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Working with Flash

Lesson 8 of 13

Overhead Bounce Light with Fill

Pye Jirsa

Working with Flash

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

8. Overhead Bounce Light with Fill

Lesson Info

Overhead Bounce Light with Fill

All right, so we're going to be going a little bit quick because I got us a little bit behind I thought we were ahead we actually weren't but what I'm going to do is actually start with this first slide, so we already talk about bouncing right? And I wanted to show you guys some basic principles of how I would use this in real life because what we've done here so far in studio but we'll stay well this briefly time by this one real quick so this image right here is lit with an actual led light just overhead. I want to basically demonstrate how much of a difference it makes just modifying that light a little bit all waited here we put a scrim this is the white side. The inside of one of these reflectors is a scrim. Now all we do is just put a scrim over that led that shine down and look at the difference like looking amount of like detail and stuff we're picking up the skin versus this one it's so much more soft and flattering and its exact same everything, right? So always remember goin...

g forward as you guys are planning your chutes think of the look that you wanna have and choose soft, hard diffused speculator to match the look so on location we're doing a little family session and around the park and I'm popping off two shots there so this is forward that tutorials I can show people what this looks like what I have my assistant doing and generally for someone asked alicia alicia asked if how many people we have on typical shoots for a porter session I just have an assistant for something big like a fitness or commercial shoot I might have five ten it depends on like the actual shoot scope but generally on this kind of stuff it's just want now here's a little trick this is our internal scrim right any five one has and this is like a mini reflector that I got john gave this to me and I'm like that's so cute I like many reflectors doesn't cover my hope face okay so if you want a little bit of extra power remember how we talked about silver pushes back more power than white right well if you flash into this as a reflective surface it will send some light back but it's also going to send a lot of light through it and you're gonna lose a lot of light so what I'd like to do is someone also asked earlier was it laura ask common reflectors do I get like I take three anywhere because I have one that's just a scream and I have one that's a silver and then one that's a white so whenever I want more light I just stack the silver behind the white so if you look on the inside of a soft box that's actually mirrors of soft box right? The saw fox has a diffusion and a reflective piece so now when I bounce into this the silver catches all the light and throws it back through the white and we get a nice diffused light that's more powerful so for this shot I thought, um remember guys or hallelujah or something all at once now no okay, thanks of the audience probably can't hear well, like what's going on they just think I'm talking myself this whole time that's right? So all we're doing here is I have the reflector place just right off the camera, right? So I'm right here I have my grid on and guys checked like test this out if you don't need a grid for a shot like if you're bouncing and you're like oh, I'm not pushing like forward take the grid off because it'll give you more power so here's the light my cup my subjects are in front of me and my assistant is just holding reflected right here this is just on camera flash bounce to the right we're set to this first shot was one, two hundred to fifty just to show you what the ambient looks like second shot is one two hundred to fifty with about one half to one quarter flash power coming off this and a lot of people always go. Why? Why do you use flashes and bounce off reflectors? Why not just use the reflectors? Why not just catch sunlight? Well, when you're working in shade, there is no sunlight to catch. We can't catch two stops of light and throw it into their faces. Also, what about a cloudy day? What about inside? What about all these different situations? What about the fact that if you're catching direct light with a silver and shining into somebody's face, you're like gonna cook him in a matter of just a few seconds, right? Most people can't keep their eyes open when you do that. So that's, why we do these kind of things? This is same thing we took this couple out and he's actually an actor and he's in disney's new play in los angeles and he's playing scar and he goes, hey, during our session, can you get a portrait of me where I look kind of sinister? I want like a sinister headshot, so to create and we're going to talk about this again. This is like the full kind of course, but these different light patterns have different looks. You want to create a more dramatic and sinister look you create, leave more shadows you want to create more flattering look, you reduce shadows right it's like ok what will do is he knew that we were actually filming it for lighting one once I'm like I'm not supposed to use any off camera light but we'll do this so I just have my assistant are holding the reflector again raph the side I placed him in a scene if you look at this here's the amin exposure on eighty five mil one two we're at one fiftieth one six oh two hundred this is what the ami light looks like so what we've done we've pulled the and unlike down we're going for something dark and dramatic I placed him in a spot whether the window behind him it