Lighting Basics – Class Four: Inverse Square Law (Basics)

Lighting Basics – Class Four: Inverse Square Law (Basics)

Lighting Basics:

Class Four

Light does the same thing every time.

Read the above again, please.

Because it does.

Can you imagine what would happen if every time we pushed a key on a piano we got a different note? How would we make music? If 2+2 is occasionally something other than 4, how would we unlock the mysteries of science with math? If a foot was ‘sorta between 9 and 13 inches’ how would anything ever get built?

Light is the same thing. It has parameters that do not change. It has science that is repeatable and expected and managed built in to it.

It is light.

We can use the sameness and repeatability of light to understand and use light as photographers. We simply have to understand the characteristics of light, and the basics of how it works to be able to manage them.

Light is brighter the closer we are to it. Always.
Light falls off faster the closer we are to it. Always.
While light can be diffused, we can not bend it around corners. Always.
The brighter a light source is, the farther it travels and can be seen.
The farther we are from a light source, the smaller it seems to us.
The farther we are from a light source, the less powerful it is to us.

Always.

There are a couple of absolute rules to learn (and believe me when I say I am not into rules at all) and understand and this is one of them:

“LIGHT FALLS OFF AT FOUR TIMES THE POWER AT TWICE THE DISTANCE.”

The “Inverse Square Law”… yeah, it is terribly scary sounding.

First, it has the word “inverse” in it and what the hell does that mean, then of course it is “squared” and that brings up memories of Mrs. Bartholomew’s algebra class… eeek! And finally… it is a LAW! Scary stuff… but, let’s forge ahead because it is NOT as scary as it sounds.

And it is one of the fundamentals we MUST learn to understand lighting. (I know there are a bunch of photographers wide-eyed right now thinking – “WTF is he doing jumping in at the ISL right off the bat like that?”) Shut up… THIS is probably the single most important understanding of lighting that there is… so much depends on understanding this basic concept.

Let’s take a look at what we really mean by the ISL…

Take an average 8×10 photograph and ask yourself how many 4×5 images you can make out of a single 8×10?

If you answered two, you only counted one edge… and you forgot that the 8×10 is FOUR times the size of a 4×5. Double the 4 to 8 AND double the 5 to 10.

So we doubled one of the lengths, and quadrupled the amount of square inches of coverage. We doubles 4″ to 8″ and that AUTOMATICALLY doubled the 5″ to 10″. And that quadruples the size of the image… not doubling it.

8x10

So if we understand that light is the same way… that it comes from a source both horizontally and vertically, we can see that if we double one distance – horizontal, we automatically double the other distance. – vertical.

If we were using a light that covered 4×5 at 2 feet, and backed up to have it fill an 8×10, we would have to back up to 4 feet. One foot for each side of the rectangle. At three feet back, we would still not be showing the edges… so we would have 4 times the coverage at 4 feet than we did at 2 feet… and we would be farther back from the 8×10, so the light is less powerful. Four times less powerful.

This basic knowledge of how the light works – every time – is imperative for us to wrap arms around and be able to control.

Question from that guy in the back there… “does it do the same thing in a softbox?”

Yes… mostly. Close enough to work with the knowledge. Anytime we modify a light, we can certainly understand that something is going to change… cause we, well… MODIFIED it.

And no, the ISL is NOT absolutely faithful when we put a softbox or an umbrella or something on the light… but it is damn close and well within the parameters WE need it to be. Yes, we will have to finesse it a bit, but there is a big difference between finessing it and not having a freeking clue.

Here is a link to a very good tutorial on the Inverse Square Law.

And another good link with a very good illustration.

 Building a Tool for Exposure Based on the Inverse Square Law.

Let’s start with power. How bright the flash is at a given distance. For purposes of this discussion we will use the ISO of 100. We will add a table for conversion as well. At this point, the ambient light and shutter speed are not relevant. Choose a normal situation or somewhere where you can comfortably shoot. The power of the strobe is not related to the ambient light at this point. We will get to mixing the ambient with the daylight next week.

