Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers


Lighting 201


Lesson Info

Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers

Welcome to our ultra favorite portable cf modifiers now in this video we want to cover kind of the most commonly used modifiers that we're using in this course and just in general kind of the the light modifiers that we find most functional on our shoots of course we're not going to be demonstrating and show you things that we don't do in our chutes that be just ridicu all right let's start from the top with the fusion cloth logan defusing class logan diffusion clap me diffusion club thank you. Okay, so diffusion clocked you guys can pick this up from any local cloth store or cloth market I don't know where we get by cloth joan's for us this is ten bucks for like, you know, several square yards of it and that's really all you need and this is a great light modifier because you can use it anywhere in place of basically a scrim it's just going to simply soften the amount of light all of it. We actually have some upon these lights just because it's easy to clip onto a light source and get...

a little bit softer of a look to it so it's one of those things that we just keep you know we keep a couple of yards of this just in our lighting bag in case we need it and then when we do we just cut off a piece is gaffer tape or a clamp to just clamped to whatever you need? Okay, take that back. You you okay? This is a scrim. Now, why don't you hand me the other one to the other five and one reflector? This is you. Don't throw it in my head. Police that would. That would be a little painful. This is a westcott five and one scrim or sorry, fiveone reflector. But what is it? Why is it called a fiveone? Because it does a bunch different things. And look at this. I can actually reflect light into your face is how you'll like that. I don't even know what's making a difference, but whatever. So we have a silver side. We have a black side and the black side actually has a purpose. This is a flag. We use this to block light and on the inside we have a scrim. We have a gold side and also a white side. So the inside is this scrim item. Okay, so why don't you take this guy back? And what is the scream look like? Well, it looks surprisingly like that diffusion cloth that you guys just saw, right? But this is a slightly larger reflektor, this is the, I believe, the photo dio and it's like a forty eight or sixty inch reflector it's taller and it's longer, which is another really cool option to go with the west cops they're like thirty forty bucks you can also get them in different sizes you also have photo dios these air larger and he's come in I think these are like sixty bucks for these variants there's plenty of aryan our favorite brand of reflectors everybody and kind of these light modifying items are is westcott just because they are inexpensive and they stand up to time ah lot of these other reflectors there especially the inexpensive made ones there there little rings the metal rings on the outside tend to break, which is very irritating and also the zippers are very difficult to zip up on dh too close around your object all right? So this guy also has a five and one that has the silver sight has everything, but this is just a different variant of it. So why do we say to have that diffusion clock? Because you can shape that to be whatever you want it to be. We've done entire shoots that we're going to show you in lighting for a one we're basically and guys please show them the chute so that they can see it, but we have an entire giant piece of diffusion cloth with multiple flashes place behind it and we're creating a huge reflector essentially with that and we're flashing through it okay we're softening to create a huge light source basically all right let me roll this over to you look at that all right let's show him now the d I y v flattened when she's hand me instead of the v flat just hand me that the front cardboard right there yeah that's great so the flat is a little too large toe hold in my hands right here it's going to be out of frame but this is basically what avi flat is made of you can go to your local camera shop and pick up this stuff this is foam core that has wide on one side and it has black on the other so a b flat is a fantastic light modifier you can get for about twenty bucks you simply cut down the middle and then tape it and what you can do it standing up anywhere inside the studio generally when you're on set shooting of e flat needs to be held because they're kind of giant sales and the wind will blow them over and so forth but they're fantastic teo either flag to cut off light or to reflect and bounce light so they're amazing modifiers for that very inexpensive as well why don't you take that guy and let's grab the westcott forty three inch I have it right here don't worry your pretty little beard about it okay, this is a shoot through umbrella. Now, this is the west can shoot through again. Great items like the thing is with with, you know, like modifiers like this. The westcott is already very inexpensive. This forty three inch umbrellas, twenty bucks. And what we look for in these kind of products is making sure that the skeleton basically this little framing part of the umbrella is something