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Lighting 301

Lesson 13 of 26

Double Backlight with SFX Flare Midday

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

Lighting 301

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

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Lesson Info

13. Double Backlight with SFX Flare Midday
Pye uses dark ambient exposure and a double backlight setup to rimlight models under midday sun. With a little help from his trusty spray bottle, Pye also adds a bit of special effects magic into the shot.


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Lesson Info

Double Backlight with SFX Flare Midday

What's up, guys? In this tutorial, I want to show you all a double back light technique that we're gonna use to essentially rim. Like our models now are models over here we have BC Sarna that's not well BC is his name. But you can follow me on Instagram BCC and Taylor Taylor. Saks will be on instagram. We're gonna go ahead and set up. And the first thing that I'm thinking here is kind of the overall composition. And for this wall, I think would be really cool to get, like, a profile shot, essentially, where we have a lot of negative space around them and we're gonna basically backlight, um, and darken everything else down. And we might even throw in a special trick at the end. So I'm gonna go ahead and jump into that. So let's do that now. Now, Taylor, I'm gonna have you guys stand back just a little bit. So you're a little bit close to the wall and maybe Stan Taylor on this line and bcu on that line. Now let's get the flash is directly behind them and no grids. So no grids directly be...

hind them. We're gonna put them at full power and you're going to aim it to them, so aim it right to the back of their heads. There's two reasons why we're not using grids in this situation. The first one is that we don't really care about light control. It doesn't matter that the light spills because it's aimed directly forwards towards the back of each of these people's heads. But the main reason that we're not using the grids is honestly so that we get additional power out of the light when we're doing this kind of technique and we're under exposing this dramatically in the middle of the day. We need as much power as we can get out of these lights. And that grid is going to stop down that, like, quite a bit and prevent us from seeing the light against this fairly bright backdrop. Okay, so again, camp is getting your composition first, ambient light exposure, modify, add light and then photograph. So this is my composition that I want to go for, and I'm gonna go ahead and now dial in my ambient light. I'm gonna take this down quite a bit, so we're gonna go down to like f 16. I want the background to be really dark. Very dramatic. We got focus on Taylor. Okay. All right. Now what? We're gonna do the flashes. Let's make sure that they're both on the same channel in group. I've got five B. What you got? Yeah. Flip it around the back side, too. So that way I see five c. So lower this to a shoulder level and then aim it up directly at his face, so it kind of goes right onto them. You got five seats. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. So we're gonna make sure those are hidden directly behind them. And we're midday, sun. Right? So Sunday 16 rule means that 1/1 1 in the sun, and what we're gonna do is take a quick little test shot. Now, just to see, make sure everything fires were not on the right sink. So I'm gonna pop it on your Channel five. Take one more little test shot. Good. Okay. So real quick. We're gonna make a couple adjustments here. Karen, I need you to hide that flash behind him. Just a little bit more. And let's go ahead and have you guys look in toward each other. Taylor, through all your hair behind you, and you're gonna look in toward each other. You can move that flash a little bit. This way. There you go. Right there. Perfect. Now, let's go ahead and take the shot and let's see it. That is fantastic. Okay, hold right there, guys. Okay, Last little thing. Karen, can you give me a little spray bottle in the front of my I have it right here. Karen, can you get me one more flash set up? We're going quick because we're gonna get kicked out of here. So let's do this regarding that note about being kicked out. Little story, perhaps a little tip in here for you. I'm gonna let you choose what you want to do with this. So we live close to Los Angeles where permitting is absolutely critical. And we do have a general Los Angeles shooting permit for this day. They're expensive to obtain. They work for basically all the area if you purchase it. The problem, though, with any area like l A or any metropolitan area, is that as soon as you step off the sidewalk, you're technically usually in private property. So Currently, we're at Perching Square and they have their own separate permit. So on top of the area permit, you also have to get private property permits. If you intend to shoot on any of those properties, Here's what I like to do. When the security guard comes, I'll hand them my city permit and say, Hey, we are permitted to shoot downtown. Do you mind checking and seeing if it's good? And if you don't mind, I'm going to get a quick shot. They'll say, Sure, no problem. Get your shot. And while they're walking away and going to check, it generally takes 5 to 10 minutes to do this. They'll go and check and they'll come back. So they're in that process of going to check, and I know they're going to come back and they're gonna say, You know what? You're not permitted specifically to be at Pershing Square, so you can't continue. So that's what I'm saying. Here is they're gonna come back and they're gonna say this and sure enough, the and sure enough, within a few minutes, the security guards do come back and they say, I'm sorry. Um, this permit does not apply to this area and all you just say is okay if I finish this up if I haven't done it yet and they're usually nice enough to say Yeah, no problem. So this is a simple way without breaking any rules that you can use one permit to kind of give yourself five minutes, maybe 10 in a certain area. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't, but you're safe. Some What? Carlo was just shaking his head. Right now you're shaking your head because it's an awesome little tip, isn't it? No, he's not. I got my shot and I didn't break any rules. I would have they if I kept shooting, but I didn't stop. They said it was okay. They said it's okay for me to take a shot. Okay, This is on five. A perfect. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna spray this lens just a little bit. Yeah, Okay. Hold that guy right at the top. Yeah. Mhm. Quick note here. Make sure that you're using filtered, distilled water so it doesn't have any minerals inside of it. These lenses are also weather sealed, so getting a tiny bit of mist on it is not gonna be any problem. Just keep that in mind. I usually will always get some messages. I can't believe you spread your legs with water. Well, it's filtered water. It'll be fine. It'll be fine. Okay. Hold this guy BC and Taylor looked right at each other. There you go. Hold that And let's see it. There we are. One more time. Yes. Perfect. And we're moving. So what we're gonna do in post is basically layer the two shots so that we can kind of get the right blend just because we don't have enough time to get it right right here, because we're going to move from this location. So let's go to that part now. Okay, so we're in the post, remember? We only had a couple of minutes to get that shot, and I didn't have the chance to get the perfect exposure with the perfect kind of flare effect in the same shot. So you'll notice in this first shot, I have the smile and expression on B C that I want, but in the second shot, this is where the light placement is in the exact spot that I want. So again, very simple. All we're gonna do is edit both of these and layer them. So let's go ahead and start with that. And what I'm gonna do first is bring up my exposure a bit. We're gonna go ahead and let's drop in a little bit of blacks. I'm gonna press J just so I can see my highlight and clipping alert a little bit. So I'm gonna raise the shadows drop the blacks added in just a little bit of clarity of the shot. And that's looking pretty cool again. This is one of those areas where you guys can go really anywhere. You want to take it with the overall temperature intent. I'm gonna leave it slightly more on the neutral side about here and raising the exposure just a little. Let's go ahead and put a radio filter over this kind of general bottom area just to kind of pull into the couple of it. And that looks really cool. So now going to the next image. I'm just gonna go ahead and press previous, right? So we select previous and we're gonna grab both these and let's jump into layers in Photoshop and just finish this out real quick. Okay? So inside of Photoshop, what I want to be thinking here is what's gonna be the easiest thing to adjust. So again, we have either the kind of perfect overall shot or the perfect expression. Honestly, the shot below is going to be the easier one. All we have to do is replace BC and that one. Everything else is good, So I'm gonna put this shot on top. We don't need to do any layering here, to be honest, um, the background is this stucco wall, and it's mostly gonna just, you know, we're good to go. We're on a tripod. It should be fine. So let's go ahead and press. Uh, sorry. I think I said we don't need any layering. We don't need to Any lining of those two layers. So I'm gonna go and select my brush press d to go back to default and an X to make it black. And then all we're gonna do is paint over B C to reveal the underlying layer of BC. Okay, that's it. If you want, we're gonna hold down alter option and click that layer mask. Just make sure it's perfect. We're good to go if we zoom in. Yeah, we don't really see any, like ghosting or any issues like that. It's totally fine. So the last thing again, with shots like this, we were against a simple background like this. I find that it adds a lot of value to the image and really tightened up by reducing and removing some of those distracting items. We've already shown you how to do this quite a bit by using your lasso tool, selecting an area shift backspace to bring up your fill window, selecting content aware. And then I'm gonna turn off color adaptation. And honestly, it's going to make very quick work of each of these different items. The other tool you're going to use is the patch tool. So if you have a little area like this that you want to use, content aware fill doesn't work. Shift J until you get to the patch tool, select the area and drop it over a similar area to patch it out. So I'm gonna do the same thing, and we're going to that same cloning trick to kind of remove the stand from each of those sides. And with that done you're gonna get to the final image. Now you will notice in this final image that I've actually bumped up a little bit of the saturation, so you can really easily do that by just grabbing. So in this shot, this is kind of where we were working with so honestly, a little bit of vibrance here would do the trick. But we're just pulling vibrance up, and what that's doing is is by adding quite a bit of vibrance. Here we're preserving a lot of the skin tones, while the other tones are essentially going more blue. So I would add quite a bit of vibrance and then just turn down the temperature a little bit to kind of bring the skin tones back. So with that, you can see the repaired wall texture and just how cool of an image we can create with just a stucco wall in the middle of nowhere. By using these techniques, hopefully you enjoyed. Let's go ahead and move on to the next video

