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5 Reasons to Use Flash

Lesson 3 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

5 Reasons to Use Flash

Lesson 3 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

3. 5 Reasons to Use Flash

Next Lesson: Common Flash Myths


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Why Just One On-Camera Flash


5 Reasons to Use Flash


Common Flash Myths


What Makes Flash Challenging?


Chapter 2 Introduction


Flash-Strobe vs. Ambient-Constant Light


Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure


Flash vs. Ambient Demo


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Natural Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect


Flash and Ambient Balancing for Creative Effect


Understanding Flash Duration


Chapter 3 Introduction


5 Common Key Light Patterns


5 Common Key Light Patterns w/ Diffusion & Fill


5 Common Secondary Light Patterns


3 Primary Subject Patterns


Light Qualities


The Inverse Square Law


Inverse Square Law in Practice


Corrective White Balance


Creative White Balance


Chapter 4 Introduction


On Board vs. Hot Shoe Flash


Full Feature vs. Manual Flashes


TTL vs. Manual Control


TTL vs. Manual Recycle Times


Flash Power & Zoom


HHS vs. ND Filters




Chapter 5 Introduction


4 Tips When You Must Use Direct Flash


Bare Bulbing Done Right


Grid Snoot + Direct Flash


Mini Beauty + Direct Flash


Ring + Direct Flash


Understanding Modifiers


Direct Flash + Shutter Flash


Chapter 6 Introduction


Ambient vs. Direct Flash vs. Bounce Flash


Silver Bounce


More Light Silver


Soft White Bounce


Overhead Bounce


Overhead Bounce + Fill


Event Bounce


Chapter 7 Introduction


Natural vs. Dramatic Light


Filling and Refining Existing Light


Coloring Light for Corrective Effect


Coloring Light for Creative Effect


Chapter 8 Introduction


Case Study 1 - Dramatic Sunset


Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset


Case Study 3 - Sinister Headshot


Case Study 4 - Family Portrait


Case Study 5 - Athlete Portraits


Case Study 6 - Working Angles


Case Study 7 - Drag + Composite


Case Study 8 - Less is More


The Good Karma Jar


Favorite Feature Flashes


Favorite Manual Flashes


Favorite On Camera Flash Modifiers


Lesson Info

5 Reasons to Use Flash

Five reasons to use flash number one flash is awesome. Number two flashes. Awesome number three flashes are some four flashes. Awesome in five. Actually, those are not the five reasons to use flash, although they should be the real reason that we want to use flash is primarily just control of light control of light in any scene that we're working with him. But what exactly are we controlling? Well, controlling light is just the main overriding reason. But there's actually four components that were going to controlling and each scene that we approach. And this is what flash allows us to do so. Let's, talk about each of these in detail. Well, let's, go over real quick. Control light is number one controlled. The amount of light is number two. The direction of light is number three. The quality of light is number four and the color of light is gonna be number five. So let's go through each in detail, starting with the amount of light. Now, most people, when they think of using flash, they...

think of super dramatic portrait's. Whether it's on set in the studio or whether it's out on location, they think of all sorts of crazy dramatic type. Looks the beautifully about flashes, it can be used that way, but it doesn't have to be used that way, so over here, on the left, were using just a little bit of flash bounced off a reflector to correct the color of light, and also to add a soft bit of fill light into the scene. So we're actually matching the light of sunset because that's, a very orange light, so we're actually using orange flash, basically with a gel, and we're bouncing into there to create a beautiful, natural looking portrait. Right here, we have a reflector, that's catching light from the sun and bouncing in your face, but we're not getting quite enough light, and we're not getting the light wrap the way wanted to. So what we've done is we bounce a flash into that reflector as well with the sunlight, to kind of create more light rap into this kind of brightened up a scene overall to power up the existing light, if you will. Here, well, this is a scene that most also thinking, exposing for dark subjects in a dark scene. Here we have a beautifully exposed background, but our subject is completely in the dark there, completely shaded, we can't see anything, so of course, we're using flash in that instance, just to bring out our model, okay, so that is probably the most obvious uses a flash, and of course we can use it for that. But here we also have a shot to basically overpower the sun or another type of light source. So what we're doing here is the top images exposed for skin tones, and you can see that while it looks very nice and that's a great style in another self, we lose a lot of color and donation of the sky. So what we're doing in the bottom images were using flash to basically overpower the sun a little bit toe pull that exposure down to reveal more rich tones and rich colors in the background, which ends up giving us a more dramatic image. Most people kind of think of probably these two as the uses for flash. Basically, they think of it as darkening are brightening dark subjects or overpowering the sun, but there's so much in between filling and adding and strengthening light, changing light direction and that's exactly what we're going to talk about next as well. Let's talk now about the direction of light. Now, in every scene you're going tohave an existing direction of light, it could be coming from the left or the right, or it could be flat, let it could be overhead lit. Either way, if the direction of light is not flattering for our subjects or for not getting enough light from that direction, we could do a couple different things. Now over here, we're basically adding to the existing light direction. So if you look at this first photo, this family, the first shot doesn't have any added flash it's just the natural ambience shot. Now we could expose this for their skin tones and end up with a nice looking shot. The only problem is we're gonna lose most of our background, we place them in this beautiful, backlit seen and that would just brighten up and blow out. But with the existing light at this level of exposure, we don't get enough of that light coming in. You can see the light direction is from the right side, we just don't get enough into the eyes, we don't get enough under the skin, we don't get on enough overall. So what we've done here is we've used flash just toe add to the existing light direction that was naturally the scene, and we end with a very natural looking portrait, beautiful shadows and fall off. It looks fantastic, looks natural and it looks great over here on the right side, well, we haven't image here that has what I would describe as kind of poor light direction. This model is standing in a backlit area where we have really no life kind of direction overall it's it's very flat basically so the light's kind of just coming straight on atter we have a little bit of top down lining meaning that her eyes are gonna be in the dark it's just not a very flattering light direction so in these types of situations rather than add to an existing light direction we can use flash to just change to modify that light direction which adds a lot of additional production value in a much more just kind of interesting looking image to look at so here we've brightened her up with a bit of flash coming from left to right and for portraiture that's going to be a big deal changing light direction is huge because light direction is what we used to really enhance and flatter our models we want to basically bring focus and attention to their best features in the camera so that's how we're going to do it we're going control the light direction let's go on to the next step our next point of control which is the quality of light quality of life one the subject required to say what is the ideal quality of light a photographer would probably say super soft wrapping light that's defused and perfect and that is a fantastic quality of light but I want to say that there is no right quality of life there's only a right quality of light for the type of scene that you're working in and the type of subject and emotion that you want that image to convey. And let me show you the examples of that here on the left side, we're using soft and diffused lighting for creating flattering portrait. Okay, so here we have a head shot. We're gonna show you a beautiful square set up where you can use one single flash to create beautiful headshots here in the bottom. We're just using a reflector with a little bit of bounce flash to add to this beautiful natural light portrait we're adding a bit of direction to what was a nice natural light shot and it's nice with flash over here, though we're using a hard and direct flash, we're going to do a studio session with yoko, where is basically designed to have this more kind of punk and editorial field to it we're using direct flash throughout that entire set and you'll find it actually works very nicely it something I've done, a lot of music and editorial images and so forth it's a fantastic look, but you wouldn't go in flash you know you're engagement sessions with direct flash it's not going to look great for that type of scene in that type of image, but it does work great here on the bottom, we use direct flash to basically create a kind of motion dancefloor image these air fantastic if you are an event or wedding photographer using direct flash to freeze your subjects that you kind of create motion by slowing down the shutter it's a fantastic effect that we're going to show you guys let's move on next one here we're using speculum light now we've talked about we're gonna talk about this in more detail, but basically this is defused. This is speculate, meaning that has lots of highlights, lots of punch, very high contrast, like we're using that in studio to create this very dramatic and stylistic look for these athletic portrait ce so this is using basically pretty much a hard type of light to create this kind of looks you want to create defined shadows, but again, the speculator light wouldn't necessarily look good if you just want a flattering type of natural portrait. So again, speculate for stylistic effects is fantastic here we're using a very soft, diffuse directional light to enhance the existing light again. We're not trying to overpower anything in this scene. This is a scene that I will wanted to look very natural we simply have a white reflector bouncing flash at a very soft power just to give them a little bit of direction to clean up the existing light and so forth. And down here we're using that same type of soft diffused light toe add just a nice overall look to this portrait of yoko out in this field so quality of lights we have soft, we have hard, we have defused, we have speculate there's no one right type of light there's just a right look for the type of subject and the scene that you're working within and we're gonna talk about all that more detail as we go through let's go on to the final point which is to control the color of light. So as you guys know from photography one on one and hopefully goods of all watch photographer one one that every type of light source has its own color from daylight to tungsten lights to the led lights that we're using studio from flash to jelled flash and so forth all these different types of light have different colors to them, and even sunlight at different times of day has a complete different color when that color of light basically does not match the look that we want tohave whether it's bad lighting color or whether it's simply is for creative purposes we want to change that color. This is where flash can give us a lot of control over the code, so on this left side we basically have stylistic color modification this is where we modify existing light color for stylistic purposes there's nothing wrong with the existing light color? I just thought it looked cool to have a, uh, orange light over the subject so that we could drop the background into a deep blue. So we get this beautiful blue look which matched the bikini extremely well has a very dramatic look for this swimsuit portrait here over here on the right side. Well, we have bad existing light color because the light color that's that's naturally in the shot over here without flash. This is the light color coming off these buildings behind me, and that light is very basic office lighting that sodium vapor kind of light is very green doesn't look good, and so what we're doing in this situation is we're adding our own life to clean up the existing light so we're basically modifying the color of light so it looks much more flattering. It cleans it up, it adds, beautiful we kind of were adding to that existing light direction we just clean up the quality and the color of the light with the flash, so for stylistic purposes or for corrective purposes, we can use flash to modify the color of light. So these are the reasons overall we use flash because it gives us tons of control regardless of the scene that we're working within and what does it give us control over the amount. Give us control over the direction. It gives us control over the quality. And it gives you control over the color of light. Everyone, that thing they talk about, and more details would go on. So let's, head on in the next video. Now, no.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 101 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


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 ...

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