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Lighting with Flash: Basics
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Adding the lights


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Lighting with Flash: Basics

with David Hobby

Video: Adding the lights

So the first thing I am going to do is add my fill light. Because I have built this light from the back so far, we have got only ambient, so I want to kill this for right now. We are going to see how much fill light it's going to take just to bring up detail everywhere on Ramona. So let's see, bring it down pretty close to the lens, tilt it up a little bit, quarter power is just to guess. Let's see how close we are.

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Lighting with Flash: Basics
1h 50m Appropriate for all May 10, 2013

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In the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist blog publisher David Hobby demonstrates how to use compact flash units in a variety of lighting scenarios. In this first installment, he covers the basics, starting with ambient window light and ending with a four-light shoot of a model. Along the way, the course covers a variety of fundamental lighting concepts as well as accessories such as ring lights and softboxes. The course includes diagrams and detailed explanations of the lighting setups.

Topics include:
  • Starting with window light
  • Adding a flash and umbrella
  • Using multiple strobes
  • Layering and creating a cone of light
  • Creating classic ring light glamour
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Flash Photography Portraits Lighting
Author:
David Hobby

Adding the lights

So the first thing I am going to do is add my fill light. Because I have built this light from the back so far, we have got only ambient, so I want to kill this for right now. We are going to see how much fill light it's going to take just to bring up detail everywhere on Ramona. So let's see, bring it down pretty close to the lens, tilt it up a little bit, quarter power is just to guess. Let's see how close we are.

Okay, I have got a little bit of detail there, but I want to a little more, so I am going to go up to--actually it's a quarter power -2/3rds of a stop, so now add a quarter power 1/3rd, I have added one stop, and that's very close to what I want. So I can see everything in Ramona right now. I don't have any kind of a key light on her yet, but wherever that key light misses I am going to be able to barely see it, which is kind of the ratio that I want. So now let's go in and add what would be our key light on her.

So I want you to look at me just the same way you would, and I am going to set this key light based on what I can see. Let's turn it on, because they always work better. I really don't know how bright this needs to be yet, but right now I am starting with it on 1/8th power, and I will call it a quarter power and see what happens. So we are building up this light right from zero. Not bad, it's pretty close. I am going to take it down a tad.

Remember what I talked about, about not really needing to look at your flash when you are adjusting it? That comes from using the same flash a lot. Let's do this, keeping this kind up close to me if I can. You will see me focusing and recomposing. I am just locking down my focus after focusing on her face. That's really nice, by the way, Ramona. Nice fast recycles. I am going to blow this up and look at it for a moment.

So what I have got now is hard light, but where that light falls off, I can see into the shadows, because this is giving me that shadows. So this is giving me the shape and then this is giving me the detail, and that's a common theme with me. One light for shape and one light for detail. Let's check my Histogram very quickly. Looks great. All right! Don't move, that's good. I am trying to keep my windows pretty straight. I can fix them in Photoshop later, but I want to be close.

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