Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure


Lighting 101


Lesson Info

Flash vs. Ambient Light Exposure

All right, so let's dive a bit deeper into this flash versus ambient light or constant light exposure. Okay, because something's going to change some things will stay the same now, over here on the constant nor ambient light exposure it's just the traditional exposure triangle. Okay, now constant we define that as a light that's going to stay the same throughout the duration of the shutter speed so your exposure is going to be equal to just whatever that exploded triangle is your shutter speed your aperture and you're so but over here on the flash side well let's assume that this flash we're going to talk about right now is the speed in which this flash fires is actually known as the flash duration and while it's not quite instantaneous going to talk about this in more detail later on so let's assume for right now it's basically instantaneous. Okay, this happens this flash fires and it's one ten thousandth of a second that's how fast it is well, if this is firing at one ten thousandth ...

of a second it doesn't matter what your shutter speed is set too your shutter speed could be on one, two hundred the second it could be one one hundred of a second one fifteen seconds one second thirty seconds long the flash output would still be identical because it fires within one ten thousand of second so while the flash or while the shutter speed is open for one, two hundred second the flash fires and it's that same amount of light regardless of the shutter speed that means that shutter speed does not apply to the flash exposure part of this equation but what stays the same well your aperture and your eyes so they stay the same regardless of whether you're using arcee exposing for constant or ambient light or whether you're exposing for flash for example aperture if I close down my aperture it's gonna cut down the amount of ambient light that's able to come in right it shrinks it down well, it also cuts down the amount of flash that's able to come in just the same as an amulet same thing with eso were digitally manipulating the sensor to make it more sensitive toe light, right? So that sensitivity is gonna have the same effect over ambien or constant light as it would over a stroke so those two things are going to stay the same. But on this side we have flash power, which means that essentially were simply controlling the exposure of the flash by adjusting up and down the actual power the output of the flash it's going to measure we'll talk about the measurement we'll talk about all that stuff more but on this side we have flash power which on lee applies the flash on this side, we have shutter speed, which only applies to constant or ambulance. Those two things in between your return, your s o, is what stayed the same across the board. Now what this whole thing does is it presents some challenges, and also a lot of creative potential for balancing between flash versus ambient light and that's. We're going to get to 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!