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Lighting 101

Lesson 16 of 65

5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

16. 5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Chapter 1 Introduction Duration:01:26
2 Why Just One On-Camera Flash Duration:04:22
3 5 Reasons to Use Flash Duration:10:37
4 Common Flash Myths Duration:06:51
6 Chapter 2 Introduction Duration:01:36
9 Flash vs. Ambient Demo Duration:06:42
13 Understanding Flash Duration Duration:08:37
14 Chapter 3 Introduction Duration:01:34
15 5 Common Key Light Patterns Duration:08:38
18 3 Primary Subject Patterns Duration:05:27
19 Light Qualities Duration:09:56
20 The Inverse Square Law Duration:07:50
21 Inverse Square Law in Practice Duration:08:21
22 Corrective White Balance Duration:10:02
23 Creative White Balance Duration:05:47
24 Chapter 4 Introduction Duration:01:58
25 On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash Duration:05:57
27 TTL vs. Manual Control Duration:08:12
28 TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times Duration:04:43
29 Flash Power & Zoom Duration:09:18
30 HHS vs. ND Filters Duration:12:29
31 FCS vs. RCS Duration:07:11
32 Chapter 5 Introduction Duration:01:38
34 Bare Bulbing Done Right Duration:11:42
35 Grid Snoot + Direct Flash Duration:06:43
36 Mini Beauty + Direct Flash Duration:06:08
37 Ring + Direct Flash Duration:07:52
38 Understanding Modifiers Duration:09:24
39 Direct Flash + Shutter Flash Duration:09:07
40 Chapter 6 Introduction Duration:01:55
42 Silver Bounce Duration:14:27
43 More Light Silver Duration:11:02
44 Soft White Bounce Duration:15:41
45 Overhead Bounce Duration:11:39
46 Overhead Bounce + Fill Duration:09:42
47 Event Bounce Duration:12:42
48 Chapter 7 Introduction Duration:01:38
49 Natural vs. Dramatic Light Duration:17:43
53 Chapter 8 Introduction Duration:00:43
54 Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset Duration:09:45
55 Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset Duration:10:04
57 Case Study 4 - Family Portrait Duration:08:21
59 Case Study 6 - Working Angles Duration:07:22
61 Case Study 8 - Less is More Duration:07:16
62 The Good Karma Jar Duration:01:41
63 Favorite Feature Flashes Duration:05:52
64 Favorite Manual Flashes Duration:21:35

Lesson Info

5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill

In the last video we covered our five primary key light patterns and toe light all of these images we use just a simple light panel chroma led light all we did we put this on around daylight balance, we brighten it up, we put it over the model's face and we started shooting. Now we used a constant light because we want to show you these lighting techniques, and if we newsflash, you're only going to see where the light is for that split second, when the flash fires, we want us to be able to see the light throughout the entire video and how our positioning and so forth so I want to use it constantly in addition, we use of this led panel because you'll notice that it's pretty close to around the same size as a flash. This is maybe twice the size of a flash head, so it puts off a very similar light, particularly when we leave it on daylight white balance like it is right now, it's still a kind of hard edge light if small has no modification so it's going to create that kind of hard edge lo...

