Photographic Lighting for Advanced Shooters

Michael Andrew provides an in-depth look at lighting setups that advanced photographers will love to investigate.
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  • Lectures 38
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level Expert Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Lighting is an integral piece of the composition of any photo. In this course, we'll cover lighting in photography from A to Z – from working with natural light to studio lighting. If you are brand new to working with light, this course is for you!

Lighting is arguably the most important factor in what makes a good photograph. Additionally, each kind of light is different and is used in different settings. We'll discuss what kinds of light there are and how each are used, especially with different kinds of equipment and techniques.

This course is chock full of helpful resources within the lesson videos, including links to helpful third-party websites, diagrams, hands-on examples, and a final quiz.

Below is the full course index:

Section 1: Introduction – Learning from the Start

  • Introduction and Welcome (3:59)
  • What is Light? (9:11)
  • Angles of Light (9:20)
  • Understanding Polarizers (4:30)
  • White Balance (4:02)
  • Shooting During Golden Hour (1:34)
  • Light’s Behavior Underwater (1:34)
  • The Quality of Light (1:14)

Section 2: Working with Light

  • Observing Light (4:54)
  • Types of Light (6:34)
  • Light Meters and Incident vs. Reflected Lighting (9:05)
  • The Box Exercise (5:30)
  • The Planar Lighting Technique Part 1 (8:25)
  • The Planar Lighting Technique Part 2 (6:32)
  • The Planar Lighting Technique Part 3-1 (5:42)
  • The Planar Lighting Technique Part 3-2 (6:08)
  • Studio Tour (2:49)
  • Studio Lighting Gear (9:23)
  • Setting Up Strobe Triggers (5:34)

Section 3: Getting Creative with Light

  • Studio Lighting Crash Course (8:09)
  • Four-Way Studio Lighting (3:45)
  • Lighting Ratios (3:02)
  • High Key Lighting Crash Course (12:32)
  • One-Strobe High Key (2:06)
  • Light Modifiers (7:15)
  • Short and Broad Lighting (7:18)
  • Shooting “As the Eyes See” (5:20) Shadow Play (3:18)
  • Complete Shade (3:08)

Section 4: Unique Lighting Challenges

  • Shooting Groups (9:40)
  • Shooting Subjects with Eyeglasses (3:52)
  • Product Lighting Crash Course (6:03)
  • Shooting Reflective Objects (7:10)
  • Field Example: Shooting a Jewelry Box (4:42)
  • Shooting Dark, Smooth, and Round Objects (9:48)
  • Shooting Glass on a White Background (3:47)


  • The Final Quiz (9:55)
  • Wrap Up and Conclusion (1:32)

At a comfortable pace, the course should take about one week to complete, though it can certainly be done in less or greater time, depending on your learning style.

You should be familiar with some basic terminology regarding light, such as "lens," "aperture," and "shutter," though these terms will be explained in the course.

Be aware, however, that this course is not for beginning photographers. Please see the Intended Audience and Course Requirements for more information.

Ultimately, it's our end goal to prepare you to be able to masterfully use lighting in both a technical, practical, and artistic sense. If you've been waiting to learn about advanced use of light in photography, we look forward to seeing you in this course.

What are the requirements?

  • You should be very comfortable with your camera and all of its settings. You should also know the meanings of several photography keywords, such as aperture, flash, shutter speed, ISO, lens mount, etc.
  • You should know at least some Photoshop fundamentals.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of this course, you will be able to masterfully use lighting in both a technical, practical, and artistic sense.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for more advanced photographers, who have plenty of experience with their camera and Photoshop.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction – Learning from the Start

In our first video, we'll say hello and take a look at what we'll accomplish by the end of the course. Be sure to check the course index to see the full structure of this course! (See 'Supplementary Material'.)


Understanding the fundamental nature of light is essential for shooting it, so we'll go over some basics here.


When shooting, it's important to understand the way that light reflects in angles.


Polarizers are a very useful form of light modification that we cover in this video.


White balance (or color temperature) gives an image its realistic and professional look. Here, we'll take a look at how white balance works.


Golden hour is the first and last hour of the sun being above the horizon. It's a great time to shoot, so Michael covers some quick tips for making the most of the time.


Shooting underwater can render spectacular images, but light works differently underwater; we'll look at what changes and how to confront these differences.


Not all light is the same. In this video, we'll cover differences in the quality of different sources of light.