gets a natural rim light along the side of his face so I'm using existing light to be my second and my third light source right we have a background light we have a sidelight on the edge then we just simply add that front light so it looks like we have another light here in the back that's creating a little kicker but it's just my just the placement of the subject so same thing here we have like multiple kind of sources of light coming in all it was was just placement the subject and adding that bounce white reflector over silver white reflector over silver for both those okay what's going on oh yeah this is the close up to show you guys what difference in detail so exact same everything diffused, non defused. I think this one has a filling it too. So reducing shadows is flattering. That's why? I like for beauty and, you know, if you're doing a shoot for makeup and that kind of stuff it's more likely gonna be this type of a lighting pattern. Okay, here's, that before here's the after if you notice we left the esso with the ambient still very bright, you can even pump the ambien up even brighter if you'd like, bring the flash down with amin that bright, it still has a very nice and kind of natural feel to it doesn't look like I don't think family photos would look nice with their very dramatic, like you pulled back on down it's, like where the family of dark people will they be very bright in a dark background, like some weird movie? Okay, there, before and after of our head shop, tilting his head slightly towards that, so we get some spill and pray a rembrandt pattern on his face. All right, I'm gonna talk through this one. I'm going to demonstrate this because this is the same bounce techniques, so what we're doing is we're doing bounced techniques toe create different types of light patterns, a light that comes down off the top is known as a paramount or butterfly, right? You place it directly about the person's face and we could do the exact same thing again with just your on camera flash. We put a reflector right here we throw light into it is going to come down in a paramount pattern. The beautiful part about this is this is again our fitness session, right? So ambient light emulate direct flash direct flash. Neither of these is really the kind of look that I'm going for here we place the reflector just above his head, we fire up into it, I have him kind of doing a little ab crunch and when you're not lighting the eyes, guys, generally you don't have a look in the camera. That's why I showed the second image I still delivered this image, that is ok, but the actual shot that I would keep is I had him look down in the second shot, so when they're looking down, if the eyes aren't lit and the face isn't lit well, taking their attention away from the camera is a kind of a big thing. And so I like that a lot better than, say, having them look directly into the camera, you see the shadows it creates underneath eyes. What it does here is that top down light does a great job of highlighting abs I haven't pushing his abs out a little bit and leaning back so that when the light comes down it spills onto his stomach and misses the rest of them so that's why his abs air like highlight it is because he's doing this do I look as good as I do that okay for this shot is something we just took a b flat we put on to see stands and we put the so if you imagine like this this armada see sander does hang out like this and we laid a b flat across the top of it again you can make a b flat for twenty bucks at home depot even cheaper very inexpensive stuff boom it up you're going to buy the stance stands her and then a flash right off the top of it and we get that look okay, I think we'll have the close ups here so okay now we're going to overhead balance with a fill so this is basically paramount lighting with a little film we're going to create a headshot look for an image so why? Because I wantto teach you guys that we can turn this single on camera flash into whatever kind of light you'll want so we're using aly on this one right alec command I'm gonna hop onto a twenty four seventy what we're gonna do is let's just adjust the height a little bit yeah so let's pick that up this is a white right? Yeah okay so remember we want flattering soft light so I'm gonna use a white that rind I love when things rhyme thing okay and then I won't have you stand right on the seamless just behind and come forward a little bit perfect okay and what will do first john is let's take the fill out just like in showing what uh uh just what this light looks like without it and then we'll be okay I'm still going to leave the grid on because I don't need a ton of power I'm shooting really close and I don't really want the light spilling forward onto her so we'll just leave that on I'm gonna look at my ammu nexpo zhu and make sure is dark and it is perfect and what I'm gonna do is this is the tricky part so you take a look at how the flash is actually opening up okay? Do you see that underneath there see how small it is? I need it to be not that small so I want the flash to actually open up into get this here okay that's a little bit bigger, bigger okay, so what's happening to our light source just because they're balancing on a reflector doesn't mean we necessarily getting a large light source right if the light that's hitting it isn't using the entire reflector then it's not doing his job okay, so let's go ahead and pop just a quick little shot up thank you take this down just a one to one quarter power just a quick look see I want to do is join if weaken raise this up just a little bit more the higher this goes up the more the light can open before it hits the reflector so actually I'll take a quick shot