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Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions

Lesson 6 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions

Lesson 6 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

6. Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions


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

Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions

Sara can you come on out here? We've got a lovely model sarah helping with us with its our modeling today and what we're going to dio right to cameras right here okay before I'd like to get going actually should even colder out I like to make sure everything is working before I call my model out because you want to keep your model fresh all the time so if I don't get my act together a letter arrests the worst thing is she's going to be standing there right trying for me to get my act together okay I want you to call look at your card okay and let's say we want to shoot this what's my camera okay my camera is at five six at I s o one hundred ok is anybody here kind of terrified of flash not your old experts at it saying a little bit I'm a little bit it's new come to daddy come yes come come no don't don't worry daddy is going to be with you I'm gonna hold your hand okay daddy bring the car to ok ok so we're going to shoot here we are at the beautiful model we got to do a flash shot of h...

er right let's just slowly walk through this okay? What many stand right over here sexual okay one hundred at five six let's flash power do we need to set that out wanting. Ok, so I got my flash over here, right? I can go up and down. See that eight we're locked in. Okay. Now where we have the model, can you stand this way, sarah? Okay, now, how far away should we set that? Flashy would put it right here. But was the rule far away with that part? Anybody help him out. Six sixty eight b right. How tall are you? Six said oh, man. Okay, so in general, right? Your arms late. You put it about right here will be pretty close at eight. Power. Ok, so if you could move over here a little bit, right, I like to have that can hold on to this camera. I like to have the flash above the knows why? Because it's resembles the sun. Anybody taller than the sun? No. Okay, so in general is going to look that way. Right? Ok, so I got my camera set up looking this way. Right? And so let's say let's. See how how we're doing here, okay, so if you turn your nose this way to your body a little bit this way, right pop her shipped out that way. And so whenever I instruct my models, I always have them lean on one leg. It just always natural and they really have to sell it to right? So if you could just kind of sell it a little bit more this way and then turn your luck knows towards the light all the way right now look back at me with your beautiful eyes right now, let's. See how we do exposure wise? Ok, so I'm going to light it up here. All right, it's getting close one to bury. Whoa! Look what you did second out. You did it! Say let's. Listen, is it going through let's? Let's see? One shot, one shot. Wow, that's so hard to say. Now this is what I see all the time people said me this what's wrong with this but we just talk about one of the essential skills. Yeah, bingo. You get a free massage by me today, okay, right. So they're sending this stuff go all wow. Ok, right. So what would you need to do to get a little bit more shadow on her cheek there? Right. So the light is kind of coming here and lighting up this cheek here. So how do we create more shadow on that? Do you know on the right you really know your stuff, so if we move it over a little bit let's see what we got okay, so look back at me gorgeous alright good turn your face this but you know what I must have got that from you know who says that a lot speaking jerry jonas gorgeous discourages I got that I mean, how could I mean that's not looking really can't I can't I don't have that sexy accent. I can't go there. Okay, look back at me, sarah want to ready? Ah, now we're starting to get a little bit not a whole heck of a lot but you'll see that it's starting to show up there and doesn't it start to look a little bit more natural the lighting right so let's even just stay there looking and let's move it even even the a bit more I would actually turn the flash this way so same thing and let's move that light a little bit more and get that in actually that still looks a little okay I got the exposure I got that look at this is this is shane here and we're still having a hard time getting short sighted shot we're getting a little bit more exposures easy that subtlety is harder to do that's why I don't care like people tell me all the time scott, can you be able to control your flash power from your transmitter to your flash? No because I'm constantly over here moving it anyway so if my assistant is moving the class that can go up there and change the power that's not important to me it's this sudden change thank you, shane a hand for going the distance on feeling that ok now so it's that subtlety that is the hard thing thing to do you know what I don't like to stand this stand is creating a barrier between me and you ok, so I'm going to take this off I don't usually operate this way I'm gonna get somebody to hold this, ok? Anybody want to come up there? Hold hold for me then I won't ask you to do anything they come on up so you just be the flash holder and you just hold this and the way that you adjust the power of these two buttons here, down or up right now it's at a power just stand there and look pretty stand right over here what's your name I can't I can't look it's pretty and and this is andrew andrew from california where truth bitter all right, you're only about sixty miles away from the great ok, so now let's go back and let's ok, that was at six feet is at what eight power right somebody's going to come up here and they're going to do three feet who is going to do it? He's going to step up the plate and do it who wants to he's terrified okay, come on I'm your daddy dating don't worry about it so let's think this through if it was eight uh what was it? Eight what's your name my friend I'm jodi this is jody jody's from arkansas. Yeah, okay great president clinton they were best friends we hung out all right let's do inverse