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Location Lighting Upgrade Examples

Lesson 25 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

Location Lighting Upgrade Examples

Lesson 25 from: Picture Perfect Lighting

Roberto Valenzuela

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Lesson Info

25. Location Lighting Upgrade Examples


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

Location Lighting Upgrade Examples

This next photos represent the photos that I took when I was in italy and I was taking some photos and other for stupid in the first section is the fortunate in italy in switzerland I use flash pretty much um ninety five percent of the time all the photos you're about to see were flashed even though we had beautiful son and the lighting was incredible I still pull the flashes to put light where I wanted it okay uh this shoot was for a fashion designer in switzerland that I was trying to shoot for, which is makes a big difference because I wasn't trying to go for their face I was trying to light up the close and that's why you slash because if you call yourself I'm a natural light photographer, right? If you do that, then the exposure has to be the same with you in the face on the close, but if you could hire to shoot at a fashion shoot they say look, even though the model's beautiful I care about the close not care about the model writes so if I'm photographing chris santa, I'm gonna f...

ocus the light on her clothing not on her face or whatever it is that's why this is important, okay? This is for the number one ofthe model her name was nora um it's funny I was talking to nora this is quick I was telling her how people in l a sometimes like actors and stuff they think that they're big d or whatever I was like, dude, you're just like we're actors like they're actors like let's all calm down it's not like you're a surgeon or anything, right? I didn't she's like no that's funny I think that michael party said actually she is a surgeon I was like what she's an actual hand and plastic surgeon and she looks and she looks like she's twenty two years old I was like, are you really just like, yeah, I'm a total talk like what? So that is the most attractive surgeon I have ever seen you so if you're watching the internet, I'm going to speak write to you because I feel strongly about this this is what you get with natural life photography so if you say I'm a natural light photographer this's could potentially be what you get you can also you can use circumstantial life than what we talked about yesterday to improve, but if you want her to sit there on this is what you want to achieve on you don't use flash is because you hate flashes this is what you get you get a photo that looks blue and green okay, this is out of white balance on you cannot tell you can not do anything it just looks like shadows in her face weird highlighting her nose you see all that so I was with my good friend marion in switzerland and we decided to just make it awesome and I said we're gonna make this super awesome we're gonna use speed lights okay so I pulled one speed light to illuminate the front of her face and I made it so all those shadows that are kind of making her look weird go away on dh I used this technique flash was here for the front light I just put the diffuser here writes the flash fire made a huge window given her perfect window light on her face the second one way okay now chek then the second thing we did you see my friend in the back I asked her to hold another flash and to illuminate her hair and guess what I did with zoom off the flash head take a wild guess what I did with zoom I went from this toe a little narrow beam off light and that's a good question. Why would you do that? I'm trying to illuminate just a hair. I just want to keep her a little chris penis in her hair so this for this one was just zoomed out normally that second flash was somethin all right um let's check it out so we start with this can you go back one we start with that now go to the next one we are two flashes both in channel one group a group b group a wass the light hitting her face group b wants the light illuminating the head on the flash illuminating the head was somethin all the way the two hundred millimeters and then the third one is the is the photo that gets tested that's the photo directly out of my camera can you guys look at the hair on the right side like take a look at take a look at that beautiful hair right there that little highlight it's all the flash was doing is that little tiny little bit and of course people say how could how could you have so much control on the flash could be just right that's what I mean flashes air not that scary lower the power um lower the power zoom the flash head put it on manual and you can control exactly how much light here's your subject. So this is the photo directly out of my camera on this is the photo when it's photoshopped do you notice the photo shopped in the regional don't look much different I just changed the color of the leaves a little bit could you imagine trying to photoshopped? Can we go to the first light of the original picture? Can you imagine trying to photoshopped that okay, you try to make that look like the fourth picture. Imagine trying to make that look like that in light room. Good luck, andi. Good luck with your ten thousand presets you will need truly. My true thing is why go through all that? Can you go back one slight just want that's the original little my camera. Why go through all that when you can get this off