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Shoot: Flash & Color Gels

Lesson 15 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Shoot: Flash & Color Gels

Lesson 15 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

15. Shoot: Flash & Color Gels


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: Flash & Color Gels

This example is using video lights with um we're so come on in video light with jails now I'm going to try to isolate this's muchas possible, there is a for me there's a lot of ambient light still floating around here, but I think we can kind of get somethingto work uh, and we'll see what we can do here, but you'll definitely get the idea ok, so I've got some nice video like here the closer okay, let's talk about like contamination when you're using a jail, you don't want any of this light to get on here and there's also a lot of ambient light in the room kind of like getting in here anyways kind of like diluting the intensity of the color of the gel a little bit, but you're going to still see it and you get an idea so you, if we weren't even darker situation, then the colors would look more intense, but you're going to definitely this that the techniques they're all the same, so don't worry about so the closer I get the light to the subject, the faster it falls off, right? If I try to...

like this subject way back here, the light is less I would have to get the proper exposure on her I would have to bring my what isil up, lower my light and then that would allow more light back here to right. So now that what I can do is if I get the clint like close to my subject and I like her a properly here, then, um and I can I can see the light and adjust it. Uh, here, right, then the shorter the fall off. Okay, and then the less contamination over here. Okay, so what did I say? What power did I say that I like to use when using video, light and flash? Does anybody know? Sixty fourth power, right? Just as a general that's where their start, we're going to start off what I normally you so how I do it as I usually put it about six feet away from the background. So use however tall you are. You just stretch your arms out, you know, and that's kind of gives you a little bit. And maybe this is not a like a science, right? And then what I do as I stand here and I go where is that head? Look, it looks like I got a perfect is just firing right here, right? So now you know how to adjust your life, so now most of that pigment is going to land up in this area here. Because I can see where it's going right? So if I had the head lower I go I would know to put it up so I just kind of like have it right at me, ok? And so we'll do that we'll set that there uh then we test the light um all right and it seems to be get going good um and if I can kind of hit this'll etc why don't you kind of lean full cross your legs and then kind of lean forward this way just put that hand up like that to your head more towards me more, more more about that okay, one about one two. Very good. Perfect. Okay, so looks like it works one shot so let's, take a look at it if we can get to that um kerry over there. Okay, see that? Um I'm not sure how that I think it's just the mixture of the light that's pretty cool bill, how it it looks blue and and um pink at the same time and you sometimes that's what you sometimes that's what you're going to get because you're going to get a mixture of colors depending what other lights hitting the room but that's a pretty cool effect now you guys understand what I just did because this is all your final exam and I'm not going to telling you what to do so do you understand that ok I had to raise my f stop up a bit why did I have to do that? Because I normally would like to be shooting a two point eight why did I in this situation here why did I say oh man I got to go to f four yes very good ambient light I had to kill some of this ambient light because I said well it's pretty bright in here so what I did was raised my f stop to make my background darker right tio let that in and so you're gonna have to know that because maybe you're going to be in a situation where it's not going to be completely dark it's been going to be sort of like this now you know that if you put it at a four I still can pull this off I still can do it right and so that's why it's good just a practice in to try things and to be put in different environments that's the thing about on location photography everything is different okay you have to be prepared for it. Okay let's have some fun now so we did that okay, we got that jail we did it blue now saying colored light is cool um because you just man you could just do things with color so let's try doing something a little bit different and let's take a blue and another kind of pink color and let's put it on the same background and see what we get get the heck of it so I'm going to take the blue put it off to the side here this way and then I'm going to take the pink put it up to the side here and who knows what we'll get is this the random thing um but conceptually it sounds like it's pretty cool but let's see what's happening so which is get right in here ready one two three and now you kind of get a mixture of colors ah and maybe if I could try a different color you would would see the difference more right so let's say oh that's too much pink right so if I wanted to add more blue in there right this looks like the pink is too close so maybe I'll pull the pink up maybe I'll pull the pink off to the side more here and then I could add a little bit more blue this like now if it was even darker in