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Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting

Lesson 4 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting

Lesson 4 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

4. Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting


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

Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting

Uh we're just going to worry about three things circumstantial light helper lights on controlled light with those three things we're going to understand how our equipment works and how our equipment in iraq's with a light so when you raise theis so what happens when you have a speed light on how does that affect the exposures? We're going to understand how your equipment in iraq's with a light once we get that piece out of the way, it shouldn't be too difficult for you even on the fourth segment when I talk about speed lights for the first time I am putting no photos on my presentation so the point is for you to just clear your mind of photography for a minute and just think about what I'm teaching in terms of the speed light so it basically feels all the holes off your knowledge of speed lights it's not that complicated so it should be pretty simple um I consider less I consider circumstantial light a way of thinking because you're thinking every room you walk into you think I was tal...

king to carrie on the phone I believe you say you and I remember telling we were discussing what happens when you walk into a room whether you're shooting a portrait, a high school senior, a kid or a wedding or a bride or a groom who cares what you're shooting? What happens when you walk into a room most photographers walk into a room and go straight to the window open upto the window blinds opened up the curtains and they begin to photograph people two inches away from the window right? And then if something goes if something happens you make a change you're like oh it's this is happening let's make a change here and then you go to your bag you pull out stuff that you need a flash or whatever and then you go back and you do it again and then you realize that there's another mistake like she's got split light like part of her face is dark part of her face is bright you're like oh my god! So then you go out again to your bag and you're wasting all kinds of time um circumstantial light if you're here or you're watching on the internet yeah it's a process it's a process it's a mental process it's a process where you walk into a room on you analyse the color that textures the type of walls, the angle of the walls what is around you and where's the light coming from on your head will begin little by little to say what is what is the helper light I'm going to need before you even need it? Does that make any sense? So you're gonna walk into a room you're going to say big window here the window's coming from above that's going to put recognizing your eyes so I know I'm going to need a reflector or some sort of video light or something so you start to think you walk into the room, you analyze the room and you start to think what are some potential problems that I could force you foresee here? Okay, I then you start pulling those things that's going to make you a faster photographer is going to make it look like you walked in on you just do all this stuff and you're just thinking about it like right there but you're not it was because you've been training your mind to think this way. One thing that's important to notice is that to learn lighting, you have to push your brain in ways that you never really wanted to. You need to understand that it's not a walk in the park per se it's a walk in the park if you decide to change the way you think about lighting but you've gotta go to a room and you got to start to think I don't care how many times you do it you gotta start think what's happening with the light in the environment that you're in so circumstantial light remember this is the ambient light, the light that you see the light of non electronic or non man made together with its interaction with the environment those two things create circumstantial this is where I'm going to need some participation from you guys so take a look at this photo if you're watching on the internet take a look at this photo for a second on take a look at what you see and where would you place a subject in this beautiful a corner in my beautiful town off beverly hills not that exciting looking right people think it's like this amazing thing with like shops this is beverly hills it's just a gas station. Okay, where would you d'oh? Uh joshua what do you think? Take a look. Take a second. You get hot. Just yeah, I noticed that bright white wall that's gonna be distracting was behind them but maybe you can use that to put light on them if there's a shady spot somewhere that's very interesting that you said that white war most people think it's a white war it reflects light, right? But nor does there's no roof over the white wall. That means that if you put the person on the white wall to reflect the direction of light has to be behind your subject. Otherwise you're going to blast him with direct sun there's no there's, no shade over the white wall so this is a white wall but what you've got to remember is it is late by direct light that's a very different thing than if it's late by bounced light so if I see a white wall that is getting laid by a bounced life situation, I'm like bingo. But if it's a white wall that is directly being illuminated by the sun, that