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Crazy Stupid Light

Lesson 8 of 12

Using Video Light

Scott Robert Lim

Crazy Stupid Light

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

8. Using Video Light

Lesson Info

Using Video Light

All right video like using constant light sources now using a constant light source is actually a lot easier because you can see the light right and you can see where the shadow is and so why don't we just use this all the time? Why do we have to use flash well, which is if we can see the light in this is easier why don't we just use this powerful situation? Ah, yes it's not as powerful, so this is like one hundred times less powerful than a flash and that's the reason why um we can't use video light all the time, otherwise I would because you can see the light it s so it's what you see is what you get and that's what I love about video light, especially when you're doing a wedding and you need to do a quick set up with the minute or so you can see the light and it makes it a lot easier to control when you can see it. So when to use a video light? Well, as you can see our flash chart here, the best places to use the video light is in this bottom half of the chart so when you're basical...

ly at s o say sixteen hundred or eight hundred and above that's the perfect candidate ah perfect time to use video light so you could see it sixteen hundred to point a video light there so to me this completes the full spectrum of light flash and video light so when I go on a job I bring both because I want to be able to um cover the full spectrum and some times in a low light situation I love using video light so if you're gonna mix flash with video light then I automatically set my flash toe one sixty fourth power and just go from there that's just my default it usually works then I adjust from that point okay how do use video light one set your camera s o two eight hundred or greater um and with the new cameras now who cares when you set that s o b is going to be fine but in general I'll probably start depending on how much ambient lights in the room and and so forth I'll probably usually start around eight hundred sixteen hundred right there so uh use a low f stop and the reason why we need to use a low f stop is because we have to keep our shutter speed high because we don't have flashed to titan the image to freeze it so therefore depending on your shake and what to do but I say in general try to keep it above fiftieth of a second if you have image stabilization you know that's putting you at one fiftieth of a second or a hundredth of a second in shake level so I say, you know, make sure you're above a fiftieth of a second and you should be cool. I like to take a lot of shots when I'm shooting available light because just focusing issues and sharpness and just to make sure you know, I just rip a bump a bunch of shots um just to make sure I got one really good winning focus and, uh here's the the light I I like the features on this ah it's daylight balance so I like music video lights that are daylight bounce because I use it in conjunction with natural light a lot what? So I want the light to look the same and that's why it's important? I know there's a lot of other video lights out there that have the greens ten so are a pink tinge to it, but I made sure that this is like true. Ah, daylight and that's what I love about this particular fast but and video but any video light will work it's powerful um this particular it's ah, eight hundred lux and so make sure it's pretty powerful has do more control. So you khun control that that way? Power indicators I love video lights with power indicators uh because why, as photographers yes, ever do you know what a back to back is? Uh, wedding photographers talk about back to backs a lot, it's, when you have to do a wedding saturday, come home and do a wedding sunday or something like that right after each other. So what do you do? You come home and you spend half the night charging your batteries? S o I like to know how much juice is left, and if I didn't use my video light a lot and I say, oh, man, I got four bar still, I'm good, I don't need to charge this, but if you don't, can he end up like I'm not sure I got a charge this battery, so for me, I love that indicator because when I go on that's that session, I want to know how much juice I have also what's great feature about aa lot of the video lights, if they have, if you're able to power them in multiple ways, I think this one takes five different power sources. One uh, with the video light battery and you can use different, they're kind of like standard sony batteries, actually for video light. Um, and also you can put double a's is in here, um, so let's say, you're doing a shoot in india and you're under power constraints, and you've got nowhere to plug in it everywhere in the world sells double a batteries so you could just grab some double a batteries put him in there and you're ready to go so that's kind of a cool feature to sew those were some of the main features that I look for in a video light um but you know they're they're all pretty good um again I would think my biggest crime is just to make sure that the light color temperature is what you want now I use video light a lot for detail shots you can get this beautiful light with is this the way way and a lot of times all back light I love using a lot of backlight so I'll put the light behind the detail and all treat details like a subject and I know as brides brides love details they spend a lot of time figuring out what details to use and so I like to go to great lengths to make sure I get some good detail shots and the way you light it is very, very important now remember we talked about the big light theory right? The bigger the light is the bigger high quality is and what I love about video light is when you're shooting a detail a detail is very small so for example that's a ring there on a video light right now let's imagine that that ring was a person and so this video light would be four times the size of a person's of this person was like, say, six feet that would be like using a soft box of twenty four feet, which is enormous. So that's, why let's say we have this ring here, okay? And we have this video light. This is going to give some amazing light on this small. So in relation to the size of this, this thing is like a twenty four foot soft box and that's, why you get some amazing light when you use video light on small objects because this is big light, believe it or not, compared to this makes sense, and you can get some lovely shots that way. And one rule I like to use when, uh, shooting wedding detail shots. I have a one rule, and that is if you see liquid in a container, get light behind it and often. So I saw this arranged these together. I put him right under these little twinkle lights that I saw there. And then I put the video light behind the jars, and I lit it up and it looks beautiful. So I used a time I see liquid ah, and I see a container, a glass liquid and glass. I put that video light behind it. It looks great. Same thing here. This is what they call the sweetheart table. And they had these little candles inside here. Uh, and it was very nice, but without that