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Crazy Stupid Light

Lesson 4 of 12

Putting it All Together

Scott Robert Lim

Crazy Stupid Light

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

4. Putting it All Together

Lesson Info

Putting it All Together

We can talk about inverse square law a little bit, and this guy is great in regards to control in your light. I know this might freak out some of you, and I might get a little bit technical here, but don't worry about it. You know, I'll make sure that you understand the main thing and, uh, you know, we could go from there, okay? Sell reduced. This is the reason why I like using the inverse square law is a lot of times will. My card is at six, feet, but a lot of times I don't like to shoot at six, feet a lot times I'd like to shoot a three feet, and this tells me how to correctly calculate my flash power also, um, I used to carry these snoops around, which is a, uh if you have your flash and what's newts are is I used to have a a little thing that you could wrap around your flash that would narrow that light on your subjects. If you didn't want that light to go all over the place, you could narrow it. And one thing that is difficult with flash is that when it goes off it's literally lik...

e a tasmanian devil, that life just goes like it's all over the place and that's why people have a difficulty with flash because they don't know how to control that light and the inverse square law tells us how to narrow the light without actually putting anything physical on my flash or having to zoom it and a lot of people, those techies out there that like, ah there's there certain characteristics features with flash like zooming what zooming does is sometimes that the the inside the head it has a built in feature where you could zoom the flash an and narrow the light and actually make it stronger. Now I used to have flash is like that, but what I found wass is if I was on a shoot and I zoomed the flash head, I would forget that I zoomed it, and so when I go on to the next shoot, I'm calculating everything and I shoot it and it's not coming out and then sometimes I remember and sometimes I don't, but oh yeah, it's no wonder why forgot exhumed. So, like I said, I'm very simplistic. I just want everything the same at the same time. And so instead of zooming or using a snoot, I learned using the inverse square law, which was very helpful, and I'll have diagrams teo actually explain how this works it also reduces the light fall off which is very important so what we're going to actually show us how to light your subject and also put a gel on the background now if light is flying around and actually hitting the background it's going to contaminate the light that I designated for the background and so I want to control my light so I want to control just my light on the subject now the inverse square law shows us how we could position our flash so that light fall off ends right here and it doesn't get over here and so that's very useful and in controlling flashing especially using gels and also increases the quality of life like I said before when you move that flash closer to your subjects the higher the quality of the light and understanding what flash power to use when that light is a really close it's very helpful so let's um get into what this actually is so according to my chart if I was to shoot it f sixteen at full power at six feet right uh that's the equivalent shooting at three feet at half a distance is a quarter power so the inverse square law says if you reduce the distance of half which is half of sixes what three right so if I reduced this is the distance by half I gained two stops so instead of full power I gained two stops half powers one stop quarter power is another stop, so see how I drastically reduced the flash power and its conserving energy by simply moving that flash in three feet? Not only that do you see how that light is narrowed because it doesn't have time if I shoot here, okay? And let's say I'm shooting uh, neal by the time that light gets to you the angles getting greater, right? And so you're getting more spray, but if I move the light closer, then the light stops. You see what I'm saying right there uh and so therefore that's how I narrow my light, I just moved my flash closer to my subject and then I could just direct that light directly where I wanted to go and not have it spray all over the place. If I'm six feet back, you could see the angle that that's taking, then that light is spraying off to the side's too, and above and everywhere. And then you're getting this light that could possibly contaminate whatever else I'm shooting especially endorse yes, how come it's um at three feet it's at a quarter power, not half power be okay see that's? Why it's called the inverse square law, which means it's the exponential type of thing I don't know if you did a graft and what but you're so it's that's the logical thing you're thinking logically that's what I thought in the beginning until I understood this but when you have to actually gaining two stops, I see so you're exponentially using less power it's not linear it's, you're really it's it's squared I played okay, so look at the fall off there so fine. Firing six feet away six feet behind the inverse square law tells me that it's two stops less life at the background. So what this is telling me is the further way I put my flash the farther that the light travels and may contaminate my background and light that up also now lookit conversely, if we move it to three feet, see how it narrows the light on my subject. Now the light fall at three feet past my subject, it is two stops less in power and if I double that again by the time it hits, if I'm twelve feet away from this background right here, by the time the light hits here, I'm four stops less light, so you see how that's important, what happens if I'm jelling this background? I don't want any extra light on this background contaminating my jelled color, so if I move my flash closer to the subject, that light fall off will be here. But if I move my flashback here then it's going to travel this distance and then it's going to travel this to instance and it's going to light up my background does that make sense to you and then I'm going to get a lot better like quality to the closer it is to the subject could get quick clarification so you've got three feet that's the full power you've got the next three feet is minus two stops off of that original full power yes and in that next monies for stop fall off that's off of the original not the minus two so it's not a total of six stops off of the full power right no okay it's just a four stop at at the end is getting clarification yeah yeah