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In the Lighting with Flash series, photographer and Strobist blog publisher David Hobby demonstrates how to use compact flash units in a variety of lighting scenarios. In this first installment, he covers the basics, starting with ambient window light and ending with a four-light shoot of a model. Along the way, the course covers a variety of fundamental lighting concepts as well as accessories such as ring lights and softboxes. The course includes diagrams and detailed explanations of the lighting setups.
Okay, so lighting-wise I've got everything in the frame. I want you just like that; that's fantastic. And I am going to go ahead and include every light in the frame to see--and what I really like about this and the surprise that kind of hit me at the end, all that hard hot light is coming down and it's warmed up. So, pushing this cool light in to fill the shadows makes this picture. So yeah, look right up at the main light there for second. That's good. Okay, so this, this picture was really fast on it's way to failing, and it's become my favorite picture of the day, seeing these first early ones.
So, let's play with this bit. Do I want--? I'm going to tweak this just a little bit and bring it down to where it hits you better. So you don't move, you're great. You are doing fine. I am having trouble problems. There. I want to rim light those shoulder a little better. I cannot emphasize the importance of experimentation and being willing to fail. We had another shot that we were trying to do, and it's not that it was impossible to do. When we started looking at it, I realized where I had seen the idea.
It was from a picture I'd seen maybe six months ago, and the last thing I want to do is to be derivative. So, I'm trying to take that and spin it in a new way. Let's see. I got to check my histogram, because this is a very strange picture, and I want to make sure everything is where I need it to be. Yeah, we're good. Okay, so just really like you were doing, not so quite coquettish. Just realize where the light, that's on your face that's coming from up there. Okay, there you go. That's good. Good.
It's hard to see what this looks like. I am going to grab a couple more--and I like that, good. I'm going to grab a couple more, and then I am going to show you what this is looking like. It probably looks a little different than you expect it to look--it's sort off--in a behind-the-scenes way. Ramona: There is a shadow behind you. David: Yes, yes, yes. So this light is throwing that shadow up high on a wall. I am going to bring these in a little tighter, and you stay where you are. They're going to become a little brighter. Make sure they are out to 24, see how bright you are. Did that to myself.
Ramona: Do want me to lean forward or anything? David: Maybe. That's kind of neat. I like the way that blue light is pushing up into the hard light, because where they mix it just looks so cool. Okay, good. Excellent, excellent. What happened? Oh yeah, you know I really wish your stomach wouldn't get in the way so much, Ramona, because its really bothering me. Seriously All right, here we go.
So, give yourself a little more of a body turned towards Dave. Maybe that's too much. I just want to make sure your face can see that main light. Yeah, that's better, but physically move that way just a tad. That's perfect. Okay, so take a deep breath. Let me make sure I have got my lights right, and then we will less blend. Okay, not so far back with your head, because you'll cover up that back light. There you go.
All right, now bring some attitude. You know, I feel like we have stretched you a little bit today. It makes me feel very happy actually. I know we've stretched me. All right, there you go, keep with that. Okay, move that away just a tad, so I don't push you too far into those lights. Okay and chin up and throw your head back towards this light. Actually, you moved a little too far when you came that way, so go back just--perfect.
Now, I'm going to have to remember this next time, okay. Oh, that's what--I thought you were talking about your stomach is in the way or something. So I am going to leave these lights. I like what the lights are doing, but I'm going to shoot just like a straight picture and take the lights out of the picture but leave the effects of a light in, because I don't know. There is something about this picture. I like the way it looks, and I want to able to repeat this next time I'm needing to do an off-center kind of a portrait. So I want you to keep the way you are. I am just going to back everything out and make it a little more powerful okay.
I am at one eighth power. I'm going to go to one half. Ah, I'll go to one fourth, give myself a little more time to work. So as I back these lights up, I need to make them stronger to make up for the fact that I'm moving them further away. Okay, there we go. I need to get this just over, just a little bit like that, just quick test.
Okay, don't move. Now, what I am doing is raising this window up a little bit. I can see I am using the window in the composition. You fine, moving that out of the way just a little bit. These flashes are pretty weak because I have got them taped up to a tiny hole from our other little experiment. How are we doing back there? I missed you now. I've done all the other stuff and now I'm missing you.
Okay, this looks cool. I don't always get what I'm expecting when I do one of these, but I usually like the surprise. Ramona: You said, you wanted everything to be up here not to move up and down. David: Right, in fact I am--yeah I like--bring in your hand up like that, that's cool. Let's see what we've got. This is white room, but we're controlling this in kind of a cool funky way. There is so many lights. Remember that where you let your hair hang out. I am just dropping this light back just a little bit more.
David Oh, what's the tattoo say? Oh, French. Got it. Ramona: It says amore. It says amore. Okay, is that pointing up at you? Are we good? yeah. Can I bum an assistant for just a second? I want to have somebody gobo that light. You can gobo it even with your hand; just hold your hand out in a way so to keep that light from coming in. So, let the light hit Ramona, but block the light from hitting my lens.
So, you are going to hold your hand out in front of the light like--think of being on your side of the light, hold your hand up like that. Okay, now bring it forth, there you go. So, you should be kind shading. Okay, pull it forward towards me just a little bit. Okay, good. There you go. I'm still getting a little bit of flair back there, but this picture is so funky I am just going to live with it. All right, back out just a second. I'm actually going to leave the light and the lens back there in the frame. Thank you.
All right, don't move, you're good. Okay, why is it so bright back there now? I have lost the little cool edginess I had. This picture is so unpredictable. There are so many light sources going on in there, but it looks cool. Ramona: Why are the lighting look weird, it looks like its outside at night. David: It does. David: Well, you are use to seeing that mix of warm and cool light.
So, I want to push this just a little more, get this light closer to your face and drop it, down and hopefully not have that light hit the wall so much in the back. And I am going to let this light come back into the picture. I'll try that. I'll tell you who's going to like this is the guy that made this little light, because this is an atypical use for this. Okay, here we are. Okay, let's give it a try. Is that close? Okay, don't move.
I'm back to having the lights and I just like them. Okay, throw your face up towards that light in front of you, there you go. Last frames, have some fun. There you go. Oh, she's embarrassed now. We got her. Now this is cool, this is fun. All right, deep breath and just to be mysterious. Last few frames, and we want to grab a shot of both of you guys before you go. Okay, serious and like nobody really knows you. There you go.
Good, drop your hands; you have great lines when you do. Yeah, that's it. A little more on this and we're done. Good, good, and up again, like you were at that light, good. You are out of here.
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