okay can we switch the feed to their young bin? Is it working yet? There you go. Okay, top down light now it's gonna get even softer watch this okay, look at the shadow definition right here and watches it transitions the shadow edge under her chin actually becomes softer, right? So a lot of times when we're even doing things like just reflecting we're not doing it quite right because we're not utilizing the entire reflector so you need to make sure that wherever that reflector is if you're bouncing off something it's actually opening up we need that light source to open up before it comes back. Okay, now let's do this let's add that phil so now let's just boom that up and then there stepped forward a little bit way go perfect just like that gorgeous I'll show you guys waltz loading up nice okay can you go back to the prior image and to show him this one? So look at the shadow go the next one again, ben having a scene like like you know big studios will do like these crazy setups and we'll have like all five lights and everything we're doing it with reflectors guys like just a reflector and a flash let's do one more thing let's put up I want to do you know, just for sake of speed let's put a b flat onto this side of the flat on the sign I'm gonna create a square set up guys with just a single point flash right so now we have a two I set up going to a square so let's bring that back to me and then you can lean it up against these guys wait right here. I want to go in close to her. Yeah that's great and johnny thinking lean that one into her just cause I can't get close enough usually we do these with like, four reflectors guys um but since we don't have to go uh yeah, just the top of a little bit okay, now look when it transitions are going to see to see all the light being pushed back look at this square reflections and I all four sides with the guys and see it from where you're at but there's now four key lights and now it eliminates all shadow it is I could do the same thing where I opened up the flap behind her like open with people and money and we call it negative light right? You put the black side against her shoulders to create a shadow against the shoulders we could do all that we can create a four lights set up just right here and have our own little headshot studio with just your on camera flash I'll do it for you wow thanks, cliff. Okay, by the way, don't you headshots on twenty four seven I'm doing it for convenience sake, okay using eighty five or some like that? Um I just want to go through this a little bit quick, okay? Let's see where we're at now so let's go back to the slides, al, you can hop out. Thank you. All right, so here we just demonstrated like we can get a head shot look again with just that bounce or create often puppy photos. This is sad puppies with direct flash don't they look like, don't they look so much more sad here they're like on like here they're like, hey, we're happy way could take us out oh, if you want to lean him against the wall will probably use them a little bit, okay so we just started on multi point life sentence, right? So this was our first multi point life set up let's do another one. What I want to do now is let's bring in our athlete, dom, actually let's bring in donna let's, have you do some pre pumpin on set and I'm going to talk about what that isn't just a second, so let's do a tall like the four by six on dh, then we'll set up. We could probably use these just to kind of demonstrating, okay, so you'll see the progression here anytime it doesn't matter whether you're using reflectors or whether using actual on off camera flashes. Okay, start with one light source and ad always, always, always, and generally even one step before that, I start with my ambien exposure, then I add one light source and then if I want ad too, if I want another one, I'll add three and you work up never start with like three it's the most complicated things, as you have no idea what light is reflecting where and what's creating one, it just makes everything all confusing. So this is just a single light source. Can you guys guess based on the speculum highlights, if we're using a wider a silver silver, every one of you is like silver, exactly and you know why? Now? We're using it right? Because they want to create that sheen and that kind of bright highlight. Here we add a phil, so all we did was we put another reflector on the other side to catch more light. Here we add a third filled, we added a silver on the other side, right? Where's abs are just a kick extra light, rimmer white defused and less light silver, more light and more speculate. So I want to catch more light and kick you right in the ab just to give them a bright sheen. And so there's, our simple three lights set up. This is more like a four lights that appear, because now we have here, we're not working with any ambient light right here. We actually have ambient light in the room already, same exact technique, this is on an actual finish, you if we can't if I can't show you all techniques that are actually usable in rial shoots, I feel like those techniques aren't really good, right? If you can't actually do. So. I told this gym, I was like, hey, I'm going to come and do a shoot with you guys, we're not going to charge you for the shoot, because we're going to make it for lighting one o one, and but you'll still get amazing images, and they'll still love it and everything like that. So I went to this shoot, and we're doing the exact same bounced techniques. But we have the garage slightly cracked. We're filling the room with some fogs. We have some ambient fog. We get this beautiful kind of look to the image.

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.