Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 46/61 - Mini LED Bokeh Lighting


Portrait Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Mini LED Bokeh Lighting

So let's do this shot where what I did was I fired the blue behind the background. Now what works best for gels is a gray tone. Actually a gray metallic is awesome. So if yous see like garage doors that are gray and metallic, man, that is awesome for gels. So because gray is neutral. It gives you enough pigment to see the tone. So you would think, oh, use a white backdrop to do a gel, right? That's actually the complete opposite because it reflects so much light that it doesn't receive the pigment. So I would prefer something medium or actually something dark is good, so you can see the tones. So in general, my general guess is this just goes through my mind when I'm trying to set this shot up. Okay, I'm shooting it at 1.8, and when I'm using a combination of video light and flash, I just put my flash at 64th power. Okay, which I did, so what flash is that over there? (inaudible speaker off camera) C, okay, so I'm gonna change that flash over there. And all the other flashes are turn...

ed off, right, 'cause that's gonna throw everything off. What did you say, C or B? C, okay. Okay, so I'm bringing that down to 1/64th power and locking that in and turning all the other flashes off. I'm gonna set it. Oh, see the nice blue behind there. Okay, so when I'm using video light and that, I set that at 1/64th power. Then I got my video light. And this is at the lower power? (nods head) And then I'm gonna use my little LED lights, right. And this is also an art form in itself, too. And you've gotta just, oh, wait a second. I'm shooting at this two-and-a-half seconds still. I gotta got to 1.8 because the lower the F-stop the more blurry these little bouquet LEDs are gonna be, right. Bouquet, boca, I don't even know what the right way to say it is. And then my shutter speed, I just adjust according, I have Live View so I can see what the good exposure is. I have no idea what that is, but I know I need to bump my ISO up. So I'm gonna turn my ISO up 'cause I'm using constant light at this time. I'm not gonna freeze the subject, okay. So let's put that light in so I can kinda see where I'm at. That looks pretty good at 1/250th. I'll bring it down to, okay, right here. Okay, one, two, ready. Oops, I forgot to turn my flash on. Man, that was a good picture too. All right, I'll see that. This is an art form, I'm telling you. All right, one, two, ready. All right, there you go. All right, so that's generally what you're gonna get right there. Let's just do one more, 'cause I'm just a fanatic like this. I just wanna try to get some more bouquet in there. But you can cut and paste and add more if you want to. Okay, so you can duplicate things and make more bouquet balls. But you just gotta have something there, right, and that's that. A question that had come from Dubai as well. When you did the light painting shots, did you use rear curtain sync? And if so, could you explain that? Yeah, usually, you know what, it's typically I think the default is rear curtain sync. And that's usually when you do a long exposure. If a person is moving, rear curtain sync, if the flash fires, you're gonna get a trail if there's ambient light in there. In this case there's not ambient light so you don't even care about a trail. So it really doesn't even matter because there's no ambient light to create a trail, right. 'Cause once I fire that light, there's no more light in the scene. So even if she moves, there's no trail because there's no light to hit her and go into your camera. So if I was in this situation, I could create a trail and rear curtain and front curtain would make a difference in where that trail is. So if you're rear curtain and you're moving and there's ambient light, you get a trail. If you do front curtain, then the trail's gonna be in front of you. And that's the difference, okay. But in this case it didn't matter. You're shooting with 85 millimeters. My question basically is do you change the zoom on the flash or do you use-- Good question, changing the zoom on the flash. I actually don't because it gets, which I'll explain later. But that's a good question. The way I know my flash is in the power select. When I say F11 is half power at six feet away, that's at 35 millimeters, the zoom on the flash, okay. Now if you start messing around with that and changing that, then those calculations you throw out the door. So at that point there's too many variables, and I can't keep track of every-- What's the flash power at zoom 85? What's it at, you know, so my question is why do you need to zoom in? So I'll ask you that question. Why do you need that control to zoom and not to zoom? If I would like to light up the entire wall, would probably leave it at 24. Okay. And then if I just wanna focus the light on a tiny spot on the subject, I might just go like zoom one to five over 200. Okay, great, so I have solutions for that. That's a great question. Most people need it, 'cause 35 and 24 is generally the same in terms of spread. When you go to 24, it is half as powerful so you lose power on that, all right. So that would change the calculation. If I need to narrow the light, I just bring that flash closer to my subject or I just put a snoot around it. So to me, the easier solution is if I need to narrow the light, I don't wanna mess around zooming it because then when I set up my next shot I forget that it's at 200 and it throws all my calculations off. And then if you have assistants, trust me, and you say, "Can you get the zoom back to 200?" "Well, how do you do that on this flash?" It gets to be very complicated. And when you're in the heat of the moment you need things as simple as possible. To narrow the light, I'm not gonna mess with the zoom. I can take my assistant and tell them to do that, right. Or another thing that you can do, which I did, you know the flash case that you have that holds your flashes, right? A friend did this and gave me a great idea. He cut a hole on the bottom of that. And so he just used that, and he just uses that as a snoot right there if you need to narrow it. But I'm shooting on location, so usually there is nothing around me for a lot of distance. So if I wanna fade the light off of my subject, I can just turn the light up and just use the lower half of it and then it doesn't get on this part. So when you're outdoors, you have a lot of lead way, just like a reflector, right, to channel that light on a subject that you want. And so that's why I just feel it's unnecessary to zoom when you're just trying to control light like that. Because it just complicates and it messes up all your calculations later, 'cause you forget to turn it back.

