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4.3 First Highlight

Getting the light just right will be critical to making this shot work. In this lesson you will see how to set up the first light and get the initial highlight on the shoe.

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4.3 First Highlight

In this lesson, I'm gonna continue working on this shot. I'm gonna get some lighting set up, I'm gonna take some measurements, and start to create the shape that I want on these shoes to match the illustration. One thing that I want to do before I start grabbing lights, is I want to throw a radio trigger on my camera so that I can get it set up with remote wireless shutter release. The reason is that I don't wanna go up and keep pressing the shutter button because that could cause slight movements in the camera. Although it's not a huge deal, if I wanna do some variations on the light, I don't really wanna change the position of the camera which will change the composition very, very slightly. So, I'm gonna use when my radio triggers. This is, again, the Yongnuo RF-603 II transceiver with this shutter release cable here. And this is the Canon version so it comes with the Canon shutter release cable. They also make a Nikon version, as well. Unfortunately, if you're a Panasonic or Fuji or Sony shooter, I'm not sure that they have the same shutter release cables but you'll have to check into that. The cool thing is that this is going to do two things. It's going to trigger the camera, it's also going to trigger the strobes. So, it's gonna work really well. This way I really don't have to touch the camera other than adjusting the settings a little bit. I'm gonna take it off of live view now so I don't make the sensor noisy but all I need to do to trigger that guy is take another one of these radio triggers and press a button. [SOUND] Now, it is still set to two second delay there, which I don't really need, so I'm gonna take that out of that drive mode and just put it onto single shot. I'm also going to put it into auto focus here, and when I half press here, it's going to on a focus for me. And I think I'm gonna be using a pretty big depth of field somewhere around F8 or F11 here. So wherever the auto focus grabs on, which is probably going to be somewhere in this neighborhood right here, it's going to be fine for the depth of field. It's going to get the shoes pretty much all in that depth of field range. Depth of field really shouldn't be too much of a problem unless the auto focus points are grabbing down here because auto focus usually grabs whatever is closest to the camera. But I have it set so that the auto focus points are basically right in the center here. It's pretty much gonna grab just the shoes here. That group of sensors is actually getting the background but because there's no contrast back there, it's not gonna pick that up at all. This is gonna work out great. This is also gonna help me test fire my strobes and that's the next thing that I'm gonna set up. This is the first stand that I'm gonna use. This is a c-stand here with a 20 inch grip arm, and you can see that it's rolling around here. That's because I've taken the legs off of this c-stand, this used to be a turtle base c-stand, which means you can take the legs off. I've replaced that with this really cool wheel base leg set up here from Kupo Grip and because I have concrete floors here this makes it's super to reposition. I really like using stands with wheels when I'm in the studio here with this nice, concrete floor. The modifier that I'm gonna throw on here is a 20 inch collapsible softbox here. This is super inexpensive, I think about this for around $30. Comes with a little assembly here that you can attach a speed light to. I'm gonna get this guy set up here, making sure that the weight is on the right side. So that as this pulls down, this is actually self tightening. That's a good tip when you're using these little grip arms here. I'm gonna grab one of my radio triggers and attach it to my Yongnuo YN580EX. This is basically a Canon 580EX2 rip off. So I'm gonna get this positioned over to the side here and take a test shot and see what this looks like. Now, when you're using speed lights, you don't really have the ability to use any kind of modeling light. So I'm not really gonna know what this is going to look like until I take some shots with it. Now, I'm gonna put this in the metering mode that basically waits for the strobe to fire and then auto resets. What I'm gonna start at actually is 1/250th of a second because what I wanna do is completely kill all of the ambient light. Before I go too much further, what I'm gonna do is set my camera up to 250th of a second and ISO 100 and I'm gonna take a quick shot. And right now, at F2.8, it's pretty much crushing out all of the ambient light. I'm guessing we're gonna be using a higher F value, or a lower aperture, then F8. I think we should be fine as far as what's happening here with the lighting. Let me make sure that this is set correctly and what I wanna do is to put this in manual mode and set it to full output. So right now, when I put it right here facing the camera, I'm getting