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Three Sun-Strobe Recipes and Interwined Exposures

Lesson 26 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Three Sun-Strobe Recipes and Interwined Exposures

Lesson 26 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

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Lesson Info

26. Three Sun-Strobe Recipes and Interwined Exposures

Next Lesson: Strobes at Sunset


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Principles of Light


Speedlights vs Strobes


Compressing the Scene


Location Lenses and Lenshoods


Metering Modes and Back Button Focus


Natural Light Reflectors


Lesson Info

Three Sun-Strobe Recipes and Interwined Exposures

let's do some sun strobe recipes I have one way that I like tio makes my strobes and son and that's often backlit right when the sun is behind the subject's lighting their hair I set the ambient light so that I've correct ambien exposure if what I'm looking for under or over exposed uh and then I add a strobe in but late in the day golden hour this is the time that is most beautiful to shoot for portrait ce and so the light is golden it's warm it's more diffused and so my go to is just to put the light behind their head and shoot that way but there are actually three drastically different approaches you could take and not just stick to that one um I first thought of this because I'd shot like this before but didn't really think to articulate it there's a tutorial that joey l did showing how he doesn't just back like the subjects he can pretend like his soft boxes the sun or fill in the shadows so I'm going to give you an example of how I would do it so the three way's our backlight wit...