changes everything that's when helper light has to come in. So now that we mentioned the white wall, carrie, if I can pick on you and there's, no right or wrong, just say what you think, because if you think it, everyone thinking it, so just go now that you have a white wall, look at the shadows off the objects around this gas station and what do you make off those shadows? If you wanted to use the white war, why would be the challenges that you would notice there based on the direction of light? If you don't know, just say you don't know, but that's ok, well, I'll pick on someone else if you don't know and they don't think nikki, so go ahead, this's don't want I don't know this is the thinking we're going to do. You don't know that's fine, but that make you want to give it a shot, maybe under the seventy six sign, maybe under the orange and white roof, and then have the white light from the wall bouncing back so they're facing the white wall, okay, so you would put them so you noticed that seventy six roof makes a shadow on the floor, right? It makes a shadow on the floor does it know what you mean? And so put them just behind the shadow. And lamar is the shadow from that white wall, do you think? Yeah. Six feet around six to eight. Now look at the size of that white wall and look at the light intensity on that white wall. Would you say that the sun illuminating the white wall has enough power to reflect six feet into the shuttles? Absolutely. That is circumstantial life thinking so some accents that is the beginning ofthe you've been ableto kick can say booty this is the beginning of you've been able to kick booty and guess what it required. No assistance. It required no fifty thousand dollar lights, circumstantial light, it's just there you need a reflector and the future that state maybe. Okay, there's. Another thing, tio there's, a wood box right there. This wood box is illuminated by the sun on one side and he has shot on the other side. That to me, tells me that if I was, if this was the sunny side on this side is the shady side. You want to give your pictures hot us in lighting, you cannot have them flatly lit unless you want oh, turn in towards the sun raise the chin and everybody has pictures off people's with race chance right with their eyes closed like this right there like everyone's showering with sun right at some point that gets old if you put the person on the side on the shadow side on this side is getting hit by the sun you can turn their face slightly towards this I cropped out the picture will be from here this way on this reflection is going to illuminate a cake it's gonna be like kicking a light to the side of their face if you two had shot for actors or anything like that. This little one side, sonny, one side shady is going t is going to be like the most amazing thing for you because every all the companies that ask for cards for models and all the stuff they always want kind of like flat light but with a little kick on the site unless you have ah really expensive studio that's hard to do that solution is fine up. Find any box like this shade, son, that son is goingto be enoughto kick light into the side of the face and your crop this out and you're done it's super simple when people on the internet said, how do I photograph amazing pictures without a million people helping me this is how you do it if you're paying attention they should be good for you did anybody notice that wood box on the side you did another cool thing that I noticed and you see the picture in the back that picture is flatly lit here's another opportunity if a photo like a billboard is flatly later if it's not flat elected this often work but if it's flat innit you could add dimension to the person's face against a flat in that painting and it looked like you spend fifty thousand dollars in production value if you can find a diffuser to just refuse the light on one side so one light one part of the subject's face has more light in the other somehow and you put them against the background that's flatly that like a painting or a billboard it's going to look like a million bucks but if that background cast different different shades or it becomes a distraction now so it doesn't work as well okay okay um I called my friend ana when my friend called me she's an actor in l a she goes I need to do some head shots and I said let's do it but I'm not gonna do it my I'm going to do it without anything because I was going to come to creative life and I wanted to teach the class so she's like what you're gonna do is like I'm going to do your head shots I want to do them amazing but I'm not going to get an assistant and I'm not going to get any expensive equipment I'm bringin a reflector that doubles as a diffuser and I'm bringing my brain on my camera is just the thing to take pictures with you notice that that was the last thing I said it's not the camera right is your brain so we walk into this place on dh you see a couple of things here the sun is coming this way and it's hitting this war this wall is getting is bouncing light this way right then when it hits this war it bounces light this way again then he hits this war and it bounces like this way again and it just keeps going like this back and forth until he loses power something sense however when you start getting better a circumstantial light you're going to notice that the sun is not only coming from here it's also coming make mainly coming from a buff so what's gonna happen is you have to light sources now you have the light coming from above which is going to illuminate the