a meter reading of F10. So I'm gonna dial that into my camera and I know I have to touch my camera but once we get the settings set here, I can make some adjustments with the lights. I shouldn't have to adjust things too much here and then take a test shot, and see what we have. That's a pretty nice looking shot. The background is dark, it's very moody. It's a cool looking shot but I don't think that's exactly quite right. I'm not getting the reflection where I want. What I really want is a nice highlight here down the side of the shoe. So I think I'm gonna need to position this back farther because the way that the camera is pointed here and the angle of the shoe, I think I'm gonna have to have basically the light in this direction but maybe it's gonna be a little bit lower. So let me adjust this here, I'm gonna cut it back, and I'll drop it down just a hair. Turn this and then kick it in, like this. Something like this. Now because I've gotten this closer to my shoes here, it'd be a good idea to take another meter reading. So I'm gonna make sure this is measuring, I'm gonna switch this over to transmit which won't fire the camera but it will fire the flash. Now it says F13. I don't really wanna go too much above F11 on my camera because that's gonna get into defraction territory and the image is gonna start to look softer. Basically, F11 on an APS-C sized camera is about as far as you can go with the aperture before diffraction starts to really affect the image. What I need to do is to turn the flash back down to a lower power. Right now, it's at full output. Let me just drop it down to half. I can go in increments in between there but let me take another measurement here at half. Now it says F10, which happens to be what my camera's set to, so I'll take another shot by turning this to transmit and receive on the radio trigger here. That's in the neighborhood. I'm getting a really nice reflection. It is pretty hot. I think this is actually pretty close to where I need this to be as far as the position. I'm not sure the powers quite right but I'd say it's pretty close. I'm gonna back this up here so it's not in my frame, take another test shot. I think that's pretty good in terms of the reflection and that kind of makes sense. If I want to see a reflection here of this light source, I basically have to kind of follow the line. Because this is kind of a flattish plane here, it makes sense that if this is over here, it's going to be showing the reflection to the camera. Now if I move the camera, it's not going to be showing that reflection because now it's gonna be at a different angle. If I put the camera over there, now what I have to do is probably get the light back here more so that it's pointing, basically, it's reflecting off of here into the lens of the camera. Just to show you, if I push this back more over here. Now it's probably gonna be in the shot but you should be able to see that the reflection is not going to be in the exact same place. It's not going to be giving me that really cool, nice long reflection. Now I'm getting the reflection in a different spot of the shoe. That's not really what I want. I'm gonna move this back here, I'm gonna lock down my casters. I don't really need to lock down all three, two is just fine. Yeah, that's looking great. So if I take another meter reading here now that I've dialed this down, I'm getting 7.1. Let me make that change here on my camera. The highlight is looking pretty nice there. It might be a little bit bright. Let me take one more meter reading here from slightly further back. Here, it's telling me F8, so I'm just kind of cheating the light meter here. I didn't really have to meter, I could have just turned down the aperture. That's looking a little bit more controlled on those highlights. I could have also kind of just kicked the light meter in the direction of that light, and it's also giving me a reading of F8 here at those same exact settings. Because I was a little bit in front of the light source, I get a meter reading of F5.6 but when I kind of put this back here, now I'm getting a reading of F9. Let me just dial that in here, give it a second to just kinda settle out. Take one more shot. That's looking a little bit more balanced with those reflections. It's a little bit subjective, F9 and F8 is not a huge difference there, I think that's one third of a stop. So it really depends on whether you want to see some really bright highlights here or some more controlled highlights. I think a little bit more controlled highlights is what I'm gonna go after here. Right now, I'm at a pretty good point. I've got a nice highlight going here but the whole image is looking a little bit contrasty because we're not really getting any fill from anywhere else because my space here is pretty dark. I've got black walls here and I don't have anything for the one speed light source here to bounce off of, the whole thing is looking far too contrasty. So, I'm gonna get another big lighting source in here and I'm gonna try to work to fill in the other side of this image, and I'm gonna do that in the next lesson. Check that out.

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