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Essential Skill #3 - Continued

Lesson 10 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Essential Skill #3 - Continued

Lesson 10 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

10. Essential Skill #3 - Continued


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


What Photographers Should Know


Lighting Gear Box


My Camera Gear


Understanding the Magic of Flash


Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions


Essential Skill #2 - Bright Light Situations


Lesson Info

Essential Skill #3 - Continued

This was in thisa great shot this was I didn't take the shot tom did in my workshop in london but we all worked on this together and I helped them out and they were doing some kind of a creative things and so we were working on the shot together and ok we're in london right you were there at that beach area it was completely overcast ok there's no sun coming through hardly at all right so this but they created this shot okay so what we did this's the situation that sub losses to it do you see any shadow on the ground that's overcast right so they did something you need the reason why I ran over there and just trying to help them out I wanted them to really get this shot so you know showing him with the position and the applied and stuff like that they put but flash your dress with a jot it so we would like to hear back there so I thought that was created as a that's a plus I'm going to go over there and help you guys to make sure we just kill this shot right so we got over there said h...

ey let's put the umbrella on and let's do some up like to make this person glow a plight equals glow ok so you've got a big light in a soft light situation you're creating some contrast in the background right uh right. Lightness and darkness right? You can see that that umbrella there's nice up a light like that creating that glow on the skin there but is it a completely overcast law situation? Okay, um here's the same thing law situation I did the same thing put a gel in the back. Okay. Um so that shot inspired me so anyways instead ing shooting a hot check I shot the guy but that's okay, but, uh I put a gel back their toe light I didn't put it behind his belt or anything like that but I put it on the ground I put a gel like that background and you see the catch light in his eyes no fuss shows that but see that's f five situation there it's very blogger neutral situation you could see the catch light in the eyes he's single by the way, ladies anyways and he's a great dancer and plays the guitar uh get that up light on there. It looks very nice. Okay, same concept as I did that other concept and this is exactly the same different situation. Okay, so here's your low cost trask options to review the images using flash as a background as a back light right when using f stop five point six or lower, it is easier to simulate the son now you're going to try to simulate the sun in a bright light area and you're shooting it eleven f sixteen I'm sorry you put the flash behind the subject that that flashes going toe look this teeny because you're aperture is so small it's not getting those big bright lights behind so here's how you create nice lens flare you open up your f stop as much as possible and then when you put that son I mean we put that flash get it directed back at that camera you're going to get some nice freaking backlight ok it's going to look all lens flare ian all natural and organic but you've got to be about five point six or lower to do it okay don't try that in bright light it's not going to come off this well but you're in a low light situation like here we should be able to hit it right I'm going to try it with fifty millimeter and then we're going to try it with my eighty five millimeter and the eighty five millimeter will compress the image and should in a theory make that back light even bigger so the longer the lands you use the bigger that backlight will get those bigger those balls in the back would get you compress the image ok back like creates contrast you get it that's what you're trying to create either contrast on the subject or contrast in your background oh and then you can get that type of shot that's more interesting. This is the boss. Okay? We go to jamaica, we get all excited. We're going to do this sunset shot and we get out there and we realized the sun is setting on the other side of the island we got nothing but law that's what you get you've got no flash. Can you use the reflector? No, not even bright enough for a reflector. What are you going to do? You're going to just shoot images? Goto the jamaica uh and just pull that out, right? It's going to look very block. So you shoot it a lower f stop, right? Um get that instead, which is much better. Ok? You got that light behind there and something to it. The contrast of the background makes it something and that gets rid of the blows. That's really? What? It wass so right. I get that right that's really? What? It wass it was just adding that flash behind here's another way, right. So this is the easiest way it was literally in it was starting to rain when I took that shot and literally it rained seriously about two inches in about a half an hour it just drenched us bam! Completely overcast, but that's just one flash behind there. I'm using my eighty five millimeter lands like f stop is at two point five like see how that night you see that nice glow back there you want that low f stop okay, you get up, you get a longer lands is going even be bigger there but low f stop is going to do that for you so try to use the lowest f stop it's possible could get that nice little feel to it okay, so you just expose the subject as you naturally would but make sure you try to use the lowest f stop possible and still stay within your two hundred sinks speed right and then fire the flash where you father flash out I'll know just started something sixteenth power it doesn't really matter it's just personal taste at that point there's no right or wrong answer but you can just start somewhere I used to just started sixteenth power whatever I just get a feel shoot it look at it it's not bright enough turn it up too bright turn it down very easy there's nothing there's, no formula or anything it's just look at it, it's whatever you want okay don't don't make it difficult just look at it and go with whatever you feel right ad back light with the wireless flash that's why you have the wildest that something here is the same situation shooting at what a low f stop this is the blocks I put the flash in the background boom fire it it gives me that feel to it here's another trick that