Skip to main content

5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle

Lesson 7 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle

Lesson 7 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. 5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle


Class Trailer



Intro and Who This Class is For


3 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios


My Progress in Lighting


Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting


Circumstantial Lighting Q & A


Using a Reflector the Right Way


5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle


5 Behaviors of Light: Inverse Square Law of Light


5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size


5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size Continued


5 Behaviors of Light: Color


5 Behaviors of Light: Reflective Surfaces


5 Behaviors of Light: Q & A


Location SWOT Analysis and 10 Things to Look For


Location SWOT Analysis: Examples and Exercises


Overview Q & A




Speedlites: The Basics and TTL


Speedlites: Manual Flash


Speedlites: Zoom Flash


Speedlites: Zoom and Rotating Flash Head and Reflectors


Speedlites: First Curtain vs. Second Curtain Sync


Speedlites: High Speed Sync


Speedlites: Optical vs. Radio Systems


Speedlites: Groups and Channels


Location Lighting Upgrade Examples


Indoor Lighting: Building on Ambient Light


Outdoor Lighting : Speedlights in Direct Sunlight


Outdoor Lighting: Using Speedlites in Shade


Outdoor Lighting: Romantic Look and Patterns with Speedlites


Indoor Lighting: Creating a Window with Strobes and a Curtain


Indoor Lighting: Moody Light with Speedlites and Gels


Indoor Lighting: Reflective Surfaces


Indoor Lighting: Shooting Against a Window


Indoor Lighting: Adding a Reference Point and Ambience


Indoor Lighting: Shooting into a Mirror and Creating Separation




Why You Need to Learn to Get it Right In Camera


Location Photo Review and Analysis


Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis


Reception Lighting Setup


Image Critique: Lighting Problems and Solutions


Don't Limit Yourself As A Photographer


Lesson Info

5 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle

Are you ready for the really crazy serious stuff like the really important things? Okay, this is where we're gonna be doing some shooting it's going to go over the segment to the next segment but we're going to go ahead and get started what you should do right now is clear your minds completely off anything that's like could be clouding whatever previous you know, negative experiences you fired with all this also clears your mind off when I say something like the inverse square law of light and all this stupid stuff don't worry about the names just worry about what I'm going to say and how the light behaves okay? There are some people watching that are very technical and that's gonna kill tow them I'm going to approach it in a more visual way okay? They're basically five light behaviors you really need to know if you know these five year on fargo fargo, spanish or fire dragon ok, here the five things you need to know the angle of incidence behavior have you guys heard of the angle of i...

