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The Practicing Photographer
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Shooting a three flash portrait


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The Practicing Photographer

with Ben Long

Video: Shooting a three flash portrait

As far as setup goes, I'm just thinking of this rig as a single light. So, this is what I've got, it's a little hot.
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  1. 7m 29s
    1. Using high speed flash sync to dim ambient light
      7m 29s
  2. 1m 35s
    1. Introducing The Practicing Photographer
      1m 35s
  3. 6h 29m
    1. Choosing a camera
      5m 27s
    2. Looking at light as a subject
      2m 22s
    3. Using a small reflector to add fill light
      5m 45s
    4. Editing photo metadata with PhotosInfo Pro for iPad
      6m 30s
    5. Let your lens reshape you
      7m 26s
    6. Compositing street photography images with Photoshop
      7m 44s
    7. Expand your filter options with step-up and step-down rings
      3m 56s
    8. Shooting without a memory card
      3m 6s
    9. Give yourself a year-long assignment
      5m 28s
    10. Working with reflections
      1m 26s
    11. Exploring mirrorless cameras
      7m 25s
    12. Batch processing photos with the Adobe Image Processor
      7m 30s
    13. Limiting yourself to a fixed-focal-length lens
      2m 13s
    14. Creating tiny worlds: Shooting technique
      4m 15s
    15. Creating tiny worlds: Post-processing techniques
      11m 41s
    16. Shooting macro shots on an iPhone
      3m 18s
    17. Using a tripod
      3m 33s
    18. Wildlife and staying present
      5m 58s
    19. Batch exposure adjustments on raw files
      6m 52s
    20. Why Shoot Polaroid
      11m 12s
    21. Seizing an opportunity
      4m 4s
    22. Four photographers do a light-as-subject exercise
      12m 24s
    23. Shooting macro bug photos with a reversed lens
      4m 54s
    24. Varnishing a photo for a painterly effect
      13m 36s
    25. Shooting wildlife
      7m 24s
    26. Discussion on how to shoot architecture
      12m 27s
    27. Using a lens hood
      4m 48s
    28. Working with themes
      2m 48s
    29. Setting up an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    30. Processing an HDR time lapse
      7m 55s
    31. Two perspectives on travel photography
      12m 28s
    32. Scanning Photos
      5m 37s
    33. Photo assignment: shooting an egg
      3m 13s
    34. Reviewing the egg shot images
      6m 47s
    35. Shooting in your own backyard
      4m 38s
    36. Jpeg iPad import process
      3m 17s
    37. Shooting a product shot in open shade
      9m 34s
    38. Reviewing the product shot images
      4m 5s
    39. Warming up
      3m 26s
    40. Taking a panning action shot
      10m 17s
    41. Scanning polaroid negatives and processing in Photoshop
      8m 17s
    42. Shooting a silhouette
      3m 9s
    43. Going with an ultra-light gear configuration
      5m 29s
    44. Working with masks and calculations in Photoshop
      12m 38s
    45. Working with flash for macro photography
      4m 55s
    46. Colorizing a black and white photo in Photoshop
      5m 10s
    47. Using duct tape and zip ties in the field
      4m 14s
    48. When the on camera flash is casting a shadow
      3m 4s
    49. Using Lightroom on the road
      6m 28s
    50. Listening to your camera to get good exposure
      2m 20s
    51. Shooting a successful self portrait with a phone
      7m 18s
    52. Switching to Lightroom from another application
      9m 48s
    53. Photographing animals in wildlife refuges
      6m 41s
    54. Shooting level
      2m 42s
    55. Photoshop and Automator
      8m 54s
    56. Shooting when the light is flat
      3m 23s
    57. Discussing the business of stock photography
      9m 48s
    58. Shooting tethered to a monitor
      3m 21s
    59. Making a 360 degree panorama on the iPhone
      4m 45s
    60. Understanding the three flash setup
      3m 34s
    61. Shooting a three flash portrait
      4m 6s
    62. Understanding the differences with third party lenses
      4m 43s
    63. Understanding why files look different on depending on device
      5m 25s
    64. Working with a geotagging app on the iPhone
      4m 43s

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The Practicing Photographer
6h 38m Appropriate for all May 16, 2013 Updated Jul 17, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In The Practicing Photographer, photographer and teacher Ben Long shares a weekly serving of photographic instruction and inspiration. Each installment focuses on a photographic shooting scenario, a piece of gear, or a software technique. Each installment concludes with a call to action designed to inspire you to pick up your camera (or your mouse or smartphone) to try the technique for yourself.