Get your light meter. What, no meter? Then get a gray card or digital target. You are also going to need about 8ft of twine or my favorite – clothesline twine – available at most supermarkets. We are going to only use a part of it, so the rest of it can go in your location kit. You can’t believe how handy 30ft of cord comes in sometimes.

Building our LoTech Meter:
Put your flash on 1/8 power. Manual setting at 1/8. Got it?
Why do we start at 1/8 power? Because it gives us a mean reading where we have the ability to go up and down with the power settings. If we start at full power, we can only go down. I like flexibility, so I do it my way – you still get the same readings of course, this is my way of doing it. Your shutter speed wont matter at this point, but pick a nice neutral one like 1/125 or so. We can go up and down from there later.

You can see I am using an older model 430 EZ here. Setting on Manual and at 1/8 power. I have this one set at zoom level of 80mm, but you will set yours to 50mm or so.

You can see I am using an older model 430 EZ here. Setting on Manual and at 1/8 power. I have this one set at zoom level of 80mm, but you will set yours to 50mm or so.

Now set the zoom to the middle point as well. Not out to 135mm and not back to 24 mm. I use the 50mm setting on my 430. These settings on the strobes exist for shaping the light when it is on your hotshoe… the longer lenses (like 85mm, 135mm) require a more narrow light, while wider lenses need a wider throw of light. When the light is narrow for the long lenses, it actually can become stronger. Put your strobe on a stand and attach a trigger to it. You don’t have to, but it is way easier and makes having a second person not nearly as important.

Alternate method 1: Light Meter.
Tie a loop into the end of the clothesline cord and loop it over the strobe on the stand. Make it an easy thing to do so you can repeat it on location when you need to.

I use very lo-tech tools here. You can use whatever tools you want. I make a loop and place it at a consistant place on the light.

I use very lo-tech tools here. You can use whatever tools you want. I make a loop and place it at a consistant place on the light.

Take the string out about 6 feet (about… actual distance doesn’t matter) and pull the string slightly taught. Fire the flash for a reading straight at the meter. Check your reading. (Make sure you are still on 1/8 power.) We are looking for an exact reading, not a little over or a little under. An exact f-stop. F11, not F9. When you get the meter in the position to get an exact F-Stop… and you are out about 6ft or so, then make a knot in the cord at that point.

We are not looking for a fixed distance like 6feet, rather a fixed F-Stop like F-11

We are not looking for a fixed distance like 6feet, rather a fixed F-Stop like F-11

Gratuitous shot of a knot for anyone not knowing what a knot was. Sorry... Heh.

Gratuitous shot of a knot for anyone not knowing what a knot was. Sorry… Heh.

Remove the loop around the strobe and double the length. Make a knot at that point and cut the cord. You should now have a long piece of string with a knot in the middle. Good.

We have our meter in basic form. Now take the length between the middle knot and the loop and make a knot in the middle of it. Ending up with a cord with a loop and a knot half way to the middle knot and a final knot at the end.

We want to have a knot in the middle to give us another guide point

We want to have a knot in the middle to give us another guide point

Alternative method 2:
Setup and method is the same, but we are using a gray card instead of a meter. The camera is mounted next to the strobe and we place the gray card at a distance to get a centered spike in the histogram. Dead center, not to one side or the other even by a spec… dead center.

Here is exactly how I would do it. Place the strobe next to camera and aim it toward a gray card on a stand. Make sure you fill the frame with only the gray card, no extraneous background. Put the camera on f-11. Shoot the shot and check the histogram. It should be dead center. If it isn’t, you can adjust as needed. When you find that spot where the histogram spikes dead center, it will be the point to start.

(EDIT There was mention that the math here does not exactly match the “Inverse Square Law” as it truly exists. That is absolutely true. However, ISL only applies to point source light in a specific shaped parabolic umbrella. My ‘cord’ meter is not that exact, and you may have to adjust a little bit. I know that I have used it in decades before – on chrome – and it was damn close. We are looking for damn close here… we will always want to tweak. However, if you want to do the math correctly it would look thus:
– 2x – 2.8x – 4x – 5.6x – 8x
Now that puts that center forward knot at about a 1/4 stop under (2.8 slightly less than 3) and the back center area about a half stop under as well (5.6 being slightly less than 6). Theoretically… Next time you all shoot ‘theoretically’ let me know how that worked out for you… I shoot real world pictures. So should you. This is photography, not physics. Try it… then tell me it doesn’t work.

