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Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique

Lesson 44 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique

Lesson 44 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

44. Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Welcome to Lighting 201!


OCF = Anytime/Anyplace


Chapter 2 Introduction


Wired, Infrared or Radio?


“Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?”


Our 3 Favorite Flashes “Pocket Strobes”


4 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At


Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes


Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups


Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers


5 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs


Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range


Our Favorite “Sticks”


Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers


12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Chapter 3 Introduction


8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF


Over Powering the Sun - Part I


Over Powering the Sun - Part II


Slow Down! Watch the Details


More Power Without The Power


Adding to Existing Light - Part I


Bare Bulbing with Large Groups


Back Lighting to Create Interest


Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan”


Chapter 4 Introduction


The Flash Modifier You Already Own


The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella


Large Group Shots with an Umbrella


Exposure Balancing via Lightroom


Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo


More Light Control, Just Grid It!


Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes


More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!


Perfect It In-Camera. Then Photoshop


Adding to Existing Light - Part II


Adding or Enhancing Light Direction


Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique


Incorporating Flares with Flash


Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs


Chapter 5 Introduction


Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change


BYOL! The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light!


What About the Fill Light?


Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic


Drawing Attention via Light Shaping


Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts


Mixing Ambient + Gobo w/ Flash


Better Light Can Change Everything!


Chapter 6 Introduction


Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference


Great Light Changes Everything! Part II


Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag


The Right Power for Each Scene


Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera


Subtle Light for Natural Portraits


Light Modification & Simple Compositing


Expanding Your Photographic Vision


Lesson Info

Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique

Okay, our ideal group lighting technique this is gonna be awesome because now I'm gonna show you kind of what I mean if I had the option to light a group the way that I want to this is how I would like now, of course, when we're shooting weddings, you know, it just depends on the tools that we happen to have with us at the time. Ideally, when I shoot locally, I have a boom stick, so I have big boom sticks set up that I take around everywhere on the shoot. Now, of course, it has to be a decent enough size wedding where I have, like, say, a spare assistant to help me carry that thing around if not that, I'm using my umbrella and my pocket strobes like before and always have my regular lighting system helped me out, so it really depends on the type of, you know, shoot that we're doing the size and everything the speed and temple of the day now on this wedding, this was one of probably my favorite weddings that I've ever shot and also the most stressful wedding that ever shot in terms of o...