back of her head and that's a good thing because it's separating him from the backgrounds just like having a backlight on dh you have basically a reflector makes sense on then you have a backup reflector so now you have three light sources one coming from above one giving you strong light one giving you weaker light what did I say about one side brighter than the other it gives you volume it gives you it gives your foot praise beauty makes sense instead of just standing open shade take a flat picture racy I usedto two eight hundred and move on or one thousand whatever yeah a question from online from teach be photographer does flatly lit I mean no shadows or no dimensions can you just again clarify that flight is actually I don't know if you guys have I used to like me they're just too when I'm well when I'm training myself I don't usually like me when I'm shooting which is kind of weird but if I have ah when I'm shooting a big job I do have a limiter on me and I do grab my light meter and I measure the light on the wall to see if it's the same intensity of light all the way around I just want to know that if this corner is in a little bit of shade and I don't see it my camera will and I don't want to have to like I don't wanna have to bring that up in photo shop later something sense so flat land flat light just means it is completely lit by the same amount of light the same intensity of light okay now guys do you notice this black wall here? What is black going to do to the light it's going to absorb it right however what else do you notice mark? I don't know chris what else do you notice there is you see that you see that there's sun here but there's black here what would other toe a portrait if you have black on one side but you have bounced light coming from the other joshua if you more contrast which is good so this would be a good place to shoot a man not a girl some accents so this is the way you think you you walk in you're like blackwall son in the floor contrast the situation guy come over here sit down high school senior whatever boom take a picture he'll look incredible right? You have the gas station seventy six has the roof the roof makes a shadow that shadow six feet away from a wall that's getting lit by the sun perfect light is like having a million dollar light source sitting right there for you free and you just do it who had a question? Yes. What if I mean if they have really dark hair and you want a little separation? Good question, excellent question that's a that's a challenge that I said when you walk into a room and you kind of forecast what you're going to need that would be one of those things if you have a guy with black hair remember this wouldn't be a problem because the life that should come in from above so it would actually separate him if you put him two feet away from that war so let's say this is the blackwater on you put him right here you may not be able to reach separation because the sun is eliminating both of you but if you do it this way the light will come illuminate the back of his head and it will give you a little bit of different intensities in the background cool just just two feet away from that source. Okay, okay there's another one right there. Um this is one of the most important things I'll be able to teach you when he comes to know assistance and no, no, no expensive lights the shadow line everywhere you go find the shadow line on the floor in other words um I don't know if I can step in there can I step in there? Okay, check this out. Pretend this is the sun illuminated in this floor on this carpet is the shadow line it's this line right there is where the shadow begins cool everywhere you go I don't give your shooting or not walk into a room, go outside and find where the shadows are les are all our line as soon as you see a shadow that shadow gives you about fifteen different lighting combinations that you could do just based on the way the sun in iraq's when he bounces off the floor but you need to know where the shadows are you also need to know where the walls are so for example take a look at this do you see the shadow line here? Do you see the shadow line here? Pretty simple right if you put them here if you put your subject here no light is coming from a buff so their separation between their head and the background becomes less evident obvious right? But if you put them far away from the sun from this from the shadow line if you put them deep into the shadow the quality of light will decrease exponentially right if you put them closer to the shadow line what's gonna happen let me pick on I don't know who wants to keep picked on real quick connie have you want up enough? Okay if you put your subject closer to the shadow line what do you think is gonna happen to the quality of light in their face? Oh um so you would have more uh light reflecting from the un shadowed area bouncing into their face where is the best amount ofthe light in their body getting getting illuminated based on the situation you face your feet, your feet because the feet are the closest to the light source, right? So what does that mean if you have no assistance? If you grab us a person's face and you make them stand like this and there is the sun and the shadows right there, and that sun is bouncing their standing in open shade so there's there's there there in clean light, but because the sun is bouncing off the floor, they're getting illuminated by the bounce light. But because of the inverse square law flight, which will discuss next time, the light intensity is that at the highest