Lighting 201

Lesson 23/64 - 8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF


Lighting 201


Lesson Info

8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF

A steps to perfecting each scene an image when you're using a camera flash by the way do not say ten times fast because then it becomes something that's not so good okay, so what is this this video we're talking about basically our approach whenever we approach is seen in deciding whether we want to add light how we want to add light how we want to get to that final image so it's starting from the very beginning all the way into working into that refined image we've essentially narrowed it down into eight primary steps okay? And this is something to think through with every one of your shoots until it becomes second nature all right? So let's start from the top with number one, which is composition and attributes now what we're saying here essentially is that when you approach any scene, the first thing that I want you to do is dial in the camera settings that relate to your composition or the composition that you desire. So for example, if I approach a scene and I want to shoot this b...

eautiful wide landscape than I probably want a deep depth of field right and to do that I would close down my aperture or if I'm shooting portrait and I want to really create a lot of background separation, I might open up the aperture for a very shallow depth of field or let's say I'm capturing cars is they're driving by, and I want to freeze all that motion as these sports cars race by on a track. Well, I'm going to speed up the shutter speed if I want to capture and show that motion, but I'm going to slow down the shutter speed these air, the compositional attributes the compositional settings that relate to what you are envisioning for your image. Those are the things that I want you to dial in before worrying about anything else. So if you're going into a scene and you're like, oh, I'm shooting my entire shoot, and I want every one of my portrait's to have that beautiful, shallow depth of field look, then dial in your aperture to f two and then start working through the rest of this process. But so number one is to dial in the compositional camera settings, the compositional attributes. Okay, so number two is synchronization, rear curtains, sync and first curtains sink now again, going backto lining one when we talked about all these things in complete detail. So I'm not going to go into the complete detail here, but let me give you a little summary if our shutter speed is going above one, two hundred seconds. That means that we either need to do one of two things one we need to turn on high speed sync on our flashes, if that's available, if we're using full future flashes, if we're not using full future flashes, we need to be using neutral density filters took cut down the amount of light in the scene so that you can lower the shutter speed below one, two hundred seconds so that your flashes can actually synchronize with that shutter speed. Okay, now there are merits to using neutral density filters, even with full feature flashes and the primary merit there is that when a full feature flash goes into high speed, think you have a tremendous amount of light los anywhere between four to seven stops of light loss, so to maintain power, you can use a neutral density filter and then cut down so you can get to a sink, speed that's below one hundred seconds and not use high speed sync on the flash is okay again for more detail in that go back to letting one when we compared all the merits on that side. Now, the next option we have is rear curtains sink versus first courtesy. Now, if our shutter speeds are relatively high, if we're working at one one hundredth of a second, you know, one, two hundred seconds around that area really does not matter that much unless your subject is moving very quickly. But when we start dragging out the shutter when we start slowing it down to say one tenth of a second one thirtieth of a second, I don't know why I started from a slower and I went faster. One thirtieth one ten, one fifth of one second at that point, we need to decide do we want the flash is to fire at the beginning when the shutter opens for at the end, when the shutter closes, so for that we would choose first curtain or were missing so that's the thought process okay, september one we dial in our compositional attributes, and then we look if we're shooting it, too, then let's say that we're going to have to in his bright outside were at one two thousandth of a second. Well, as soon as I reached step two, I go crap synchronization. I can't synchronise at one, two thousand second I have manual flashes, okay, I need to get my nd feel throughout. So you great, get your nd filter and now you've resolved step number two or if you're doing a shutter drag, you figure out okay, maybe I need to do record and sink here. So my flash fires at the very end of the frame, so you flipped that. Okay, so that's dumb or two is kind of getting the tech toe work the way that you wanted to step number three is dialing in the ambient light exposure and basically choosing your ambient to flash exposure again and lighting one when we talked about this and the summary, too, that is, is this the less ambient light you have? So we have basically little things that ambient less than flash equals more dramatic. That means that if your ambient light is less it's darker than your flash power that's, when the overall image effect is going to be more dramatic when ambien light is greater, been flash power so that your ambient light is much brighter and your flash is less powerful than andy light. Then you have a more natural effect. So once you have the text set up, when you've decided you're compositional attributes at that point, it comes time to okay let's balance. Now the flash versus ambient light let's get to that desire result that we wanna have step number four. At this point we would decide what is the ideal light direction and quality that we want for this subject in this particular scene. So for example, most photographers, if he said what's, the best like quality possible they would say oh I love my beautiful gigantic parabolic that's like a eight feet big and it creates this beautiful soft lighting it's so amazing listen there's no such thing as the right for the perfect like there is on ly the right kind of light for the subject that you're shooting and for the vision that you have so if I am shooting fitness photos then the right kind of life