right right you got it beautiful um that's according to my math that I thought really late at night so I could be wrong there but in general it sounds like that's right I think that's right but don't home into it but I mean the whole thing is this the closer that you get this to your subject the less light is going to end up on your background okay that's all you got to know okay just keep it very simple and so we're okay so now let's get into so that's the inverse square law let's get into the budget motel shot now sometimes ok sometimes we get hired and we shoot in areas that are not aesthetically that pleasant sometimes and so we get a situation and oh here the group's getting ready here oh oh I got to shoot something in there what what could I do to create a shot with impact with sam shooting the groom ah, any time anywhere and I could pull it off very quickly. What type of shot could I do? And what I'm going to talk about now is eliminating the ambient light. Okay, so where's my camera so let's say we're in here okay? Is there a setting that we could that I could put on my camera if I take a photo even in this kind of light here that basically my back of my screen would still be dark height is there is there a setting that we could use for example we can try it. I know these lights are kind of bright, but usually when I demonstrate this I like to set my camera at f eleven I s so one hundred now let's see if I did girls. Yeah. Okay, so I'm going to set my camera at f eleven I s o one hundred shutter speed one twenty five and that if I take a shot it should be pretty dark in here so kneel if I could get you teo kind of just straddled his chair and let's just do a test shot okay well just stand up you don't even strap just stand right here ok I'm going to see there's a lot of like going on here but I want to see move up kolesar here ok so if I shoot it f eleven hopefully my flashes won't go off okay I took a shot and it looks completely black right so what did I just do I created a black box there's no light my f stop is so high my eyes so is so low and I've made my sensors desensitized it toe light that this ambient light is not affecting the light it all so guess what? I am in full control right now I am only going to allow you to see what I want you to see so if I give him f eleven worth a light you're only going to see him isn't this great when you're in this budget motel situation all you can do is shoot him and nothing else in the room and if you add more than one flash to give it some poof it might look pretty terrific you want to try it yes okay so let's have neil stand here and let's use two flashes now this is great we're going to shoot it f eleven okay at six feet what does it say? Oh you have a card, huh? Shoot wait I brought those cards what did I do with them okay, well, anyways, I'll look at the side of my flash because it happens to be right here, but I haven't memorized anyways, if you're at six feet. What? My flashback on the chart. It says that I should be at half power. Okay, at six feet. Ok, so if I decide that I want to go three feet half the distance, what should I put my flash power to two stops. Right. So one stop would be one quarter power. Another stop would be eighth power. Do you understand that? So I'm going to set one flash at eight. Power someone want to be my assistant and hold this? Yes. Oh, right here. Ok, sorry. Ok, three feet away, right here. When someone hold this right there and then we're going to get another flash at eighth power. And who, uh, who else can help me? Yeah. Okay. We're gonna hold that right here. So you're going to look this way, okay? Right. And you're gonna move in a little bit. I like to turn the light sideways. Why do you think that isthe turning the lights sideways? Because aiken aiken show more of his his body. This way. Right so if I turn it this way the light would be just on top but if I turn it sideways and I would get more of his body is that correct? Okay, so neal you're gonna look this way you're gonna look that way towards that light and then you're gonna pop your hip relaxed just put all your weight on one leg they exaggerated it doesn't matter that looks cool ok, well yeah we'll go with that just like there okay, so we're gonna do here close your eyes we're gonna do a test to see if callister eyes will see if that works okay, you're going to move it a little bit closer and behind a bit more ok, I'm shooting at f eleven one two three all right, so this should come up on stream any time. Okay? One shot we've eliminated the ambient light and we can get sort of this cool now I should I didn't really concentrate I would maybe turn his nose a little bit more but that I could do that anywhere could I not do that in china? Could I not do that in paris? Could I not do that right? I'm eliminating the ambient light and shade bam I created that awesome look like that one shot okay, so let's do the same thing but let's just do some variations on this okay? So let's have you looked maur turn your face this way a bit turn your body this way bit okay turn your face this way but yeah good actually turn your body um no the other way yeah that's it turn your face this way right there yeah I love that right there okay so we're going to what we're going to do is light him up with the main right here okay, now this back flash we can do anything we want with it right because what I said was a cz long as the main is correct the back is for kicker it's for fun it's for whatever right so even if we put a gel on that and turned it toe half power who knows what's gonna happen but let's find out let's just have fun and experiment I know see that looks pretty correct right on his face at three feet uh that's pretty close to the right exposure and let's just have fun with this other flash so where's my goodies so I'm going to go here and get a jail and let's just for the heck of it put a orange gel on there and see what happens we will put it uh oh shoot he's the wrong one um okay well I didn't bring my other flashes that could get some gaffer tape around here I'm sure they do somewhere right they got like tons of rolls over there somewhere there we go. Okay, perfect all right, lou I like this stuff paper well and you're just you're just using that tape to attack hold it. I have this special ah plastic thing that I used but I brought the wrong flashes out shame on me okay, so this is the orange jail don't ask me what particular one it is it looks kind of orjust reddish whatever right? We're just having fun here so let's put it at let's just start it at eighth power and see what we get and you're going to go behind okay and then we'll just start experimenting we'll line up the light now what I asked the subject is is is that