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Lighting 301

Lesson 8 of 26

Two-Light Pin for Two Subjects

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

Lighting 301

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

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Lesson Info

8. Two-Light Pin for Two Subjects
Pye focuses on light placement while using a two-light setup to individually pin light two subjects. Pye also notes how a standard zoom lens can be used to great effect when capturing portraits. Post-production instruction is included in this lesson.


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Lesson Info

Two-Light Pin for Two Subjects

in this video, we'll be using to lights to individually pin light two different subjects. Now, for this video, I want you to pay attention to the overall placement of these lights. We're gonna talk about how the placement in this to light setup is similar to a Hollywood to light setup which will also discuss a little bit later. I also want to quickly note that well, up until this point and really throughout this entire course, even the next course so many of our images are being shot on the 22 70 lens. There's a reason for that. I wanted you guys all to see that a very standard focal length between something relatively wide and something zoomed is really all you need. And we're not even shooting most These images wide open. Oftentimes we're stopping them down simply to stay within that sync speed. So we don't need to use an nd filter or H s s because I want you guys to realize how much you can create with really any lens and camera combo when you're going in to actually light each scen...

e. When you're lighting each scene, it takes the well the kind of need for tons of different lenses and wide aperture primes. It takes that need off the table because you have so much more compositionally available to you. So with that said, let's go ahead and dive into the video. We're at the next shot for this shot. I wanna actually light up each person independently with two different flashes. This is gonna be a great tutorial because not only going to show you how to do this with fairly low power lights, these are the A ones, and we're gonna put magma grids onto them to control that light. But you'll also notice that there's 75 watt seconds. So compared to a standard flash, it's just a bit more power. So you can use any flash with this technique. We're actually gonna take a plate shot and basically photograph it out or Photoshop out. So let me go ahead and get just a standard, um, ambient shots so we can see like what our ambient light looks like. I'm gonna pop this off, too, so we can kind of get a gauge. There we go. So right around here, we have our natural light shot of Taylor and B C. We're gonna go ahead and pop this guy on, and now I'm going to set up my ambient exposure. So I got my composition shooting up. Right. So composition shooting up. We have a center composition because this is what the scene kind of lends itself to. So don't fight the scenes that you're working in. If you're seen as kind of set up for this, utilize it and light for it as opposed to lighting against it. So right now I'm perfectly centered on this overall scene. I'm gonna get everything dialed in, make a tiny adjustment in my height. And I'm hoping also that we can actually incorporate some of these people that are walking in the shot. Okay, Okay. Let's go ahead and get just a standard shot real quick. That's it. Now, guys, look directly to camera for that shot right there. Perfect. So now we're gonna adjust in our ambient light, so I'm gonna go ahead. And since I don't care about depth of field on the shot, I'm just gonna use my aperture to dial out all the ambient lighting the scene. So that way we can shoot just regular sink on the image, okay? And that gets us to a really great place where we have a very darkened image. Everything around them is dark. And now we're gonna go ahead and add in our own light and kind of compose how we like. So, Karen, what I want to do is light up each person from the opposite side. So basically where those people are walking, you're going to place the light slightly behind. As you watch the video. I just want to point out the light pattern because what you see here is we have Taylor and BC set up like right here, right, And our camera angle is on this side. Now we have a tendency when we're setting up our lights for this type of scene to basically light from again that kind of degrees off camera on each side. What we're actually doing is replacing these lights just a little bit behind each subject and angling it towards them. Okay, So as we place the lights, I want you guys to see and pay attention to those lights, actually going slightly behind the subject and lighting forward this way, we have them turn the face over to the side. We're getting, like, a nice kind of light that creates a shadow and we get shape and dimension. If we were to light from this kind of 45 degree angles and on both sides, we're going to create a cross like pattern that essentially is going to fill both sides of the face. So this light is going to spill onto both, and this light is going to spill into both, and what we end up with is flat lighting. So pay attention to the placement of your lights right there, aim it right towards Taylor and go equidistant on both sides. So go out a little bit further right there, right