ur timeline, I mean, we're moving from scene to scene so incredibly fast we did this entire shoot well, this is one shoot here, and this is another shooter after the ceremony we did the this entire set of formals with them in these kids and the wedding party and everything like that within, like, fifteen minutes, okay was ridiculous. We're going through like thirty different shots, and then we did this set in another like, ten minutes, so having a big boom stick ready to go set up means that all I had to do was pop the little pock wizard right into my camera. My v b twenty twos are already inside of the pro photo orefice soft box, and again, I would have ideally had the provo toby to at this time, but when I shot this wedding's, the b two wasn't even released yet, so I didn't have that, but, yeah, that would make my life even easier because then I could actually pop off a shot on tvl to get a reading and then switching to manual, and I have to not do as much like kind of testing as far as the light goes, but let's, walk through this shot and kind of talk through what we're trying to do here now when we created or when our couple create their mood board, they had a shot in there, and they said that. The one shot that they must have is this shot that is similar to kind of a kate moss image that was in vogue okay they use that in the mood board and is a shot with kate moss and all the you know the girls from are all the little bridesmaids from the wedding and so forth under this tree and is beautiful the background was broke it out I just had a really great looking effect to it and I said my dear we're going to do that shot okay now that required that we brought out you know you know the lighting gear that we needed which was the bull to be twenty two on the pro phone and everything had it set up but that was okay we could do that for this shoot because it was a big enough wedding so we carry the stick around now for this shot what we have here is the composition the atoms that we're looking for we're using the gazebo is our background okay now what I wanted here was that shallow depth of field that gave it that soft and dreamy look just like in the shot our mood board so we're shooting on the sigma fifty million art at f too now this is a lens that I'm confident to shoot at two and two get sharp results from I wouldn't be this confident on my cannon for the militar you know, shooting this kind of a shot I mean the optical quality and this is absolutely impeccable and cannons fifty million to one point two hasn't been updated in many, many years, so shooting a group this large means that you're gonna have softer edges on that lens vs this one, so I was confident shooting this they'd have to, but you'll notice that I've set up the group very, very carefully, okay, so once we had the light roughly set up, I put the group together and I made sure that are stacking was impeccable, so we didn't have people more than a couple inches in front or behind each other, so that way we got a very great and sharp look from everybody if we had depth of field to them, if we're dealing with two or three rows of people like we were the other group shots after you would be the worst decision I could possibly made, but for this shot we shot for it, we posed for that, okay, now the bottom siri's were actually using f foreign these ones and we'll talk about those in just a second actually, why don't we talk about them together? So the bottom siri's these air just after the ceremony and what I'm looking for in the bottom siri's is just mawr to showoff kind of the background cause we're shooting writing from the ceremony site we're not necessarily going for that kate moss shot over here, so I'm shooting a little bit of a safer setting also wanted to feature the sunset, which was kind of bleeding through on the left side, which looks really nice and cool okay, so for synchronization the top shot his midday sun or at least midday shade, so at least a three stop neutral density filter is required to get down to f too now we used a five stop and the five stop was because again at the time I was using sing great and I had a three stops thing right with you poor optical quality and then I had a five stop sing great with better optical glass, so I opted for the better optical glass and then to bump my eyes so up a little bit to compensate for it okay, so the bottom shot where it's getting dark enough and again that's another reason why I'm shooting for is to keep things fast. We had like roughly ten minutes to get all these shots there I didn't want to have to get an nd filter I don't want to do all that stuff, I just want to start shooting and we didn't have hss had I had hss actually with the b two, I probably wouldn't have worried about light loss because I wouldn't have lost that much like to begin with and it would have been adequate anyway I'm not tryingto, you know, overpower the scene so again that's one of those scenes were having nice or gear might have help speed things up just a little bit, but instead I went to after for you know, because of seeing purposes I didn't have to put on a neutral density filter at that point. Now the top shot we left our annual light very, very bright were at one, two hundred second where f two two hundred five stops and the filter and notice that the background we leave it with that brighton area looking feel that's because that's the that's the look that we wanted to have one have that super bright and natural feels. So what do we do with our flash? Well for the light direction and for the light quality were on the proto horrify soft box, we have it at a good distance from our group because remember, inverse square law means that we need to make sure that that flashes an adequate distance, so that is roughly the same distance from the right side of the group that it is on the left side of the group I'm following kind of that existing ambient light and the existing aniela is reflecting off the right side of the hotel and it's filling in their face all I want to do is just pop it up a little bit okay so we just put that flash over here on the right side it's held in a boom stick were flashing at on ly one sixteenth one thirty second power granted we do have to be b twenty twos on there so one sixteen power that's like the profile toby to at one eighth power okay, so it's a decent amount of light but it's just acting at a nice kind of just enhancement to the existing light just brightening up a little bit on that existing light and we get this beautiful quality of the image once we do that I say okay I want you all the group around tickle each other have fun and dad goes for little tickle on the sun she pulls in her her daughter right there they all start looking each other laughing we get these beautiful images of them acting