Just remember also that the cord meter costs less than twenty cents. And for twenty cents, it is simply amazing. Next week we get off of ‘theory’ and put it to use. We will all see the results.)

When that center spike is achieved, begin the knotting procedure that is above. You will end up with the same length of string with the knots as indicated.

Now let’s look at our ‘meter.’ We know the f-stop at the middle knot is what we metered it to be. I am going to use f-11 for our discussion as that is what I have on my 430. The knot halfway to the strobe is two stops brighter. (Inverse Square Law…) and is therefor f22. The knot at the very end is two stops less than the middle knot, f-5.6.

After we have the cord knotted, we have a point to start to understand that placement can be critical for using the power for perfect exposures.

After we have the cord knotted, we have a point to start to understand that placement can be critical for using the power for perfect exposures.

Now let’s put some thought into it. If the middle knot is f11, we can make it f16 by increasing the power to 1/4 on the flash or decrease it to f8 by changing the power to 1/16. Choices… These changes also affect the knots in the cord at the other places as well. So we have a repeatable tool for finding the exact power/f-stop we need on most situations.

And the light doesn’t change. It is constantly coming out at that power as long as we have it on that setting, at that distance.

Can you do this with your umbrellas? Absolutely. Warning though, the Inverse Square Law is not quite as accurate so it is better to actually make the readings at the knots that you use. Then the exposures are exactly right. I rarely use my umbrellas at distances larger than 6ft, so that is the basic distance I made my first ‘meter’ to. With adjustment knots in between of course.

Finding the exposure with your umbrella is just as easy. Be aware that the fall off is not quite as accurate as the Inverse Square Law, so you may have to make some manual exposure placement knots.

Finding the exposure with your umbrella is just as easy. Be aware that the fall off is not quite as accurate as the Inverse Square Law, so you may have to make some manual exposure placement knots.

We can now accurately know what our flash units are doing when we pop the trigger.

As an addendum, you may change your flash to the wide angle setting and do it as well as with the more zoomed out flash. You will find that the power will drop when you go for a wider angle and increase when the light is more focused as for longer lenses. Hmmmm… more options.

Assignment: Create a string meter for both your bare flash and your umbrella (whether you shoot predominantly in bounce or shoot thru, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you make your meter for the method you use the most.) Take a few shots to make sure you understand the light coming from the flash is consistent.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Understanding Reciprocals: A Basic Tenant of Exposure

Understanding Reciprocals: A Basic Tenant of Exposure

Lighting Basics, Class Three

I am often asked what do I decide first when making a photograph. The answer is easy… aperture. Aperture changes the way my photographs work more than any other thing. It is important to note that I am not an ‘action’ shooter or sports shooter, for whom shutter speed may be the most important decision you need to make. Shooting action means knowing what shutter speed is needed to make it as sharp as you want it to be.

My work is not shutter speed centric, if that is a term that we can agree on. Aperture controls depth of field, and that is the first thing I look at when deciding what kind of photograph I am going to make, or what kind of look the photograph will have in relationship to the focus of subject / background.

We know that at f-16 things are more in focus in the background than if we shoot the same shot at a ‘wider’ aperture like f-4. Additional situations that can create or diminish the DOF blur is the distance of the subject from the background and how close the subject is to the lens.