h the stroke to illuminate the face it's compressing our exposure all right the second one the sun is lighting the subject from the sign but we're filling in the shadows with our strobe instead of a reflector and then lastly we have the sun in the subject's face but we're improving the quality of the light by adding by adding a stroke instead of just having that really warm or harsher sunlight you can add a strobe in to soften it up so we're going to take a look at one two I it took me there's a couple minutes to shoot this very quickly backlit side lit and then front lit all using a strobe in the middle of a tte the later the end of the day okay everybody so we all know that we're supposed to not shoot at high noon and said we're supposed to shoot at golden hour and golden hours in the first hour of the day in the last hour of the day it all does actually depend on where you are in the world in the time of year but really what you're looking for is this this really rich golden light um it's more directional it's warmer and it's much much more flattering than you're going to get any other time of day and so what most people think is that there's really only one way to shoot this light in fact there are actually endless you can use natural light you can use speed lights and in fact we're going to shoot strobes in three different ways the three ways we're going to do it is first of all backward so the sun's coming in from behind her and that main light that we're using is actually going to balance exposure so what it's going to do is going to illuminate her face and balance it with that golden glow in the background we're going to get a little bit of lens flare then what we're going to do is we're going to side like her and that light now becomes the fill light on the shadow side of her face and then lastly we're going to go ahead and work with that strobe so that we're able to augment the natural light in other words the sun will be on her face and then we'll add a little bit of stroke to her face just to change the quality of light just a little bit so we're gonna do this really fast in the next couple of minutes and I'm going to start with her heavily backlit so let me take a look really quick first I'm going to shoot aunt's sick look set my ambien first so right now my ambien I'm shooting I s so one hundred one two hundred of the second at one point eight I'm shooting it at one to one of the second so that I'm staying within my camera stink speed one point eight because I've got a lot of noise in the background that I don't like and now I can go ahead and add in my stroke so we're shooting with b one it's a five hundred watt seconds portable light made by pro photo and we've got the westcott rapid box octa extra large because I'm shooting so wide open I'm shooting at one point eight I should only need a kiss of light from this stroke because what you're controlling your strobe output with is your aya so which for me is really low one hundred but also your aperture my apertures wide open so even just a little bit of light is going to make a huge difference so looked right at me beautiful right there beautiful great and I'm shooting right now with the signal fifty millimeter one point four it's a nice tax sharpen that background just disappears if I wanted to have my strobe match the light behind just a little bit more make it a little bit warmer I would add a one cut cto gel so that will make this warmer to match but otherwise we shoot a couple more frames just like this great great right there I'm going to get a little bit of lens flare on purpose this up great more good perfect so there you are back like great okay let's do seidlin turn around to the side a little bit perfect I'm making the sunlight that main light on her face and the heavy turn and face that way even more okay but now the shadows on her face are really really dark and I want a little bit of phil's steven I'm gonna bring you round this way but I leave my lights the same let's just give a check on that ambien all right six that ambient light all right it's a little bit hot on her let me close down to maybe two point two from one point eight test this real quick okay but then that shadow side of her face falls to complete darkness so let's pop on the b one and it gives you a little bit of silver unfortunately she still got a little bit of shadow in her eye so just heavy turn your head towards the light so now she's catching the light in her eye as well and we've got a little bit of phil perfect now the b one is the fill light on that scene beautiful it's a couple more good and then your eyes back to me good and one more really curve that way they're filling in the shadow great and chin down and to the sides I'm looking for the highlight on her eye perfect and then eyes here great all right and then last but not least is going to be just augment the sunlight so steven around this way let me take a picture just with that sunlight there and what I've got to watch for is make sure my shadow isn't on her so I think I gotta go be here yeah looks good right there but now what you'll see is you see this kind of dappled light on her face is to be one to add a little bit better direction light on her face and even out these shadows and getting through the leaves so we don't want too much we don't wanna overpower the unlike completely and I'm gonna bring him around this way just a little bit making sure his shadow isn't cast on her and I'm getting down low so that you don't see my shadow on her either so that light on her face is definitely not ideal that's pop on my trigger for just a kiss of light if I wanted it to match I go ahead and add the orange cto joe probably at this point with how orange it is probably a full cut so I see shadows on your face is gonna help a lot of beautiful so it starts to fill in those shadows shape or face a little bit more when have you pop it up just a little bit can you give me a major curve great and then head down soft wrote like more of a soft look and then that hand up great hand in your your neck more great perfect and I'm a little bit in that shape and lean your whole body towards me there you go good so I definitely went through that quickly but I wanted to give you a recap so we got it all before the sun went down behind the horizon so there's three ways to light during that golden knight first is backward and if you let the sun creep around the side of the body you don't want play in the frame but just a hair it'll give you a little bit of lens for that kind of wraps around so the first thing that we did is we had her backlit later in the day now it's not so bright so I have the ability to shoot wide open I'm shooting at my maxing speed just about one two hundreds of a second and I'm shooting pretty wide open that's why I'm shooting with the sigma fifty one point four so it's really it's a nice tax sharp lens I have the light coming from behind her and then we use that octa box um for just a kiss light on her face now what you could do is I could go ahead and say what okay my aperture is to point out one point eight I could use the octo box in front to meet her on her face and then match the power of the aperture on my camera to the aperture of the light or you could do it to taste it's kind of like a recipe you take a look you add a little bit of light if it's not to taste you had a little bit more um I'm definitely okay with going for what looks right instead of having to stick to formulas so we had it that way then we came around to the side and I love the quality of that light on her face the shape but unfortunately the side of her face and shadow was falling to complete darkness it was just a little bit too dark too heavy for me so instead what I did is I took that off the box from the side filled in the shadows a little bit again to taste I could go ahead and totally fill in those shadows if I wanted or just a tiny bits and then finally actually had her face towards that beautiful sunlight the prom is the light's really orange there's not a great shape on her face the lights filtering through the trees so it's a little bit on even also I don't see break catch lights in her eyes so when we add this octo box in I'm adding it to improve the quality of light on her face to improve the shape of that light to give her catch lights and all of them have a totally different effect I could shoot the same lighting situation with ambient light I could shoot it with strobes I could shoot it with speed lights but in this case we're using this just to control the mood control the quality of light and I was looking and I really really liked I think I decided like the backlight one's best yeah yeah I love those so there's not right answer although I do know I'm a backlight fan all right so three ways to shoot during golden hour all