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Picture Perfect Lighting

Lesson 2 of 41

3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios


Picture Perfect Lighting

Lesson 2 of 41

3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios


Lesson Info

3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios

I gotta tell you I had the story before but my career had a bit off ops and downs and really hard time when I moved to ah I moved to los angeles and and I remember thinking that I was pretty good and so I never had to work any harder because it was just about business and I am good at the business side I mean I studied business in college I was a business teacher I was a marketing teacher economics, finance and accounting teacher I know the business side very well turns out that's very important but is not it it's like love love is not enough like in a marriage right love is not enough you need more stuff um money it's that would do it eoe jokes scratches from the video okay, but um it is when I decided to make a paradigm shift in my thinking I know that there's a lot of great photographers in every city on los angeles is no exception on dh I was thinking even though I'm good my workload nice but he looked like similar to kind of everyone else because what everyone else does especially...

when you're taking simple portrait or simple weddings or anything like that by simple I don't mean I mean you're not photographing the pope or, you know, photographing like vanity fair portrait photographing people that come to you say I'm a senior I would like I would like some senior portrait or I would like my child to be photographed. Or I will like wedding my wedding to be photographed. Just normal stuff. Like what we all do. What most of us do is we we get so concerned about just doing the job. We put somebody by the window. We turn their face towards the window. We take a picture. The only difference between your photo and ten thousand other photographers taking this taking photos that day is the way the bride or groom, or the portrait or the high school senior looks because everyone else just is turned towards the window. And you have nice window light. Well, it's a boring world when everybody just shoots the same exact pictures over and over. It's boring on dso from the very beginning of my career, the lighting was just poetic to me. So I remember beginning my career totally sucking really bad on I decided to start working on that in different stages. I would like to share with you some of the some of my first paid jobs that I did on you can tell you can see how great my lighting was then on it will move on from there. Check this out, um, before I start that, I want to make sure that I cover these three things in all lighting all lighting there's three kinds of light you need to know that's it if you understand those three little groups you are going to shoot as good as any photographer by any company or any magazine because they don't do anything any anything different the first three are button button the first one is circumstantial lights circumstantial itis a term I totally invented it is not an official turning photography whatsoever but I'm going to make it one it's circumstantial light I'll explain what that is in a second help her light I'll explain what this on dh controlled flight can anybody think a wild guess and if you do rachel hand what circumstantial lights could possibly mean? I'm just curious what do you think? Joshua go ahead the natural light that's already there like what you're you're stuck with the natural light that's already there is close but that's why I changed the term okay um anyone else mark me? You where you're going to give it a stab? Yeah, I was going to see the right yeah yeah circumstantial light all going deeper into this it has to do with ambient light but it that's one step circumstantial light is the circumstances that you're in and how the light is behaving in your circumstances you're in that particular second so makes sense so for example, we're in creative life studios right now studio the window comes through here and there's a metal wall thinking right next to kenna that wall it's affecting kenneth writes out of her face it has a little bit off tanner tone to it because the lights reflecting in that direction I noticed that because I you know what is this things if you study this twenty four seven, the lighting is coming from above you and it's a big angle toe big window so you're all broad lit you're all your faces look wider than they should be on you all the younger than you look younger so circumstantial light is a way of thinking with the ambient light on how that light is reacting to the environment you're in wood floor high ceilings gray carpet fedex truck could be anything that's in your environment if you ask yourself what circumstances on ryan what am I looking at? And then how is that light reacting to that environment than dat circumstantial light? Okay it's like that's that's within your circumstances that particular second um the second one is helper light helper light is the is the one that most people struggle with that's the one we're going to spend a lot of time with actually willing to spend a little time in circumstantial help her light it's a very simple terms it just means um any lighter you need toe help the ambient light look better is that totally difficult? Super simple. Right. For example, we have carrie. Carrie here, right? Carrie, we have carry her faces, let perfectly left and right. Because the windows right in front of for simple enough I could grab my camera. I can take a picture of carrie. She will look great. I can try to sell it, but then everyone is going to say your photos just look the same as everyone else in the world. It's just carrie instead ofthe you know, tyler, is that that's? Only difference. Help her like this. I look at carrie and I say no, I want to give her shape. I want to give her dimension. I'm gonna add a little helper like just a little help off this light. I'm gonna have a little kiss of light to her left side and I'm going to give her that dimensionality. That extra step is what most people don't do too much work or something on the worst parties toe add a little bit off light, tow her face sometimes we use a video light or an l e d light ofsome sort. Sometimes we can use our speed, light and as soon as you say speed there's people like, run as fast as possible, it's like running what's nothing in spain the run of the bulls or something it's like the flashes are the bulls on everybody just like run from the flash and then just like why do we why are we so scared off the flash when the light that comes out of the flash it's the same energy as the light comes from the sun is the same energy as the light that comes from your iphone a little light in the back light it's just the light it's it's no different so why don't we run because he's got buns and we don't want to push the buttons it's like oh my god there's a wheel under there's buttons and there's little lightning balls it's scary so helper light is reflector diffuser flashes video lights, strokes pro photo ailing crumb brown color I don't care what you use anything that you add to make something go from a tow you know you put some hot sauce in there is help for light on the last one is controlled life that means the light that is totally controlled by you so you go to a studio with no windows I was talking to tyler, we were having dinner yesterday tyler and rachel and they were saying that in their studio they do put to our sessions in a room with no windows at all and the reason is because you don't want to be you want to be totally co dependent on a window source, because what if it's cloudy? What if it's rainy? What if it's stormy? What if it's sunny it's, just too many variables? I thought that was amazing. I was just like that's. Great, you have a room, then you completely control. So tyler and rachel are shooting would do our sessions pretty much using controlled lighting situations. They're not really helping the ambient light, so it's not really help her life is completely controlled. Light any questions in those three things? Super simple, right? The first one is it's. The circumstantial light. Well, leiter, you in second, is that life is good, bad, medium, I don't care, and you add little helper. Liketo, help that light look a little bit better on the thirties controlled flight.

