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Crazy Stupid Light

Lesson 10 of 12

Live Shoot: Multiple Techniques Indoor Shoot

Scott Robert Lim

Crazy Stupid Light

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

10. Live Shoot: Multiple Techniques Indoor Shoot

Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Multiple Techniques Indoor Shoot

We just talked about natural light and finding available light and then kind of adding that special sauce that sandwich effect and using flash and a very, very simple way toe add that little extra kicker behind the person and you don't even need to calculate what that flash power is. Just use it because the main light was created by the available light. Okay, now, let's say you have no available light even though there is a lot of greater help alighted here, we have to pretend there is none. But there still is, uh, let's say there's hardly any light at all. That is the perfect opportunity to use video light even before I use flash sometimes because video light is what you see is what you get you khun position the video light and you can see the shadow. How it's, how it's casting across the face and the body you could see exactly, uh, the shot that you want because you conform the light right before your very eyes and that's actually the easiest way. So I think what we'll do is we'll st...

art off using some straight video light and then maybe kind of go into, uh, using a, um umbrella and then another thing, I think if we can, and not sure if it's dark enough in here, but maybe we can try to use that strip reflector again but it has to be really, really dark to do that so we were thinking about this stairs because this seems to be the darkest areas so maybe if we pull the thie subject up higher into the stairs we could get that video light I mean strip light in fact there's ah um if someone can get me I had a long bag and in that bag was the strip reflector if at some point in time we're going to use get that to the end of the show so if we could get that ready okay so I'm surveying the area and I'm trying to find somewhere dark where we could use this video light and the darkest spot we could get is kind of the stairwell here so um would anybody okay the first thing I'm going to try to do is set my camera settings and what we said works for video light is if you could be in around two point a and then set your eyes so up hi um oh okay it takes a little time here because it's good okay so I made half eleven on it's way too high so I'm going to move it down to two point eight um and my book bring my eyes but I've got live you so I know exactly what it's gonna look like it's gonna be okay so well anyways I think two hundred eso is about lois that we're going to go here so it's not the ideal situation but we'll make it work don't worry about it so you could get some great ideas on how to use video I got to remember again I changed my white balance to the little light bulb but now I'm using video light my video lights are daylight balanced so I'm going to set my white balance to daylight which iss son groups would it go hold on my eyes are bad that looked like the sun to me when I was like okay, that should work all right so I've got it pretty dark in here um you have to go to about five point o and see if I can do this with enough light I think we could um I'm actually what I'm doing is I'm eliminating some ambient light no actually let's not do that let's try to take just a normal work flow er and um I'm going to shoot it as if uh we were gonna just place a person here and photograph it maybe make it slightly under exposed. Um does anybody want a model for us? Yeah, lonnie let's go okay, so if you could just sit maybe on the third stair forced air forced there right there right there that's good. Okay, now see actually that's just really beautiful light because look at the guest lights in their eyes okay, so but we're gonna, uh, show you had just a little add video light as a little bit of phil and own and maybe uh do some reflective up light to put a little glow on her so I am gonna, um meter her I'm gonna bring my down teo uh okay, I'm gonna go down two point eight okay, so I'm gonna go down a two point eight that's sixty eighth of a second okay? And this is what we get here just for a general um exposure slightly on the dark side. Okay, that looks pretty darn good itself, right? Okay, now remember how we said using natural light and then the most common method for me to use video light was to use it as a kicker? This is the perfect situation or a hair light. This is the perp think situation for this because if you see lani she has dark hair, right? And so even though she's perfectly lit uh, her hair kind of gets lost in the background I don't see a lot of detail in her hair area, so it just looks like a black mass there and good photography has good range in tone, which means even in the brightest area you should see detail and even in the darkest areas you should see detail now if you close up those areas where it's dark and you see chunks of just black where they're supposed to be detailed guess what you're not gonna win an award because when people look for when photographs are judged they want to see an entire dynamic range so you can either do that in photo shop but then if you could do it with real light it's even easier than that so let's do that does anybody want to be my assistant here uh and we'll just kind of put some light behind her hair and we'll open this out and if you khun um step behind her and if you could just maybe where yeah your legs are going to be there so if you khun scoot over to this side yeah right there okay and if you could turn that video light up let's get it on top of her and then let's turn that video light up higher let's go all the way can you turn the dial and make it stronger? Yeah okay because it's not real dark in here so that's why uh it's okay right there now we got a slight uh a little bit more um I don't want you in the frame but let's take it and see if you can see some highlight I would actually yeah if you could get it closer and higher above her head then yeah let's try that uh what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna lower my shutter speed a bit just so we could see that highlight in there now my camera looks a little bit darker you could start sort of see the highlight that right. Okay, so what I did is in lower the shutter steve so you could see the highlights a little bit what now see how I get detail and everything here that would be a perfect shot. Maybe I would stop that because when I pose process I have all the entire dynamic range there already I can always make things darker but I can't I mean but right I can always make things darker, but if it's dark and closed up I can't make it brighter so I rather start on a little bit brighter side because I can bring