light pointing towards your nose get yeah tell your face right about there okay perfect now now direct at like see the subject knows exactly where that light iss I can't so I always ask the subject and they lined it up perfectly for me okay great and so let's now that's three feet further away so once you move in closer a bit and back a bit okay now with your eyes neil look at me. You could move in that's a good one to let me try to get taller so one, two, three nothing went off right wait hold on sorry sack off I didn't have the screwed down, so hopefully this look aloft again one, two, three all right so this will give you a different effect and I actually will going to modify this light okay? I don't like all that light right on his face like that I want a little bit more shadow that's my field so I'm going to turn your face a little bit more this way and I'm instead of putting this light straight in front I'm going to move it off to the side so I get a little bit more shadow there and I'm going to turn angle his face a bit more right there with your eyes look at me and then let's just crank that up even more who cares right let's put it at half power and see what happens and so this is a lot of light coming through I could we could change the jail if we want to I don't know we could just do whatever right and that's even if different look here so that backlight actually doesn't even matter it's the fun part of being creative so let's do the same thing because I like that light on his face let's kind ofyou can you go behind him and put the light right shine it right behind his head so maybe we could get at whole glowing outlet line right there and see what happens if I could block it with my camera okay same thing one two three okay, now that sort of did it but it's shining right as next I wanted more see how he did that right maura bryant is uh yeah, so that what I like doing is having a sit down because usually people are taller than me. Is he's here okay let's try it again now we're going to do kind of actually let's cool let's do kind of some side lighting yeah, I would just kind of do it so it's like half of his face is in shadow and see what it looks like all right that's cool. So anyways see how we can create different effects whatever we want to do uh and that backlight is you khun position in different ways uh and you khun and it's great to move the light so let's do a totally uh, side shots will turn your face sideways again yeah, do that and turn your safe sideways and let's put this light kind of behind okay, so yeah, so it's kind of like it outline around him so if we don't have any of the light in front of them what's gonna happen is we're going to create an outline behind him, okay? We're just having fun at this point all right and that's what you should do is that you should go home, get ah couple get a model and some assistance and have fun and figure out your own signature one shot um formulas and so we're having fun and then if we stumble across something that we like, you write everything down in a half hour there half hour three feet away and you khun duplicated anywhere if the ambient light is eliminated at f eleven that shot will work anywhere in the world you get it and you can do it in one shot and I guarantee you if you take a groom and you do that shot and you do it in one shot and you're in, you know, the budget motel and it looks bright like this and you shall hear I just when I got there gonna think you're the greatest photographer in the world they're going to bow down and worship you, you might even get a better tip out of the deal so that's what we're doing we're having fun and create okay, so let's do that let's try to create an outline okay? So you're going to go behind the lights going to be a lot behind him, turn sideways so I could get his profile there and then we'll position the flash so we can kind of create that outlined oh that's pretty cool in the first shot okay, now what happens if I did this? What happens if I created blew on his face an orange on the using complementary colors that's what I like to use a lot of times it's good you guys interested and see what that looks like let's do it right this could be a formula actually I mean I did that for the first time I did just like came up with the idea and let's let's try this so this is oh shoot oh, well okay, more gaffer stay perfect. I'm sorry okay, I'm just taping this on basically because I forgot to bring my other flashes now stay in that same position we're going to do that same thing and will be blue light and orange light one two three very cool. So whatever I mean that might look great but we're having fun here were just experimenting with shells and lights and doing a bunch of stuff. Okay. So now really quick. Yeah, just a quick question from ten rick who says the light is still spilling across his chest and stomach to restrict it further would they need to use the snoot and or grid or can they control the spread with light alone? Yes, you can. I mean, what in this particular just particular situation all you gotta do is put the light more behind him right? If you were here okay let's say we were firing here, okay? And I wanted to reduce the light on his chest all I would do his feather the light up and I would control that light so there'll be less light right there does that make sense? Like it just turned that light up like this? I mean, this is gonna look awfully evil because he's blue but let's, just try it right now. Can you hold this light right at him? And then we'll feather the light up and so you can see the different effects. Look, you could look at me or turn your face this way, ok? And with your eyes, look at me. Okay, so this is basically straight on him and so see how those chess is lit, okay, so do that again. Stay there, don't move! And now we're going to turn the light up. So now I'm just using this edge of this light and getting a fall off here, and now I'm controlling the light that way to turn your face towards the light right there. Okay? And so now you're going to see that it's going to be dramatically less light on the chest see that so a lot of times I'm finding because I used to use newt's, but because I do techniques like that or move the light closer, I found out that I hardly ever used in fact, I don't even use them anymore, I guess maybe it's my my style and the way I shoot, but so I and I just try to bring less stuff possible and try to make it work with just the tools that I have and you can control light in so many different ways. Question yes yeah, just continuing on fashion to be had asked so how do you decide where to point the flash in what situations would you point it higher or lower? Top down got him up that okay, so what