video light behind it, you wouldn't really get that feel. It would look totally different. Here's glass they're using video light behind that here's some little ah, appetizers or desert. Putting that light behind doesn't look like window light coming from behind there. That's because they're very light is very big. Compared to the source subject is your shooting. Hey, scott. Yes? When you say behind, like for those shots what? What sort of angle are you at? Are you, like, just barely off phone? Where are you off to? The fine. We're all well here, let's. See? Let's demonstrate let's. Say, what could I use here? I guess I could use a flash let's say we had this is your detail shot, for example. So I you know what the great thing about video light as you can see it. So, you know, behind I could be here or here, I just kind of moving around. And I just kind of find the sweet spot of what I want and it's very easy, it's what you see is what you get. So, um it's not very hard to figure out that that's what I mean by behind thank you very much. Sure. Okay, the quickest the I guess the most popular way that I use video light is for separation or rim light and then in this particular case I did use a flashlight here because we video lights at that time weren't really is advances they were now but you can use a video light and this is the exact scenario where the main light is the natural light. And then I see this edge here that was created um by a flashlight but you can use the video light here it is in other examples of it um in this particular photo here I moved these curtains behind I moved him over to create a strip light on my subject. Where is the nose pointing towards the light? The body away so I can get the shadow here so I could see her shape there and it looks natural body away face towards the light who she looks beautiful, but what happens? Her hair was blending into the background so I get till my assistant okay, get behind her and shined the video like to create that edge light on her hair and it's very important to get that edge light when your subject has dark hair so you can see it um same thing here look at the catch lights in her eyes and s o you got beautiful light on her which was natural light and then I took a video light off to the side to give me that separation from the background or that edge life she's basically doing the walk away poles to other way this is just a straight video light as a main and I kind of chose my background I looked for lights in the background and when I use one video light I kind of like to use sorta if I can a butterfly lighting in this case it's loop lighting where that it's straight off to the side but in this particular situation I had the light high because I wanted to get the shadow in her arm here okay and also she was resting on a white uh table counter so we were in a cafe actually and so the light was coming down it was reflecting on this and coming back up also toe lighter but this was just one video like scott could you clarify butterfly lighting and loop lighting oh, okay so in this particular term ah shot here you see this little loop that you get with the shadow that's slightly off to the side uh that's kind of referred as loop lighting and let me show the next picture maybe this is more butterfly lighting where that shadow is directly under the nose okay and when you do that and so how I shot this one I meet her for the highlight the glow in her hair so I took a bunch of shots and I and I figured out, well, I have live you so I can see that exact highlight ah, and so when I get the highlight the way I want it ah then I keep it there and then usually my subjects face is darker and soto open up the uh the exposure on the face I take a video light and I just move it in usually with I set it to ah particular power and then I just kind of move it with distance to fine tune that light in and then I can see the butterfly lighting I put it above and when I get a shadow that's right directly under the nose then that gives me that butterfly lighting and what why I like that light directly above because then you still get shadow on the cheeks which defines the face and that's why I like butterfly lighting in this particular situation we were shooting in san francisco chinatown and I did something a little bit different here uh to get this rich blue sky what do you think I did in my camera does anybody know what uh well no because I can't gel the transamerica building would be a little bit tough with one flash that at a few miles away eh so how could I get the blue there? This is yes this is pretty much in camera okay, so I changed the white balance so in this particular case I changed the white balance to the little light bulb are incandescent light and so what? When you set it to the light bulb or the incandescent light what you're telling the camera is ooh there's a lot of orange light in the room I'm going to balance that out by putting a blue shade across the entire sensor toe negate the orange light that's in the room okay, but in this case when I put it to the little light bulb it's putting a blue shade across everything and that's how I get the blue sky but there's blew across my subject too so how'd oh, I correct that anybody have any ideas on how I do that gel the video yeah, well yeah that's correct. So I took a jail on my video light a cto jail now my video lights come with a cto jail and now shining the light the blue on her and then shining the orange light on her it balances out and everything is is just like daylight okay, so then you get blue sky but then your subject looks perfect using a cto jail then I took another flash of this way with the red gel on it just to give me some red here because I don't know china and red seems to go together whatever maybe it's the flag I don't know what about it lurks? We were as chinese I think we were a lot of red because I think that looks good with her skin tone but I don't know red is red is ah is kind of in my mind a color that I associate with chinese type of ah images so and that's how I arrived at that show any questions on this I know that's a little bit complicated um to think of white balance that way but is that clear in your mind? Okay good white balance to incandescent light bulb video light with the cto jail cto means what color temperature orange ok camera right flash with red jail that's the set up video light through umbrella I love this technique and we're going to do it okay? Because it creates very, very, very soft light um and will demonstrate that and it's diffusing the light and that's why I like using a fairly bright video light because when we shine light through an umbrella how many stops do we lose we're going to lose two stops on that sucker so the brighter the video light the better and it gives a very, very, very soft light and I used that as the main and then I positioned the light and so I can see the shadow on her cheek here and then in this particular photo we took a blue jail that those curtains back there were actually ugly green this is we're on a cruise ship here we're taking a cruise to the bahamas that was ah bahamas workshop that we did last year and I took up on sixty fourth power I put a blue gel over the flash and shine and fired it in the