the right, you can see the shadow of the couch. And again, that's another good give away of the direction of the light source. So these are the things we look at the pictures while we're trying to deconstruct it and try to understand how to lit. And we have the advantage that these are photos that I had taken, so I know what I did. But even if you don't know the person that took the photo and you're just looking at things online or whatever it might be. There's usually enough clues and the shadow, so let you know how the photo was lit. And most of these are going to be one light setups. So they're really simple. And you can tell also behind them, you might want to notice that there is a window behind the curtains and it is daytime, so there's light coming through. So you can see. Blinds behind the current, which is interesting to know because what's going on is that the speed light is lighting the subjects in the room. And it's just about balance with the outdoor light so that that light coming through the window isn't blown out and it's not complete darkness. Now, this was probably done almost accidentally. The subject matter behind the window isn't very interesting. But I just wanted to point that out. That is just something else to look out for. And you can kinda start to judge whether ambient is mixed in or if it's purely just the speed light. So we're gonna look at this next photo, which is kind of a classic sunset photo. This is an engagement shoe and the sky was given us some good colors. And the sun was just around the horizon line. And this is a, is a good example of if I had photographed them without a light, with this exposure, the front of them would have been completely dark. They would've been a silhouette. And if I expose for the sky, I'm sorry, if exposed for the couple, the sky would've been completely white and blown out. And so to get both, like we talked about earlier, we liked the couple to bring their exposure up to match the sky. And so that's what's going on here. And you can tell by the shadow on the ground, it's going off toward the right. So that means the light is on left of them and this is again a shoot their umbrella with a speed light. And we were probably about full power to match up with the ambient. And you're going to notice a common theme with a lot of these pictures because a lot of them rely on the same technique. Now this photo, the sun is toward the left of the photograph and you can tell by the hard shadows on the ground coming toward the camera. That is product of the Sun. So the couple is in the shadows. They are shadow side toward the camera. And they would have well been silhouetted if there was no light source on them. So what we're doing here is we want to hit them with a light source that's bright enough to bring them up. But not so much that we're going to start casting shadows the other way. And so this is kind of a delicate balance that you want to strike and were essentially filling in the shadows. Once you do this, you can expose to the sky behind them and get them up and blend it all in. You get a very nice clean photo with everything explodes properly. This photo here is taken obviously at night and in the background that is the Newport Bridge we live in Rhode Island's. So this is kind of an iconic bridge that we've got. And a couple of really wanted to have a photo with the bridge lit up in the background. And this is a really difficult photograph for one main reason. And that is that the Bridge lights in the night sky are not very strong light sources. And the speed light can go down to 1 120th power. That's the lowest that it's got. But even when you shoot at 128 and you have it relatively close to your subjects, it's very bright light source compared to what's already out there. So. What we did to bring up some of the Bridge lights is slow down the shutter speed as much as we could while hand holding the camera. Because when we're at weddings were not using tripods, we just don't really have the time to mount a camera and tripod and start doing things like that. So we had to adjust the shutter speed, probably shooting it about 140th, maybe that's about a slow as they can get away with my, with my hands. And the couple is exposed essentially completely with the flash. Now if we had more time, it probably would look a little bit better. If the flash was Gerald with maybe one quarter cup CTO, which is the orange gels that we talked about when you're trying to match incandescent lights because that bridge is little withing hand essence and there's a, a light on the deck toward the right and a couple that's also kind of an orange light and there wasn't much we could do about that being there. It's a little bit distracting, but they really wanted the bridge and that was the only way we could frame it up at this particular venue. So this is shoot through umbrella, also camera left pointing down toward the couple. But the, the trade off here is that there are a little bit bright and we'd like them to be a little bit darker, but we didn't want to lose the exposure of the ambient, the bridge and a little bit of the sky that you can see there. And we could have put the light source further back to reduce the power on them. But the further back we get, remember our light source effectively becomes smaller. And with our small light source, we're going to have harder shadow transitions. And so we kind of compromise a little bit and we get it close enough to be soft. And it might be a little bit, but we can turn that down and post-production a bit. So just some things that they've gone, the really low light situations. This next photo is taken in the streets of Boston. This is a New Year's Eve wedding, and this is an interesting one. This was a tripod shot. We did have the time, we knew ahead of time what we're gonna do this photo. So we got things ready and set the tripod down and did a long well, a long exposure for people, it was probably about maybe a 2.5th to a 1 second exposure. And the only way we add it to this scene is a speed light directly behind the couple. And if you look close enough, you