in general I like to do is I like to have the flash slightly above the nose and higher because that's kind of how the sun hits us. Okay, so in general, I start off there then I tilt the flash according to how much fall off I want on that subject. So if I wanted to dramatically now, for example, let's say I'm lighting a bride, okay? She's wearing what? Usually why okay and hurt a lot of times her face is going to be darker than her dress not all the time, but a lot of times, right? So what I would do is I would make the light fall off on the dress because that's naturally going to be brighter, you get it and so but it just, you know, comes with a lot of experience and practice and you simply all these questions can be answered by just going out and doing it and having fun and I think in today's society with our kind of environment and the way we learn things is it's almost like we want to know the correct answers before we do it too and so I think the best way is this to experiment and have fun and you'll learn how to do all this stuff yes well just that point I think it's it's also that fear like why the words I say that I continue to fear flash it's like if you just go out there and do it yeah be fearful but you think it's gonna have to be perfect the first time around and it doesn't yeah and that's that's why I think every person should just go home get a couple people and practice some stuff and come up with there's one shot formulas and then that way you got something in the bag you can always go to no matter what anywhere any time uh but you just have to pre figure everything out in the beginning and you can do that when you eliminate the ambient light and that's what this exercise is doing is eliminate the ambient light and then bring it end up from there now let's try something a little bit more interesting let's take thea flashes off I mean that jail's off and let's use uh let's bring christine let's bring christina and you got no you're scare still okay? So let's kind of further examine I doesn't matter. Okay, so let's take it so at f eleven at three, feet, I did determined it was eighth power. Is that not correct? That's a three feet. So now let's, move it one and that's half the distance again. Okay, so what is that flash power given? If we weren't at one eighth, fowler and we're going to more stops down, that would be one and a half feet away. That would be thirty second power. Is that correct? Okay, so this is just a little not that you would do this, but I just want to show the power of flash. So, neil let's well, you can stand. I want you to just hold this flash about one and a half feet away from you and just kind of what? Your nose at it. Okay for you that's about good. Okay, christine, same thing. Can you set that at thirty second power? You know what that is? That's? Just two lights. Okay. Christine, come on over here and you're going to come over here behind him, okay? You're turning this way. Okay, christine. So you're gonna turn this way and hold out the flash one and half feet away about right here, just look at that flash, do with the other hand, I'm sorry right? And what this okay, move over a bit this way and separate yourself a bit. Okay, so what? This exercise is showing that well, I may get some light fall off on the background, but all I'm doing whatever I shine my flash on that's all you're seeing and nothing else, I'm in full control here. So this is just a little exercise to show how this happens. The case already one two ready. I'm going to actually show the flash on this one. Two. Okay, go ahead, take a look at it. I'm in full control. That is the only thing you see and that's because that's because I made everything dark and I just give everything, uh, f eleven worth a light and whatever I give f eleven where whatever I shine my flash and that is the only thing you're gonna see isn't that powerful? You're in full control now. So for example, let's say neil was some nice pillar that looked amazing. Okay, uh, christina, like cuter let's put it that way. Okay, you could put one flash on that nice fountain or couch from pillar whatever and then you can like the bright up, and so all you would see is those two objects, you get it that's powerful because let's say you have a beautiful like a red couch in the background you can take one flash just the light the couch up and then another flash just light your subject and if you eliminate the ambient light that's all you're going to see because that's all you allow the viewer to see it's a completely different idea of thinking whereas a lot of times like I said before we're using flash to kind of accentuate the ambient light that's in the atmosphere this is a little bit more dramatic feel where you're in control of the situation okay, so let's do how about would you like to do you know what? I'm going to start seeing christine now because she's cuter and yeah, you can hold the flash shows they're not listen to somebody else one assist yeah okay and so what I'm going to this is their final exam okay, so what isthe is that you have to want eliminate the ambient light in the room you're gonna have to light your subject with two flashes and you're gonna have to gel the background and that color has to show up so we're going to shoot christine uh okay what? You know green and pink go together, right? So I am going to shoot it f eleven because I've determined and f eleven all my ambient light is killed okay, so I got a nice pink color here with my flash uh but plenty of gaffer's tape here to stand over here. Okay, because see, all right. Now, what did I say at six, feet at f eleven? My flash power should be does anybody remember that half? Wow, you guys are getting smart. Okay? So look at this. If I put my flash on half power, okay? And I fire this six feet away from the background. Wouldn't that be illuminated at eleven, right. So what is six feet? Well, my, our spans about five seven, right? So let's say, I want that area there. I can't screw this down that first. Sorry. Six feet. So that's about six feet. Right? Well, I think I'm pulling out my microphone and so what I do is I point it and I look like oops, okay? It's pointing at my crotch so I need to move it up a little bit bar so I just position it ago that's a little bit of ah, and I go okay? Right about the let's start right about there. Okay, six feet away, half power half eleven actually be perfectly exposed. Does that make sense? Because I'm treating this is a subject. If this was a subject at six feet away, that would do it now the jail is taking away one stop but that's okay I don't care if my background has a little bit darker than my subject so I'm just gonna leave it there okay so I know that at half power f eleven that said it