ncidence equals the angle of reflection? Okay, totally boring name for a very simple concept will discuss it. Okay, that second one is you need to know the inverse square law of light incredibly important but no more or less important in the other four they're all equally important the third one is the relative size behavior this is the one responsible for most people's problems in lighting is the third one the fourth one is the color behavior how light absorbs color on bounces color back because how many of you raise your hands if you do this how many of you shoot your subjects we go to the part and we shoot them at the park oh everybody right including me what happens at the park green grass why do we never worry about that green grass have you ever noticed if you put your camera out of white balance on your shooting green especially if the light's not that great like if their life a little low when you're trying to raise your s o it will make you look green blue awful it's like the worst combination you can have um green the other white balance is trying to react to all the green cask cast it on your face that's why I don't understand why we do so much on grass it's like green it's not good on then the last one is the reflective behavior so that just will discuss that but that just means how light reflects on different surfaces okay okay um amanda w hi everybody this is amanda w she's gonna be helping us with behaviors of light yeah for amanda w what's up good all right ready for angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection are you totally pumped up right now? Okay take a look at the screen um take a look at the screen there for a second and we're going to replicate this ok uh can you stand right here right there on dh face that wall I know the cameras don't see you but that's okay check this out here's the angle of incidence what you need to know the name's some scientific don't worry about it whenever you have a surface like this um whenever you have a surface like this the song is here or whatever or if using a flash or strobel whatever lets you stay the strobe is positioned here okay that just the angle of incidence just means the angle in which the light hits hits the surface okay so if I have a have a very sharp angle like this on I should my flash towards a war any reflective surface it's going to hit pretend this is like a ray of light okay the light's going to fire is going to shoot and it's going to hit here then is goingto basically replicate that angle this way on the way out that's it is that super complicated that's it so the sun at twelve o'clock is upstairs right? The sun comes down hits the ground and then it goes right back up it doesn't go left it doesn't go right it just goes straight up now if there's a cloud the sun gets throwing the light rays get thrown all over the place so the light is bouncing in every direction but every ray of light, you know, when people say light wraps like, oh, I love the way this light wraps like never refs light doesn't go woo prepping I mean, it's a good term if you're just trying to say it covers the shadow area but it confuses when you're trying to understand the behavior of light remember, this life never wraps, it doesn't bend it doesn't go for a spin. It doesn't go to the playground is just it just bounces that's it so a lot of times were shooting our subjects fashion models, high school seniors, brights whatever I see people do this. This is the awesomest thing ever. I see the model there amended over you. You put, they put the light this way and they fire against this war on. But you can see the hot spot here and then this reflects this way the exact same angle it came from. So if it comes from this angle he's gonna go from is gonna go out that angle because the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. Well, then they look at the camera like she still dark, yes, that's, because you're missing her completely some incense the main source of the light the power off the race off light maybe five or six hit hit her face but ninety nine percent of the race went for went for a picnic elsewhere you know they wins gotta be nicoletta the other one is you have the light this way if you want to illuminate her you put the light this way and you have to estimate what is the angle that's going to hit a man that over you right so you should her this way hit replicate that angle and you realize you're still missing her so when you then you turn up your flash of higher power you're like no I need more power it's not going to help you it's just going to is just more light rays going for a picnic instead of less right now iris going for a picnic so now you do this you you want her to get illuminated by the light put your um imagination or steak or whatever you have and pointed at the wall and then this is where the life should come from this way boom boom boom okay let's see amanda can you can you face the other way now? Okay go ahead and cross your legs this is not opposing class but it's okay just relax I just have to do it it's like engraved in my head god and tilt your head down a little bit actually grabbed your from your waist. Just tilt down towards the floor. That's. Good. Now grab your chin and bring it up again. That's. Good. Now just tilt your head to one way or the other. Ok, that's. Good. Okay, I'm going if I'm pointing a flash let's, see there's you in seattle and you were in germany or you have no light because depressing, right? And then you put the reflector. If you can control the light, you don't have to prop up the reflector because you can control the angle. Something sense. So if this is your flash, you have your flash here. Um, you have your flash, you angle towards the tours this and then you multiply you you are mirror that angle and you hit her right in the face. If she stands totally straight, stand totally straight, you're going to going to be fine. You're going to be probably getting a little bit of targets in the ice by a simple tilt. That's all you need, right though I may be too much simple till, like that makes the ankle hit her eyes directly. That makes sense. So if you don't have speed, lights or like or isolates or any of the stuff if you're working with the son you do have to prop up the flash because you have to change the angle of reflection but if you have this you can create the angle of reflection yourself because you can you can choose the angle of incidence any questions on that is that super simple to understand let's see how simple this is chris and let's look look good and turn around again real quick if I want to illuminate her on dh I point my light this way without being successfully elimination awesome what if I point my light directly down to the floor no what if I bring amanda over his face all the way forward go ahead and lead forward and then a looming in her face this way would I get her face? Yep. So it's going home and then he's gonna bounce up hitter there well right you just keep this in mind and you don't over complicate this concept and you have amazing things happening for you okay if you have um let's take a look at this look you can turn around if you want to take a look at the screen for a second this is what we're trying to do okay when the light is horace santo you hear here and then you hear here what is this point that is the brightest point that the light is hitting so for example, if you look a creative life studios you see now that's the brightest point on the wall and it gets darker and darker as you go that means that the lights coming from here so check the angle out this is the angle angles here is shooting against that war so if you're shooting amanda's over you sorry guys don't kill me sorry cameras sorry this is going to go this way it's going to hit right here at this angle right on you're going to duplicate it to this angle if you want to put amanda in a beautiful place put her here don't put her there, don't put her there you're getting the wrong angle that's what? This is really important you're maximizing the light. Okay, any questions on that? Totally simple. Right? Okay, good what's the problem with this set up you're missing the person. Let me ask you guys be honest with me. I wasn't planning on doing this. But how many times do you think about the angle that the light is hitting the surface from how many times do you just kind of like take it for granted? Right? And this is the crazy part from me because if you had a light meter not that I'm saying go like you need it but it's good to have if you have a light meter, you can actually measure where the angle of reflection is actually a term at this maximum point and if you do that, your photography will take a higher level without having to bring ten people with you, because you're maximizing what the location is giving. But you've got to keep in mind those angles. Those angles cannot be taken for granted. If you walk into the studio here. I know that the ultimate place to put him and the w is without wheelis right there, that wheel of the tripod. Because it's going to hit her there, I think it's going to bounce light back on. If I want to create awesome lighting on her, I can I can put a flash on that wall, reflect the flash on the wall hitter on one side. I can create one side brighter than the other and is going to be the perfect angle because I know exactly where the light's gonna bounce from. That's all you need to remember that is don't take it for granted the angle that the light comes and hits a subject. I mean, a surface is the same angle as the way it's going to leave. So that's it for that. Yes, can it? I have a question from a s p who's asking if you use like a flash bender or other diffusers, where are you considering that angle of light to be? If you want if you're using something that's diffusing the light or like a flash bendy thing and you're you're pointing say is on a speed light is asking but and we're talking about that a lot of speed like angle of light so where is it if if there is something diffusing the light, what is the angle got incident? Sorry okay, this is actually it's actually a great question because because a lot of times when people are in cloudy weather, they say the light is even it's never even there the sun is always somewhere right, so when the sun hits the cloud, it diffuses the light in a million places, but there is a specific angle that the light is coming from that's going to give you more power than other angles, right? If you're using a flash directly, then all those race they're going to come out hit a surface and then bounced the other way. But if you defuse that flash, you're just adding up due to spreading the angles into many different directions, but the flash is still coming from one direct the flash is still coming from here even though you're illuminating a bunch of her face there's still a point that's receiving the highest amount ofthe light than other parts of her face so it's a good question because if you do defuse the light, you're adding angles to the light but you're not changing the direction of the light, so you're this angle thing still applies. One hundred percent is just less intrusive if you make a mistake it's more forgiving, okay, so you had said you put a man right here, but I'm still confused. Why wouldn't what's the difference between putting her there and here when you have this large window? Because this is flat light and if I put her there, that war could be a huge soft box, a small soft box and medium soft books. My options here are ten times more than my options here. If I put you here, you just have nice flat face and you look great. But if I photograph amanda there and I bounce a flash against that wall, I can make her look however I want, so you issues gives you it's, photographing with skill it's, like I'm going to do it this way and I want this to shape to look this way, that's, why you do it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

