If you’re just breaking into the world of lighting, you may want to devote a couple hours to Erik Valind’s recent seminar on controlling off-camera lighting. While the course is aimed at beginners, there are still tips scattered throughout the video that even a seasoned pro might find useful. Valind used a model to shoot live examples of different topics for the viewers, it really kept the seminar interesting and on track. Take a look:
It would be nearly impossible to cover everything that Valind covers in the video, but here are few highlights that you might be able to use:
- Don’t focus on the light and forget about the shadow, or vice versa. Look at how the highlights and shadows work together to create drama and try to capture that. Not one or the other, both.
- Know how to create soft light. The larger the light source is and the closer it is to the subject, the softer the light will be.
- Manual Mode. Shoot in manual mode to give you complete control of your camera settings.
- ISO controls light globally, shutter speed controls ambient light, and aperture controls flash power.
- Camera mounted flash. Try bouncing the light off of a wall or ceiling and avoid aiming the flash directly into a subjects face. Most flashes will rotate upwards and swivel around on an axis, use this feature!
- 2 Vital accessories: 60″ reversible umbrella and a 4-in-1 reflector kit. Get a large umbrella as it is easy to make it appear smaller, but impossible to make it larger.
For Further Training on Using Off-Camera Light Sources:
Check out Making Light I & II by Piet Van den Eynde; they take an in-depth look at how to get the most from your off-camera flashes. The author goes beyond sync speed and softboxes and gets into the details of working with multiple flashes, modifiers, and triggering systems. Learn how to fill in harsh shadows, balance ambient light, rescue fading evening light, or substitute for a complete lack of light. Very useful eBooks.
They can be found here sold together at a discount: Making Light I & II
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