when he's close to the light source and then it starts to decrease, decrease, decrease decreases. It goes to your to your head, so if you're posing someone, you have no assistance, simply grab their body and turned them, turn their upper body and just lean in a tiny toe to the floor and then take their picture that five inch movement is going to give you, like, three times the like quality under face, so you're going to go from nice to meet you. By the way, when you sure with the lens, especially with a long lens, you don't see that a movement at all it's totally contracts it, sorry, compresses it. So when you see the photos I took with she's actually leaning forward you think she's standing totally straight but that tiny little movement I'm going to show you the quality ofthe light difference between those two these are great tips if you have to do a photo shoot by yourself and you have no one to help you and you also don't have a million dollars in equipment this is your segment this is the same thing for you okay now who wants to get a tyler money picking your this is a more difficult one why is this the ideal spot for a portrait in my opinion of course everybody has a different opinion why would you think this is the ideal spot you have maybe you're an even amount of light coming from behind from the bottom and then from what you mean from the bottom from the ground from the sidewalk okay so let's stop there for a second there's a ton off son bouncing from here in illuminating this right the deeper I go the less the like quality right the closer I get to the floor the better right okay what else what else is happening here that makes this the ideal spot uh remember I already said it if you can remember there is hair light here right yes so the light from behind the light is coming from the from above giving you separation within the subject in the background and then you have reflected light coming from down up on what was what is the last light here bouncing left and right so you have this one here in this way this one going like this and the sun coming down in a minute in the hair perfect so you tell her sit right there and then the subjects don't have any idea why you chose that spot, but you're a master photographer, you know I'm doing people and you say when you think the picture people say to me you make it look so easy yeah, I do right? Because I'm a photographer I need to know these things, okay here's I took this one toe on purpose to make a mistake even though you have the ideal spot even though you have the ideal spot, you can still mess this up because remember what they did with a bride with her face up into the sun that it wasn't working look at this there's a big hot spot in her chest because the sun's coming from that direction illuminating her right there and it's a big hot spot in her forehead. How do you fix this too much to maximize the photo? You just have to turn her away from the light right? So the sun is directly behind her so you have this now you should know that these pictures you're seeing are taking the picture memory card out put it on the presentation there's zero photo shop there is zero editing there is zero ah lai room adjustments this hard the way they come out of my camera very important do you see the beautiful hair like now but now we have a problem where on dh now the shoulders okay but the hand so I just moved the hand and then you have the final light spiel right there not working you end up with that that is straight out of the camera using the staircase because I'm I'm not I don't care about the staircase I care about what circumstantially is happening circumstantially speaking the light's coming bouncing off the floor coming towards her the wall is creating two light sources one weaker than the other and you have a hairline okay tomorrow when we do the photo shoot whenever we do photo shoots you're going to find this everywhere you just have to know what to look for ok ok what is it the first thing uh rachel rachel what is the first thing you notice in this beautiful place in beverly hills, california? Um I noticed the shadow and then the sun separation dinner is the shadow lining in the floor perfect thank you see how you we're in this class for ten minutes you already starting to notice this stinks that's what this class is for when can ask me who is this class for this for this people who just wanted to a great job on with not if you don't have people or equipment this is this is what you do when I saw this garage I said bingo in like a thousand ways and she goes, oh, this is a really nasty place I'm an actor I mean an actress do you know who I am? I don't care who you are I could you know who I am just getting thought I were joking joking internet joking chat rooms like going yeah he's crazy all right let's go through this roof roof gives you clean light because it removes that direct harshness from the sun right there's a roof covering you from the sun there is a black tar garage looking thing bouncing light back into your face on dh ur in clean light so you're you're totally clean your evenly lit by that by the shadow but then you have this bounce like coming and illuminating you beautifully cool what is the main problem here if you if you if any of you get this I'll be like awesome but no it is circumstantial I has to do with everything the color that texture the shape off everything around you so what is the biggest issue here when I walked in I said bingo there's this problem can you take a wild guess if you do raise your hand so we can raise think you can do