camera that's kind of what I ask people why not used to speed lights to compliment a beautiful light that's their right. You're going to see some pretty crazy flash techniques right now that are probably very unorthodox. The use of flashes there is one thing that I use when I put I have my camera here. I'm shooting this way. Andi I asked my assistant to put a flash right on the lens like this. I know that sounds really weird, but there's an awesome technique that you can learn from that you can make older people look super young on you can make anyone to complaints about shark cheap, sharp facial facial features you do that and you make it more hazy that makes sense. You can also remove contrast out of your scene by putting the flash directly on your lens on the view of your lens. So if your scene is very contrasting, you want to make it look more dreamy just grab your flash and put it directly in the path of your lands and it will make you look dream here. Okay? I'll show you what that looks like in a second. Okay, check out this scene right here. This is done with very little light and look at the lighting on the bench you see has dead. It doesn't look like anything if you decided your natural life photographer, you're going to achieve this, but with a person standing in front of it, which is not gonna look very attractive. But if you decide to learn your flashes and no longer call yourself only a natural life photographer sorry, I feel strongly about that. I don't know if you've noticed. Um, you can achieve things like this. Okay, this flash is going to illuminate part of her face and part of her legs and part of the chair and the other flash. This one looks a little funny if this one and that's going to dominate the front of her face. Now, if you're on the internet, you're thinking, roberto, I don't have ten million dollars for brown color lighting modifiers, right? Well, congratulations it doesn't matter put your flashes and put a diffuser over it, so do the same thing as this if you don't have ten million dollars for this stuff, which is doesn't cost that much put this put your flash and you achieved the exact same thing so that's that's nothingto worry about let's go to the next one okay now look at the picture now so does that let me just ask you guys uh does that look a little bit more moody like does it add a little bit off something spicy to its right that sure does look you can see her clothes that here has a cool light the legs have a crazy spot caught light which is not good but who cares? The chair in the bad looks nice and I can control the exposure between her and the backgrounds like two separate exposures so that looks good then we move on and they look and look what's happening now now the flash is pointed right at my lens totally weird but it's the coolest thing when you want to reduce contrast in the scene and you want to make a little more dreamy kind of like old film or whatever okay this light is illuminating the front of her and this light is illuminated my lens okay and you get this look from it this photo is pretty much directly out of my camera. There is not a lot of editing except for skin soft inning here so compared to this this is contrast ing with a light illuminating the model on this one with a flash hitting my lens looks dreamy almost like a film style look on as long as the the light is not hearing your flash too strongly like you have to kind of play with it, you're gonna get a really nice result if you're gonna try this technique, I'm gonna tell you, you better shoot wide. I'm allow yourself to crop the glare of the flash so let me explain. So here's your frame that flashes here it's going to be visible in your frame. So if you're going to use a technique, you got a crop that out of there? I mean, when you crop it, you'll get this result, okay? I had a friend try. They, like, do it is to stop. This was like, this is the worst idea ever. I could have a huge hospital friday. Yes, I know. Crop it out. So if you're gonna do this wide angle, lance, crop it out, okay? You guys like that? Isn't that cool at that directly out of my camera. Except for skin softening. It looks beautiful. I even the model was like, what the heck like she was like that's. Amazing. And I said that's what they call natural life photography, I just can't go ahead, but I think is really cool people are talking about is that what you created in camera is like I look that we try to achieve in post processing with aps and what have you like their filters that air designed just like that but you are like reverse engineering that if you do the way naturally you keep the organic integrity of the file on I can tell you if you do an amazing job as a photographer your use off ah what do you think little six called light ruma your use of process will be kind of an optional thing for you it will be like I want to make it look this way or whatever but for training purposes I told myself I'm going to make my photos look like I already put presets on them I'm going to make him look as good as I can and if you if you still use process after that that's fantastic but if your training is I'm gonna make the picture really as good as I can and I went to the point where any forcible rape was when your picture that is going to make you a much better photographer in the long run so um and I understand people stiles right? Some people are like a creamy look some people like a pastel you look and you can do whatever you want but when you're training yourself don't think presets think organic pictures okay? This