background so that's how I got that blue so here I was using both uh, video light and uh flash here you can see with my terrible photo shopping but it's great because you could actually see it do you see an umbrella in the reflection? Okay, great. Okay, so, uh I was thinking about like taking that out but I don't know this is a great example so what did I do what's my work flow here and I'm using video like through an umbrella how did I arrive at this photo? What did I meet her for? First the background what did I set my camera to man? You okay? Yeah manual but what else what? Why? Eso is high hundred. Yeah. So I think I set my eyes sodas sixteen hundred here. Okay, because why do I set my eyes so sixteen hundred? So I can keep my shutter speed up. Okay, uh, because, uh, it's not like flash and it's gonna tighten up my image. Um, it's, you know, everything is going to show in your camera cause you're using all available light. Okay, so that's what I do, I metered for the background. And then I just brought my video light in, and I just adjusted it by distance, back and forths. Justice the kind of light. I want it. I could see the shadows. I got the light hot nose is pointing towards the light, and then I can get this. If you look at her cheek, you could get the short side shadow there. Look at her arms. You get shadow on the arms so you could define the shape of that and that's what I did. Same technique here. Where? Ah, used the, uh okay, test how you shoot this shot? What do we start with first widow? I meet her for first background. Very good. So I'm at I a, so what, sixteen hundred ok, probably, uh I think the lens I had on there I could only go down to two point eight so I'm pretty sure I was at two point eight two point eight shutter speed over fifty I get that background the way I want it okay? They are dark at this point so I bring in my umbrella and I and I just positioned the light how I want it and bam I leave it there and then I took a flash off to the side because I'm doing my sir sam wich technique and I am lighting up that edge with the flash who cares really what it is is by personal taste the main light is already set uh so you know I probably started off it because it was pretty far away more than six feet maybe was ten feet away so I probably set it off thirty second power or sixteenth hour who knows questions on that how we arrived at that photo k now let's go to italy let's go to florence uh and you're on those famous bridges that cross that canal we're taking this photo with video light um how did I do this background? Yes. Good, huh? Your essay was high up. Your aperture is pretty low cause the backgrounds blurt out too, right? Um video light looks like it's just off to the camera left yeah, getting a forty five degree rembrandt light there right and it looks like there's flash yeah like separation in the back no just photoshopped I just used what video light here so it was video light through an umbrella they'll see how that looks looks really, really really nice so video light through an umbrella after the side meter for the background bam okay anybody want to take a stab at this? This is the spanish steps anybody been there in italy? Okay there's literally thousands and thousands and thousands of people at the spanish steps and what we decided to do is that we hey we came over to italy we paid all this money let's get some good shots when do you think we started this session way started at one a m because we didn't want anybody there because literally there are thousands of people crowding this place because it's a very, very, very very famous tourist spot and there's a lot of high end stores on the street to like prada and whatever and so they're shopping and then that man it's just a crazy mess so we go hey, we came all this way we're getting some good shots if we have to take a little nap and get up and go at one a m we're going to do this so that's what we did we went at one am and nobody was there and we got the shot so what is my work flow meter meter for the background first right? Hai hai I s o two point eight I bring my video light in with the umbrella on the top now if you can't see it but actually there's two catch lights in iran dio does she look like she's glowing whenever a subject looks like they're glowing there is up light involved just like a butterfly? Yeah, so I did my butterfly lighting here, but that shadow is not pronounced, so that means that there must be some other light this way she's also wearing dark and teo even the exposure I need to put more light on her dress because that is darker than her face. Does that make sense so I can still see the detail and address? So I had a video light with an umbrella here I had somebody else hold this is why I don't use reflectors because I used the video lightest my reflector and I just pop a little it a light below so I could get that catch light right there see that catch light and make her glow a little bit. We're goingto do this live so you can see how I adjust this your smile because you're getting excited because you want to do this right you having to go go yeah then that's how you create glow and then there was a flash off to the side kind of giving that rim light there and so there that's how that was done scott yes could you explain somebody was questioning how do you use the video light with the umbrella like just stick it on a stand what thie actual physical setup for using a video like well I was kind of rushing and uh wasn't able to uh do this in time but there's something called an umbrella mount okay and what it does so I melt the video light here okay and what you can do is you khun amount thean burrell a through here okay and then I can position this video light wherever so I have my video light shining this les and this is beautiful light okay so let's have priscilla come on up and is it possible to dim lights a bit I don't know if not but I just want to show the quality of light here uh it looks really awesome uh if we could step down okay yeah stay there stay there in the darkness okay look towards the camera over there and then see that it is not like beautiful look at those catch lights in her eyes that's just gorgeous light right there. Okay thank you and I love that look video light through an umbrella because it gets me that very, very soft look that I like using that big light but I can see it so it's easy to manage another thing that you can do if you're using flash and this is what I do for weddings when I start off a wedding usually I'm shooting, getting ready shots, and what I do is I use my big boy bar. I put one flash on one side and I put video light on the other and I'm ready to go no matter what. So if I'm in bright light, I can use my flash if I'm in little attic use video like and I usually and I didn't have time, but I put this on umbrella mt, okay? And so I can stick an umbrella through here and then what's cool about it is I could turn this video light on and just use that same technique if I wanted to or this video light actually, look, you, uh, works as a modeling light so I could see where the light is going to flash and that's pretty cool to do to so you can see the light. And then you know where it's going to flash any questions here? We used the