everything down and still keep all the detail after post processing so let me take another shot here and then let's experiment with another video actually she probably doesn't need it. Um it looks pretty much right on okay there's detail in her sweater which is dark and this is great when I like to do head shots I like to tell people to wear dark clothing and she is and why is that anybody? Yeah, because then their faces is the brightest area and your eye naturally gravitates to what's brightest and what's sharpest so if they're wearing dark then there there face comes out so I love it so the worst scenario is actually wearing white because then you're fighting everything all the time because they're white shirt is bright or usually then their face and so people are going to gravitate to the shirt instead of their face and they're getting there you're gonna lose a lot of impact but this look at this photo looks great because she's wearing dark she doesn't know what she looks like see she's curious okay so um here let's try that again and we got some video light in here let's actually move you back so the farther I move her back though less light there is and then she's closer to the video light also okay yeah and see if we can get some more highlights here uh can you get closer on her head yeah right there we go one two ready good oh, I like that smile there that other one like I'm gonna make you smile okay, well see, I wouldn't really position there because there's a rail going straight through ahead but I want it I want to see show you those highlights that air there now we're in a very bright area now I said we should start video light at eight hundred but I'm at two hundred so that's why it's your kind of at the limit of video light right here as it's not really real strong so in this particular case if I wanted to create ah highlight in this particular type of light what stronger than a video light flash or we could do two stoves to we could do to video lights but bulls likely flash okay, but let's um let's try this uh take that video light away for a second now can you put the video light right behind her head so it kind of glows around her head and hide everything yeah let's see if we could do kind of there if we had well, if she was if it was blond hair where can you go back a bit so you could get more spread around her head it's just showing on the sides yeah, okay down more down down right uh yeah it's not quite strong enough but also what I mean okay, good. Um yeah, I mean, I'm trying to see that halo a bit right there now if we blast the flash there it'll just totally fill it up, which we will probably do, but I want to just example of some video light examples. Okay, so now I think actually she's already getting some natural up light by the light coming in and reflecting and coming back up so I don't really need to use the video collect for that it would just be overkill but let's try that do you guys um let's try something else with the video light first then we'll go back to flash okay come on out let's do this since the light is bright this way if I if I shoot this way she should be darker and they'd be perfect for video light so what we'll do is coming out here linda lana del right sorry ok let's try shooting here um maybe if you could go kind of right here right this slightly lean forward let me see what you look like here there's so much great light around here I'm trying to find somewhere where there are no catch lights but there's amazing lights everywhere we go there's a catch right so I'm trying to eliminate that uh let's try the other way let's try it this way if that's any better okay no that's good like to everywhere is good. Um okay but this is fine. We'll just work with this. Um okay let me just shoot this um by itself here okay. Um why don't two that's what should we do with your hands? Can you turn your body um close it off a bit more yeah, there you go. Can you lean forward a bit good that wu sexy like that? Ok, now you can see I turned her body a bit in the photograph see how that looks better and because then then I accentuated her hips so I could see that so I leaned her forward and the one thing about posing a woman is make a woman look like a woman which means what is a woman when you just think of the women you're thinking curves right so try to accentuate those curves as much as possible can we go back to the other picture see that I'm basically just testing light here so but uh how's tara I'm just terrible of me right she's a lot prettier than that shame on me for shooting this photo so go to the next photo I turned it off to the side right leaned her ford she's got a little bit more but that looks good, man yeah you married okay, yeah, your husband's going like that? Okay, so now let's just add a little bit of light what I'll do is all underexposed I'm at fortieth of a second I'll bring that that my shutter speed up to say maybe eighty eighth of a second toe under expose it one stop and then we'll add a little video light in there just to pop it to see what it looks like okay, so I'm going to go to eightieth of a second here at two point eight so it's goingto under expose it one stop we'll turn that video light on just a bit let me see what it looks like yeah ok good lean forward yeah ok and come on over here and what we're gonna do is pop that that's that's that's a little bit too much but I like that chlo so we're gonna control that's what you get out see his assistant you've got to learn what the light quality is so when I'm an assistant I'm actually a great second share see that right? Okay, I'm going to shoot it without and then we're gonna add the light so they can see the difference we're going to shoot that without then we're gonna add too much light and then we're gonna add just the right light now this is too much light which looks okay and then we will add just about the light that we like okay is bringing it down right there uh I don't know if it actually may be on camera on camera can you see the let's see the next photo and so I'm popping a little bit of a light underneath there and what we can also do is we can pop a little bit of light on top to if we wanted to so why don't we try that just for the heck of it because we can't so so if someone else can just hold this up like this here then that would be great and I've got some to catch lights her actually pull it away for a second I want to see what it looks without it uh the underneath like this is actually good too because it's the video light is opening up what she's wearing and it it's it's adding a little bit more light in there um and I don't think actually you can see much of a difference so we can make it a little bit brighter I'm trying to simulate keeping it dark by keeping my shutter speed higher because I'm trying to simulate a video light situation but there's so much amazing light