that will hold up over time and with inexpensive umbrellas. Yes, you could get him a cheap is ten bucks, but you're going to buy them every six months because they're going to break and they're gonna have issues, so just get something that's actually a decent quality it's already cheap everybody its twenty bucks, its already inexpensive. Just get the legit one. Alright, so with this, we can basically place this through an umbrella let's. Show them actually, why don't you hand me that stand that we had just a second ago? You place this through the umbrella mount on any of your stand. So we have those adapter, uh, amounts that go on to your stand. Ah, yeah, just that guy right there. Perfect. Don't throw that at me either that'd be really painful, but it goes right here, the adaptor stand you could place the flash right on top of it to shoot through this or there's also a black side of this or reflective side you can adhere where it'll act as a bounce of the light will come back but a shoot through umbrella is incredibly inexpensive the way that they break down look at this you can break this entire thing down your lot like modifier and everything and fit them together in a bag so simply and so easily it makes it very useful of a device. Let me give this guy back to you and let's show you my next favorite light modifiers I'm gonna grab both these right here one is the westcott apollo and one is the westcott apollo script once they paula or been one day paula strip and I hope I don't drop anything. Okay, so here's these guys now actually, why don't you hold on these? This is gigantic. They look like umbrellas right there slightly longer slightly larger than breath but in reality they're not just umbrellas. These guys are soft boxes, extremely portable soft boxes. So we'll show you howto kind of used these as we go on a different shoots but when you set this up it becomes a giant, basically parabolic soft box, so this is like a large octo or large parable soft box he placed the flash stand up through this little hole in the middle and then you zip it up to make sure your life doesn't spill out. Aim the flashes into the back of this. You can use like a bracket like a cheetah bracket. Aura westcott brackett have three flashes, and they can all fire in this. And you have a beautiful soft light. And you can also add grid's onto the outside. You can add a reflector on the outside and so forth. Sorry. A scrim or a diffuser. This is the orb. And this is the apollo strip and actually like using, like, for inside, you know, on location studio shoots that we go indoors. I really like the apollo or by do outdoors too. But this guy is kind of my go to, like, engagement session soft box because it's smaller. So this is the apollo strip, right? So you can kind of see, we have the same kind of devices where we have. We answered the flash dan up through the bottom middle. We can put our hand into the right to make adjustments, the flashes if you're shooting manual flashes. But this is where we talk about. You know, if you're on a radio controlled system where you can control the radio's from your handheld device. That's fantastic if you can control the power on your flashes from your radio on your camera that means that you don't have to constantly going into this to adjust flash powers can set this up be good to go and just adjust power from your camera so this is another fantastic vice and when you're done with it again it breaks down to the size of just umbrella so another amazing product from westcott all right, so that's the apollo or be a polish trip we forgot one little guy right there which is the westcott rapid box let's grab the rapid box actually it's right there it's underneath me would you mind sir would you mind getting that guy oh how nice is logan thank you, my bearded friend. All right, check the staff so this fits into this small of little soft locked right here and we haven't adapter ring on here. Teo holy crap that was loud. We do that part again now just keep rolling with it just keep rolling with it alright let's throw out a guy down there uh you wanna grab that for me? Well so how does this thing work? Hey, I've been looking for this I put it inside there okay, so what we have here is we have a little wing nut that's on this little rod in the centre but basically this is a super portable octa box we just place this so you can see when it breaks down like this, right? So it looks really tiny and small and then you plug that little uh said plump, you pump that little I don't know what the circular thing over the rock, whatever who cares what they're called little spigot magic it and then you pop this dish right over the front of it, so this dish is basically designed, so if I open this up to you guys, you can see I'm going to put this dish right over that and then put the wing that right on there that would be the end of the wing that and not the front of it. Okay, all right, good enough for now and then you have your little bracket on this side, so we pop this on here and when you're on set like it's very, very simple and easy to do these setups like you can take these in their broken down format or size or whatever and then just get him on your set up and good to go within just a matter of minutes, which I love because it makes him so easy