Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect


Lighting 101


Lesson Info

Flash and Ambient Balancing for Dramatic Effect

In that last video, we talked about flash and ambient light balancing for a natural effect, and for that we're exposing and being like to be brighter, and we're using less flash power, so we're being more subtle with the flash let's move on now, let's, talk about flash and ami unbalancing for a dramatic effect on our images. Well, basically, it's the exact opposite. So on this little scale, what we're doing is we're darkening down our ambient light and we're brightening up the flash power, okay? So we're using more flash and we're basically under exposing the ambient light, so we get kind of a darker and more dramatic look in the background. That's exactly what we see in these images. So take a look. Let's, talk to these images over here on the left side, we have our this is like our sinister headshot portrait where we wanted to get this kind of mme or just dark look to this image because our lovely model here, matt he's, actually an actor, and he recently played the part of scar from ...

lion king. We'll talk about this more later on, but he mentioned that he wanted to have kind of a dark cinematic portrait headshot. So what we did was they put him in this area where we could actually darkened down environment we're under a bridge we shot at one thirtieth of a second at f one point six and so two hundred that gives us our ambient light exposure we look at that we say ok that the background looks great that little kiss of life on the left side looks great now all we need to do is at our flash well because they want a more dramatic look I shot rembrandt and split lead but we shot that way so it has a very dramatic and kind of dark biba has a lot of shadow which gives a lot of dimension to that kind of duality that that kind of split personality that evil versus good typing now you can see that this image looks far more dramatic and it looks kind of like there's definitely light modification there's definitely flash added whereas when we look at some of the previous images like for example if we look over here you really don't know that this is flash you don't really know that this is flashed or that this is flash it looks like we might have had a reflector or looks like just natural light and that's the difference is that over here he's going to feel dramatic they're going to feel more punchy because they're pulling down that background exposure let's look at the next one here we're at one, two hundred of a second at five point six and is a one hundred the sun had just set behind her head again, we'll talk more about the details later on. We're balancing for, uh, cto jail, so we're balancing at thirty, six hundred kelvin so the background looks completely blue. We've darkened it down so it's nice and dark, and we add a lot of flash punch to get her to pop out notice on each one of these scenes before we add flash, the subject is almost pitch black, whereas in the previous line before we added flash, the subject just looks slightly underexposed just a little bit. Okay, so that's, how you know we're going for dramatic effect versace for very soft natural effect because the base exposure leaves the subject basically completely in the dark so with ami and flash, this is again that jailed flashes bouncing off a reflector, a silver side at five point six one eye, so one hundred probably bouncing around one half to one quarter power on this shot to get enough light onto her over here. Same thing we're bouncing. This is one, two hundred a second half to point one hundred. Same thing here. So we get that nice background shot with everyone these situations, we approach it the exact same way we would with the natural set up, we approach the scene, we decide what we want that seem to look like, so I want to look bright and natural in area with the exposure of the background or do I want to look dark? I'll take a test shot and kind of decide what I want then at our decide what I want, the background look like, I'd add my life so again, right here were bouncing off of silver, and we're sending light right in your face, which gives us this beautiful kind of dark and down sunset shots of the sunset over the desert. All right, so flash and amy and balancing for dramatic effect simply means that we're taking the ambient light down were generally going under expose ambient light, so we have lots of color and background detail, and they were taking the flash power, and we're bringing it up that's like up, I think, some of them two thumbs up for dramatic effect. All right, let's, head on in 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!