for me is a harder and more speculator like that's really gonna cut out the the definition in the body if I'm shooting engagement portrait the right type of life for me in those situations is a softer light and a light that's more simple and easy just to look at because we wanted to be about this subject I want to look beautiful enlightened area and so forth same thing if I'm doing wedding portrait if you're doing food photos our product photos the right light is going very every single time based on the subject and the vision that you have four that subject so at this point step number four we've taken care of all the tech we kind of figured out what do we want that ambien to flash balance to be and this is where we decide where you want the light to come from and what quality do we want that light to be you want to be soft or hard two hundred be diffused or speculate and so forth step number five is the test shot now of course throughout this entire process generally were taking shots just to kind of see where where do you want the ami exposure versus you know everything where do you want you know where is the initial kind of always take a shot when I protest and you know what I want my composition attributes to be here do I want the blur dough? I wanted the field so I want those things some taking ten shots throughout but this is the test shot at number five where are light is set up our subject or our test subject is in place everything is pretty much set at this point and now we take the test shot just before we're going to start bringing in r r model or our subjects and actually start shooting basically so at this point what I'm looking at is just making sure everything is set appropriately okay? So with this test shot I'm looking at my ambien to my flash exposure I'm looking at where my shadows and highlights are I'm looking at my white balance is the white balance where I wanted to be or do I need to make corrective white balance changes or stylistic white balance changes and that takes us to step number six how is the light color in the white balance there's plenty of scenes were all shooting I remember one from lighting wanna one basically where we're shooting a model jill on the beach and I take my first shot I'm like you know what I know for a matter of fact that I want to put a yellow light on jill because I want to cool down the background so I want to basically put a color temperature orinda cto jail onto my flash I'm going to fire the reflector light her up so that she's orange we're going to tone down the white balance in the camera so that it corrects for the light that I'm putting under her skin and then it sends the background into this deep blue and the ocean looks amazing in it matches that bikini looks absolutely fantastic and the reason why is because the shot that I took prior to that where all the colors are warm I just didn't really I like it I said as soon as I took that test shot I said everything is great except you know what I really want a stylistic change in white balance and so that's where we could do that with step number six step number seven were into the chute process we are posing we're framing we're shooting my advice to you is once you have the light set up once you have the shadows in the highlights and everything is falling the way that you want it start moving around okay take your shots moved to different angles, switch out your lenses try different things because most of the time this is what I find on almost every one of my chutes most of the time I set up my first shot and it's what I would call basically my safety shot that's the shot that I know is gonna work it's um I must have right after that shot is set up I start moving around the scene leaving the light on the model of the exact same position I'm moving around a scene I'm adjusting the models pose an angle based on where I'm moving to and I'm shooting different angles perfect example of this is a shot that we took again in lighting one on one where we have our subject jeremiah who's holding onto these rods we take this shot ways holding on this rig straight on and it looks great that's my safety shot I love it it's a fantastic shot right after that shot was set up with rv flats and everything in place all I did was move my position's a little bit nice shot through the rails and we got my favorite shot from that chute where it looks very candidates very natural having images of him holding onto that rod you know of the rig and you can kind of see all these muscle definition and so forth so my point here is once you have the license don't just shoot one shot move pose frame and then last step is analyzed your highlights and shadows and the big deal here when you're analyzing you want to zoom in and look closely where the highlights and shadows they're falling because an image might look perfectly fine on the back your screen and then you put on your computer and you're like, oh my gosh there's a giant shadow cast right over the person's face because you know her fiance block that light and there the shadow over half the girls face that's a problem and it's actually difficult to see in camera so you need to pause ifyou're not tethering like you're not in a studio and it's not convenient to tether pause after every major lights set up zoom in, look at the highlights in the shadows on the image and then continue shooting with every major change in camera to subject position. Okay, so number one with a change in camera seven position with a change in subject position or with a change in lighting position with those three changes any change, any one of those things and I want you to the same thing analyze your highlights and shadows okay, so these are the eight steps of how we basically work from just approaching a scene and not really knowing where we want to go and then getting to that final image and by the way, when you get into this stuff when you get into the groove you know, it doesn't necessarily have to go in this order. You can. You can break things and put them in whatever what you want. But when you're learning, it really helps to have a process like this to go through every single time. It's a challenge, and every single time is one that, you know, we're confident that we can resolve, because we been in the situation so many times, and with these steps, and with a little bit of practice, you're going to find the exact same thing. So let's, go ahead and move in the next video, we'll start analyzing into our scenes and showing you these techniques in practice.