half hour no that's that full power okay, so that is set up now we're going to bring christine my subject right here and I'm going to try to pull her away from the background because I don't want that light shining on her to contaminate my background does that make sense why I'm doing that okay, so I'm going to shoot at three feet okay, so we have two flashes so at f eleven at three feet what did we say that wass eighth power okay, so weak it was that going off all this time? No. Okay, good. Okay, so do you want to hold this for me? Okay, so we're gonna light this way here we're going to you're going to create some room light around her head and then you're going to turn okay? So turn you okay with your eyes chin down a bit. Yeah. Okay. So when I'm shooting a woman let's say her parts more on this side I like to turn her this way so I could see more of her face but I mean in general right you can start with their okay perfect so in three feet away right. Let me make sure it's the set at eight power okay? And right about there should do it. Okay. Now, if this, uh, just to make sure that that light is not contaminating that background, what we could do is what we could flag it off, back the light off so I could have her put my hand right here so that light will not travel back there and okay. And close your eyes. I'm gonna test this to make sure everything's firing. Okay, good. Okay, now you want this a little bit higher right there? Perfect. Okay, with your eyes. Look at me. Christine nice one, two, three. Okay, one shot. There it is. Okay, so that is your final exam, people. You going to call you up there? And you're gonna have to do that? Okay? Questions. So why? Okay, let's, let's. Just go ahead and sit down. Okay? Why f eleven? Because I know at f eleven, my sensor is is, uh, that's letting it that's not letting in a lot of life when you have to shoot it f eleven. That is like almost bright sun outside. Right in here is not nearly as bright as out there, so when I set my camera to f eleven is a one hundred it is not affecting my sensor at all. This light in here is not strong enough to make any kind of impact on my sensor. Does that make sense in my saying that right now it does it does it? I want to review that s so where we're not somebody taani from the uk had asked him the same setting off eleven be used outdoors to eliminate the ambient light, but what you're saying is that you're looking at this scenario situation, we're indoors. Yes, we know that at f eleven right now on doors, it probably will not be eliminated, and so you didn't set it at f two point eight at s o six thousand, because then you would have yes, so this whole exercise is teo kind of get you out of your box and eliminate the ambient light and then bring it up from there and control and control. Okay, uh, and so that's why I chose that it'll end any other questions this now what we're going to do? No one really pressure from debra sore, who is wanting is setting the power on the speed lights is equivalent power settings for mon alights and stroke, just for those people who are using studio here, I had no idea you were from all you gotta do is just kind of practice it one time and figure it out so I have no idea on that I'm sorry I I that's perfectly fair that's great ok, any other questions just could you use the variable andy filter to kind of black get out as well if you were trying to like black out the ambient light yes you could well yes and no because the sun is so yeah the sun is e I mean okay even at you know reducing it five stops even in super bright light you're still going to see something but it will make it darker so let's say you're an f five six situation which is you bring it into the shade yeah, you could do that too. Okay. Ah, you know s oh yeah it's just when you get a black screen then you're ready to rock and roll so that's what you're trying to do does simplify things get that screen black whatever you need to do get a black you've just eliminated the ambient light why did I choose f sixteen? I could've easily did f sixteen why did I choose f sixteen it's a good question because that eleven worked in anymore you know, stopping down adversary wasting matter you got it right? You understand that concept at eleven made it dark in here? If I want to f sixteen I would have to use twice as much light why do I want to do that? I want to be efficient with my battery so instead ing I saw him was at three feet I'm at eighth power uh then if I was that f sixteen I would have to go to a quarter power right and I would waste more juice so I'm trying to be efficient with my battery power almost at all times yes, we're always looking for that minimum minimal that got to do it you know what that's a good minimum setting that makes it uh black and then go from there okay, so now let's do that same shot but let's add an umbrella and see what that looks like and see how much if at all that light spills over to the background okay, I usually don't use okay when I'm in this situation shooting indoors like this I usually use video like but but we gotta talk about that tomorrow so I'm using flash outdoors so I don't actually have to go worry about spill over a lot when I'm outdoors because my mack brown is sometimes five miles away so who cares right? I get a little spillover so but indoors you have to worry about it but let's try it and find out who knows right I think it should work so we're going to get a let's do this like raw and the ghetto style wade got minimal equipment okay, so let's get christine out here again and let us get the anybody wantto hold the flash yeah okay. Priscilla anybody else any one more person? Well actually you know what? Let's let's build it up let's just do it and with the umbrella and see what it looks like because I'm showing you the whole shebang right? And so let's just see what it looks like just with one flash okay, so I'm pulling her away from the background um and I'm going to use this now when you used the umbrella it's going to spill over a little bit more now if at three feet if I was at eighth power, right? How many stops do I lose with this too? So in general I gotta bump this up a couple stops, is that not correct? So I've got to really be at aa half power right now from about right here. Okay, so if you could just hold that right here like this, uh pull it back. Not a thiss far right? You got that? All right. Uh, close your eyes. I'm gonna test this light a little bit if it goes off, okay, you can't now she can't see anything so that's why I have to adjust this because you can't see anything okay, good uh turn your body this way it turn your face this way like they popped that hip out that way now why do I have her pop the hip out away from the camera