Class Description


  • Master multiple off-camera flash setups for dramatic portraits.
  • Control light with flash modifiers such as softboxes, grids, and gels.
  • Master creative techniques like creating silhouettes anywhere, pin lighting. your subjects, backlighting rain, creating starbursts with diffraction, and much more.
  • Use various tools in Adobe Lightroom Classic to enhance the images created using the lighting techniques taught in this course.


This workshop is all about using multi-point lighting setups to consistently make any location look great and help you capture dramatic, creative portraits that will wow your clients every time.

Building on the skills learned in Flash Photography Crash Course, Lighting 101 and Lighting 201, we’re going to explore a variety of multi-point lighting techniques and look at different ways to further refine the way we light a scene. We’ll start with light stacking to create depth in our portraits before introducing rim lighting, backlighting, and other creative effects and applications. Then, we’ll incorporate motion into our environmental portraits via shutter drag and show you how to create composite images that would otherwise be impossible to capture. 

We’re going to demonstrate these techniques using a variety of highly portable lighting gear and modifiers. You’ll also find “power translations” with each lesson so that you can know the exact power settings used and recreate the same light using any flash or modifier that you already own. Follow along and see how we crafted all of the images featured in this course, from shoot to post, and learn how to fully realize your vision and bring it to life with your camera. 

The next class in this series is Lighting 401, where Pye teaches photographers how to create every natural light effect with flash, including golden hour, soft window light, and direct sun.


  • Photographers with a basic understanding of flash photography who want to elevate their lighting skills
  • Those looking to boost their creativity when shooting on-location
  • Any photographer who wants to stand out from the competition


Adobe Lightroom Classic 2019


Jackie Stewart

Lighting 301 is excellent! I learned so many new techniques throughout the class. Pye Jirsa is brilliant at explaining new lighting techniques in such an easy to understand way and his mastery of Lightroom is amazing!!! Loved the class and can't wait til implement the things I learned!!!!


I love the Lighting (101-201-301) courses; I have finally understood the concept of lighting and how it works. I have been referring to my notes and go back to all the courses with ease. One of the best courses I have done for myself and my biz; I am so impressed with my work and the lighting I can create.


Pye is a great presenter and is able to make understanding light easy. Now to practice and master the concepts taught. Thank you.