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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist.com publisher David Hobby demonstrates using strobes when shooting sports—in this case, some kids playing soccer. After providing an overview of his lighting strategy, David shoots some action shots of goalkeepers diving for the ball. Next, he shoots some portraits of the soccer players, employing a compact softbox attachment as a key light.
In the second half of the course, David photographs a group of fencers, transforming the bland lighting in a gym and freezing the athletes' action as they leap. Afterwards, he shoots a group portrait of the fencing club.
Okay, we're finish with the soccer action shoot and we got a few minutes left. And again this is these are family friends. This is Gerald and Andrew are the two blond goalkeepers, for instance. We're shooting not too long before Christmas and we got all the lights set up. So rather than just tear everything down, why not take just five to ten minutes and, and I want to make a a quick shot of them. Their twins, do a nice print for their mom for Christmas. but why not, really? your lights are set up, you're good to go, it's crazy not to do this. Especially when you realize that you can output nice 5 by 7s or 8 by 10s at Costco, for under a buck.
So we're going to take a really quick change up to the light, and make it very similar to what we were using for the action shots. And now we got Gerald and Andrew here in front of the goal, and camera straight on. So what we're going to do is to bring in these these REM lights, bring them in a little tighter. Because we know exactly where the subjects are going to be. And let's build our exposure here before we get any further. The ambient exposure is going to be based on the sky behind them. it's probably going to be under-exposed about a stop. Maybe a stop and a half choose an aperture and shutter speed combination that makes sure we can sync the flash.
So we got to be at a reasonable sync speed, because I've switched back to a normal camera now, my D3, and that only syncs at a 250th or below. So let's get our ambient exposure for the sky. And then the next step is we just dial in the power at that aperture, until the rim light around my hand. Which I'm going to be using as a model until the boys get in there, looks good. So now we've built our sky, and we've built our rim lights, and I'm going to take and, and put my On-Camera Fill. And this is just going to be a, a on camera flash again working quick and dirty this is, this is not a sophisticated picture at all.
And that's going to fill in our shadow a little until its about a stop to a stop and a half underexposed on the front of the boys. And this is going to keep the part of them that do not get lit by the keylight which is coming next. For the most part anyway, from going to, to pure black. Now after all that we can lay in our key light with a high degree of confidence. Because we know that everywhere the key light doesn't hit. it's going to be taken care of either by, you know, the sky as, a, the exposure's chosen for the sky. And the power levels are chosen for our rim light and our fill light's set to a stop and a half down or so. So any place that key light doesn't hit's still going to be fine. it gives us a lot of flexibility.
We can key light them the way we want to key light them. And frankly, the key light is the only image in this frame that is fully exposed. Or, it's the only part of the image, the only light. But this is happening really quickly. And one really good reason to be using low power on flashes, we were at 1 8th power I believe or below on all of these flashes. So, if they move in to something like this, this second frame here and then when they're starting to come right at me in the third frame. I can just motor and I can get it. And that's exactly what we ended up doing if you go back to this pictures this 1, 2, 3 picture sequence.
they, they were mounted as three, three different pictures in one frame and its the, its the sequence which really, really defines who the boys are. Not one single image, but the neat thing is that sequence all happens in cool light. And it all happens really fast, so if you have those lights down a little power, and you've got everything worked out. You can just go boom, boom, boom and say, and say you know coming to attack the photographer. And you're going to get a nice series of frames that is going to help their mom really have a nice Christmas.
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