right so it's something else that I wanted to talk about that you may have noticed at this point is the very warm color of the light and so if I am using this very very very warm color of the sun in my frame particularly for the second and third shots you get kind of mixed light because it's very very warm and then you have a daylight balance strobe so we're going to talk about gels tomorrow so everything that we learned about jealous tomorrow retroactively applies to today as well so just to cut teo address that I would gel in these particular instances but we haven't quite gotten that far yet so when it's a leave it be s o that sense in that while there's you maybe you don't think the color matches you definitely can gel your flash for sure and so here's an example of also you know this is when I'm filling in the shadows and a different shot instead of using a reflector here's another instance where on the left is the sunlight on her face and the right is when I add one of those octa boxes it gives you a commercial look because in a lot of advertisements they still want a little bit of warmth and they still want a little bit of that direction of light but it doesn't have enough polished to it and it doesn't look as refined so you still keep that original quality of light and then just pop in a little bit softer like try to match the direction of it if you still want it warm you put on in jail to keep it a little bit warmer and so I'll talk about the amount of strength of gels how you would choose a cz well for speed light section so could you guys take me back to the intertwined video please uh I wantto I wanted to show you a video where you hear me talking out loud as I'm shooting the problems that I running into at the end of the day because we're going to get into a segment we're talk about shooting at sunset and the problem is the light's dropping and changing and it's it's your kind of chasing it so I just wanted to show you the same thing that happens to me and that you hear me talk it out exactly what I'm having to change and you're here as well how the aperture changes both I so changes both and so that little dance that you're doing the entire time I wanted to take a minute to talk about exposure with strobes when you're working with strobes you're going to be shooting an all manual exposure um just a little side note there are some fancy stroke duty l but that's like acutely the exception so we're really going to be talking about manual exposure and I want to explain how ambiance lights and strobe light overlap how do they interact with one another because actually there to separate exposures you will create one exposure based on your ambient light and then you're taking other readings and and adjusting other elements of your exposure for your stroke so fundamentally think of it like this you adjust your shutter speed to change the amount of ambiance the longer your shutter speed the more ambient light you let in the faster your shutter speed less ambient light you let in okay well what about your studio stroke studio strobe power is controlled by two things primarily it's controlled by the output of this trove actually dialing the power up and down and then also your aperture wider you make your aperture the bigger it is the more light it looks let's in and therefore your studio strobe gets brighter the smaller that aperture is the studio strobe will then appear dimmer okay but of course it's not that simple because aperture also effects damn viet light so they're doing this little dance between adjusting your aperture and adjusting your shutter speed to compensate for those changes and we've already talked about that but I want to show you what it looks like in practice so what we're going to do is we're going to bury all of the elements of exposure and I'm going to talk you through it and you'll see it in the images that we create and I'm going to get down low so I could get that beautiful kind of bluish purple sky behind her and we have one five hundred watt second be one with an active box on it it's the rapid box after made by westcott and so I'm gonna talk you through as a very the shutter speed as I vary the I s o n is a very the aperture so you can see the effect that has on the final image all right so let's take a look at that and you can move that back into place for me and I've chosen this frame because the light above is giving her a nice room light the ambient light that we have and I'm going to bring that way up here because where sydney is that at the moment you come this way where she was back there was to sideline bert perfect so you can see that that is a nice kind of loop lighting on her face and then the way that I have my frame I can keep it nice and clean so what I'm going to do is I'm going to start off uh I'm shooting it I s o eight hundred one sixtieth of a second at two point oh so let's just give them a quick test all right so what I see here as I see that the background is pretty dark and maybe the flashes of a bit too bright so I'm just gonna get things roughly into place now you're finds me so I'm going tio take my er shutter speed and I'm going open it up because as I said already the longer you make your shutter speed the more ambient light that it lets in so I want that back trying to be a little lighter so I'm gonna go to a fortieth of a second that is about as much as I feel I could hand hold so that would give me a little bit of trouble because all of a sudden if I go to a four years of the second now I'm worried about having a little bit of camera shake so the other option I have to make sure I let more light would reach up my eyes so so I'm gonna bump my eyes so up to twelve fifty and now I should be able to go back to about a sixty second let's give that a try so my backgrounds looking a little bit brighter but of course I esso affects everything so now the light of my subject looks prayer so I'm gonna have to close down a little bit so when I close down my aperture I'm going to point to two point five two point eight I click on that and now the light on her looks a little bit better but of course the background darker so you're doing this little dance back and forth now normally for a stroke but you could try to dio is decrease the power but in this case we're at it's louis power setting of two point oh the next thing we could do is back the light up so sydney we're back the light up a little bit now there's a downside to this this will decrease the power of the light so if you look the light will appear dimmer but the further the light gets from the subject these sharper and the harsher the light becomes it becomes a harder light source so these are all things that you're considering so I am going to go ahead and drop down teo say a thirtieth of a second look at that I got a little bit of light in my background good you can look at me great okay so I guess I wanted to dispel the myth that it like always works great the first time like it's not it's not like I just go out there and set it and it's all set like I've got to figure out in my head and constantly problem solved and the whole time the problem is is that background is getting darker and darker and darker and I want the light to look nice so I'm trying to figure out how can I bring up my ambien but as I'm doing that it effects how much of the strobe exposure because I'm increasing the esso and opening up my aperture so how do I darken that down so the whole time it's just that like given take to get it right it is much easier to do this when the conditions are consistent so I just wanted to give you a peek into how I'm talking it out in my head and literally that's what the conversation in my head looks like it's me thinking ok tio dim so bring it and know too bright back it up okay so that's that's exactly what you would hear in my head I don't know if that's good or bad but

Class Materials

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Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter...I learned so much.....I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. Jean


Lindsey Adler is one of the best and most engaging photography instructors in the USA. I highly recommend this lighting course. It felt more like a 101 and a 102 course than just a basic course. She teaches in a way that makes learning alot of fun and the amount of time & effort that she puts into her video and class presentations are second to none. Her classes are well worth their weight in gold and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!


Lindsay is amazing , I love the way she explains everything!! This course is filled with GREAT information and helps you better understand natural lighting,strobe and flash. Thank You Lindsay, please keep your classes coming!

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