Skip to main content

Bare Bulbing Done Right

Lesson 34 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Bare Bulbing Done Right

Lesson 34 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

34. Bare Bulbing Done Right


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

Bare Bulbing Done Right

Bear building done right, that's right, folks, a direct flash sometimes is the exact right kind of light that you want for your shots. I'm gonna show you why in this photo here now, let's think for a second with direct flash. What kind of light are we getting? Well, we know that this is a very small light source. If you're shooting, say a person so it's gonna be a hard light it's gonna have a hard, very defined edge between where's lighting and where there's shadow we also know that there's no modification here so it's coming straight out. So that means the lights going very speculative, not going to diffused. So we have a very kind of edgy and hard edge light to this. So what would it look good shooting with? Well, if our subject, if our if what we're going for is an editorial raw and kind of edgy look, then this is the exact right kind of light, and in fact, I'll prove that it even looks better than other kinds of light that might be softer for this particular situation. So this is a...

effect that is used a lot in, say, music and editorial and and kind of fashion photography all the genres where they need to create that more edgy and look kind of that unprocessed, unmodified type look so let's start from the top now I wanted to mention what gear I'm using here so I'm using the cannon finding mark three for my body and then I also have an eighty five one point two l now together this is like five, six thousand dollars of camera gear again from photography one we've taught you all don't get caught up in the gear if you have the eighty five one point eight which is a couple hundred bucks like a few hundred bucks and a rebel along with a cheaper on camera flash maybe a faux takes metro's plus you can get the exact same look guys this will yield me maybe a little bit better quality but the only reason I'm using this is because this is what I have in the studio okay so there's not really any point to using anything else use what you've got and you're going to get the exact same look and the quality the difference might be like ten or fifteen percent or so and if your professional maybe that will make a difference for you in your craft well if your professional it absolutely will and that's why we pay for more expensive gear but don't get caught up in it okay so whatever you got having eighty five you if you wanted to twenty four seventy seven hundred totally fine too but here's that first shot what air the settings for this shot of yoko here and one thing I do want to mention to is look at the way you're goes dressed we talked about a more raw and edgy type feel well, everything from the way her makeup is done to her hair to her jewellery to her clothing, it screams that look so this is what I mean about fitting the right type of light to the look okay, so back to this so this first shot is done with the eighty five at one, two hundred a second at f one point to an iso thirty two hundred. So what is this shot? This is the ambient light is the ambient light actually coming off of our video lights or the engine might might be because present in the room that you might be shooting now it looks ok, and actually because we have video lights set up the light direction like qualities, actually pretty decent, but you can see that we don't have a lot of light where f one too one hundred second and thirty, twenty nine, so to get to the proper exposure, we're letting tons of light in, and it still is a little bit on the dark side either way it's okay looking, we go over to shot number two, right? This was a bounce flash off of avi flat we're gonna cover that technique in just a bit, but the look that it creates a very soft wrapping light and it looks great looks nice and the settings were one, two hundred second f to a d s o four hundred so obviously we're getting a lot more light because we're not so thirty, two hundred anymore, and we also brought the after up to it looks better in the first shot by quite a bit, but this looks like a catalogue photo. This looks like a photo that we might see in browsing a clothing catalogue, a scene like that. It doesn't have any field to any emotion to it, it's not the right kind of light, but it's a soft, light it's a great quality light, but it doesn't fit the look. It doesn't fit the scene going down to these images. These are hard, direct flash shots, and I think you'll all agree with me that these look best for this type of shot for this type of look for that editorial edge, this looks better than this light, yet this light is a far better quality of life than this one. So this is the point of trying to get across. Is that there's no such thing as the right light, the perfect light? There is just the right type of light for the scene and for the look that you're going for, oh, now let's talk about how to get the shot in the gear used to get it you'll notice this top right shot this top right shot was taken with direct flash but there's something wrong with it I don't know if you see it can you see it what's wrong with this photo if you said the shadow then you guessed right I feel like this is an episode of reading rainbow what's wrong with it can you guess what this is like when my children will see when they watch their television and then they wait for them to answer and if you get this you got yes if you guess the shadow then you got it because look at this I'm shooting portrait aspect ratio right? So the cameras like this which means my flashes coming actually to the left of the camera so what does that do is it pushes the shadow to the right now the problem with that is it doesn't look very natural it doesn't look very good either so what we want to shoot portrait aspect ratio we have a little bit of an issue if we're hot shoe mounted with our flash for shooting landscape aspect ratio then we're totally fine because now the flash is above the lens and that's great but when light does not come top down when it comes from the sides when it comes from bottom up it tends to look a little bit unnatural so how do we do that? Well, I want to demonstrate where we're gonna do is we're going to use a little bit of gear involved we're going to use a bracket okay? This is the bracket they were going to use oops. That was the nice sorry jo about your screen this is the velo flash bracket very inexpensive brackett it's twenty bucks and it's a great modifier to get the flash above the camera. The thing we're going to use is a t t l cable this is another inexpensive tl cable. This guy is twenty five bucks or not this guy's fifteen bucks actually. So together this is only thirty five bucks if you get the cannon version of this or the nikon versions sometimes they're pretty expensive and this is actually a really good quality tl cable. What this allows to do is to connect the flash to the hot shoe through the cable so that they can still communicate and when we're doing direct flash shots like this I probably would still shoot tl because there's not really a reason for this particular shot to go manual it's going to be consistent enough when I'm using direct flash okay with teo all right, so how would we do that? We're going to demonstrate this for you want just two guys can see how to set up a bracket so I'm gonna pop the flash off right now and if you want to you can mount it without the lens on it a little bit easier we're going to grab this bracket and you'll notice that the bottom of the bracket right now let me set this down it actually slides up and down so I only news I'm going to put this into the up position because that way it's easier to score on we're going to grab our little ah camera here gonna place this over I'm gonna screw this into that quarter twenty slot in the bottom we'll demonstrate this once just so you guys can see how it works and then we'll just assume that you know from here on out okay, next I'm gonna grab this little fellow cable so you'll see that the top has a hot shoe and on the bottom it's just a connection basically so this bottom connection goes right onto the camera's hashi okay, so I'm just gonna put this down here for sick it's a very long cable, which is great if you need to take it off camera but but it's on camera is pretty long, okay, then we're gonna take this bottom or the other end of this I'm going to wrap it around the cable just a couple times maybe to make it just a little bit less lengthy and they were going to connect this to this guy right here, okay once this is on the other side of bracket now, I have a hot shoe that I connect my flash, too, so that these two can communicate. So I'm gonna do is put this guy right here. I'm gonna lock it in place, and now I have a hushing mounted flash, the basic I have the flash that's directly connected to my cameras hot shoe via this cable, which means that the camera and the flash can now communicate. And now if I want to go with whatever aspect ratio I want, and let me just pull this up, I can go sideways. This is my direct landscape shot, my flash is still above the camera, or I can go back to that landscape, and now the flash is still coming from above the camera. So that's, how you set it up so that regardless of what aspect ratio, which regards when they're shooting portrait or landscape mode, you're going to have the flash above the camera. So that's, what we've done, so here you can see that the shadows coming from left to right, and once we take that flash and put it about the camera, then we're good to go and we can start shooting now the final tip I want to give you guys number three is the room that you can use the zoom on your flash toe actually control where the light is going to be hitting inside of this frame now for these particular shots in the bottom I want to be the frame to be evenly lit from the edge all the way through so I kept the zoom fairly wide anything like twenty for thirty five fifty at this distance is going to be roughly the same but if you want to get that more pin let look where kind of edges haven't been yet around and it looks like the light's on ly hitting the center then you might want to zoom it in zooming into one or five or one twenty whatever your camera or whatever your flash will you go to all right so let's keep gun so what is the final camera settings let me go over that now so the camera cities for all these shots on the bottom it's still in the eighty five mil were at one two hundred a second f two and is a one hundred why men have to you can shoot as high as you want after okay you goto for f five seven whatever you want to go to is totally fine for me I want this kind of like isolated look where it looks like it has hard direct flash yet are on ly like her eye and only the hair in front and only that stuff in front is focused and sharpen the frame and it creates a really kind of cool look particularly start getting closer to the subject from there I just have her working the poses and as she's doing that I'm taking my different shots and you see with the shadow falling behind, we have this beautiful heart and shadow that kind of follows directly behind her. It looks really cool, really edgy and hip and I think you'll all agree with me that these look better than the b flat end the ambient light even though this b flat is a higher quality of light, I would still prefer these every single time when it comes to the process inside these images have lightly been processed, we tryto lightly process all the images just so that they look kind of finish and polish we're shooting raw in camera, so all we've done here is we're just producing it to be a little more warm a little bit bright because this is the kind of look that you'd want to go for for this so it's going to brighton high contrast and no photo shop has been done on any of the images that we're showing you just usually a subtle bit of color adjustment just a subtle bit of lightning crossing and we'll cover life and prospects kind of own beast on its own, so if you want to get into our workshops on that we have a full workshop collection on just like raw processing, so if you do take it in a photo shop, I would say you want a process just for skin tones. If you want to remove certain highlight certain places, I mean the kind of reason we're using this hard edge alight for those highlights. But if there's any areas of skin, you want to retouch your fix, you do that photo shop. That's it for you, bear bowling, done right, hopefully were able to show you that direct flash, when used for stylistic purposes, is still a fantastic type of light and a fantastic look so long that fits the image and fits his subject. Let's. Go in the next video now.

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.


Great course, I highly recommend it if you want to become a more confident flash user. Pye is a wonderful instructor and just such a nice guy, it's a pleasure to listen to him

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 :)

Student Work