this, amanda think um uneven lighting from the ground no it's even come on, guys, mark your color of the astro that's it it is a good job. It is the color of the asphalt it's black so light comes in hits the black asphalt kills eighty percent well kills fifty sixty percent of the light and then he bounces back. Most photographers will say it's good enough for me at least he's bouncing the light. But if you're thinking this creative life course you shouldn't think this is good enough for me, you're going to think we're going to add some hot sauce threw that picture okay, we're going to spice it up, okay? We don't want to do plain corn. We want corn with chili. Okay, so this is the first introduction off when you start adding a little helper light, you put a reflector the reflectors white or silver that's not black that reflects the light dusting absorb the light so you go from that. This is the way this is the way my brain works when I walk into a place, this is what my brain cease my brain sees clean, dark background windows in the back would be distracting because it's like it's bright it's like a bright and that could be distracting with my subjects right shadow line on the floor that rachel noticed right um not great reflector but nevertheless it's a reflector okay on the shadow line any questions on this this is how the brain off a photographer has no assistance are not a lot of equipment this is the way your brain should work now let's take a look at what the photos look like here okay this is the camera position that I chose this is the ideal spot because of time I'm just gonna roll ideal spot is here because if it's here you have the window in the back so I can sew that option if I put her here I have a clean piece of break wol in shadow that I could use is a background that's going to just be a dark background it won't distract for my subjects at all I'm going to put her close to the shadow line so I can maximize how much of the sun is going to bounce into her face I have to add a reflector here in order to remove the collar of the asphalt I have tto angle the reflector because if I don't because with the inverse square law of light again which I'll explain that segment the light's going to hit the reflector and it's going to go up on the higher intensity of light will be in the shoes again so then I'm gonna angle the reflector a tad so it's actually gonna hit her in the face but I gotta put the reflector relatively far away so it's not so powerful in her face cool this is the another thing you didn't notice because there was no picture of it this is a reflector the sun is hearing here the sun illuminates this war bounces against this war this world bounces light here and that's why I chose this as my camera position okay had I not seen this white walls here? I brother would have chosen a different camera position because if I put my reflector here think about where I'm putting my reflective the sun hits this song bounces and hits this wall this world bounces the light hits the reflector the reflector bounces the light back into the subject then you angle the reflector I know you get all the power you get his beautiful use of the reflector in their face. Cool. Okay, this is what happens. This is me after eating some donuts um this is me this's the reflector how much light I'm getting from the reflector that you always cracks me up I see photographer sometimes put a reflector on the floor and I'm just like, you know that there there's a rule of life called the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection will explain that next time but if the sun is coming from above and it hits the reflector it's going to become out the same excited where he came here so you're if you're like hope you're taking a photo of the clouds because otherwise you're not doing anything right so this is what you get in this situation even though you have an ideal situation the black asphalt really killed me there it really killed me there okay so this is totally ghetto style but he works like a charm so what you do I have to reflectors the big one on the little small one the little snow one becomes my my proper thing I profit and then the big one is laying on the corner right on top and that gives you enough angle toe to bounce it is there it's not reflected here by any chance I don't have my little when we think here but so basically I know something like like that on dh I go on I should and that's it this changes everything you require it requires no assistance requires no million dollars in equipment it just requires a little bit off you know yeah yeah okay years of practice is helping you guys is this super cool I hope it's helping you know my true desire is for you to leave really empowered to do something special now you know from this from this course cares with the road as a reflector this is what you get. Would you agree that most photographers would say this is great? Let's? Move on. I can light roommate later I can I can adjust things that you know, the day that we stop thinking about software to fix our crappy, tired it's the day photography will be amazing and respected again, like when you decide I'm going to add a little more hot sauce even though it takes another minute. You know, that's when photographers are going to be like your photographer while it's impressive. You know, I want that this is the road as a reflector here's out of camera with reflector propped up on the ground. Look at the difference. This is hot us. This isthe plain corn corn with salt and butter plain corn. Okay, which corn would you rather