Skip to main content

Essential Skills Overview

Lesson 12 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Essential Skills Overview

Lesson 12 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

12. Essential Skills Overview


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 Skills Overview

Hey, you know what I kind of noticed you know, when I was first uh getting going with lighting and my photography career I would like, you know, every year there would be this new kind of lighting gives no, that would come out and I would get it right and then the year would go buy another dismal would come out I would get that one I wouldn't even use the other one and it seems like every year I wished what's new this year what's and you know what I was doing? I was trying to find an easy way out for that wow, right? Because that's what those you know, all these new light and gives mills do it's like hey, just by this look at this bam you're amazing already we're always trying to find those short cuts what's the new lighting is no that's going to come out that give us that shortcut toe excellent! I got something to tell you there's really no short cut to it right and and as I kept on growing with my photography, I kept on saying I don't really need that I don't need that in my bag and ...

then I just said, you know what? I just need the bare essentials and learn how to use these things and know what they do and so as I got better and better I just found I needed less but I just needed to master those basic things like the flash and how to make the light bigger and now the on ly gives mill that I thought that is worth using that's somewhat new on the scene scene is the video like but the visual light is in photography has been used for what six, seven years now? So I don't really call that a gizmo but it's a standard thing and that's all I use and I just realized that there are no shortcuts we just I have to because there's really nothing that those three things can't do in a portable lighting setup that the others khun do it's just they're all kind of modifications of something that's very basic and so I think if we just kind of but uh, bunker down and say, hey, I'm going to master these things I gotta master my flash I'm gonna master, you know, diffusing the light and making a bigger right or even like seeing where great light is are learning how to do a rim light just those basic things I think and take us long ways. So I just want you guys to remember that in your photography career and don't be like me and fall for like the next new hot thing that's that's out there but really just master these basic things first and they will take you along way and every once in a while you might use something that adds a little sparkle are a little kind of possessed you work but really the tried and true things are these things that we're just talking about flash video light umbrella I can take you very far like you see all the imagery on my web site on my poor foil it's just all with that okay, so let's get into it um let's um so let's get on with it hey guess what we're having a final exam people okay, you guys ready? These people right here and out there you've got you know what you guys take the exam to? That would be great. Um so we are going to do the six spectacular lighting set ups and today we're going to practice them and make sure you understand them. So when you get up in front of the world tomorrow you're going to knock it out of the park. Okay? So we're going to do kind of the silhouette shot beginning maybe get me to jump I guess in the air I don't know whoever okay on then we're going to do his long exposure shot with our iphones or maybe a couple samsung's we might let him there on do that type of photo and then we're going to do a video light with jelling the background and then tio twinkle lights all right, this one here how do you how do you kind of get that big blurry twinkle lights in the background right on dh then we're going to do kind of a glamour shot, you know, we're going to do some kind of, uh, glamour lighting with some strip lighting and so those things that we're going to learn how to do and master so that's why we're going to be very busy today, so let's get on it. Okay, so yesterday we talked about the extension will skills the summer who was one light position, right? Yes. Didn't you guys see me get the exposure? Bam! Right on. But what did I mess around with tweaking that light in the right position to get that nice little shadow? Why? To make it look more realistic, as if the sun was coming in through a directed area and that fine tuning that that's the hard part not getting the exposure, but it's actually the fine tuning of the light position that makes everything okay. Exposure is easy. Like position is not who kind of let's. See anybody want tio let's? Test your knowledge if you know all the lighting positions with the shadow anybody want to do that, raise your hand if you think you can get maybe at least two of them anybody, andrew way andrew won't you kind of stand up and tell the world who you are can we do that turn around this way that's andrew my friends I am and here my friend it's on dime ah wedding photographer based out of southern california and so to the types of lighting one is loop ok the other one is rembrandt yeah and I'll leave the others to the other you don't know ok who can help finish that off anybody take it no hand much introduce yourself clip your from tacoma tacoma all right, so we have a photo week weren't you uh know okay but I started to be p p o okay here you go uh sidelight sideline alright clamshell clamshell yeah which is kind of like a butterfly and and anything else I don't even really short side you say sure yeah okay, I