one is interesting um I want to show the mood off the place and the mood off the dress because it's a fashion shoot but look at the natural light the natural light puts everything is more important than her it's almost like she's just another element in the scene if I show a fashion designer a photo like this where it's just it's just the scene and then she's just sitting there she's gonna be like where's my dress like where is the picture that I need I said I'm sorry I'm an actual life talking for just kidding sorry okay you know that I said so when I turned on the flash I tong down the exposure of the ambient light I toned it way down not too down where it was totally dark but just kind of like in between so almost removed fifty per cent of the light out okay then I put this flash power at a level that will show the dress perfectly that's it and this is the result of that there now you get now you you tone down this on the designers happy because the dress really shows if I would have done this they would have not worked so this is one light on lee don't forget that table it's reflective and I didn't need to put a reflector there because the table was going to do it for me those are the top ten things I looked for so that they will the light goes this way reflects and he can bounce some of the life back into her face it's cool how that looks almost like a catalog right? It looks like a cattle of things but just simple simple changing the light also look how dark the the heart's bodies in the back where as in this example it looks it looks very distracting. Okay, okay, this is natural lights here's the windows coming in illuminates the sheets beautifully but I wanted to show the dress and I wanted to show her face but I wanted a melancholic romantic kind of field to the photograph but I really wanted to put a light on her dress so I put one light illuminating her dress one light illuminating her face I turned them way down and I kept the exposure of this about one stop darker so the explosion of the ambiance went down on you get okay here's the two pairs one light there's, another light here you don't see it. Can anybody tell me why I'm using a big light source when he's pointing at her face what's the point of that soft and it imagine if only used a small light source the shadows would've been crazy in her face, so okay and what you don't see that there's another light here that's also large illuminating the dress only so there look at the light on her dress a nice light on her face and he looks kind of like a nice romantic light now when you see this photo you go right to her you know, even though there's windows and the streets are exposed your eye school right to her so that's really cool okay meant that ok? I just meant that this was very intimidating right? I went to the bathroom with her that sounds weird. I went to shoot a photo in the bathroom with her inside the bathroom with me inside the bathroom with her on I remember pointing the light this huge, powerful crazy thing right on her face and then she was like that's kind of crazy andi it's a very moody bastard what the heck are you doing? I said it is a moody bathroom, but it's moody over there I want moody over here. I want moody where I wanted to know where it's at she's like um that's going to be too much so I'll do the photography way to the modeling you just get it to make matters worse, I put this right there right on it now if you're online saying roberto I don't have ten million dollars for a pro photo light just use your flash is the same thing okay? And buy one of these little things for five dollars and put it in your flash so look at the screen for a second I pointed there was the meter here her face is there it's a very moody bathroom and I just love the feel of it I put this here on then I pointed at her face and then I turned my camera around but before I did that let me ask you to see if things are kind of clicking and if you put this over this what's going to happen to the light narrow right on harsher right now what I wanted this I wanted to keep the narrowness but I didn't want the harshness so I went to the bathroom and they have kleenex thank goodness put the kleenex here put this over the kleenex that removed the harshness and it kept the narrowness then I pointed it right at the model's face for calling it and then I took the photo on the photo looks like this how pretty is that isn't cool look at the mood of the place can you get me that? Okay you cannot look at it this way much this isn't it beautiful and then when the model so it's just like what? Because the flash is so big and it's so close yet the picture looks so gorgeous on what's great about using sort of social some sort of strober speed like is that with my camera I was able to choose what exposure went in the bathroom and then once I have that mood I'm like I love the mood let's keep it there then I grab my flash and I just put the exposure on her face off what I want and then you get this result so you can see the flash here actually, you see the flash there that's how closely wass and you see the napkin on the top right corner of the photo you see the napkin you see the grid on dh that's how the photo was taken I guess thie oh, the question would be what makes you think of doing all this when you walk into the bathroom that it's good to hear it but why would your brain think okay? Bathroom oh, yeah pro photo with a napkin on a grid on a mirror that makes total sense, right? So let me explain the thought process remove the top ten list I told you about