towards BC. Perfect, that's it. Now that one is angled up a little bit, Karen, and you can also bring it a little bit closer to Taylor. Once again. Take your time with these setups. Right now, I'm having Karen adjust on both sides because I want to make sure that the light direction is identical on both sides. The height of the light and the way that is lighting the face in the pattern, but also the distance. So that way the same power setting on both flashes is going to give me the same brightness on both models and the top of the flashes. There you go. Side note. This is a side note. Y'all pay attention to how much BC whips out his phone. BC is usually filming to his credit. He is usually, you know, on the other side of the camera. And I don't think he used to be a model quite yet. So let's count how many times he pulled out his phone. Maybe you can give me a little bit of trouble about it when you watch the video. Now pull it back a little bit. There you go. Okay. Let's go ahead and get a test shot with that. So, guys, I want you to look out away from each other, actually, so I get a profile shot. There you go. Right there. Okay. So from this, we noticed two things right now we noticed that the lights are not equidistant. We also can see that the highlight is just a little bit dark. Okay, So what we're gonna do is pull in the light a little bit closer to each of them and What we're aiming for is really a nice highlight just on their face, Um, and letting that kind of light fall off in their body. So that's why we're using the grids. Pull it in closer, Karen. Right there. A little bit away. Mhm. There you go. Perfect. Let's go and take that shot. Taylor, look down to the ground. That side there. B C kind of look down to the ground. There we go. Right there, guys. Hold that. Okay, so I'm gonna make a couple quick adjustments, so let's see here. This light is not quite getting right there. Perfect. I'm gonna take the grid's off because I do want a little bit more of a light spill. I'm just gonna zoom these in, actually. So this is already zoomed all the way. And, Karen, make sure that we kill the Karen. You see the modern light, make sure it's off. Otherwise we burn the battery. Okay, We're gonna angle it down just a bit. Perfect Unit Indian. Now what you'll see is that we're actually placing these lights just a bit behind each of them. So that way they're shadows are going forward, and they're not being casted onto each other, so I'm actually gonna go just a little bit further behind BC and a little bit further behind Taylor and then make sure they're equal distance. Karen, I can see that flash is a little bit too close to let me let me see real quick. Hold on one sec. That's actually great. Okay, so now guys hold hands, and I want you to rotate the body just a little bit towards those lights. So towards each of your lights, respectively. Taylor, you're gonna look out towards the ground on this side BC. You're looking out towards the ground on that side, so kind of eyes down towards the ground in front of a B C. And then let's bring the right hand BC in front so I can see where that hand is. You're kind of hanging on the pants or, like, kind of whatever. And then b c, I can see your phone in your front pocket, So let's throw that to the back. Got to watch them phones, bro. Ain't nobody need know squares in their front pockets. It's not a thing. And then just flatten out the square on the pocket. I still see a square right there on your left pocket Pant pocket What's in your left hand pocket? So everything goes in the back. So that way we don't see weird lumps You know, in the crossfire region, somebody tell BC Lady Lumps was a song about girls and not about boys and what they had in the front of their pockets. Just saying Hello. Okay, Perfect. Taylor, through all the hair behind you, B. C. You can let the jacket hang open a little bit more, actually. Put the hand on the jacket. I like that. Like on the on the That's it. Okay, here we go. Perfect. Hold that. That's perfect. So what we end up seeing is one light on each person is kind of casting a little bit of a background or a back light on the other person, so kind of edge lighting on each side in a little bit. We're going to talk about the Hollywood to light setup, or at least that's what we call it. It's inspired from sort of production setups, but the lighting pattern is actually very similar to this to light setup that you see here all we're doing for the Hollywood to light is we're pushing this light a little bit further back. So now the light is going from back, and now it's angled towards the opposite side over here. So the same thing on this side were pushing the light back, and now it's going to be angled towards the opposite side over here. What that enables us to do is to now turn the couple inwards towards each other. And essentially, the light coming from each side is not only going to add shape to one person, but it's also going to light the face of the other, and we can shoot straight on angles. We can also shoot over the shoulder from each side. We can kind of adjust and move however you like, so that lighting pattern is very similar to this one. The only difference is pushing back the lights a bit further. Just wanted to point that out. Let's dive back in. So let's do this. Um, I do think that that light is one, like maybe two inches too close to Taylor right there, up too far. Pull it in a little bit right