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Rim Lighting

Photography TipsHave you ever tried to use rim lighting? It's a great thing to know if you haven't learned yet, and here's a short refresher if you already know. When there's a light on the far side of someone, the light leaks through right around their head illuminating their hair or hat. Sometimes the line can be so crisp that it looks as though they're being cut out. Rim light is beautiful, and it adds a ton of visual interest to a photo. The real win here is taking an extra second to try and look around your environment for some kind of rim lighting. Don't settle for the light you're given, find better light. And also plan to show up during golden hour, instead of trying to do photoshop later and add in something fake. More about rim lighting from New York Institute Of Photography: https://www.nyip.edu/photo-articles/cameras-and-gear/what-is-rim-lighting

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Speedlight Photography Techniques: The Flash Tour

Today we’re talking about speedlight flash and I’m just going to take you on a quick tour around the main four things that you need to know when you’re using flash! This is the Yongnuo 560-II and I love it. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other flashes, but it’s perfect for what I need. The first thing we’re going to talk about is: #1 Intensity Of The Flash. This is the fraction that you’ll see on the side of your flash. We’ll get 1/4 power, you’ll have 1/8 power, 1/16 power etc. Those are just fractions of 100%. So if you have 1/1, then that is going to be 100% of the flash’s power. If you’re at 1/2, that’s half the flash’s power. I usually start around 1/8th, that works the best for me. I never point the flash directly at somebody, so if you do that type of flash photography you may need to go even lower. I’m always shooting into an umbrella or shooting it against the wall or whatever. #2 Zoom Of The Flash. Zoom of the flash is how WIDE the flash is. So this right here: look at the element inside. Do you see how that’s moving? That’s putting the element either closer to the front of the flash or back down in the depths of the flash, and what that means is — think about if you’re shooting flash through a tube, it’s only going to hit a smaller area. But if you don’t put it in a tube, it’ll spread out super wide. So this is basically just a tube, so if you bring the element all the way down inside the flash, it’s going to be very concentrated in one area instead of super wide. So the way […]

Speedlight Photography – How To Create Drastic Moody Images With One Speedlight

Hi and welcome to this Grainhappy tutorial on speedlight photography – “How To Create Drastic Moody Images With One Speedlight”. This video is for people who are currently struggling with their speedlight: You know how to turn it on, you know how to take a picture with it, but you’re just not pleased with how your pictures are turning out. This is a look into all the different looks you can get just by playing around with that speedlight – moving it around, trying some different modifiers. Oh and P.S. If you’re trying to learn how to use flash, definitely snag my free Flash Secrets eBook here! The items I show in this video that I use are a photographic umbrella, umbrella bracket to connect to stand, triggers, and the speedlight itself. I’m going to talk about the light A LOT today, I’m going to talk about shadows and how you can tell where they light is coming from and different things that can happen with light that will affect your shots. So! Let’s get into it: So honestly the main secret to taking these drastic moody images just using one speedlight is getting that speedlight off the camera using a trigger system and in the case of many of these photos I’m actually also using an umbrella to try to spread out that light instead of having that light come from such a small little tiny source, I’m having the light come from a bigger source which makes the shadows look even better! And getting that flash off the camera is absolutely huge for creating these awesome moody shots. Okay so here is shot #1: The first thing I want you to take a look at is the shadows, because if we can reverse engineer what the shadows are doing […]

QPT 004 – Beach Photos And The Hand Method

Frustrated with your beach photos? Or do you want to make the best of a location when there’s no shade to hide behind? Listen to this podcast to find out how you should think through it. Please oh please, don’t use your forward facing Speedlight on the beach. Holy goodness no. At a wedding photography seminar a few years ago, I met Joe Buissink (photographer for J Lo and some other celebs) and he gave me some awesome advice I asked, if you were on a beach and you couldn’t hide anywhere underneath shade, what would you do? Here’s the thought – if you turn your subject away from the sun, the shadows don’t come in at harsh side angles that lead to a huge ugly nose shadow, or raccoon eyes bc the brow bone hangs over the eye. Even though the face is darker because you have your subject look away from the sun, you have plenty of light. You give up a “perfectly exposed” shot because they’re so dark compared to the background, but we would totally rather have that than the ugly nose shadows or raccoon eyes. Turn away from the huge source of light if there’s a huge difference between the dark and light areas on the face. Also! Joe Buissink suggested to use the wedding dress as a reflector to bounce light up into her face (you can make a reflector out of anything white!) Walk 360 degrees around your subject as they rotate to stay facing you, to be able to see what type of shadows are created. Popping a flash doesn’t really help. Adding bad light doesn’t solve any problems. Purchased a three light setup? Don’t set up all three lights. Set up one light first. Work with it until you love it, THEN add another light. You […]

