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Lighting 401

Lesson 4 of 20

Larger Portable Window Light, Pt. 2

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

Lighting 401

Pye Jirsa, SLR Lounge

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Lesson Info

4. Larger Portable Window Light, Pt. 2
In this lesson, Pye uses the same light setup as the previous video, but he changes his angle to create an entirely new look. Post-production instructions are included in this tutorial.

Lesson Info

Larger Portable Window Light, Pt. 2

Now, let's take that exact same lighting setup. But this go around instead of shooting perpendicular to our light source. So, previously, we were shooting kind of this way, and the light was coming in from this right side. Now we're going to actually go and shoot a sequence of images actually shooting into that light source with the subject directly in front of it. We're going to deal with not only the challenges of doing so, but then also, how would we process those images in post one to me? Yeah. Mhm. Right. Wow. What's that? That's Yeah. Take care of you. All right. Okay. Well, right. Yeah, as we did yesterday. So someone grab a Avi flat. Can one of you grab a B flat B flat? Mhm. Hey, um, are we shooting your back? Yeah, we have to turn around. Okay. Absolutely. No, that's not smell Stairs. Mhm. Yeah. Okay, so let's work through what's happening here. So that exact same large light source that we've set up? Yeah, we have our four lights place behind it, and those lights are going th...

rough some sort of modifier and firing into this large sheet. Okay, so this large soft box. Now our camera angles right here and we're shooting our subjects sort of directly in front of this at different angles. So if we don't add any fill onto this side of the frame, we end up getting a very kind of dark shadow, which would be great for silhouettes, but not if we want to see some of the detail in the body and in the in the muscle structure. So what we've done here is we've actually added in a V flat, So there's a V flat right here, and this V flat is placed there to catch some of the light coming off of this and to kind of push it forward towards his face. Then we have another V flat on this side, so you'll see another V flat Place a little bit further back, okay? And this is catching some of the life from here and pushing it onto maths back. So that way in our shadows, we can still have some light entering to leave us with a little bit of shadow definition there. While the highlights are really popping and exaggerated, let's take a look at what we're gonna do now. And if you actually watch from the video, you'll see the angle that Matt is placed on allows the highlights from that white to kind of rake onto his back and create nice highlight points. So all we're doing from that besides, we're just rotating map. So we're either rotating them this way or rotating this way to kind of turn and shift the body to get that light to cross his back in the way that we want. Mhm. Yeah, right there. Flex, Engage. Think of the back on this one. Engage the back. Keep the chin up a little bit. There you go. And then roll the shoulders forward. A tiny bit right there. Perfect. 10,000 men. Shut up a little bit. Get up more either. Me. Okay, so now, very similarly, this go around. Matt is just facing completely forward now, So his shoulders are forward, His chest is forward. And so what we're doing with the V Flats is I'm just bringing them forward enough now to fill into the front side of his body. So even from the videos you look and you see this, you can see the background, anything that kind of pushes forward. Any light that comes through from the background is really going to mostly white out whatever we see in that white panel in the back while giving him a good edge. And then we're going to see, like, kind of nice highlights coming in from the V flats on each side to kind of bring a little definition into the shadow. Yeah, Party. Hi, everybody. Uh huh. One. Keep your face out of my eyes. Down. Break down on the ground. Right. But hold. Engage the core. Perfect. Dramatic? Yes. Thank you. Just a quick note with these two images here. Generally, when we are not lighting into the face or not lighting the eyes, I don't typically like them to look into the camera. Now, this is totally up to you. But that's just kind of a stylistic preference for me. Is if I'm not lighting the face. I want to bring the eyes a little bit down. So this is actually the shot that I'd keep here. Chin up. I want to get more of that profile. So chin up there. Your eyes down. Right there. Hold that. Reflects. Yep. Flex. I always want you to flex. Well, that's right. Yeah, Exact same setup. We're now going to a different pose of Matt. So we brought the bar in, and now we're just rotating the shoulders. So now Matt's kind of rotating towards this side. He's basically ending up looking directly into the V flat towards the right side. That's going to be our primary kind of main light on the front of him. And then we also have brought in that V flat fairly close to the back to kind of light up and fill the back side as well. Now, the point of showing you all these is to give you an idea of just how much we can do, because we are still using the exact same lighting setup that we did in the last video. And at this point, you've seen a dramatic variation in different poses, different approaches to using that same lighting setup. So now let's go and keep watching what we create here with this slightly different variation shooting into the light Go core. There you go. There you go. There it is for the bar and I blew it as a place to get the core and the core course puffed out. There you go. Lean back a tiny bit at the core. Engaged. There you go. There you go. Uh huh. I think you're right. Yeah, right back. Friend. Goes out. There you go. There you go. Right there. Perfect name. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Every time you take a breath and let it out for this. There you go. Right there. Hold on. Perfect. Heavy. Now that that was the money. That's how you hold back. Okay. Point that left toe down on the phone. All right, tell me when. Okay, I'm ready. Yeah, hold it. Is that easy for you? No. Uh, I'm just gonna keep holding for a while, but perfect. At this point, there's something I want to point out regarding camera settings. Whenever we're shooting into the light like this, we don't want to be shooting wide open on our aperture Now shooting wide open at F 1.21 point 82 point. Oh, even to eight. It's going to allow too much of that light coming through to bleed through the edges of your subjects in your photograph. So when you're looking at any of these images and I'm going to provide you with quite a few of these exercise files just so you can see what the raw files look like. I want you to note that we're shooting around F 56 F 71 We're shooting at higher apertures to control the amount of blooming that we're going to get around the edges. Otherwise, the highlight edges of their bodies would end up being too soft. And we're going to end up seeing too much highlight come through versus at a closed down aperture. So just remember, shooting into light like this, we really need to close down our aperture, even if you want a brighter exposure. Still closed down the aperture to somewhere around F 56 and beyond. Let's jump back in. Okay, bring that V flat down a little bit more. A little bit up higher up higher right there. This is a funnel right here. And I don't know if I actually delivered any of the shots from this particular scene, but it is still a really nice study on light because you'll notice if we pause the video and actually look just based on the distance of that B flat to her face, you'll see your face get significantly brighter and significantly darker. Okay. Just based on the angle and the positioning of that V flat. So right here we get this beautiful light on the face. And from the angle of this behind the scenes camera, actually, we really have a lovely shot of Mary Beth right there. We