clam shell technique, which is one light on the top. One light on the bottom is like a clam shell. That's why they call that so I got one light up here if you look at her you could see to catch lights in her eyes one at the top and one at the bottom so we had the video light with an umbrella on top and then we have a another video light on the bottom doesn't she look like she's glowing that's because he's got up light and then we took a flash we put a purple jail on it we're going to do this do this exact same exercise and we fired it there tio kind of just create um different field by using colored light too I love using actually video light and flash together because the one cool thing about flash is you can color the light and that and you can do some great effects with that here again this is the clam shell technique ah we have actual in this particular photo on the right she the main light is through a window it's at the top but I saw that and it was very dim and and it didn't quite give me the look that I want so I added another video like on the bottom to give her a slight glow in her face and then I took another video light in the back just a shine on her hair to separate it now you're probably thinking um and that's a lot of trouble just for that shot people really notice that little highlight thing there I mean is it worth it? Most people they don't even care, do they? I don't know, but in my opinion these little details separate you from your competition and it's putting you at a different level and when people view your work as a whole, they just get this general feeling that wow, I don't I don't know what it is but there's a certain quality about these photos that seem different than other people's and these little small differences that you put into your photo the position of the hands and all this kind of stuff I think overall it makes a big difference and and I get uh, people telling me sometimes they go scot I could just go to your your website and I just keep looking at your photos like all the time and although you're not doing anything special when you follow the fundamentals, you are creating a classic image and when it's something is classic its enduring and there's a certain quality about it that you can keep coming back to it and looking at it and looking at it and it doesn't annoy you right and so what's like kind of like the most famous portrait in the world where they mona lisa, right? Is it anything specialist she doing some funky glamour poles? No it's it's it's classic it's it's, fundamental and I think as new photography and sometimes his artists were trying to do the most amazing pose and an amazing thing but sometimes just sticking to the fundamentals and doing that perfectly one hundred percent correct is better than doing something very artistic and on lee eighty percent correct we are looking here for perfection because perfection is enduring and that's what the fundamentals get I mean I think you should have bull shit has that classic stuff and then you should have that wild stuff too but you should be able to do both and I really think it's going to help with your portfolio okay here's the same thing doesn't she look like leave she's glowing the same situation you could see the catch light in her eye the main light is so high why do I know that there's there's a main light that's above her head what tips me off to that? Uh no because that's actually out to decide not the shadow on the cheek, right? So, uh I've got the shadow on the cheek so there's there and then there's up light and then there's another flash off to the side here's another clamshell uh technique here I just took two video lights and you can see a small catch light on the bottom of her eye so I had light on the top I metered for the highlight see that but I mean I meet her for this this is what I wanted to see that little highlight on her hair that's what I was going for she at that point was dark so I had to brightened her up so use video light one on the top then I wanted to give her a little bit of glow and I'm one of the bottom and then that's how I got that shot in this particular photo on the right I used to video lights and I think this I didn't even use an umbrella at this point it was just straight to video lights there was one video light coming this way nose towards the light and then I had another video like on the back of her creating this rim light and then on top of that, what do you think I did for the background? I I gel the flash and I threw it in the background just for the heck of it and so that's how I did that okay, how to pop your images in the shade and this this is a perfect example, so if you put your subject in the shade, you're going to get very flat light and it's gonna look like this now when you use a video like now, I don't think I think when you can use a video light, the highest f stop that you can use is probably f for maybe five point six at s o one hundred so and and so if you're going anything above that have stopped video light is just strictly not it's not strong enough but if you could go into the shade and you can set your camera to maybe f or maybe f five six then you can use video light as a little phil as a little catch light so that's what I did here was it looked really flat there put the video light in to give me that cash light in the eye and a little bit more that drama in the photo with highlights and uh then I took a flash and I fired it behind with the norge jail to field make it feel like sun was coming behind her but that was incomplete shade christine you can do this you khun definitely do this in one shot uh and it's very easy s so you just take your video light on and you pop get that little catch light in the eye on let's take a flash with an orange jail and you just fire behind this looks very flat there right? But then it doesn't look like sun there that's just with one simple flash that way there's a final image after cem post processing we have a ton of questions coming really the biggest I think most pressing one from a number of different people is how do you decide whether to use a flash or a video light and in what situations you use one of the other if I can put my camera at s o eight hundred or sixteen hundred I'm going to go with video like first why I can see the light it's faster it's easier I know we practice with flash and you know that was I mean if you could master flash you can easily massive video light but for me personally if I if I can if I'm in a very little light situation and I could put my camera at s o eight hundred sixteen hundred bam immediately video like uh and that's that's how I determined it's great and again just tow fully clarify that when you say when I can put my eight hundred or sixteen hundred that's taking into consideration the f stop that you're yeah okay that's a good question well if I had any boyle will turn they're just sting I like that because you just couldn't you corrected my teaching okay I love it so if you could put your camera at s o a hundred or sixteen hundred and your f stop at two burn eight or lower and keep your shutter speed above one hundred fiftieth and that's when I do it okay so yeah, the f stop down and the f cells also down though then that's basically little