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Lighting 201

Lesson 51 of 64

Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic


Lighting 201

Lesson 51 of 64

Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic


Lesson Info

Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic

Backlight plus gobo plus fog equals magically awesome deliciousness, which I said earlier. Okay, so in this tutorial, we're basically going to be combining several of the different techniques that we've talked about up until this point we'll be putting the flash behind the subject. We're going to be quitting a gobo between the subject and the flash. We're adding fog, we're going to use a certain pose that's going to bring out her silhouette, and then we're going to use our in camera exposure settings while balancing flash power to basically kill ambulance and create our interesting silhouette shots. So let's, go ahead and talk through this now for composition. Attributes were placing the pin board on a c stand, so we just got this pin or pegboard where everyone to call it. We got her from home depot, very inexpensive stuff five or ten dollars for one, these boards and we just spray paint it black. Okay, so we have that and we place that up on a c stand basically attached to it securely...

. So it's not going to drop her fall or anything like that, and we placed it behind the subject and we're shooting in a hotel room you could do this literally. Anywhere, any indoor scene, you could totally do this. You just need to make sure that you don't have tons of ambient light, otherwise you don't get to be able to cut it a way to get to this point unless they're using heavy power strobes now anywhere between f to an f two eight is basically our desired aperture just for depth of field want to have a little bit of blur in separation between the pegboard and between the subject and kind of have these light raise that air streaking through and so forth. But for that to be not completely sharpe so that gives us that look, it also gives us sink. We're shooting indoors so we can think easily, we don't have a ton of light in the scene, so we're at one to another second, which is totally fine, and that gives us an ability to basically cut away ambient light to by leaving in one, two hundred second f to a dish and then for it so we're at around one r sorry, we're at around two hundred, so for these shots, so if you look, we have a shot over here, just with our ambulance, we're shooting these images, by the way, on the cannon, eighty five million won to el since then actually got the eighty five sigma this is not their art lens but it's still another fantastic options so if you don't have or if you can't afford to eighty five one two the cannon side then this is probably the next best eighty five unable to get and then if you can't I think this is priced a little bit above the cannon eighty five one eight so there's another eighty five that's even less expensive I think it's around four hundred bucks but all you need is any leads in this situation will do you just need a lens that's a little bit tight simply so that you can make the pin that pin or pegboard your entire background so you think we'll zoom in a little bit to be able to make that fill the background so you can see over here that at one thirty of the second half one point four, sixteen hundred weaken see basically what the ambient exposure is and you can see based on the exposure that the ambient light has been cut away pretty dramatically like we've closed the curtains in the place we don't have a lot of ambient light just enough basically to get focus but that's it so this is emulate only flash not fired so what are we doing? Well, we already talked about basically placing the flash behind the subject right? So the light direction is coming from behind we're using the magma grid on that flash to prevent the flat from spilling on the hill heading the walls now if that light spills out in his the walls if not necessarily a big deal right? If it if it hits the walls it's fine that's not in our composition so why do we care to put a grid on there? The reason for that is that if the light's spills around and hits walls basically on my right eye my left and behind me it's going to bounce into our subject and if it bounces into our subject then we no longer have essentially a silhouetted shot, right? We would have detail there and we want a silhouette so we grit it to control that light to make sure that it just on lee hits that gobo and it doesn't really bounce everywhere. Okay, so the goebbels placed again remember when we talked about using gobo is that the shape and size of the light that's coming through is going to be dependent on number one the flash distance to the gobo and number two the goble distance to the subject ok, we talked about that earlier we demonstrate earlier, eh? So I'm not going to go too far into that just know that those distances are going to control the amount of shape and the definition of the light that's coming through, okay let's go ahead and on our test shot you can see the bottom left shot we basically cut away or ambient light right here so we're at one uh two hundred second f two point eight two hundred I dropped the kelvin so we were at six thousand degrees kelvin I dropped a thirty, eight hundred degrees because I wanted like a cool blue kind of vibe to it although this would look cool in other color temperatures I thought it looked really nice and nifty at that point we have our foe ticks me chose plus with our magma grid on it and we're shooting roughly around one quarter toe one eighth power for all these shots and I think for this particular shot we might have been a little bit higher and then what we do oh yes so when we drop down f to sow some of these shots were taken f to most of you have to wait, but when I dropped two f two, I lowered the power setting on the magma or on the photos metro's toe one eighth one sixteenth power again, it seems like this that make you know whenever we put this inside of a soft box whenever we're putting it behind the subjects, whatever it's at a distance it's it's times like that was really nice and convenient just to be able to control my power settings directly from my odin or directly from the other metro's, whatever I put on my camera to control so radio flash power control is absolutely fantastic and it's, something has been long overdue in my opinion, okay, once we have that shot, basically everything is set up. All we got to do is what we talked about. We dropped our white balance toe get this nice blue tone and now it's just posing, framing and shooting. So we're framing the shot to fill the background with a pegboard, and then we're just shooting these images with the body and different types of silhouetted poses. So what we're trying to do is is we're using the profile the form of the body to create these shots and bending the back and arch in the back, using limbs and protruding them. This create depth and space in the shot, right? Because if my lim's let's say, for example, if I'm facing the camera like this and you fire a profile shot or you fire a silhouetted shot, all you see is just my head shape, but you don't see any of the face shape, so you need me to actually turn profile and then once you fire that background tto make me a silhouette, then you can actually see shape here same thing with the hands if their hands are placed against my body right now you don't see any space and shape there, so I need to move the hands out and two different positions so that when you fire you can actually see that space and it gives the image forms so you need me to art back you mean do awesome stuff like this, right? It wasn't that cool. Okay, logan like that he's in the background that can seem smiling don't get too excited, but okay, so we do a couple different shots here now, to be honest, I would have, you know, kept shooting with this set up, but we had a lot of other shots to shoot and also, you know, my my model was a little bit apprehensive about shooting these just with her essentially knew because she's basically topless at this point, so I didn't want to keep her in that position for too long. She was cool with it she didn't have any objections for, but it wasn't like she wanted to just keep shooting these all day long. So I shot a couple images mainly just to show you guys how cooling effect you get when you're doing it on your own take the time to set it up and to do everything right so you get beautiful silhouettes getting amazing looking image, but always, you know, work within your model's kind of comfort zone. You never want to push him a little beyond the point that they want to be and you never want to push them on set. Okay, so you always kind of asked, is it okay if we do this have a shot? If they say yes or no, you just you know, either do it or you move on based on their answer, so that's it for the shot remember that when we set up this flash in the background, this is again where studio lights are really helpful for shots like this because they have modeling lights build in when you don't have a modeling light in these flashes place behind remember to use that little test button on your camera off to the side so that you can fire that kind of pulse for about a half second to a second to get an idea of where you want to place the flash and how you want the streets to look for these shots. I was placing the flash right about where head was just so that the brightest point the shot would be where her head and that kind of area was so we're going for basically neck to head area was the placement all right, that's it for this image let's go ahead and move to the next one now