Add to that, what the lens is… wide/normal/telephoto and we see there are lots of things to think about along with the aperture itself. The shot below was shot on an 80-200MM f2.8L lens and it is zoomed to 200MM. I shot this image at f2.8 so that I could maximize the blur behind her, and distinctly show her face in detail. As you can see, the DOF is so shallow that the back of her head is falling out of focus. Exactly what I wanted, so aperture first was the most important decision. The background was a house and bushes probably 30 feet behind her. 7

The same lens was used in the studio before, but I wanted all of the subject in focus. Front of the nose to the back of the hair. The crispness was what I was seeking. I chose f-11 for this shot so that the DOF would be deep enough with the lens being as long as it was and as close as it was.

bri-hdshot-1

The image below was taken in Florida and the first thing I determined was that with my 200MM lens at f2.8, I would not be able to get all of her face in focus. Knowing that the background was simply sky and clouds as far behind her as possible, I could grab a little more depth of field and still have the feeling of a very shallow photograph. I chose f-5 for this shot and kept both of her eyes in focus as well as most of her hair. The background seems to be as blurred as the background in the first shot because it is so far behind her.

rio

We know that lens length can affect DOF as well. Below is a photograph taken in Bermuda. I used my 20-35MM f2.8 L Canon for the shot, and I was set at f-4. Look at how much more the background is in focus behind her. At this distance, the wide angle lens has much more DOF than a telephoto making the same image. (Part of your assignment for next time.)

a_MG_5079

A wide angle lens used at maximum aperture (f22) was able to keep the subject in the foreground AND the windmill in the background in very sharp focus. This shot, taken in a Minnesota corn field, was done with the 20-35MM zoom at 20MM. The resulting image has full depth of field.

windmill2

In order to do this in a reasonable amount of deliberation, it is important to understand our reciprocals… the relationship of shutter speed to aperture to ISO needed for exposure.

ISO 100

f-2.0 @ 1/4000
f-2.8 @ 1/2000
f-4 @ 1/1000
f-5.6 @ 1/500
F-8 @ 1/250
f-11 @ 1/125
f-16 @ 1/60
f-22 @ 1/30

As the aperture becomes smaller, the shutter speed gets longer. The same amount of light is coming in based on brightness (aperture) and time duration (shutterspeed), but it is rendered much differently on the film or sensor. F-2 has far less DOF than f-8 with the same lens at the same distance.

I do everything at ISO 100 to start. That is my base and I can make simple decisions faster if I have the same base for each situation. NOTE that I do not necessarily SHOOT at ISO all the time, I just use it for a simple base. So if I know that we are shooting at ISO 100, and the meter says f-8 @ 1/250 I can make a decision rather quickly… I want to shoot the picture for minimal DOF and that means f2.8 or f-2, right?

So I simply open up the aperture three stops (5.6 to 4 to 2.8) and shorten the shutter speed the same equivalence of three stops as well… 500 to 1000 to 2000. The exposure of f2.8 @ 1/2000 is the same as f-8 @ 1/500 but the image has less DOF.

Knowing how to use reciprocals, and working with them on every shoot will help you understand the choices YOU must make for your own imagery.

In the shot below, I was using a Canon 50MM f-1.4 lens. I knew how much DOF I needed to keep the three subjects in focus, and set the camera settings for EXACTLY that setting – f2.8 to be exact. At a wider aperture (f2 for example) one of the two ladies would have been out of focus. Being able to take a meter reading and make the reciprocal changes in my head meant that I was able to catch the shot as the light began to play in and out of the clouds.

IMG_7854-Edit

Tutorials from YouTube:


Assignment: 1.

Telefoto or Zoom Lens:
1. Frame a subject at the longest length you have on your zoom. A tightly cropped headshot or similar. Shoot a set of reciprocals for your test. Start at f-16 and end up at the widest aperture you have. Meter for f-16, then adjust by quickening the shutterspeed for each adjustment wider on the lens.

f-16 @ 1/125
f-11 @ 1/250
f-8  @ 1/500
f-5.6 @ 1/1000
f-4 @ 1/2000
f-2.8 @ 1/4000

2. Leaving the zoom at it’s longest setting walk backwards to get a full length shot of the subject. Do the same exposure range as you did before.

3. Now use your normal lens, or zoom back on your zoom and make the same set of exposures at the same crop… so you will now be closer to your subject with a bit of a wider lens (50MM / 70MM on the big zooms).

4. Put on a wide angle lens and come in close to approximately the same distance. Do the same exposure exercise as above. Pull all the images into Lightroom or Bridge and compare. Notice how the exposures are the same, for each series – in fact they should all match exposure wise, but how wildly different they look with the different lenses, and the different apertures.

