PHOTOGRAPHY: Outdoor Lighting on a Budget | Joshua Butts | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

PHOTOGRAPHY: Outdoor Lighting on a Budget

teacher avatar Joshua Butts, Graphic Designer and Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Outdoor Lighting Technique


    • 4.

      Basic Retouching


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

In this class I will be covering some of the equipment and a technique I use to get amazing lighting outdoors, AND on a Budget. This is a relatively short class (About 15mins) which should quickly give you a good overview of the technique I use so you have more time to go out and practice it.

You don't have to spend a lot of money to get photos that will impress people and get you more clients and you don't need expensive equipment. There is affordable lighting equipment and other alternatives to getting artificial light that can still get you the results you want. I will be teaching you about some of the software and equipment that I have spend very little money on and I use them often to take these incredible photos.

I will also be teaching you how to photograph outdoor lighting portraits without the use of a light meter. They can be very expensive and though light meters are a great tools, this course will give you a good starting point and can help you to easily take beautiful pictures without needing one.My goal with this class is to help teach you how to really control the balance of ambient light to artificial light using some simple techniques that will seriously improve how to take photos.

Last off, I will be going over a few basics of color correcting and retouching that I like to quickly go over most of my photos with before sharing them online!

Example Photo from the course:


Links to the equipment I use:

Amazon: Light Stand $15 LINK alternate for two stand kit LINK
Yongnuo Transmitters $30 LINK
Flash Bracket $13 LINK
Umbrella $18 LINK
Speedlite Softbox $30 LINK
Promatic Flash FTD 2500 ~$10 LINK
Yongnuo Flash MK III $63 LINK
Yongnuo Flash 568 EKII $101 LINK

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joshua Butts

Graphic Designer and Photographer


Josh Butts is a Graphic Designer and Photographer. He currently works for a creative agency in Provo, Utah. He's worked with many people doing creative work usually involving illustration, logo, and web design. The classes on this channel cover mostly vector illustration but there are also many other valuable skills that can be learned from the other classes on the channel. Join some of his classes to gain from valuable experience and get better at design and photography yourself!