anybody know that from opposing yeah because ofall the weight pop the hip the other way if this hip is closer to the camera is going to look larger when you put all the weight on it so I switch it so go ahead della and turn your body more this way that way and then turn your face this way and so now I'm going to hit her body at an angle which even slims it and then I'm going to make sure that she has some space in between here so that so that will make her slimmer too even though she's like only ninety three pounds anyways ninety five days you're ninety o que todo with your eyes look at me when your face more this way good okay look at me with your eyes chin down a bit uh yeah relax okay one two three I'm guessing I was already guessing that that light with too far away for some reason and I could see it wass so I'm going to get the light closer I'm gonna move right here see that's a little bit under exposed right so move and plus I'm not sure if is that actually it looks like the light is shining behind her so I'm going to move this light out right here, ok? Ok with your eyes like turn your face this way with your eyes look at me. Okay? Perfect. One, two, three. Perfect. See how soft that umbrella makes that light, right? That's a lot softer that way. Um and that's when umbrella does and it did not contaminate my back. Oh, I forgot to turn the back. Doesn't matter? No, it didn't matter who should have been the same, right? So it didn't really contaminate my background. So even with an umbrella, when you're this close, if you're twelve feet away let's just experiment let's just can you step back closer it let's see if it doesn't contaminate it. Let's, go a little bit further right there, let's, do the same thing. Get his same distance away, right right there. Perfect with the eyes. Look at me. Turn your body more this way the other way. Yeah. Pop that hip out that way turn your face this way with your eyes. Look at me good love it, chin down a bit right there. One to cheer up a bit right there. Okay. Moving just a little bit close with light, that one all right, so even at that distance, I don't think the umbrella is contaminating the background yes question scott, could we just explain I'm sort of in those two scenarios how far the subject is from the backdrop it's hard for people online to tell so they're just kind of wondering oh, okay, uh what would you estimate that being c seven feet eight seven feet because this is that sick? Yeah, so that was that six feet that the flash, so we're about seven feet away. Great. And if we could just also, um, review how far you've put the flash on the underneath the umbrella oh, just like you were showing us earlier. There's no science to that, but I would say right about there so which is about a little bit fourteen inches, right? Okay, now let's do the same thing and let's add another flash in the back just to give it a little. So who else wants the whole the flash? And so we're going to be about three feet away and this is gonna be a bear flash. So it's going to be one eighth power? Well, that's what we said it was one of its power set correctly. You see, I don't even know you guys actually, I don't even use a tryout anymore. I just kind of guess ok, ok, go ahead let's do that same polls so you're going to turn the body way that the other way okay you're gonna turn your face this way right and you yeah love it right there then you're going to fire the light behind her right uh no back a bit more up there up higher and write down get right there good okay one two three okay and this is giving it a little bit of an edge stay there don't move and I'm going to move that life behind her more see how that's in front I want to move it behind her so it's more of the back of her head okay ready but I'm going to try not to get it actually looks like it's getting into the picture can you move use your other hand so yeah use that higher okay one two, three and then what I could do is she has blonde hair so it's reflecting a little bit more so I could actually cut that line if I wanted to if I wanted to but I seem to think that let's go step back this way way back there and go behind her because I want to see how the light is on the side of her head I want it more behind no no too far move over this way okay so let's try that let's try that again ok right there turn there and that light is actually shining over her so the closer that you put the light on the lower down, unite needed. Okay, good. Ready? I want what you got to focus on the one too, right? I'm gonna put the flash in the background in there a bit just because I like that. Look, see, I had it added that flashing their in the edge. I like that. Look now, if I wouldn't and see how that outline on that back of her head is I like that. I just moved her back some more so I could get a better angle around the back of her head. And I could also jail that a color if I wanted to, if I wanted to make that orange or whatever. Um, even at that with a straight flash that flash, I'm kind of surprised because that still didn't contaminate my background. Ah, whole heck of a lot, even though I have fired it right there next to it. Let's, try something different now. I noticed in the movies because I this is probably the reason why I flunked out of college because I watch too many movies. I love watching movies. I don't know what it is. I like the stories I think if I were to get really personal, I guess the reason why I liked, um yeah movies was because I felt so alone in my journey and as artists often our families against us everybody like god hope you two are destroyed, you're going to be starving and a lot of times I felt like, you know what? There is nobody I could really really relate to, you know, so I would watch these movies and I would be inspired by them and would give me that little boost that day, but also I got intrigued with lighting, and so therefore when you go rent your movies or you go see here the movies it's a write off because you are alerting lighting, you are examining it, it's fart of your education. Okay, so if you're counting says anything, just a you know, it's got robert says, you can write this off, okay? So and I noticed in the movies, a lot of times they would always under expose the face a lot and being a lighting guy would always like what? Why is it that they always have that darned face under exposed all the time? What's going on? And I realized it actually did something when that face was slightly under exposed it draw me in because I wanted to see that person if it was obvious it was the light was right there, I wouldn't be focusing in on that subject so I wanted to kind of create that scenario in real life so what I'm going to do is I'm gonna being