Class Description

Lighting 201 builds on 101’s foundational tips on simple, effective exposure techniques. Lighting 201 comprises 10 hours of education on advanced, off-camera flash lighting over nearly 20 different shoots. You will learn just how much can be achieved with just one inexpensive off-camera light source.

In this course, Pye Jirsa of SLR Lounge give you tips on how to:

  • Use light manipulation to turn extreme lighting situations like midday sun or the night sky into stunning background imagery for portraiture.
  • Develop a sense of placement strategy in shoots with complex lighting and limited, portable gear
  • Composite images in post-production to achieve the best possible light
Lighting 201 will also help you develop fluency in using the right light modifiers for the job, whether they be speed-lights, strobes or main-lights. 201 also features an in-depth exploration of the mechanics of professional lighting gear, and step-by-step walkthroughs of the gear setup for each shoot. Graduate to the next level of exposure mastery with Lighting 201 with Pye Jirsa.


1Chapter 1 Introduction 2Welcome to Lighting 201! 3OCF = Anytime/Anyplace 4Chapter 2 Introduction 5Wired, Infrared or Radio? 6“Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?” 7Our 3 Favorite Flashes “Pocket Strobes” 84 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At 9Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes 10Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups 11Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers 125 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs 13Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range 14Our Favorite “Sticks” 15Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers 1612 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories 17Gear Setup - Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick” 18Gear Setup - Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom Stick” 19Gear Setup - Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick” 20Gear Setup - Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom Stick” 21Gear Setup - Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom Stick” 22Chapter 3 Introduction 238 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF 24Over Powering the Sun - Part I 25Over Powering the Sun - Part II 26Slow Down! Watch the Details 27More Power Without The Power 28Adding to Existing Light - Part I 29Bare Bulbing with Large Groups 30Back Lighting to Create Interest 31Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan” 32Chapter 4 Introduction 33The Flash Modifier You Already Own 34The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella 35Large Group Shots with an Umbrella 36Exposure Balancing via Lightroom 37Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo 38More Light Control, Just Grid It! 39Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes 40More Power? Medium Strobes FTW! 41Perfect It In-Camera. Then Photoshop 42Adding to Existing Light - Part II 43Adding or Enhancing Light Direction 44Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique 45Incorporating Flares with Flash 46Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs 47Chapter 5 Introduction 48Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change 49BYOL! The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light! 50What About the Fill Light? 51Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic 52Drawing Attention via Light Shaping 53Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts 54Mixing Ambient + Gobo w/ Flash 55Better Light Can Change Everything! 56Chapter 6 Introduction 57Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference 58Great Light Changes Everything! Part II 59Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag 60The Right Power for Each Scene 61Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera 62Subtle Light for Natural Portraits 63Light Modification & Simple Compositing 64Expanding Your Photographic Vision



Pye is a god. His teaching style is really engaging, breaking down everything you could want to know about each example in a fun yet detailed manner. The course is absolutely jam-packed full of great information and fantastic inspiration. This course, as well as Lighting 101, give not only a perfect foundation for anybody learning about flash from scratch, but also have more than enough tips and advanced techniques in them to help experienced flash users seriously up their game. Cannot recommend it enough.

Lê Tiến Đạt

I'd like to say thank you to SLR Lougne, Creativelive and especially Pye for creating this wonderful Lighting series. Pye has a great sense of humor and he is also a great teacher. He expains everything in tiny details. I love his creativity, all the tips and dedication. Recommended!


An excellent follow up to Lighting 101. 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. As with Lighting 101, this is a must watch class. Worth purchasing and saving for future use. I would also HIGHLY recommend downloading the saving the PDF of slides that accompany the videos. I look forward to Lighting 301 and 401 which are apparently in production by SLRLounge.