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Working with Flash

Lesson 7 of 13

Light Qualities

Pye Jirsa

Working with Flash

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

7. Light Qualities


  Class Trailer
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2 Reasons to Use Flash Duration:04:11
4 Understanding Flash Duration Duration:13:00
5 Direct Flash Done Right Duration:06:22
6 Direct Flash vs Bounce Flash Duration:11:30
7 Light Qualities Duration:13:19

Lesson Info

Light Qualities

So like qualities we've talked about basically there's not a right type of light right just the right type of light for the look that you want to create people get these things big step a lot they're actually very different we have a soft or a hard light or a diffused versus a speculator light those air two very different things a lot of times people go oh that's a lovely diffuse light or that's such a beautiful soft light they mix those two things ever that light is so hard it's very speculative it can be both of those things but those are actually different descriptions ok a soft light it simply means that the light source is large it's just a big life source in relation to the person right a small light source is what creates a hard light ej and all that means is the differences soft light the larger than life source the more gradual to fall off the more gradual the transition from shadow to highlight the smaller the life source it's a quick fade it's a quick transition from shadow ...

to light that makes sense so sharp edges are created by small light source is very kind of soft sweeping graduation is created by a large soft light source this is always in relation to the subject ok meaning this reflector in relation to ally when she was standing here was a very large light source right. But if I move the reflector thirty feet away, it becomes a very small light source in relation to her. So obviously the sun is gigantic, yet it creates a pinpoint edge on every single person because it's so far away from us, right, which is actually beautiful like that kind of a hard light when used well, looks amazing. Diffuse versus speculum. Any guesses as to which one? This is the speculum. So what diffuses talking about is it's a matte surface. Ok, amass surface it's like a matte white. This wall would be a more diffuse surface than this reflector. Okay, that sheet is amore diffuse service than this reflector, but probably not as much so as the wall, because that sheet looks like there is some reflective properties to it. So if something is reflective, it's speculator, if something is soft and matt it's defused, the difference is speculative is what creates bright highlights and a sheen to somebody. Right? So you can actually see very high highlights, like those brighter areas of their skin and stuff to get very, very bright. If somebody is oil, your greasy what light is going to be more flattering? A diffuse light, right, but which in a little bit we are going to do this. If we were to actually boil up somebody and want to create like fitness shots, we might use a speculator like just because it would create that look that we want to go for. Okay? So speculator brighter highlights and sheen defused it's more subtle and graduating highlights. So when you look at these, this is actually the same exact person, right? But look at how bright her forehead in the highlights of her skin are in that second shot versus the first one where it's like a very soft look to it. So if you want a diffused light, you switch this out to a white. If you want to speculate light, you go for silver. Thank you for completing my sentence. I appreciate that. So don't let me get you in real quick and let's do this let's just swap actually take one shot with this on a speculum. So again, the right type of light for the subject matter, right? And this isn't gonna look bad. It's not gonna look like dom's. Fantastic looking damage itself is going to be not necessarily what I would do in this situation, because he's dressed for like, a catalog shoot, right? That's kind of what it looks like it's either going to be a portrait session or the catalog shoot so if I use this is going to have a little have a different look tom step back a tiny bit and just out this way a little bit right there perfect way to see where this lights coming in great now bring the changes over the side I'm moving his chain into it because our lights coming from this side I'm short lighting the side of his face letting light spill onto him for rembrandt again we'll talk about patterns and the actual full course so let's do this perfect bring your chin a little bit more than that uh reflector at their perfect chin back a little bit towards me right there and we bring up the feed okay, now I'm just going to show you if we were to swap this out now with the white let's see what it looks like and by the way I'll just take a quick frame and show you without flash just so you guys going to see what the ambien exposure is okay so that's with the flash and you could see the ambien exposure right here it's pretty dark right you can also see how nice this looks in camera has a very good look it's a little harder to see it from the screen okay, so let's just yeah, what have you hold it up so let's have you angling towards me a little bit john right there and take a small step forward I'm going to use my modern light again to kind of see where that light's fallen enough. Okay, I want to okay now one thing I forgot to mention is a diffuse light sends back more light I'm sorry speculate light will send back more light right see how dark that is so uh diffused light source is gonna eat up your light which means we're gonna powered up quite a bit actually take us up the one half power and let's just see one half might be a little bit pop a shot like that don give me a little wink right there so the shadow transition became much softer, the light became more flattering and this is a single light source but when we actually come back from break we're going to show you how we turn the same on camera flash in tow multi point light sources. So what questions to get good if you're going to start out and you had a budget of maybe five hundred or two thousand dollars, what would you start out with? Four your light setup I would get a reflector I would get are at least a few reflectors they're expensive right guess I like the west con five ones by the way we've used a ba jillion reflectors that zippers always break on them and it's really annoying so westcott actually makes decent reflectors they're inexpensive think thirty forty bucks apiece so get like I usually take three of those on shoots I have one just opened so it's just the diffused inside I've won silver and then one white so I'm just ready to do anything I want on get a camera flash start trying these technique because we're going to actually get into even more techniques where we're going to create like a full studio set up with just our single on karen flash we're gonna head shots this is after the break we're going to head shots were going teo are fit in the chute with like a three lights set up using just on camera flash that is such a powerful tool and we're gonna show you how we use it in real world situations too, because obviously like you wouldn't take this out to the beach but there are things that we can do at the beach they're very similar and we'll show you that s oh yeah a flash those and then that be where I start first because reflectors air great for natural light modification and then flash is awesome for that then once you start buying flashes, start getting you're off camera like here so you can pick because I think that was only five hundred bucks your budget or two thousand if you had some light stands and you put speed lights on them like if you taped over the, um contact and then you mounted them on stands or something like that, would you get, like, three of those? Yeah, so like we use these guys, I'll show you actually demonstrate this to later we'll do a fool thing, but this is a western umbrella bracket it's like twenty bucks. This is a man photo light stand I think they're called the nano's, but they might have changed the name recently, but they're like sixty, seventy bucks. So you get one of these, you can mount one flash off camera. You didn't decide what flash you're gonna get. The beautiful thing about, like a metro's plus or six hundred ex artie, is that they don't require any they have built in radios. So as long as you have two of them or you have the flash and a radio, you can control the flash without having like, park wizard cables everywhere. We used to use pop quizzes and popular is still fantastic. We still have them. They're just cumbersome because you're lining everything and there's always cable connection issues, and they're a little bit annoying, so yeah, so that means this is a really great systems I would invest in that first get like you know three metros is petros petros is mitri me try you try get some me try on get your stands get your brackets on dh then I'm going to show you guys the triple threat in a second when we get back and that's another cool and um and then you reflectors and like an umbrella like some of the most basic stuff guys we create our image is using the most basic things and granted when we go on do like grandiose fitness shoots and stuff we'll get bust out all the crazy here but you don't necessarily need it sure do you have a opinion on other flashes like young nooooo phonetics cheetah I think those air less expensive but I think they still have the ability to control the flash output but I'm just curious what so there's young oh and then there's a photo x is the one that I was using here this guy that's the metro's plus this is four hundred bucks it's a far cry from like you know and new newer viewers another inexpensive chinese made flash um you know here's the thing is if you're starting out and you've got a budget of four hundred bucks get your horse they're inexpensive you can at least start using it and trying it out on dh that's its purpose its purpose is to get you in and a price point that really anybody can accept the only issue is that if you're trying to use it for professional use, you're going to run into situations where they don't fire consistently you're not going to get good consistent output, your temperature's going very it's gonna be your literally paying for what you're getting write this and we've done a whole siri's on us, our lounge on the best flashes on and so I tried literally every single one of them. This was the on ly third party, one that I found that I would actually use for my professional shoots on and that's why we approached them and said, hey, we can actually use these I used the newer ones as well they have these cool batteries like lithium ion batteries again these air seven hundred dollars flashes so four of them equals one of this that's a big difference in price and so to get into it it's very easy um and it lets you practise but the batteries, the lithium ion batteries that went to the new hours we we would get issues of like overheating, whether they would recycle incredibly fast, like one point five seconds full power recycles and then overheat within twelve pops so you get twelve pops and it's overheated and shut down, or the batteries are inconsistent in quality control and so forth you have batteries that constant die and so what ends up happening is when I and the funny thing is to test our gear I take them on the actual shoots so we'll get like twelve these items will take them to an actual shoot and stew client shoots with them with the new hours I took eight flashes in situations where I only need four because I know that I'm gonna have issues and I need to have backups on hand so that's kind of the thing you're going to be carting around more stuff and because you need to have something occasionally fails so that makes sense it's not to say that again I feel like everyone those pieces of gear has its own place and purpose, so this is not me spouting off my opinion it's more like I very much think that it serves a market that it needs these flashes to just start practicing, but for professional use I wouldn't use them quite yet and I'm sure they'll be tons of professionals I disagree with me did you say cliff? Did you have a question to the president? I would take my cannon just because it was more professional. Yeah, most the time like with a flash I think most klein probably wouldn't realise with a camera they would like if you took out of phase one versus a dslr, they're going to know what he brought a phase one that's crazy but, yeah, I think there is a certain kind of extent, too, where you do need a show face, like if someone's paying you ten thousand dollars ago into a shoot that most likely they're gonna have some knowledge about what you're doing and so showing up with, like a rebel. Probably not too happy about that, so but I don't know. You guys would have course do that. So so these air through the great thing about, like, the chinese manufacturers, that air coming in, like politics and these other brands, the ones that are doing it well, they're really putting canon nikon like they're keeping about the toes, because the six hundred ex artie was six hundred bucks, and when this guy came out, the cannon immediately dropped a five hundred bucks. This one's for hundred, still so it's, still less expensive, but not by a ton.

