Portrait demonstration using 2 slaved flash units in portable soft boxes. Filmed during Don Gale's photography workshop in
Austin, Texas. Ambient light posed a challenge...subjects were filled using the slaved, small flash units.
Tags:Austin Texas,camera,digital,dongale1352,lesson,off camera flash,photography,portrait,shoot,tips
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One of the nice things here when you working outdoors, is you can separate your subject between the background by a huge distance so that in itself create an almost mandatory out of focus background. When you’re in a studio, unless you got a huge studio, if you’re using a back draft of some kind, you may only have your subject 4 or 5 feet in front of that back draft, and it’s difficult to separate them out of focus. To be really aware of that, today we’re shooting on everything is gonna be uneven here. With your tripod, try to adjust that things so you’re not, you know, you can accidentally, when you’re adjusting the thing end up with, you know, really precarious situation and all of a sudden, just a little quick and it’s over. So adjust, what I always do is, when I get in my camera position set then, I’ll just adjust the center column, use it like a plumb and get it so that it’s perfectly level. So you know, it’s gonna take a pretty serious knocking to knock that tripod over. What I like to do and seems to be a good formula is find a back draft that you like. And a direction of light, so you already got a decent area behind the subject and you’ve got, in this case the main light is coming, and we can actually see this when I look around, if I look toward, is it Trisha or Trish? Trisha. She is, it’s pretty soft lighting, but her face is a little bit darker and if I look over to this direction, to see yours, so for sure there’s a direction of light from this way. And if I look out at the focus, looking right at me from there I can see at least a stop difference in the highlights at your face and shadow side. We have a real soft direction to the light. The lighting at her face right now is pretty flat, because she’s got her back to the light. So this is a great way to start without having to create a bunch of problems for yourself. Coz if I started shooting say towards Ken, right down there, and then all of a sudden the sun pop out, then the side of his face is gonna be brightly lit and now the shadows side is gonna be dim and I gonna deal with contrast issue. I’m shooting this way towards Trisha and the sun comes out behind her all that happens is we got a nice rim light on her hair and shoulders. So it doesn’t effect, I’m not gonna have this big hot spots right on her face. So this is just a smart safe way to start off. I may shoot this horizontally just because she’s dressed a little edgy, so we don’t need, I’m not gonna do a full length right here. I’m gonna do a nip torso up, and maybe shoot 30 loose horizontal, and then just put her off to one side of the frame. I really want to do more of a light demonstration here to start with, just show you what you can do easily with these lights. Flashes set here, turn it on. So let’s see what the meter says. How much flash is coming out of this unit at a quarter power. That’s 13. That’s was what? 400 ISO? So we’re putting out a significant amount more light than what we… I’m gonna try to balance, in this case. I wanna try to balance my flash to, we’re putting ambience on this, and then the great thing about this if I decide I want to darken the background a little bit more, I just increase the amount of flash and then that forces me to stop my aperture down, a little bit make the aperture a little bit smaller, which in effect is gonna darken the background. Coz the flash is not affecting the background, just we have. Background is completely separate stage from the border. So we can, for your shutter speeds, light and dark in the background and through the amount of flash and our aperture control, we can change how bright or dark Trisha looks. It was perfect. If she was standing right up next to a painted back draft, then we’ll be lighting both subject and the background with the same light and as I crank the power up on one then they both get brighter. So you really can't, we couldn’t separate them. This way we got perfect control, much easier. Take this down to, let’s get this down to 8. Let’s fire again, I can fire it from right here, see what. So what I’m gonna do now is I’m gonna feather the light, which is another technique, that you might wanna mess around, if you hadn’t done that before. This is aimed right at her, and we’re getting more light energy from the extender of this beam than we are from the edges. So feathering the light simple means aiming it, this is feathering towards the camera, away from the camera. If I feather it toward the camera, it’s gonna put her face in a situation where she’s getting just a little bit less light. So for me to do that now and see what happens, and I feather it toward the camera a little bit, about 9. So we’ve been down a third of a stop just by twisting this light just a little bit. Now I can take it down to F8 by going this a little bit more to the left. I’m gonna guess about F8. And let me do a shot first without the flash and then we’ll do one with the flash. And since we took that first meter reading, it looks to me, and you would expect this, coz it’s gotten a little bit brighter. Focus on her face we’re at F8 at a 125th, without the flash, and all I have to do to not fire the flash is pull the transmitter out. We lock the camera into position here. Again the background looks good, and her face looks a little dark, just kinda like what I expected, so now we’ll do one with the flash, good just keep looking right here. These are mainly just lighting test to start with. This time Trisha just turn your face toward that light over there a bit more a bit, look right here. Perfect. Now this one I, it was a little bit hot, I just move it back, even not so concern about the quality of this. I just want this to be separate in here, and what’s happening is this flashing in here, when the beam shoots out, it’s filling up the entire umbrella, so we’re getting a nice big light source here. The only downside is we’re shooting right back into my lens. So this becomes pretty risky, you have the threat of lens flare. So let’s see what happens, I got a lens shade on there, but this, I can look at this light source and I can see that my lens is exposed to this rays as it is to the overhead. This is where you have to test to see if your first light is powerful enough to trigger your secondary light. I’m gonna do it on three, we know that one’s working, so the only question is, is that light gonna fire there. One, two, three. Yup, it did. The only thing is, I can see I placed it directly in my shot. But you could, I could fake you out, and pretend like I didn’t made a mistake, you zoom in tighter, but I really want that background. Okay, that’s nice back there, perfect. Let me do one again without either light. Again, the background is looking great. So now we have a wonderful little rim light, her hair, this is the highlight side, toward the soft box, where the umbrella is, the shadow side. I just saw briefly on the back of the screen we have a killer, little kick light coming in on her here, and when you hear the color it is and that’s back lit, this looks awesome. Perfect, don’t move a thing. Just little more to your left, move your chin down a little more, slowly turn your face, good, good, good, a little bit more to your left. Chin down. Just tip your head to your left. Great. Gonna switch here, and again, like I mention last night, we’re in 125th of a second, I can hand held this, and still be pretty confident. I’m gonna switch to hand held, coz I wanna put her to a vertical. Like that, don’t move a thing. And lean a little bit to your waist, just a little bit more forward toward me, perfect. Turn your face just to your left, now your chin down, good. Check that last thing. Nice, perfect, look right here again, smile. One more, put your hair back.