Skip to main content

Shoot: No Light Techniques

Lesson 17 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Shoot: No Light Techniques

Lesson 17 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

17. Shoot: No Light Techniques


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: No Light Techniques

We're going to start off doing creating a silhouette okay, so maybe what we could do is try to bring the house lights down just a bit. Is that possible to make a darker in here a little bit? Um we're gonna create a silhouette will pull it that care since we can um I've got it at eleven um let me see if I can change lenses here. I hope that don't ski oh, crap, I just turned it off I didn't want to do that. So we're going to do this and put a wide angle lens on here so we can go wide at let me change it. So this ok if you have a camera with live you what? You don't want it on live in this case because it's going to see black and you can't see any darn thing at all so I'm going to try to bring this out of live view here um and I'm going to take that off so I can see what's going on okay, I'm going to set my camera at f eleven at one twenty five that I also one hundred let me take a picture here and let's see some taking a picture and let's see if my screen is completely dark, okay um and ...

then we're going toe I think it is because I can see it that means that I'm in control night now I made no light in this room you understand that concept so we're going to do this amazing silhouette right now let's bring on sarah and she only wears this around on special occasions but you know she was going to bring out go ahead have a seat this way right and we'll kind of do a kind of a profile let's say when you see what looks best I want to look this way a bit yeah probably like that it's kind of cool all right so we'll do something like that okay I met f eleven if we okay you know what it is at three feet away so let's say we want tio take a shot and we want to evenly exposer and so we're going to use one flash here at f eleven if it's three feet away at f eleven what do I put my flash at very good ok, so we're gonna can somebody hold this for me right here okay and this will just light her up right there face ok then we're going to see if we can find two more flashes around here and I am not going to be a three feet I'm gonna be at six feet why do you think I'm doing that? Anybody know because what I want to try to do is the further back I am the light will come and they'll keep spreading right if I'm too close it's only gonna spread a little bit but if I get back to about six feet here then I haven't mohr chance to create more of a silhouette field okay so I'm actually ago according to my charts so according to my chart at f eleven what is my flash power at if you don't know on my flash you could happen to look here oh look how easy that is ok anyway say what anybody no oh my gosh half hour very good okay so who wants to hold this up here like this right all right now we're going to take another flash yeah oh yeah she turned ok so we're going to do something else here we're going to be a half power here okay who wants to hold that behind here like right here okay and camera way got here I'm I'm going way wide too wide I should have got my other lands but that's okay what I owe you that color on their no can you pull that color back off oh I'm gonna I'm gonna do it regularly not seen my wife since he okay ready one two ready get ok now that's pretty good it's not great but let's take a look at it okay see you kind of getting that but what's happening is this light maybe contaminating the background so oh that's still on tio but that's only a sixty four power that's seventy two actually turning let's build it all right, I'm giving it too much at once let's build it let's start from nothing let's start up your silhouette so once you turn it sideways with yeah let's try to do that your eyes I might need some hair spray on that that's good all right, so I should have used a different lands to because I'm going why? Because I thought were doing the jump shot that a what at eleven one twenty five lives so one hundred one to get ok wait, I wanted you lot buddy. So turn that off your internet out there just just yet, okay? Really? Ok, I'm going to see how much and what we got one too. Okay that's more of a silhouette feel okay come in, come in just a little bit closer right o closer and it moved behind more and if you could move behind more a little bit too see that we're getting more but those air dark feathers so when you're trying to still let something that's dark and kind of solid, you need a lot more like like if they're like blond hair it's easy, but if it's dark, you're going to need more like so that's what I'm doing, I'm adjusting and bringing them forward to give me some more light one, two, three it's a little bit better let's go closer but high right? We're kind of missing the top area there right so let's see what we can do here to keep it that feather doing and let's actually let's just busted up to full you know how to do that don't hit up and down hit the left and right well seems to throw the flash up ok got it wrapped full yeah can you reach up your are messiahs possible yeah we'll get what teo all right now let's do this let's hear her face with a little bit of light so you were at I'm going to bring that light down though you were at originally you were at what power went eight one hour let's bring it all way down too two stops lower so that would be what? Sixteen thirty second power okay and so you're going to fire it right at her face so I can see more for face and then good she's see how he's flagging that light off why is he