there and make sure the angle is just right towards her face. Is the angle going right toward your face? Yep. There you go. Let's get one more test shot. That's it, Right there. All right, guys. Hold that. Look down to the ground, Taylor, brush all the hair back so the flyways don't cross your face. B C. You're solid. Perfect. Okay, now we're gonna do is we're gonna do a plate shot without the flashes. So that way, if we want to composite the flashes out, we totally can. So let's do that. Now. Let's grab the flashes out. I'm gonna go ahead and turn off the remote. We're gonna take that same shot just so we can choose whether we want to leave the flashes in for effect or kind of mix them for the shot. And that's it. So that's our two lights set up for lighting each person independently from each side to create a really dramatic image. Let's take a look at it now. Okay, so let's go through. I'm gonna give you two options. When it comes to the post production of this image, it's going to be fairly simple and straightforward. Actually, there's plenty of different options, but The option I'm talking about is whether we leave the lights or we want to subtract them. Either way, it's gonna be very simple. So here's what we do first is I'm gonna go ahead and from an exposure side and everything looks actually pretty good about this. I'm gonna raise the shadows a little bit and raise the blacks little bit and I'm gonna start adding in just a little bit of clarity to our shot. And I'm actually gonna pull the exposure a little down in this image to write about their Let's go ahead and tweak our temperatures, See if we like this. This is one of those images where you could really go both ways. On this, you can go a little bit more on the cold side. You can do a lot more on the warm side. It's gonna be a matter of preference. Um, my typical style is a little bit more on the warm side, but I want to do something a bit fun on this one, so check this out. We're gonna go a little bit on the warm side for just their skin tones. But here's what I want to do I'm actually gonna select a radio filter and we're gonna do a burn brush right over the couple Kind of in the center. Now, not only do I want that burn to be kind of exaggerated, so I'm gonna pull the exposure down quite a bit. I'm also going to add in a little bit of a temperature throw. So what we're gonna do is kind of cool off the surrounding environment around them. And again, remember that what we're doing here is essentially kind of playing into the light that we're modifying the scene. Why does this work? Because we brighten them up in the center already. So when we add a vignette to the outside of the image, it sort of plays into the lighting effect that we've already created. This is that part of refinement where I really want you all to kind of blend what you're doing in post with what you've shot in camera and the intention behind the photograph. And the more you can picture that while shooting, the better your overall shots are going to turn out. So we have a couple different options here with making sure that this, uh, basically the blue does not extend into the defense itself. One I can kind of pull in the radio, filter itself by holding down shift and just clicking on the edge. And that totally works. If you want to get something a little more precise, a lot of times we actually forget that. Well, inside of the new light room, you actually have a brush where you could hold down, alter option and subtract out any of these areas that you do want affected or don't want affected with this brush. So in this case, I could actually go in and with that radio, and I could just basically paint off on the background where I want the background kind of essentially cool down. Now that's completely up to you. Probably the simpler thing in this case would just be to add in a brush that's going to essentially paint down everything except for them. There's kind of two ways of going about it. So I'm just gonna go ahead and undo that, and I'm going to add back in our okay. And I honestly don't mind having a little bit more warmth towards the center. It almost feels like we lit the shot that way by intention. And I like that. What I'm gonna do is darkened down the radio filter just a little bit more along the outside edges. And I find that to be solid right about there, I'm gonna go ahead and now adjust in a little bit more contrast. And this is one of those images where I really don't mind if I have some of my blacks clipping. So if I press j to bring up my highlight clipping alert, you can see that I'm letting some of it go like it's totally fine to allow some of that to kind of drop away. And to really bring that attention in. These are the images that I find works best for this type of, like, kind of high contrast, uh, sort of crushed black. Look. Okay, so this is about where I really like it. I think it looks pretty cool. What do you think? Hello? You like it? I'm gonna warm it up just a tiny bit. Let's go with, like, right about there. Solid. Okay. So, stylistically, do we leave the flashes in or do we take them out? Well, let's assume that we want to take them out. So what we're gonna do is I'm going to go ahead and select the plate shot. This is the place shot right here. You can see that it's already reset out. So I'm gonna do is press previous to apply the exact same develop settings that we did in the last image to this one. Now, with these