Later in August Lindsay Adler will return to online learning venue CreativeLive for her three day Mastering Location Lighting workshop. Lindsay will be using a variety of Phottix products during the event – including the Phottix Odin TTL Flash Trigger, the Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver flash and Phottix Luna Beauty Dish. Phottix is proud to be involved in this event.
If by some chance you haven’t seen her work Lindsay Adler is a professional portrait and fashion photographer based in New York. Her editorials have appeared in dozens of publications internationally including Bullett Magazine, Zink Magazine, Fault and more.
In May 2010 she published her first book, “A Linked Photographers’ Guide to Online Marketing and Social Media”. In February 2011, she published her second book, “Fashion Flair for Portrait and Wedding Photography.” Her third book “Shooting in Shitty Light” was published in Oct 2012.
Lindsay took a few minutes out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions about the upcoming event.
What can photographers expect to learn in Mastering Location Lighting?
This course will provide you with the tools, knowledge and techniques you need to conquer any outdoor lighting situation whether using all natural light, speed lights, or studio strobes on location.
On the first day we will cover the essentials of controlling and mastering natural light. You will learn to utilize scrims, reflectors, and work with the ambient light in order to achieve ideal results. On day two we will get familiar with speed lights and how they can be used in conjunction with ambient light to create striking location lighting results. We will cover flash and ambient exposures, speed light modifiers, direction of light, and much more. We will cover the benefits of speed lights including high speed sync, and how to control the power of these tools. Finally, on day three we will cover taking your studio strobes on location and the various considerations for modifiers, exposures and other tools include neutral density filters and more.
What are you favorite lights and modifiers for location shooting?
My favorite light for location shooting is natural light. When I approach a scene I start by trying to use the natural lighting available. I look for natural reflectors (neutral surfaces reflecting the sun), covered shade, or other lighting that already exists to flatter my subject. Often the natural light that exists can be stunning if you just know how to utilize it.
When I introduce artificial light into the scene, I have a favorite setup for speed lights and a favorite studio strobe on location.
For speed lights, I use Phottix Mitros+ and Odin TCU trigger. Typically I will either utilize a beauty dish modifier (like the Phottix Luna foldable beauty dish) or an octabox (like the Phottix Easy Up 80cm Octa Umbrella soft box). When I need to use high speed sync to appear to overpower the ambient light, I use a bracket and 2-3 Phottix speed lights together to achieve this distinct look.
For studio strobes on location, I utilize the Profoto B1. My favorite modifiers are the 20in white soft light reflector (aka beauty dish) and the 3ft Octabox.
What is the most challenging part of lighting on location? Glare, shadows, and full or partial sun?
The most challenging part of location lighting is controlling the range of exposure in the scenes. Often in direct sunlight or at night you have deep dark shadows and extremely bright highlights. Do you want to capture all of this information? Are you okay with blown out highlights or shadows without detail? Sometimes we aim to control and capture a full range of exposure. I refer to this as “compressing the exposure”. We use various lighting tools and exposure techniques to help us better capture the light. This is a challenge and we must figure out how to use reflectors, speed lights, or strobes to help us achieve this goal. Furthermore, it is also challenging to decide (stylistically) what looks ‘right’ for a particular scene. Do you want to overpower the ambient light and have flash be dominant? Or do you want to have just a kiss of light added into the scene to improve the direction and quality of the light on the subject, while still appearing natural?
What do you do to “read” the light when you first arrive on a new location?
When I first arrive at a location, I start by analyzing the ambient light available. What is the direction of light? Where is the light most flattering to my subject. Are there any places that I could place my subject that would already be flattering in a photograph? When I first started photography I taught myself to really see and analyze the light by walking around with a friend. As we would move around the scene, I’d watch the quality of light on their face. I began to recognize patterns in the light and what made for beautiful lighting situations. I now seek these situations out (large natural reflectors, covered shade, etc).
From there, I see if reflectors can help improve the quality of direction of light. I utilize speed lights and strobes when I am going for a specific ‘look’ to my scene or in extremely high contrast situations. I’ve come to find that part of my ‘reading’ of a location depends on the end look I am going for.
What is your “go to” on location lighting set-up?
For speed lights, I use Phottix Mitros+ and Odin TCU trigger with beauty dish modifier.
For more information on Lindsay’s workshop and watching it free, head over to CreativeLive for more details.