Welcome to Lighting 201 | Transcription

Welcome everyone to Lighting 201. This is Single Source Off-Camera Light Shaping. My name is Pye. I’m one of the co-founders and the editor-in-chief for SLR Lounge, and also one of the founding partners of Lin and Jirsa Photography.

Lighting 201 is all about single source off-camera light shaping. What does that mean exactly? Well, basically, what that means is that we’re going to be using just a single off-camera light source to create all of the images within this tutorial series.

Why are we doing that? We are mixing in multiple off-camera flashes and different types of lights, constant versus flash and so forth? Well, just like in Lighting 101, we want to approach the entire lighting series with a very methodical and kind of a simple approach in breaking apart each one of these very complex type subjects.

Lighting becomes difficult in other courses because they try to teach you everything all at once. That’s why in Lighting 101, we taught you how to light shape, we taught how to create incredible images with just your on-camera flash. We manipulated that light, we showed you how to create soft versions of that light, harder versions, how to use those types of qualities of light to amplify and to create the kind of style and looks you want. We also taught you the entire foundation of lighting, how to balance ambient versus flash, how to get natural versus dramatic looks and so forth. By doing this, by taking the gear out of the equation, we were able to focus strictly on just understanding the foundation of lighting.

Lighting 201 is the same thing, except this time, we want to start introducing more of the gear, and we need to do that because, guess what, now this is all about getting the flash off of the camera. I kind of like that little demonstration. I feel like it was like face, off, face, off. You guys remember where that’s from, face, off? He does like this, face off. My favorite movies of all time back in high school.

Anyway, Lighting 201 is all about getting the flash off the camera and that means that we need more gear. Gear is going to play a bigger part of this video series, this tutorial series because that’s what necessary in creating these types of effects. That being the case, we want to focus in on just how much you can do with the single off-camera light source.

Then in Lighting 301, we’re going to do multi-point off-camera lighting. We’re going to mix into that constant lighting as well as how to balance constant light plus flash effects.

Then in 401, we’re going to take everything from the Light 101, 201, 301 series and we’re going to combine it and we’re going to be using studio strobes, so high-power strobes, we’ll be getting even larger modifiers and so forth.

That’s kind of the progression of this series. That’s why we chose to approach it this way because you’re going to be absolutely amazed by what we can do with just a single off-camera light source.

Let’s go in and talk a little bit about what’s in Lighting 201. Let me just click here. This takes us to our lovely Table of Contents. Can you all read this? No? Not really? Don’t you guys have 20/10 vision? I don’t know. We’re not shooting in 4K so it’d be hard to read this.

This is a good time for me to remind you that you should download the PDF file. We have a PDF book that comes with this course. If you purchased the course, you’ve got the PDF that came with it. That PDF is a reference of every single slide and topic that we’re talking about throughout this entire course. Use it while we’re actually teaching so you guys can kind of follow along, use it as a reference point.

Also, feel free to use it on your shoots. Take it on your iPad or on your iPhone or on whatever mobile device you might have and use it as kind of inspiration, get ideas from it. Use those lighting techniques, put them into practice, and then share your results on SLRLounge.com.

Remember, sharing with the community and showing what you’re doing and going out and creating these images is the best way to practice. Then, coming back and sharing them is the best way to get constructive critique, which is going to give you, well, just a quicker overall experience and learning and mastering these techniques.

Let’s go ahead and just talk through quickly what we’re going to be covering in this course. Chapter 1 is, of course, our introduction. Chapter 2 is all about gear setups and reference. I’m going to say this once here, I’m going to say it again later on, Chapter 2 is not meant to watch marathon style like you would Lord of the Rings. Oh, that sounds awesome. Right now I would love to watch Lord of the Rings marathon style, just 1, 2, 3, solid 12 hours, that’d be awesome.

Chapter 2 is large. Don’t go and shock on this one single sitting on your sofa. You’re going to drive yourself absolutely crazy. Instead, what you should do is start watching Chapter 2, get an idea for what’s in there and then go ahead and move on to the actual shoots in Chapter 3, 4, and 5 and so forth. When you have questions on how to use certain bits of gear, when you have questions on technology, reference back to Chapter 2.

All right. Chapter 3 is all about off-camera bare-bulb pocket strobe techniques. We’re going to differentiate and we’re going to talk about all of the different terms that we’re using, like pocket strobes versus medium strobes, versus full strobes, and all those kinds of things. Chapter 3 is all about how much you can do with just a single pocket flash. This is a pocket strobe, off-camera bare-bulb. Okay. That’s all Chapter 3.

Chapter 4, we’re going to start modifying this pocket strobe and start creating different kinds of techniques and showing you when you can modify pocket strobes and get great results versus when you need to step up to a medium strobe and so forth. We’re going to give you a bunch of different ideas, take you on a lot of different shoots and show you the modification of the strobe when to use off-camera.

Chapter 5 is all about seeing like an artist and thinking like your camera. Which means that when you approach a shoot, I want you to be able to think, how the camera is going to visualize that scene based on certain changes, based on camera setting changes, based on off-camera flash changes and so forth, and then being able to see that scene like an artist and decide what do you want that scene to look like, and then figuring out how to think like your camera and work your way into it. Because you can turn out to create these incredible scenes from something that looks just straight up ordinary when you go and look at it with your two bare eyes.