robert up this time and what I'm going to do is I'm going to create two flashes behind with different colors were used complimentary color sol used a blue and I'll use up orange okay and that's gonna be behind him and then for third flash we're gonna light him but we're goingto under expose thie exposure so it's dimmer so we get that kind of underexposed feel so you're kind of uh concentrating on the subject a little bit more let me uh get some tape here because okay so robert your turn we're going to shoot at f eleven hold on a second okay? I'm shooting at f eleven so in general behind him uh at three feet away we determined about eighth power is that correct? Yes so we'll do that so we're going to use these two flashes at eighth power we're gonna put them behind who wants to hold these two out this way? Anybody okay? So you're going to actually straddle this thing. So for guys he's another tip of posing a lot of times what you gotta do guys are generally lazy on we look best when we're leaning on something sitting on something so whenever I get a guy and I want to oppose him I make him lean on something so and especially leasing leading forward is going to give you good look, so I'm gonna have you sit like this and kind of lean forward on the chair and we're gonna put these two flashes behind like this. What? You guys come over here and then we're gonna light his face with another flash, but I'm goingto under expose it so we can have that background going to don't let's let's have it all going? Who the heck cares? We're having fun, okay, so I know at three feet. Okay, it's at eighth power. Is that not correct? If I wanted to under expose it, I could pull this down. Stay that's the power to stops to thirty second power, so that would be but my my thing is, I kind of like one and a half stop plunder exposed. So instead of three feet, maybe I'll go right about here. Okay? So you're gonna turn your face this way, but with your eyes gonna look at the camera if if I could get somebody to hold this right here. So does everybody understand how I under expose this at at eleven? I was at three feet away about this distance. I was supposed to be an eight power, but I didn't set it at eight power I said it at one thirty second power so it's two stops under exposed so I'm going to get bright light from behind but under exposed here and I'm trying to create that underexposed draw the attention look feel okay so let's get behind and find that light behind him just put your arms up right and you're firing it right at the back of his head and what I'm trying to do is I like the position that like just inside the frame turn your face this way a bit right there chin up just a bit right there okay and if let's see blue can you move in and orange move in move in move in I mean when I don't know when I say move it may be that way sorry okay there okay move out a little bit okay let's try that your hands are a little bit in the screen but that'll be good right there is good one to be perfect isn't that cool on some one shot but I've done this lecture about hundred times but I seriously you're in a budget motel you got a chair and you got some flashes and you do that at one shot and you show your client here this is what I took you're gonna means damn right is this a really really one shot right it's just like I mean I'm amazing myself like now I've done it I like how is that possible? Okay, great uh, you go ahead, sit down. Okay, so those are simp techniques on uh, using flash? Do we have any questions right now? Uh, about anything I think. What did I need to demonstrate anything else? Uh, that I kind of covered in in lecture. I think I think we've kind of covered it all there's some question about the back drop being grey and wondering why? Like, what the effect would be if you used a white background are something like they question gray looks the best? Actually, you know what looks really good is, you know, if you've seen those kind of industrial buildings that have that grayish medal pull down garage thing, that color looks awesome when it whenever you get something kind of silver reflective, that is totally awesome, but what I try to do is pick a pigment because the pigment will make that tone richer and the color will go just like that. The question, uh, when that person asked, well, isn't it better if you use the least amount power possible through the jail? Well, that's the same thing is that I'm taking it down a few stops by using a pigmented a background, so ah lot of times I'm looking for kind of neutral colors to shine my gel at because then the color will come out a little bit better I mean you can't still use it with white but it's not going to pick the tone is not gonna look as rich that's a great question though headstone photography it would like to know if that negative to stop supplies too that we did with the umbrella and that factor also applies to soft boxes it depends on your soft box sometimes when you put a flash through the soft box they have two layers of diffuse and so it's going to be even more it might be three or four stops um I'm figuring two stops for every time you defuse the flash now for example on the flash if you want to make it buttery soft you could put this diffuser on the flash and then fire through the umbrella and will look even softer but I may lose three or four stops at that point okay, so the more you defuse it, the more stops you're going to lose. Tim reid had asked when we're doing these gels what kind of white balance do you use in this situation? I am always on flash here, right? Because that's all I'm using flash great and I'm eliminating all ambient light so all my life is going to be flash so live white balance is going to be perfect every single time sounds good uh still does stills is wondering what your recommended formula is for lighting during the first dance I just showed that over there but I can go back if we want that the one yeah, I had to rush through that can I go back and actually show that or is that too complicated? Oh, I'll just talk about it because that that's so basically what I do is I find the where the deejay sets up its speakers and I put my light stands next to those speakers because that's that way I know they're somewhat protected and not out there and somebody could just knock them over because people tend to avoid the speakers so I put my light right next to the speakers and I point it right into the middle of the dance floor uh just straight under fused okay, I set that at sixteenth power okay then on my camera I'm usually when I'm shooting the first dance I'm using my seventy two two hundred lentz okay? And then I usually put at, uh two point eight or four I started I'll started two point eight and then I'll