eat? Well, that sounds weird because it's not corn that scratched that from the video as well. I was talking about the food. Okay, so beautiful if you look at the computer actually, it looks really nice this's a little bit west out, but don't worry about it. I got it, I got it, guys, we gotta get out of camera would flip their propped up on the ground final four go this one was thirty seconds of editing off the editing she requested I just wanted to show you just like removed my pimples and this and that that's what it looks like it took me thirty seconds to end it is for a completely why did I say the time because our lot of photographers in the country in the world in the world when I teach I see them having dinner and lunch and they talk about this amazing light room actions and light room presets and and it's all good but you should be talking about making your photography great so you don't need this stupid stuff just like come on you know like this took me thirty seconds that means I charged a certain amount of money for my photo shoots and I spend nothing editing I'm done I mean I edit don't get me wrong but is minimal because any photo shop here what almost ruined the picture I tried to take my photos where any at any crazy editing would almost ruined my picture you know everything isn't dead on right there I tried to this is gonna be a really fun one for you guys think I'm gonna give you ten seconds to look at this scene ana will start to go through it good so when I walked into this room this is what I saw you mason something different that's totally fair but this is what I saw roof roof allows me to have clean light that light's coming from this photo was taken the two days later I forgot to take a picture behind the scenes when I was taking the actual photo shoot so just pretend there's a lot of sun here son hits this this it's a better roof than this because this roof is angled which gives me less clean light some incense this roof goes this way this gives me more clean night then you look down on what do you see? Gray gray um sidewalk on the grace I walk even better is next to a white piece off paint that white piece of paint reflects three times more light then the gray sidewalk and it reflects, like four times more light than the black asphalt do you guys have a light meter with has a spot meter on it? Does anybody have that you have like a seven, fifty, eighty rbis iconic or something like this? Okay, if you d'oh, it has a little spot meter you put it by your I I always do this when I'm training or whatever. I put spot meter on every location and I measure the the value of the light on each spot on I noticed that asphalt really does give you six times less light that integrates I walk it's called the tv the exposure value okay um so do you know did you guys notice that bench right there? Well that bench is there and I thought what did I say at the beginning where is the best quality of light that is reflected on the ground so if you put the girl or the subject this is for headshots standing up and she's five six you have five foot and six inches off decreasing quality ofthe light when you get to the head so when I saw that bench I said bingo lay on the bench now you're only two feet from the height some accents you're laying on the bench you have two feet to work with now you have ten times the light then if she was standing up remember the inverse square law that every inch you are you're moving your moved away from the light just dies the light just the hice so by having her lay down on the bench I improved the light tremendously with no assistance I know nothing however would you leave the bench there or would you move the bench? Where would you move it to the great you wouldn't move it at the exact point where this roof creates the shadow line that way you get the most power off light coming in not to mention you see the white strip off paint you want that white strip of paint reflecting light in your subject so this is what I get here's the sun finally you see the shadow line right there so you move the bench right there on then you have all that light coming in then you put her laying down so she she been closer to the light source okay and then you get if you go by the war my light meter read two point eight off light in other words not great okay if you don't know what that means you're watching on the internet you don't don't worry about what that number means just worry that I just said it's not great that's basically your mathematical measurement off light it's not great okay the higher the number that more light it's reading so if it's two point eight a very low number not good now you clean wall surface here sunlight here if I put the girl in this sun on the shadows there is going to compete with her the bright what will compete with her face I don't want that so there's a little bit of clean well here I'm going to move the bench here that white is goingto basically reflect a bunch of light their roof she's still under the shadow right on dh now you reads four point oh so you just doubled the light by moving from here to here what was double in the light mean it means everything it means you put hot sauce in your pictures from two point eight two four point no it is a tremendous amount of difference in the quality of your photographs. Okay? You mean the person's eyes are gonna be full of life? It means the body will look amazing. It means your eyes so can stay at one hundred that's. What he means I gotta say, this is funny, but I fight for one stop of light. If I see a light source of his four