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.


  1. Chapter 1 Introduction
  2. Welcome to Lighting 201!
  3. OCF = Anytime/Anyplace
  4. Chapter 2 Introduction
  5. Wired, Infrared or Radio?
  6. “Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?”
  7. Our 3 Favorite Flashes “Pocket Strobes”
  8. 4 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At
  9. Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes
  10. Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups
  11. Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers
  12. 5 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs
  13. Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range
  14. Our Favorite “Sticks”
  15. Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers
  16. 12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories
  17. Gear Setup - Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick”
  18. Gear Setup - Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom Stick”
  19. Gear Setup - Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick”
  20. Gear Setup - Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom Stick”
  21. Gear Setup - Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom Stick”
  22. Chapter 3 Introduction
  23. 8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF
  24. Over Powering the Sun - Part I
  25. Over Powering the Sun - Part II
  26. Slow Down! Watch the Details
  27. More Power Without The Power
  28. Adding to Existing Light - Part I
  29. Bare Bulbing with Large Groups
  30. Back Lighting to Create Interest
  31. Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan”
  32. Chapter 4 Introduction
  33. The Flash Modifier You Already Own
  34. The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella
  35. Large Group Shots with an Umbrella
  36. Exposure Balancing via Lightroom
  37. Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo
  38. More Light Control, Just Grid It!
  39. Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes
  40. More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!
  41. Perfect It In-Camera. Then Photoshop
  42. Adding to Existing Light - Part II
  43. Adding or Enhancing Light Direction
  44. Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique
  45. Incorporating Flares with Flash
  46. Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs
  47. Chapter 5 Introduction
  48. Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change
  49. BYOL! The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light!
  50. What About the Fill Light?
  51. Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic
  52. Drawing Attention via Light Shaping
  53. Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts
  54. Mixing Ambient + Gobo w/ Flash
  55. Better Light Can Change Everything!
  56. Chapter 6 Introduction
  57. Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference
  58. Great Light Changes Everything! Part II
  59. Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag
  60. The Right Power for Each Scene
  61. Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera
  62. Subtle Light for Natural Portraits
  63. Light Modification & Simple Compositing
  64. Expanding 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!

Karen Ruet

I'm watching this live and am seriously considering buying this course. I really like the examples and all the information. Pye is super generous and easy to listen to. I also appreciate the talk about gear and am happy that Pye is giving us options for different price ranges. Thank you, Creative Live.

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