In today’s Slanted Lens lighting tutorial we are out at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Our lesson will look at how to blend strobes lighting with daylight, so that the image does not look artificially lit. We will look at a method that I use to see what the strobes are doing in daylight and to help you better control them when the modeling lights are not bright enough to guide you. For our shots today we have an old wooden boat as a prop to work with. Out talent, Mary, will be wearing a dark vintage dress and be bare foot in the ice cold water. I wanted her to wear something dark so it will contrast against the light sky. In our last shot we will switch her to a light dress as it gets darker, so it’s easier to get her to stand out against the darker sky. Let’s take a look at shooting strobes in daylight. Keep those cameras rolling and keep on click’n.
Make sure you stick around to the end of the video because today we’re going to launch our new Slant Lens giveaway, a Tamron 24-70mm lens. So stick around to the end of the video to see how you can enter to win.
In today’s Slanted Lens lesson we’re out at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Our lesson today will take a look at how to blend strobes with daylight when it is very bright outside. How can you see your strobes and see what they’re doing? We’ll take a look at some tips on how to do that.
Our town has been freezing today. It’s been a long day for her, but Mary has been great. In our last two shots of the day, we’ll look at blending strobes with daylight so the image does not look artificially lit. We’ll also use a method that I use that allows me to see my strobes and what they’re doing when I’m shooting in broad daylight.
For our shot today, we have an old wooden boat as a prop to work with. For our first shot Mary will be wearing a dark vintage dress, and be barefoot in that ice cold water. As it gets darker, for our last shot, we’re going to switch her to a lighter dress so she’ll stand out better against the sky as it darkens. Let’s get started and see what we can do.
We will use a medium softbox as a key source to light her face. This will be the only light source other than the ambient light. When I scouted the location, I looked for a direction to have a great view in the background and had the sun to my left. This will make a nice light on her face that I can strengthen with my strobes. I’m not going to try to replace it, I’m going to simply strengthen what’s already happening there. Blending these two sources together will make it look natural together.
Here’s our first shot with only the sunlight.
Not a bad look on its own, but I want to punch up the highlight on her face just a little bit. I’m going to place my strobes on the same access as the hazy sun and strengthen the highlight that’s already there. We will add the strobe from camera left, to get a nice highlight on her face. I’m using that portable power source by Dynalite. I truly love these, they’re perfect. I tied the power source to one stand, the pack to a different stand; this makes it very convenient for me to put these out on the water and be able to work with them. These are a great power source when you’re on location.
Here’s our first shot with only the sunlight. Here’s a shot adding our strobe in. This gives me just the right amount of punch on her face and feels very natural. We’re going to get out our Rosco Smoker to give us just a little bit of haze in the sky as we shoot. We have a nice look as it kind of floats across the background and floats across the boat. As the sun gets lower, I’m going to have her change her dress to a lighter dress and move to set up the final shot. Here’s some of the final shots for that first set-up. I do love the monochromatic look with the red shoes.
When I shoot outside I often use this method to better understand what my strobes are doing. I’m going to demonstrate that in this following setup. I know that my strobes are on full power with a soft box. That’s going to give me about F8. So I will set my aperture at F8 and using the in-camera meter under expose the scene by two stops. Remember, when we’re shooting outside, we generally control the ambient with the shutter speed and the strobes with the aperture.
My first image looks just like this. Not much to see, everything is very dark. Now when I add my first strobe I can see very clearly what its going to do. Here’s the soft box from the camera left side. I can see where its going to hit her body. I can see the shadow its going to make on the ground.
I will now add a second strobe head from behind her on the boat. This head has only a reflector on it. I will now raise my shutter speed by one stop and look at what its doing. Its still a little too dark in the background and the strobes are just a little too obvious. It needs to be blended just a little better. So I’m going to raise my ambient just a little higher. I’m going to raise my shutter speed one more stop. This feels much better to me now. I like the balance of the strobes with the background. I feel like my strobes look like a sunlight coming in from camera left. It feels very comfortable in the scene. I will now lengthen the shutter speed, as it gets darker, to keep the background exposed correctly. You can see our lesson on balancing strobes with the setting sun to see how this is done.
At this point we’re going to chase the sun by lengthening our shutter speed. Here are some of the images.
I took one of the boat images in to Nick’s Software and applied a vintage effect to the image. I then also added a white vignette around the edges. I like this high-key look. I used also a color crossover filter to add red to the shoes and her lips. I really think this looks nice.
What I’ve learned today is we use a strobe to strengthen the light that’s already there, but also can use a method of darkening the shutter in order to see exactly what our strobes are doing, and then bring the ambient back up to blend it with our strobes. You don’t have to completely change the lighting in the scene. Sometimes strobes can simply strengthen the lighting that’s already there.
I hope this was a beneficial to you as it was to me. Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clicking.
We are so thankful that Tamron has allowed us to give away one of their high-end 24-70mm SP lenses. This is a great lens. It’s a DI-VC lens, so it has that vibration control. That means you can use it on set where you’re doing handheld moves, gives a nice movement, really a nice fluid lens when you use it in that way. Very silent motor when you do your auto-focusing. This is the first lens that I put on, the first one I go to when I start to frame a shot. It gives that slightly long telephoto to slightly wide range in the middle that makes it very valuable. With the nine blade aperture it gives us wonderful looking bokeh.
So this is a great lens. We’re excited for each of you to have an opportunity to win it. Click on the button below. You can go there several times a week and click on it and enter. There’s several ways to enter, so you can enter at multiple times. Make sure you get in to win. Its going to be up for two or three weeks so back to the site, keep entering as many times as you possibly can. This is a great lens, worth the time to enter.
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