My Lighting Intensive Workshop With Justin & Mary

Two nights ago, I went to a Justin & Mary workshop in Columbus, and let me just say, it left me with a lot to think about and work on! Flash is one of those things that does not come naturally to me. Every photographer has those weak points, whether it be posing or how to style details at a wedding...Mine, is flash..just the site of the back of my 600 EX-RT makes me want to run for the hills..this thing is like a supercomputer...don't believe me, look at it!  

I know you may be thinking, Angela, come on, there are only six buttons...yes, you are correct, but guess what, each of those controls multiple Menus and settings..this thing is hardcore! Anyway, enough of my babble..the point was, I got to actually figure out how to use these, not only for reception lighting, but also for detail shots and portraits throughout the day. 

They asked us at the beginning of the workshop what we think of when we hear flash: 

-flat images

-harsh light

-blinds people.. 

the list goes on, but the point that they made, and what they taught us, was that flash didn't have to be any of those things, in fact, you can make it look as real as natural sunlight coming in from the window!  **I dispersed a few shots I took so you don't die of boredom reading this post!**

 

Disclaimer, I don't own that giant diffuser box :)

Disclaimer, I don't own that giant diffuser box :)

Ok, so I am going to boil it down to the TOP THREE things I learned yesterday. I hope this helpful to some of you learning flash, or at least interesting :)

First,

The Black Box

When you are in a situation, say in a room where there are a few different colored lights (tungsten, fluorescent, etc) and you cannot adjust your white balance to save your life...this is how it works----You get your camera to shoot completely black by adjusting your shutter speed faster and also by lowering your ISO. If possible, it is best to keep your aperture where you like it.

 

Lighting-workshop_0132.jpg

Once you get the black box (in this case it was in a dark room and my settings were at F 1.4, Shutter 1/200, and ISO at 500) Now, when you use your flash, you won't be competing with all of those color casts, you just have your bounce flash light :) Pretty cool, right?

Next

Understanding Directional Light

This one might be a little more confusing to understand, but once you get it, it seems like you should have always gotten it.

-When shooting objects, say details of a dress at a wedding, this kind of directional light gives depth and richness to your shots.

If you have ever seen a black and white photo and thought, man, that just looks soo perfect, I bet they were making use of some directional light! What I mean by direction is that your main light source is coming from a direction (whether it be the sun or the window) and it hits your subject at an angle..from your subject then to the camera, that creates an angle.

-The most flattering light on most people is somewhere between 45 degrees and 90.

Before I melt your brain, check out my diagram below for the best people angles to shoot from (in regards to the direction of the light). 

directional portrait light diagram.jpg

Hopefully you can imagine a string from the light to the subject and then the subject to the camera, this is what creates your angle. For example, where I have the camera in this particular diagram, it makes it a 45 degree angle. This does a few things: 

-Gives you lots of highlights and shadows all the way across your image creating that depth and richness I was talking about. 

-If you don't have a window or a light source in this situation (and you are indoors) you could have a flash on your camera and bounce it to the side of you to create this same feel. This is something you can do only if you have a flash that you can tilt different directions. 

This was shot at a 90 degree angle from the light

This was shot at a 90 degree angle from the light

Lighting-workshop_0136.jpg

This one is about 100 degrees from the window-subject-to me. Also, for all you art nerds out there, do you see that little triangle of light on her right cheek? This is a signature of the artist Rembrandt, who was a master of light and using it directionally. Can you see how all of the little wrinkles in the robe and features on her face can be seen? For all you photographers out there that try to do this post production, think of the time you would save if this was coming straight out of the camera!?

Thirdly

Wedding Photography Transcends

We are not just there to document your day so that you can look at it for a few years, but we are there to give you you something, proof that your love existed in history for generations to come. Mary shared an awesome story about her grandparents and how they have one photo from their wedding..just ONE! But the question is, did that photographer, or even my grandparent's photographer have any clue how much it would mean to us now to have that photo?! This idea makes me want to do better and be a better photographer. One that transcends trends and the latest wedding blog, I want to create images that 60 years later, stand the test of time! 

Lighting-workshop_0134.jpg

Thanks for inspiring me Justin and Mary Marantz, I hope you had an awesome time in Columbus!


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My Lighting Intensive Workshop With Justin & Mary

Two nights ago, I went to a Justin & Mary workshop in Columbus, and let me just say, it left me with a lot to think about and work on! Flash is one of those things that does not come naturally to me. Every photographer has those weak points, whether it be posing or how to style details at a wedding...Mine, is flash..just the site of the back of my 600 EX-RT makes me want to run for the hills..this thing is like a supercomputer...don't believe me, look at it!