Introduction and Understanding Light

Lacking confidence with studio lighting? First, you need to understand light itself…

In this opening chapter of our Lighting Theory and Equipment course, you’ll discover the fundamentals of light, equipping yourself with the knowledge you need to start getting amazing results with your lights.

Through a series of easy-to-follow visual demonstrations, you’ll learn about the practicalities of light, exploring the different effects hard and soft light have on shadows, texture and three-dimensionality. You’ll also learn how to achieve precise control over reflections, shadows and highlights.

Karl’s explanation and demonstration of the inverse square law, as well as of the colour spectrum of light, will equip you with crucial knowledge that will set you up for success in the studio and beyond!

In this class:

  • Different light sources and their effects
  • Hard light vs soft light
  • Careful control of light and shadows
  • Using reflectors and negative fill
  • Revealing texture
  • Inverse square law
  • Colour spectrum of light

If you enjoy this class, check out A Deeper Understanding of the Inverse Square Law and Angles of Incidence and Reflection.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. tamaraminima

    Hi Karl,

    when I shoot in a studio with studio lights, I still struggle with fluorescent light and its effect on the final photo.
    I always want the studio to be lit so I can work in a bright space(fluorescent light from bulbs), but I never successfully eliminate this light from final photos despite the studio flash. I always take the first photo as a test shot without the flash, so that the photo is completely black with the appropriate camera settings (without the influence of light bulbs). But after I add a flash and then change the camera settings, the bulbs again affect my final results (also visible in the histogram).
    What am I doing wrong? Am I not allowed to change the camera settings at all after I add the flash?
    And also, on which value do I have to set the color temperature in the camera when using the studio flash – to auto or 5600 K?

    Thank you very much. All the best to you and your team. Greetings from Slovenia,


  2. J.M. Arruda

    Hi, Karl. I joined the site yesterday and the classes are excellent and very instructive. Thank you very much and greetings from Rio de Janeiro.

  3. Its Great To Explain Everything as well but
    i wanna ask if i work with Godox FV 150 Light and a same time i work with a flash
    i just understand like i work with 5600 Kelevn but at a same moment i make Setting in Camera 5100 to 5200 Cause i try to Got a White Color Balance in the end with Flash Godox Ad 600 Pro So What i should do to got more Pure Light Cause i Start to Use more Then 4 Unite For Light 4 Stander Light a Flash light but its take too much There is any Adv To Customizing This .

    1. Hi, I would set my camera to daylight or 5600k and then using the mix of lighting will give you an average that is accurate enough.

  4. Great video. Even though i am supposed to be a professionnal… it is always great to go back to the fundamentals. Great job really !!!

  5. Amazing lesson, it’s an absolute must-see and explained so clearly. I’m looking forward to practicing lighting techniques

  6. This class is amazing!!! I never had such a clear and informative class. Especially easy to follow and learn! Thank You!!!

  7. David

    Hi Karl,

    I bought 2 flashes but they turned out to be too strong for a small studio like mine in some cases. I don’t want to sell them, but don’t want to buy new flashes either πŸ™‚ Is it possible to use ND filters in front of flashes? I think I saw you so that in some of your videos, but I can’t remember where. Also if possible what product should I look for. (Couldn’t find anything by ‘ND filter for flash’)



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