square law now we want to bring that in three feet. What power do we set that at? It was a date. It was a deep ok, we need to go sixteenth. Okay, how many stops do we increase when we have the distance we gained to stop stop. So we went to sixteen that's only once. Thirty seconds you've got so you turn that down to thirty two big boy no one more to that thirty two. All right, so you hold that, okay? You direct him, okay? I want to go on your bench so you just tell your daddy daddy o you just do it where you where's the holding in what way are we going to change her then we change him what? We're changing him, okay, we need to come over this side. Yes, yes, well, whatever whatever you call this we need we need the light towards her nose right could you move to your right just a little bit more just a little bit more okay can come in to three feet okay that's good good okay right look and your face nose towards that light please you okay where you want me to stand right about here right here. Yeah ok can you look at me with your eyes? Ok, I want to read it. Okay let's take a look at it now from a lighting okay the color changed a little bit because of the strength but do we actually like that? What can you stand over here? Just what kind of wrong with that situation her hair's in front of her because her she's never knows is literally like that right it's kind of forced but so way could kind of keep her in that comfortable turn your body a little bit this way and it's just feet down a little bit and just relax okay? Now you turn your head this way but you get a look back at me with your eyes ok? Perfect right there like that ok, so we're going to build in from sixty two three feet closer that you get to this but I tell you chris is too light okay the closer that you get to your subject you need to lower the flash because why all that flash power's going above her head right so the closer you get the lower the flat so now we're at three feet come into about right here and let's try it right and I like to turn the flash this way. Why would I like to turn the flash sideways? Because I can like her body war instead on the side right so now about three feet right? Looking now the closer that you get actually the easier it is to get a short side shadow believe it or not the father is away so I'm going to guess right about here because we're gonna feather the light slightly she's comfortably looking at me okay? We're going toe to toe and a little bit right there look at me right that can lean forward just a bit there it is right there chin down, come out right practiced much hyped right there at one two three did you know what I'm going to send my white balance tio having on auto which is not the best thing to do. So being a flash expert I should be slapped around a bit put in a flash okay, so that that her expression is a little bit better there. Ok and that's more of the better lighting setup ok, can you go back to the other one the other picture so we could kind of or, um that possible okay right versus now go to the other one. Okay. That's a huge difference yeah, I just told you everything. Thanks. Jodi did jodi a hat in the real the real world it's a little bit different than just knowing you have to go out and do it and x experience and see that ok, so now let's bring it in two one and a half he who wants to do that day someone come on up here let's to go one and a half feet who wants to be brave and put it right? I mean, some of you might get nervous standing this close to a beautiful person but that's ok, who wants to come up here right and put it right here and figure out the flash power? Well, come on up and your name is my friend cliff cliff turnaround ok, this guy look at him he's a nation he's parking nail this. All right, ok. Now way started at six feet and we put it out. What? Three? No, no, we moved in no way started at six. In the very beginning bicycles mean what you want to said it was one eight one a power then we moved it into three feet anywhere one thirty second ok, now we're going to move it in one and a half feet what do we put it at one twenty one? Twenty eight power? Ok, now when you get to the I'm just gonna warn you a bit when you get to the lower end of your flash because it's really hard to control lights at a lower level it maybe not quite as accurate, so you might have to kind of mess with it. Okay, so who wants to be come here and hold this flash? But and a half feet. Anybody come on a second. What you got? All right. So what about one and a half feet? You do it, you light it up a little bit more, uh, right there and then bring the flash down a bit more. All right, turn. You had this russian has said that you had this way a little bit and look at me with your eyes. Ok? Can you lean forward, chin down too much? Move your head this way a bit let's, go right there. Okay? And let's, have you seen this class? Just adjust for that right there. Okay, let's, try that real quick. One two ready? Go! Beautiful pig job. Go ahead, sit down. Now this shot ok, do you see the inverse square law in the background coming into effect, doesn't this light look softer and more beautiful? Now imagine if you had an umbrella and you were that freaking close that light would be amazing, right? But look at that is their way to pull up those two images side by side. Look at the quality of light, huge difference. You have to practice, you have to actually do it. You have to see it because you have to know the exact effect it has on the subject book knowledge is one thing, but in the real world and understanding and see it and oh, yeah, don't you see that light dropping off now? Now I congenital that color back there if I wanted to because it's not contaminated that and look how beautiful she looks he's isolated that light one and a half feet. So guess what? You just learn something right now you've got one flash. You doing a portrait? You forgot your umbrella where you put in the light recon one and a half feet by that looks good, riel world ok, getting out there and actually practicing it. What we're going to do now is kind of go over the, um um where's my video like, ok, sorry, I'm going off the mat, I was told not to get off the wood, but I just disobeyed here, okay, so we're going to demonstrate that lighting scenario but we're going to do it with video