8 of the Best Photography Classes You Need to Watch

We've got hundreds of photography classes, and every single one contains essential tips that will help you take better pictures. But which classes are the most popular? Which do people return to again and again for inspiration and in-depth instruction?

We checked the stats, and the results are in. Here they are: the best of the best, the cream of the crop – the first eight of our most popular photography classes. Have you watched them all yet?

1. Understanding Light

Are you intimidated by terms like ‘Inverse Square Law’ and ‘colour spectrum of light’? Watch this class and be daunted no more!

In this, the opening chapter of our Lighting Theory and Equipment course, you’ll cover the fundamentals of light, picking up the knowledge you need to work confidently with studio lighting.

Karl demonstrates the practicalities of light, exploring how hard and soft light effects shadows, texture and three-dimensionality. He shows you how to control reflections, shadows and highlights to optimise your images.

Watch Understanding Light.

Lips close-up by Karl Taylor

© Karl Taylor

2. How to Make a Scrim

Scrims are affordable, DIY lighting modifiers, commonly used by product photographers to create gradient lighting while maintaining soft light.

In this class, you’ll learn why scrims are so useful, and how to make your own.

Watch How to Make a Scrim.

Diamond fashion shot by Karl Photography

© Karl Taylor

3. Softbox Lighting and Theory

Karl takes a closer look at these versatile and ever-popular modifiers, explaining how they work and what sets them apart from other light-shapers.

As he does so, he helps you get to grips with the Inverse Square Law, plus demonstrates a range of creative lighting setups.

Wondering whether to invest in a softbox? Want to get the most from the one you already have. Look no further!

Watch Softbox Lighting and Theory.

Sci fi fashion photo by Karl Taylor

© Karl Taylor

4. Types of Studio Lighting

So many lights, so little time…

With a multitude of studio lighting options to chose from, and so much to learn about how each one works, it’s important to establish a basic understanding to help you make the right decisions.

In this photography class, Karl explains the fundamental workings of studio lighting. He lays out the advantages and disadvantages of different systems, and explains the type of work they are best suited for.

Watch Types of Studio Lighting.

Bottle photography by Karl Taylor

© Karl Taylor

5. Understanding Flash Power

If knowledge is power, knowledge of power is, well, powerful!

Each type of studio light has different power capabilities. To achieve full creative control, you need to understand how to wield that power to your advantage.

This class covers all you need to know about flash power, including the relationship between f-stops and studio light power, why it’s important (but not necessarily crucial) to have a large range of power, and the factors that influence power.

Watch Understanding Flash Power.

Haute cuisine photo

© Karl Taylor and Anna Pustynnikova

6. Lighting Modifiers and Their Effects

Softbox or snoot? Octabox or parabolic umbrella? Beauty dish or Fresnel?

If you find the range of available modifiers overwhelming, or need a refresher on which ones do what, look no further. 

In this class, Karl demonstrates a variety of modifiers, explaining the science behind their effects and how they’re best put to use.

He also recaps the principles of hard and soft light and how we can control light to get the images we want.

Watch Lighting Modifiers and Their Effects.

Model photographed by Karl Taylor

© Karl Taylor

7. Black-on-Black Product Photography Using Two Lights

Black on black: when you do it right, it looks so simple and appealing. But getting it right can be tricky – especially with just two lights!

In this video, Karl works with broncolor’s Urs Recher to demonstrate a simple rim-lighting technique for cosmetic product photography.

Together, the pair demonstrate how to use a single backlight to create beautiful rim lighting around a black product on a black background.

Using two simple modifiers (softboxes, to be specific) they show the importance of each individual light – and reveal the key to achieving gradient lighting.

Watch Black-on-Black Product Photography Using Two Lights.

Cosmetics product photograph by Karl Taylor

© Karl Taylor

8. Wine Bottle Photography

Wine always looks appealing to us, but getting bottle photography right takes some work.

This start-to-finish photoshoot, recorded live, offers an amazing opportunity to witness a master product photographer in action. Follow Karl’s process step by step to see exactly how he achieves the perfect rim-lit final image.

You’ll cover lighting setups, modifiers, backgrounds, post-production – the full bottle!

Watch Wine Bottle Photography.

Wine bottle photography

© Karl Taylor

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