you can do uh is wedding you can I just did this last we don't know why I did this similar same so I was going to pull it out it didn't have enough time okay put the subject in the shade put the bail over them make them love each other I know it's hard but you know whatever right get them in love do something get that flash behind it fire it try to open up that f stop this largest possible dam there it is oh every single this is a goatee shot when you've got nothing when you're feeling bad and down with yours oh man, I don't like you always count we could do this at night time you do this anywhere just get it and even lighting backlight that up use the lowest f stop possible it's like you're making that bright sun come through you've got a winning shot every single time no matter what you gotta go to shot ok here's another situation where it's in the hallway ok, so I'm where it's completely blocked it's completely overcast so we're adding one flash behind with the cto jail there okay and that looks great to me, all right but of course I just can't go with one light I always have to make things difficult or we could always make it a little better so what do I do? Doesn't she look like she's slightly glowing how do I get globe from the bottom? So what I do is I stick my video light on the ground no other assistant just it's like a little reflector I turn it on just to give me some cats liked in the eye right there, right? So I got the easy peasy shot damn with the flash. Okay, now I can make it better. Yeah. It's just a little bit of the light there. You know, it's that's, the fun part about lighting is when you understand these things and you keep adding things and you added jail and it starts somewhere and you feel like, whoa, this is actually he darn good. And when you're able toe put everything together with the lighting and the posing and the composition and you know what formula to use that's when it starts to get in fighting, you start to get you in spot itself inspiring you start to inspire yourself because you look at the phony ago damn, I'm good, right? And you start to feel empowered, you know what bring it on I can do anything he's doing, it starts to get fun and we need to get to the point we stopped following others but we get to this point of self inspiring ourselves you know what that is that's taking our tools everything that we know doing different combinations and trying different things and taking all this knowledge and putting it in a new way you start to create your signature style but you need all the tools first you need to practice them and be able to do them so you can actually do it as if it's just natural organic let's do this but they're like they're they're okay well oh yeah let's just add a little thing on the bottom about moon right and you could see that that's what really happens at the workshops that we're building international people get together they start adding ideas and it's inspiring man it's fun okay all right so uh yeah ok so here again completely blah situation how do we know that absolutely no shit do you see any shadows right there so no shadows loss situation you go to the back okay, now I started doing this and everybody start copping me so everybody put their flash back there but they're trigger right so there's but I'm just using this one okay? I don't know santa's there's one of yours back there okay all right all right so anyway, I'm just using this when I wasn't using all these I'm just using this okay so I get there a little back light yet that you create a contrast in the background very easy or you get something like that and it's nothing special, but you're taking a blond moment adding some contrast to it very easy now you can start doing images like this even in blow whether you are something you're starting to go places you're starting to be relevant, you're starting to do things other people can't do right, and that starts to get exciting start getting put at different levels higher and higher and that's when it really starts to jail together for you from a business perspective too that's a great thing when you get good at your skill, you don't have to worry about marketing man, I talked about that earlier and the things like a ten k zero marketing you get good, you start doing this stuff you showed the client now hole wow man, you're the bills photographer in the world, right? Because you started at putting this into practice is going really add to your business? Ok, so here's another backlight situation here just adding a little bit on that you could barely noticed it, but that's a filth last situation where you're adding it on the flowers and creating some sort of contrast there because it's completely dead in that area they're adding that flash here's another famous picture I did you know I had this shot in my mind before the wedding I wanted to do exactly this before the wedding I knew that they were gonna have a long walk back and that was the unique thing about this bangle okay, I'm going in a lot of time here so you can see because I don't even photoshopped that well, this stand is still there. Okay, so I had a stand with a flash that's not the sun and I'm shooting with the seventy two, two hundred probably a two point eight zooming in creating that big light there because I'm shooting at a low ebb stop maybe I'm doing for can't remember I think it's really low bill it's really low and that's how you get that like they're walking down oh just hit it what do you put the flash there? I just did a test that probably put it at sixteenth power right there it was pretty far back there it was probably at least ten feet back if not more it could be twenty feet back there. I'm not really sure ok here's another situation block overcast but I had someone holding up the flash on the top just to give me that little rim light on the on the top there okay, um adding that okay um in the shade using the video light and a flash behind here you get an image like this okay uh see that catch light in the eye that's just with the video light right there just for the catch like sometimes when I met five, six or four somewhere around there I can use the video light in that lower a light if you start using it in f a f eleven you're not going even see the video it's not strong enough you got to get that that low light situation probably five six f four right in there it'll work get that video like close get a little pop in the eyes at a flash in the back shoot wide open damn you can hit it every time the key is wide open get that lands wide open and you can create that magic to it ok so here's some backlight tips use a low f stop five six or lower signed back light