light situations put him in a little light situations okay apple photo is wanting whether the video light freezes the action or do you need a higher shutter speed or tripod free that doesn't freeze the action because it's not a instant heinous burst of light so you need to keep your f stop I mean your shutter speed that's why I said you got to be above fiftieth of a second russian gonna get blurry images so it's it's ambient light it's available light and so if you drag your shutter it's gonna look like you dragged your shutter its not gonna it's not an instant pulse to freeze the image on the sensor so a question from a jessica c is can you again explain whyyou meter the background okay um let's go to a shot anywhere I do that okay why do I meet her the background class can you answer that? Because it's awesome. Yeah, all right. Because my video light cannot light up the background it's too far away or my flash can't. So if I if I want that tower back there to be seen in my photo I have to get it in camera and that's what I mean by mita ring it is like I making the background the way I want it to look that's really what I mean by me during it because that clear I'm not sure I think it was great andi just as a follow up to that ryan one two three says so what if you do the meter the background to expose correctly but then the subject is over exposed because of the ambient right then you're in a situation where you've got to move that subject where it's the light is lower you gotta, um if you can't put them in shade that's when a diffuser panel helps is where you khun because you've got to balance that exposure somewhere and that's why when you're looking at when you're looking for places to photograph, you gotta consider even lighting or equal lighting and what I mean by that is you and that's hard to manage when you have the background a different exposed if you have it actually underexposed versus the subject, then that's bad news you rather have the subject dark and the background brighter because we can and light to the subject but it's harder to subtract light from the subject. Does that make sense? My flash allows me to add light on the subject, but I can't it's harder to subtract light away from the subject that's why you would have to use the diffuser panel but sometimes you can't get that diffuser panel in the right position to block the light from the subject and it gets to be quite difficult sometimes, so you're that's actually a good question because you're always wanting thie background brighter than your subject when you're using um light to fill in does that make sense? Great, great quick question you may mentioned it but sony shooter sixteen is there a gel for the video light ah, mind yeah, it comes with a, uh, cto jail and a clear diffuser jail so you can make up your own jail exactly yeah it's no big deal you could just take the john just wrap it around. Yeah, whatever you want to do get another question from apple photo thank you for your questions is video like considered natural or flash when white balancing oh, uh it depends on the video like ok, ok and so I like using video lights that are ah white balance like flash daylight or flash um and it gets to be a problem a little bit not too much if there's a slight I've used other video lights and sometimes there's a slight green tone to it or a slight pink tone to it. And then it starts to really you're getting a mismatch of color balance and the available light is one color but your video light is a different one and uh sometimes as difficult to manage quick question does from from wild card in holland do you let your model or do ask your model to look into the video light if the video light is at full power is it difficult for a model toe look and it's a lot less bright in that particular situation if it's too bright I just kind of do the close your eyes and then when I counted to open them and then I clicked the picture if it is too bright um poor I just turn it down and then I just bring it back up but I've never had a situation where the subject thought that it was too bright great well I don't actually I don't let it be too bright okay because I have a dimmer on my video light and so I don't like blast it and so once I noticed like if I'm shining the video light and my subjects doing that I turned it down so you can with the video light make them squint like oh god that is bright but I don't let it and so I just turn the light down so that it's comfortable so I always make sure that light is comfortable on the subject cool and just I guess a final question from meredith toe hayes um what kind of video like do you personally use I use my own it's going killer video like um and you can get it on my website and I like these I know there's bigger ones but I like him small to tell you the truth because I can fit more things in my bag I like these particular flashes, too, because they're really small, they're smaller than most flashes, and I could just get mawr in my bag and I, you know, gang him together and things like that. So I'm I'm kind of like it's small kind of guy and what's kind of cool about, um if you could do it, is that you, khun tiled off the video lights together and it has another bracket so you could put four together if you want to. So sometimes when I'm shooting in a like five point six f stop and I would do it, catch light, I just put two of these together and I turn them both on, um, and you could just do the math and you're doubling your output at that point you're dating a stop. You were like, you are like genius now, there's, no styling. I'm interested in this stuff, this stuff, but I'm personally like, I want to give that man a little. I don't know my dangers ask questions for me, but I think we're good to go ahead. Okay, thank you. This particular. Look here. How is this created? Well, what I did was I created a strip reflector. Which was this and I kind of got this idea from matthew jordan smith actually because he did this technique uh and I liked it it was pretty cool but he did it with a mere I'm like man amir is kind of difficult to bring around with you all the time because it's heavy and it could crack and, um why don't I just create something where it's portable it's light I thought it in my bag and so I created a stripped reflector where it only reflects uh a little bit of light and that would, uh give me, um that mystery where the you can just kind of like just the eyes up or just ah small area of the face and so what I do is I put the video light behind and I usually have it on some sort of mono pod or some sort of stick because it's a lot ok, as we demonstrate, isn't it difficult, tio hold right. I mean, come on like you can only do it for one minute. Just start get tired so it's a lot easier if you could just you could do this all day and all night, so I usually put a video light on a mono pod or I like these cheetah stands because they turn into a model pie, right? And if you put it down they're whereas if you're in a monologue oh you're holding there you gotta be careful about laying it down in this way I got both here and here so you go to cheetah stand dot com you get this is a c eight, by the way because people ask me all the time see eight I think it's around one