point no, I tell if I'm shooting a wedding over every like no, I am not shooting in that crappy light. Even those amazing life for most people. Four point knows not good enough for me and I know how to make a better in seconds. So why not? Okay, look at the lighting on that picture and this is straight out of the camera. This is real ridiculous. Like how gorgeous the light looks in this photograph with no assistance, no help. Okay. Oh, actually, that one has some skins. Afternoon. Sorry. So a little bit off photo shop in this picture skin softening. That's it. I didn't touch the light. Look at the hair. How every strand is visible. Look at that look at her eyes. The catch light in her eyes look amazing look at the quality of light in her face, look at the contour of her cheeks remember what I said connie one side of the face a little brighter than the other. This side is closer to the white strip off light that was on the sidewalk remember that on now that's illuminating this on the bench is it's really close and she's laying down that's also that's how you shoot without any assistance okay um this will be an interesting one take a look at this I'll give you ten seconds just look at the screen and see what you see if you're on the internet enjoy this little game drink your hot sauce and watch the screen okay, moving on uh joshua our nicky nicky give me a quick ten second overview off this scene based on what we've been discussing don't worry about right or wrong just talk just go. I would probably want the the wall to be a reflector and you'd have light coming from the ground from the cement and then from the white well, if you put him in the subject in the shadow you could have so you notice the war it's a reflector you noticed the floor is colored gray which is reflective ok, you notice what else um in the shadow you're gonna have that nice even light if you put the subject in the shadow good and what about this? Well, what do you got this world? It gets complicated um if you guys can get this, I'll be like beyond impressed but this is the way of my eye. I see but take a look at this situation on this side circumstantial light takes a lot of practice on the more you practice, the better you get rachel, go ahead. Um would you bring him for this towards the edge of the wall? Because then you have light reflecting on the other shadow line. Okay, you're totally killed it that's awesome. Okay, so if you see that line you see the shot, the sun there, that son this is going to be looted more so, yeah, if this is loving it by the sun, you could put her here on turn your face this way towards the light and he will give you the kicker off light there's. One more hidden gem in this place. There's a hidden gem here and that's. Excellent. Rachel good one hitting jim here. Joshua try it. Go ahead. Is that the dark bush behind him? It isthe that I'm done with classes over. I've been sipping hot sauce. You just put hot sauce all over these, okay, what that's impressive like, why did you why did you, uh who are you okay, why did you choose the bush wise, the bush show special here? It's a little darker than this stuff around it so it got its eye how kalina happy I am right now yes, because it a bush our bushes non reflective in other words, if you put a subject in front of that their background will allow youto the subs will be featured more because the light in the back is being absorbed but if you put a person here the wall is reflective as heck competing with your subject does that make sense now? Is this a horrible idea? No no, not at all but what I'm saying is if you have the opportunity to say I have two choices I can go with the wall or I can go with the bush if I go with the bush is going to make the background darker, making her bright because the brightness off the off the side world doesn't change all these life is still bouncing over here but the background features one subject better than another background this background it's pretty it's darker it of source light which which gives you a darker background this one it's clean good bonus but it's too reflective so in my opinion for me when I'm shooting this this put them there okay here's what happens um the light's coming from here right most of this light so I descending on purpose just to kind of mess with people I turned there the girl's face away from the light source when it's not direct in other words, if it's a bounced light you don't have to turn them away from the light you can turn them towards the light let's have another mistake people make people say if the light switch is coming this way you turned them away from the light because of the sun it's behind them and it gives you a clean face great but if the light source is not coming from a direct source if it's coming from a bounced wall or if it's bouncing from something it's soft you don't have to turn them away it's clean like in front of you so I told the girl to turn on then you have this awesome spot and even though she looks decent it's not nearly as good as he could be her face is turned away from a perfectly good light source and so about when I showed his face was just like, oh my god, I love it I was like, you don't know anything like what she does know a lot of thanks but it's not good okay then you have that one nice light but the you notice now white spot on the paint competes with you compete with your subject this is circumstantial light which color reflects more light white or creamy ten white so don't put them in front of the white one because then you have this competitive competing element behind