directly into the lens get that light right back into the lens and then you're going to get that flare that light firing back right into the lens is going toe throw t tl off it's going to be it's not going to know what to do you when you do that that's why you need to get into manual because what tt ellis what through the lens ok, so that's the situation that um place back life on the edge of the frame so when you're framing somebody up okay, so you want to put that light hi and on the edge of the frame because when it's on the edge of the frame a person doesn't see what the background is past it and thinks it's the sun okay, because it's at the edge of the frame and it's not like in the middle of some building if it looks like it's in the middle of a building you go that's no way the sun could be coming through the middle of the building there but if you put that flash at the edge of the frame it could let it will the sea the viewer doesn't know what's over there even though that there's buildings back there and there's no way that the sun could be coming there but if you put it at the edge of the frame at least something to the imagination like uh yeah, there could be the sun back there so it looks believable okay, I always try to line it up on the edge cto gel for sunlight effect you know that the longer the lens, the bigger the lens flare. Okay, he liked that big light longer the lands you know what a long lenses like seventy, eighty two hundred um all that stuff okay, so here's our exercises that we're going to try to do we're going to use flash as the main light on the subject we're going to create fill flash right, which is matching the ambient with the background and then we're going toe we reduce the kind I mean create more contrast, we're going to make the background darker and then still we just do that by changing the shutter right what's we line up the light wham bam there it is it's like you have that you just change the shutter right? And you can see the different effect that it can have, okay? And then we're going to use the umbrella right on then we're going to do we're going to use the umbrella then we're going to use to create the backlight and so that's going to be the soft light of front and the backlight in the back it's going to get that amazing like just airy feel to it I feel like I'm just going to that straight straight away, right? And then first we going well, actually we're going to just create the backlight alone and then we're going to add a little front light up like just add a little catch light or something like that and do that they're ok, so let's do that first let's um uh just do this flash um and use it as a film, okay, so if I'm in this situation here you know what? Let me take a drink here for a second because I'm now is complete is not questions, by the way, way have ah liew cannick eighty five and one other person when you under expose the background, how do you choose your shutter speed in that? You know, good question. Um, well, the list ambient light going in that you're using and you're using more flash, so when you reduce your ambient light, the lower shutter speed you can use, it doesn't matter, right? If you eliminate all the light completely, you can use any shutter you can use one second shutter speed that what you have to be careful about is when you're using flash as field that's when you're going to get the blur because there's going to be so much ambient light around. Okay, so let's, watch this so your shutter is open right now and let's say, you're photographing me and bam, you hit me with flash right now, so that image gets locked into the camera right there now, let's, say there's, a lot of ambient light strolling around and let's say I slightly move while the shutter is going up when I move that ambient light is hitting my shoulder and still going into the camera and you're still going to see it so that's when you get blur but let's say it was completely under exposed and made it dark so when you take a shot without your flash it looks pretty dark, right? So when damn the flash hits you the shed are still open when you removed there's not enough light to reflect on me and go back into your camera so still looks sharp that makes sense so that's when you're going to get blur is you gotta watch out when you was using flash as phil flash because that's when you're letting a lot of ambient lighting when you're under exposing, you couldn't be more aggressive with your center speed and you can drop it more okay, answer that perfect mark a fairly simple one when you're using your seat tail joe cto gels which white balance to use you're shooting okay when I wanted to look orange, I'm still in sunlight or flash mode I want that orange I'm not trying tio like I'm a little bit weird I actually don't I'm looking for color effects I don't actually like it true to life I'm uncle for exact that's my style, my style is an exaggeration, right? Because I don't want you to look at something and all that looks normal that's why you see a lot of my photos there's like orange tint to it or whatever because I want to hit you with color that's my whole m o right? I'm tryingto bring you out some do I'm trying to shock you a little bit and so I like to use it for color I'm not using it to balance the light okay, so I want that effect good question it depends on the effect that you're going for, you know everyone wants that exaggerates more natural figure out I'm just showing you the tools you guys do whatever you want with it and that's what we love about you one more question that let's get shooting from anise nape or answer nathan to other people want to know with phil flash are you exposing for the background first and then adding your flash or do you get the flash right and then play with the background? No, I always start with the background I always like crazy stupid light background first background first background first because then I can add whatever light I need on top of that because I'm creating my own life. But if the background is a freakin mountain twenty miles away, I can't do anything about that right? So the only way that I can get that in camera life center in my f stop lined out up the way I want it and then my subject I can do whatever I can make it bright I can make it not right I could do I'm in control of my subject and the lighting on that. I'm not in control. A lot of times with my background or when you're shooting large areas. It's hard to light up those whole entire areas.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Crazy Stupid Light Review
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide
Final Exam
Going Big on a Tiny Budget - HD