10 Elements to Look For at a Location

Ratings and Reviews


Im sitting in my office listening to Roberto with my earplugs on and I know I have already left 2 reviews but he's so funny…. my family comes into the office asking me "whats so funny" Roberto makes me laugh out loud with his jokes but at the same time, he is SO great at teaching. Im watching for second time to make sure all his good info is ingrained. HIGHLY recommend you take his workshop on Picture Perfect Lighting if you truly want to take your photography to the next level! WOW thats 3 reviews now…can you tell I am impressed

Maureen T.

I'm taking a portrait photography course at NYIP online. one of the mentors there recommended the posing book by Roberto. I ended up ordering at the library the posing and the perfect practice book. I fell in love with both books...ended up buying them and signing up here for the year membership just so I can take all of his photos courses. I spent most of my weekend doing perfect lighting course here I am in love with the way that he teaches! He makes something so difficult and challenging for me make sense. I also like that he challenges us photographers to be true professionals. I am thrilled to have discovered Roberto and already noticed my photography is better in the short time that I've been studying him.


Roberto has the personaliyy and gift to relate to others.He is honest and shared some of rhe disaters that occurred, even with high paying and important clients when he failed to follow his proven and tested approaches. He has shared from his extensive knowledge developed by hard work and effort to master his craft. His dedication in attacking his weaknesses and making them a strength is inspiring. I have purchased many CL classes and all have worth the investment so I hesitated to purchase this course because I didn't think there was much new information. However the clear teaching and extensive knowledge shared by Roberto in his unique style caused me to purchase it gladly and believe it is an exceptional value. Roberto has shared his extensive tools, but you will never be the master of the craft without putting in the hard work and testing that roberto testified to. Thanks again CL for bringing the best to us and Thank you Roberto for taking the time and preparation to achive excellance in in this class.

Student Work