This is a great exercise to do to get familiar with WHY you make the choices you do and how those choices affect the way the final image looks.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Lighting Basics, Class Two

Lighting Basics, Class Two

The Lighting Angle: Part One

Now that we are starting to understand the metering a bit better, we are going to look at how the angle of the light can create different presentations – AND different exposure situations.

The camera is a fixed position. It is where the Point of View is coming from, and it always presents one leg of our triangle. There is a straight line drawn from camera to subject when looking through the lens.

angle-1

 

We call this the “Axis” of the camera to the subject. Since the subject is always what is in front of our lens, this is a fixed angle.

Shifting the light from front to side to back creates all sorts of interesting changes in our subject. These changes are brought about by contrast, shadows, angles of shadows, and can be used to reveal or hide texture.

Front light is coming from on axis of the camera or very near the axis of the camera. Angled light (45 degrees) can actually be anywhere from slightly off camera axis to the point where it becomes side light.

Once we move the light back behind the model any distance back from the 90 degree side light, it would be considered backlight. And something other than that light source would become the ‘main’ light even if it was not as bright as the backlight.

axis

Front Light Example:

swimsuit-use

 

Briana is lit from the sun which is over my shoulders. Notice the ‘flat presentation’ of skin and the shape of her arms and legs. Dimension is not presented well, and that is the point of front light. It flattens and contains dimension. Front light can be a particular favorite of some fashion shooters as it creates something akin to studio lighting, and alleviates many distresses on the skin.

Meter from the skin at the same axis as the camera. Using your in camera meter, choose any middle gray reflectance you wish, or by understanding the exposure (see class one) you can “place” the exposure where you want it to be.

Side Light Example:

port-superior-use

 

In this shot of a man I met in Superior, Arizona, I used the sunlight from a side position to give texture to his face, hair and denim clothes. Light from the side meant that I had two areas of light on his face… the direct light, and the shadow (ambient) to base my metering on. I was very careful to use the dome of my meter right in front of him with the light striking the dome the same way it was striking him… half with directional light, and half with the ‘shadow’ or ambient light.

The resulting exposure indication would be very close to what I needed, and I double checked it through my in camera meter by placing the spot meter on the white t-shirt in the sun and opening up two stops (from middle gray, the reflection that gave me the reading – to the actual placement of the white shirt at a point that would still be white, with texture; two stops brighter than the indicated exposure reading.

See the Using a Photographic Light Meter on UDEMY (Assignment One). This class is free for all photographers.

Side / Back Light Example

jeans-4

 

In this shot the light is coming from the side and slightly back. This is a ‘rim light’ use, and can be thought of as a “special”. The sun is indeed the main illumination tool here, but the “Main Light” that is providing the light on Briana is the ambient light of the sky above her and behind the camera. The sun is adding the rim affect, and is brighter than the main light.

Notice that the sun still lights up part of Briana’s hands, chest, vest and hair. Notice that these areas are brighter than she is – as they should be. Basing (or placing) the exposure on her face presents us with a slightly brighter side light. This is more natural than if we had based the exposure on the side light on her chest or hands which would have rendered  the image much darker.

Back Light Example:

headshot

 

The sun is coming from behind Briana, and I based the exposure totally on her face. The sun then becomes quite bright and even provides nearly overexposed skin on her shoulder and arm. By placing the exposure on her face, we keep the skin tones of the subject area correct.

I used a handheld Minolta meter for each of these shots. With the ambient exposure dome pointed at the camera, I was very careful to keep all direct light (like the sun) from spilling over on the ambient dome so it would ONLY measure the light as it was presented to the subject – and therefor back to the camera.

In all examples I point the dome directly AT the camera and on the axis line.

Alternatives would be to come in close with the camera filling the frame with the subjects face and taking the reading from the camera. Making sure that all I was reading was the face or cheeks, and that there was no extraneous bright areas or flare from a backlight, I would take the exposure meter reading (thus finding the exposure for middle gray) and open up by one stop to “place” that skin tone at the proper reflectance. (For Caucasion skin I open one stop. For Hispanic or Latin skin, I keep the exposure and for dark, African skin I stop down one stop. These are my rules of thumb and I use them as guidelines to make sure that the reflectance levels remain true to the values I want to portray in the image.

