Better Than Ambient Light: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey

Better Than Ambient Light: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey


In this video I’ll show you how using flash on your location portraits can be better than just ambient light. Hello I’m Gavin Hoey and you’re watching AdoramaTV, brought to you by Adorama, the camera store that’s got everything for us photographers, and today you join me on location. I’m actually in a field just outside of the Gatwick aviation museum with Gatwick Airport right behind me. As you probably see in here in the video, the idea with this is, we’re going to do a location lit portrait, but when it comes to adding light to my location shoots. I have one goal in mind, and that’s to make the light that I add better than the light that’s already here. So with that in mind let’s get some light set, let’s get a model in, let’s get shooting. So to help me out today, I’ve got the amazing Jade Lyon. She’s going to be the model for this, and things haven’t quite gone to plan so far, because believe it or not, this is supposed to be a field full of waist-high grass! But they’ve mowed it very recently, and this is the only bit we could find. So this is going to be our shot here, and I’m going to try and make this look like a field of grass. So let’s talk about lighting. If I’m going to add light, I want it to improve the picture, but maybe this light is absolutely perfect, and the best way to find that out, is to take a test picture. So let’s get a shot like this, see how it
looks. Jade are you ready? Okay here we go.. and as you can see, it actually looks quite good at the moment. We’ve got sort of overcast lighting, so we’ve got lovely soft light on Jade. It’s fine, it’s quite safe. So I’m going to add some light into this scene, and it’s going to be light I’m in control of, and it’s going to come from the flashpoint Explorer 600, but before I actually use the light. I need to work out how low I can take the ambient light, because if I can add some drama by underexposing the ambient light, I can then fill in the shadows using the flashpoint light. So let’s see what we can do here. I’m going to set my camera to manual mode. I’m going to dial in f/11 and I’m going to go for a shutter speed. My flash sync speed of 250th of a second, ISO 200. Let’s take this shot! Here we go Jade. And as you can see, that looks slightly underexposed, but I can get even more drama out of the sky by closing my aperture today, a little bit more to f/16, and now we have a very dark underexposed shot, and that might seem a little bit crazy, but in fact that’s exactly what we want to do. If I can under expose the ambient light, I can then add in my own dynamic light here. If we switch it on, get it a little bit higher, and then we can get a flash meter and just meter this out. So remember, I’m shooting at f/16, that’s how much light I need to come out of this flash. Let’s meter it and see what we get, and I’m getting f/8 so not enough light is coming out of the flash to expose Jade correctly. I just need to adjust the flash up in power slightly. Meter it again I’m on f/16, so there we are, the flash matches my camera. Let’s take a shot like this, see how it looks, and that it’s really good. I got some really dramatic light that I’m in control of, and it looks a lot better than just the ambient light on its own. So with that in mind, let’s add some style to this, and get some shots Jade you ready? Okay here we go. We use two types of props for this shoot, the first was a large piece of red organza fabric, that’s lovely and floaty. Jade could hold it, or we could pin it to the back of her dress. Jade did her own hair and makeup in a vintage style, so we added a vintage camera to complete the look. Now it’s always a really good idea to try and do as much as you can, in camera to get the picture the way you want it. But you have to accept that occasionally there are things that post-processing can just do a little bit better, and this is one of those cases in point. So let’s have a look at the picture, here’s the picture. I want to edit and by large I’m reasonably happy with it, but the base here looks just a little bit on the bright side. So I’m going to darken that area down, and I’ve also got a sky that’s gone a bit gray, and I’ll explain that in a second. So let’s just go back into Camera Raw. I’ve already done a few basic edits here, that Camera Raw is a great place to do this, because I want to adjust the exposure and the white balance. So let’s deal with the exposure, along the base. Now I could use the graduated filter, but that will give me a very obvious straight line. I could use the radial filter, but that will give me more of a vignette. The tool of choice for me is the adjustment brush, and I’m going to change just the exposure. So everything is reset, apart from exposure. I’ll take it down to – one and a half stops, and then with a middle-of-the-road brush size, I guess I can just paint randomly, and the key word here is random, because we don’t want it to look too digital and straight, you want a little bit of randomness in here, because that’s what nature does. Once I’ve painted this in, I can adjust the exposure to get it just the way I want it, and I reckon probably round about there looks good. Now the sky… as I was taking the pictures, I could see the blue sky disappearing, and being rapidly replaced by a gray sky. Ah the worst sort of sky… just flat, and gray. Luckily I got just enough of the blue to make a bit of blue behind the model and the rest, well let’s have a little look. So I’m still on the adjustment brush, I’m gonna click on the new adjustment brush, and this time I’m just going to adjust the temperature. So let’s just bring the temperature down a little bit, not that much maybe, just a little bit down, something like that, and we’ll just pop a little bit of blue up there, too much and it would look really weird. Not enough and you’ll barely see it. There’s just a matter of trying to tie the two blues together, and that looks actually about right. There’s no magic to this, sometimes it either works or it doesn’t. So there we are, that’s the, the basic edit done, but the bit that’s perhaps I’m not sure about, and I don’t know whether I want to remove it or keep it. It’s the leaves in the top right corner. So let’s remove them, and then make that call. Now I’m going to use, the Spot Healing tool. No.. let’s use the Patch Tool. I reckon the Patch Tool is great, because I can draw over the area. I want to Patch and I’m going to do a, an accurate-ish drawing, doesn’t have to be perfect, but something like that. You missed a few bits, lets hold the shift key. Add in any areas that we’ve missed, and I missed a little bit down there as well, so once I’ve drawn my reasonably accurate selection, all I need to do is to move my cursor inside the selection, and then I can drag that patch area to an undamaged part of the picture, or at least as much of it as I can find and let go, because you’ll notice there is a large area of the cloth there, but I’m hoping… YES… that Photoshop can deal with that as well. It’s remarkably good at that. I used a structure of one, a color of three, different settings will yield different results, and maybe a little bit more fine-tuning. There it is, there’s my final picture completed. Well that went really well, despite the fact we didn’t have much long grass. Jade absolutely nailed the shots, and it looks fantastic. Now if you’ve enjoyed this video, don’t forget to leave me a comment below, and if you want to see more videos for myself and the other amazing presenters right here on AdoramaTV, you know what you got to do. You got to click on the subscribe button! I’m Gavin Hoey thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Better Than Ambient Light: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey

  • July 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm
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    I found …u r my real photography teachers….learned a lots of things from your video….all your video have different concepts….but i need one suggestion….can i get same effect that u achieve by using normal Speedlight flashes ….as i cant afford expensive strobes…

    Reply
  • July 25, 2018 at 1:59 pm
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    Haha I absolutely LOVE you're videos! You're the best and thank you for all that you have done for us here on YouTube.

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  • July 25, 2018 at 2:55 pm
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    Love Gavin's work and knowledge. I learn something new everytime I watch one of these videos. Thanks Gavin and Adorama.

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  • July 25, 2018 at 5:02 pm
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    Thanks, as always!!

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  • July 26, 2018 at 5:59 am
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    So cool! I'm gonna find me a model with a large scarf to try to emulate this!

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  • July 27, 2018 at 1:07 am
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    Gavin the best hands down

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  • July 28, 2018 at 9:30 am
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    You are good Gavin, thank you

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  • July 29, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    Is that the standard reflector that come with the 600? If not, what is it? Thanks for the video.

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  • July 29, 2018 at 9:36 pm
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    As long as Gavin is doing videos on this channel, I'm hooked 🙂 Thanks a bunch!

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  • July 29, 2018 at 10:58 pm
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    Gavin is the best bang for the buck. No kidding. Explained in simple, plain language, and with no-nonsense approach – all with excellent results. Thanks Gavin, you rock !

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  • July 30, 2018 at 5:08 am
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    I always enjoy your presentations, Gavin. Thanks so much

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  • July 31, 2018 at 9:21 pm
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    great shot, great model and very well explained – thank you

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  • July 31, 2018 at 9:39 pm
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    Your videos were very informative and easy to follow..Well done! No worries about people that give thumbs down..they will always be haters.

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  • August 1, 2018 at 12:12 am
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    Gavin Hoey has absolutely no idea how to disappoint. He never does!

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  • August 1, 2018 at 1:30 am
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    Absolutely beautiful. When I grow up I'd like to take pictures like this. Many thanks for your teachings.

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  • August 1, 2018 at 8:41 pm
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    I'm so happy to have discovered this photographer, I love you Gavin 😀

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  • August 3, 2018 at 10:42 am
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    Whenever Gavin explains something, i always get it. He is a superb tutor. Thanks Gavin.

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  • August 5, 2018 at 5:17 am
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    Gavin, how do you manage this vs using flash for fill? Would you underexposed the fill flash by a stop? Vs under exposing the BG? Thank you

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  • August 5, 2018 at 10:11 pm
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    Amazing tutorial. Thank you!

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  • August 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm
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    Beautiful

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  • August 7, 2018 at 10:00 am
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    Nice

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  • August 8, 2018 at 8:06 pm
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    just wondering why not drop the ISO to 100 instead of cling down the aperature. Thanks

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  • August 10, 2018 at 6:18 am
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    Why did you shoot ambient at f16?

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  • August 10, 2018 at 5:15 pm
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    I love to do portraits and wanted to try strobes on location. Is there any budget strobe for outdoor photography which has battery pack? Because in location we may not get power supply.

