It’s taken me longer than I’d hoped, but my lighting course is now live on Teachable. If you’re so excited, you can’t wait to get stuck in, the course is right here, but if you’d like to know a bit more about how to light, watch this little video:
Hopefully that will give you a good idea of what the course covers. I go pretty deep and technical in a few places, but the course is all grounded in those 4 characteristics of light – Direction, Quality, Quantity, and Colour. As I mention in the video, I was never formally taught about light, and have very much learnt what I know from experience. I’ve also gone down a lot of dead-ends in my time, and one of the main aims of the course is to flag those up for you, so you can avoid them yourself! My motivation with creating this course was a one stop “Things I wished I knew” – the sort of things that if I were just starting out in photography now would allow me short cut through years of (often quite painful) trial and error.
My most common “dead end” was to get caught up in details – generally details relating to equipment. I’ve been very guilty of assuming that what I needed to use light better was a different, usually more expensive, tool of some sort. I’ll gladly admit that my beloved Profoto lights make my working life easier, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, getting caught up in the specifics of exactly what light to use, how to modify it, how to sync it with the camera, and how to stop it blowing over in the wind, can actually take you away from creating great images. What matters is an undestanding of those 4 characteristics, how they affect an image, and how they interact with each other. For example – direction seems pretty simple – it’s where a light is in relation to your subject – but moving a light source further away from your subject makes it smaller in relative terms, and therefore changes the quality of the light as well. Oh, and doing the same thing will also reduce the amount of light falling on your subject, so you can’t forget quantity either. All you did was move the light!
I also devote a decent amount of the course to the skill of reverse engineering, a much neglected skill, which I feel everyone should know how to do. In practice this means learning how to read the clues in an image that will tell you how it was lit, along with a few other things, so that you can recreate elements of it yourself.
Besides all the theory, there’s a section where I start from a flat, automatic exposure shot, and build up to a fully lit image one step at a time, with everything explained along the way. There are also 3 “real world” scenarios where I walk through every aspect of the lighting in the shot – the modifiers I use, how to trigger the lights, how to balance and co-ordinate different sources, along with lots of practical tips on actually making everything work.
It’s a bit of a labour of love this one – I really wish there had been courses like this around when I was just starting out! It’s available now, for the stupidly cheap price of £99. If you’re quick (as there are only a few of these coupons left) you can even get it for half price by entering “FIFTYPC” when asked at the checkout. Go on, get stuck in!