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Intro: hi and welcome to my outdoor lighting on a budget course. People are often asking me how I take such beautiful photos like these and get consistent results all the time and the short course. I'm going to show you the technique I use to control the balance of flash toe ambient light in your photos and how to use outdoor flash to create photos like these. You don't need expensive equipment like light meters or large studio lights, and you can reasonably do it for under $100. When I started using this technique, my photos became noticed a lot more by people, which in turn started getting me hired a lot more often. I know that this will really help you to learn this technique and give you a lot more control over your equipment and your photos that you want to get. And so I'm excited. Get started in this class. And if you like the class, remember, give it a review so the other people confined it and be able to learn these things too. 2. Equipment: So for all the equipment you need, you can honestly get started for under $100. In addition to your camera, I have links to all the equipment. I is in the description, and so make sure that whatever camera you're using has a shoe mount. As you can see on the screen, the next most important thing that I use is a flash. These air some flashes right here that I've used on off camera flash is key to getting the type of photos that I take when using a flash on a camera. It generally creates a flat looking image that isn't very appealing by simply taking the flash off of the camera. It can dramatically change your photos. And in some of the photos I take, I do use a few different flashes. But many of them require only one flash. My primary flashlight uses a young Newell 5 68 e x two, which you can get on Amazon for about $100. I also have some other cheaper flashes that I use often, too. This right here is a young Newell 5 60 mark three, which does a great job, and I have Ah, right here. There's an old pro Matic FTD 2500. And you can get one of these on eBay for about $10 actually surprised me how much I really use the thing. And if you don't want to spend the money on a bigger flash, it's a great option A Z. You can see I've got some different variable settings on it. There are also a variety of different flashes. You can get online for pretty cheap for 10 to $20 if you just look around. Um, and the next thing I would suggest is a transmitter and receiver. And so right here you can see these two. I have our young no transmitters and these air transceivers, actually. And so what these will do is you have one to transmit and one they'll receive. And then I sing about these Izale. Both transmit and receive, so it doesn't matter which one you put on the camera or the flash is. They'll both work really great. One of the things I really like about these YSL transmit over 100 feet away. I've gotten it to work a 300 feet, so there's really nice and lastly, that I like about these Ezell double as a remote shutter release for your camera, which comes in really handy if you have a friend holding the flash than honestly, with these things I have just told you about, you could hypothetically get started and be fine, But I prefer to have a life Stan and a diffuser, though. So, um, right here. This is one of the life stands that I've gotten. I got a set you can on Amazon or online. Um, they're pretty cheap. I've got this set for, like, $30 for two of bombs. That's like $15 each. You can also get a soft box for it. This is Ah, a nice full up one that I've gotten. It's in this ones newer brand. And why we, like about this, is it will fold up really small. And I can also open it up and ill will fold out so that I can stick it on Ah, tripod or, ah, life stand And it will give me really good diffusion for the light that I have. Some of the other things I is is ah, number Ella, which ah, is really nice When you have a light stand, you can get a bracket. So if you want just a flash, you can set a flash on a bracket with with the transmitter. And if you didn't want anything to defuse it than something like that works really great and it'll still flash really well. And if you have ah, bracket that has ah number Ella Mount on it. You can, uh, number L on and and sticking through a hole. And I have my own little homemade diffusion sheet on it so that it'll spread the light out even more. And so for something like this, you can get for really cheap, and it does a really great job. And so that's all you really need to get started taking some photos and you can get some really well lit images outdoors, and you can go bare minimum with the lights, stand transmitter and speed lighting a bracket. Or you can get a diffuser and a nicer camera flash for still relatively cheap. And so in the next video, I'm gonna show you how to use some of this equipment that I've just showed you and how to really control it to getting really nice photos. Outdoors 3. Outdoor Lighting Technique: all right, So when you're starting out taking photos, there's two different types of life. There's ambient light, which is all the light you can see around me this continuous. And then there's flash or or burst slight or strobe light, which is like that's going to come from the flash right here. I have set up on the light stand. So what I usually do start is I'll get my subject. Haver stand right in the middle right there and said, my flash about six feet or so from her, and then I'll make sure that all my settings on my camera set up so I can get a generally good shot of the environment without the flash. So I'll turn the flash off, make sure the shutter speed set and always said the shutter speed star, they should have speed at 1 1/100 of a second and then use your aperture to control the light in your eyes. So speed setting because you're shudder, is going to control how much light is going to be visible when you have the flash. And so, for example, I'm gonna do this first shot and this this picture is pretty dark right here is you can see . So I'm gonna do a second shot. I'm gonna white in my aperture a little bit and that's looking a little bit better. And so now when I turn my flash, I'll just use the transmitter and set the flash and I'll do a first test shot and right there, IRA have