Curriculum Brainstorming

  • Welcome/Introductions
    • Finding & Approaching Models
    • Communicating with Models Before the Shoot to Avoid Misunderstandings
      • Telling model anything that they might find objectionable up front
      • Asking about Boundaries
    • Working with Models
      • Boundaries and consent
      • Communicating without touching
    • Legal issues: Copyrights, Licenses, and Model Releases
  • Technical Fundamentals
    • Why we shoot RAW
      • Bracketing - why not to use (usually)
    • The exposure triangle for natural Light
      • ISO
        • How high can you go?
      • Shutter Speed
      • Aperture
    • Lens choice
      • Prime vs. Raw
      • Focal Length
      • Aperture
        • Depth of Field
        • Spherical distortion and focal length
        • Do you really need "fast" lenses
    • Knowing When Not to Trust What Your Camera Tells You (handling difficult lighting situations)
    • Basics of Composition
      • Composing in-camera vs. in post
      • Where to/not to crop (e.g. usually want to avoid cropping at joints)
    • Different approaches to a shoot
      • Story Telling
      • Pure Aesthetics
      • Commercial Beauty/Glamour
      • "Fine Art" Nudes
      • Irreverance, Dadaism, and Fashion/Art Nudes
      • Erotic Content
        • Artistic Erotica vs. Commercial Erotica
        • Legal issues & additional documentation requirements - 18 USC §2257
    • Trade-offs between Planned Shoots and "Winging It"
    • Hard vs. Soft Light
      • Direct Light - relative size of light source
      • Softening Light by Bouncing - reflectors, white walls
      • Softening Light by Diffusing- scrims
    • Manipulating Natural Light
      • Reflectors, scrims, and using the environment to bounce light
    • Very brief introduction to the Inverse Square Property of light and its impact on natural & light photography (becomes more important with studio lighting)
    • Using the environment to add interest
      • foreground & background elements
      • How affected by depth of field
  • Work Session 1: Natural / Found Lighting
    • Demonstration
      • Communicating clearly with the model
      • Demonstration of ways to get very different images without changing model/pose/framing/location
        • Using DOF
        • Shutter Speed / dragging the shutter
      • Demonstration of common natural light gotchas (blown out sky / underexposed subject, hard shadows, poor communication)
      • Remembering the model (how to avoid focusing too much on technical aspects of photography)
    • Student Shooting
  • Show and Tell and (Gentle) Critique for first session images
  • Introduction to Continuous Lighting
    • Different technologies - Incandescent vs. CFL, vs. LED panels vs. LED lamps vs. "hot" fresnel vs. "cold" (LED) fresnel
    • Light modifiers - softboxes, umbrellas, beauty dishes, etc.
    • Same basic exposure rules as natural light - exposure triangle, etc.
    • Problems with continuous lighting
      • Generally underpowered compared to studio strobes require bumping ISO, opening aperture wide, and/or using slow shutter.
      • Technology has improved a lot, and LED continuous lights have gotten very bright, but even high power continuous lights are less powerful than most studio strobes because continuous light that bright would be unpleasant for the model
    • SLOW DOWN. Contiuous lighting allows you to shoot as fast as you camera can close the shutter. Outdoors, that can be valuable, especially for capturing movement, but inside or in the studio, if you shoot too fast, you're usually just creating multiple nearly identical images.
  • Introduction to Photographic Lighting (stuff that applies to both continuous and strobe lighting)
    • Terminology & Basics
      • Light Name by Job
        • Key Light
        • Fill Light
        • Accent Light
        • Separation Light (kicker/hairlight/rimlight)
        • Background Light
      • Light Control
        • Snoot
        • Barndoors
        • Zoom/Long Throw reflectors
        • Grids & Honeycombs
        • Beauty Dishes (with and without blocker or diffuser)
        • Umbrellas
        • Softboxes, Octoboxes, and Strip Lights
        • Reflectors as additional "light sources"
        • Flags and V-Flats
        • Gels
      • Hard vs. Soft Light (redux)
        • "Hard Light is Hard Mode"
      • Broad vs. Short
      • High Key and Low Key
      • Stock Lighting Setups (starting points)
        • Rembrandt
        • Paramount & Butterfly
        • Clamshell
        • Loop
        • Split (with and without fill)
        • Badger
        • Flat
        • Shatner
      • Effect of light angle and elevation
      • Importance of Color Temperature
    • Breaking out of the Basics
      • Experimenting with light positions
      • Trust your eye - every person and environment is different. Stock setups are starting points, adjust to get result you want
    • Flash & Shutter Speed
      • Freezing movement
      • Shutter dragging
      • light trails
  • Work Session 2: Indoor Continuous Lighting
    • Demonstration
      • Briefly talk about set decoration, using indoor environment
      • Incorporating continuous lighting with natural light (usually? DON'T)
    • Student Shooting
  • Show and Tell and (Gentle) Critique for second session images
  • Studio Lighting Fundamentals
    • Strobe vs. Flash - historical differences
      • Modeling light
      • Power Source
      • Use of fresnel lens
      • Ability to mount on camera
    • Types of studio lighting
      • Speedlights
      • Hybrid Speedlight/Strobe (e.g. Godox AD-200, ProFoto A1X )
      • Strobes
        • Consumer / Inexpensive (Alien Bees, Neweer, Godox SK400II, most inexpensive OEM strobes)
        • Prosumer (Paul C. Buff Einstein, Godox AD series, Flashpoint XPLOR/EVOLV )
        • Professional (Elinchrom, ProFoto, Speed-o-tron)
    • Triggers
    • Recycle Time
    • Advanced Features
      • TTL
      • HSS
    • Breaking the Exposure Triangle
      • Most of the time, shutter speed doesn't matter (as long as fast enough to freeze motion and slower than camera sync speed)
        • studio lighting exposure triangle is ISO, Aperture, Light Intensity
      • In rare situations (studio light trails and shutter dragging, combining natural & studio lighting) end up with exposure quadrangle (ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Light Intensity)
  • Work Session 3: Classic Studio Lighting
    • Demonstration
      • Show turning individual lights on and off to see what each is contributing
      • Demonstrate basic loop/clamshell/rembrandt
    • Student Shooting
  • Show and Tell and (Gentle) Critique for third session images
  • Mixing Natural and Artifical Light
    • Decide which is dominant
      • If sun is dominant light source, strobes fill in where needed
      • If a strobe is dominant light source, make sure ratio between strobe power and brightness of sun is correct. Fill can be either sunlight or strobes or both
    • The Sync Speed Problem
      • On a bright day, required shutter speed even at low ISO might be higher than camera sync speed
        • Neutral Density Filters
        • High Speed Sync
    • To TTL or not to TTL
  • Session 4: Natural + Studio Light
    • Demonstration
    • Student Shooting
  • Show and Tell and (Gentle) Critique for third session images
  • Session 5: Free for All Practice
    • Student Shooting
  • Challenges of Shooting Multiple Models / Groups
  • Session 6: Multi-Model Opportunity (if there are multiple models, should give students a chance to shoot with multiples)
    • Demonstration?
    • Student shooting with multiple models
  • Wrap up and farewells
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