in here it's hard to make it not amazing self that's what I'm trying to do is make it intentionally dark to make the light less amazing okay it's probably not working out well okay one two one two ready now when you hear me shoot I always say one two ready why don't I do that because they need to know when you're going to shoot it because naturally we relax and then we smile when the camera's going to go on but if they don't know when you're shooting it they might not be ready so that's why I always say one two ready click one or one too so they know when to expect it and you're going to get better expressions out of people if you warn them and I know there's a lot of free time especially beginning photographers never do they don't do it enough they just go and shoot shoot but you have to prepare your subject to your client okay so uh we're getting some up light there yeah we're getting some nice catch lights there right is just adding a little bit of pop in there what we could do let's choose one light here and then let's use another light as some rim light and see if we can do that so it turned out all the way up to full and then go behind just right there and go hi and just so there's some separation light on her hair can you go in a little bit stronger yep one and go in a little bit it's perfect one teo ready good wait one more don't think that was quite focused one two ready good okay so now we're just adding just that see that glow in her face that looks beautiful just that little glow in her face the up light and just that little edge of light around her hair um and it's and it's relatively very easy to do especially if you were in a darker situation but just adding that little in there is really gonna separate your photos it looks like you're a reflector and that's why well I know some people asked me is there do you use a reflector? Well, I used my video like a lot of times as reflectors okay, so that's a yes today just as quick questions so zoey one is wondering whether you're f eleven black box would not work here on def you could explain why okay, eleven question can you turn this veto lights off before used power? Well okay, class why does the f eleven black box not work here? The video is acting like ambient light, so you're going to shut it all out you're blacking out the situation you're in oh, so you're saying that I'm we're using the video light more as phil uh but why can't we just use the black box principle and use video light and put it at half eleven what's that there's too much light what's too but if we put it at a eleven there won't be any life because the thing the the lights not powerful yeah it's a very simple answer the video light is not powerful enough you can only use video light really? Well, it works really well for me at s o eight hundred right f stop two point eight and below. Okay, we are at s o two hundred meaning we are two stops brighter situation that I would normally, um use video, light and that's why it's a little bit different here because there's too much light but my light by video light is not strong enough uh to do the black box theory s o we would have to go back to flash to do it because this is actually a lot of light in this area but I love that look here it's very easy tio I mean she has a nice glow on your face it looks beautiful um you know and that's example of how to do video like and use it just for accenting light so video like to me it's more like you're using natural light but you want to add a little glow you want add a little pop you want to put a little rim light around the hair it's perfect for just fine tuning that natural light shot to make it look even a little bit better so now what we're gonna do is we're going to go back we'll stay here and do this situation and let's um well, we've kind of done that before let's let's try going back to this situation here can you sit on the stairs got we don't have the reflectors we do have the reflector I don't know if it's going to be dark enough to tell you truth, but we can try it. Okay? So let's go back and let me maybe we could try that um so why don't you go back almost a here we'll try it here it's right here since we're here I try not to move my subjects around that much because once the lighting is kind of figured out every time you move to a new position there's a lot more set up involved so it's very efficient to just stay in that same area and if you were here on set you would see why because because we changed locations oh my gosh these guys are running around like crazy toe make everything work for us okay? So we're going to use this little riff strip reflector so we're going to turn that on two full power okay? And you're gonna put it behind coming this way and if you could just don't turn it up and if you could just hold this and maybe we could get that light can you see that? Does it even sure you could feel it but I can't even see a don think I don't see anything here, so I don't think we're not in a dark enough situation for this toe work this pretty much has to work when you're like have four times less light so let's try over here okay and that's not gonna work either because we have light coming in from this window and looks beautiful here way could go into that club that bathroom and do it wait won't that um let's try doing something else let's try doing let's just you know what let's not fight it let's just go back to the dark side maybe when the light is a little bit lower and light we can go back to this but let's do that shot I don't know if you saw that shot where I used natural light and then I used the flash is a kicker so let's do that particular situation so uh basically, um can you go down one? Okay, great. So she's gonna pose here? I am goingto get her exposure as if uh normal so I'm at two point eight I'm gonna bring this teo gonna be a fiftieth of a second here. Want to ready? Good. Um let's see, maybe if you could drop the shoulder a bit, turn your body more towards me a bit just yeah, perfect. One two ready? Good. Okay, so that is beautiful light right on my subject because we've got this huge soft box coming in it's feeling and it's channeling in this stairway that's just beautiful natural light that's that's what I would look for all the time now we're going to do the kicker, but we saw that the video light was not strong enough. So we're going to go to a flash. And this is the reason why we can't use video light all the time because there's just simply not strong enough and my video lights a pretty strong too, so we're going to take a flash maybe what we'll do to make it easier is we will just pull it off this bar so we can get in there now what color like do you want to just go straight regular light and class we're at two point eight at fiftieth of a second how much backlight do you want on this? Start out easy you want to just go at sixty fourth