ok, which is what you see in all these images look at how sharp the shadows are, look how deep those shadows are in the way that it doesn't really fall off there's no really smooth shadow transition but when we modify that light we can create an absolutely fantastic light by simply defusing and filling and that's what we did here with every light position after we shot the light without diffusion without any phil we took the same shot with light modifications so you guys can see the differences and the differences are absolutely huge. So let's go the next slide right now now here are same exact key light patterns this time we added diffusion for that key light and then we added a fill the reflector so let's talk about the diffusion further effusion we added just a simple piece of fabric over the front of this light. Okay, we just take down basically diffusion fabric like this you guys can pick up yards of this stuff from your local cloth store for under ten bucks it's incredibly inexpensive and all it is just a slightly translucent or transparent translucent transparent I think transparent translucent is like reflective or something I don't know I don't know english sturm's but is just a slightly kind of transparent white that will allow some light to pass through now the lighter the fabric basically more transparent the more light it allows to pass through whereas kind of the more I guess the more dense with less transparent the more diffusion you get but then the less light goes through every layer by the way, every layer of diffusion is going to reduce the amount of light that reaches your subject, so we'll talk about that a little bit later on but just know that every time you added the future diffuser to future every time you add a diffusion, you're reducing the amount of light output. So we have this over the front of that panel. What else do we got? I'm gonna throw this on the ground right now. Next? Why does it have my assistant actually hold up a scrim? So again, this is a very similar fabric. This is just from the five o one this is the west caught five in one and all he's doing is joe's holding this up just directly in front like maybe a foot off of that led light to again further diffuse and open up the size of the light source. So as it diffuses a second time, we lose again a little more light, but then it opens out the light source even larger on hollywood sets. A lot of times they put layer after layer of diffusion in front of these giant life. They'll put up one layer separate by another layer by five feet another layer. So every time it hits a diffusion fabric, it opens up the size of the light source so it becomes softer and softer and softer as it goes larger and larger and larger so we have this kind of defusing that primary that key light on the phil side for every time we're filling and we're just filling were always filling where the shadows are ok, you will understand that in just one second we're just using another westcott this another westcott five to one this is just the silversides to catch the film because since we're using a white to diffuse and since the light is very soft we need something a little bit with more kick to be able to see that phil well so we're using a silver side okay now let's go to the actual images let's talk about how are defusing and how the light works. So with this light that flat light set up again the light's coming from directly above the lens that diffusion cloth was right over this front we have that second panel the scrim that goes right in front of that and then there's really no need for much phil here because the light is very flat to begin with so there's not much of a shadow anywhere but you can see how much it opens up the image the shadow becomes so much softer in comparing the side by side with the last image it's a german matic change it looks like we increase the size of the life source dramatically because it's such a soft light compared to that hard edge in the first shot going on to butterfly again same positioning we raise that light up this time it has the little cloth panel in front of it we have the the scrim that's basically placed directly in front out like a foot in front of light and what we've done here is that silver goes underneath so the silver goes underneath and it fills light under that shot that chin where the shadow is this is known as clamshell lighting basically where you take a paramount light and you had a phil underneath you have a clam shell shape hence clamshell wedding with this we get again a very soft and beautiful beauty type portrait set up with super soft shadows it hasn't absolutely fantastic looking you can see that kind of beauty fashion look in this type of an image going on the loop lighting look at how much less dramatic that shadow is that comes across the neck and also across the kind of upper lip area with the phil again a phil just goes into the shadow side, so look as if if our light is placed this light is up above to the left of where olivia's head is. The diffusion fabric isn't a foot in front of that the village is coming from the opposite side it's coming from the shadow side of the face so the phyllis coming from the right side of the face with that silver over here with rembrandt again we're just getting more directional with the main light and the phyllis coming from the same place and look att compare this to that previous raymond this is still rembrandt lighting but it's so much less dramatic because of the phil. Now keep in mind that as you fill shadows if you feel shadows too much well, if you feel shadows completely you just end up with flat lining because you have no shadows. So with rembrandt if you want drama, you need to make sure that you still leave some of those shadows otherwise you really aren't getting that true dramatic look but look at the split lighting over here again the light's off to the side we have a diffusion reflector right in front of that we have the silver reflector just on the opposite side of her face feeling into the shadow even this even though this is kind of ah terrible lighting technique for beauty is almost acceptable when you add enough modification to it and that's the point comparing this to that other image you have two completely different images one with a sharp, hard edged light with no phil and no modification, one with a very soft and diffused light with filling in the shadows so I just wanted you all to see basically that those same five common key light patterns look completely different with light modification, because light modification is really the tool that's going to create. The stylistic look that you want to have in your image is the key light pattern in the direction. Light is great. We're going to use it for all sorts of different purposes. But the way you modify that key light the way you either choose to go with a softer light or a harder light, or a diffused light or a speculator light that's really where you're going to get the overall emotion and feel from the images. That's it for this video. Let's. Go ahead and head to the next one now.

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. 

Graduate to the next level of exposure mastery with Lighting 201, Lighting 301, and Lighting 401 with Pye Jirsa.



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.

Simon Metselaar

This is the best thing that happened to me since I've been into photography. What a lifesaver. Unfortunately I already payed for some courses that are not Pye, but Pye just nails it. Amazing, and kind of a life hack. Thanks again :)

George Gan was well worth your training. I have learned some key lighting techniques from this training. His voice and training is clear except for his attempt at making jokes and should hire a new script writer for your Jokes...ha ha ha ha. With that said, if you are not a professional in lighting, you do gain a lot going through this training from front to end. Remember this is lighting 101 so don't expect too want more technical and complexity, wait for Lighting 201, 301 or 401 ...