that I think about I saw the mirror. I like the mirror. This is kind of the thought process I saw the mirror was like I think it be cool to do something fun with it. The bathroom was super like victorian italian villa and I just thought I don't wanna overpower the italian villa I liketo moodiness off the villa so my brain looked at the bathroom and it's just really thinking what is that villa was like almost like a sunset and he was starting to so sit down and the lighting was just caressing the room beautifully on the italian furniture just goingto was barely being glazed by the light okay, I thought that would be beautiful that's much better than when you saw this bathroom it was pure brightness it was just like what right says that's cool let me talk down everything and then I you know how bathrooms have those little old lightbulbs that looked like in contestant very orangey kind of like these things well they tell you today that we were at I had full of those little light bulbs with the orange light and a woman were you know that what I'm talking about and he did it kind of cast on orange orangy field to you to the to the place so um I thought I'm going to just set the mood that I want I'm gonna take a foot off the mirror she's her reflection will be in the mirror and I'm going to set the exposure of her using my speed light and that's it please do not get hung up on the type of light I could have done the same thing with one speed light okay okay let me ask the audience something here you are in switzerland you are doing this photo shoot is fights a fashion shoot on you run into what you're running to this location now take a look at the take a look at the sun take a look at the leaves take a look at everything the first thing you think about this the color will be green on the dress so what is the first what is the easiest solution to change the color off the green cast okay put a reflector than and reflect natural light back into her dress right good but now the second question will answer why you wouldn't do that in the first place the second question I'm gonna ask you is hope right is that background too bright so if you use a reflector you're putting the same exposure to take a picture so the exposure on her will be the same as the exposure in the background right so if you use a strobe you can change the exposure on her I'm totally lower or raised the exposure in the background to whatever you want on the strobe is daylight balance so it's like basically adding a reflector but now you can separate the exposures between the background on her this is the mentality you cannot go through right third do you see those would beam things over her this is not a posting class but if this was a posting class I would tell you I think you were that you were in my post in class in their workshops their but I always say if you can shift the weight distribution off the person's body in any way it will be it will look better than if she was just standing there with all her weight on her feet so as soon as I saw those tree trunks I said you can rest your arms on the tree trunks you can rest one arm on the tree trunk okay now part of her weight is on her arm because he's holding onto the tree anyway long story short take a look at thea that's the beginning what it looked like in natural light how does that look to you guys? Pretty awesome the answer is no it does not look awesome on what you also notice is that these leaves are casting all kinds of shadows in her face so if you put a diffuser over the leaves you clean up that problem don't you so my good friend calling was holding that if you so you can see the diffuser right over there you see it on the top right then we change the post to make a look fashion and good I look we cleaned up the exposure notice the angle off the reflector sorry notice the angle of the diffuser remember I said yesterday that if the sun is coming this way you want to angle the son you what if the sun is coming this way you wanna angle this to catch all the rays of the sun you don't want to flatten it you want to go this way so that's what we did so that you can see this is angled too high you see that's like a forty five degree so the sun comes this way case the diffuser and I look at her face on the other side then we turned on the strobe we fired into the dress on this is no strobe on the dress the next picture is the full on power of the light on the dress take a look that's it did you see it so the green one away what's that you could see the green go away on you you showed that this lift evenly now that was it the flash was just for five percent of light in the bottom of her dress I mean take a look again that is before no flash this is after that's it okay so when people say oh I hate flash because it overpowers everything in the scene I'm like really I don't think so I don't think it overpowers anything I think if you just play um nikki I went a little bit of light in your wrist I'm in your arms but not in your form I can do that I can put a little bit of life in your arm on your biceps will be totally the way they were before or if I say I want to put a little light between your nose and your lips I can do that without putting lights in your cheeks I can do whatever the heck I want so you just look at it and you say what's missing well her dress looks on on leaving the mitt so this fixed that this is the final four are photoshopped you just like that one so pretty right man I love I love photography because it's so much fun like I know you can see colin's arm holding