can actually see the light stand between the groom's leg and the bride's dress. And this is a backlit picture, so the speed light is bare on the stand. And what it's doing is if you see, if you look at the bride's hair that's draped down, you can see some light hitting the bottom of it. And it's kinda defining them against the background. So when you have some, it's creating a rim light on them. And if you didn't have that, then they would kind of blend into the background a little bit more. And we're also getting some good effects of the flash hitting the white dress and bouncing around a little bit and lighting up the groom just a bit. So it's really kind of helping to make them pop the lights to the left of the frame. That's actually a car taking the corner. So those are headlights. That's not one of our lights. And we had to have the long exposure because we need to burn in the city backdrop. If we shot at 160th or whatever, it might be higher than that, then we weren't going to get any of this AMI and to burn. And because although the scene looks kinda bright in photo, in real life, it was pretty dark. And so it took a little bit to expose that. So this is just basically to get the coupled to not blend in with the background and so we backlit them. Here's another good example of bringing up the shadow side of the subject so that we can balance the exposure with the background. This is not a speed light shot. This was done with a, with a Paul Buff Einstein strobe. And the reason we were using this is because this was mid-day and the sun was extremely bright and a speed light didn't stand a chance to eliminate the subject enough to get the exposure properly done. So this is a studio strobe and this is at full blast. And we were shooting this bear. So if you're doing fill flash, which is basically what we're using this for to fill the shadows. You can oftentimes get away without using a modifier and not have it look really harsh, as long as you don't overdo the flash power. So if you keep it subtle enough where you bring in the shadows up enough to expose properly, but not so much that it looks like you're letting the photo, then you can get away with a hard light source. The reason we didn't put an umbrella in front of it or anything to diffuse it is because every time you put some diffusion material in front of, in front of the light source, you're going to lose a little bit of the power. And in this situation, we can afford to lose any, any of the power because we will already maxed out and just barely had enough to overcome the sun. This next photograph is from the same scene, just a different angle. Couple of other people. And you can see by the framing of the shot that the light has to be a considerable distance away from the subjects. And so again, this was a bear studio strobe shot and we're just using it to blast the shadows and bring them up so they exposed properly. Otherwise that sky would be totally white. And one thing to note in this photo is the tablecloth is pure white and that Flash is really hard and bouncing off and it's kinda overexposed. But in a lot of these situations there are trade-offs. And you kinda have to capture what you need to capture and let the other stuff do what it does and then try to kind of fix it in post if you have to as much as you can. I'm not advocating for not getting it right in camera. But sometimes there are trade-offs and you have to sacrifice something and you have to choose what is most important and what's not. This photo is a detail shot at a wedding. And we've been using this technique pretty often lately to do the detail photos. A lot of times the rooms, the reception rooms are dimly lit and so in order to get clean photos, it's much better to light them. And so will bring a speed led around on a stand and backlight it. And you can tell that we're backlighting because if you look at the flower vase base, you can see the shadow coming off to the left and toward the front. So we're backlighting at an angle and it's probably it's roughly a 45-degree angle from the back camera, right? And the clock face and the flower front are technically shadow side to the camera. But because the light is pretty close and it's bouncing around off the table cloth and off of other things in the room. And because we're exposure is we're still getting some light to bleed onto the front of the subject. And then we have some nice rim light highlights that are being produced by the light hitting it. And this is a bare speed light. And so this is really nice to sticks a little bit of experiment and you get the right angle and the right intensity. But once you get it, it can look really nice. This also will change pretty drastically with the angle of the light. So if you move the light more toward the rare or bring it closer to the camera, you're gonna get very different results and you might like them better, emulate them worse, but it's definitely something that you should spend some time to experiment with. You can do this very easily in your house, put some things on your kitchen table and move a bear speed lead around the different angles, different heights, different intensities, and see what different loops you get and see what you like best. This photo was shot in the pitch black of the night. It was in the middle of a field, a wide open field. And there was nothing but the lights that we brought. So behind the subject or for speed lights there, bare speed lights, no modifiers pointing directly at the camera. And that's all that's lighting this particular photo right now. So we silhouetted her against a completely black backdrop, and that was the result. And you can see the speed lights are lighting up the ground. But there's nothing above or behind or on the size of them for them to bounce light off. So it's just complete darkness. And in this case, for artistic reasons or just stylistic reasons, we decided we wanted to have the lights in the frame. So that was purposeful to have the four lights set up behind her like that. Another backlight example. This night, there was a very heavy mist in the air. It wasn't