Class Description

Don’t rely on Photoshop tricks to make your portraits pop – learn how to use light to capture the moment in a camera. In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto Valenzuela will teach you how to make the magic happen with on-camera, off-camera, and natural light.

Roberto is a photographer and educator committed to helping other photographers overcome roadblocks and produce their best work. In this class, he’ll teach you how to achieve perfect lighting in your portraits without always relying on bulky and expensive modifiers. 

You’ll learn:

  • How to handle Speedlites
  • The best way to use natural light
  • Studio lighting techniques

Roberto will demystify lighting and help you become a more confident practitioner of your craft. You’ll learn to embrace lighting as a source of creativity and expression, rather than a source of fear.

In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto will help you reduce the time you spend retouching in Photoshop so you can focus on what is really fun about photography: taking pictures. You’ll develop a better understanding of the principles behind photography lighting and learn about the gear that will make your work more beautiful – without weighing you down.

If your unedited images could use a little boost, don’t miss your chance to learn how create Picture Perfect Lighting with Roberto Valenzuela.


  1. Intro and Who This Class is For
  2. 3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios
  3. My Progress in Lighting

    It is boring when everyone shoots the same photos over and over. Roberto talks about developing a unique look.

  4. Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting
  5. Circumstantial Lighting Q & A
  6. Using a Reflector the Right Way
  7. 5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle
  8. 5 Behaviors of Light: Inverse Square Law of Light
  9. 5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size
  10. 5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size Continued
  11. 5 Behaviors of Light: Color
  12. 5 Behaviors of Light: Reflective Surfaces
  13. 5 Behaviors of Light: Q & A
  14. Location SWOT Analysis and 10 Things to Look For
  15. Location SWOT Analysis: Examples and Exercises
  16. Overview Q & A
  1. Speedlites: The Basics and TTL
  2. Speedlites: Manual Flash
  3. Speedlites: Zoom Flash
  4. Speedlites: Zoom and Rotating Flash Head and Reflectors
  5. Speedlites: First Curtain vs. Second Curtain Sync
  6. Speedlites: High Speed Sync
  7. Speedlites: Optical vs. Radio Systems
  8. Speedlites: Groups and Channels
  9. Location Lighting Upgrade Examples
  10. Indoor Lighting: Building on Ambient Light
  11. Outdoor Lighting : Speedlights in Direct Sunlight
  12. Outdoor Lighting: Using Speedlites in Shade
  13. Outdoor Lighting: Romantic Look and Patterns with Speedlites
  14. Indoor Lighting: Creating a Window with Strobes and a Curtain
  15. Indoor Lighting: Moody Light with Speedlites and Gels
  16. Indoor Lighting: Reflective Surfaces
  17. Indoor Lighting: Shooting Against a Window
  18. Indoor Lighting: Adding a Reference Point and Ambience
  19. Indoor Lighting: Shooting into a Mirror and Creating Separation
  1. Why You Need to Learn to Get it Right In Camera
  2. Location Photo Review and Analysis
  3. Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis
  4. Reception Lighting Setup
  5. Image Critique: Lighting Problems and Solutions
  6. Don't Limit Yourself As A Photographer



Im sitting in my office listening to Roberto with my earplugs on and I know I have already left 2 reviews but he's so funny…. my family comes into the office asking me "whats so funny" Roberto makes me laugh out loud with his jokes but at the same time, he is SO great at teaching. Im watching for second time to make sure all his good info is ingrained. HIGHLY recommend you take his workshop on Picture Perfect Lighting if you truly want to take your photography to the next level! WOW thats 3 reviews now…can you tell I am impressed

Maureen T.

I'm taking a portrait photography course at NYIP online. one of the mentors there recommended the posing book by Roberto. I ended up ordering at the library the posing and the perfect practice book. I fell in love with both books...ended up buying them and signing up here for the year membership just so I can take all of his photos courses. I spent most of my weekend doing perfect lighting course here I am in love with the way that he teaches! He makes something so difficult and challenging for me make sense. I also like that he challenges us photographers to be true professionals. I am thrilled to have discovered Roberto and already noticed my photography is better in the short time that I've been studying him.


Roberto has the personaliyy and gift to relate to others.He is honest and shared some of rhe disaters that occurred, even with high paying and important clients when he failed to follow his proven and tested approaches. He has shared from his extensive knowledge developed by hard work and effort to master his craft. His dedication in attacking his weaknesses and making them a strength is inspiring. I have purchased many CL classes and all have worth the investment so I hesitated to purchase this course because I didn't think there was much new information. However the clear teaching and extensive knowledge shared by Roberto in his unique style caused me to purchase it gladly and believe it is an exceptional value. Roberto has shared his extensive tools, but you will never be the master of the craft without putting in the hard work and testing that roberto testified to. Thanks again CL for bringing the best to us and Thank you Roberto for taking the time and preparation to achive excellance in in this class.