doing that? Yeah ok so a little bit above her nose right there uh you know you have right there perfect let's try that to theo kid didn't go up hold on sorry got to turn the wireless on there you go okay let's try to get what perfect look at that on this next one now we're just lighting her face up just a little bit see that? Wow! And then we're just kind of building that whole thing up like that that's cool question. Yes, maria, stand up. What? Air? The little purple dots around there that you're getting the purple dots. What is that? That the flare from it? Yeah, let's slammed right? And so yeah, they're purple. Uh, I don't know why it's purple, anybody know what's? We're probably got somebody in the chat room. They probably know why's verbal who help I don't know it's the multi coding on the lands or something I don't know that's the randomness of it, right? But you can always sometimes I have that info to stop and just take it out or you know, so you could easily you could say the selective colors, they take all purple and I'll just pull that out. You you kind of I dropped the color and then pull it back or whatever. Or you can add that maybe to the shot and post processing adds more purple texture to I don't know, whatever but it's just that kind of effect, right? All right, so you understand everybody understand that kind of silhouette feel and how to get that that cool all right, uh, sarah that's great let's, actually, now that I think about it you're wearing a hat let's shoot it with andrew just for the heck of it get can we have a new love this headdress with sarah can you just step to the side for a second and andrew can you get on there? I usually like tio have him straddle a chair but if you can sit on there ok and you're going to give me kind of a profile maybe you can put your legs up on here so you can kind of seeking lean forward a bit dunkle scott robert on me that's my game a lot of crushing because can you lean forward? Yeah there you go so far when I'm posing guys it always looks good if you got then forward a bit so usually I just take one of those chairs turn around having straddling lean forward is perfect pose ok, so now we're gonna turn sideways this like more that's going to more of a profile shot okay, okay, okay, yeah taking classes all right and so I z I'm ok I'm not going to take a turn my power off I'm going to change my lands without turning my power off I can see if I could do this because I thought we were doing jumping shots like so I changed it okay, good ok, now I got to make sure it at eleven I saw one twenty five ok kid what to it don't look at me I got no I got straight profile one two ready good gilmore profile more site if you can can you turn your body instead of take it off? No can you turn your head instead of turning your body is like I want your shoulders here and looking to the side like that okay uh but not pressed up too much against your shoulder. Yeah, good let's try that. So if he's pressed up against his shoulder actually I should shoot up a little bit so it separates it a case a good turn sideways so instead of shooting down if I shoot up I'll get more shaped out of the deal. Well, that one two ready did now I'm going to change my white balance to incandescent to give me more of a blue feel to it do the same thing one two ready kid now I'm gonna want super lens flare so if you can position it so that light is really going back into my lands I could try to get try to not have your arm or anything of you in the picture okay, let me see uh I'll go back a bit coming closer and down, down, down, down, down okay, right out there let's try that one do three nice so these are all the different effects and different fields that you can get see that that has a different feel I like that more right? And you can practice that what does that just remember to commit this to memory what's that on full power this is full power rule power because we're shooting against dark, right? Uh you see how far they way just make a mental note of this right? Thanks that's cool. Thank you. Give him a hand you sarah hanson ok, so you could commit that to memory after practicing it one time okay, practice at one time eliminate the light you have your you know what I should do a book on f eleven all eleven tricks that's that's, another creative live class f eleven right everything the whole the whole thing is in the book it has to be f eleven whatever shot it is just do but anyway it's ok anyway so I'm thinking about other creative life isha workshops but have that in mind and create the formulas this is done already. You put in a little light situation you shoot it at eleven. You do that full power now see, I was messing around trying to figure everything out but if I was smart I would know to put it up full power and you're doing a hat then I would just know okay just instead of half power just doing a full get really close put the lens right into the class right into the camera gam one shot that's all it takes ok so good. So that's that what's the next let me see what the next shot is a silhouette ad front like we did that uh what's that video umbrella main okay and add shadows in the ok, so let's try to do some strip light shots how's that ok, I am going to do a little bit of surgery and add close off the light a little bit on my video light here I have a strip but I think I'm going to make it less so I'm just going to take some gaffer's tape here and I'm gonna make it didn't even I'm going to try to make it an iphone type of light I may pull it back off and just use your fingers because then your fingers actually allow some light back into it okay, so now I am going to turn this into the led light mode right and