you and you're making your subject compete with a wall it just doesn't make any sense and then you go to this one and that's even worse well first this one has the bush and the white paint this one has just a white paint in the back sorry this one has just away painting the back did you notice the quality of light never changes he's still good but now if you uh oh yeah which one of these do you think she stands out more this one both have good quality of light but this one makes your subject sing right when I said at the beginning I want your subjects to kind of pop out of the paper to do that you're going to make it less competing against the background your subject should be the main event okay so this is better than this in the other shoot in the chute with the bushes we didn't have a darker rush but we did have a set of pushes the bushes become the darker rush because it sucks light cool. Okay rachel this is the part that you talked about when you put that way when I said at the corner of the photo okay you know what is the corner there? What did I say that you're going to see these everywhere son hitting one side of the wall shade on the other side of the wall that's it as soon as you walk out you see any building that has a corner and you can create awesome lighting look at this directed light reflector son solved in direct light why did I say soft indirect light? Because this is getting lit by the road it's just soft it sucks! This is not good sorry it's look at the light now and I called the strategic placement of someone right you are putting someone in the corner of the building where one side of her face is getting the bounce light from this from the sunny side of the wall on the other side of her face is in the shade side of the wall that gives you dimension if you try to do this with speed lights you could do it but it would require it will arrive sometime you would have to do it you would have to set up you would have to defuse the speed light. It will be a lot of work or you can train yourself in circumstantial leg just determined totally made up on dh do it on the flight okay, this is the this is the final photo check this out, this is out of my camera this is the editor how different is it? It's nothing. You know why, it's nothing because he doesn't need anything. I didn't have to blast it with a bunch of process or make it look castelli or whatever the hell the popular thing is right now. Like I just looked at them good picture and that's it like that's the end of it you know I didn't need a photo shop it but that cable was think the shot so I just took it out. Okay that's it this whole area's looking this is her behind the wall this is her using the corner of a building it looks totally like two different setups altogether it's just the same wall but one it's strategically placed the other one is normal is what what I would call just normal is good and I put at the bottom that they were both aided at the exact same way. So whatever I did to want it into the other okay, before I end this little section. Now, now, what do you see in this scenario? Let's see if you seem or just if you're on the internet take a look one more time after what I said. Now what do you see? Let me throw some stuff out from the first time to this time you see corners, you see shadow lines, you see benches closer just everything I've got to tell you you notice the benches now the benches could be a source to bring your subject listen to the better quality of light you do notice more corners he also noticed the color's off off the different buildings and so forth what's going to reflect more light the white wall or the brown thing well obviously the white wall because it's white you noticed what we talked about thiss picture this painting it's evenly lit what happened in the other photo? What happened in this photo is that this white square is brighter than the rest of the wall because the white reflects more light well that's so minuscule but it makes a big difference look like look at the difference if you close your eyes and you look at this picture you will notice that whites but when you open your eyes it's like you can't help it because you're ijust goes to it whereas if you close your eyes and you open your eyes and you look at this photograph you just see her because you see the beautiful rachel this is kind of like having an accent lighting her face local beautiful that accident like this in her face okay that's why those little minuscule things matter so yes, this picture is evenly painted evenly lit by the sun perfect background no problem um shadow on the wall by by this by these things here, if this is far away enough from the subject you could actually put, have your subject in that shadow on have your subject will be illuminated by the sun from the war. So this little situation sohn shadow is the same as this here's. The shadow chairs. The sun is the same situation. The goal here is that if this is just a course, but if you leave today or tomorrow, whatever, and you go outside, then you practice this. Take photos with your iphone on dh, put them in your computer or actually take photos with something you can look in your computer quickly. Okay, so if you have, like, a point and shoot or something, take it on, do what I do, just open them up in preview or whatever. You think you have a mac and I just in previous, you can just do like you can draw on it. And I just drove circles wherever I see potential issues and potential opportunities. You know, I mean cool.

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