Section 2: Working with Light

Now that we have an understanding of light's physics, we can begin to put it to use, beginning with keen light observation skills.


Ambient and reflected light are very different and come in to play in diverse ways while shooting.


In this video, we'll take a look at the differences between incident and reflected light while learning how to measure light with a light meter.


The box exercise is a fantastic practice technique to put into practice what we have learned thus far.


The planar lighting technique is one of the most important concepts we'll cover in this course. In this video, Michael walks you step by step with planar lighting.


The planar lighting technique is one of the most important concepts we'll cover in this course. In this video, Michael walks you step by step with planar lighting.


The planar lighting technique is one of the most important concepts we'll cover in this course. In this video, Michael walks you step by step with planar lighting.


The planar lighting technique is one of the most important concepts we'll cover in this course. In this video, Michael walks you step by step with planar lighting.


Here, we take a tour of our studio and its equipment.


While we certainly couldn't cover every type of studio lighting gear available, Michael covers his favorites and the industry essentials.


Preparing strobe triggers can be complicated. In this video, we'll walk you though setting strobe triggers up step-by-step.

Section 3: Getting Creative with Light

Basic studio lighting for portraits is a great skill to know and use. In this video, we'll go over the basic methods for achieving simple studio lighting.


Beautiful results can be achieved by using a variation of the previous technique, using four lights.


The way you use different light sources to illuminate your subject can be measured in ratios — that is, the amount of light each source contributes to the exposure of a subject.


High key lighting is often seen in fashion magazines and advertisements, and looks clean, bright, and fresh. We'll cover how to accomplish this effect in this video.


The high key effect can also be achieved with a single strobe.


Light modifiers are extensions or equipment that changes the light from a source. We'll look at the most common light modifiers in this video.


Short and broad lighting are classic looks that any photographer should familiarize him or herself with.


Camera sensors often can't capture due to "what the eye sees" because of differences in dynamic range. We'll cover some basic HDR techniques to achieve effects that look like what you imagine.


Playing with the shadows in your surroundings can create fun and interesting images. In this video, we'll look at some examples and techniques.


Shooting in complete shade is one of the easiest types of shooting, especially for portraiture.

Section 4: Unique Lighting Challenges

Lighting a group can be a tough challenge. We'll comprehensively look at different methods that work for shooting groups in this video.


Eyeglasses are a critical part of some people's look, but they can create difficulty with reflection. Here, we'll cover some methods for ensuring that subjects wearing glasses look great.


There's a large market for product photography nowadays. Michael covers methods for shooting products in the way that they'll look their best in this lesson.


Reflective objects especially can be a problem, because you don't want glare or objects visible on any surface. In this video, Michael will explain the best methods for eliminating this problem.


Combining the skills from previous lessons, Michael will show you a difficult scenario in which he must shoot a cubic jewelry box with reflective components.


Dark, smooth, and round objects, like wine bottles, are also often challenging to shoot. Michael covers how to shoot these in this lesson.


Glass on a white background can be just as tricky, if not more, to shoot than any other type of product we have covered so far. This lesson will cover getting the best results for this type of situation.

Section 5: Conclusion

To help you review, here is a quick ten-minute video quiz to help you remember what we've covered.


Congratulations on completing the course! In this video, we'll wrap up what you have been taught and wish you luck in your advanced shooting in the future.

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Instructor Biography

Michael Andrew, Photography Instructor

Michael the Maven (Michael Andrew) is an American photographer and photography instructor and specializes in photography instruction for beginners. He has a Youtube Photography Channel under the name of Michael The Mentor which has over 131,000 subscribers and 16,000,000 views. His "Epic Shootout" videos compare competing cameras abilities, informing buyers which is best for them.

Michael has been a professional portrait and wedding photographer for over 11 years, with his work appearing on multiple occasions in Alabama Weddings Magazine, including the cover. He has also won many awards for his teaching on the university level, in the field of Biology. Michael combines his expertise of instruction with his knowledge of photography to simplify the learning process for beginning and intermediate photographers.

In the last 6 years, Michael has produced over 35 instructional DVDs on a range of photography topics, including Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and soon Sony cameras, as well as advanced topics including Lighting, Flash, Advanced Techniques, and Busness Courses. Michael also developed the very first Model Release and Contract App for iPhones and Andoid devices photographers called "Photographers Contract Maker".

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