think that's it right thank you cliff so way have let short side where you got the shadow right here, right? And then we have loop lighting where you kind of creating a shadow right here then you have rembrandt or the law luke connects with the short side shadow if the light was this way right and increase that triangle of light on the cheek and then we had butterfly lighting which kind of creates that butterfly shadow right under the nose and then clam shell by adding just because sometimes when you do the butterfly you lose the catch light because you want to get the shadow here on the cheeks so you have to kind of put that light a little bit higher and so then to get that cats like catch like back in the I used another light lower reflector whatever I don't know doesn't matter to get that right and I don't know if there's anything else but I don't know do I list them here? Probably not. Ok then we talked about bright light situations and I showed you eight different ways how to do that what is bright? What dough I meet ok so that's the thing and crazy stupid light I didn't define these lighting situations so what is what? Why would I mean by bright light? I mean like that could be a lot of things bright light right it's some people good thing is bright in here especially if you can turn your risotto five hundred thousand right? What do I mean by bright light? Anybody know how to define hey want to stand up and introduce yourself? My name is lasagne and I am a wedding in lifestyle photographer from seattle recently we located to seattle from north carolina and harsh light is bright light is when there are harsh shadows okay when it creates harsh shadows right, what type of shadows? What is harsh shadows means dark shadows very contrast t right we'll give background is all blown out I gave him one specific little thing that you could look in the ground and you could recognize very bright light it's very long to this very long yes and no e anybody what's that jodi stand up has really sharp lines on the ground sharp lines on the ground got it right so you're almost there so if you just go outside and you see some dark black shadows with a very sharp lines then you know oh man we're in at least eleven here f sixteen and when I'm saying f eleven and I'm saying f sixteen that that means that I met aya so one hundred that's a given ok and then you don't really need to talk about shutter speed in the lighting world because what flash is not dependent on shuter you can't control your you're off camera flash with your shutter you control the ambient light but you can't control the flash that's going on the subject so that's why people just say f eleven of sixteen they're assuming it's at one hundred and then they know the shutter does not matter in this situation when calculating created light from a strobe ok s so bright light f eight and above in general but mohr like f eleven f sixteen k then overcast or low contrast lighting which was kind of in that area from f four two f eight and I gave a couple scenarios with that and with overcast what is one of the advantages of overcast weather and how are we going toe maximize the advantage does anybody know okay well one of the advantages is because it's even lighting and no matter where you look nothing is blown out you khun it's a great time to set up an amazing composition composition is in your favor because no matter where you look everything is not over exposed so now you can incorporate any element that you see wow that's now that's exciting I can incorporate every element that I see and so if we kind of exercise that muscle off off kind of finding good compositions and overcast light then that's a great start and so what you try to do what when I'm in overcast situation and I'm outdoors and outdoor location I tried tio create like hey I'm going to talk about this in composition a little bit later today of creating a postcard type image I take a picture of it and I go does this look like something somebody would buy a postcard and I would see this and I would buy this then if I got something like that if I put a hot chick in there is gonna look even better right so that's my whole theory it's like get that background beautiful and then add and then you look at it in the well that's see, I could put my subject here or whatever get ideas from looking at the background where you going to place your subject and then it's just going to and then with great lighting on top of that it's going to make even look even more beautiful and then you've got that wow shop okay and then I talked about the lighting for overcast so you got the composition and what type of lighting that I say I like that works best kind of ah signature style that I used is anybody remember the type of life when you're an overcast lighting and you wantto generate some light yourself and use flash what type of lighting did I'd say I like to use cliff stand up fill flash what's that phil just okay well, that's one one that you can use it as phil flash and then I so but that's not my favorite method hello uh just breaking your ambient light down and then pop in some flash create more contrast. Right? Okay, that's, you can also do that you can create more contrast in your background by eliminating the ambient light, making it darker and then popping it with flash and then you get a more contrast between your background and the subject that's good, but that's not my favorite oh yes in the back was stand up in a bunch of tell the world hi there I'm banning from central washington general portrait photographer you said you like to use big soft like yeah there you go we're thinking meeting day over cat and I showed you all those examples of big soft lag and overcast you know that's