and portable so I'm doing right now is just screwing on this bracket, everything is b a thumb screws, so they're very easy to set up now guess what we have that mount that we can place onto our mono pod or whatever won a place on the stand whatever you need we can set that up we can put our flash right here on the brackett fire through there which bounces off that little dish this reflector dish and it opens up the light takes up the whole thing and then we can place the diffuser over the front of it as well to get an even softer light if we need so this is the rapid box very small, very portable. Another fantastic light modifier by westcott each one of these. So the let's say the rapid box one hundred ninety bucks the apollo orb is one hundred fifty bucks and the strip one hundred thirty bucks they do come with their diffusers, but if you want the grids along with them for the apollo or been the apollo strip it's like an extra fifty sixty bucks for the grids okay, now the three foot ar fi octa and the two by three orefice soft back there a little bit large to basically be demonstrating to you on this set but they go over this ar fi speed ring which, again we could mount to armando pod will show you what they look like on actual production sets and so forth but you just take the rods pop them in here it takes about five minutes to set up if you're you know, if you're new to it expected to take ten minutes, but once you get used to it there five minutes to set up and break down so forth, very simple and easy to use, and these are our preferred soft boxes when we're using larger strobes like, say, the medium strobes like the bolt, okay, because we can place them on here and set them all the way inside of this bracket. So it's, very easy to get them in there and get them in the right position, where we're using all of the light and we don't have anything spilling out the back. Whereas if you try and put a bolt on like a westcott there, not designed for that large of a strobe and so you getting him into position is a little bit difficult and you will get light spill. Okay, so let's, go back with this guy. Let me show you some smaller items. So these were our diffusion and bounce items. These air soft box items, these air, the ultra portable soft boxes, these air, the high power soft boxes, which is the, or if I now we have our control in our creative modifiers. So on this side, we have the x p porter flex snoot. Now can you make your own snoot? Absolutely you don't need to buy one this is ten bucks they're very inexpensive d y d I y snoop you grab a cereal box and make it out of that whatever you want to do I don't I really care but these air ten bucks they fold up they're very easy to kind of store and they actually have, like reflective material in the inside so you're not getting a lot of light loss on dh they're super easy to take around there actually durable so if you're gonna be using snoops a lot it might be worth just paying the ten bucks to get you know one of these guys but they're going to throw your light a longer distance and this is what a snoot would look like for say like the bull the bolt b b twenty two has snoops and this is what it would appear like again all these do remember from lighting one on one all a snoot does is just funneled that light and it pins it toe one specific area very useful, very handy dandy I find myself using grids a little bit more than snoot but snoot they're still fantastic when you want to put a splash of light just on one little thing okay, so that is our snoot now here we have a couple different versions of grids so let me show you we have the vela grid we grabbed this guy, and this is just going to mount via velcro right over the flash. Okay, so you just mounted like this. It goes directly with flashing it. Not the most elegant of solutions. A lot of people hate velcro. I would be one of them, but I still use it a ton on my shoes. But again, this just prevents light from spilling out again. Lighting one. When we talked extensively about what a grid does, it prevents light from spilling onto things that you do not want to cover. Now, the more elegant solution to this is actually the magma to which I actually like much, much more. So if it's in the budget, I would grab the magma and you just place this little rubber this rubber head thinking I don't know what it is, the rubber magnet over the flash head and once it's in position, you can place whatever you want. You can actually use the so here's the magma grid in place that right here and it just automatically magnetically adheres to head. You can also place like your ah push, mccall it's your jails over that as well. So the magma is a very elegant solution to kind of this this old school problem of just using these velcro items which I dig, so that is the the the vela grid as well as the magma grid and gel system and we use gels frequently if you guys don't want to use magma gels then d I y jails like this guy you could buy a giant sheet of this stuff for like five ten bucks cut them out in the little squares again we use velcro on each side to adhere it to the flash so that's a totally viable option we do both honestly, like any one of these solutions will get you to the exact same image it's just a matter of figuring out what your preferences are