Ratings and Reviews

Dan Frumkin

I read several reviews on this site which gave me hesitation to buy this course. Nonetheless, I pressed on. Now I have a suggestion for those considering parting with their cash. Before you buy, go to any of Scott’s galleries online. If you can shoot at Scott’s level move on. If you cannot see the artistry in Scott’s work, move on. If you cannot conceive of the technical proficiency Scott has with flash, move on. But if you are mortal photographer that desires to improve your work, compare your personal portfolio to Scott’s. He wins awards for good reasons. Invest the time and money. You will be amply rewarded. Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques is worth every penny. So is Crazy, Stupid, Light. I purchased both and now use Scott’s advice and techniques daily. Plus, he provides a good dose of inspiration and humor. Scott is an awesome professional, fantastic photographer and a wonderful teacher.


I already own Lim's class, "Crazy, Stupid Light" as well as two of his Strobie 230 flashes with transmitter (in addition to my Canon speedlight). I appreciate being able to get into lighting with flashes and equipment that costs much less than Profoto lights etc. that I couldn't afford yet. Lim has a very organized and energetic teaching style. He is a great speaker in that he is excited about what he is doing and seems to love to help others learn how to be successful with their lighting. He is very animated and funny and has the right blend of being confident yet self-effacing and admits his mess-ups during class. I find him very engaging and interesting. If you have less than $500 or $600 to spend on lights, but want to start adding lighting to your photo shoots, he is a great place to start.

a Creativelive Student

This class was fantastic! I've always opted for the easy way out when it came to lighting my subjects, usually resorting to using just natural light and a reflector even though I always have my lighting kit with me. I learned in this class how creating my own light can be the easiest way to get the results I want. It's much easier than trying to make the natural light do what I want it to do. Scott's passion for photography and teaching are evident, and his commitment to the success of his students is amazing. I definitely recommend this course for photographers at any level. I came away with many ideas on how to build upon the lighting tips presented here to make it my own. Thanks Scott Robert Lim!

Student Work