Alright folks, part 2 of the Backpacker's Studio is up! Note: part 2 is split into two videos because we went over the 10 minute mark on youtube.
Examples after the break...
The most important thing for an unbelievable photograph is light. Without light there is nothing but a black frame.
But all light is not created equally for photography. We love natural light, but sometimes it's not enough or we want a different look to our photographs and this is when flash comes into play and although a bare flash can be very cool you will eventually need to modify that flash using light modifiers.
So here is the scoop, in what we think is a pretty basic explanation (if you disagree, let us know and we'll figure out how to explain better) of the differences between the light modifiers in our backpacker's studio.
The first light modifier is the 60" convertible umbrella. The umbrella should be in everyone's bag!! It is a highly versatile, powerful and extremely inexpensive light modifier.
In this example above you can see how the umbrella's lit up the entire scene pretty evenly. That is the umbrella's claim to fame. Light and a whole bunch of it. So much in fact that it is sometimes impossible to control.
The convertible umbrella has 3 different setup options in no particular order.
Reflective Mode, Shoot Through Mode and Softboxy-like Mode
Reflective Mode is when you fire the flash into the umbrella with the convertible cover on and have the light reflected back onto your subject. You shoot using reflective mode when you want to control the light from going through the umbrella. To put is in easier terms. When you only want light coming out of one side of the umbrella. It is also necessary to avoid lens flare when you are shooting from behind the umbrella.
Shoot Through Mode is when you fire into the umbrella without the convertible cover and you will have light coming out of both ends. The main reason for this mode is that you can get the umbrella really close to your subject causing extremely soft light.
Softboxy Mode is the way to have the most possible control over the light coming out of the umbrella. Although not as controllable as the softbox it does come close. The softboxy mode is a great way to shoot dramatic lighting effects.
The next modifiers are the softboxes. The softboxes produce beautiful soft and most importantly controlled light. Unlike the umbrellas, when you are using a soft box you tell the light where to go. The easiest way to explain this is that if you have a model next to a wall and you do not want your flash to hit the wall, you can tilt the softbox away from the wall to avoid any spill. This is the softboxes strong point.
Notice in the example below how soft the light is, but at the same time we have as much control as possible over the light spill. We didn't light up anything we didn't want to and this is what makes the softbox better than the umbrella for this situation. If we would have fired with the umbrella, everything would have been lit up destroying the dramatic look we wanted for this picture.
Next up, gridspots. I love gridspots. The creative effect that they can cause are my favorite, along with gels. With gridspots the turn your flash into a flashlight basically. Shooting a round beam of light. There are various versions of gridspots, but they all do the same thing. In these examples you can see very defined circles and shadows, which I love. If you are not so into the shadows you can add another flash with a gridspot on the other side to kill the shadows.
So when you think gridspot, you think flashlight. The closer you are to your subject the smaller the circle. The further from your subject, the larger.
Gels, oh how I love thee!! Gels will make your creative juices flow like the Medellin River, all sorts of colors. These are just different color films that you put on top of the flash to change the color of light. They are great for rim lighting, background lighting, or simply making your subject a little warmer or cooler or pink or green...you get my point. Go experiment, you will love it...I guarantee!!
Check out this example where a pink gel was used as a rim light (rim light is a flash fired at the side or back of a subject that gives a slight colored outline).
So that's pretty much it guys/gals. Hopefully this helped someone or a lot of people understand the differences between our most used light modifiers. If you still have questions, leave a comment, email us, skype us or come over, we are trying to be very good about answering everyones questions!!
So on a final note, sign up for our newsletter. Join our webinar, it's free but it is limited room because if not we would have to charge you fine folks. And the final demand...you know what it is...come on...do I really have to tell you.....GET OUT GO SHOOT!! NOW YOU KNOW!! NO MORE EXCUSES!!
Oh and one more thing, what do you think of us doing some workshops in different cities, the only downside is they would cost some money...but you would you get to hang out with the lightenupandshoot guys! If it sounds like a good idea let us know, same way from above.
Also, I want to add some photos from a recent magazine shoot we did for Toda Mi Boda (using the Backpacker's Studio):