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5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size

Lesson 9 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size

Lesson 9 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

9. 5 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size


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: Relative Size

I've seen people do this which is interesting if the light is too hard on a subject's face they actually go farther away are you saying that you have your subject uh c can you come here for a sec? You come here um let me do this real quick stand right there but I didn't do that flash okay because I don't see that relative light the relative size behavior states that it's not the size of the soft box that matters or the size of the light source what matters is the relative size off the light source here's what I mean um put your thumbs like this and put them really close to your eye on dh try toe try to block enough of your eyes so you don't see the window so you bring the thumb really close to your eyeball onto you almost blocked most of the window right? What that's doing this you're putting your son you're making yourself a bigger and bigger relative to your eye so your eyes this big because you're some is getting closer and closer to it it's getting bigger and bigger and bigger so t...

he phone never changed in size but because if the storm was can you put yourself like this? Oh yeah okay if I try to block you with my eye using her thumb I just failed because their farm is so far away that it doesn't block anything is you're small but if her thumb is close to my eye I can't see most of her anymore because her thumb just got bigger relative to my eyeball does that make sense so if you put this big light here you're making this light quite big relative to her face her face forget the rest of the body just the face but if I put this light here it's like your thumb going farther and farther away from your eye I now that didn't change but the relative size to her has changed drastically that's a lot smaller it's just like this remember some clothes from faraway thumb clothes from far away the thumb never changed in size but what what is able to block is a lot more when it's close so that's basically the concept here um let me take a quick picture of you see here turn this on never shouldn t l never shooting tio oh my gosh thinks are actually work in life that's amazing okay have no idea what this just looking like let me see one twenty five four interesting s two hundred do you noticed how um do you notice how harsh the shadow is on her face from that picture? You know what? Let me do something let me just increase the ice so a little bit I'm gonna double that real quick and take another shot so this is gonna be hard looking okay, good do you see how harsh that shadow is with you from her? Went from her knows basically what's happening is that life is so far away that some of the light rays are hitting her face, right? But it doesn't have access to kind of wrap or you don't wrap turn it, I just said, don't say that, it's just so psychological to say we have, um, it's a harsh drop off because the light the rays of light are going they're missing her if we can bring those rays of light that are going into the into the roof, if we can the ones that are missing. So for example, if the light is here, it shoots its gonna shoot from this entire area is going to go up is going to radiate up, right? I'm some of the razor hitting her face, but a ton of them are actually just escaping and going somewhere else if I want to stop it in the shadow, I need to get those rays of light to illuminate the shadows. That's what that's what it is so if you look at the screen, if you look at the screen there's a hand on your forehead asking tiffany is like talk to the hand but it's actually just a computer mouse, okay, if you look at that we want that shadow to be softer you need to bring the light closer so some of the size of the soft books is going to be enough to hit some of those light rays are going to illuminate the dark side of her nose cool so let's try that okay let me see show you what's happening now tell me this is confusing inverse square law of light says if you are close to the light source the light's gonna fall off quicker right now what's it gonna be shot over here right away but the relative size of the light says that if the light is big enough off the race off light are going to illuminate the very shadow that I like being so close created so this is such a big soft box right that when these fires this part of the soft box is going to eliminate her cheek and it's going this part of the soft box is going to eliminate her nose causing that split that split shadow right but this part of the soft books is going to fire and he's going to illuminate the shadow side and is going to just give you enough light under shadows too soft in them so the inverse square law of light creates the crazy shadow but the relative size of the light minimizes that shadow does that make is that confusing at all? Okay, the inverse square law creates a shadow the relative size the minute minimizes the shadow because part of the stuff box is illuminating the parts of the face that when the light was far away it would miss it would go somewhere else okay let's take a picture again of course I have to adjust my settings because I am in manual so I'm going to have to lower the power three now if this works the shadow on her nose will still be there but it will be highly minimized okay let's see I need this do you notice look right here notice how that shadows a lot softer than he used to be okay now let's make it even better just the power to lower power toe just for that andi they should give you a nice soft a shadow on your face does that look like a window to you it's pretty right looking soft look out this side of her face is almost as bright as this but is very gentle very gentle okay now let's bring the thumb farther away what I want you to visualize is the race off light that used to illuminate the other side of her face are not longer be ableto they're going to miss her now so that you're going to put this all the way back here we're going to adjust the power from two to seven because we're far away now what's happening to the race of light this fires some I'm going to hit her face directly the rest are going to just kind of go into the floor into the roof they're not going to reach this out of her face because light doesn't bend light us and go on go away like it doesn't go like that it just goes in a straight path okay well let's try that totally joking that was just a joke let's just go back sorry okay how do you guys like that one so what's happening is the light hit her here on dh not enough rays were able to hit this side so you get this like split light situation it doesn't know very attractive for women you know I mean um you look attractive but the lighting is not flattering to you okay um what could you do to help that a reflector good but this is a strong light it is being defused by the by the white diffuser but why not try this let's try this you wanna help me out more actually calling could you come over here for a second? Let me introduce you to everyone everybody this is calling pearson