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Lighting 201

Lesson 53 of 64

Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts


Lighting 201

Lesson 53 of 64

Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts


Lesson Info

Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts

Visualising light and color shifts. Now, not only do I want you to visualize and predict what happens when you change your ambient light exposure as well as your flash exposure and that ambien to flash mix, I want youto also visualize what is gonna happen when you do white balance shifts and you modify colors on your flash because, well, it only leads to awesomeness. We demonstrated this effect back in lighting one on one when we shot jill on the beach and we're gonna do it again here. But this time with off camera flash. Why? Because this effect is one that's going. Absolutely wow, your clients we get asked this question all the time. How are your background so blue? They usually don't say that that I just say like that I don't know why because I think it sounds awesome. Our clients ask that photographers asked that and we always hear this rat. How did you get your back so blue? And then they go it's photoshopped, isn't it? And then we say no it's, not photoshopped, I love flower shop...

, but it's, not for a shop that's done in camera via lighting techniques and they go what? I don't believe you, I don't know, I keep taking that voice on whenever I talk about my clients like that either way they don't believe you, and then when you show them on set, when you show them a shot and I always do this shot just to show them hey, this is what you see with your eyes, and this is what I just created always do that before and after on set because I want to show them that I show my go and this is what I say this is what another photographer would have shot, but this is what I created, and then they're like what? We hired the right guy. You're so awesome, and you're amazing and they all these praise and I just kind of like soaking up like a sponge, yes, yes, give it to me, give it to me and I just agree with them through that I'm just getting I don't really do that. I just say I'm glad you guys dig it, let's, keep moving, be humble people, I'm just getting show it off, show it off all the time. Okay, so back to this shot. So we're shooting on an actual couple session. We're in front of the walt disney concert hall here and you can see that the ambulance is fairly dark, right? We're shooting around dusk, the sun is set. Our sky is still fairly bright. We have one hundred, a second here at f two and sixteen hundred. So we still have enough light in the sky that we could shoot natural light if we wanted to. But it's, that perfect time where a single modified pocket strobe really shines. All we need is one pocket. Strobe. We need one modifier. Like, for example, my favorite one for a single stroke modification is the westcott rapid box. Easy to set up a beautiful little lockbox and it's. Very portable. Very light. Easy to use. Okay, so we have that on there, but this shot of just annually. Only again, I shoot this shot at a regular white balance. Everything is just exposed normally, as we would just expose for skin tone. This is my pre shot that I want to show my clients now for the compositional components and my attributes. Well, what I want in this shot, as I want these leading lines of the downtown disney concert hall to basically lead into the couple. And I've placed them right over where this curvature and kind of everything is here, so kind of everything leads into them. And the most busy area, the frame is just highlighting them in the shop, cool, but I want to do a couple things I want to create background, separation by blurring, but not to the point where we don't notice what's in the background. I don't want a blur to the point where doesn't look like a building. I just want a little bit of a blur, so we go toe to toe. We also need a little bit of light here, so we go fto larger aperture gives us a good amount of light and maintains background detail while also giving us a good separation with think we're in low light people we don't need to worry about sink less than one hundred second we're solid so no andy, no hss necessary ambient light exposure. We pull down the ambulance here now again visualized what happens if we darken that shot and move to a darker background? Okay, so this is actually the exact same shot. So this is I want you to visualize just what happens between six thousand degrees kelvin versus thirty seven hundred greece calvin in camera. Okay, that is the shift there. So you can see that's pretty dramatic already. Now let's, take that a step further and we're going to darken this down just a bit, so we get our correct ambient exposure right around one sixtieth f two in s o four hundred, okay for the light direction and quality well we already know that we're shooting with the aka box with a single phone takes metro's on that guy why? Because it's simple it's easy it's convenient it's the ideal kind of lights set up for dusk and evening and indoors and that kind of stuff the rapid box also gives us a nice diffuse lights with that diffusion on the outside of it we can place that close to the subject and get a beautiful wrapping light very soft very nice they soft very nice I feel like I don't know I don't know why I said that as far as the light direction once again we place it of top camera left coming top down towards the girl side of face because we want to fill the female subjects face while leaving the guy's face a little bit in the shadows okay so the test shot this is our test shot with the strobe and basically I don't quite have the right ami into flash balance in this shot my flash a little bit too right miami is a little too bright bright this was that one hundred of a second f two and six hundred it's that same exposure from this shot basically just where like maybe one two minutes later on but what do we have noticing is that we have our photos metro's we've placed our cto jail on it because again from our white balance, right? We took a test shot right here and we saw that they're going to be very, very, very blue, so to fix that we add the jail to our flash we put that inside of our rabbit box and now we get a nice warm light on them. The only problem now is that they're too bright where at one half to one quarter power I want a little bit darker a little more moody of a background type shot so I'm gonna pull down the background a little bit and I want just a little bit more are sorry a little bit less flash power so let's take a look here so we went basically to one sixth of a second f to and s o four hundred so we dropped the iso by two stops but then we also dropped the light oh are actually we increase the amount of light by about three quarters of the stop, right? So not quite one stop but close to one stuff, so we end up with a one stop darker background. Overall, we bring the flash power to one quarter toe one eighth just to kind of balance it out a little better. We've lowered our so that automatically brings the flash power down as well, so we don't really really need to make too big a shift here most likely we probably held it around one quarter power there okay, so now we have at least that the flash to ami balance that I want ok stylistically, if this is what you want go for it but for me stylistically I like this look and that's why I kind of like you know ext off the other ones so our very first shot we then show them this one and then we show them this one and we go see look how awesome we are and they go yes you are these two shots were for you guys okay? So that you guys can visualize and see what that shift does with the exact same shot between six thousand and thirty, seven hundred degrees kelvin and then we went down teo for the final shot yeah, we're at thirty five hundred kelvin this shot again we're showing you we wanted you see basically how cool they are here and with the cto jail added to the flash how we can warm them up and balance them out remember that generally when we are using fill light as are basically we're using ambient light as phil in addition to our flash, we need to match and being light, but guess what we're doing here, we're not using it is phil, we're overpowering ambient light for the shot, which means that we don't need to match that color balance right here they're really dark we don't need to you know, we don't need to match that because it's going to be very, very blue, we want to override the existing light with our flash in this kind of an instance, so to make it look right, you just need to make sure that you actually do overpower existing light. Otherwise you end up with mixed light case our final shot, we have refuted meters plus with the cto jail, the westcott rabbit box with diffuser around one quarter power. We're at one sixth of a second half to four hundred thirty seven degrees kelvin on her signal, thirty five million art. We have a couple leaning back slightly in the photo, so they're leaning back. And then again, when we're shooting bottom up, our tip is to remember toe lean them from the hip into the camera, okay? So we're correcting that perspective, okay? So if they're like this and you're shooting bottom up like that, you have them lean from the hip just to correct that distortion, but they're also leaning back a little, so he's kind of giving her a little dip while they also lean into the camera. So we get a nice little prophet's perspective fix as well as that kind of cool look of her leaning back just a little bit that's it for this tutorial, hopefully this all made sense to you and how to kind of visualize how you can move from this shot to this shot in the span of just a couple minutes in a scene that looks nothing like this and end up with this shot that you can wow your clients with let's. Go on to the next video.

Class Description

Lighting 201 builds on the simple foundational tips on effective exposure techniques found in Lighting 101. 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 the 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. Lighting 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 301 and Lighting 401 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.