so not control my light right is it? Can we get the situation where it's actually all lights down? Lowest possible okay, so who wants to kind of control this light here? Anybody? Anybody who hasn't come up yet ok, come on up all right, so let me show you how to do this. This is led up and down eso let's pull it down low first maybe let's try that. I don't know we'll go from there all right, now we're going to try to create some kind of background right and I think what is it? Maria has this method down that she has a patented method that she does right of doing this background do you remember what you did? I remember okay, so the problem is gonna pull that off so now I'm going to take my very expensive cardboard what you call that slip right? Come on. What were you doing? I think I will like this you're changing the shape of it. What happened was I thought that it was, uh coming through on the edges ok, so I was holding this even see, what we can do here is we can kind of adjust the light and creative pattern in the background here like that. So if you can kind of do that and let's get our lovely is impossible to get sarah back up here and so let's try to put a little you create a funky but it's better if you go off to the side and hit it in an angle yeah, yeah let's try that right and so you I need some kind of you sorry go ahead sit down you work with that? Give me a nice saddle back there you work it out yeah go doing all right, ok, now let's put a little it's very bright in here still it's not really to my liking but I think we can do something we'll see a lot of you of leaning forward this way but just put your hand up like that. I'm not like that right there. Okay, just lay that in right way khun go one more stronger there you go come back just a bit right there and let's just get that okay when you're doing this the sexiest part of the face I think are the eyes and the lips it's always try to get the eyes lit in the lips that's just a general tryto rule so right there house I'm back turn your face more towards me well, okay, right there it's too in this life a little bit. All right. Okay, okay. Let's go. Okay, so this is going to kind of create a moody shut holy crap. Okay, I'm not in life. You same on me take that off. I'm going to have to go way down on my I'm at eleven, but I'm pulling it down to like two point oh, putting my eye itself up at right here yeah, I don't know the strike sixteen hundred and my white balance is still blue so I'm going to change that to see what auto does who knows? Looks pretty good here I had a little bit better shadow but oh crap fold on my flash went on at the same time okay uh yeah, yeah yeah, I go ok, I want to you guys to get definitely get the movie idea case let's take a look at this next shot that's coming up here see that was that cool, right? A little bit of mystery there now let's get funky and add what would you add onto this class jell? Well, I had to change my whole set up we could do it. Yeah, maybe we could do it but it's simpler than that and we'll get to that next rym light, right? So let's, take another one of my flashes since it's I know it's going because if I'm using the main light and a little bit of it here I know that video light here will definitely be enough power. Okay, so if somebody can just kind of give me a little uh, rim light right here and hold that anybody who doesn't come up here yet want to do that control this here let's see this led it is up and down that's it so let's go no question right there I'm guessing right here I'll tell you whether or not to pull it up but not ok good yeah you're facing me good oh, great shadow now you're working it you're really you're hired want to you want to go white next week wass to ready okay, okay this is certain more seriously make you laugh one two ready okay, so now I got a little catch line I got a little, um shadow back there but if we make this try using a flash okay? So if now like if the ambient light was even darker in here it would be more briar so what we did and but the problem is if I make my video light stronger it's going to spread more okay so I could try to turn my video light up to create more contrast so I can eliminate ambient light but then I'm afraid if I do that I'm not getting that nice little bit of spotlight on her face because I'm turning the video light up so much it's just overblowing it right do you understand that concept? So in this situation when you do this you need it I mean, that looks pretty cool but if you get it even darker than this is going to look even better ok, so now what should we do if we wanted at a color back there with the pattern dead silence ok, I'm going to use a class of course we're going yes good class with jail keep going projected through something but lets the well look with our sixty four sixty fourth power ok, because we start always at sixty port power when we're using video light okay, so let's do a parent you can turn that off way way need to create some sort of pattern against that wall. Okay, so maybe if you can take your hands now that's not good enough he has you think maybe your fingers and like the closer you get to the flash the sharper it's going to be but I want like a penis nice try I guess what, you're not higher you're not going to be fine. Okay, yeah, I try and I know good you're trying that's great. So the closer you get, the more defined the shadows if you go a little bit further away then it gets bigger and blurrier so I'm guessing kind of like right around here do something funky like this maybe you can do layered. I don't know just be creative. Be creative and we're going to do the same thing and I'm gonna just fire a test shot I'm going to turn my