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In this course, Rich Harrington and Abba Shapiro give beginning photographers a brisk look at using strobe lights in a studio setting—lessons that easily translate to the field and locations, inside and out. Learn why shooting with strobes and continuous lighting makes such a big impact on your photographs, and how to buy a good, affordable starter kit. Rich and Abba also show how to set your gear up, trigger your lights, and make modifications with accessories like reflectors, umbrellas, and soft boxes. Finally, learn how to make the most of what you have in a series of lighting challenges.
Okay, we're back with four lights and two people. So, I think that's a logical thing, right? The more folks we have on set, often times, more lights will come in handy, right? >> Yeah, and in this case, I wanted to be able to flood the entire area with light. Because we were doing a bunch of different shots, I had them tossing the ball. I had them posing together. I didn't want to be limited by focusing my lights onto just one small area. >> By having a bigger pool of light, we have more flexibility as we work. During some of the shots, there's more action, so it's going to work to have a wider frame.
Also, I think something that worked out really quite well here, is the fact that we've introduced some color. Abba, how do we pull this off. >> Well, I did a couple things. First of all, I used only umbrellas for this shot, and umbrellas can be good or bad because light floods everywhere, and in this case I wanted a lot of light. Because we were dealing with throwing balls up in the air, I didn't want strange shadows. So I just wanted to flood it. But that became a little bit dull with just light everywhere and no shadows. So, we decided that maybe a little color in the background, so we put orange gels on the lights in the back which we're shooting at the background.
And then there was light reflecting off that background, so they had some back lighting even though the lights weren't directed at them. >> And for safety, when we put those gels up, we made sure that we had a extender on the front. We basically used the scoop on the front of the light, and that kept the gel from hitting the bulb. The last thing you want is to have a hot modelling light hit a piece of thin plastic, it's going to melt, it's going to potentially ruin your bulb or even worse, the whole light itself. So, just be careful as you use gels, that they don't fall on to the surface of the light.
>> Yeah, they can handle a lot of heat, but they're not really designed to be laid directly on top of a light. Now once we had the orange background, we just tweaked the lights around the front a little bit just to make sure that they weren't so high that we were going to get shadows in their eyes. And I could do anything I want with them. They could move around to different poses. We didn't have to stop to reset the lights. So it provided a lot of spontaneity. It let me actually work with the talent and get them to relax and not even worry about, you know, moving the light to tweak something.
We did that all in advance. The good news here is we are able to make the most with what we had. And as you learned about some of those modifiers earlier, they're really quite versatile. You've seen throughout all of these lighting setups, we've put in things into place like reflectors, diffusion, umbrellas. These tools, the modifiers, really come into handy. We haven't changed the backdrop all day long, yet we've gotten several unique looks off of that backdrop. And that's all from just thinking creatively. I really think the stand out here of it is that you used the most with what we had and it didn't take a lot of expensive gear.
We've mixed brands today. We've mixed equipment but we still got great results. >> Absolutely. Sometimes, more times than not simpler is better.
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