the diffuser on the exposure very, very nice look at her face perfectly clean the diffuser took care of the shadows the flash took care of this on my brain took care of the post right uh check out this photo for a second. Do you notice that respect this basically no shadow in the wall why would create I'm using a I'm using a stroke for this because I need the address to really show why would make the stroke not cause a shadow on the other side anybody have any ideas? Is there a wall there? How do you strike thing? Would it be to have a beautiful dress and then put a strobe and have an awful black shot on the right side? The fashion designer would probably fire you never hire you again then that would just be weird so why would make that disappear? Two of them two of them actually close but one but I made the light is biggest possible okay it was so big that it basically refused to shadow completely and he gave the address just a little touch of light just what I wanted you see if you notice the dress here if evenly lit and he looks extremely well so it's not about her it's really about the dress here's another one um this is more of a fashion photography thing why do you think I turned her face away from the light? This is darker than the dress because he's darker than the dress okay andi you noticed the dress house like this perfect light in her and now do you notice that the window is my reference point so the windows like ok the windows illuminating the dress I wish I would have had I don't have the photo of the original photo without the flash and just use flashing to start but without the flash you couldn't even see the dress okay and this is the second one with a flash on the dress here's another one this is a very different setting than the first picture in the same place in the same plate this one I used noah no diffuser under on her face this one I did it with direct sunlight and this one I had no assistance at all but I did put a light behind so remember somebody asked me yesterday when I was if you have no assistance you pull the here I put the little bracket thing what would you call this thing off boulder plate I put a plate on the floor and it held up the flash then you put a diffuser over the flash okay then I told her toe raise her change us that that turned her face towards the sun then I took the photo with the sun coming into her face what you see in her face is direct sunlight and then what you see in her dress is the strobe illuminating the other side that's why I say flashes on the sun play for the same team because if I didn't tell you this was flashed you would never know where where was the flash put and where was the sun put? You would never know I mean try it. I mean, you're sitting there, the flash is here and the sun is here when they both work together it's seamless it looks exactly the same. Okay, remember, we talked about bouncing the flat, putting the flash head up into the ceiling. Okay, well, there you go. If you grab your flash, you grab your flash. There was a white ceiling in that villa, so I just basically had to put this up, change the zoom off the flash toe wide angle so I went to the widest angle he possibly can do on then I ensured that when the light hit the ceiling it hit it from every angle possible bouncing the light down illuminating her feet as well assert had equally how'd I know assumed the flash head what people never do that they put the flash towards the ceiling they fire it's a little tiny beam of light and then when the light bounces a bounces in the same exact angle of as that beam of light on now you have a beautiful lighting off the me or lighting off the torso so okay hello rachel can I show this one quickly encore great after this picture will switch over uh this is a photo I took over rachel everybody say hi to rachel okay quick example of living again the window was on the left side on this is a window late portrait just like most of us take window plate portrait you put your subject by the window and then you put the face toward the window beautiful nothing wrong with it but if you understand lighting really well you don't have to be a slave to the window you don't have to be like up there is the wind that we have no choice we're going to the window turn your face towards the window after a while it would get really boring um so when I took the photo here's the photo what it looks like if you take it window side that looks that's the window inside it's a great photo of rachel shoulder blade. Ok, so that's. Fantastic. Now I said to myself, you know, what's beautiful. I really like her back, but the window was this way. I only want to feature her back. So, rachel, can you come here for a second? Don't worry about it, it's. Totally fine. So there is the cameras turned the other way. There is the wind over there. I basically put the flash literally this close to her back, illuminated her back, put a diffuser over it. Okay, illuminate her back. And then I exposed. I made her face dark, but her back was the one that was highlighted on that photo looked really beautiful. But who would have thought you have a window and you're going to go against the window. You're gonna put a life right on her flat right on her back on, then illuminate her back and not her face. So thank you. And this is the picture that came out of that and I'm happy to show this one because he shows you the power of good lighting on decision making you can make if you understand, and you're not intimidated by light.

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