natural and looking fantastic and that's the shot that I really want this is the formal shot that's great we've gotta have that but this is the shot that I really want the one with them interacting and having a good time. Okay, so that's that setup so remember with the test shots were using our assistance to kind of stand in to get everything set up I have the groups just off to the side I'm not worrying about the group's until I'm ready to go because I want them to have and I wanted to look at me like I'm a rock star like I just put them in the shot posed them got these amazing images and it it was absolutely easy and just simple and it was quick so they're not even you know they're just standing off to the side talking and having a good time for about you know the three to five minutes that I used to place the two chairs to get my assistance there to make sure my light looks look good and to get set up then we bring him in and start shooting now the shots on the bottom you can see that these air a little bit more dramatic so these were on the sigma fifty million art at f to these air on the cannon twenty four seventy mark to at one two hundred f four and is a one hundred so we're shooting these just a little bit more dark dramatic because we have great color in the sky which I want to feature we have this beautiful skies up top we have palm trees in the back that I want to show you the gazebo we have a great background that I don't mind being in folk because it really reveals where we're at in the day were shooting at the st regis and it's a gorgeous property to be shooting up so if I'm not trying to go for that specific dreamy kind of look as I was in these top shots, I don't mind stopping on the aperture to show a little more depth of field in the bottom shots, not to mention it kind of saves me from having to deal with high speed sink or neutral density filters, which is great, it kind of gives me that convenience there, so we shot these to be a little dark, and you'll notice that where you now at one eight, two, one, sixteenth power, so we're pumping in just a little bit more light than you were earlier. We're still balancing this to be naturally when you look at these, this is not shot to be dramatic, ok, and that's one of those things that you know, if you are a wedding photographer and your your formal images are shot to be dramatic and every single one of miss dramatic and clients come to you and they hire you for that ingrate, I'm not going to say there's anything wrong with that, but in my personal view, on these formals is that I want them to look beautiful and natural. I want them to have this kind of lifestyle quality to it, and to get that look, I'm going to leave it a little bit on the brighter side, meaning that even when I want to retain color in the sky I'm going to leave it still on the brighter side, I'm not going to shoot it to be very dramatic and it's gonna have that kind of look to it and that's not part of my style. So while we have more color here while we can still see that sun bleeding through on the left while we can still see everything going on, you'll notice that it's, still a relatively right overall exposure, were pumping a little bit more flash into this image. If we were on the pro photo btu's, we'd roughly be around one quarter power, and again, we're on that pro photo or if I october ox, that three foot octa box and is being held at a good distance from the subject you can see we're shooting pretty wide, so it's held at a good distance where from right to left, we have roughly the same distance to that stroke again, following the same principles of matching existing light right toe left on that shot. So with both the shots with the top shot as faras the color balance in the white balance this I warmed in camera too close to a thousand degrees kelvin were at seventy six hundred he's held on because I want that warmth to it and that, you know, when you're shooting the shade, you need to pump it up a little bit. This down here, I wanted to be warm, but again we have sunset, which is already causing more warmth in the scenes, so we're at fifty and our degrees and getting a really nice look to this. Neither these images require any jelling, we want a match, the existing light color and that we'd get that with just leaving it, as is so again, post frame and shoot remember the tips don't start working with the group's until your light is set up because we want them to really enjoy and not get bored. And then when stacking rose, just make sure that you watch the shadows closely. So these techniques this technique of why is this my ideal technique? Because it only requires one flash. It gives me a lot more power than I would have in pocket strobe like if I needed to with two bullet, maybe twenty twos on there, if I needed to pump it up to full power. That's ten pocket strobes were the power with the profile toby to that's five practised robes were the power just right there, ready to use and so it's my ideal because in any situation, it kind of gives me enough light, you know, that I knew I could either if I'm inside, I can use a very small amount of light. If I'm outside I can use up to a very large amount of light and I can have one single light source with that beautiful modifier on it everything is set up to be very simple very easy to get the shots that you need we don't worry about feathering all we need to do is get the right lighting angle and the right distance from the group to make sure that everyone's roughly the same brightness again you can still use that same half stop variants even when you're using this technique as they were with the feathering stuff earlier because even if we need to make that little adjusting where we kind of adjust and balance out the exposure anything within a half stop is totally fine and not noticeable okay anything more than that is noticeable but it's kind of keep those little tricks and techniques in your mind when you are working with rose and groups make sure you stack in terms of height and watch the shadows watch the highlights watch everything very closely and watched the overall exposure in that group that's it for our ideal lighting technique hopefully you will enjoy this little tutorial let's head on to the next video now I am so excited to show you our ideal lighting techniques four groups that is that we want me to do the interest I am so excited to ship doesn't say excited I am so excited to show you I am so excited to show you cash doing it. Why? Don't keep saying excited? I am so excited to show you our ideal group lighting techniques.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 201 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


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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