hundred bucks or less somewhere around there, okay? And so that's how I place a light behind and then I used the reflector it's like a kid in school when you want to kind of get back at the teacher and you want to shine the light in somebody's eyes, right it's kind of like that and it's actually takes a little bit of skill it's not as easy as people think and you reflected back and you get that type of shot you've get the mystery there and what's the mystery here is it's bright here, but that light fades off okay? And then in the background you're creating some sort of shadow too, and you fire that light. I don't know you could try different things. You could put a chair on its side and fire it through there or create some sort of pattern and fire and fire it through there, but if you start to create some sort of shadow in the background that's when you're kind of get that hollywood glamour field and here's what I did here I took one video life from whom I featuring here, by the way, right? So I've got that light behind then I'm shining that light in here he's dark she's not has that mystery I took flash behind there and I just created some sort of shadow oh, uh, effect back there just create a shadow there's many ways to create a shadow just be creative. Same thing here it works actually, best when you have ah, person with dark hair or something that's dark because that light gets to be so strong in the back because you gotta have a lot of light to reflect forward on the person so it needs to be fairly strong. So what ends up happening is you end up putting that video like pretty close to the back of the head because you need a lot of strength. They hit the reflector and come back uh, if it's dark, then you're not going to blow out your highlights as much um or there's a trick there is you could use to video lights you could use one video like just for the rim light. Then you can take another video light and you khun reflected back to the subject this way and then there and then you're reflecting light and then you got full control at that point but this looks a little bit uh you don't get as much of that narrow strip as you do the other way probably because of the distance involved or something I don't know I haven't figured this physics elf for that but it does look better the other way but you can't do it this way if you want full control these air uh examples of doing that effect in creating shadow in the background and that's it so you ready to try some of this stuff all right. Okay. So um who hasn't shot yet? Okay desert so why don't you go uh started off and what do you do? You want to do a basic you want to start off with the basics let's start off with one video light bear video okay and so let's have ah, assistant can somebody help us out? Uh let me get my video it's going okay, okay. This one do you like their great okay that you could be my model e o okay, well, you know people good model twice, right it's no big deal we're the heck of a video lights here. Oh, yeah here we go. Okay, so let's do this okay? Okay. Let's have our subjects sit down here okay? And if we could, uh well let's not dim the lights yet where's my camera what are we going to set a camera at uh so we need to set it at a minimum eight hundred so let's see we couldn't do it I'm going to try this and I might have to switch it but I'm going to set my eyes so up to sixteen hundred okay and I the louis I can go on this lens on this beautiful carl zeiss lens ah that's no that's the cool thing about sony is they use carl zeiss lenses ah the at two point eight so I'm going to be limited to two point eight and we're going to see if this can cut it okay if we need to go lower f stop then I'll put my fifty millimeter one point four on and we'll go to like two point oh or something like that which allows us to double our shutter speeds that correct correct because we get the okay um so let's see what we got if we can uh do a little test shot here to dim the lights a bit down okay perfect yeah nice okay so let's dio let's try some butterfly lighting how's that so um I think this will work let's take a picture like so butterfly lighting I don't know if you can stick in the camera see this see that that shadow right under here right under his nose and how I get it right under there if you look at the father I back I go there's more shadow on his cheeks but there's less catch light and then there's raccoon eyes how do I get those raccoon eyes out of their own pop another like you right and so we're going to try that helps that is that cool so here you're in control here okay um and who wants to hold this e and you direct that light so it gets that butterfly shadow under his nose so I like that there I like the catch lightness eyes can you know that still let's don't do the cash later throwing up this like okay so I want to tell you what let's try to get pronounced shadows on his cheeks yes push it back a little bit further there now watch the glow baby see that there may be a little bit closer it's still little dark under his eyes okay okay and that there is a writer how do I look in there a little bit bright oh okay so can you turn the shutter speed out yeah let's see if it flips over oh, okay not bad. Why does that look pretty cool? Yes little break so go ahead. I'm sorry how's the light for me you are good and you push it back a little bit further uh sorry um way lonnie can you push back with just a little bit further behind behind him so we could get more shadow in depth okay and then scott that's that looks great get a little bit of shadowing his eyes so we might need to pull the light out just in front of it but you get the idea of that but doesn't he look like he's glowing right and that's the presence of uh uh like lighting now let's add on to that okay let's add another flash what do you want to do? We can gel the background I'm kind of like him blue with his shirt right now. Okay, so can we like just you a stripped of glue do we can do a strip well yeah if someone maybe um oops newts it with their hand or something like that so let's start a fine blue so what is the flash power, huh? Probably when sixty four let's just start there and see what happens and we can go from there um and I'm putting a jail on here and getting another flash together and I'm putting it on sixty fourth power and turning it on can you hit the test button? Okay and we'll see what happens I'm just dropping it behind it's more like a pop of color yeah, for some reason I sense that it bebe okay, yeah, headlights down oh, my video like actually does somebody else want to hold this so they can get the feel of how much light to put in it on the bottom? Ok, go ahead let's line it up okay that looks good for his butterfly and the cheeks look good and then and then you direct christina and then christine you're perfect right there the catch lights good and the shadow under sizer good did it no, the flash didn't go okay well now you know what's the shutter speed yeah you're good okay, yeah let's try it again yes lana can you push back just a little bit good all right it went off but I'm not sure it's going to show up for some reason but a kid oh yeah. So nice what's that listen, another light I think we should have another really what do you want to