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  • August 13, 2018 at 5:20 am
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    Sir, u r amazing. Thanks for all your inspiration.

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  • August 14, 2018 at 4:36 am
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    f/11? dude. wtf. I mean f 4, 5.6 ok I understand, but F/11?

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  • August 18, 2018 at 10:53 pm
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    Great video Gavin

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  • August 18, 2018 at 11:37 pm
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    Music is my life ratitos amen

    Reply
  • August 20, 2018 at 5:41 pm
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    big fan of yours …reason i subscribed adroma 😄

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  • August 20, 2018 at 8:21 pm
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    Gavin the the absolute BEST

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  • August 23, 2018 at 12:58 pm
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    I am always happy when I see Gavin's tutoriel!

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  • August 25, 2018 at 8:57 pm
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    Enjoyed the video Gavin.

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  • August 30, 2018 at 11:47 pm
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    You're the man,… thanks

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  • September 1, 2018 at 5:39 am
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    The man that IS Adorama…..the only photographer I know that could make photographing paint drying interesting!

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  • September 2, 2018 at 10:25 pm
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    great as always thank you!!!!

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  • September 3, 2018 at 10:21 am
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    I liked the video a lot! I like him as well, his humour is awsome.

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  • September 4, 2018 at 2:43 am
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    Ill watch anything with Gavin Hoey in it. Just give us Gavin Hoey all the time please.

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  • September 4, 2018 at 2:37 pm
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    Thanks! Just planning and outdoor shoot with a costume and sheer material.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 7:46 pm
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    I have learned so much since finding your tutorials! I love your artistic style. I am an adorama loyal customer because of your videos lol

    I have not yet purchased a meter but I will..

    any idea what power you were on for these shots?

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  • September 8, 2018 at 8:34 pm
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    Genius

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  • September 8, 2018 at 10:51 pm
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    I love that you added the vintage camera 🙂

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  • September 9, 2018 at 6:27 am
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    The master !

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  • September 10, 2018 at 8:52 am
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    Every time I watched one of your videos I learn new exciting things.
    Thank you 🙂

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  • September 12, 2018 at 1:39 am
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    Great video.

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  • September 12, 2018 at 6:40 am
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    i love it..

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  • September 15, 2018 at 3:01 am
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    Love the videos, simple and to the point, no waffle.

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  • September 15, 2018 at 3:51 pm
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    awesome great photographer and mentor

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  • September 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm
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    Could you achieve this with speedlight flashes. Say Nikon SB 900

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  • September 18, 2018 at 7:25 pm
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    excellent

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  • September 19, 2018 at 10:39 pm
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    You made it so easy to understand and quick too. I love it. Thank you.

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  • September 21, 2018 at 2:55 pm
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    What is especially good about the added light is that it not only lights the subject but delivers interesting highlights to the tall grass. You don’t notice that the tall grass is not spread throughout the field.

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  • September 22, 2018 at 1:02 pm
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    Keep it simple, this is great…explained in a straightforward way without all the usual paraphernalia and egotisitical hoohah

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  • September 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm
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    Mr Hoey you are the man. Energetic and motivated you make your classes exciting

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  • September 24, 2018 at 10:43 pm
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    Absolutely awesome and extremely useful from on site to the editing tips. Thank you much!!!

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  • October 1, 2018 at 4:43 pm
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    Too much technology. I do not like this unnatural light in contrast to the too dark sky, so be either a photographer

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  • October 3, 2018 at 6:46 am
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    Damn Gavin! You killed it man kudos

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  • October 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm
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    Fantastic, Gavin!!!

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  • October 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm
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    ALways fun to hear Gavin; i'm a fan

    Reply
  • October 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm
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    श्रीमानजी नमस्कार अच्छा है

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  • October 29, 2018 at 7:25 pm
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    I love your photos

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  • November 5, 2018 at 6:35 pm
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    Hands down, best and most informative channel/presenter on youtube. Hats off, Mr. Hoey!

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  • November 7, 2018 at 9:56 am
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    lovely

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  • November 8, 2018 at 10:29 pm
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    you are great.

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  • December 13, 2018 at 3:08 am
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    Terrific! Thank you!

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  • December 15, 2018 at 8:55 am
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    Brilliant! I found this so insightful not just concerning off camera flash but also camera raw too. Thank you 🙏🏻🙂

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  • January 24, 2019 at 6:04 am
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    I would have headed straight for that beautiful tree across the field

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  • February 6, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    Gavin you'r one of the best of all you'r outdoor and indoor shooting projects are so interesting and are very easy to follow, not long-winded just down to earth, and this is up ther with the best . the lighting complements the location and the model is perfect for this type of shot. I try not to miss any of your videos or tips Adorama are lucky to have you onboard.