power and see what it looks like anybody want to run back there? Uh christian, you can go sit down and if you actually have maybe we should do a scenario um there's another if, uh I think it's in that also that black bad I have in that black bag I have a flash that has a stand trigger that has a stand I could actually if you were by yourself I could actually put that flash right behind her on the stand but I don't have that right now so I'm just gonna do this now let's test it right. Okay, perfect. One two pretty good. Okay, now you'll see this photo and you'll see that it's hardly at all if anything noticeable barely that's at sixty fourth power okay, so let's turn it up two stops when I like to experiment I do a I do a major effect so like I used to go oh, let's just turn it up a stop but I find it's better than if I exaggerate and I go let's just go to stops to see where that isthe so I like to I don't like to step it I like to go uh I like to try things a little bit more aggressively and see what that gets me because sometimes it gets me something that I would expect because I naturally would just step it up but I'm here ok so I'm going to stops just add that light one two ready good I like that that's looking a little bit better um that's pretty good okay so that looks pretty nice there right and it's actually lighting up the stairs a bit uh so let's go another stop and then what we could do is kind of point the light and feather the light a bit so it's not as much as on the steps and maybe if I can create cem and might create some lens flare actually one two ready good okay, well try that and we'll see what that looks like okay so that's even bumped up the little bit and the lightest feather and then we got I like that I'd like that little rim light around her uh and it lights up the steps a little bit more it's a little bit hot on the left hand side but I could live with that I could fix that in photo shop for whatever ah lot of times I don't make the shot too too perfect but for me I rather keep my subject fresh and keep her in the game with me and me getting the perfect shot and making everything perfect okay uh because well it's very hard for that subject to stand still and all that so I lean more on the side of the subject and keeping her comfortable if I could get the shot within a couple minutes of that pose I'll do it but if I if I can't get that shot quite the way I want it and I know in post I can do it I rather stop and get it semi perfect and fix it in post because I rather save my client and keep them in the game and I do not want them to lose faith in me or think that this is boring or this is hard and I'm getting tired I liketo always keep my client fresh that's number one for me so if I get close enough then that's good so in this particular shot even though it's it's on the left hand camera left on the left hand side on the stairs that looks a little bit hot to me but if I had been here for a while and she's sitting here what for a while maybe I couldn't get my flash to go off and I finally did that would be good enough for me and it wouldn't move on yes it's not perfect but I'm keeping my client fresh questions so we have actually a suggestion from a b grant who wants to see if you can gel the stairway to create a really cool effect oh yeah self portrait maybe just a really cool fashion a love that's what my dream would be well they want to see you fulfill your dreams got yes now hey maybe we could ask them what color they would like to see but it's going to take about a minute right actually a v design had already said we tried doing yellow and purple yellow and purple that's complementary colors okay so we're going to get a yellow jail that and uh go this way so as you can see when you're in a bright light situation when you're in s o one hundred s o two hundred you're going to see that flash is a lot more effective once you go into a situation where you're in I s o eight hundred and above and video light's gonna come into play so this uh this is a perfect situation where you see that where we were trying to use the video light but there's so much darn light in here it's really hard to uh using in a really effective way okay so let's get back there neil and let's pop it yellow uh what power where you at? Eighth hour. Okay, yeah let's try it there and see what that looks like okay ready one two that's gonna cool now I was uh that's kind of cool, huh um what do you guys think I was actually thinking um pink or something uh or blue I was thinking blue so I like that but I would probably prefer blue what do you guys think? Well, I could go purple but let's try blue or I could go I could go a greenish blue or I could go a like a teal ish teo like something like this you want to try that? Yeah let's try that. So and scott, are you just looking for just a personal preference of what you think will look cool or what? Why are you thinking of those colors? Because I think it's kind of a low key shop okay? And so she's wearing dark and then you have bright highlights and it doesn't match what she's wearing so I'm thinking it might be better if we keep it all low key so if she's wearing blues grays and dark purple then we keep the background dark I think it might match a little bit better we're trying out a kind of bluish steel which might give it some blue but warm it up a bit we don't know if it's gonna look good we're just having fun and trying it out right? Perfect good well he's back there well we can try a straight blue too because I think it's straight blue by look good actually but who knows okay ready one two right so this is a little bit less of effect um but it's a little bit matching of a low key we can maybe try turning uh let's try turning that up one and say if we're getting the theories is actually less uh hopes I got you see I didn't count that time and she blinked see right when I didn't count it's messed her up okay because I was talking ready one two all right so this is better so that you could see that's a little bit more of ah bluish uh teal highlight um and what happened to so I am goingto reduce some ambient light to make it more dramatic so I'm going to raise my shutter speed teo eightieth of a second because I just feel like it should be darker because I'm gonna mr contrasts okay ready one two ready good so this has a little bit darker feel to it but then she might be a little bit more underexposed but that's the kind of field that I like right there so that that comes with practice that comes with it um just doing this a lot and understanding light and the tone that you want um earlier in my career I would have known how to do that raise the shutter speed like that to eliminate some of the ambient light but because I practiced so much of and understanding the concept of eliminating the ambient light to create more drama uh I am in tune with that and that