Review: Take The Mystery Out Of Lighting by Joel Grimes

Joel Grimes - Take the mystery out of lighting-2Lighting a scene correctly and creatively so that you get the look you want from your shoot is the most important but at the same time the most difficult thing to do when you do studio work. The light that you throw onto a scene and the way you modify that light really makes or breaks your photos.

In this video tutorial, Joel Grimes takes the mystery out of this process. He takes you through all the different options that you have today for lighting a scene and for modifying the light source you have. He explains these options and when to use which. Then he demonstrates how to use the different types of lighting and light modifiers in an actual shoot.

About the Author

5daydeal-oct14-contributor-joel-grimesJoel Grimes is a commercial advertising photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is best known for his edgy sports, action and beauty composites where he combines studio shots with location shots (mostly HDR) into incredible images.

Apart from being a successful photographer, Joel is also a great teacher who gives a lot to the photography community in his tutorials, workshops and seminars.

The Topic

Lighting is what separates the good from the bad photographers, because the light that you throw into the scene is all your camera has in order to capture the picture. And the difference between different types of light can be huge and subtle at the same time, making your initial choice and small changes that you apply as you go along really important.

Many photographers struggle with this. They do not know which light modifiers to choose in which situations and they lack the knowledge they need to really make the tools they have work for them.

If you are doing studio work or if you are lighting outdoor scenes, this video will get you up to speed with all the choices and how to make best use of what you have.

The Video

The tutorial is split up into two parts. In Part 1, Joel gives you an introduction to the different types of light modifiers and light sources. In Part 2, he uses some of these options in an actual shoot to show you what the effect of different setups is and when to use which option.

Joel opens Part 1 by briefly talking about you as an artist, your creative ideas and how it’s this creativity that really brings life to all the technical stuff that surrounds photography. Then he goes on to talk about the different light modifiers that exist, what the basic rules of using them are (concerning size and distance), and when to use which. He discusses softboxes, beauty dishes, umbrellas, grids and how to influence the light coming out of these modifiers even further.

In the second half of Part 1, Joel gives you some advice on how to approach buying your lighting, and he discusses your options for getting a strobe (the actual light source). He discusses different technologies like capacitor and thyristor-driven lights and how they influence the possible sync speed. Last but not least, Joel discusses the use of continuous lighting in your photography.

In Part 2, you will learn all the different lighting techniques while Joel demonstrates them in an actual model shoot. He shows you how to use Rembrandt lighting, beauty dishes, octoboxes, ring lights, his edgy 3-light signature lighting setup, additional reflectors and a soft 3-light approach.

If you are familiar with all these terms, great! Then you’ll love all the information that Joel will give you on top of your current knowledge. If you have never heard of them, get this video and learn about them now. 😉

Previews (kind of)

Now, these are not actual excerpts from the video tutorial, but they are videos in which you see and hear Joel talk about the same subject. Maybe it’ll help you decide if this video is for you.

Other Things You’ll Learn

Apart from learning the hard facts about technology and technique, you will also pick up a ton of stories and little tips from Joel’s 30 years as a photographer. And he weaves those into the video in a way such that he does not waste your time doing it.

The Style of Teaching

Joel has the laid-back and relaxed attitude of a seasoned pro, and this comes across in this video. Especially as a beginner, it is quite easy to panic when you’re overwhelmed with the lighting in a shoot. Joel really gives you that feeling that everything is under control. This creates a very relaxing and productive learning experience.

The Summary

The Pros

  • Joel knows it all, has done it all, and he tells you all of it in this video. And none of this comes across in an arrogant way. On the contrary, he takes you by the hand like a mentor.
  • Joel’s profound knowledge and experience with all possible lighting equipment and situations is the best foundation for learning this complex matter quickly.

The Cons

  • The sound of the video is Ok, but not really up to today’s standards. That’s a minor problem that will not keep you from understanding Joel clearly.

My Personal Tips for this video

Here are my personal tips on how to work with this <Product Category>:

  • If you already have some lighting equipment and maybe a studio, take this video with you into your studio and try to recreate Joel’s setups as much as possible. Now, you probably do not have all the stuff the Joel has, so this may be challenging but you’ll learn a ton just from doing this, and possibly you will discover whole new lighting ideas while you are doing it.
  • Do not go out right away and buy all the stuff that you see in the video. Instead, decide which look you like best and try to get as close as possible with your equipment.
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