here then it would be even richer the color but we're just going to do it here ready? One two, three sly smile there you go yeah that's kind of a fifty fifty feel on the next one all right? Is that cool two different colors using jails I mean look at that come on, man you pull that out of your head that you pull that crap off of the wedding and do it in two shots when I look at you can have a formula right? You could say, well, if it was a little bit darker you, maybe you do that to point you rehearse this in a certain darkness is that, you know, you can get it doctors say our reception or whatever you find something that's cool like this sixty fourth power sixty four power just like that, you got that? You can literally do it in one shot because it's already rehearsed already, it's bringing in it's, bringing a studio out to the rial environment and then and then just working with that, right? Somebody had a question here. Yes, shane, stand up! We're using for white balance in the shot because you have so much like balance, I'm just using flash at this point because it's kind of matching or outdoor because my main light is white light, so I'm I'm going for the subject first right on that's, mainly what I do, I I could liken in photo shop I could do other stuff and I can change it if I want to, but in general I just try to get the subject that's my main thing I want, I don't want the subject of green skin so if you could make it look a cz more natural is possible or the tone that I like I go for that whatever ends appearance appear really if it's a mixed lighting situation but I in general like that that was subject first good all right question um speaking of real life situations during the wedding she don't always get a nice background like this and you mentioned then having a white wall is not the best option for background gel well would be other option okay years for that this is perfect is a lot of times in the hotel rooms they have those ugly curtains that are kind of gold this greenness growths right? Those are perfect to jail anything that's just or cream wall even works or a dark brown door I love if I see like a mahogany door whole man I get excited to go that's going to be great pigment right? So the darker the color, the more the pigment shows okay, so we did I mean, we allow likes and I want to make sure that we finish this final exam for you guys. So can we just is it okay if we just kind of move forward and start doing some other lighting set ups okay, way hannah sarah you're doing a great job, ok, look at that look at that right that's awesome well actually so it sounds like we are going to change the backdrop it all um ok we're ready to go I would love to ask a couple questions just while we are in between the subject if you don't mind yeah and we can turn on the house lights do if they want a fantastic market analysts says do you use a particular flash zooming on the background lighting would you have a question do I use the flash zoom all my flashes I make sure can't zoom because I don't want an extra because I used to using flashes I would zoom it out or zoom it in or whatever and then I would forget to put it back and when you get zooming it just adds another layer of complexity of figuring out what your lighting is because the light the power is going to be when you zoom out it's going to be stronger and right and you make this a zoom it at one o five now your flash might be twice as powerful but narrow where but then now when you're trying to figure out you're your exposure in one shot or whatever you're doing it it's not working and you're like what's going on here is should be right on and then you're figuring it all shooting zoomed and then you got to redo it so I find that I can do everything at thirty five millimeters and I tried to eliminate that's just my style now if you're really good at zooming and then setting it back to thirty five but I know in the course of the day when all chaos is breaking flu you're not going to remember to set the zoom back at thirty five millimeters and then it's going to thrill the lighting off when you do another setting so I rather just completely eliminate that option assume it and I control my life by going in closer or if I have to just have my assistant kind of flag off the light right or here this is this is a snoot for you or a grid it's just faster this way right? So where's migrant out like you know just or you don't want the light to contaminate that oh just flag it off like that right? I find that for most purposes this works really good like yeah well that was actually a great question this kind of leads into how would you set it up if the distance to the background was much smaller if you didn't have this really long quarter is there a way to do a similar shot where the model is you know, three or four feet away yeah exactly good question we have to think about the inverse square law right so I maybe be able to pull this off it was literally uh what's half distance of one a half feet um nine inches you know, I did that, okay. Remember when I did that in the first day, I did it at nine inches, and it looked kind of dark behind them, and she was probably sitting right here. So, um, get the light is closest possible, right? And you, khun, if you get that lightest closest possible, and you flag off that light, you've got a shot at it. You got a shot at it, right? And you're getting right here, and you're going there, you know, but not for video light. It's not gonna work for video. I only look work for flash, all in flash.

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