fxphd – Lighting with Natural Light – Taught by Ben Allan ACS


Categories: ,

fxphd – Lighting with Natural Light – Taught by Ben Allan ACS


DURATION: 5 hours 34 minutes

This course is designed to show how to light subjects and drama with natural light, led by DOP Ben Allan. It is wrong to think that because you are not lighting with electric lights you are not lighting a scene, but with creativity and a solid technical understand lighting with natural light can be incredibly rewarding and even a very fast way to shoot.

The reality of today’s working environment is that you are very likely to be presented with opportunities even if you seek them. From interviews to drama, interior and exterior setups, and interestingly night shots are all candidates for using available light in dramatic and original ways.

While it may be fast to film with natural light, it is not always easy when you can’t just dim your lights, or move them relative to your subject. When done well, natural light can add incredible realism to a scene, it can make your scenes dramatic and natural. But it can also present real problems to overcome, extreme contrast ratios, shift source directions, glare, unwanted reflections, and a lack of the sort of modeling control we have with area lights. If you have seen any of Ben Allan’s courses with Mike Seymour, you will know that the way we address these issues is by having Mike torture Ben. Mike will set complex and perhaps seemingly impossible lighting tasks – which in the past Ben has seemingly solved with easy, but this term he may just be stumped!

Video Player

Lighting with Natural Light
Watch our overview of the course

course syllabus



Lighting a three person drama scene in a DOP’s worst nightmare: a white wall, featureless square office – using only fluorescences and sunlight.




High contrast filming with harsh sunlight in a car.




Shooting on a sailing boat in high sun with evil contrast, bounce light and cramped conditions.




How to shoot in a studio for outdoor natural sunlight.




After drama and travel, we now shift to interviews. Here the goal is to get great results, but not interfere with interview process while still lighting two people with cross dual camera shooting. Everyone should watch this class as it is packed the tips and practical advice (we do a lot of interviews and trust us – this is invaluable advice).




Matching a green screen shoot to natural light and lighting a green screen with the sun.




Never light an actress from below, unless it is candle light. – anyone can look great in candle light.




A change of pace, we film an entire travel promo on the streets in uncontrolled conditions. This is just the sort of promo that you might be called upon to make to promote a city, a location or as an introduction to any number of other packages.




Drone shots necessitate an understanding of natural light, and how the freedom of movement must be factored in to produce good results.




This is a special request episode where we ask you to Beat Ben – with your most annoying natural lighting situations.

Shopping Cart

Get 20% off your first purchase. USE COUPON: DISCOUNT20

fxphd - Lighting with Natural Light - Taught by Ben Allan ACS