do a room like now yeah, I want to add another flower your color or don't want to decide what's now I want like a white room light just around the side of his face on on his right side look atyou guys man yeah, from this side from the okay. So sixty fourth power so higher. Yes. Like right about there right now you just want to open that shadow up a bit. Is that what you want to do? Yeah, you could also pulled the the video light mawr in front of the subject and eliminate that shadow too, so let's see if you could just get a video like you come up to see fit and then we learning can you push back just a little bit to get that shadow nous cheeks okay that's good great let me just test my flash there you go carrie was there when I got it okay there it looks a little bit bright there right so I tried again you could have you pull back just a little bit here great yeah can you pull that yet right there so it does take some practice even though you can um see what you see what you get but it does take a lot of practice to efficiently do this type of thing so don't go into a wedding never even practiced do we owe you just like don't yeah that's better that's cool all right all right. Hey, another profile sorry did it? You're getting funny teo does a great job okay who's up next he wants toe oh okay. Yeah, great. What do you want to do? Do you want to try something on through an umbrella or I love the umbrella yeah, the soft light okay, so let's do that um let's change this over to the other mount so I could put this on an umbrella mount what light stands we're using cheetah stance cheetah stan dot com okay, so let's turn this sideways to see what we're doing here is that okay? So we're putting a the model putting it this is called an umbrella mount it's very, very very standard stuff you can find anywhere and allows you to mount an umbrella okay lock it down on dh so now we can shine us through and this is gonna take two stops away so I always put the er I always put the video full power because I know I'm losing two stops right away and we may have tio goto lower f stop I might have to change the lens or something like that but well let's go for it stride out so if we could uh dim the lights bit and we're going to need another person with the video light so we could get some up light so someone wants to practice that good perfect okay, now look at that beautiful light subject I could do uh you know, I could put it back I could wherever you want it okay, take that. Uh take that life underneath the way take the applied away so they could see the difference see that so if they shoot it that way um okay now put that light and so they okay, so it's this watch see that's without that up light which looks pretty cool okay uh and then now let's bring that up light in just to get that little bit of glow do you see the butterfly shadow on her? Um no semi good um you know, you get the glare in the glasses because of this bottom yeah and see that little bit of glow there I would actually maybe turn my shutter speed just up a little bit do you think that's a little bit hot? I don't know yeah and then that light looks a little bit off to the uh her right a little bit too much. Um so let's start again okay, so you can't see so you're gonna have to direct me where I can move it for you so you can see where you want it okay? I liked it when it was more inside you're like yeah. Okay. Well, so that's a little bit more loop lighting then no, I don't think it flashed. Okay. Okay. That's very nice. Okay, good. Um do you want to try some ah, glamour field now? Yes. All right, so let's do that. So now we're going to go take this umbrella off and we're going to use the strip reflector anybody wanted to practice this and try this that's very exciting because the chat rooms are screaming for a bastard like that way everyone way you have to put the video right behind the subject. Yes, um someone I want to hold this right here behind her head like this um we should actually hey detective dude can we create a shadow on the both I'm gonna put both tiki dude's together and create some sort of shadow here on the background okay um okay go ahead let's try to get the main light and so put that light up about right here okay and so that light go up higher and so you're trying to really kind of reflect that light back into here and so I could get it on her face okay so see how that see how that works you held out and I can see I can change this like it just grew apart eyes or something like that and um you khun just put your foot over there something just to create a shadow or something I don't know let's try it again see I can see you guys on the shot yeah okay scott can you bring it up a little higher towards her eyes closer higher higher higher e I can only write that well all right let's say you got a cool shot on the back of the leg way thanks. Whoa! One shot lays and your job jeez, I like you guys do that you could just take these two guys along with me all right? You want to try something maybe get the hands in there or something? I don't know you know what do you have? Ah yeah should we have her take the jacket off yes, you could see the skin get the glow, and you're going to just have to pull off the up the sleeve. Can I suggest something from the internet? Because we took her glasses off because of the glare, but that it's such a common scenario and such a question that everybody always asks knew you deal with the glasses. Ah lot of times I do that kind of switch, I shoot it with the eyes like that, and then I so I shoot it like that, so I got eyes, okay? I'll shoot it again with the glasses, I don't care if it has glare on it, because I'm going to switch it out later slight sheet, because I don't have time to get it right or whatever, and so I do a lot of times, so I gotta be at the right angle and all this forty five degree and whatever, right? Uh, that's kind of the cheating way, but works that's what I do, if it works, it works all right. And anyways, in this particular type of shot, I wouldn't use glasses because it really doesn't kind of fit this particular ah shot here with this well, it could, but in general, I wouldn't do it with classes this particular shot, but that's very, very cool any hey uh so do you want to take a couple mohr or you want to try something different or does somebody else want to jump in and try to do that and add that to their portfolio? This is silver I used mostly silver I can try the gold and why is it that you used mostly silver? Um I don't know that's just the look that I like if I was in a situation where I wanted a little bit warmer light I guess I could do that but let's look at let's try try what the heck, I'm a creature of habit so that's basically what I use maybe because the silver too is not is bright and so I want brightness but if we could take the lights down its try silver and see what it looks like um you tell me what I'm doing right or wrong I have no idea. I mean, trouble focusing. Okay? You could pick a point of contrast go kind of see your fingers in the back row. What does one do with their hand? The shadowing? Yes way that's with a warm field now if you actually change the background to him or warmer feel that could actually look like sunset are glowing or whatever