3 Primary Subject Patterns


Lighting 101


Lesson Info

3 Primary Subject Patterns

We've talked about key and secondary light patterns and positions. Now let's talk about the subject's position in relation to the light. We have basically three common kind of subject placements or positions in relation to a light. And the first is going to be short lighting and then we have direct or flat. And then we have broad lighting, each one of these do different things. And because this is probably the last videos that I can use, I need his help. I want needed to come help me. I need to come out here real fast. Then I'll just put this led like that. We don't need bad guy. Okay, so let's start with direct flat or some symmetrical light. Ok. Now, there's, lots of different symmetrical light patterns were going to show you. We have paramount. We have clam shell with a fill underneath. Paramount. We have square. We have flat. Those are all examples of basically a flat, a direct or symmetrical style light. Why this medical? Because on both side of the face, it's on every side, it's,...

all equal lighting, so we refer to it as basically a symmetrical light. This type of light is wonderful for creating extremely flattering types of portrait's. Okay, because again, that's, symmetrical light is going to light everything evenly if fills in all the wrinkles, all the imperfections and it creates a very beautiful flat look to it that's great for beauty and fashion and portrait's and so forth but it's fantastic for showing symmetry interface. And if somebody lax symmetry, I mean, we all lack symmetry to an extent if you guys actually take a photo of yourself, take a photo cut and a half and then put the left side's together and then put the right sides together, you'll notice that you look like two completely different people with the left side's connected on both sides and then with the right side on both sides, you look very different. Looks scary. We all have a little bit of dysentery to the face, but if someone has a lot of the cemetery, then what ends up happening is by using these types of lighting this type of shot, you're exaggerating that, and so you want to make sure you avoid a symmetrical flat shot and that kind of lighting if the person does not have at least a average symmetrical face otherwise you're really doing them an injustice so let's talk about short or slimming type lighting. Now, short lighting is basically in reference to the position of the face in reference to the lighting okay, so if I turn my face into the light a little bit like this okay, so my chin just basically moves towards that light. It leaves the broadside, so from the camera right now, the broad side of the face is this side, right? Because the short side is kind of away from us. The short side is what lit and the broadside falls in the shadow. Now, right now, we have quite a bit of fill light coming from here, so you don't see his extreme of shadows, but if you look on olivia's face, you can see the short side being lit on the left side, falling pretty deep in the shadows. The effect that this has is generally a slimming effect on the face, which you can imagine that for most people for ninety five percent of us it's actually going to be more flattering than the opposite. Short lighting has a slimming effect and that's why we kind of placed it on this little scale here as you go to this side, you're going to slim down the face now someone has most of us want to look a little bit skinnier and photos, but if someone has a very narrow face to begin with, you probably don't want to short light it. You want to either use direct or flat lighting or even brought in the face by using broad lining, so here we have broad, which means gain short, not broad, which means game abroad equals the effect that it has is kind of gaining or large inning enlarging the face short equals slimming the face okay, how do we position? Well, we have our same key lie right there and this time the subject is basically looking away from the key light so the broad side of the face this side that you see the most of in camera is the side that's basically lit okay? And the short side the face is the one that falls in the shadow so we see the exact same thing here and you can see if you compare these two photos side by side this one is going to be a little more flattering is going to make olivia's face look a little more narrow little more slim this one is going to broaden the face a little bit again ninety nine percent of the time ninety five percent whatever percentage you guys like okay, just ah hi percent of the time your short side is going to be the better and more flattering angle to shoot somebody. So remember, the simplest way to think about it is just short means that their chin is facing towards the light and broad means that their chin is basically going away from the light okay in relation to where the camera is in the light and so forth so that's, really it. This is going to be one of the last things that we kind of play into when we're positioning our subject in relation to where our primary archy light is coming from. Is considering this and considering the overall effect that we want to have any image, if we want symmetry, if we want to show off and get that beauty in that perfect look, well, direct, flat and symmetrical light techniques are wonderful. If you want a short and slim the face a little bit too kind of slim down a person's, ah, figure or face, then short lighting is fantastic. And if you want to broaden someone who already has a very narrow features and very narrow face, then we would use broad lighting to open it up a little bit. Hopefully that I'll make sense. Let's, head on now to the next video.

Class Description

Lighting 101 follows in Photography 101's footsteps. Photography 101 takes students up through Manual Mode mastery and provides a foundation in natural light techniques and modifications. Lighting 101 picks up by teaching all about flash and light modification. But, just like Photography 101, we want Lighting 101 to be the most accessible lighting course available. So we teach you everything about flash lighting, light modification, ambient to flash balance, lighting patterns, off-camera lighting and even multi-point off-camera light setups. But, what makes Lighting 101 truly special is that we do all of this with nothing but your on-camera hot shoe flash. Every image shown and created in this course was created with a DSLR and just a single on-camera hot shoe speed light. 


1Chapter 1 Introduction 2Why Just One On-Camera Flash 35 Reasons to Use Flash 4Common Flash Myths 5What Makes Flash Challenging? 6Chapter 2 Introduction 7Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light 8Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure 9Flash vs. Ambient Demo 10Flash and Ambient Balancing for Natural Effect 11Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect 12Flash and Ambient Balancing for Creative Effect 13Understanding Flash Duration 14Chapter 3 Introduction 155 Common Key Light Patterns 165 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill 175 Common Secondary Light Patterns 183 Primary Subject Patterns 19Light Qualities 20The Inverse Square Law 21Inverse Square Law in Practice 22Corrective White Balance 23Creative White Balance 24Chapter 4 Introduction 25On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash 26Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes 27TTL vs. Manual Control 28TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times 29Flash Power & Zoom 30HHS vs. ND Filters 31FCS vs. RCS 32Chapter 5 Introduction 334 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash 34Bare Bulbing Done Right 35Grid Snoot + Direct Flash 36Mini Beauty + Direct Flash 37Ring + Direct Flash 38Understanding Modifiers 39Direct Flash + Shutter Flash 40Chapter 6 Introduction 41Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash 42Silver Bounce 43More Light Silver 44Soft White Bounce 45Overhead Bounce 46Overhead Bounce + Fill 47Event Bounce 48Chapter 7 Introduction 49Natural vs. Dramatic Light 50Filling and Refining Existing Light 51Coloring Light for Corrective Effect 52Coloring Light for Creative Effect 53Chapter 8 Introduction 54Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset 55Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset 56Case Study 3 - Sinister Headshot 57Case Study 4 - Family Portrait 58Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits 59Case Study 6 - Working Angles 60Case Study 7 - Drag + Composite 61Case Study 8 - Less is More 62The Good Karma Jar 63Favorite Feature Flashes 64Favorite Manual Flashes 65Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers



The best class for understanding light and lighting there is bar none. Pye is an excellent teacher and the quality of the material provides for a rich and very informative experience. Pye breaks down the fundamentals in easy to digest packets and then elaborates as needed. If there is one class that you watch this is it! Worth purchasing and saving for future use. I would also HIGHLY recommend downloading the saving the PDF of slides that accompany the videos. Again, and can't say it enough, this is THE BEST video to lighting on Creative Live. A must watch for the novice and the expert.


AMAZING course. Great information for people just starting out with using a flash and manipulating light. Pye has a great sense of humor so he keeps you interested but still explains everything really well.


I love watching Pye Jirsa teach. He really knows his photography and he is an excellent teacher. Also, I like that Pye is very well prepared and he does not "wing it". Great course!