sorry do you mind if I close this down here or someone concludes that light down or do you want me to do it I'll do it we're going to go through here and let me just will do it with a straight video light for so you can kind of see maybe I'll put an umbrella through it just to show you how big bad and beautiful this is I want to just show you the difference of lighting and so we kind of go through the side light uh the uh what was that the clam shell and all that kind of business so let's try to do that jeff asher stand up so on that image there because I've been in spare meaning with the gels yeah and a lot of times the gel is washed out is that because the light my life is too far away from the subject powers too high so you have to be closer in order to go to jail to be by yes ok so there's two factors in that we'll get into a little bit later what what color is the background you're putting the gel on uh usually it's like a cream or white okay why it is the worst colored ok so it's going to be nationally washed out if you use like I like to use kind of like a gray or something that's not quite white and I'll pick up the color better and to like I said, if you're at six feet it's going toe start and that was lying or your option is what? Move your subject further away okay from the background okay, flash is crazy powerful it's like a tasmanian devil it goes out all over the place, okay, so you got it's hard to really control it a lot of time, so you got to get that light the closest possible or get your subject as far away from that background as you can, ok, so we're going to be doing gels and stuff like that later, I'm going to put that subject right here so I wanted really far away and even if we're close, I don't want any like contaminating that background so that's what we're going to do that ok, so let's look at, uh, guess where best angle that I guess I can go this way, I guess can I go this way and show this? Ok, so let's, look at what the side light is doing, so if someone gets up there and kind of hold this for me and I'll just movie around, don't worry, you don't have to think you just gonna do what I say and you're good, ok, so right if we're I don't know if you can see her and you guys get a good that camera can you get everything ok, so now we've got this light here can we bring down the house lights a little bit more so we could see the in contrast we could see some shadow on her face so we're gonna want to do short side lighting here and so you can start to see once we get this lights low as possible spring it little ok perfect there we go now we can start to see so I know you can't see but if I start to move this light off to the side right I can start to see that shadow can you look at me with your eyes right there, right? I can start to see that shadow on her face there and so I see how you get that short sighted shadow now if I pose her and I say hey, can you just stop that hip out and look off that way to the side your whole head? Just move up right well actually let's turn it this way I'm going to turn her head this way why would I turn her this far ahead this way instead of the other way? Because the way her heart hair was parted okay so now knows towards dot like so a good assistant will know that so if you happen to work for me but I'm going to hawaii next week for a wedding if you happen to come right, you should I'm expecting you, you freaking ride that knows wherever that actually didn't have to tell you you go to a new train your assistant to know that so you have to say anything and then they're understanding like better to so now see how I'm getting that shorts I satisfy, I shoot a kind of a profile shot like that so all usually just do two quick shots I'll do one shot like this and say, hey, look at me turn this way right? I'll try to get some of that short sight shadow on there and then I'll do a few shots will say, hey, look sideways that way and I'll do a couple from with dramatic that way and I'll get to different looks, but the set up is very close to each other and it's the same and then but it's very dramatic and then that side lighting is very evident in the photos. Okay, so that side lighting ok, so if I would see that loop, see that here now and then see that little bit of loop right there, right? Can you get the loop lighting in one shot? You can get the exposure in one shot but define tune that is and I'm doing it with a video light imagine doing it with the flash back and forth to get that little bit of definition that little bit of loop right there that's hard to do man that's why I don't care about the just because I'm going to be adjusting this anyway aiken easily have my assistant just light at the same time there so it's not important meeting control the light from my transmitter ok, so that's loop lining now we're going to go into the a butterfly can you pull down this other video like here because we're going to do the clamshell lighting and see what the difference is ok, so now I am going to do this on top right and noticed how that's even lighting like looks straight at me straight right there beautiful. Okay, now looking just thiss jeez up we get some cheese in here we have messing around ok, so now I'm starting to get the butterfly light right? You can see it right? But what happened to the catch life you can see the cheeks are defined right? But you could start to get the shadow on the cheeks but there's no catch light the addict catch lightning could just need some up like, so turn that on just a little bit and if you want to add a cash like kind of play too strong just something right underneath it right to add the cat slipped and that's, the clamshell technique ad that catch light right in there. Okay, you see that that works all right, great. So, bill, we could put the house lights back on if we want or not, I could just like myself, thank you for helping out. Thank you, sarah s o we just rant goals, or the bill that's, essential it's, essential that you understand that positioning of delight. Look at your images. Does it have that detail? Do you see any of those things on their loop lighting, side lighting, right butterfly, et cetera, that's, difficult, that's, the nuance, that's, the advanced technique that we have to learn how to do.

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