Beyond DSLR Basics: Composition and Lighting

 

Lesson Info

Wrap up and Review

This was shot with...what was this shot with? This was shot with strobe. The control you get from strobe is just...between grids that you can gobo the light with, with different modifiers and etc. You can really pinpoint and focus the light where you want. But for now, I mean, this is the next step. That's why I wanted to do this segment last. For now, when you're learning your DSLR and still trying to get a grasp to make exposure and using manual mode automatic, just use a single light. You saw beautiful images that we were able to capture with one light. We didn't use modifiers until this afternoon. Okay? If you do have a smaller light source that just isn't quite working right, try throwing in a modifier to see how it changes it, a big v-flat or reflector. It's an inexpensive way to change things up a bit, okay? But ultimately guys, what really you love and I know you know this already, that your DSLR gives you that flexibility to do so many different things. You can't shoot strobes...

with your iPhone. It's very hard to shoot strobes with a point and shoot. You just...by not being able to independently control aperture shutter speed and ISO, it makes life challenging. Okay? Strobes allow you to capture fast action. Clearly, you can do it in natural light and you can do it in strobe. It just gives a different look each time. It gives you artistic control over what you're doing and it grows with your skill level. You can increase your lenses overtime to be different, looks and effects, the use of modifiers and all that kind. It's just awesome to have the flexibility to control everything you want with a DSLR. Don't forget, above everything, light travels in a straight line for the most part. Okay? The reflector needs to be put pretty much opposite the light. I want you to play around with angling it and moving it and seeing what happens because it'll impact the image and the way the shadows are handled with a different position of the reflector. The lighting angle is critical. You saw that. I can change lighting angle by moving the light or by moving the person. Okay? Lighting angle, camera angle, posing angle, that was the big three that we focused on this entire class. But knowing that light travels in a straight line and watching the shadows to see the light will help you so much. I want you...this is your homework assignment. Everywhere you go for the rest of the day today, look for shadows. Seriously. I know it's going to...Now, you're going to see shadows everywhere and drive you crazy. And then from there, guess where the light is coming from. Now, where it gets complicated is when you have three or four different lights casting three or four different shadows. But use it as a challenge. Where is the light sources coming from? Which light source is stronger? Which light source is closer? Which light source is further away? The angle of the shadow is going to tell you the angle of the light. It's just like being outside, Peter Pan, at noon, there's no shadow. At 5:00, there's a big, long one. Okay? It has to do with the angle of the way the light is hitting the object. So, watch the shadows to see the light. So, in review, we talked about camera angle, lighting angle, posing angle, composition, lens choice, color, light. All of it helps you to create mood and story in your image, okay? Images with impact are the next step in your journey of DSLR, okay? Create things with your heart. And yes, you have to know the rules to break them but don't be afraid to break the rules. That's half the fun of it. What's life with rules, right? But understand how light behaves, the physics of it. Once you know how light behaves, then you will not be unsure of things. Well, the light is going this direction, I know it travels in a straight line so I have to put the reflector over here because that's, you know, the laws of physics. So, once you understand these things, then it will help make your journey less intimidating. What my hope is, that you get to the point where your technical knowledge with your camera, it becomes so automatic that all of a sudden now, it's about color, it's about how the light skims across something, it's about filling those shadows for that effervescent look. It's about creating beautiful composition and mood so that when people look at your image, they're not looking at the technical aspects of it. They're feeling the emotion that looking at that image gives. Okay? There is nothing like seeing an image that gives you that "Oh" feeling, okay? When light is used to create impact, when posing and composition guide your eye directly to where it's supposed to go in combination with the light. Okay? One of the best techniques I have for seeing light in an image to learn light is to turn images to black and white. Turning an image to black and white allows you to see it for its tonal value, not its color value. And when you see the tonal value, your eye goes to the brightest part of the image, to that belly. Okay? And by learning to use gobos and reflectors and natural light, and influencing where things happen, you now have the control to direct the viewer's eye into the image exactly where you want them to go. And that is an incredible artistic ability. Okay? So, that's what's going to tell your story. Okay. So, here's how to get a hold of me. Instagram: juliakelleher. Facebook: Jewel Images. And then Twitter, julialkelleher. Pinterest is also Jewel Images. So, we do a lot on Pinterest and Instagram. And if you want that DSLR Quick Reference Guide and Adobe Raw Basics, go to jewel-education.com/dslr, jewel-education.com/dslr. And of course, if you would like to join our Facebook group, you can do that by going to facebook.com/groups/juliakelleher.

Julia has a great way of explaining even some of the most technical things so that you can understand them. This is a great class to get your feet wet and then use what you learned to start swimming. - Barry Miller, CreativeLive Student


Understanding how your camera functions is a start, but in order to capture the best images, you need to know more than what buttons to push.  Julia Kelleher will walk you through some likely beginner photographer scenarios to show how to work in multiple situations, compose your image and get the most from your subjects. Whether you purchased your camera to take photos of your children, your friends or even products you are hoping to sell, Julia will show you how to feel comfortable in any environment. In this class Julia will show you: 
  • Taking pictures of children: how to work with energetic subjects, what compositions are safest as well as poses and ideas to keep them engaged 
  • Taking pictures of groups: be it your friends, coworkers or clients- learn the best approaches for group photos so you can capture people looking their best 
  • Products: If you’re starting a business or selling your belongings online, a great picture goes a long way in helping a buyer choose your product 
  • Headshots or banner photos: learn techniques to get professional headshots or captivating banner photos for your social media or website 
  • How to work with natural light and control it in your favor, as well as inexpensive options to help improve your lighting quality 
 If you’re new to working with a professional camera, this class will give you the confidence to capture an image in any scenario with your expensive purchase. Make the most out of every situation by learning to compose, pose, direct and light your subjects.  

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • Julia is an amazing teacher!!!! Funny, go with the flow, honest, and obviously so gifted at what she does. That came through and also inspired those feelings in me as a novice photographer. I left her class feeling excited to play with my camera and appreciate that she encouraged me to use what I have now and get good before spending tons of money on fancier stuff. I also love that she showed how everyday materials from Home Depot can make for great images. I particularly appreciated the 2nd day on product photography, social media images and the short demos in PhotoShop. Please do a full class on just this Julia/Creative Live!!!!!
  • So first off I've been doing photography for a little bit now and only shot in manual 20% of the time and was okay with it. Since coming to this class and seeing how manual mode isn't scary, it is everything you need and want in the life of photography, I now will not use anything else. The team at Creative Live is amazing and Julia's love for other starting and even professional photographers is amazing. She would sit and talk to us together and individually and really loves those who love photography. I would recommend this class and any other one of Julia's classes here on CreativeLive. I can't wait to come back. Was AMAZING!!! LIFE CHANGING!!!
  • What an awesome class! I am not a beginner and am currently making a living as a photographer and was interested in this class because #1 Julia is such a great teacher with such talent and #2 I was expecting to take away some valuable information to pass along to my little after school beinning photo club. I am happy to report Julia did not disappoint:-) What actually happened was that I learned so many things that I probably should have known being a seasoned professional that I lost track of my original intention of why I was there. I couldn't wait to pull out my camera and try all of the new things that I had just learned. The color balancing and the little dot showing when your camera (Nikon) was manually focused alone was worth the price. I enjoyed every minute of this course. Thanks Julia! Anyone would benefit from this course....