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What Photographers Should Know

Lesson 2 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

What Photographers Should Know

Lesson 2 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

2. What Photographers Should Know

Next Lesson: Lighting Gear Box


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

What Photographers Should Know

Anybody see the movie the matrix ok and so like there's this guy right neo maybe some of you younger people don't even know what the matrix is because that movie was what ninety years or something like that s o this this guy neo who's a program or something like that he actually discovers that the world is fake and that is actually just some computer program and so these people bring a man and try toe he's supposedly the chosen one to come in and to get into the code and fight the computer right? And so he's actually fighting code and so a lot of the movie you see these special effects or you see this code going right and in the beginning of the movies is terrible right? And then some people are actually doubting is this do the chosen would write because she can't handle everything that toad is going by and it's just like overwhelmed with everything and that's how I kind of like we are in the beginning with all this flash and all these exposure and all the stuff that comes at us and we...

can't handle it all but what happens to neo near the end he's like a master, right? I mean there's like a million people shooting billet bullets at him and he's going and what happens the bullets stop right in front of them and just fall to the ground whoa that dude is the master right? And so yes, what? You are the chosen one even though you might not feel like it and you might feel overwhelmed just like neil but yes, you can do this but you just need to assimilate things one thing at a time and then you can get it so don't give up. I know many times you might get frustrated you might be on the verge of tears but guess what, man no, you can do it, it's just you have to tack that one thing at a time and then you'll be able to handle everything and how you do that. I find that people simply do not practice enough you've got to practice practice practice every single week you gotta practice and so practicing anything actually makes you better at lighting anything. Why is that? I was practicing anything uh, better making you better at lighting. Well, let's say you were just went out ok? And you just went shooting some street photography and you decided to just shoot it all in manual, right? No automatic mode you would start to understand equivalent exposures. You would learn your camera better, right? You would know where to get to your shutter speed your f stop you would know how to change your eyes so you don't even know how to change the white balance because what you're just working with it and you're shooting with it now you get into the rial situation the rial world and you got to do some lighting setup now you don't have to worry about fiddling with your camera and you don't have to spend that energy messing with that because then you can solely concentrate on your lighting and it's going to make you better and it's going to make you faster so I just want youto pick up your camera and start freaking using it every single week I don't care what you're doing I don't care if you're posing I don't care if you're just you know going out and shooting I don't care if you are doing language isn't b start a relationship with your camera and practice practice practice and that's what I find most people don't do enough when they come to my workshops ok so what else? Well this is another thing I found out if it ain't easy we're going to do it right if it's not easy you're not going to do it if it's if it's too much trouble you simply won't do it for example how many of us own soft boxes here right now we go on location how long does this set that sucker up? Five, ten minutes right a lot of times we ain't using that soft blocks because we get in the middle of shoot we go oh man I got my going to use my soft box now oh it's gonna take me five math just keeping my bag it happens all the time that's why I suggest using just to shoot through umbrella because it's easy to take two two seconds, right? Things like that what's what are some other things? Get a simple manual flash okay, right they have simple manual flashes out there that make it really easy to control um your f stops and your power just simple up and down whereas if you say you have those that's the expensive flashes to get to manual mode they on purpose make it hard for you why they want you to say, oh, you know it's a little bit difficult to get into manual here I'm just keeping in tl and shoot with it why why they want you keeping tl? Because now they got you now you have to use their five hundred dollars flashes and so forth, right? And so you must if you're going to get into flash I suggest that you have some manual flashes that are really easy because if it's easy you'll actually do it okay, another thing is learn how to use a video light you have to do that I'm surprised a lot when I goto workshops this is just in paris doing a workshop everybody saw my creative life everybody saw me using video light but when I had like twenty students there and I'd like uh only couple of people have video light cycle was what the story how come you guys don't have video like they didn't know how to use that and integrated into the real world that's my bad I didn't I didn't teach you good enough that for this specific situation do this and that's what we're going to go over but everybody should