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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist publisher David Hobby visits a conservation center to photograph subjects small and large, demonstrating flash lighting techniques along the way. The course begins with a close-up shoot of a small frog—and with details on how to light close-ups and macros using a small softbox and a reflector made of crumpled aluminum foil. Next, David uses multiple strobes and umbrellas to transform a dark blacksmith shop into a warm backdrop for a portrait of a craftsman at work. In a bonus chapter, David discusses an approach for organizing photo meet-ups that have a purpose: leveraging the talents of multiple photographers to quickly create a set of photos for a worthy organization.
David: if you'll notice, we've got fluorescents and we've got L, LED lights on and such. We had a problem with that when we were using the fire as a light source, but now that we are shooting just with pure flash power, it's no problem at all. Because I'm going to be shooting at a 250th of a second, probably at f56 or f8. That is so far above these lights sources that for me, they don't even exist. Hm, going to have to swap that.
(SOUND). So, I'm using my off camera cord to trigger this one light. And then the other lights will be triggered optically using the slaves built in to the SB800s. (SOUND) Very sensitive down there.
Okay. So, let's just get some white levels here. Going to 2 50th of a second. I'm going to drop down to ISO200 which is my, best made of ISO. (SOUND) See how the door looks. Way dark. So I'm going to need more power out of that. Maybe 2 more stops, 3 more stops. I'm going from a 64th to a 1 16th power, still a really low level (SOUND). Now, the door's looking better.
I've got a weird pattern coming from that tape, I'm going to have to make the tape smaller. Set that down. (SOUND) (INAUDIBLE). I think I'm just going to let enough light to make a little tiny bit of a glow, which also served to erase that rain shadow in the back.
That's better. Little hot, so I gotta drop it back down to stop. It get, it became more powerful because I took some tape off of it. (SOUND) That's better. Now a couple things I'm seeing, the door is really catching just, I'm, I'm just filling in the door, which I think's going to look a little unnatural. So I'm going to back that light up a little bit, put a little more space between Alvin and that door. And allow this light to hit and throw a little light around the rope and the edges of the doors and such.
So, I'm going to come out to about here, make it straight on, give myself a little more power, and, move Alvin's mark up to, maybe right there. That's much more interesting. Okay, so now this is basically solved. I'm at f8 and everything looks good. I'm at 200 200 ISO, again, incredible amount of dust starting to work on my camera here. (NOISE) That over there. So I'm going to start cranking up my ring, until that looks right. (NOISE) What ring? So I'm at half power on my, on my ring light.
(NOISE) That's looking better. I don't want to go to full power on the ring because that's going to give me a long recycle time. In fact I'm going to drop down to quarter power and see where I need to go to make my ring look right at a quarter power, and then I'll adjust this flash accordingly. Maybe I need to give myself some ISO. I'll do that, I'll go to 400, and we'll go to 56 and see what this looks like. That's way better. The door's too hot, so I'm going to bring the door down to compensate. And then we'll be at the last light. And my pants are going to fall down.
So this light is at 1 64th power. Very little light. This light is at one quarter power. Which is relatively a lot, but it's further away and it's also going through the ring splash which also takes, eats a lot of light up. I'm going to go to JPEGs here to save some card. I'll go back before we shoot finals. Little less on the light, on the, on the backlight, and I think we're there.
See if I can do this without droppin' anything. At 11 28th power. (NOISE) That's not bad. (SOUND) Alright, so Alvin, I'm going to bring you in on your spot, if you could, thank you very much. And I've already got a problem.
Your height is going to be a problem. I'm going to have to compress everything back just a little bit. Me not think this through very well. So there. So let me bring you back 2 feet or so. And I'm going to, I'm going to give you more room with this light stand. There we go. So you'll be tucked right up against the light stand. Albin: Alright. David: And your body's turned, maybe you want to be thinking towards that, what is this thing right here? Albin: That is a portable forge. David: Oh, wow. Albin: That's a hand crank blower.
So, what I do there. Albin So, we may need to kill that LED right there. David: It's going to be right in my frame. Albin: Yep. David: Okay, and we, and in fact we'll, we'll have to pull that off in a moment. Go to half power and just look. >> (SOUND). Oh, okay. So let's go ahead and kill the LE, the LED. (SOUND). I think I'm going to kill the ring, and put an umbrella back here. And use an umbrella as a quasi ring.
Albin: (INAUDIBLE). David: Oh, yeah, yeah. Hey, take, yeah, yeah. All Eric knows I do is put em out. This probably is going to be a little more efficient too. I'm getting a lot a light on that door, but not a lot a, not a lot a light on the wood so, I'm seeing if giving myself a softer light source will help out a little bit there. We'll see oh, that's not good.
Had a camera. Oh, here it is. And I'm going to shoot from right in front of this. That's better. (SOUND) All right. All right. So you basically, yeah, you got a foot on there, that's good. And (SOUND) see how my lights going to look. Honey bright, it's going to be very rich. Is what you've mystically say in that dark corner. So I'm going to underexpose this a little more.
And actually look centering toward this umbrella here. I'm going to raise this up. So, this umbrella now is kind of a ring light. Albin: Which way's do you want me to look. David: let's see, right, right here if you would. You know, I'm going to have to stand right in front of this guy, too, aren't I? That's good. I've given myself another problem in that I've got a bigger light source, so I don't want you to look right at me with your, with your. Albin: Up or down? David: Over, over towards the tobacky, the tobacco over there in the window.
And let's see. How's that do? That's funny. I see huge highlights from the window in your eyes. But by the time we shoot with a flash, we're so above that exposure it's not a big deal. Okay. We're almost here. I've got a problem in that I'm not going to get that wood with, with, with this fill light. it's just going to be too dark, so let me think about that for a minute. This, I want this up as high as I can get it.
Oh. Hey, it already is. Heh. Oh, boy. because I'm going to be on a stool to keep you there. This the light that's going over in a few minutes. Mark my words. Lisa: You want some bags? David: yes. Thank you Lisa. Now. Let's see if I can grow just a little bit. I'm going to go ahead and put this key on you too. (SOUND) 1 16th get this up nice and high. So this should give them picture some shape.
(SOUND) (BLANK_AUDIO) Let's see what happens. This may be way too bright. I just made a guess at 1 16th of 1 16th power. (SOUND) No, that's getting there. (SOUND) Alright, so now I've got a, I've got a nice overall light. We're getting pretty close to the Albin: Okay. David: If you want to if, if, so in a minute I'll have you well, we use you with a stand in.
Albin: What? David: Well, I'm going to have you get just with a stand in piece of metal, get it all nailed down. Albin: Oh yeah. David: And then, right, right.
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