Lighting Asylum
4.4 (37 ratings)
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Lighting Asylum

It's time to stop taking pictures! Learn how to make them with this flash photography tutorial.
4.4 (37 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
530 students enrolled
Created by Mark Behrens
Last updated 3/2013
Current price: $10 Original price: $25 Discount: 60% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Lighting Asylum gives you the “whys” of lighting rather than just recipes.
View Curriculum
  • Only requirement is a desire to take better photos by learning to master their flash.

The Lighting Asylum!!!

Declare your independence from bad light! Our long awaited primer on flash photography is finished and just waiting for you. This course is not just another “place your lights here” tutorial. Rather, it takes you through what you need to be a great photographer; incredible new techniques you can start implementing today!

We explain larger concepts about lighting; things like:

  • What makes light soft?
  • What is a stop of light?
  • What does flash do for your photo …and why to even try and master it?

Learn the 5 most important pillars of flash photography!

By gaining an understanding of these 5 foundations, you will find that flash photography will becomes easy, consistent and fun!

Think of it as a lighting boot camp.

Who is the target audience?
  • Intended for those who wish to take their photography to the next level.
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Curriculum For This Course
17 Lectures
Intro to the Lighting Asylum
1 Lecture 08:23

In the first lesson we take a quick look at what it really takes to be a “pro” photographer, and do you have what it takes? Is creativity something you’re born with or is something you can cultivate? My greatest desire with this lesson is to inspire you to just get out there and start creating great stuff!

Preview 08:23
Know your Equipment
2 Lectures 09:03

I don’t know about you but I have never found myself at a live concert obsessing over what brand of instrument the musicians using?  I doubt you have.  You’re impressed with the skill of the musician rather than the branding of the equipment. So why as photographers do we care so much about what each other is shooting? I think we do it because we can always use the excuse that our pictures would be better if we had better equipment.

Preview 04:46

We've talked about the importance of getting out there and doing it and we've talked about the importance of understanding your equipment.  Now I want to talk a little bit about understanding your craft.

Know Your Craft
Intro to Lighting
2 Lectures 09:28

I also love natural light, but when somebody tells me their love of natural light is the reason they do not shoot flashes, all I hear is “I don’t know how to use flash”!

What is so important about learning how to light?

The softness of light, how often have we heard the light is too harsh and we need to soften it up? What does that even mean? Can we really soften light?

Softness of Light
5 Components/Variables of Flash Exposure
6 Lectures 22:22

Component number one is aperture, flash happens at a fraction of a second; aperture controls the amount of light falling onto your sensor.


Shutter speed is simply the amount of time the shutter is held open while you’re taking a picture.  Because flash happens so quickly shutter speed has little effect on flash exposure. But it has everything to do with the ambient light…

Shutter Speed

Before we move on to the three final components of flash exposure, lets take a moment and put Aperture and Shutter Speed together in the quick exercise.

Aperture and Shutter Speed Together

How does flash power play in to all of this?  Do you really even need to know anything about flash power?  Can't I just control the stops of light by my aperture? These are all real good questions.  But by understanding flash power I once again increase my exposure options.

Flash Power

To fully understand the next component, flash to subject distance, we need to talk about the inverse square law. Flash to subject distance is another option we have for controlling flash exposure.

Flash to Subject Distance

The last component, ISO is just one more way to gain or lose a stop of light. Outside of the studio I am constantly changing my ISO, because the lighting in the world around me is constantly changing.  ISO is like my best friend.

Putting it all Together
2 Lectures 12:44
It's review time! Now that we have a grasp on the five components of flash exposure let's put it to the test!
Review of the 5 Components

Now, go out there and take some pictures. Have fun. Get crazy with your lighting.  Get yourself committed to the lighting asylum.
One last Look
3 Lectures 19:29
Learn how to create a wedding (or senior portrait, model, even family portrait) shot that will get you more jobs and sell more prints. I bride cannot say no to a gallery wrapped canvas print done in this style.

This lesson tells you everything you need to know to make an iconic portrait over and over again.
Easy back lit shot that you can do!

Just a few tips on how I would do a simple model shoot with minimal equipment.
Simple Model Shoot at Sunset

I once heard my friend Karen say that every woman deserves a beautiful picture of herself! We work in what tends to be a very shallow profession, one where beauty captures the headlines and the rest of us "real" people sometimes watch from the sidelines. 

Think about the people in your life, outside of my workshops I really don't know too many models... However, I know a lot of "beautiful" people! My job as a photographer is to capture that beauty; I want those that step away from my lens to go away with a photo that captures their beautiful self.

I have a short video from a client shoot, the client agreed to let us video the session to create this for you. I want you to come away with two things; first, I approach every client the same way and do my best to make them look as beautiful as I can. Secondly, there is something I try to stress in every workshop, and that is, keep moving! Get those few good shots and then either you move or they move...

If you are in the business or looking to get into the portrait business, it's very hard to sell two of the same shots. So, when you get it right, change it up and create a different photo for them to purchase...
Everyone's Beautiful!
Course Workbook
1 Lecture 00:00
View and/or download the workbook for a step by step visual aid.
78 pages
About the Instructor
Mark Behrens
4.4 Average rating
62 Reviews
697 Students
2 Courses
Photography Instructor

Lighting Asylum has been branching out! In 2014 the Asylum team has been busy creating more video courses! Many outside of the photography arena, our commitment is to creating courses not only full of content but enjoyable to watch!

Mark Behrens, founder of the Lighting Asylum has been shooting high-quality photographs for over twenty years. Always interested in teaching others the art of good photography, he began conducting workshops emphasizing the various aspects of photography. These workshops have now been attended by thousands of amateur and professional photographers from around the world. As well, he reaches thousands of photographers through his websites.

Whether in a college classroom or at his latest workshop, Mark relies on a down-to-earth style to teach basic and advanced photographic techniques. He can never be found without a camera, believing that every good photographer lives and breathes photography.

His studio in California is always abuzz with a wide variety of activity. On any given day he may be found working with celebrities, professional athletes, Olympians, top musicians, photographing commercially for the automotive and other industries, or taking contemporary family portraits. Mark’s work has been featured in major automotive publication, celebrity non-profit endorsement ads, ESPN, as well as used for corporate branding.

When not working in his studio or conducting workshops, Mark spends most of his free time with his wife and three adopted children. Together, they enjoy boating, camping, hiking and riding quads in the mountains near their home in Northern, California.