Skip to main content

Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 45 of 61

Smart Phone Painting with Light


Portrait Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 45 of 61

Smart Phone Painting with Light


Lesson Info

Smart Phone Painting with Light

So we want to create a long exposure here with an iPhone, and so this is the hard part about this. Is that you gotta have at least a two and a half second shutter to let them go crazy with the lights in the background, right? So now, here is my dilemma. I have to set my shutter speed to two and a half seconds. Right let me pull it down to two. Let me show you what actually happens when you do this. Okay I'm at two and a half seconds here, well let's see, come on, let's go, okay. And I am gonna be at F11, okay? At two and a half seconds with no light at all, no flash. It's gonna be blurry as heck but whatever. Okay. Okay, show that on screen. Okay, that's what happens at two and a half seconds. That's not dark enough, right? So what can I do to make that darker? Well I could set my ISO to 100, I could at least move my F stop to 16th power, right? So if I'm at 16th power, I mean F16 that makes it a little bit darker but that's not gonna get me where I wanted to go so I told them to turn ...

the lights off. Because that's the only way it's gonna be completely dark in here with a two and a half second shot. So when you do this shot it's important you to go to an area that is really, really dark, okay? Almost like no lights at all. So if you can find that area and setup in there, you're good to go. Okay, so you shoot it, you set it at F16, ISO 100, you shoot it, make sure that it looks dark on the back of your screen and then now you can go crazy. Now when they use the iPhone and you wanna tell those people I need that light of the iPhone or smartphone to shine right into this lens, because if they turn it sideways the lens won't see it. So it has to be firing, that light has to be firing right back into this lens for us to see it. You also have to tell your subject to try to stay still during those two and a half seconds, which I didn't do because if they move, then the light is gonna show through that area, but the flash is gonna freeze them there and so you're gonna see both, what you see, I didn't have time to edit it out, but if you see the original picture there's a little bit of that light stream coming through her forehead because she just moved a little bit and so when he went over at that time, you can see both, okay? So you gotta try to tell your subject to stay still, which I didn't do, but I am now. Okay, so what is the flash power setting? Okay so I wanted to do some sidelight and so I set it up at one at one quarter power, okay? F16 is full, but if you bring it in to three feet, it's two stops, right? So full, half, and then one quarter. So that's typically what you would set it at is at one quarter power when your flash is three feet away at F16. So let me do that. That one is A right? Is that correct? This is B, that's A. Oh, okay. Wait, it's reverse, so that's B? What's that say? It's A. Yeah okay, so that one's B over there right? So I'm gonna turn this to quarter power and I'm gonna put that there. Okay I think we move it, did we move it a little closer? It's got the, should be right there. Should be right there? Okay, good. All right, and then let's see, this is A here. So what I wanted to do is I wanted to get a good exposure of her it would be at one quarter power also, okay? Because we're at F16. One quarter, one quarter, will give her an even exposure but, I want something a little bit more sophisticated and moody. I want it to drop the main flash on her so it doesn't look so bright, right? The same reason why I put this one at one 30 second, a stop or so under my exposure because I want it a little bit moody. You don't have to have the exact correct exposure on every shot, right? You can kind of vary that, you can dim it, you can lower it. That's your creative freedom. Don't feel like oh I'm supposed to set it what my light meter says. You know what, you have more vision than that light meter. And don't let that light meter rule you, okay? You, it's you. And so you know you tell that light meter what to do, you don't let it control you. So I'm gonna say no thank you light meter, I'm gonna do what I think I like. (laughing) Man, it's getting unfiltered because as your mind gets tired you just anything at this point. Okay, let's get A here and let's go to 1/8th power, I'm dropping it a little bit, hopefully get me some moody stuff. I'm gonna test everything. Wow, don't look at the flash when you test. Okay and then, okay so now the important part is focusing. So I'm gonna take it off the continuous that it is and it's gonna be single shot and just lock it. So, okay can you turn the lights off? So I'm telling him to turn it completely off. We still have some lights in here but it's good enough. So I'm gonna lock that focus in. Okay, I locked the focus in, and so we can get our amazing light writer ready. He's so good at this, man. All right so when he sees the flash go off that's his queue to go crazy. All right so ready. (camera clicks) All right, so. Amazing. I just have to turn her head sideways a little bit more. Okay so, it was the side. So, he can look at and adjust too. Can you go a little bit higher when you do that? All right, so it's gonna take a couple shots to line it up with the smart phone, but that's okay. All right so side light turned totally to the side. There, a little, why don't you go a little bit more. Yeah, right there, okay. And I'm focused in, okay. And ready. (camera clicks) When you wanna tell those people behind them, you wanna tell them you want a broad range of up and down. Okay? So that's generally how it goes, right? And so you want a large up and down when you do it. And a lot of times I have more than one person, okay? 'Cause then you can get full coverage, right? So if you can imagine if you had three or four, you had a whole wedding party, or you could actually do the bride and groom, fire them with the flash and then have the wedding party go crazy back there, but I'm just gonna warn you, they're gonna start spelling out really nasty words, and it's gonna turn real bad. (laughing) You can have a lot of fun at that, okay?

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.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. 5 Shots That WOW
  3. Four Fundamentals of Photography
  4. Create a Visual Impact with Composition
  5. Importance of Foreground and Background
  6. Create Depth in Landscape Images
  7. Photos Don't Always Follow the Rules
  8. Composition Practice Exercise
  9. Composition Critique of Student Images
  10. Keys to Posing
  11. Shoot: Classic Elegance Female Pose
  12. Shoot: Modern Female Pose
  13. Shoot: Rollover Female Pose
  14. Female Hands & Arms Poses Overview
  15. Shoot: Hands and Arms Poses for Female
  16. Seven Posing Guidelines
  17. Headshots Poses with Male Model
  18. Shoot: Headshot for Male Model
  19. Shoot: Sitting Poses for Male Model
  20. Shoot: Leaning Poses for Male Model
  21. Shoot: Standing Poses for Male Model
  22. Keys to Couples Posing
  23. Shoot: Couples Posing
  24. Couples Transitional Posing Overview
  25. Shoot: Transitional Posing
  26. Keys to Group Posing
  27. Accordion Technique with Groups
  28. Shoot: Accordion Technique
  29. Shoot: Best Buds Pose
  30. Shoot: Talk with Your Hands Pose
  31. Shoot: Lock Arms and Hold Hands Pose
  32. Run at the Camera and Dance in Your Seat Poses
  33. Shoot: Pod Method Pose
  34. Posing Critique of Student Images
  35. Introduction to Lighting
  36. Soft vs Hard Light
  37. Difficult Lighting Situations
  38. Bright Light Techniques
  39. Overcast Light Techniques
  40. Low Light Techniques
  41. Lighting Techniques Q&A
  42. Drama Queen Lighting
  43. Laundry Basket Lighting
  44. Make it Rain Lighting
  45. Smart Phone Painting with Light
  46. Mini LED Bokeh Lighting
  47. Choose the Right Lighting System
  48. Hybrid Flash System
  49. Innovative Accessories
  50. Gear Overview
  51. Theatrical Post-Processing
  52. Ten Keys to Post-Processing
  53. Essential Skills to Post-Processing
  54. Headshot Post-Processing
  55. Bright Light Post-Processing
  56. Flat Light Post-Processing
  57. Low Light Post-Processing
  58. Introduction to Fine Art Post-Processing
  59. Light & Airy Fine Art Post-Processing
  60. Dark & Moody Fine Art Post-Processing
  61. Post-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.