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In this installment of the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist.com publisher David Hobby demonstrates using strobes to freeze action while capturing the strength and grace of a dancer in motion. After working through the lighting challenges of a dance studio, David sets up a white, seamless background and shoots some test shots, adjusting the flash units to create a white "blow-away" background that will enable the photo to be easily composited. Next, he photographs the dancer, working with her to capture a relaxed expression as she leaps and strikes various poses. After the action shots, David lights and shoots a portrait.
Okay, we need a little more light out of this I think. Do not try this at home. I'm a professional. So I'm going to focus on the mark, just as a dumb guess. All right, go ahead and pop through that just like you did, Okay, let's take a quick look at this. You want to look? Stephanie Yezek: Sure.
Okay, so I'm missing you just a little bit, so I may move that. Stephanie: Oh! I was like, what is that black? It's my pants. It's interesting. It's very flamingo actually. Yes, yes, oh yeah the layer, definitely. So I may move your mark a little bit that way, like two feet maybe, because I got so much room on the light on the other side. I would like to get this other, this background light, higher. I'm going to have to to switch stands, and I want to take it down in intensity just a little bit, so if you can give me just a moment.
This one looks fine. So I'm going to move your mark this way. How's this floor on your feet? Are you okay. Okay, great! Is it better than the rocks and glass we had on the-- Stephanie: Actually, I mean yeah, it was a nail I think. David Hobby: Always pull it out from the front, you know, don't back it out. That's bad. Right. So I want this a little less hot. Two thirds of a stop I just took off of it.
So these are like really dim right now. These are just about 164th power. All right, let's try one of those again. Where was I? I'm going to back up a little bit and use a longer lens too. Where's my dot? Could I get you to stand just like one foot your side of the mark.
I'm going to focus on your face, and I need my thingamabob. Whoa, whoa. I had the--what is it?--the VR on in the lens, so it was like getting drunk on me. Normal active, normal, okay. So no fill on this.
Really nice highlights on the background, on her, so okay. So what I'm doing is I'm looking at the difference between these two with this ring flash. This ring flash is really trying to work going this far. I used a bigger version of this, a similar kind of a light.
I used a pro photo ring flash as opposed to-- Okay, so right now I'm just looking and seeing what my fill looks like dialed in, and this looks actually very good. Okay, the question is, can I hold all of this? So there. Okay, so I'm going to send you through that mark again, and let's see if I can hold you all in the frame. Okay, this is actually getting pretty close. You want to take a look at this? Okay, so think about your body attitude now and such.
Stephanie: I'm not quite sure what's going on there. Arms are not-- I don't know. Okay do want to be more, less horizontal, more rotated away from me a little bit, do you think? Stephanie Yezek: Yeah maybe that's, something like that. David: Okay, and I'm thinking about accent lighting you from lower, as opposed to trying to out-height you, which I don't know that I can do. Since my main light is coming from up top, maybe I push the accents from down low.
This may look really cool or it may just really look bad, but we won't know until we do it. It also can give more of an illusion of height for you, so I think that can be cool too. Stephanie: Oh but how about it against the back? I mean it looks almost super-imposed. Isn't it independent of height when jumping? David: So but the fact that those rim lights are coming from up underneath you, it's almost more of a psychological thing than a physical thing.
Subtle. Now that can get just down to ground. I can't get this as low as that one. Okay, so they both are a tad high. Okay, so when you're going up, rather than straight towards me, you may want to keep your body more rotated around towards Dave Kyle.
It's all about Dave Kyle at this point. You know what I'm going to do, very quickly too, I'm going to set up-- We've got, do we have one more stand? Male Speaker: I do if you need one. David: Good, good, good I'm going to throw an umbrella on this and not have to worry about this ring light, so I'm changing up my fill from a ring to an umbrella that's very close to the axis. And frankly, I can even make it nicer than that by taking--this is a fairly white wall, so I'm going to take a light and fire it into that white wall and see how much I can get off of it. It doesn't get much more simpler than that. Oh! The light is in the Orbis.
So as long as I can keep this from hitting my camera, that should give me a pretty good, pretty good pop off of there. Did I just kill your chip? Okay, just stand one foot your side of the mark, if you could, Stephanie. Thank you. That's going to be one less thing to worry about.
So I'm getting a ton of fill off of that, way more than I thought. I can drop that down on another two thirds of the stop, maybe even a full stop. Let's try it with a full stop. Okay, don't move Stephanie. Maybe another two thirds of a stop. This is a very efficient wall. I don't need to walk back there to do this. There we go.
So this is almost being like a--it's an on-axis fill-ish, kind of close, with a little bit of shadow on that side, but I'm okay with that, because I've get a rim light happening back there anyway, so--All right, let's try that, and don't put too much into this. I'm trying to save you. Oh, oh! Hit your mark for a second. Let me focus on you. Thank you. Okay. That's really nice! I like your arms much better when you're rotating like that. So take a look at that. What do you think? Stephanie Yezek: Oh yeah, it's better. So what do you want to fix about this, body-attitude-wise? Let me come in close and be looking at your face at the same time.
I'd like to get that light up a little higher coming down on you.
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