might be a foreign concept to you especially if you shoot natural light the concept of eliminating ambient light's might be so foreign to you but you should get out there and practice it and and it's that draw I love that shot is that drama that you can create? Um is there any other questions at this time we're to another we're going to keep going. Okay, so let's um let's do this you guess have any anything that you you want me to see me do with this uh, situation okay, so let's do this let's get the subject out and change areas okay? And let's say we're in a flat light area okay? I am gonna, uh I'm gonna have you po there's actually let's let's switch if someone else wants to depose does anybody wanna get a shot? Okay, yeah. Come on now let's do something on this wall here because I'm kind of tired of those stairs array now let's go for hope sorry I'm putting this in the cameras I'm not sure where to put these let's go further with that concept of eliminating the ambient light let's do a particular let's do a photo here once you lean up against that yeah and uh turn him roll up on that way right good to what pull that arm back a bit like this bandit bit right there good okay okay let's do the concept let's say I'm a naturalized shooter so I would line this up I would shoot this like this okay so this is kind of a natural light shot all this would take maybe not all of us but some of us would take okay right natural light shooters is this something that you would do okay is that that what does that what about the exposure that you would like like ok brain let's teach you something different okay, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to eliminate a lot of that ambient light uh and make it darker okay, so do that same pose again yep good okay and I am going to oops I'm not going to change my appetite change my shutter and bring this up too one twenty fifth of a second I'm gonna bring this up to one twenty fifth of a second and it's gonna look like this and you go oh, that looks terrible a ball and you're going way no please don't do that natural light would never do that so but I'm going to do that but then I'm gonna add highlight on her face you get it so now I just eliminated some ambient light and I'm gonna put my flash on because I don't well let's see if I can bump it up let's try video light let's see video light on full could get me anything in there to make it look good do that same pose again okay right and go hi and okay now this is going to give me a bit more drama here can you put your chin up a bit and the reason why I'm doing that is that the nose a little bit more towards the light on and one in your face a little bit more tourists right there chin up turn face right there right there perfect you look beautiful right there one two ready yeah okay so we eliminate the ambient light and then we're adding highlight to create a bit of a uh you see that see that's more my style whereas I've got a little bit of drama there with the video light and so then I would go on top of that let's add another video light to sandwich and someone else want to hold one of these on the other side we're gonna kind of opened her up and it's also going to eliminate that shadow too that way okay yeah good so one chin up a bit right there turn your face a little bit more time so that one too three good and is that all the way up on high there I not sure if that's enough for me let's take a look at this I might have to go flash on the backside you see that little bit of highlight on her hair they're okay uh so what I could do let's try this let's turn this off I'm going to change the angle to make it more believable like it son I'm gonna use flash at say thirty second power and I'm gonna put a orange jail back there to simulate son and I'm gonna shine it behind her and we're gonna pop her with video light and we'll see what that gets us so I'm gonna shoot this way now got depth back there and then it could be very believable that there's actually some sun back there turned towards me cools off yeah close off like maybe you could you know you used to being sexy on the camera okay so okay uh maybe maybe like you're hugging the wall like the wall is your boyfriend are you married sameer like your husband o okay uh that's nice. Okay, now I'm gonna back this light off a bit actually it looks a little bit harsh to me so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add umbrella take soften the light up on her face okay? Hopefully he'll be strong enough so about this okay, so I'm adding it using an umbrella mount here so I can open that up now that's a beautiful soft light on her face here just to give me I might even I could even go this way just do with that looks better just for a little pop underneath it's also reflecting here off the wall and hitting your face here so I'm getting too I'm getting up there I'm getting this and get yeah that looks great okay uh a little bit more like there's great okay who want to well I didn't turn to you to turn it on no the bottom the bottom the trigger the trigger pull the triggers on the flash went okay is this over onto? It is a good test did you push it up yeah uh that's okay let's write something here okay? I might be losing battery on this sucker okay let's this thesis that she where's the other flash stay well yeah okay sorry sorry about that folks ok ok so I got this turning this on had that you could just lift this off it's faster this way so I'm adding the jail here on the flash okay, now she looks really good to see a header in the moment and then I just messed it all up by screwing up okay get back into the husband mode good there you go turn your face towards me a bit right there one two ready good okay let's too much power so we're gonna brought top that down what is it that now okay let's see that one two three turn your head displayed bit high like that then your nose towards me right there. Good can you put your head to its a little bit can you pull your come out so you're outta angle because I like it if you're leaning like this and you're like this but I want you like this yeah turn your shoulders to build it yeah right there leaning a bit yeah that's it up a bit turn towards me right perfect one two ready did okay, now we can feather the light towards no no just keep where you had it and turn it towards me because it's hitting too much of the wall and so but I wanted to skim her face and almost go back into the camera okay, so now I'm going to try to create the sun by letting it in the camera a bit. All right, so there you hear what this next shot where I actually simulated that sort of that sun feel there where I skimmed it off and then I, uh posted right there. Okay, so let me see is that what that was zoom down at seventy, right? So I would look really cool too if you had a seventy two, two hundred lands and then you just zoomed in all the