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Essential Skill #6: Composition - Rule 5 - 7

Lesson 20 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Essential Skill #6: Composition - Rule 5 - 7

Lesson 20 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

20. Essential Skill #6: Composition - Rule 5 - 7


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 #6: Composition - Rule 5 - 7

Make eye's view the entire page and foreground background spacing now I look I see a lot of people do the foreground back down thing but a lot of times I don't see him space it far enough apart so I goes across the page I see him do it like here's the frame I see him do foreground background right here so then your ice stops right there but I need to space that out so there I actually goes across the whole scene okay so created diagonal composition when you create a diagonal composition your eye leads across the entire screen so let's and also you can create triangles two on I'll show what that means a little bit later okay foreground background is she small or see big she's small I'm shooting portrait but nice main subject is on ly half this frame here so I can show other information in the photo same thing here foreground background using the diagonal that's why it's a lot of times it's good to crop square because then and that you know what this rule actually helps you know where yo...

u should crop your image because you go oh here's a diagonal here but then it kind of stops here okay? I'm gonna crop it right here instead of letting it go all the way and go well it's gets lost up there there's unwanted space up there everything must be significant everything and that's what makes a good photo? I'm not saying that I'm great at it but that's the that's my goal is to make everything significant in the photo diagonal right thiscreate that daniel you look at that I cropped it square because I saw all I see the diagonal right here got the eyes there bam crop it like that small, large but adding information it also is creating a diagnose this way here so you can kind of a lead your eye across that entire screen here you're kind of almost like using the rule of thirds of that negative space coming into here writes a lot of times you can use negative space to make your travel across the page and see something because it sets up that person the negatives is based sets up the subject and it enhances it to create the impact here I'm using negatives base by blurring out the firm foreground in front of me that was like a fireplace there so what I did was I purposely put my camera towards the fireplace is right here they're posed over here okay? I could normally just shoot it like that but then there's no foreground there's no leading line to them so I'm going to move over I'm gonna put that railing in my foreground toe lied to them here, okay? And it creates more interest in the story triangles you, khun, use these triangles elements to help me. This is a very basic way to get a triangle, but there's other ways also to create these triangle you can also shoot and crops something like this and it will work. Why you go well, who would think of crop it? Well, that's sort of works. I'm not sure why, but it's because there's actually a triangle there of those elements forcing you to look at the same the entire page. This is kind of in a block area and then it's all but I'm popping in a little bit I think with flash here because I love the the complementary colors here of the blue and the yellowish tone together with the green and so what she was wearing really complemented this background. This is in murano in venice. So when you go with me there, uh, we're going in august, we go to this place and there's tons of colored buildings and you have your choice of color that you can use. So you just choose your subject. Whatever color building you got it right there. Okay. Triangle. You see the triangle there, right? That forces you to look at the entire image here is also a triangle, but a little bit less obvious, but it's it's the whole thing right? And so that's how I pose a lot and you'll see that I use this as opposing technique of creating these triangles so that's why when I pulls them together I had her her lean against him to give a shorter hide the worst possible not worse possible situation but it's very difficult when you're posing couples when they the same height because it doesn't naturally create a triangle why is it bad when people are the same height? You don't know who to look at first you go ah, which one logic? Ok, I look at her first, right? But when they're taller and assure it forces you to look at it forces and order of the eye right? So you're going to look down there and up there, right? But if they're together, you look at it together confusion losing impact. So look at these triangles, right created triangle here creating a triangle here. See the triangle there? Okay, now let's, talk about my mistakes here, okay? So if we're using the triangle idea right, how would you correct the position and the posing of this picture if you were using a triangle who's in the boo boo land, right, so also another rule is when you're posing a group never have ahead right on top of another head it should be slightly over so there's the stuff you gotta learn when you're sitting grupos you gotta put all this stuff in the mine you gotta get the lighting got to make sure everything's right and obviously like I still screw up right so these four people are out of position all out of position ok so if I were really a great photographer I would have moved them right maybe I would have had uh them go back