a pretty decent shot. But as you can see, let's say I want my background behind her a little bit brighter because I just think it's a little bit too dark right there. And so all I have to do is set my shutter speed, Teoh. If I drop it down to one 1/60 of a second, then the nice thing is, shutter speed is going to control how much light is lead in from the environment. The ambient light since the flash is bursting at the same time as the shutter speed, the shutter speed won't won't affect the light coming from the flash. And so I'll do this other shot with lower shutter speed. And make sure you hold the camera very still. When you're doing lower shutter speed and you can see in this next picture there is a lot more light coming in. And if I a little bit nervous about the background still going to dark, then I could just drop it down. You know, 1/50 maybe even 1/40 and I can I can let even more light in and they see that's looking really good already, Um, or if I want, say, more dramatic photo Adul that more light from the flash and less from the environment than I can just bump it up to, you know, 1 125th in the second. And now you're getting a lot more of the light coming from the flash and less from the background. If I'm thinking that I want a greater contrast I'll have to do is bump on my flash. So I'm at full power now on my flash on, and I can start at one over 100 again and do the same thing. And so now I'm getting a lot more like coming from the the Flash and it's creating a lot more dramatic look. So this is really helpful on where I can control how much I want of my light coming from the environment around me and how much I want from the flash. So it gives you a lot of control, and you can really start knowing what you're gonna get rather than playing the guessing game. 4. Basic Retouching: Hi, some this last video, I'm going to be going over a couple of the different techniques that I use just basic attendings to retouch and get some basic lighting corrections on my photos. And so one thing I usually do is open my photos and bridge. It's just a really nice program that I can easily look through all the different photos I have. There's a few different layouts that I can use so I can see all the photos that I have and be able to manage them pretty easily. Some people use light room. I really prefer to use bridge and adobe camera because it's just faster for May. But it's just my own preference, and you can use whatever you want because they both work very similarly. The one thing I do like about camera is this just faster for me to get to photo shop when I want to add some brushing in effects so I'll just click on my photo, and as you can see, I have some settings applied to it. But I'm going to reset the default settings and so this is my starting image. What I like to do is make sure I have my highlights set so I can see a lot of the detail. Sometimes it gets lost souls Uman, and make sure that I can see some of detail. I never really mess with contrast or clarity, especially clarity, because I can always bring some of that in. Later, Um, sometimes all all bump up contrast, but not usually too much, because I can do that and flourish up to as well. I like to bring in the shadows sometimes just to get more detail, although for this photo I want it to be a little bit darker in the background. So we'll keep the shows how they are, and I'll make sure the color balance is looking pretty good when I'm doing color balance. It depends on the type of photo I want. A lot of times when I'm doing portrait's like this all favor, making them just a little bit warm and not so much so you have too much yellow in there. Sometimes they may start with White Point and so get get a good starting point. But now she looks a little bit green, and so then I can going push the colors around where I want once I have that starting point , and so I think that looks pretty good. She's got enough red in her face and the add just a little bit more. And then once and I'm I'm here. Um, if it's photos, I need to get out really fast, All go, and I'll add some sharpening just right in camera because it makes a big difference. And then it's that much less sharpening that have to do later. Once I'm to this point, I'll, uh, usually open the image, get it ready and Photoshopped. And then I create a new layer on top of that, and I can go and start brushing in a vignette. You can use vignette ing and adobe light room or camera, and I like to use that sometimes. But if it's something like this, I wanna have a little bit more control over it, so I'll make sure they have a black color set and I'll start painting at about 10% and I can just start brushing in little those dark where I want say you want some dark right around here, and then that starts really bringing out my model and you don't want to overdo it too much . It could be really easy toe. Overdo it. And yet I just want to make sure everything is a little bit darker down there. I can use a shortcut. I just hit zero and then four really fast and you can see up in my capacity. It dropped down 4%. If I want to get a little more detailed, I'll go and start brushing a little bit smaller on Ah, PC can use, uh, Ault and control and then right click and that will drag your brush either larger or smaller or change the hardness of it. And it's kind of hard to see now. If I increase my capacity, then you can start seeing what doesn't I I like to use. That's because it's really fast, uh, to dio and then, uh, go back down 4% and start brushing in a little bit more. And so now I can look at my layers. You can see the before and after, and so it looks really good. If I want to go in and add a little bit more detail, sometimes all go in and all create another layer and I'll set this too soft light. If I want to make her eyes stand out a little bit more, I can go brush a little bit of black around the edges. Not too much. Just a little bit on in here. A man all sample the color inside her, I and all, uh, a little bit brighter. And then I'll go in and brush just a little bit of that. Now, if I was him out, you can see that that really starts making that look really good. And that some of the basics of how I get photos to look like this. And so I hope you found this useful and that you can use it in some of your photos.