Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes


Lighting 201


Lesson Info

Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes

Time to wake up the bridge is out sorry when I get food coma I channel arnold schwarzenegger just what happens. Okay, dusk plus modified plug a strobes. Is there an ideal time? Because we know that basically pocket strobes don't put out that much power, right? We get fifty to sixty watt seconds where the power out of a single pocket strobe so modifying it in mid day light really isn't the ideal things we need at least three plus of them to modify during bright midday light. So when is that ideal time or situation? And I would say the ideal time for a single pocket strobe with modification is right around dusk. So basically, just after the sun sets all the way to like, thirty to forty five, even sixty minutes after the sun sets, if you're working outside or before the sun rises, if it's in the morning, I know many of you are not getting up for morning sunrise shoots, but they're actually pretty awesome and I highly encourage you to get out and do it, even though you're really tired but ...

really worth it the other times they're great to use modified pocket strobe is when you're doing of course, indoor situation, so an indoor lighting and so forth you could get a lot of great results just out of a single modified pakis tre so this is basically that kind of a situation, and I wanted to walk you all through this is that dusk? You know, we're working about ten, fifteen minutes after the senate set. And by the way, ten, fifteen minutes after the sun has set, you get to a point in the sky where which we call basically peak color. Ok, we talked about this before, but basically peak color is when the clouds drop just below or sorry the sun drops just below the horizon and it under lights all the clouds in the sky. Now, if you have good clouds, you'll see the sky just light up like a ball of fire looks absolutely amazing and it lasts for maybe five minutes, ten minutes, tops and you just get amazing, breathtaking images. And during that time, a single pocket strobe with modification is totally sufficient. Okay, so let's talk through this shot. Now the actual light source and modify that we're using in this shot is the bolt v b twenty two with the westcott rapid box. The westcott rabbit box is another one of my favorite on the go pakistan modifiers, but for this particular scene were actually out in the desert. We're trying to kind of use this guy to kind of get used to him and everything, and I have the bull baby twenty twos when we're shooting this shot and rather than basically switching out to a pocket strobe, I kept the bolt b b twenty two on there, but here's, the problem with this have a bare bulb system going through this soft box. We get a few different issues, you'll notice that I've placed this, you know, as far forward as it will go on this little shoe, this little hot shoe bracket right here. The problem is, since this is a bare bulb, modify our senses unbearable flash it doesn't get completely into this modifier mean that we have a little bit of this bull that's invisible and the issue with that is not only do we have a lot of light loss from this, we also get a lot of leak that's gonna bleed into the camera, so we're basically get a flare from this light coming into the camera, which is going to reduce image quality, is going to be noticeable and kind of obnoxious we actually have that issue quite a bit when we were using this for a different scene. So this isn't the modifier this is not the flash that I would recommend for this modifier and recommend us to standard pocket strobe a kotex metro's a cannon five eighty x a nikon sb nine ten just a regular pockets to go onto this that you could fit it into the bracket well, I don't want to give you that note because a lot of house when you're using medium strobes and other types of flashes and when you're buying things and testing them out you'll find that they don't necessarily fit certain types of modifiers as well so we use this just because of convenience purposes but for this particular shot you don't need a medium stroke this is a medium stroh but you really just need a pocket strobe to pull this off because we don't need that much power I just want to state why we're using this it is because we had it on there was already mounted is ready to go and we didn't want to lose our light in the sky all right, so logan would you be so kind to take this off set? Thank you, sir all ready so let's go ahead and walk through how we shot this image now we're shooting on the sigma thirty five millimeter art again a fantastic prime lands looks absolutely awesome for composition and attributes the main thing that I'm thinking of is I want to shoot around four why? Because I do wanna have some depth of field here. I want people to see detail in the sky I want toby will see if we can see any ground, you know, in the shot I wanna be able to see what's going on behind her now, of course the ground got dark enough where we don't really see that much of it, but I was kind of thinking that we would see a little more desert and shot, and so I was prepping for that, but we're using f four to kind of increase it at the field, increased sharpness, one, one hundred second, far shutter speed and the shutter speed is the second compositional attribute that I'm thinking of why? Because I'm envisioning her basically ruffling are basically like kind of creating emotion in this cloth to create interesting shape in the final shot. What I want to do is actually not completely freeze that motion. I want to show a little bit that motion let a little bit of it kind of like capture in the annual light and then freeze most of it with the flash, so I thought it'd be cool to have some motion in the image, so I'm thinking that the one one one hundredth of a second for my shutter speed is also part of my compositional attribute of showing emotion. Okay, so from there I mean sink speed we're good we're shooting in low light conditions less than one, two hundred seconds are sink is okay we don't need to do anything. Our annual exposure is set to one one hundred of a second is a one hundred and that provides for that dramatic look over the skies you can see in this image we're out one hundred a second f or one hundred again I'm kind of warming things up to kind of have that rich warmth in the sky color and everything and looks beautiful at six thousand degrees kelvin so this is actually no flash let's see here I mentioned boldly be twenty two but that's actually a type of that should not be in there. All right, so with the test shot our initial shot was around one sixty fourth power and that was this shot right here. So the bold in the twenties at one sixty fourth power which in pocket strobe relation would be like thirty second sixteen a quarter like one quarter to one eight. Maybe we're getting a lot of light loss out of the uh the bolt beautifying too because it's also spilling backwards like we talked about out of that back of that modifier so this is probably like maybe one eight to one quarter power if we were on a pocket strobe a single pocket strobe so with the test shot we get just not enough brightness what we end up seeing is that the ambient light balance our background is still brighter than our subject and what we want to do is reverse it once background to be a little bit darker the subject could really pop one in vet to really pop on the shot so we need to basically bring it up by one to two stops. So the ideal power setting