Beating Adversity


Portraits at Night


Lesson Info

Beating Adversity

The one constant in life is change. Change can take the form of what we call adversity, and in night photography, you have to be ready for absolutely anything to happen. Case in point, we came here to Seattle to start filming for CreativeLive, and we had plans to go elsewhere today instead of where we are right now. But what we did, was we said, "all right, the weather's bad there, but good here." We switched plans. That's one way of doing it. And it's one example of adversity. The weather, it's the most common adversity that you'll encounter in night photography and night portraiture. So what do we do about that? Well, the best thing you can do is adopt an attitude. And what is that attitude? I can overcome this. Yes, it's that simple. Road blocks aren't road blocks, they're just challenges. So you look at it and you say, all right, there's clouds. What do I do? Okay, I'm gonna bring my own light. There's dust. I'm gonna light up the dust. I'm gonna make it part of the feature. Right?

Or, there's people milling around. You know what? I'll take a longer exposure and I'll blur them out and I'll use a flash to arrest the person in the front. No matter what it is, there's always a solution, and you just need to stop and say, all right, how am I gonna fix this, because I can? And that's how we overcome adversity.

Class Description

Learn to capture amazing environmental portraits at night and incorporate a starry landscape or beautiful urban environment with your subjects. Get started in night portraiture by knowing what gear to choose, what to look for in locations and how to use your friends as subjects. Incorporate lights into your night photos and bring life to a long exposure. In this class you’ll learn: How to take self portraits at night without losing any of your background or subject How to choose a light source and add life to long exposures What to get right in camera and how to develop your images further in lightroom How to safely use pyrotechnics to take your portraits to another level  



I learned some techniques in Matt's class, which were helpful, but believe this was for the advanced photographer and i was a little confused at times. i would've liked to know the "how to" with the lights, showing how to program them with more detail. I am just learning how to set my camera for different lighting situations. But a very interesting course and glad i went through it.


Great class! Liked it so much that I booked a trip to Colorado to work with Matt and Lance on one of their National Parks at Night classes. Highly recommend.

Peter Mackenzie

I don't understand the negative reviews. This class feels less hands-on than the other classes in the series, but the information is useful and makes sense. You also need to understand that all classes out of the night photography series will cover the basics in one way or another, so there is some repetition. Whichever class out of the night photography series you view last will feel like it has more repetition, especially if you have some skills before taking those classes. Just skip the intro and move on to the tricks Matt has to share.