Class Description

Learn how to achieve professional results during real world shoots, working in less-than-ideal scenes, and with absolutely no time in Working with Flash with Pye Jirsa

Pye has lots of experience shooting in high pressure situations with minimal gear. In this class, he’ll teach on-camera flash bounce techniques that you can use to create 1, 2, and even 3 light setups using simple and inexpensive light modifiers. Pye will also help you add motion to your images and he’ll dive into the basics of off-camera flash so you can take advantage of the additional flexibility and creative options it affords. 

Best of all, you are going to learn lighting from the bottom up. You will see just how powerful the gear you already own can be, while learning about inexpensive stepping stones into the world of off-camera flash.



Not only is this a great class, but Pye is entertaining to watch. I'm a natural light photographer and I wanted to learn more about what a flash could do for me and my business. After watching this class I have not only learned more about flash photography but also learned that it can help boost my photos and create more beautiful photos even for my family clients. Great class I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about flash photography.


Great course, Considering that I am a professional photographer that is always searching for new ways to work and make my workflow more efficient and my work more creative, I find this class to be very helpful and interesting. I already own 3 pocket flashes and I realize that I don't exploit them as I could. It also made me realize that I was more in the «the more gear you buy» mode and not enough in the «exploit your gear and be creative» mode. So for the price, I think it is worth it !

Ali Plantz

"Working with Flash" was a great introduction for learning the basics of using a pocket flash, as well as providing opportunities to explore more advanced concepts related to light and its manipulation. I would definitely recommend this class for anyone who is wanting to familiarize themselves with the how flash can transform your photos and how its control can provide a creative avenue with artistic results.