to back here and had him sit down because if I have him over here he's tall right and then it's going to kind of mess that flow up so maybe I'll just have him sit down that them stand but put them back to back have him slightly move over it here move it so they're not right above the heads okay and then have her come down right there okay you have two managed at all what one minute you got to do it just see it we want take a picture for being a great photographers really hard I get so many things to manage in your mind and do right but hey it's just it's an art form it's not easy okay here's here's a mi amore kind of impactful photo of a group because it makes you focus on these people first and then these people so has an interesting take to it I'm using a lower angle here I've got to sidelights tow open it up okay, but because you know and you got this diagonal leading into the frame and up it you're forced to look at them first aren't you so if I took the group shot and I did it the traditional way which I also did and I shot it over here and I saw them write your eye even though I had them into trade your eye kind of goes well, you know, I focus on first here they all look pretty cool, right? But then if I shoot it and come around here and she had this way you're forced to see some of these people first and then the other people so to me it's hannah has a little bit more interest to it compose with beauty dripping off the page I don't even have toe show anything that I think ask yourself dear subjects look beautiful, right? I mean not that I could do this but that is my goal to have that beauty just dripping out that page when you see it everything the lighting with it right the polls, the details just everything that enhance it that's what you're going to look at your photos when it hits you up I mean the station a portrait photographer a waiver does it really looked beautiful there's just something about it that really makes you look beautiful does your background looks like a postcard but if you take that subject out of it, is that background compelling enough for you to look at? It? Is the image compelling? Does the image hit you when you first view it for the first time and that's the key, sometimes we get so caught up. Kind of like in our accomplishments that we actually made that photo work. We get emotionally invested in that sub that a picture, but really it's just kind of average, but because we invested so much time and effort into it, we end up loving it. But really, you have to step away from yourself and that's. Why? Sometimes you need to get your images critique because you need some fresh eyes. Look at it. Who are my fresh eyes? Is my wife because she's not a photographer, right should tell it straight up like that that's okay, yeah, but really wish he goes when I'm working on something and she kind of says, oh, I like that. Okay, that's. Good photo, right? Because I got some fresh eyes looking at it and it immediately gets its dummy proof. You get that your pictures should be dummy provisions to be so beautiful that anybody looking out to go oh, yeah that's a cool photo that's what you want, it has hit you like that create an element of surprise and wow so there let's be something sometimes it's the beauty of it that just won't wow but sometimes there's just something that it hits you you're taking a different angle with it or you have a different perspective at it so when it hits you it hits you fresh like oh I haven't seen this before it should feel that way your images is it wow that's a cool angle never done that before oh that's an interesting way to compose it it has to kind of do some wow to give the viewer a sense of astonishment right taken extreme or unique angle show breathtaking beauty and exotic locations you gotta have them okay you definitely talked about this a little bit later but you have to have those wow images in your portfolio your first three images of your portfolio have to be wow wow and wow because if you don't have a wow image in there they are off to the next web site and most people are only going to give you at most three shots out it your image comes up on your web page that's ok next one comes up that's ok next one comes up that's ok they're gone you lost him that's why you have to I don't care what it takes to get those wealth images I don't have I don't care get to pay twenty thousand for each of those photos that's what's going to get your calling card man that's what's going to get your business if you don't have those you're not going to draw those new customers into you you have to got it engage their manager nation okay right well whoa where's that out, man I like that poll that's interesting right hits you hits you oh, god run plane wow read tracks nice thanks, lindsay and there by the way she does her justice ok. Oh whoa. That what's that back there how they do that that's interesting, right? Oh, who that's kind of need right? Hey, ladies. What about that? Yeah, come on, scott, you got shows more that stuff hits you beauty hits you and has the bama has to give you something the backlight wole oh, gosh, I want to go there you are. I wanna walk across that bridge at night. That seems pretty cool, right? And finally something like this which mean using right gives you that sense of oh, man she gets do get in the water to take that. Is she naked under there? E I'm just being honest with the guys they're thinking right so you engage them with something show them something we're not selling for average here, okay? So whatever sacrifice is necessary to get those few image wow images you've got to do it, okay and so here's the seven