for a modified pakis tre that's held probably at this distance is going to be between one over one toe one half power because the distance from the flash to the subject is actually quite a ways right now it's actually about like fifteen to twenty feet, so for that type of a shot we're lighting from light left to right and you wouldn't need a singing come out of flash car because you're inverse square law is losing is telling you that you're losing a lot of like all right so now from light direction and quality well we're shooting from camera left so actually have my lighting assistant and actually on this shoot I was so fortunate my good friend trevor daley he's an incredible wedding photographer just incredible stagger all around he's like one of the best in the world he came out and helped me on the shoot so he's actually holding our boom stick to camera left and we have that you know the boom stick with the westcott rapid rabbit box set up over there, so we're lighting from the left side why? Well, one of the reasons is because I know my subject I'm not dealing with, you know, two people in the shot I'm dealing with one person. One of the reasons that I'm leading from the left side is because I know that my subject actually she favors the left side's on lighting from the side that actually actually prefers it that kind of prefers that left side let the other reason is that our ambient light is coming from kind of that direction, right? We have we can see kind of that brining in the sky happening over here, off the left side of the image, and so we're kind of lighting from that direction to kind of almost simulate that if there was daylight that was kind of on her face, it would kind of be from that direction too, so we're kind of simulating or following the natural light in the scene to create a better and more natural look. So where the shadows are falling off, we have this really nice kind of natural look tow the shadow area and everything like that also we're lighting at quite a distance, which normally if you had a westcott rabbit box or any other modifying was held close to the skin or close to your subject, you would have a very soft light, right? But at fifteen to twenty feet, that becomes a pretty small light in comparison. So we end up getting a much more defined edge along those shadows where if we zoom in exactly see just how defined that is. So the shadow rap is actually pretty sharp on this type of an image because the light source is relatively small to our model, but that's okay, because we're shooting an environmental portrait were shooting out wide and is really more about her in the scene and kind of the outfit and the whole thing put together versus just, you know, her faces, I'm going gotta adjust the lighting on her, so I'm totally fine with that like color again, we're good with our test shot orcutt shot showed good color around that six thousand degree kelvin range, so we're not going to modify we're not going to jail. I like the rich tones in the sky. I'm not going to go in cto and then blew it all out, although it would look cool, too. But, you know, I just want to keep the natural light here we posed the frame we shoot now. We pose the model on camera, right? We use the cloth is kind of this leading line to kind of lead into her and this is the tricky part basically where we're essentially having her whip up and down this cloth and we tried a variety of things at one point I had olivia on the outside who was doing hair makeup, wardrobe I had her kind of help ruffle it, but we weren't getting in very natural shape so that when I told him I had to do was basically start to shake it like I want the motion to come from your side but right after like two, three seconds of motion, I want youto let the arm basically kind of relax with a subtle ben in the elbow and relax the muscles so that way the muscle they're not all tensed along the arm so she did that we had to run it a couple times and then we got this beautiful shot with this kind of nice curvature shape and leading up to our model. Now if I was to take this in the photo shop, I would probably just kind of smooth out these lines that we have these like nice curves that kind of go up and into her and would be really cool looking, but I did the shot overall I had her hold onto the dress with their left hand because I really like the pull on the dress and I wanted to kind of show that kind of revealed her legs as well coming through that slate right there in the front so I thought it looked really cool. Now this is a complex scene and is going to review require quite a bit of review and just making sure you have the right balance between ambien and flash lighting. Why? Because there's several things going on so we are shooting with manual flash, right? We're shooting with a v b twenty to our park wizard is on camera that's what's controlling the bolt off camera flash, which means that we're firing first curtains sink so there's a couple things that I want to review in this number one I want to look at the motion that's captured in the cloth and make sure that it looks ok make sure doesn't look bad and I liked it I liked the way it was kind of moving, I thought that I could have maybe slowed down the shutter speed even more, but I was happy with his shawn we're losing light very quickly, but the other I want to make sure is that the shadows and the rap and everything that's hitting her like notice how her face right now, the angle to the light we're getting mostly rembrandt lighting, maybe a little bit of loop but it's pretty dramatic as faras the shadows somewhere in between loop and rembrandt not quite rembrandt not fully loop but still pretty dramatic so I want to make sure that the light the way that it's kind of being cast into her it looks flattering it looks natural one of the areas of concern that I had was just in the legs. I want to make sure that the back leg wasn't completely concealed in shadow because if if the back leg was completely in shadow then it would look essential like she was missing a leg right so when at least show a little to form there and I love how it just kind of goes black and kind of implied as it goes up higher in the shot and we have this beautiful dress lit right here so we have a really good look overall but we want to make sure we analyze these things and make sure that in camera our balance from background to subject is a good balance of the desired balance and to make sure that works camera settings like shutter speed is adequate to capture the motion of the cloth as she kind of swings it as well as the flash balance and so forth so that's it for the satori ljust remembered that the ideal times for a single pocket strobe with modification is either dusk just after the sun sets or just before the sun rises or in kind of indoor lighting conditions, where you don't need as much power from there is going to come straight down to ambient light versus flash balance. Once you have that doubt in looked to other things, like the motion of the image, to make sure that you captured the correct motion and whatever you're looking for, in particular shot that you're taking that's every editorial move onto the next one. So, logan, would you be so kind to take this thing scared? You there? Yeah, do that again, always the logan. Would you be so kind, sir, to grab this? Oh, just getting killed me. He knows which one of those will be good. Okay, so, logan, sir. All right, so, logan, would you be so kind to take this off set? Thank you, sir.

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.