Keep working on the first nine chapters of the Udemy course linked on assignment one. (This is a free course.)

Additional Assignment:

Shoot a person in full on sun, but not “noon” sun from above. Either early in the morning or later in the afternoon so the sun is coming more at an angle to the subject. How much of an angle is up to you, but I like to work with a shallow shadow under the chin. If the shadow under the chin goes all the way to the neckbones, the sun is still too high. This is done with the subject looking at the sun.

Shoot them in the same position but keep taking two steps to your left or right. No farther from them and keep them the same size in the viewfinder, but keep stepping away from the sun on axis until you reach a spot where the sun is slightly behind the subject. The subject turns in place to keep looking straight at you.

This will take you from front light to angled light to side light to slightly back side light.

You may keep on turning if you want to go all the way to full backlight.

IMPORTANT: DO THIS TWICE.

The first time take the reading of the full on axis sun, and leave that setting as you continue around your arc.

The second time, use either the handheld meter or the one in your camera to make exposures  come out correctly to your taste as you go around.

(HINT: a gray card should remain the same exposure as you work your way around the second time. Have your subject hold that card and base exposure on that as you go around the arc.)

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Lighting Basics, Class One: Light and Exposure

Lighting Basics, Class One: Light and Exposure

WELCOME TO THE CLASS… ENJOY LEARNING.

This is Lighting Basics… a way to get a fundamental instruction in the art and science of photography. It is geared toward beginners, and those who are mid level but have not had formal training of any kind. Please do all the assignments, it will help you more fully understand photography and how to make better photographs.

– Don


Light and Exposure:

Understanding the qualities of light and exposure means we have to master a tool that is part of our camera system… the light meter.

Here is a link to my UDEMY class in using a light meter. We discuss the handheld meter and the meter in your camera. The class is free, and I want you to start there.

I want you to study the chapters 1 – 9 and understand that information. The goal of this first exercise is to acquaint yourself with the power of understanding a light meter.

Note: If you do not use a handheld meter, do not worry about it. Just watch to understand the principles of how a handheld meter works. It is also important to know that your camera is equipped with a reflective light meter… so it works the same way as the reflected light meter on my handheld meter.

You only have to go through the course up through Lecture 9. Please go through all the lectures up to lecture nine so you can do the following assignments.

Camera meter settings:

I usually recommend using the spot meter setting or at least the center weighted meter setting. With my camera on spot meter, I can use it very much like the handheld meter in the videos you watched. I can pick out and choose what I want my light metering to be based on. I can move in close to fill the frame with a gray door or a black shirt… and get the reading I want. I then make the exposure based on what I know… that black is reading two stops OVER and white is reading two stops UNDER. Or damn close anyway.

For the assignments here, please use your camera on spot or center weighted and make as close to accurate reading EXACTLY on the part of the scene you want to use to base your exposure.

Assignments:

  1. Find something black to photograph. Car tires, black leather jacket, a small pile of charcoal… something black, but NOT shiny. Make an exposure based on what your meter says, then make an adjustment in your mind to where you want to “place” that black and take another exposure. Note where the exposures fall and what you did to compensate for the obviously incorrect exposure that was indicated by your camera meter.
  2. Find something white to photograph. Brides dress, white shirt, white brick building. Make an exposure reading based on the reading and then adjust in your head to make a second exposure. Note where the exposures fall and what you did to compensate for the obviously incorrect exposure that was indicated by your camera meter.
  3. Look around your location and find subjects that look like they are middle gray. Meter them with your camera and shoot the image with that exposure.How did you do? Is that exposure based on what you considered middle gray correct? If it is, find another subject. If not… where does it fall? If it is too light, it will be necessary to move the exposure down to compensate. If it is too dark, open the exposure till it is correct.
  4. Repeat the above for at least 30 minutes. Becoming familiar with how the meter works in your camera is very important and will be a real lifesaver when you need an accurate exposure fast.