way and it kind of created uh, so now that's a combination between video light and it's, a combination between video light and flash and we're using video light to kind of accent the face. Um and we did up light to kind of give her that glow it was reflecting against the wall and coming back at her it's a little bit um under we have so much light in here that we're at the very it's very, we're at the edge of using video light and that's why it's not coming off the way that we wanted to? Because there's actually just too much light in here? Eso what I'm trying to do is crank it down, so but when I'm cranking it down, I have to use full power on my video light, and I'm at the very, very, very edge of that. So that's, why the effect doesn't look as strong as I want it to be, but we're trying to use video lightened something examples of that I know that's kind of a hard concept to understand, but that's exactly what we're doing. Yes, yeah, no, I think it's, you know, we're again seeing rhea world scenarios and using the tools that we write, so one request that has been coming in over and over here, we have time for this, you're a group shot a group shot so something where you're say you're posing a small wedding party this would be really small but something where that we have multiple this is a force in class or five students yeah would you like great let's do it so what I would do usually in a group and I've just got this situation right here okay um I'm going to try something really fun okay something that seems to work and and people love it okay and it's just something for you don't like I know you at the bridal party and they were so let's do something fun like let's all wear our sunglasses right we're sick of that shot so where is that they different okay so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna actually I'm gonna meet her for those stairs and I'm going to say all six of you I want you to get in those stairs and I'm giving you ten seconds ten nine eight a seven a six five sit down d'oh get out you're not in the picture for three to blood bob make it why were you hustling what would you do in ten seconds you know that's what you get again but that's kind of fun right and then they settle in right uh it just gets that spontaneous response that you want and the countdown always works and know what's great using the countdown using the count on down on the aunties and uncles because they're trying to move really fast they're like nervous about it it's like oh man it's hilarious okay so let's try and arrange them something what I first do is I look for uneven surface or props so I could get different heights uh the worst thing that you can do is line up people all in a line on you know have them in one direction that isthe like girls on one side guys on the other that's like the most boring shot don't do it s o I always look for props like here right so now look at this photo look att lookit oh they can't then you can see them right? Okay what's wrong with that they can't see themselves but I can see okay now what's wrong with that photo is this you never put heads on top of heads and look at them they're raid their photographers and they arrange themselves three heads on the left and three heads on the right is like the worst possible combination. You okay? Yeah way well you see the picture okay. Okay, great. So we're going to do that but neil is too high right he's way up there so we're gonna have to get him sitting down somewhere so if you can sit down yeah yeah can you move forward a bit right there good all right now also what you want to do is you don't want tohave uh two people in the same position next to each other ok, so I'm looking at that and what I want to see here is okay I've got a little bit of a head uh let's see priscilla and robert your heads are right on top of each other so I'm gonna have robert move over move your butt over a bit okay good uh right there and then let's see I'm gonna uh yeah where you gonna be right there good and why don't you uh that's good that's great right there. Okay, so something like that right and that is it actually this is good example video light maybe okay so well I didn't count down and she blame right once I don't count down get the blake that's why it's so important to countdown okay, ready one two okay, now we look at this shot we're going to see some uneven lighting we might have to have rushed in here do some assistant okay, so if you want to get this in camera I'm gonna need some light at the top so what I could do is try it with the video light if not, I would probably with a flash uh but I'm gonna take this and drill a well it's this this one better and if we could get some light at the top where neal is the balance that light off and so I'm balancing the light off okay that's a little bit too strong so and it's probably in the photo too so right stand right there and then write about it uh, yeah, you know, you could go closer to neil um now it's in the in the picture right there. Yeah. Okay, now that's balance ready that were closed closer one two ready? Perfect. Okay, now you can see that the lights look thanks for us on this shot you could see that the lights a little bit more balanced and I do this a lot with group shots. See that just that little extra umph in the back creates even lighting. Now we have a little slight issue with christine because she's the fairest and she's in the front and she looks a little bit brighter, but I could get that with a photo shop later because in order for me to correct it in camera, I gotta change everybody's position again. And so I was like, that's just too much work. I'll live with that and I'll post that I'll bring kristina down in post a little bit all right, so let's that's one idea okay and what's another idea uh come on out and so if you were too if I were to use a muse a group shot I would use natural life and of course I would use this is great natural light here so I would pulls them right here so can you guys to stand right here? Okay see okay, right if they pulled themselves that looks terrible that's why you got to take over so what we're going to try to do here is we're going to try to treat create a triangle so we're gonna put the tallest people near the middle so if you could do that yeah right and then kind of taper off a bit right now. Okay what's wrong with that looks terrible right looks okay but it looks terrible because everybody is pointing positioning themselves the same way right so to break it up we would have to let's say why don't you turn your back to neil ok like that right? Let me see a little bit of shoulder and pop that hit back okay that way ok, I need to see both your shoulders right there. Perfect. Okay, now, neil, you're I don't I want to hit everybody in angle neil's just give me full frontal oh, and I don't really want full frontal from