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Subtle Light for Natural Portraits

Lesson 62 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

Subtle Light for Natural Portraits

Lesson 62 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

62. Subtle Light for Natural Portraits


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

Subtle Light for Natural Portraits

Subtle light for natural portrait ce now when it came to the natural like couples photography dvd we showed you basically how to pull off pretty much the exact same result is this but using reflectors in this tutorial I want to show you well the exact same results but this time using flash now what's the benefit of basically doing something with flash that you could essentially do with reflectors hopefully this makes sense to you right now well with flash we have control in any scene in any situation regardless right if we're working the shade it's hard to catch enough sunlight unless you happen to have some direct sunlight coming through to throw that light in the places that you want with a reflector but in shade with flash we can put the light where we want and we can have it be a settles you want like a reflector would be or we can have it be powerful either way we don't have to rely on the existing light into shape that light with just a reflector so it's a little more versatile i...

n the way that it works so what we're doing in this scene here is we're gonna basically just add a little bit of light using our foe tex and just a simple westcott umbrella so we're bringing back the umbrella we're gonna show you another use for it which is just to basically turned the umbrella into essentially a natural light reflector but using flash so it's not really. Naturally it's gonna look like that. So, here's, what we have here now on our first grouping right here, this is the first scene or basic, the first set of shots. And this is the same scene with the second set of shots, but what we have here, as you can see, we're shooting a significantly art. Which is this guy right here we have the the camera set to one one hundred a second f to isolate hundred. We have a five stop andy on there. Why? Because it's midday sun we're shooting f to it is kind of like overcast ish, and we're in the shade, so we need about three stops. To be honest, we may be if that we need maybe two to three stops of nd we could probably get away with dropping down to low is so if you wanted to and raising it up to one, two hundred seconds for our shutter speed. But you notice my settings are a little bit wonky. To be honest, why is that? Well, remember how we talked about earlier? Sometimes I like to boost theis so up a little bit to get to a more natural and kind of filmic look by taking my five mark three up to four hundred eight hundred six hundred so in midday we reduce a little dynamic range we reduce a little bit of the detail by adding a little fine grain to it and we create kind of a softer and more organic look to the images and if you want to take the images and create kind of a more filmic look this is the way to get there more successfully at least to replicate a filmic look with mohr success than if you just shot it at one hundred I wonder I so you have so much dynamic range you have shown so much sharpness and so forth that when you apply a filmic filter over in general it still looks like just a you know, on hd camera that was it looks like a camera that was very expensive that was used and with a filter applied over it doesn't look convincingly filming so I want to get that natural and organic look to the image whether I apply a filmic filter over I generally don't apply those kind of filters over it but I do like that natural brighton kind of organic look to the shots and so I'll do this from time to time so here I am using the five stopped to give me enough cut down in light that I can run it up to iso eight hundred or sixteen hundred if I want to and shoot these kind of shots but the actual background exposure over here is just a little bit too bright and the reason why that I kind of noting that is that they seem to be kind of just like that, basically the same as the background, like everything is kind of just balanced in a way that they all look identical, right? The background of them, they're the same brightness, and so they just kind of fall into it. So what I do is I stopped the background down just by one stop on goto one, two hundred a second, we're now f two we're on one hundred fifty, six hundred degrees, kelvin were on our five stop. Andy, this is ambient light on lee, though just so you can see basically, what we've done is we've cut away the ami light, but we still we don't have any additional light, and so what ends up happening is they get just a little bit dark. So what we do here is just using our we have our three photo exes, they're set up on that triple bracket. We don't need three, but generally understood of three in case I need to run high power, and then I have, you know, three there for either high power or from better recycle time, you know, using lower power. So we have three there. We have the westcott umbrella stuck right through that little umbrella holder and we're firing roughly around one eighth toe one sixteenth power again, depending on position from the subject. All I want is just a little kiss alight to come in and hit them just to brighten them up a little bit to get them a little bit brighter in the background. And then we get to a very beautiful and natural look in this shot looks really nice. Okay, so this setting is just a little bit more powerful. Then fill a bump reflector. This is more like essentially with this it's like we took a silver reflector. We caught direct light and we filled it into their faces. But how difficult would it be? You know, if you're working the shade to find a spot of direct light and for that spot to be just the right distance from the subject where you could get into the right spot and fill both their faces with the umbrella it's easy, we can do this very simply. We don't have tio, you know. Bust out a reflector and try and find the light and worry about well what if we don't have direct light what if working overcast weather for in the shade all those different what ifs that prevent you from getting a good boost of light like this we would need direct sunlight to be able to get that so flash gives us that versatility here now down here we take the flash card down even further now are using it as a bump so this is what we refer to when we take that silver we put it basically underneath to give us that bump to just kind of fill the shadows in a overcast scene like this or basically in a scene in shade like this so once again we're running one two hundred second f one point for this time sixteen hundred again it gives us that nice organic look it reduces some of the the contrast we do some of the color reduces some of the detail we'll get a really soft, beautiful look to it but this is ambient light on ly right daniel I only you can see that there's deep shadows underneath her chin and on his side too okay, I like the shadows I like everything about it but if I was shooting this with the reflector I would use a little bump what's the problem of trying to do a bump in this scene well how am I going to do, bump? Where am I gonna hold the reflector if I'm shooting a full length shot, right? Generally, when we do a bump, we hold it right there hips so it fills light just into their, you know, shadowy part of their faces gives him a nice catch light, but we don't have the option of shooting wide like that. We can't cover their entire body by using a reflector, we run into those limitations. We have limitations as far as its placement, as far as how much light we can catch as far as how much light we can throw. If it's windy, it becomes more difficult and so forth. With our flashes and our umbrella, we dial the power down to one sixteenth a one thirty second worth of power, very light, very soft acting, just like a bump would, and then we fill from the left side just to fill in the shadows a little bit still looks natural, doesn't look flashed. We get a beautiful phil, just like we would have a bump I can work in wider to get their entire bodies. I can work in tighter to get just their faces and their expressions, and I'm not limited, so this is a again another one of those subtle. Uses for flash and for letting that it takes the place of essentially the reflectors. I'm not saying to not take reflectors with you. I still take reflectors on my shoots, but when it gets to these type of situations, I do prefer using my my flashes along with modifiers to get to my result because it gives him more consistent results. It's much easier for my assistant to just simply hold the flash with the umbrella just up and just like this versus trying to constantly catch light and to stand in the right place and to work with the wind and to do all that stuff you would need to do with the reflector, I get more consistent images. I get better pops when they laugh. When you get these expressions that are just fleeting moments. What you just going to capture in that split second allowed to worry about my reflector being off for that split second that they're laughing or anything like that? Because my life's gonna be consistent every single time. So this is a case where, you know, once you get more used to using flat, I want to kind of help you all to realize that in a lot of the scenes where we used to use natural light modification, all that kind of stuff via reflectors and everything. Now you can utilize flash in those situations. Still bring along your reflectors because maybe you're gonna bounce off them. Maybe you still need them is a phil whatever it is, but now you can use flash to amore consistent effect to get to the same results. Now, once again, the last thing I wanna remind you all is that if you're not getting these kind of natural results, what's off. If your image does not look natural, if it looks flashed, what's going on your ambient to flash balance is off. Okay again. Don't throw up your hands and get frustrated. Don't don't do anything, either this. Tell yourself in your head. Oh, you know what I'm gonna need more ambient light and less flash power if I want this to look subtle and subdued, if I wanted to look dramatic, more flash power, less ambient light. That's it for this tutorial, it's, head of the next video now.

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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