let me just do a test certain sees oh now she's doing she's drinks yeah, this is actually a far guess what we'll try it go ahead let's do it okay okay that's crappy when you work for me don't ever like try to do something that I don't tell you to dogo okay because most of time it's just not gonna work you just listen to me I'm your daddy just do it daddy says okay but you're trying it on and I appreciate it and you're and you're doing it even wrong when I showed you how to do because you're probably trying to concentrate on what you wanted to do okay let's separate your hands yeah okay yeah here let me show you again oh, man oh, man here's the child doesn't listen do you get a look at this? It kind of do something okay, you can stand over here so you're in a better position get that yeah yeah, I was trying that maybe a little look at it because you could just fire the flash I'm gonna look on the wall see what we're getting uh little your hands a little too close we have let more light in that might work further way ok that might work okay let's do it before hands gets really tired this light the closer you are to the light where do you put the light? The lower it isthe by the close it was now your life with your head right? I just want that right there perfect one two ready pretty good a little bit more shadows somewhere get a little bit closer to the yet one tio uh not that great uh move your hand a little bit get closer to the flash yet move okay but you can't get there anybody else want to take a whack at that with the fingers because she's getting a c minus right now okay, thank you go on your fingers okay go I mean you get the idea right one tio ready get ok good wow. All right that's better but you kind of get the idea and then we used both right here. Okay. See that kind of cool right if he did it in black and white uh it looks pretty good. Okay, great. Thank you everybody um let's see was there any other shot we kind of covered the strip light? We kind of did that the jump shot well, you want to do something to make you jump so think who's doing this shot you want to do it? Can you do it within five minutes? Okay, so you go you start setting it up you tell me what to do full power right now. Oh, he's thinking is freaking filings and right now I'm going to help him out ok? I might hire so one hundred and eleven okay, so what is your thinking here? My friend uh I got a wide angle lens so six yeah okay so who wants a job anybody oh yeah all right get ready she's getting ready okay and if yeah and I gotta wind gets the little organ so you gotta put it six feet away right what you get those on their way to the ceo is over a full bowl what the heck let's just go for full okay so now this is just gonna be one of a silhouette we're not getting any front light on her all right get wrapped one of those flashes over there just in case one puts in front light on her okay so if you were let's just do it right now okay let's uh yeah you ready any time yeah two cups that flash didn't go off sorry didn't go off now way went to slave mode yeah you got and what is it that pull this yeah, I got I want to let me just do it test okay did both go out? I think so all right here a little bit more than sixty came back a bit okay good ready so you want a shot right? You want to do something and then you want to not look at me one of those science is he probably got it wine two last video what is going on is not turned on ok, there we go I do something is god okay? Give all right yeah, okay let's go it's always there I can't go at any time one, two, three I didn't weigh get a different one sometimes it is what it is that's right? Get ok. Sorry. Good point the flash towards yourself, your body and I'm going to fire it and see if it goes off. Okay, I want to make sure everything good. All right side to do it. All right? Yeah. Good. Okay, now I need let's do something. Where? She's looking at this at this flash. So at three feet it would be f eight. I mean three for you to be one eighth power, right? But we don't want full exposure. We just kind of want to hint of it. So let's, just let me just experience let's. Just go with let's. Just go with one thirty second power, see what that leaves us. Ok? And kind of snow needed a little bit. I do whatever you want, let's. Just do this, okay? Right. Oh, come back. Give us some room. Okay? Yeah, try to look right at that flash. Okay, so wherever head is going to be maybe like when she ends up jumping yeah, you can point up instead of down if you want to maybe or whatever lower ok, ready, go ahead too. Ok good that's lighting her up a little bit now let's be aggressive I was at one twenty fifth of a second but let's go down it's not we have a lot of ambient light in here but so but I want to just try lowering my shutter speed there's a lot of ambient lighting here so I'm not sure how much we can go but I'm going to try to a tenth of a second and let's see yeah to get um morphine in him but let's try it can we go all the way if we can't let's do that but it's that looks sharp that's still ex sharp I'm gonna live on the edge and go for one sixth of a second we still got a lot of light in here actually that is a lot of like ok let's go one, two, three all right that's at sixth of a second there's still a lot of light in here I feel but let's see what we got that's still pretty good up one sixth of a second can you zoom in to her face and see if it's sharp pretty good ok even though there's a lot of light in there one sixth of the second I guess he doesn't have to know I know you're still taking your final example I'm not saying anything all right good so thank you everybody

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