have beautiful light and kind of a nice little oppose and everything on her. So I kind of wish I had stopped for a moment and zoomed in from behind the scenes angle right here and gotten that shot as well. Okay, here we go. Mary Beth getting that crunch engage. And now focus on what you're doing. Look down. Bring that right elbow out more so I can kind of see your profile, actually fold the right elbow in. There you go. But this one is going to be This one's gonna be all like, um, silhouetted, So head looking. There you go. Right there. That's rad. Dude, this last one of Derek is fun because you're gonna see us actually add the V flat. So from this first shot over to the addition of the V flat, you're actually able to see the difference in the behind the scenes video and in the fill light that we're going to get onto Derek. So let's continue to watch. Okay? Step in. Derek. This way. This way. This way. Look at me, brother. Right this way. This way. Right there. Perfect. Okay, There you go. With those hands. Perfect. Curl the back. Hand out just a little bit more so you can get if you can get the ball. Just a little bit more like that. There you go. There you go. Look down towards that front ball. That's it. That's it. Hold it, Hold it. Yeah, we can. Well, can you stand up straight more? I'm leaving back. He goes away. But when I'm leaning forward trying to let's have you lean back, I think we'll get a little better. Like light across the chest anyway. Yeah, it looks sick, right? It looks dope. Let's do one more. What's bad, eh? Right there and step back a little bit more. Just a little bit more. That way. Right there. Perfect. If I lean back with it. Yeah, And then bring that right arm up higher. So there we go. And then down a little bit from there. Down a little bit. Just so we see the abs. There you go. Right there. That's it. Hold that. Perfect. Hold that right there. Bring your left arm in a little bit to the body. But keep the ball, like, rolled out, though. There you go. Right there and then left arm. Just bring it back to a tiny bit towards the body more right there. Lean back. So you get that front abs and then right arm up. There it is. Hold it. Bend the right elbow. More your right elbow. There you go. Right there. Okay. And then step a tiny bit into the V flat. A little bit closer. Right there. Okay. Roll it out. So turn the chest. Open up the chest to meet. There you go. Right there. There it is. Hold that. Hold that. Hold that. The one. Yeah. Give me 100. And then I want this light. So can you guys flip the V flat? I want the light to rake across his back. Now it's gonna light up the veins on this side. So I wanted to street right across those veins. Exactly. Right there. perfect right there, Derek. Down a little bit. You had to write down, down, down, and then bring that elbows up a little bit like into it. There you go. Look straight at that. Ball two. That's nuts. So I'm gonna give you guys a variation of all those shots going into the light, so you'll notice that you'll have five of them in the exercise files. We're just gonna work through one because, honestly, they're all going to be identical in the way that you process them. But there are some fun things that are going to do with these images. So let's go ahead and grab one of them. I'm gonna take this one into post and again, If you're using visual flow, I would select backlight. That would be my starting place. It would be very simple to just bring the exposure down and warmth the image. And already you're basically to that place where you have almost your final shot. But let's go from the beginning, okay? And we don't want a blue Smurf image, so let's nix that. Okay, So, from the beginning, what I'm gonna do here is we're going to press J to bring up our highlight and clipping alert This go around. I'm actually going to bring my whites all the way up because I want to wipe out as much of that background as I can with just my bass settings. And I'm gonna bring the highlights down just a bit. Okay, Now we're gonna lift the shadows while also dropping the blacks. And before we actually hit the blacks, let's start getting to our exposure. So right here is about the exposure I want. And again, this is the key. If you want that sharp line of definition in, like, you know, features against the background, that's whiting out. You need to be shooting at something above wide open 5671 F 11. Whatever it might be, you need to close down. Otherwise, these transition edges are going to be very. They're gonna bloom. There'll be very soft. So now what we're gonna do is go ahead and get our white balance so I can grab a white balance off of something in the scene that's fairly neutral or I'm gonna do it by hand. So I think, by hand, here is gonna be a little bit easier I'm going to bring it up to something nice and neutral. Get a little more pinks in someone around here. Is is where it kind of looks right to my I may be a little bit cooler. Now I'm going to add in just a little bit of blacks just to make it so that those shadows aren't so deep and dark. So everything around him is kind of falling away. And now we're gonna go ahead and add a little bit more clarity to the shop. Now, for a shot like this, it might be nice to reduce some of the texture. The adding of texture is really going to make the skin texture jump out. I don't really want that. I want the more so the definition of the muscles to jump out, and that's going to be by adjusting clarity up and kind of bring the texture of the skin down. So we kind of get this nice balance we need to. We were really doing a good job, chiseling out features, but not exaggerating the texture of the skin. Okay, so a little trick for you there. All right, Now, if you wanted to fill shadows a little more. We could do a little two D Hayes, but I think we're good with just lifting up blacks a little bit more. We can even reduce contrast us a bit. And this looks really nice right now. By the way, all this is built into that battling preset, which is why I prefer using it. All right, Everything is looking good. So now what I'm gonna do is just drop down into we don't really need any additional detail, anything like that. All I want to do is get rid of this line. Now you're looking at this and going okay, I gotta go into photos. How to fix that. No, you don't. Again. This is the fun part of light room is like Graham has so much potential that we never touch. So look, if I go to Dodge White out okay again, don't have the presets. No problem. Pause. Dial in four point. Oh, 101 100. Save this out as a white out. Now we're going to turn on auto mask. Why? Because it's against a bright edge right here. Right. So all I'm going to do is turn on auto Masses. I go in and kind of paint those areas next to the body next. Now that those are gone, in a way, I'm going to turn off auto mask and now paint the rest of it. Okay? Pressing J to bring up my highlight and clipping alert. I'm going to go in and just wipe out the rest of this image. That's what's fun about this Is raw processing has so much more potential than what we give it right than what we think it can potentially do. Look at this. This is the before and the after this shot Justin Langer. Um, in a few seconds and I can go ahead and press control V or sorry, I control possibly or command apostrophe and just press V and get us our black and white as well. So we have our two black and white images and we would do that same thing for each of the other images in this scene. Right? So same exact thing for Mary Beth, for Matt. For any of these shots that were shooting into that background light like that, we would do the same thing. That's it for the last two tutorials. Now I hope you just kind of stop and reflect for a moment on the variety of different shots that we created. I mean, every one of these images was created with that light in the exact same place. Okay, so the primary light source did not move through the last two videos. All that moved is our subject, the Karen position, and where we placed our fill lights. Now let's go to the next video.

