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Natural Flash/Bounce

Lesson 46 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

46. Natural Flash/Bounce

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor discusses the use of natural light reflectors and reflections in engagement photography. He explains how to find and utilize natural light sources such as glass and metal in urban environments to create beautiful lighting effects. The instructor also demonstrates different shooting techniques and poses to capture engaging and dynamic shots.

Next Lesson: How to Make GIFs


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Natural Flash/Bounce

So let's do one thing, we found, so the other two videos, I don't think we're gonna have time to watch them in this show but we have this beautiful scene right here where we actually do some natural light reflector modification. We place em on the stairs, we get amazing just simple backgrounds, we focus on the couple we get really cool shots. Then we take them inside Disney and there's actually some slides, maybe I can just show the slides briefly so that way we can actually show, I can actually show you guys the effect. So if you look in the scenes, we talked about looking for natural light, looking for where that light is reflecting and so forth. When you're downtown or when you're in city places where there's glass and metal and all these kind of things, you have this stuff naturally present everywhere, you just need to look for it. Which means that we can walk through downtown, middle of the day, without any lighting gear and still position our subjects and shoot shots as if we had...

a backlight, a front fill and so forth, we're just using reflections off of glass and that kind of stuff to, and position the couple with that. So here was really interesting, I thought, I actually shot this scene previously. But this is what it looks like on after sunset. You can see basically the sun is below this wall. So it's already set but we do have a brighter sky right, so this is basically blocking that skyline. So look at how bright this section is up here and that light is actually being cast down into this area. And so it's just enough light. Right now, I think this is about, I was measuring it in post, it's about a half to one stop of light that's landing right in this area of the frame, you can actually see it darkening towards this side, you can see a darkening there, you can see it darker here where it's not hitting. So I just placed them in that. And that half to one stop of light was enough that I could expose it. So this is the exposure with a dynamic range push and I don't have to do anything to it, I have all my detail in the shadows, all my detail in the highlights and all I do is reveal each of these. So I pull the shadows up, bring the highlights a little bit down and we have a shot that looks as if we have like a off camera light kind of a wide soft light that landed on that spot. Beautiful tone in the sky, we didn't loose a bit of that blue graduation, it's gonna print really well. During the day, this is what it can look like. So during the day when you have direct light landing on the building, look at this, this transition right here, this is like two stops, two plus stops of light that's landing on the building between that shadow and the brighter area and you'll find these little bits all over metropolitan areas 'cause it's just there's so much metal and buildings and so forth, they're gonna catch light and throw it in different places. All we gotta do is find them. This is shooting, so basically I have them come off the wall a little bit and I'm actually shooting this shot, going this way. So you actually shoot this way, that light is hitting them directly in the face and it looks fantastic. I haven't added any bit of light, look at the way that this graduates up top and the line that lead kind of into them in the shot, looks fantastic. By the way we talk about, we do a lot of same sex weddings and couples and so forth, we talk about the hip thing, dude I've got them connected, I make sure that we keep the hips connected. Do you wanna demonstrate again Trevor? Yeah. No, no. No. Why do you say yeah, gosh. Alright, I'm just kidding. So we show that in the foundational piece, we actually showed what a hug looks like without that connection and with that connection. There's an awkward separation when you don't have that connection as they're standing close to each other. So we create that connection by having him pull Tom in from that lapel right there just to kind of create another sense of closeness, I really like that shot there, it's so easy to work with. And then we get this shot, a really cool kind of whimsical shot where they're opened up, it's very casual, holding hands. But I loved that the difference in light in that one scene compared to this, how the same scene looks just so completely different at a slightly different time of day.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work