over time let's show them one other thing I want to show them the apollo grid right here almost fell off my chair that would have been bad well wouldn't been that bad I'm only like thirty feet off the ground. Okay, so this is the grid for the apollo strip so as we started using larger modifiers our you know, like our grids and all of our other items get larger two so this is the grid for that strip box, okay? And you basically just add here this to the outside of the strip box once it's set up. So here is the grid for just a bearable speed light and here's the grid for a strip box so all we're dealing with is the exact same kind of items just larger scale versions of them let's show them now some d I y go boz actually why don't you grab that black peg board right there? D I y goebbels there's something that we're gonna use constantly throughout this siri's and throughout going forward because they're fantastic light modifiers that create really cool little effects now this is just simple pegboard that we picked up from home depot and we're going to use it later for a kind of find our boudoir shoot when we do that chute to kind of create this look where we fire these flashes through the pegboard and it's gonna create like this dappled light on our subject it looks really great, cool and there very, very inexpensive to like cameron worthies lord he's like twenty months looks like that and then we painted them black and we have master paynter over here logan who did a fantastic job with just spray cans prank painting this thing and we stay painted them black. Why? Because we don't want light reflecting off them whenever you create like a d I y go bo or something that you generally want at least one side black so that way when you shoot into it it doesn't push like everywhere else you know doesn't bounce like everywhere else you want to use it for control so one side white one side black is generally the ideal things that we have both options all right let's, go ahead and show them that other one. Let show them that slaughtered one yet that guy this is another d I y go, bo, we made this out of again that same foam core that you pick up from the camera shop. And what do we do? We just drew lines across this and we cut it out with a razor blade. And what are we doing with this? We're creating kind of that slatted window. Look where you like when you have light coming through a window with like the little those carlotta like the window blinds. This is kind of creating that looks so we shoot through it to create those lines going across our subject and it looks fantastic. You'll see it's doing and shoot as well. These are all very inexpensive ways of adding fantastic production value to your chutes. Let's, go and show them one other one. This is right here. We're going to demonstrate actually didn't mention mile are here, but you can get mylar blankets or you can get aluminum whatever you want. But mylar blankets I find generally work a little better, but you can get those for like five, ten bucks at home depot, you cut them up and you paste them onto like a blackboard like this. What do we do with this? We bounce we throw light into this and it bounces like back off it and kind of a random pattern and so we can put that light onto a wall to create like a really cool background for that wall effect so again just another idea of a d I y kind of gobo where we can throw light on to this and then bounce it back and get a cool effect or cool pattern on another set. By the way do I go today and I say what a go but was I don't know if I even said what ago but was a gobo is a go between object so now you know gobo all right that's really it for our ultra portable off camera flash modifiers now remember that when it comes to modifiers you don't need to buy everything okay? The last thing I want to leave you with is just remember that from lighting one when we taught you how all these modifiers work, how whites work versus silvers, how diffused where to speculate, how large was this small light sources and so forth will create a software is a hard light you understand the principles of light, so that means that you don't need to go out and just buy everything and tested all out you can kind of look at a modifier and just guess well, if it's large and it's white it's going to give me a soft and diffused light, if it's small and silver is going to give me a heart and speculate a light, if it's somewhere between you can kind of guess what it's going to be similar to. So do that when you guys are going out and you're looking for a new piece of modifiers, make sure that you're actually thinking through your head. What will this do, and how will this add to my arsenal? If buying a, you know, if buying this little westcott rapid box is going to be almost identical to a beauty dish that you're already using, then that might not be the right fit for you if it already matches and looks, unless you just need the extra portability. So look at those modifiers, analyze them, studying your mind. It'll better help you to not only waste your money, but to figure out which modifiers acts gonna add your tool kit rather than be another kind of duplicate in your tool kit. That's it for this video, let's, head on to the next one.

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.