Zack Arias ONELIGHT Workshop

Zack Arias did his lengthy Onelight X Talk in Mumbai, India and Fujifilm shared the almost 3-hour talk. Below is what he covered if you do not have time to watch it all. Overall it is a great instructional video and the first is probably more important to watch than the second because he dissects quite a few impressive photos. The second half is largely explained in the text and he walks the audience through producing a shot.

Follow Fujiaddict on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube

  • Intro
    • Light is Light
    • Available vs Lit
    • Flash vs Strobe
    • Exposure Control
      • Aperture f stop
        • Aperture Controls Flash Exposure
      • Shutter Speed
        • Shutter Speed controls ambient exposure
        • You have one limit… your sync speed
      • Flash Power
        • The “dimmer switch” on your flash
      • Flash to Subject Distance
        • Inverse Square Law
          An equation that relates the intensity of a light source to the illumination it produces at a given distance.
          Light diminishes over distance in accordance with the Inverse Square Law, which state that doubling the flash to subject distance reduces the light falling on the subject to one quarter.
        • Light falls off franticly close to the light source then gradually away from the light source.
        • Light falls off at the same rate independent of flash power.
        • It’s a law. There’s not much getting around it.
      • ISO
        • Increasing ISO increases sensitivity to light. Both flash AND ambient together. Not independently from each other.
        • As ISO goes up, flash power can go down. Lower flash power = less battery consumption
        • As ISO goes up, shutter speeds can get faster
        • He usually starts changing ISO as he runs out of ambient light.
    • The Chinese takout cups you put on your flash don’t really work how they say they do so avoid them
    • Strait flash has its place
    • Umbrella vs Softbox
      • Umbrellas
        • The Larger the umbrella, the softer the light.
        • Umbrellas are inexpensive
        • They are the Swis Army knife of modifiers
        • Shoot through vs. Reflective
        • Great for solo shoots and best for groups of submerse more than five people. Can cover a group of 20 or more if you back it off.
      • Softboxes
        • Window light on a stick
        • Far more expensive than umbrellas
        • Lights the subject and minimizes light spill elsewhere
        • Can handle the Wind a little better than an umbrella
      • Grids
        • Restricts light from flash to a tight circle
        • The smaller the degree the smaller the circle of light
        • Puts light only where you want it
        • Brings the drama
    • What You Control With Lighting
      • The Quality (Soft light vs Hard light)
      • The Direction of Light
      • The Color of Light
    • Zack likes to use any kind of light he can get his hands on and he experiments a lot with different modifiers in non-traditional ways.
    • He also likes to use a fog machine every now and again with his odd lights
    • Shows off a lot of interesting photos he took for himself here all on medium format so he can make large prints later
    • Really likes the Mag Beam
      • More great explanations of shots

  • Zack Starts as simply as he can with minimal light
  • It’s your job to get your subject comfortable and having a bunch of lights out won’t help
  • White seamless paper and a big modifier over your head are a great way to start
  • You don’t have to spend a lot of money on an umbrella
  • Always tell your subject what you are doing
  • Give all the direction you can give even if it’s just sit in this chair and look that way
  • Always give clear direction
  • Typically he shoots white interior umbrellas
  • Typically want the light higher than the subject pointing down
  • Zack likes to set up the lights himself
  • Zack walks the audience through finding exposure with a single light
  • If you need to do a bunch of headshots in a row just put an umbrella high behind you and shoot them as they walkthrough
  • Using a neutral light grey background is simple quick and effective because it can be edited into other things later
  • You can half-close an umbrella to get a softbox like effect
  • Shooting in B&W can help you learn how light works better
  • Fix it in prep, not in post
  • If you remove the fill light you can get two different style shots quickly with one being fully lit and one being more dramatic
  • Zack uses Phottix lights, not Profoto, with his Mag Beam
  • Starts off with the Mag Beam and then adds an additional fill light
  • There really aren’t any rules for portrait photography
  • Q&A
    • Shooting a band
      • When he photographs musicians he listens to their music first to influence the mood of his photo
      • It can be a good idea to have a band send 10 photos of a band they love and 10 they hate so that he can make something that makes them happy
      • Do they want to shoot at night/day/location/studio/inside/outside/etc…
    • Recommended sites or books to look at mood
      • Zack keeps private mood boards on Pinterest
      • He categorizes them for influence
      • This will give you similar pictures that people have pinned
    • If you put a cover on your umbrella you get a smoother light in the eye catch light
    • To do a pure white seamless background you should put one light on each side of the background and light it evenly in a way that the subject can not see the lights so that it doesn’t over illuminate them
    • Inspiration is for amateurs the rest of us just show up and work
    • Inspiration has to find your while working
    • When he does his own projects he just photographs whoever is around and they are just for him
    • He does all personal work in medium format
    • Why do they sell black background still if you can make a white one black
      • You might want a soft light on your subject from a big umbrella, but you would need a black background
      • You can use it for video if you need a black background
This entry was posted in Fujifilm GFX, Fujifilm GFX 100, Fujifilm GFX 100 Megapixel, Fujifilm GFX 100S and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.