Class Description

Want to be able to go into any situation with your camera and have the confidence to know you’ll get the shot? Award-Winning photographer Scott Robert Lim goes in-depth on the four foundational elements you must conquer if you want to develop your creativity and style.

Scott will give you the guidelines you need to master:

  • Lighting
  • Posing
  • Composition
  • Post-Processing

Once you master these fundamentals of portraits, you free up your mind to get creative and ultimately get the shot.


1Class Introduction 25 Shots That WOW 3Four Fundamentals of Photography 4Create a Visual Impact with Composition 5Importance of Foreground and Background 6Create Depth in Landscape Images 7Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules 8Composition Practice Exercise 9Composition Critique of Student Images 10Keys to Posing 11Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose 12Shoot: Modern Female Pose 13Shoot: Rollover Female Pose 14Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview 15Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female 16Seven Posing Guidelines 17Headshots Poses with Male Model 18Shoot: Headshot for Male Model 19Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model 20Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model 21Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model 22Keys to Couples Posing 23Shoot: Couples Posing 24Couples Transitional Posing Overview 25Shoot: Transitional Posing 26Keys to Group Posing 27Accordion Technique with Groups 28Shoot: Accordion Technique 29Shoot: Best Buds Pose 30Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose 31Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose 32Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses 33Shoot: Pod Method Pose 34Posing Critique of Student Images 35Introduction to Lighting 36Soft vs Hard Light 37Difficult Lighting Situations 38Bright Light Techniques 39Overcast Light Techniques 40Low Light Techniques 41Lighting Techniques Q&A 42Drama Queen Lighting 43Laundry Basket Lighting 44Make it Rain Lighting 45Smart Phone Painting with Light 46Mini LED Bokeh Lighting 47Choose the Right Lighting System 48Hybrid Flash System 49Innovative Accessories 50Gear Overview 51Theatrical Post-Processing 52Ten Keys to Post-Processing 53Essential Skills to Post-Processing 54Headshot Post-Processing 55Bright Light Post-Processing 56Flat Light Post-Processing 57Low Light Post-Processing 58Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing 59Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing 60Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing 61Post-Processing Critique of Student Images


Vitor Rademaker

This course is amazing! Scott is extremely straightforward. He goes directly to practical problems, tips and etc. He explains every thing very clearly, and he is also very funny and charismatic, making you laugh as you learn. He shows that you don't need a lot of expensive gear to make very nice pictures. So I have saved some money as well, cause I was about to buy some gear that I wouldn't need right now. It is for sure one of the best photography courses I have ever attended to! I highly recommend! Thanks a lot Scott! You are the best!


I have purchased a number of classes, this being one of them. The quality of the information was good and the level at which Scott spoke was appropriate for me. Having a course sylibus would add greatly to the value, which usually is not part of the programs I've purchased including this one, unless I've missed it. I believe the speaker should be required to provide one. After watching the videos, much of material can be recaptured by seeing it in writing. I would like to hear back from Creativelive their thoughts. In sum, good topic, good speaker, good technical audio and video quality by Creativelive


Another fantastic class with Scott Robert Lim! The combination of his knowledge, willingness to share, passion & entertaining personality makes him a top choice for photography education. Learning not only the "what", but the "why" & "how" can transform one's entire approach towards MAKING pictures. A constant inspiration to get better & better through practice.