neil, right? Good idea. So we're going like yeah, I did all right uh let's see? Okay he's wearing black so it might work so we can kind of you face him a bit right now okay, I need that leg all the way straight in the back is it straight? Yeah, good, stronger because he was tending the way he normally stands he was is tented just keeping both legs kind of dent but I want that you know stronger field so I have to have one leg like a like a peg write like I would so it's stronger that way ok good right and then let's say you're married and would you wrap your arm around his his arm like husband don't look okay okay now you're you're looking weird because you're kind of just doing like this you gotto just put your weight on one leg yeah see usually the problem with a guy when he's not looking normal is that he's putting equal weight on both legs he literally has to he has to choose usually leaning back is better okay and so if you can lean back on him a little bit right there right perfect why don't you just put your hand on her shoulder right there neil can you do that novia yeah around her a bit yeah getting a little closer you're all friends here right but now he's after turn a bit more right so can you come in front like just like this so you I just want you a little bit more natural right do you feel I want you to feel comfortable lexi you're to us don't be twisted just feel comfortable like you right? Okay then we'll work with it okay good there these two and now okay that's good that's a little bit better but maybe you can put your arm around or something you're like that and then that one on top of uh here uh what were you doing I was pulling more natural okay yeah all right and then did perfect can you lean your heads in there but it's like you're kind of friends right? You're all friends you're like yeah cute cute nous right there and if actually I'm going to put christine a little bit forward because she's so petite so I got out like get her a little bit bigger coming a little bit more a little bit more chrissy yeah yeah I just want you in front a little bit more because you're the most petite this way I mean what I mean is closer to the camera because the closer they camera do you get the larger that you're going to be right so that's why that's why I'm moving you up a bit but I want you kind of close together right okay yeah natural right there good okay did all right one two ready so that group shot is a lot more casual it took work but it if uh see that that has a a little bit more contemporary feel to it you guys want to edit something yourselves and it yourselves look at yourselves do something a little bit different three two one okay look at me let's look over there, laugh hysterically go look a look in front of each other and laugh and smile and talk with your hands like you're saying something I thought this was a lighting class wait a second I'm difficult way I get my next course but I so enjoy your belt so let's add some light to it, would you would you ever you know, use flashes which ever use flash with a group like this I would first choose natural light and do it this way because we have great natural light. If we didn't use flash we could try it and I would use an umbrella on the group. Okay, so what I'm gonna do is eliminate a lot of the ambient light and turned my f stopped a five point six because people are asking about the sort of real world scenario of being in the church basement where you are trying to get a group say at a wedding and fluorescent lights and that sort of thing right? But related has you had talked earlier about the video light not being enough power? Yes. What would this scenario b if you used to video late for video lights together with that umbrella is that going to do anything in this environment? Yeah, that would probably help uh putting two and four together, I guess uh if but it's just a little bit difficult for me to like group together and I don't I don't I could put two together easily but I don't have this I don't even have for video lights put together hypothetically hypothetically you could but hypothetically I wouldn't use video light in this situation because I'm stretching it I'm completely stretching it in this situation uh so but we could do the group shot see, the problem is is that this place has such great light uh to make it a terrible church situation with fluorescent light what I'm going to have to do is eliminate the andean life and I could do it but we do we have five wait, I have to get you want me to do you want to answer questions? Everyone would just try to do this real quickly. I think I'd love to see adding some like okay, so let's say this levee simulate crappy church lighting on I'll take it's this shot here okay? This is now crappy church lighting um and see we got a suite where was that one flash that works this way. Okay, so am I five six right now what does my soul say? Two hundred. So does anybody know what the flash power is on that? Ah, this is to be one eight one sixteen okay, so I'm gonna just get one I'm gonna put this out one quarter power I'm putting in a brill on it a little guest at half hour okay so I'm gonna go to somebody just hold this right here right here so we're going toe like this up like this this is what I would do me okay so let's put it okay this is crappy search lighting ready one two ok this is the gas it's a little bit underpowered I wouldn't have to be at s o two hundred in crappy church lighting I would be at eight hundred so my flash would be four times powerful uh but uh I'm trying to simulate it and make it dark esso I would that's underpowered a bit so I can move my flash in more okay and put it more towards the centre if you can one two, three good that's pretty good right there and uh this is brighter and what I could do is let more ambient light and I could actually lower my shutter and let's try this again to let a little bit more ambient light in so the background comes out brighter one two good now I got it let's stay! They're gonna do another shot one too this might overexpose it but we'll see okay, great. So that's what? How you compensate for crappy church lighting um using umbrella but uh uh get that nice soft lighting and what I did was I just lower my shutter speed toe let mohr mohr ambient light in but in this particular case, there's. A lot of ambient light flowing around. So it's. A drastic change, but usually in a church. There's light there's like depth behind it. So it looks like a lot nicer.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn how to find the best light available in this CreativeLive photography course with Scott Robert Lim. The award-winning portrait photographer will help you master simple photography lighting techniques by using available light and small portable strobes, you can create amazing images on location and almost anywhere within minutes.