and she has kind of a little bit darker skin so that's cool if I was doing this maybe with say somebody with real dark screen like oven african or something like that I would definitely try it but there's people all right, well that's pretty cool doesn't anybody want to try that? You know, I think somebody should actually be the reflector because this is an art form here okay? You want to try okay so who wants to shoot anybody come on, step up. Yeah there yu ever heal the person hold the reflector sometimes because I like you I see it in my eyes yeah yeah o o okay, you know that's good you want to have a model u n tomorrow she wants a model I want a picture too. Okay? All right, so you want to start this over this way wants to sort of silver do you want blue back there? What do you want? Color actually, I want to see what it looks like the sunset idea. You okay selling oranges that orange okay, I got orange hair those came out really cool. Thank you to my model. Yes it's changing out the color. Okay, he had that here. Okay, now we're going to have to do the shadow. I've never done this before. I'm aversion shadow guy if I go farther away yeah, yeah do you need someone you want just like that screen it's just like lean forward about yeah I think it needs to go back just a little bit and then kind of rotate it that way or another yeah no trying to get the show okay hold that and then you find that kind of split again that ok like the eyes yeah. Very interesting here that's terrible I'm fire okay, I like that but I think her eyes are straining to much to decide so uh what kind of fix mine I got to go further back then you were mean that's me yeah, you won so you could do like a little cup oh, I think if I go forward then it's defused it's closers diffused right? So let's go closer that's my problem okay, wait no I'm going to turn the power down well, it's already at sixty fourth power but aiken you want me and choose a more intense jail because that yeah the great you know what? I'm just gonna add this on I'm just gonna add this on time okay? So I'm just a little bit more behind I think it's not yeah, things didn't go great the first time do you find it? Can you come in a little closer to her? Yeah yeah yeah a little tv cameras studio I like that background thanks guys so let's do some end of day q and a yeah serving with just from tennessee rick t c and rick is it possible to get that quick fall off that is typical of hollywood glamour lighting using speed lights as opposed to that video light? Um, you could if you kind of snooty did or use your hands but it's a lot more difficult because you can't see it where that light's gonna go, but you can't I've done it before, but it's more of a just okay, I got the face and then I got fall off, but I like that kind of just across the eyes look, um, and things of that nature and so you could but it's a lot more difficult in my estimation sounds good couple questions around the idea of just kind of creating your own vision and your own art wack a doodle saying when you plan your poses, do you plan it based on the light you want to create or create the light around the pose? Um, dad is a great question, everything for me this is not opposing lecture, which I'd love to do for you guys there starts with an emotion and a feeling first. Okay, uh, that's, uh, that was the breakthrough for me of getting my imagery to the next level I used to start with technical, okay, walk away here this way looked that way, okay? I would get something consistent I would get something solid, but I'm almost looking at my image and I'm like, oh, man, can you get bored of this like it's not doesn't, you know, sometimes don't you feel sometimes you go, man, I really want that extra long from my photo, I'm not getting it and I don't know what it is we'll for may I found out it was the emotion in the field and so everything starts with that first, and then I create the light according to that feel and and sometimes I can look at my client and I get and they have got a certain feel to oh, wow, you've got a very sensual field, teo ah, and so then I'll have it can you give me kind of something and I'll try to imitate what I want and I literally have to do this I literally have to do the pose first because that's, how I set my vision so let's say if I was doing something and I wanted and I saw this model and she was kind of sensual, so I'd get in here and what you think, okay, how do I want that? And then I would demonstrate what I'd want, right or let's say I wanted something very aloof and um uppity, right? I would I have to feel it it starts with a feeling first give veal something what are you gonna feel with your photo and then from that I kind of derived the lighting from that you know and that's how I do it but I always start with the emotion first, what emotion are you trying to evoke and then wrap everything about around that everything goes around that I love it? I mean, just like we started off talking about the beginning of the workshop the reactive versus proactive and so that proactive emotion what are you looking for? One more final question kind of built upon that from kay bean you're talking about emotion, but do you also playing your chutes using sketches or is it just predetermined in your mind or the emotion right? If you're really good, you would do sketches on you know I've got like that's what's bringing in germany do and then I've had this other student that actually storyboard it out and I think of the whole suit and they actually storyboard the frames that they want and the mohr and mohr you visualize your vision and you get it down and it's and it's what you want, the better I think the overall product's going to be, but in general as I teach teaching snippets right? And so um I haven't really uh I haven't really done a project where I'm doing entire siri's I'm just demonstrating most of the time and most of my images I'm demonstrating so the easiest for thing for me is just a start with an emotion and demonstrate that but definitely if you can storyboard it out your set of photos is going to be way stronger definitely I highly recommend that well, I really love how we're bringing it all back sort of together in terms of how we started off the day with the four different elements that make wow esso awesome you have homework? I do like you did yeah, the homework is tio take a night photos that correct? I thought that's what it wass so what I have written down here, our people tio get out there and try some of the techniques that we've been doing over the past couple of days and then all we're looking for seok is on then all we're looking for people to do is tio post the image you know, wherever it is that you want to post it of your new skills and tweet it out using at creative live and the hashtag scott robert live so scott wants to see just any other techniques is that correct right? And we get well I want a unleash your creativity and I wantto see what you guys can do and it's going to give us ideas that's going to give our audience. Different ideas. And I know there's a ton of photographers out there that are very creative. And they can take thes tools and use them and go out and go for it.

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.