raining but it was pretty close to it. And so when you have particulate in the air, whether it be fog, smoke, rain, missed like this. Any light that shines through that from a rare angle is going to have a really interesting effect. So that light is blasting through and it's hitting all the water droplets in the air. And so rather than how it looked in the last photo where the light didn't really have anything to bounce off of or shoot through. It's now going to hit all the water and that's going to light up because it is material for that light to bounce around and change shape. So we put them bear speed light behind the couple and it's a little bit lower than their waists and it's pointing upward toward their chins. And it's pretty low power. And we just adjust our exposure, ISO and aperture and all that to be the way we want it. It's a very dark, a little bit of a moody picture. We obviously can't see their faces and we weren't trying to see their faces. We just want to see the shape of their outline. And we also want to get the light to bounce through the water droplets and give it a kind of a moody, romantic effect. And so that's a nice little trick. If you've got something going on in the air. If you don't have anything in the air and you want to, you can use other things like there are cans of a fog that you can use or you can use a fog machine if you have access to one, to kind of create that. Here's another picture with Basically the same idea, a little brighter on the exposure for the faces. This was actually raining. So those little white dots that you see everywhere are rain droplets coming down. One thing to know in this picture is that the light was bouncing pretty heavily off of her dress. And that is what is coming up in lighting under their chins, in their faces and things like that. So the light kinda got in between them and bounce around a bit and let their faces up some more. So this kind of thing is very sensitive to placement in proximity and little changes will make big result changes. So this is something you should definitely experiment with and see what works best for you. This photo is from the same session that we had the four lights behind the subject, except we did a little bit differently. So these are colored smoke bombs that we left off in the field. And the same for lights are behind her. And then we also added a fifth light, which is a speed light through 24-inch soft box. And it's to the camera right in pretty good distance away because we didn't want it in the frame. We want to get a wide shot. And that is just bright enough to light up the front side of our body so we can see her arm, we can see your neck, we can see a little bit more of what she's wearing and her legs a little bit so that she wasn't a complete silhouette. And the smoke bombs were set off in front of the lights but behind her. So although for Bakelite are blasting through the colored smoke and that's what's given this crazy colorful smoke effect. This was really fun. And you can do all sorts of things with smoke bombs, with fog, whatever it might be, you know, just experiment colored water, food coloring in water. Spraying a mist. Use your imagination, set the lights up, putting behind it and you'll get some really awesome stuff. And lastly, this is a self-portrait. This is what we do when we can't find anybody to take pictures of. But I wanted to show this because this is another use of grids, although this is on a studio strobe. And you can use grids on the studio strobe actually could do on a speed light. This was taken in in my kitchen. And so right behind me is my refrigerator. And to the left of me as the hallway into the right is the kitchen sink and all that kind of thing. But because the grid concentrates the beam of light in a very narrow area, I directed it at myself and the rest of the room didn't light up. And the light was pretty powerful. So when you exposed to the light and the rest of the room is just ambient, it's pretty much black. And I did a little work and post to darken up some more to clean up anything that went ever felt a little bit. But generally, this is what it looks like out of camera with the grid on. So it's a very good way to control where your light is going. If you have certain parts of the picture that you want to light up and other parts that you don't. The grid is the way to do that. So I hope that looking at these different examples kind of give you an idea of some of the different things you can do with the lights and the different effects you can get. There's so much more than this. This is a really small sampling. A few different types of modifiers. There's more modifiers out there, there's more ways to use them. Use your imagination. There's so much you can do. But we don't if we went over all of them, it would take hours and hours and I don't even have enough in my own portfolio to survey them all because just like everybody else, we're still exploring and we're still learning new things. There's just so much to do. And so I hope that helped. Alright guys, we talked about a lot of things. I hope that was helpful for you. I hope you learned some things and hope you got inspired and get out there and use your flash in ways that you might not have before. And if you don't have any flash gear all day, you go out and get some, it's a pretty small investment relative to the other things you have to buy in photography. And it can take your photography to the next level for sure. And really set you apart from other people that aren't taken advantage of this awesome technique. So go out there, grass and flashes, practice a lot. Thank you for watching. Thank you for buying this video. Really appreciate it. Hope it was helpful. Please give us some feedback. If you found it helpful than awesome, let us know and if there was anything that might have been missing that you thought should be in there, please also let us know because we might add it and then send out an update so that everybody can learn from it as well. Alright guys, thank you so much. Get out there and practice and I'll see you in the next one. Yeah.