You can see in this portrait of our dear leader… heh… where we found the middle gray reflectance to base exposure on.

dad-percentage-color

And here is the image in grayscale so you can see how close the reflectances are without color involved.

dad-percentage-bw

Remember that the meter does not see colors, it sees the amount of luminance that the subject is reflecting. You can more clearly see in the second shot how close all the reflectances are.

When you are comfortable using the spot meter to make readings, and your mind to adjust those readings to make the exposure correctly, you can move on to the next assignment.

 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Lighting Basics: The Introduction

Lighting Basics: The Introduction

It’s February 1, 2014.

This begins the “Year of Teaching” for me. I may or may not be doing any workshops, but I love to teach so here goes.

What this year long series will be:

A comprehensive look at what I call “Subject Centric Lighting” – the understanding that the characteristics of the subject have a great deal of influence over the way different light sources react with and present from the subject. Whether or not a specific light or modified light will work with a specific subject has as much to do with the subject as it does the light.

We will be covering natural light, studio light, and lighting on location. Our subject matter will range from still life and food to portraiture and product. And we will throw some curve balls occasionally.

Assignments come out every Saturday morning… things to see, things to do, things to read. If you are diligent and committed, you will be a much better photographer at the end of this exercise. We will not be grading anything here… this is YOUR chance to push forward. Push beyond procrastination and malaise and into the exciting world of imagery.

For the basis of my discussions here I will be using the techniques discussed in both of my books, Lighting Essentials and Lighting Essentials Two (available on Amazon).

We will start with an basic understanding of light and subjects and begin to shoot specific assignments based on the methods and techniques that are discussed.

What this year is not:

A discussion on speed lights, or any other specific kind of lighting gear. We will be discussing lighting, and that includes speedlights, natural light, tungsten lights, studio flash and fluorescent units as well.

Nor will we be discussing wedding photography. There are more than enough websites, books, classes and online presentations on wedding photography.

What you will need:

  • A camera with controls… your controls. DSLR’s, Mirrorless, MFT’s… whatever.
  • A working knowledge of your camera; Setting the apertures, shutter speeds and ISO.
  • A familiarity with what is called reciprocitythe shutter speed/aperture relationship and how ISO can be included.
  • A light.
  • Light stand.
  • An umbrella or softbox for the light
  • Tripod… while of course you can shoot handheld, having a tripod makes taking the notes and working with the notes much easier.
  • Enthusiasm. This is supposed to be fun.

We start tomorrow… so be prepared for a really fun and exciting year.

Jump in any time… no need to begin at any special time… the classes are free and they are specifically geared to people who want to understand light and make better images.

 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
And We Are Back

And We Are Back

That medical issue took more out of me than I was willing to admit.

But I am back – and so is Lighting Essentials… a new post every day.

Lighting, gear, photography and fun…

What’s gonna be new? Watch and see.

We will have a new photograph, complete with lighting information every day. From natural light to studio strobes and on location lighting, we will bring you some of the best from amateurs, semi-pros and pros out there. No matter what you are interested in, there will be something to learn here.

I decided to make this year the year of teaching so all my energy will be placed there… and here.

Starting Saturday (February 1, 2014)… Lighting Basics. One assignment a week for you to consider, work on and learn from. These are lighting assignments, NOT to be confused with the Project 52 PRO assignments that are geared to creating actual gigs. This is all technique and I will be giving you the entire breadth of my “Subject Centric Lighting” approach.

I will be continuing the “Tech Sheets” approach and I look forward to working with photographers from all over the world.

The Lighting Basics class is free… there is no signup required, although you will get more out of it if you ARE signed up for my weekly dispatch… see the column on the right at the top. It comes out every Sunday and has received some remarkable reviews from pros and semi-pros all over the world.

We will also be discussing my take on gear… a non gear-head looks at gear and the tools of the trade.

You will also get a few rants and challenges along the way, so be aware of those bumpy turns… and keep your arms and hands inside the car at all times.

So here we go… back at it full swing and full on.

Lighting Essentials is BACK!

fb-le-1

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts