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Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset

Lesson 55 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset

Lesson 55 from: Lighting 101

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

55. Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset


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

Case Study 2 - Desert Sunset

case study number to our desert sunset. Now I wanted to use this as a case study because this is one of those situations where I'll be the first person to admit that for this particular shot on top, bouncing off a reflector from 20 feet and distance is not a practical approach. Toe lighting this shot OK, but that's not really why we're doing it. That's not really why we taught these techniques most of the time. These techniques are actually quite reasonable, and they're very practical to use in any type of situation. And I've told you that basically, when you are bouncing, it's best to bounce within, say, 10 feet, have the modifier around 10 feet from the flash that you can easily reach it 10 to 15 feet. Once you start going further than that, it gets a little bit difficult to control where it's hitting on the reflector and then where it's bouncing to on the subject. And in those situations, you're gonna get better light, more consistent light from off camera lights, set ups, which we'...

re gonna cover in lighting to one in 93 So why do we even teach these types of techniques if they're not necessarily practical in every situation, because lighting and photography overall is, I would classify as a MacGyver skill in so many situations. By the way, I hope I did not just date myself, and I hope most of you understand who MacGyver is. If not well, I don't really know. I only watch some of the episodes and so forth. But what diver basically was this guy that could essentially make a bomb out of like toothpicks, And he'd be stuck in like, a jail sale. And he'll toe get out of jail cell by using like, a gum wrapper and like a little piece of underwear or something like that. Anyway, it was ridiculous. He'd always be able to come with some sort of solution to any problem whatsoever, no matter what the problem. Waas. OK, so when I say photography is kind of like the ultimate type of MacGyver test, it's because you're always gonna be in situations where you don't necessarily have the gear that you want or the gear that you might even need with you. You might have that gear at home. It might not be with you. You might be at a location where they simply don't allow you to use that kind of year. That would be best for that shot. Or maybe you're just in a situation where you've got to get a shot quick. And you have to just use what you have available to you. Like, for example, with this. Actually, it was a previous shot that we're getting with event kind of over the, uh the that sand in the background. We had five minutes to get that shot before that son was gone. Okay? I didn't have my own camera. Are my off camera flashes set up yet? Even though I brought them with because we're filming for lighting to one. So what did I do? Knowing these techniques, I just grabbed a reflector, told my assistant, Come out, let's go and get the shot. And we used these simple bounced techniques. These techniques are fantastic because when you're in these situations all the light modification tips that we've taught you so far you can use when you have no balance. Someone wearing a white shirt pull him over near you when you have no bounce and you have something small like an F supper, flash disk holdup Bounce off that we've taught you all these different techniques for light modification because you're gonna be in situations where you simply don't have what you would like to have, and knowing these techniques is gonna help you still get a fantastic image. So that being said, when we get the lighting to one, we're gonna cover even more awesome techniques. And we have a little bit of ah kind of teaser here too. So for this top shot, what do we have when we approach the scene? The first shot always, always, always, always the first shot. You go for your background, right? You go to kind of figure out what I want to shoot. Why don't have in the shop? I want to have a bet over in his right side. I want to have this kind of cloth trailing in through the frame. I would have loved to be able to get up higher so we could shoot down in the desert. And Seymour that doesn't behind her and see this kind of coming into the bottom of the frame. But I didn't have anything to get me up that high and we're losing light very quickly. So I kind of just went with this composition and I like the sky. I like the tone, and I like having a little bit of desert in the bottom. The frame. Okay, great. Once we get that shot and that shot was at 1 200 per second F 28 and I saw 100. We don't need any filters and the filters anything, because it's already dark. It's already sunset. And by the way, when the sun is setting guys, yes, you need to move a little bit quicker. But don't move so fast that you kind of forget what's going on. I want to say that most of the fantastic sunset shots don't come When the sun is above the horizon. It comes just below. But the funny thing is that most photographers, when they're shooting sunset, they'll leave as soon as the sun dips below the horizon and the lead before what we call peak color P colors that 10 to 15 minute moment. That's just well, it's it's sorry. It's about a five minute moment. That's about 10 to 15 minutes after the sun drops below the horizon. and it lights all the clouds and everything on the horizon from underneath. It looks absolutely fantastic. It last about five minutes and it's after sunset. So just because you see the sun setting, don't rush through it. Remember that your best shot is probably come after it goes below the horizon. OK, so once we get this shot events completely in the silhouette, I do have a little bit of light direction coming from the left side. So I matched that light direction with silver reflective silver Director is being held pretty far in distance from where I'm flashing from. Okay, so we're throwing the flash 105 zoom all the way over to this reflector and again, if you want to use a snoot in that kind of an instance, it's a perfect time to use it. The grid is gonna do a good job of funneling light forward, but it's also gonna cut down the amount of light to so it's kind of, you know, you have to kind of weigh the options there. Okay, so we start with that silver. We we actually started with a white over silver, by the way, and we tossed the White because we weren't getting enough light back. So we're just getting a little kiss of light. It wasn't enough to get our correct exposure. So we had ah, Trevor, toss that. And by the way, for this shoot, we had my fantastic a friend, an incredible photographer, Trevor Daley, out to assist us. I just announced on my Facebook page, We're gonna go do a desert shoot who wants to come along and chambers like, Dude, I'll come along and hold lights for you. I'm like, Dude, you shouldn't be holding lights. You should be taking all the photos. You're a fantastic photography and this is the fun thing about being a photographer. Guys is you have so many opportunities to go on each other's shoots, and it's a lot of fun. We had such a blast out there, and I learned things from Trevor when he's there because he's shooting and he's taking some images and I'm sure he learns from some of the things that we're doing. It's just a fun experience overall. So involve your friends involving the photographers, cause we're friends. We're not competitors. Okay, so once we get this, we have our lighting for the left so that we matched the direction of that available light with the silver. And then basically, we're shooting until we got the cloth kind of with the right wind on it. So for this one, the cloth wrapped too high, the wind content kind of lifted up. We shot just until we got that cloth that kind of wrapped around and I hadn't assisted just holding off the camera left. Okay, that's how we got the image. When I got that, I thought, Okay, good. I've got a basic image here. And if I was in a pinch, this image is nice. It's great. But now I want to get my image. I want to get my awesome image if I had no restrictions whatsoever. So here's a little teaser in the lighting to one, cause we're gonna do so many fantastic things into on it'll be just like one on one. We're gonna do a ton of different types of shoots. And here is one of the looks that we're going for on this one. By the way, we use the Sigma 35 millimeter in this top shot. I love the new signal. Heartland is there fantastic. So this is the same signal. millimeter F 28 art were at 100 of a second F four and I saw 100 we're using the bolt flash. The bull flash was that I don't know if it's still down there, but if that flash we talked about earlier, that's a bare bulb flash that you can use to modify. It is very powerful, and it's fantastic for location shooting because it's kind of that's in between more powerful than a pocket strobe, but less powerful and more portable than a studio stroke. So it's kind of a great in between Flash. We use that with Westcott Rapid box on a Ben Row mono pod. So I call this my boom stick. I don't know. Well, using, because on my broomstick I usually put too bold flashes. So it's very, very powerful, and it booms. So I called my broomstick. Okay, so we take the boom stick and I think Trevor is actually holding this off to camera left. I forgot who was actually holding it in the shot. Probably Trevor and, uh, and he's holding up basically and would get a nice loop light coming top down from the left side and we shoot. And I have a Libya on the outside of this giving a little ruffle. And I have, ah, that kind of shaking. And I told him, that is shake. But then when you come back, let your arm rest. So I don't want to look like your muscles are engaged and like as if you're actually shaking it yourself, I want to look like your muscles. Arresting like the wind is catching this. We shot a couple images and men. It was so easy. It's so easy. And on this type of a shot to do it with a off camera light set up because we're the lights coming from a distance, we're shooting a very complex type shot where we have to get this ruffle just right. These are the situations where I cannot worry about having them bounce perfectly into two or three different reflectors to get the shot. So while most the techniques that we tell you so far are very practical, very reasonable to use on really any shoot, sometimes when you're outdoors, like in this scene, these aren't gonna be practical set ups and So you need to go to basically off camera set ups, which we're gonna cover in lighting to one. Just keep that in mind and again any time that it's been, um, less practical type set up, I've told you that. Okay? Otherwise, if we just done it like as usual, it's totally practical and reasonable to expect to be able to do it. The only time I've said that it's gonna be impractical to use the types of techniques is when you're outdoors. You're trying to use more than one reflector because you need to set up stands unless you have tons of assistance and you're shooting at longer links like your relighting is 15 20 feet, 25 feet away from who your lighting and from the camera flash itself. OK, that's it for this tutorial. Hopefully, you all enjoy this head on 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 :)

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