Subject:
Photography
Author:
Ben Long

Shooting a three flash portrait

As far as setup goes, I'm just thinking of this rig as a single light. I'm doing the things I would normally do if I was setting up the flash. I've got Krissy here on a stool, I've decided to work with an umbrella, I've got my light stand, I'm going to get it in the right place. And so I'm just thinking of this as one light source, but of course it's not, It's three different light sources, and I have to figure out how to get my camera to communicate with it. And I don't really do that any way other than how I would if I was using my flashes all spread around. What I've got here are two Canon 600EX-RTs and a Yongnuo YN-560.

This an very inexpensive all-manual flash, and two Canon flashes that have built-in radio transmitters in them and I've got my radio controller here on my camera. So I'm going to have radio control to two of these flashes. The all-manual flash is being set to trigger by the optical flash of my two Canon flashes. I could actually have two of these Yongnuo ones and just a single radio one. Or if I had flashes that were controlled by infrared I could have an infrared transmitter on my camera, and as long as I had good line of sight to my flashes, everything would work.

So I'm really just doing the same communication concerns that I would have, if I was setting up multiple flashes in different locations. Depending on the way that you communicate with your flashes, you may need to be careful when you're shopping for a three-way bracket. If you need to have infrared connection between the three flashes in your rig here, then you need to be sure that you can get all the little IR windows aimed at each other and that kind of thing. That might require a different bracket than what I'm using here. There are a lot of different options for multiple-flash brackets. You can get some that let you mount two flashes, some that let you mount three, you can get rails that let you mount four or six or eight or whatever, so you have a lot of options out there.

Your main consideration is, does it rig to the stands that you have and can you get the communication needs that your particular flash system has. So, what I want to show you right now, I said already that I don't really need three flashes in terms of lighting for this situation, I can get by just fine with a single flash in here but my batteries are low, they're not recharging very quickly. So, by using multiple flashes, and yeah, I could just change the batteries rather than buying the $30 flash bracket and all that, but still, this is really cool I'm going to use multiple flashes to speed up my recycle time.

So I've got one flash turned on right now. I've got the flash in manual mode just so that I can really take control of,of how much power I'm using. Just for the sake of example here, I'm going to put this back a little bit. So I'm going to take a shot here at full power with one flash, so you can see how much light I'm getting. So, this is what I've got, it's a little hot. I might want to turn the power down a little bit or move the flash a little bit further away, but I'm not going for aesthetics right now. I just want to show you how all of this flash power balances out.

So, I'm going to turn on this second Canon flash, and I chose the Canon flash because I can control both of those from my control over, controller over here so it's very easy. And I'm going to dial my power down to half power. So now, instead of using one flash at full power, I'm using two flashes at half power, which should be the same amount of light that I was getting out of one flash at full power. So, if I look at these. Yes, this looks pretty much like the same amount of light.

The thing is my flashes will now recycle twice as quickly because I'm only burning up half the power. I can turn on a third flash and pick up even more recycle time. So, when working with a model where expressions are fleeting and changing very quickly and you want to be able to work fast, this is a really nice way of buying yourself speedier shooting, speedier flash shooting. It's a drag to have that perfect moment and fire off the shot and the flashes don't go because they're still recharging. This buys me a much faster shooting capability. And then when I go outside and work kind of against the bright ambient light that might be outside in bright sunlight, I've got right now, an extra stop and a half of flash power to play with.

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