two selected, we're gonna go ahead and jump them into Photoshop by right clicking and going to edit in open as layers in Photoshop. This is I'm doing a slightly different edit than actually the one that you saw in the in the video right there. Which I think it's cool. I'm doing a school. It was not really talking today. He's not talking to mood today. He's like, You know what? I'm upset because you had Mike film The first few videos of this and I'm hurt. Is that accurate? Yeah, I knew it. I knew it. Buddy, I'm sorry. I love you. Okay. I'm pressing f and then tab to kind of bring our panels back. So what you can see is we have both these images layered. Obviously again. The first step is always just making sure that your, uh your images are correctly aligned. So even when shooting on a tripod, this is a good idea. Going to the edit menu, drop down to a line and go auto line. You can see that there was a tiny little one pixel adjustment up there. Now all we're gonna do is basically just paint off the light standard. Remember, there's two ways of going about this. I can bring this layer of top and simply paint my couple in, or I can paint out both life stance. I kind of opt for whatever one's easier. And in this case, it's honestly easier. You know, I just did. Right now, I just brought my walk, um, over my sheet that that's not how that works. Carla. I'm surprised you didn't know that, did you? Did you know that? That's not how it works. Okay, so check this out. All I'm gonna do is press d to go back to default swatches and then X to reverse them. And I'm gonna paint out where I don't want or where I do want the light to appear. So I'm painting black to conceal the top layer and to reveal the lighting effect below. Now, in my opinion, for this specific image, it's easier to do that than it is to basically paint out both life stance. So all I want to do now is just make sure when I zoom in that everything is aligned. So I don't see any misalignment in that fence in the background. Everything lines up perfectly. We have them lit right in the middle and easy, easy peasy. Now with a shot like this, the other thing that I love to do is just Nick some of the distractions, like, for example, I don't necessarily like seeing all the different lighting tubes up here, especially when there's no light actually coming out kind of find it a little bit boring, and it's a little bit distracting. So what I would do is just create a new merge visible layer control shift e and then just select these different objects. And I'm just using my mouse right now. Shift backspace content aware. We'll do quick work of each of these items, and in less than 23 minutes, you can have every single one of them removed. Okay, so I'm gonna go ahead and just mix the rest of them. And then I'm gonna come back and show you the final before and after. So that's simple content. Aware made quick work of literally everything, even the cameras in the scene and then for the other items like these little, small, little, uh, blemishes. I'm just gonna use a standard healing brush, and I'm just gonna heal these out. So J is your healing brush. You can press shift J, by the way, to cycle through the different, um, healing brushes, including the patch tool as well. But right now, I'm using just a standard healing brush. We don't even have to do any, uh, sampling or anything like that. I'm just painting over each of these things just to make very quick work of them again. I don't want to spend a whole lot of time in here. I just want to get rid of the stuff that's a little bit distracting. All right, so let's go ahead and zoom out. And now I'm gonna save out this image. We're gonna jump back to light room so I can kind of show you the final before and after, and I am going to go ahead and just press R to bring in my crop ever so slightly on this image to the center. Okay, so that way we just kind of crop out that extra pixel that was created. I want to make sure everything is centered up, and that is solid right there. So here is where our original started from, Okay? And then if we go ahead and select these two images, you can see where we went. I'm going to go ahead and turn out the lights. This is the final edit and the image. Now stylistically, once again, you can choose whether you want to leave the lights in or take them out. It's kind of cool as a dramatic effect leaving it in. It's also cool taking it out. It's really up to you. But that's how you would do it very simply very quickly inside of Photoshop. So have fun. I almost forgot. There's one other cool thing I want to show you, which was just the two differences in these edits. So this was actually the previous version that I edited, which you probably saw in the ending of the video. But this is the one that we just did together. Really? The only difference here is I added that kind of blew temperature throw to the outside of that radio filter. And we also burned down the radio filter quite a bit. This one I didn't. I also left in some of these. I removed the blemishes basically, but I left in the, uh the different light tubes without the essentially, like we remove the square panel and all that kind of stuff, so at least you can see what those two different edits look like. You pick. You want to keep it more warm. You want to get more cool. That's totally up to you and your artistic discretion. Let's keep moving.

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.