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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.
On it's own, the light coming out of this device is pretty intense, right? >> Yeah, it's hard. It's not focused. It is just a bulb. >> And that's a lot of light. And while having a lot of light is good, having control over the light is better. Now the good news is, is that chances are your kit comes with some sort of lighting control. What I've got here is actually the ability to put basically this unit on the front. I push a button here, you see, it comes right off. There's the exposed bulb. I could push that in and just turn it to lock.
There we go. And now it's on there, easy enough. And that's pretty straightforward. You've got two different ones there. >> Right. So, you know? They'll come in different sizes. They serve different purposes. We'll actually talk about this in greater detail, but in this case, it's a slightly different attachment. And I can just slide that on, let go, and this is going to focus the light and allow me to control where it's going to go, as opposed to this, which, light's going to go everywhere. >> Yeah. Without the ability of putting this sort of on there, what's going to happen is the light is going to radiate in all directions.
This is much like a spotlight, and it's going to take that light, bounce it through the surface here, and push it out in one direction. Now that's great, and that's going to provide some directional control. But it's still, at that point, kind of harsh light, right? >> Right. And you know, there's times you want harsh light, and there's times when you want a softer light, or a softer look. And that's where the diffuser part comes in and we have a couple of examples or ways that you can soften the light. Directly in front of me is a soft box, these are very popular these days and it literally takes what is a strong hard light and disperses it across this front area and I have nice control over it.
>> Yeah, just compare the surface area. The opening here. Versus this giant opening here. Chances are, this is going to do a better job of spreading that light over your portrait. This is a large enough soft box to easily do a bust portrait. And they make them even bigger. An alternative to that or, can also be used in conjunction, is basically, you know, it looks like the little car umbrella that you might have. But if I pop this open here, you see it's not an umbrella for the rain. What we have is a highly reflective surface, and so this could be attached to the light.
There is usually a holder right in here, and what's going to happen with that, Otto? >> Well, the light's going to shoot into the umbrella, and instead of it being this very small surface area. It's going to actually disperse it, and it's almost like having a giant light, and this light is going to be very soft, so it's great if you have large groups. >> Yeah. >> Or if you want just that soft light to wrap around your talent. >> Essentially you're bouncing the light, dispersing it over a wider surface area, and reflecting it back on your subject. And remember, the good news here is that these lights are really powerful, so it's not like you're taking a little speed light and popping it in here.
You're shooting off a bunch of light, it's going to spread back and come back quite nicely. So pretty straightforward stuff. So as you go through your kit, get familiar with what you have or, as you're building a kit, make sure you pick up a few things. Personally, I use soft boxes more than umbrellas, but you nailed it. If I'm shooting a larger shot or a group shot Nothing beats the umbrella. That's going to spread it out over a much bigger area. While I prefer this for portrait. How about you? Do you have a favorite? >> Well I'm a softbox person myself. I like to be able to know where the light cuts off.
Umbrellas are hard to control. It can flood over to the background, though they're quick. They're easy. >> They're cheaper. >> Yeah. Sometimes they're silver, sometimes they're white. But you'll learn that a mix of these elements can give you the exact shot that you wanted. So that's why you have so many different modifiers, because you want to control the light in a specific way to get the exact shot that you want.
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