put my shutter speed at not that it really matters that much because there's not a lot of ambient light floating around but I'll stop put it at eightieth the hundredth of a second and then I'll turn my eyes so uh started at eight hundred I probably started it sixteen hundred just to give me some latitude either way and that will get me pretty close and then depending on how much ambient light I want to eliminate or add, I just adjust my soro I just might f stop but that's then I go from there then my on camera flash if I'm at a fixed distance I can keep it on manual and I could just figure it out but what happens a lot of times on the dance floor I'm moving back and forth and so my distance to the subject is changing their coming around maybe they might end up right here and so that's why I used t tl because tt l will automatically figure it out when it might not be accurate but it's going to give me something close when the subject moves distances and that's why you want to be on ti tl at that point is everybody and then I set my t t oh just like this photo this is under exposed right? So what I do is I under actually that doesn't look that under yeah it's not under exposed because we're an f nine so actually it should be a little bit mohr underexposed in my personal taste because you were so definite supposed be a half eleven just hit my leg so I under expose it won in it and two thirds stops and so that just kind of kisses the light on the subject but it lets that back light through and strong and and wraps around that subject and it makes them glow and it gives them that kind of romantic feeling that I love and that was that really awesome shot that you showed us of the kind of crowd it was black and white and saying ok so between this explanation and what we talked about back then hopefully you have your answer there and you can check that out either by purchasing the course or by watching the re watch later that's right that's right couple more questions that one from uh from a from a gay pets how would you manage in this scenario a subject that is moving I photograph animals and they don't always day um are you gonna do sophisticated lighting with them uh yeah that's difficult I think this kind of what I'm talking about our situations where you know that you have control of the distance and the subject and control in your life that way if it well so I kind of like dad's foods too right? Yeah I like let's say I'm going to do the if they're moving around and generally you've got to keep them in around the same distance than it'll work but if they're like way over here and then back over here and just all over the place what can you do? I mean you gotta go you contrite detail at that point but it's going to be very inconsistent and I think if you look at all the great children's portraiture out there the classic ones the ones that where you can charge thousands and thousands of dollars they always somehow get that kid perfectly posed on a couch or whatever uh and so when you have the kids moving and doing that stuff that's more to me lifestyle photography it's more photo journalistic and you can get away with the light not being exactly right especially if you're outdoors uh and so it's more forgiving at that point so I wouldn't really worry about it try to get a close work with it and you might get something that you really like that sounds great I think we have time for maybe one or two more way have one in the audience we have one of these perfect yes about like have you photograph reflective surfaces like glasses you know if the person wants to wear glasses with the way that works is to get zero reflection out of glasses that light has to hit the and a forty five degree angle I believe ah and so you kind of start from there and then you just adjust as you go ah good way to do that is actually to have them take it picture with the glasses on and then with off and then superimposed those eyes in photoshopped back later some people do that too so that's the cheap way to do it that's. Great. All right, maybe one last question, then. Eso woman on the verge is wondering whether you mentioned one situation just now, but do you ever shoot with your flash on camera or on a bracket on your camera? Yeah, you mentioned with the first dance, but other than that yeah, let me explain that a little bit. So how this works is let's say there's a camera on the flash on my camera. Okay, well, scott, you put the darn flash on the cara how you get a trigger? Uh, use the trigger. Well, what I did was I designed a pc ah, sink mount here. So I have a cord there's a pc out on your camera and I take that cord and I plug it into here and I take a piece of velcro. I just attach it onto my flash somewhere and so now I can fire my flash and I can fire my remote flashes all at the same time. That's great! And then all that work and what situations would you be doing that I would do that on the dance floor? That's mainly when I do it and that's probably the only time I do it because I need some front flash and then I need the back flash and that's that's I would I usually that's the only time that I do it is that dance situation all the other shots that I used I never used any on camera flash just all off camera flash okay, so what I wanted to do for your homework is I want you to learn how to control one flash so download that shark and I want you to go and shoot at six feet away three feet away one and a half feet away and just try and you can also well, I kind of put them against the wall or something so you could actually see the effects of the light fall off uh each time and master one flash because it's if you could master one flash and understand it then it's very easy for you to use one hundred flashes but but but the problem is is when a person doesn't know how to master one flash then they get all mixed up on the other flashes is it's nearly impossible so we have to master the one flash first so that's what I wanted to do is to figure out those distances and then if you have a simple shoot through umbrella, put the umbrella on and try those different distances in see how you have to adjust your flash move that flash around creating different types of shadows on dh then if you really want to go beyond that, you can also put a flash in the back and just have fun with that. You could set it on anything, use different effects, change the position of it, and just do whatever. But really, the one thing I want you to learn is mastering this one flash and how to arrive at that exposure in basically one shot. And if you don't get it in one shot, just learned how much distance to move that flash in your back or whatever to control that.

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.