have a video late because it's so darn fast and so darn easy okay hire a lighting this is a big one hire a lighting assistant seriously do it because looking if you don't you've got to do this right you got to set up your lighting right posing the model set this up but uh take the picture oh shoot that's a little bit off right here right to come in she didn't get it needs to be a little bit higher okay then you come back and shoot again it's like uh it could be a little bit over to the left but am I going to go for the fourth time and change that? No so guess what you're going to do you're going to settle your imagery isn't going to be a little bit less than what you're viciousness you just lost your vision you lose your vision you lose everything you need to be ableto execute your vision and you need the most easiest simple is path to it so if you have an assistant oh yeah can you move it back and we'll only out moving over like here right here okay up right down that a bit you're right there man so yes you're going to have to get an assistant it's it's part of next this heart of maximizing everything that you know don't you hate that don't you hate that when you see somebody or maybe if it's your own child and have tons of potential but they don't maximize it that's what we do we don't make it easy for ourselves we will not maximize what we know and we need to do that okay so have the right gear talked about that please do whatever it takes to get that gear right if it's in your vision you need to find a way to get it right if you see that oh you know what? I really like the idea of using that third flash get it if you don't get it you're not going to maximize all you know and you're not going to be able to create your signature style your signature style in everything it's everything you know how many photographers are out there thousands millions and what makes us unique is the way we see things and so if we can't do what we see forget it so you have to have you know what? Go ahead don't tell your spouse or whatever just by everything that you need but just make sure you use it okay if you're using it every other month or every week or whatever by it janet you should have mortgage ear than everybody else and you should be using mortgage ear than everybody else why because most people aren't doing that and you need to do the things that other people aren't doing actually you need to run to everything that is difficult why because of those people ain't doing it and so if you climbed the mountain top and you get there you're going to be noticed so shoot I'm the only one doing this more money man more money to provide for your family things that we need to know is on location lighting is very different than studio lighting is completely different studio lighting you run the one lighting situation all the time on location in the real world is a crazy hot mess it's like holy cow there's a variety of situations happening right nothing is consistent the weather changes the atmosphere changes by you know maybe people walking in that environment or not walking or not being there or it's it's completely inconsistent and so you need to navigate your way into so her that is pure chaos and it's very difficult to do at times on so it's very difficult but don't worry uh you're going to be prepared tio handle bright light overcast lighter shade or low light or even no life um and choosing or creating the right background that's what you have to kind of deal with when it comes to location photography and it's very, very difficult it's not quite as easy as I make it in crazy stupid light right when you really get into it. Okay, so look at this a photographer is on ly as good as their weakest link and so what are those bills? Four aspects of photography that we need to conquer? One is composition and that's what I really find with doing works off with people and after crazy stupid light I realized that people need to learn how to compose a little bit better because we're not dealing with the studio in a backdrop that's clean all the time, right? It's messy out there and so we need to learn how to organize those elements we need some formulas we need some things that we can we need a little bit more than the rule of thirds and actually some of you out there don't even do the rule of hurts either. So but anyway way need some organization we need some help in that area here's another area opposing skills okay, we need to continue I don't know how much I'm going to talk about posing but that's very important there's tons of creative live workshops out there you could by imposing and so they're all there so you can learn that too but definitely you need to concentrate on posing lighting skills is another huge one and even post processing is huge you need all four of those elements man all four and whatever your week at that's how good you are you get it so I think I have a lot of people come in to gal excited I scott about all your gear online I'm ready to go let's get into this workshop they come they get into the workshop and I realize actually they have all these other skills and so it's great in the beginning because we're doing the work stopped right I'm showing you in everything I'm giving you a layup man okay look att I like this here we're going to choose this area let's put the model here I even show you how I pose them right and then I do the lighting and then then I sued it and then I go here you try it and then you ask me what's your camera settings I hate that question I don't know I'm nice like tell you here's my this is what I use is right and then you go and you shoot it why? Because like just set everything up for you