rules uh we've got organized the elements right create order and a path for the eyes add elements that enhance the story I talked about the signs adding signs in their create impact by creating a central idea remove all the clutter and create a clean place for your for your subject a plot and subplot which means kind of like the story within the story foreground background does that a lot right? Make that foreground image or that background image obvious whatever you want them to see first okay make it obvious what they want not just halfway um make eye's view the entire page okay? And, um compose with beauty dripping off the page that's really what you want to do so they'll create element of surprise and wow, so you've got to go big or go home, you know, I talk about this stuff a lot of briefly go through it and then we'll end up here but really mediocre imagery is a fail your to be average you're going is a failure because you're not going to get noticed you're not going to pay your bills with mediocre elementary there's too many photographers out their competition is too good the best digital photography education is now free to all who did that creative live did that right? So guess what now that puts more burden on you because the best photographers in the world gave all their tricks all their secrets all their best information and they gave it out for free so now you are responsible because you're giving it for free that's got to get your butt going and work harder now because you were given all this stuff now you're accountable for it so to climb the top it's going to be harder because all the information is there now it's just right get all these courses what ninety nine dollars holy wow wow man I wish I had that going up by it's all yours now but its responsibility to if you take your craft seriously hey, good is now average camera technology makes it's easy to take good pictures right? That camera over there proved at half a million I s l I could take a great exposure exposures are one thing's pictures another in my area I did some research in my area every square mile I am competing with sixty six photographers in one square mile. If I go out ten miles how many photographers on dealing with six hundred and sixty? Is it possible for me to drive one hundred miles to a job? Yeah, but I can try one hundred miles to a job that does problem let's go out one hundred miles how many photographer photographers and might now competing with six thousand photographers? What does that tell you the statistics of that of how many photographers there are in the world does that, like, kick your butt like holy crap? I got to be one of the best in the freakin state in the african country to separate myself. We should inspire us to really get our act together and do it right. Ok, how you're going to get noticed? How are you going to get noticed? You gotta feed the beast, man. What is the beast? The beast is your freaking career. Is your livelihood. Ok? That thing is hungrier than heck, right? Well, that means that you've got to sacrifice a lot more than the rest. Whatever the more. Okay, you know who you're competing against right now. Let me tell you right now who you're you're competing against andrew. Andrew, can you stand up? Andrew, do you have? Are you married right now? No. Uh, andrew, do you have a girlfriend right now? Uh, no. No. Dogo andrew, do you have any kids right now? I don't. So you do have a job, right? Full time job. So you're making pretty good money with that. You can survive off that, right? But you can spend all your other waking moments on your photography, right, and I do. So you basically could do full two full time jobs and I bet you do a bitchy where forty hours at your job don't you work another probably forty hours on your photography a week, if not more. How many hours on your photography do you week work? About forty a week? About forty? Yeah, okay. Thank you. Andrew, sit down. Okay. Now, let's say you're wanting to do this part time. Okay, let's say you have a family, you have a wife and you have a job to do and let's say you can only put in at the most ten hours a week to your job. How you gonna catch andrew he's working forty? You're putting in ten? How you going to catch up? You can't can't do it because why he's got creative life too. He is the best information in the world free he's learning you can't do it how bad you want this. Do you want this really to be a living in an easy man? You got to be able to sacrifice more than the rest and the fastest way to beat andrew if you ever got the slightest chance is to find a mentor because a mentor I could work on something for ten years, figure it out and show you how to do it in ten minutes, it's called a short cut and that's the best way you've got to get all these creative life classes, because why these air your textbooks, man, you have to have them, you have to refer to them and their free, and they're very inexpensive, so you need them because this is the required information, but you've got to go beyond that, and they're just staying with this. You've got people like andrew to you can't do it, gotta go beyond, you've got to sacrifice more, but you got to spend more time practising than people. You gotta wisely invest more money, especially on education, because that's, what's going to get to the top. That's. Why you have to have this, it is now creative. Life is now the requirement. It's, the standard. So if you can't at least get this, then where you gonna be? So you have to have this, and you have to have beyond this to really make it and move it forward.

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