photographer in chicago amazing good friend of mine travel buddy we have a great time but they reflect light let's reflect that let's put that white super ghettos let's keep the white thing you want to keep the with you so here's what we're doing now conceptually here's what's happening this light which is so two strong actually turn this down a little bit these light is going to fire rays of light are going to hit her face other rays are goingto radiate out into different parts of the scene some of those rays are going to hit the wall in the back and it's going to bounce back and all that stuff because the light is so far away from her there's not enough light to kind of there's no size toe to toe go around hating that word wrapped jesus to go this way so she's going to have this harsh split lining her face okay let's try this right quick let's go without first then we just do a quick examples okay less let me look at that real quick okay very split light right let's put that with the sheet around it get this omega reflector now guess what now you have to light sources one too so if you want this light to reach the other side of her face now what you have to do put it closer so it's bigger to her face so called closer closer to her face right there now they should look quite soft or better anyway cool now if you remove that sheet let's remove that sheet this's diffuse reflection right you're diffusing the reflection now let's, try this again it's gonna be kind of harsh now no, but okay if we move this diffuser faraway were kenna as you put it far away you're doing the same thing that is happening with the light being far away. Okay any questions on what I said about how the light behavior's kind of inter wind with each other? So let me repeat that one more time here, this's really important so I'm gonna spend some time on it. Sorry. The inverse square law flight says that the closer you are to the subject of more nor the power that side is going to receive because the nose blocks the light from the other side. If she had a round face like like a stalker ball then you would see it better but because she has no say a nose and on bone structure it blocks the light. So if you illuminate this side their nose blocks from the other side simple rights the inverse square law of light says that if you illuminate someone very close to the light source the entire race of light are illuminating the one side of her face not letting any of the light rays escape. Therefore it goes into complete darkness after the after the nose um but the relative size of the light sources it doesn't matter if you have a crazy shadow co happening on the other side because if the source of the light is that much bigger than her face wire on tall the size itself when the light goes out of the huge light source is going to illuminate the shadow that the inverse square off like created so when you're shooting girls or or man in by the window when you're shooting man by the window whatever you can really create different looks based on how you want the light to behave could you model for me for a second care let's go by the window quick here calling let's put this here okay so choices you make right I want to make him look mysterious and sexy and very manly so I want the light to fall off quickly to add to that miss mystery okay or so I'm going to use the inverse square law of light to put a lot of power of light on one side of his face and I know that is going to fall off immediately right um also this ice light it's almost as big as his face is fight his face is a little bit smaller than the ice like so there's a little bit of light illuminating this out of his face however can you remove that ice layer equipment if you do it this way okay you have your iphone light this iphone light is very strong and look and look what happens now you're getting nothing anywhere else it looks totally harsh where the light awesome hit let's go back to the ice light, okay now because the light is so close what's going to happen to the background when I exposed for him dark, soulless strides we got to turn this off sorry mind although you, uh let me just move you out of there come step this way a little bit right there. Okay, turn your face towards me a little bit. No, no that's going to show up in there, ok, cool. So you achieved your look immediately without having to think about it now, um a man that can use the next to him real quick right there could the light sources here what's gonna happen to amanda now? Based on the inverse square law of life falling off she's going to be totally dark rain or not? Totally but dark ray let's try it. This is why we care about the behavior of light because if you don't care you look at this you're like the heck right eye any of you like she's way too good looking to be in darkness right now it um it just doesn't work go ahead and move for a little bit this way that's good go ahead just gets worse and worse right now let's see what happens let's illuminate you less telegram and take a seat I'm going to start showing you how the lights were going even out the light on her face by removing her from the light source. Because remember what I said. The inverse square law of light says that at the very beginning where the light switch is very close to your subject, the fall of is very fast. The farther away your subject case from the light them or even the exposure will be because the light is bouncing all over the place. So let's, try in this example, ninety eight percent of the light rays are hitting her face. So it's going to be dark in the background and bright in her face. So let's, try this. Take a look at this picture here. Super nice. Did you expect that? That sharp falloff in her nose totally bad looking right? If you don't have a choice, just turn your face towards the lights. Listens to their real quick. Can you turn that shoulder away from the lights are gonna post. Bring that light back in your face. Back towards the light a little more and look at collins microphone. Now look at the camera. Bring your shoulder, then relax. Make your spine taller. Bring your shoulder back. Good. Beautiful that's. Nice let's. Take a look at that. Ok, little better, right? Now, let's, even out the exposure. Go ahead and come all the way with the reflector is keep that light on the way. You had it right where you were, right where you are. Okay, that's. Totally not gonna look. No gonna work. Well, it is because it's the same light source. But now it's getting even right, keiko heaven illuminate. No, stay where you were. Look, I think you might have caught you on a plane. Yeah, you playing to me to want them? Okay, let's, look at that one. Even so, if you have a group of people you need to shoot you, khun, if you need to make them look more even than exposure, just put them further away from the light. If you need to make them look more glamorous and sexy and mysterious bottom closer to the light and then you can adjust the face accordingly. If you're you don't like the shadows. They're too strong. If the shadows are too strong in her face when you're shooting, then make the light source bigger on then you part of that race will illuminate the shadow and it will minimize the targets of the shadows. That's pretty much a lot of 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