classic image of like the cup the asian couple in front of the eiffel tower remember that image right? And what else did I use? I can't remember well, whatever, but I love that soft what? Because what's my rule my lighting rule soft light with okay well, in a bright light situation like that hard light with a soft light on the front but if I'm not is overcast the hard light situation. Okay then what kind of like do I like soft light? Right? Because soft light you have to match the lighting scenario or else it's not going to look realistic like right in here if I bust due out with hard flash especially if I do on camera flash and I just like, you know, I might have been a photographer I just put it on a program and t l and I just boom blast you right in here with on camera flash I don't even reflect it anywhere just boom hit you right up like that how do you think the quality of lighting is going to look terrible why? Because you have a hard light situation because flash creates hard like hard light is created from a very small source okay, so now I have a hard light but I'm in a soft light situation do you see any sharp shadows on the ground right here? Therefore it looks unbelievable and so the viewer goals but text going on here this kind of looks cheesy or whatever right it's this kind of like when you take your point and shoot camera with the little flash on it you try taking pictures indoors with it it's just like it's ok not listen you bring in a lot of ambient light into it, right? So soft light goes with soft light and also soft light goes with hard light so well soft light is king or queen whatever but soft light rules in my book soft like always looks good so if you can learn how to create soft light then you're in business no matter what situation you're using if you can get too soft like quick and easy then you're going to be better off now that takes you a lot to get to create south light you're not going to do it right everything it's going not going to be convenient for you okay, so that's what overcast situations would I like using then let's go today well essential skill we're going to use today low light well, we're talking about low light. What is that? Well, that's anything less than f or it's usually in my opinion it's when you're at I s o eight hundred and above okay, so that's very dim light that's the wedding photographer runs into that a lot when you just got a low light situation you're in the reception or you're walking around uh you know, the hotel and at night or when after the sun goes down um and it's got little life everywhere. What do you do about that? Okay, um then we have no light now, there's the technique of actually creating no light and under exposing the background on purpose. Ok, so now you can be in a situation because if you get rid of all the ambient light by what low in your eyes, so you're raising your f stop or increasing your shutter speed? And what that means is if you take a picture even in here we take a picture and we looked at the back of the camera and it's all black. We've created no light that's exactly where we want to be. Some times they were skilled with lighting because if there's no light in the room, then we can craft it the way we want to make it look okay, so there's a lot of power in clean states late right let's just get everything out of the way let's get all the distractions all the junk that's in the corner over there let's not even look at it let's create a black seamless background when there is none and then let me take my lighting skills and light the subject up or maybe the subject and some other element up the way I want it and crafted the way I want it to look and that's very powerful and when you learn how to do that today okay, so that's the no light or black light under exposing the background. Ok, then we're going to talk a little bit. The last essential skill is really about composition and maybe a little bit about posing but more so about composition because I noticed as teaching around the world and and going tio doing a lot of workshops and teaching a lot of students it's actually difficult for people to, you know, have the subject, get the lighting right on them and then choose a background that's pleasing or that enhances the subject when learning how to eliminate a lot of distracting elements and trying to choose elements that are going to enhance your picture and we'll kind of go over that also, so those are the things that we're gonna learn today, so ok let's, get right into then oh yeah, we've got some reception and lighting tips and I'm going to introduce you to the auto flash now you newbies I don't even know what an auto flashes but it's quite a remarkable piece of equipment if you know how to use it you compile find these things like on ebay for fifteen to thirty, fifty bucks maybe one hundred bucks at the most, uh on certain models but you can find these things for twenty thirty bucks online and they will automatically figure out the light for you instead of you buying a t l len's wolf that does that interest you in a bit what that is so we're saving that at the end of the film guys ago it'll flash I got twenty in my back closet, right? But for a lot of you guys who are new there what's an auto flat how's that work that's especially true if you have an older film camera that you're shooting and you want to use flash and they don't even make a t t l flash for it and you want to do some automatic exposure with your film care and we just did it in here with the puller avoid right before we went on and actually I I think we're going to bring jim back on with this polaroid and take a picture and do it live, but so we're going to do that too

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