Class Description


  • Use portable flashes & modifiers to simulate natural light on-location.
  • Re-create golden hour without depending on the sun.
  • Use fog and flares to create an atmosphere and enhance the existing light.
  • Use Flash for advanced in-camera dodging and burning.
  • Mimic window light with flash.
  • Use creative backlighting as the main light.
  • Create realistic sun flares with Flash.


One of the most common misconceptions about flash photography is that flash makes an image look unnatural. In this flash workshop, the fourth in the lighting series, Pye Jirsa, teaches photographers how to create every natural light effect with flash, including golden hour, soft window light, and direct sun. These techniques, combined with the knowledge you gained from Flash Photography Crash Course, Lighting 101Lighting 201, and Lighting 301, give you full mastery of flash photography and full control of the light in any scene.

Photographers are constantly faced with unexpected lighting challenges. A client may want the golden hour look after the sun has already set. Weather conditions can delay or move your shoots. You may want a natural window light look in a room without windows. The list of potential challenges goes on and on, and being able to adapt to unexpected changes in lighting is a critical skill set for a professional photographer.

The workshop works through nearly 20 scenes from start to finish, showing you how to set up and light each scene. We also provide you with over 50 exercise files so that you can work alongside us in post to achieve the final look. In addition to learning how to light and capture the images featured in this workshop, you’ll also learn how to post-produce the images in Lightroom and Photoshop to get to the final look.

Just like Lighting 301, this workshop includes “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.


  • Photographers with a basic understanding of flash photography who want to elevate their lighting skills.
  • Those who prefer the look of natural light but don’t want to limit their shoots to certain hours of the day or depend on specific weather conditions.


Adobe Lightroom Classic 2019
Adobe Photoshop 2019



Jye is an exceptional teacher and these videos really breakdown the construction of great lighting techniques. Enjoy the dry humour throughout. Well worth watching for even experienced photographers as there are lots of tips and tricks here.


Kyle made Pye's work look simple. I learned a lot of new ideas and was reminded of some that I had forgotten about. I'll be reviewing 201-401 again with the practice images.