Scott Robert shows you how to shoot in lighting environments from extreme bright sun to dim light and partial shade. This course also covers how to use lighting recipes to maximize your shooting time and capture a variety of stylized images. Finally, you will learn to pull off crazy "one-shot" images with Scott Robert's amazing off-camera lighting techniques.

Class Materials

bonus material

Crazy Stupid Light Slides

Master Flash Guide

bonus material


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I just finished this course today, and I'm so happy that I bought it! It's been on my wishlist for months, after watching it as a rebroadcast here on Creative Live. I absolutely LOVE Scott's approach to lighting. The way he explains how to light manually is so clear, and easy to understand; he also has a great sense of humor which takes the edge off of trying to get everything perfect the first time. I like how he encourages the class to just try new techniques, and if mistakes are made, that's okay, just adjust and keep moving. This has allowed me, as a perfectionist, to try his lighting formulas, with a lot of success. I'm so appreciative that as an instructor, he took the time to create a class that helps us as photographers to be more creative. Because of this course, I feel so much more confident as I experiment with light on my own, and then apply it to my work. I feel that I have all the tools that I need to create amazing images that really stand out. Thanks Creative Live for making this class available, it has changed how I shoot! =)

Jack C

This course is simply amazing, super good, and completely exceeds my original expectations! Scott is such a brilliant photographer and teacher. His way of teaching is of great fun, and he delivers the ideas so well. I learn really a lot from this. Thank you so much Scott! Creative Live is doing such a wonderful job!!


This is by far my most favourite course on Creativelive. It's inspiring, funny and most educational. I learned so much about flash and lighting and can't wait to practise all that I've learned. Scott is an enthusiastic teacher and his way of teaching just clicks with me. Highly entertaining! And it was fun to also get some posing, composition and other tips out of the workshop for variety. I 1000% recommend this course if you want to learn more about lighting in an inspiring way.