    Reply
  • February 11, 2019 at 5:28 am
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    I love this guy. And he loves this location. And honestly I love the aviation shots he has done!!

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  • February 20, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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    Gavin your the best presenter ever. Any chance if you don't have big strobes but only simple on camera godex light strobe. Is it still possible to get those kind of effects.

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  • March 2, 2019 at 12:29 am
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    Hello Gavin. Love your videos. Can you answer me this question please. To shoot outdoor hss would the flashpoint streaklight 360 be enough or do you need the 600ws most of the time? I have seen you use both in your videos. Thank you sir. I inspire to be as good of a photographer as you are one day.
    Michael Davis

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  • March 18, 2019 at 8:13 pm
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    Insanely good taking this is something that ambitious amateur can achieve.

    Thank you.

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  • March 19, 2019 at 2:19 am
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    Gavin and Mark are by far the best presenters of on you tube. Always showing the settings on how you got those shots for beginners. I do appreciate your time well spend with us all

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  • March 20, 2019 at 9:09 pm
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    What type of fabric did you use?

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  • March 21, 2019 at 8:57 am
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    Great video…

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  • March 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm
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    Hoey the Great! Thanks a bunch for great shows as always!

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  • March 22, 2019 at 5:14 am
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    We all love Gavin! Ive had such success bending some of his ideas using my wonderful dancers…thanks Gavin!

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  • March 23, 2019 at 7:52 pm
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    beautiful

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  • March 24, 2019 at 9:21 am
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    Great job mate. Like the trick with the patch healing tool too. 🙂

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  • March 25, 2019 at 2:06 pm
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    Nice, with each video I learn something new everyday.

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  • March 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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    Love love love this

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  • March 26, 2019 at 12:28 pm
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    Every video u made it so simple to follow but beautiful…

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 2:08 pm
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    You Sir. You are a legend.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2019 at 10:31 pm
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    200 ISO on daylight? And f/16? Little risky. If the camera's sensitivity can not be changed, I would use a ND filter 0.9 (8x) than you have sensitivity like ISO 25 and f/5.6 and 1/250 s. Ambient is still 2 stops underexposed and you don't need such strong light from flashlight. And maybe little bokeh. Nice job and pictures.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2019 at 4:20 pm
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    ഗുഡ് വീഡിയോ

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  • April 2, 2019 at 5:01 pm
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    Love it, Creative, Quick, Efficient.

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  • April 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm
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    Ohh now i have idea how they do it thank you

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  • April 8, 2019 at 7:44 pm
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    Great job Mr. Gavin.

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  • April 10, 2019 at 11:12 am
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    Gavin,
    what kind of exposure metering in your camera did you use for TTL to work correctly and precisely?

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  • April 11, 2019 at 2:07 pm
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    Wow thank you, you've helped me a lot and decreased my Post production editing.

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  • April 11, 2019 at 7:15 pm
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    I really like this guy – haha always so entertaining and good clear videos

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  • April 21, 2019 at 5:19 am
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    Beautiful subject paired with a great setting and a prop. Fantastic.

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  • April 24, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    Great work

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  • May 18, 2019 at 12:31 pm
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    Great tutorial!

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  • June 1, 2019 at 7:22 am
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    Jade is a most beautiful model i have ever seen

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  • June 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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    I need a help , I recently bought a Nikon D5600 and the trouble I am going through is with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , most important is Bluetooth cuz I wanna transfer my pics to my iPhone 6s as I take them .. so the problem is that I am not able to active my Bluetooth because it shows me as untouchable or unusable means basically it’s greyed out so when I touch or click it , it says the option not available in current settings and I have tried to change all the settings but still it’s greyed out n non usable … if some one went or going through this issue and really knows how to fix it please kindly let me know n help me out… and also I am totally confused with Wi-Fi settings which seems to be super complicated ….. please guys advice or help me out of this I am scratching my head n pulling my hair now it’s damn annoying …. also what settings should I change that when I taking picture I don’t need to see only on viewfinder and I can see my subject in the screen as well … please please help out your brother .. thanks in advance … sigh 😓😓😓

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  • June 30, 2019 at 11:26 pm
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    Love this! Thank you

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  • July 12, 2019 at 10:22 am
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    Awesome.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 3:08 pm
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    Thanks, Gavin. I have learned a lot from you and I want to say a big thank you for all your videos you are full of details and brillant ideas please i need more videos from you to improve my works

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  • August 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm
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    Yet another cracking video, cheers Gavin. I’ve recently converted to Olympus and I am chuffed to bits with my OMD EM1 Mkii, I am thinking about buying a Godox AD200, do you think it will have enough power to give similar results? Cheers in advance 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    Reply

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