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SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Lesson 10 of 29

Lighting 101: How Do You Find the Light?

Pye Jirsa

SLR Lounge Live Q and A and Image Critique

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

10. Lighting 101: How Do You Find the Light?

Lesson Info

Lighting 101: How Do You Find the Light?

walk into a scene. How do you approach finding the light? So I always go back to number one. We're going to leave this up here, Um, story in purpose. Sweet. Thank you. Easy. Uh, so it's gonna come back to this mainly because I don't know about you guys that we have clients that their styles very like They see us. You know, Linenger's photography, they come to our site, they see the dramatic kind of stuff that will do, will do a lot of lighting effects, will do a lot of cool stuff. But then we also do other things, too. And a lot of times that they come to us, they hire us because we can do all the crazy stuff. But then they ask us to go and do something rather simple. They say, Oh, we love this natural light, you know? Look, and we know this because when they put their mood board together for us, that's what they say. Like they say on the move, Or like all the images they pin from our sight are the natural light, bright and airy. Flare e sun kissed kind of stuff. And so that kind of di...

ctates the story and purpose of the images right like that. That's they want to go for that sun kissed Look versus some of our clients Come and go. I love the dramatic I love the crazy environmental porters that you guys do. Well, that's how we're gonna like, because how we shoot and how we light is dictated by what we're trying to do with the image. It's also gonna be a little dictated by the scene to because in looking at this scene, we have this beautiful kind of industrial window here in a lot of good directional light coming in, the more we try and fight what naturally is in a scene, in my opinion, the worst. The photo ghosts. Okay, so the more you try to change and manipulate a seem to be what it's not, the less appealing it becomes, at least in my mind, because it starts to look a little bit odd. So we want to do is kind of work with the scene. In most cases, if the scene is just awful, then you try and block out as much as you can of it, and then use lighting effects to overcome Okay, so let's jump in. I want to do some natural light shaping first. So let's bring Danielle in just for a minute. And I want to go to an angle that you all can see it. So, Daniel, let's have you stand right here. I'm gonna move this guy a little cool. The first steps to photo wanna one lighting one on one time into anything T shooting and manipulating light is to first understand how the light is working. I swear, every time I teach here, there's always construction. It's like there's like buys. Coming was do this. This isn't here, though. It's like outside anyway. What? It's just Seattle. That's true. Like there's a lot. Okay, trying not going too many raisins. Okay, so to the most basic light modifiers a silver reflector And this is my shoot The reflector. So elegant me designed. What do I had this for? Lake years with its flaps. Liking stuff It doesn't. This is my dirty old standard diffuser, and I carry these around. I usually have my 3rd 1 which is just a silver and black without the whole s. So those are the three. I'll just carry around everywhere. But I want to show you guys understanding light in a scene, and the funnest thing to do is it's not really that fun. It's just when you're driving, there's nothing else to do. So when you're driving, look at the car in front of you. And this is the way I like to teach a lot of our people when they're sitting with me in the car and they're like, How do I understand light? We'll look at the car in front of you and I say, I want you to start identifying every piece of light source that is hitting all the panel of the car. And the reason why cars air cool is because they're reflected right, and they have so many shapes and stuff like that that they're taking light from all sort of different directions. So they're really cool things to study, and I live in L. A. Where we spend a lot of time in the car. Hence, I don't know if you do, then see, Uh, so just looking at this scene right now, how would you analyze this? Well, I can see that we have a very strong backlight, and it's coming from the window. That's that's the most obvious, right? And you can see it on the hair. You can kind of see now the reason that we're not going to see the back light so much is because the background is also really bright. But if I just to bring this up a little bit, okay, against the black. Now you can see really how much hair like she has, right? You can see that light coming up or down against her hair and you can see that against a darker background. But know that if you're shooting against the brighter background and their hair lit, it's gonna look fairly. Not so well, it make a descente. Okay, okay, so this light is coming in here. We also have a little bit agreeing. I can see green right here, right here, right here. And I looked up. And of course, our overhead lighting has turned on. So we have green overhead fluorescence that are coming down. So usually what I'll do is soon they walk into a room like this, I'll say, Hey, can we turn out the lights? Um, and then we'll put those up. Is it possible Trump alights. Okay, Go. OK, as soon as she flips those off Going to see the green. Come off Daniel's face. Yeah. Cool. We've identified a second light. Now what is this? Where we have light coming kind of from this side, right? Well, we know that our monolith is pushing its That's white. And so we're getting, like, coming here and is bouncing and it's coming back into her face over here. So we get that. But what about in the shadow areas of Sorry, I'm like pointing. Oliver, You're so you're so fabulous. You're so perfect. You just think like I've done this a 1,000,000 times. Okay, so in the shadows. Yeah, we have light coming from the floors. We have light coming from these walls over here That's coming from the ceiling. It's coming. And that's what's giving us the soft amount of Phil that's filling in some of the shadows on the face. Right? So I want you guys to do that everywhere you go, because the cool thing about it is you could be walking on the street. And if you're shooting downtown, we did this during tennis photo walk, a delicate B I where you'll be walking on the street and you'll see a shaft of light coming off of a window and hitting the ground because it's the sun's hitting the building and sending a light down and you can go and set up and you have, ah, off camera light right there. It's already set up for you. Just got opposing position and you can use it however you like. It will look like you added flash of the thing, but it's natural like Okay, so now that we understand where the light is coming from, we go back to our story and purpose. What are we trying to do with the image? Are we trying to create something soft and flattering? Are we trying to go for drama? We talk about in lighting 101 this little thing. So let's go. I'm gonna write the drama scale drama scale on this side. No wrong side. Okay. This side shadows beside no shadows. Okay, so we get Mawr drama. When we introduce shadows, we get less drama. So this is flattering and this is dramatic. Okay, so let's think back to who were photographing right now and what we're trying to do with it if I'm taking a picture of a guy. Most of us guys wanna look cool. And we want to look dramatic and what not? And if you shoot me in a way that I look very soft and flattering. I mean, that's cool and all, but I might not put it up with my Facebook profile. Not me. My Facebook profile right now is the picture of me staring into the 19 eighties Classic portrait. Yeah. Anyway, OK, so dramatic. We introduced more shadows, less shadows generally. Where do you think girls, brides? Models? Where do they want to be? Probably more to this side. Right? And generally for other types of stuff, you know, for doing editorial it for doing guys over, doing whatever. We're gonna go more to this side.

Class Description

Pye Jirsa and CreativeLive held an open Q&A based on the lessons taught in Photography 101, Lighting 101, and Lighting 201 classes. 

This course includes questions based around the fundamentals of using your digital camera, camera flashes, and the intricacies of posing.  Pye demonstrated with live models and gear to make this a free course that truly benefits your catalog! 

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a Creativelive Student

Pye is an awesome instructor! He explains everything in a way that you understand it. He is a wealth of information. Love all of his classes!! I love Creativelive and SLR Lounge! Continue doing the great work that you do!!

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Pye is an amazing teacher! I've learned so much from him over the years - both in person and through his tutorials. What's even more amazing is that he is able to do it LIVE! He is able to clearly explain complicated concepts through easy to understand lessons. I highly recommend his courses to learn everything from the basics to advanced topics!


Wow! Pye is an awesome instructor! I've learned SO many things - nuggets of gold!