if you get it awesome shot but but then when you're off on your own it's a little bit different and yeah, I'm concentrating on you trying to learn how to get the lightning, but I realized a lot of other people don't have all that other stuff to manage they don't know about the posing or they don't know about the composition, so you have to have all you got to be the full package. So anyways, constant interaction with the highly skilled mentor is the best in the fastest way to improved and that's what it is that's what thes three days are I want to be your mentor, your daddy ok back and forth that's the only way you're going to actually learn okay, so look at this let's say let's talk about set up this this is the reason why some of you just don't even mess with lighting, right? And I'm going to show you right here why this is let's say if you're going to step it, okay, you're what you're walking up to the eiffel tower, you get hired to go there to paris to do a photo shoot in paris this the first time you've been there and you've got the couple, they've been all dressed up and you're ready to go and you're stepping in trocadero plows it and ok, we're going to take a picture of the eiffel tower, how long does it take you to set up a shot? Right so one you've got to set up the compasses it's just right and so you gotta look around you know hey, you know like give me a few minutes and you look around here see what we can go you gotta analyze the crowd where everybody is and go let me try to find an area where I can get a clean shot without people walking around let's say that takes you three minutes to do that right that's actually pretty fast so you go there to do that now you gotta work you get them there now you think about the posing like ok put the ship out took this way look this way you know go back and forth until you find the right polls that fits the atmosphere and so forth let's say that take you three yeah and let's say that is six minutes for that one shot okay? How and a half an hour how many shots you gonna get? You're gonna get five shots for thirty minutes. Ok? Maybe that's that's pretty good right now let's say and lighting into the mix. Okay, now you got your composition three minutes. You've got proposing three minutes now you have to mess with your flash and learn howto operate that and get the right like just right let's say and you go you start working it right? You're freakin triggers don't work and you're about that kill me scott robert triggers these things are crap I think you start texting me right away I get the texas high I am here at the wedding and your triggers aren't working wish that I do like seriously I get those oh get those e mails sometimes they do try to help them out but anyways let's say you get the lighting all set up and everything that takes you four minutes now what's the total time for one shot ten minutes in a half an hour how many shots you gonna get different shots now you're only going to get three shots you're almost cutting half the number of shots were going to get because you're adding lighting what happens if you screw up on two of these now you're down the one shot and now you go holy crap I shouldn't do this lighting crap I was getting five I was getting five sessions I got something there I got two or three things they're do they're trying to do the freakin lighting I only do three and only one comes out screw that put the bag put it away and don't do it photography is hard okay you're going to find that if you want to take this journey on to excellent it's on this journey on being world class guess what it is it's three steps forward two steps back really steps toward two steps back you have got to climb that mountain why? Because if you don't work it's going to look like everybody's else's because everybody else takes the least path of resistance but that's not you that's because you want to be at that world class level you want to be the best in your industry because you want to get paid I want to provide for your family because love this life and you can't let it go because why you want to be that ferrari in the end with that bulletproof reputation because when that new upstart guy that knew our eight guy comes out wow his stuff is really good and he's like two thousand dollars cheaper than me you don't have to worry about that why sure the freakin ferrari ok you've been there done that already so you've got to start this method and you have to realize that to equal the variety of shots with good lighting you have to know what double your efficiency you've got to be faster instead of component composition takes you three minutes you've got to do it in thirty seconds man that's why it comes down to practice practice practice there's a ton of practice that we need to do because if you want to get into doing this type of lighting you're going to have to be twice as fast the other things that you do can you handle that right and that's really what it takes so that's kind of where I kind of see. Um, where all this, you know, since teaching crazy, stupid, light, that's, kind of where I see some of the things that I didn't really talk about in the last lecture, and some of the kind of holes that I see that we need to fill, uh, these next three days. And it's, exciting, because actually get toe I get to come. And I couldn't reflect on the past and the present, and to see how people have been integrating that crazy, stupid like. And now we need to move forward with it and fill in all those gaps. So you could have a cohesive plan on how to attack everything. And that's, what's going to be exciting about this.

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