QPT 002 – Shooting In Dim Light

We’ve all been there. Dark locations suck. ISO is a sponge. It soaks up light. If ISO is high (~6400), it soaks up light really well. If ISO is low (~200), it doesn’t soak up light well. High ISO will give you a bunch of grain, though: dots of red, green, and blue within your black shades. Low ISO will give you clarity, and a really clean dark black. But then again you need a bunch of light to be able to shoot at a low ISO First suggestion here: purchase a new lens. The kit lens is not that great of a lens, because it doesn’t have a large aperture. Aperture for a lens is like the pupil of your eye: the black part of your eye that changes sizes Cheaper lenses have really small pupil sizes, small aperture (like starting at f3.5 or f4) Aperture f1.4 or f1.8 is a really large aperture, great for low light. Second suggestion here: purchase lighting! Get a speedlight, like this one. Grab the Flash Secrets eBook if you’re just beginning with a speedlight! Designing your own lighting is really fun, it doesn’t have to be a backup plan, it could very well be the main plan! You get to make your light whatever you want it to be.

Photography Tips For Beginners: Bounce Cards

Hi and welcome to this Grainhappy tutorial, Photography Tips For Beginners: Bounce Cards! This is the second of the tutorials about speedlights. This is meant for super beginners so if you already know a little bit about speedlights this probably isn’t the tutorial for you. In video #1 we talked about flash intensity, the zoom of the flash, and also the angle of the flash. And in this tutorial we are going to be talking about bouncing the flash. So! Take a look at your flash, right behind the element and see if you can find a bounce card back there. If you don’t have one of these, it’s totally fine, because it’s pretty much an index card. Get something similar to the size of an index card and rubberband it to the back of your flash and you’ll have pretty much the same thing that I have. Now the reason why you’d use this is — it allows two things to happen. The first thing is: some light from the flash is going to come up, hit the bounce card, and then travel towards your subject. The second thing that’s gonna happen is the light from the flash is going to go straight up towards the ceiling and then shower down on your subject. Now let’s break those two things apart. I think about flash a little bit like you’re tossing a plate and it breaks and shatters down, so if I toss a plate up, that light is just gonna kinda scatter and just kinda shower down all over the place. So think about high noon when the sun is directly above you in the sky, you’re going to start to get these raccoon eyes, just these black holes in people’s eyes because the direction of the light […]

Photography Tips For Beginners: Speedlights 101

Hi and welcome to this Grainhappy tutorial (Photography Tips For Beginners). Today we’re talking about: Speedlights! Now if you know a little bit about these already, this is probably going to be the wrong tutorial for you. This is a super, super beginner tutorial. This is meant for people who have pretty much never used a Speedlight before. So! Let’s get into it: This is a Yongnuo YN560-II. It does everything we need it to do. It does not have ETTL (which basically means flash “auto”, having the flash kind of think for you how bright it should be). I don’t like the flash thinking for me, I want to make my own choices, So I just leave it on manual and it does a perfect job. There are three things that you want to think about when you are working with a flash, especially as a beginner: #1: Intensity The first thing that you want to think about is flash intensity. Now that’s what these fractions mean, so 1/1, 1 over 2, 1 over 4, these are just simple fractions to give you an idea of how much flash power is coming out. So just remember from fourth grade when you did fractions. 1/1 = 1. So that’s going to be 100% of the flash power coming out. Super bright! I rarely use 1/1. And then you can do 1/2, 1/4, 1/8th power, and then you can go in between 1/8th and 1/4th if you want just a little bit more light or a little bit less light — you don’t have to do just the straight up fractions, you can go 1/8th power plus .5 or 1/8th power plus .7. #2: Zoom The second thing that you need to think about is the zoom. Now the zoom right […]