Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video What you need for this course, part of Advanced Photography: Flash.
- I'm assuming that you already understand the basics of flash exposure and that you have probably gained that understanding through the use of handheld flash units, or speedlights. In addition, I'm assuming that you're comfortable with the terms key light, fill light, and backlight, the three major lighting roles. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can learn all of that stuff in my Photography Foundations: Flash course. If you get confused about any of the basics that we discuss here, you'll find the answers in that course. There are many different kinds of photography which means there are many different kinds of lighting. Architectural photographers for example have particular lighting skillsets depending on whether they shoot interiors or exteriors. Product and food photographers probably engage in the gnarliest, most meticulous lighting chores, while other specialties like macro and underwater shooting have their own concerns. In this course, we're not going to talk about the specifics of any of those types of lighting, though the concepts we cover here will still be relevant to those specialized tasks. Instead, we're going to focus on working with people. Some of the work will be straight portraiture, at other times, we'll be shooting narrative scenarios. For whatever reason, the photography industry generally refers to small, handheld units as flashes, or speedlights, or flashguns, while larger units are referred to as strobes or studio strobes. Most of what we'll discuss in this course applies to either of these and many of the setups you'll see will work with either small flashes or larger strobes. When speaking in the abstract about a lighting issue, I will use these terms interchangeably. I think it will be obvious when I'm using a specific term to refer to a specific kind of light. If you want to buy a handheld flash or studio strobe, the last section of this course will walk you through all of the decisions and considerations you'll face when doing that, including deciding between a small flash or a larger strobe. If you want to follow along with your own experiments along the way, then you'll need a camera, a flash or strobe, some modifiers, and a subject. You don't have to have high-end gear and you don't have to have as much gear as I'm going to show you here. My goal is not to teach you specific solutions, but to get you to start thinking about light as a malleable substance that you can control using any number of different tools and techniques. The specific gear is not as important as the understanding because through that understanding, you'll be able to make sense of the gear on your own.
- Why use strobes instead of continuous light?
- How to think about light
- How light bounce works
- Learning lighting from existing photos
- Using a flash meter
- Simulating sunlight with shadows
- Using softboxes and umbrellas
- Calculating and using lighting ratios
- Shopping for studio strobes