All right. Chapter 6 is, finally, about subtlety and refining. This is our case study chapter. We’re going to dive in deeper into each of the scenes and we’re going to talk more about just analyzing and refining your lighting techniques. We want you to be able to go into any shoot and be able to analyze, refine, and create professional results going … Well, regardless of the shoot, regardless of the time of day, the place that you’re in and so forth, we want amazing results any time, any place. That’s what Chapter 6 is about, how to analyze each of your scenes.


  • 1.1 Lighting 201 Trailer
  • 1.2 Welcome to Lighting 201!
  • 1.3 OCF = Anytime/Anyplace
  • 1.4 Lighting 101 Speed Review
  • Gears, Setup, & Reference

  • 2.1 Our Three Favorite Camera Flashes 'Pocket Strobes'
  • 2.2 Chapter 2 Intro
  • 2.3 Wired, Infrared or Radio?
  • 2.4 “Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?”
  • 2.5 4 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At
  • 2.6 Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes
  • 2.7 Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers
  • 2.8 5 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs
  • 2.9 Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range
  • 2.10 Our Favorite “Sticks”
  • 2.11 12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories
  • 2.12 Gear Setup – Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick”
  • 2.13 Gear Setup – Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom...
  • 2.14 Gear Setup – Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick”
  • 2.15 Gear Setup – Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom...
  • 2.16 Gear Setup – Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom...
  • 2.17 Chapter 2 Quiz: Gear Setups & Reference
  • Off-Camera Bare Bulb Pocket Strobe Techniques

  • 3.1 Chapter 3 Intro
  • 3.2 Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers
  • 3.3 8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF
  • 3.4 Over Powering the Sun – Part I
  • 3.5 Over Powering the Sun – Part II
  • 3.6 Slow Down! Watch the Details
  • 3.7 Assignment | Over Powering the Sun and Using "Upgrounds"
  • 3.8 More Power Without the Power
  • 3.9 Adding to Existing Light – Part I
  • 3.10 Assignment: Adding to Existing Light
  • 3.11 Bare Bulbing with Large Groups
  • 3.12 Back Lighting to Create Interest
  • 3.13 Assignment | Back Lighting to Create Interest
  • 3.14 Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan”
  • 3.15 Assignment: The Whip Pan
  • 3.16 Chapter 3 Quiz: Off-Camera Bare Bulb Pocket Strobe Techniques
  • Off-Camera Modified Pocket & Medium Strobe Techniques

  • 4.1 Perfect In-Camera, Then Photoshop
  • 4.2 Chapter 4 Intro
  • 4.3 The Flash Modifier You Already Own
  • 4.4 The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella
  • 4.5 Large Group Shots with an Umbrella
  • 4.6 Exposure Balancing via Lightroom
  • 4.7 Assignment | Large Group Shots with an Umbrella
  • 4.8 Portable Softboxes
  • 4.9 Assignment | Softbox Portraits
  • 4.10 More Light Control, Just Grid It!
  • 4.11 Assignment | Softbox with Grid
  • 4.12 Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes
  • 4.13 Assignment: Modified Pocket Strobes at Dusk
  • 4.14 More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!
  • 4.15 Assignment | Medium or Full Strobe Portraits
  • 4.16 Adding to Existing Light – Part II
  • 4.17 Adding or Enhancing Light Direction
  • 4.18 Assignment | Adding to Existing Light with Medium or Full Strobe
  • 4.19 Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique
  • 4.20 Assignment | Medium or Full Strobe Group Photos
  • 4.21 Incorporating Flares with Flash
  • 4.22 Assignment | Using Flash with Flares
  • 4.23 Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs
  • 4.24 Assignment | Using Flash with Gobos
  • 4.25 Chapter 4 Quiz: Off-Camera Modified Pocket & Medium Strobe Techniques
  • Seeing Like An Artist, Thinking Like A Camera

  • 5.1 Chapter 5 Intro
  • 5.2 Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change
  • 5.3 Assignment | 3-Light Look with 1 Off Camera Flash
  • 5.4 What About The Fill Light?
  • 5.5 Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic
  • 5.6 Assignment | Backlight and Gobo
  • 5.7 Drawing Attention via Light Shaping
  • 5.8 Visualizing Light & Color Shifts
  • 5.9 Mixing Ambient + GOBO w/Flash
  • 5.10 Better Light Can Change Everything!
  • 5.11 Chapter 5 Quiz: Seeing Like An Artist, Thinking Like A Camera
  • 5.12 B.Y.O.L | The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light
  • Case Studies

  • 6.1 Chapter 6 Intro
  • 6.2 Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference
  • 6.3 Great Light Changes Everything! Part II
  • 6.4 Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag
  • 6.5 Assignment | Long Exposure and Manually Triggered Flash
  • 6.6 The Right Power for Each Scene
  • 6.7 Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera
  • 6.8 Subtle Light for Natural Portraits
  • 6.9 Light Modification & Simple Compositing
  • 6.10 Assignment | Light Modification and Compositing
  • 6.11 Expanding Your Photographic Vision
  • 6.12 Chapter 6 Quiz: Subtlety & Refining - Case Studies