Light It. Shoot It. Retouch it – On a Budget with Hot Shoe Flash, with Scott Kelby

Join Scott Kelby in the fourth installment of his popular Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it series. This class is geared to getting great results with a bare-bones off-camera flash kit. Scott walks you through every step of the process, from selecting the right gear, through capturing great shots on location, to retouching the photos to make them look their very best. You’ll learn everything you need to know to pack light, work efficiently, and get the job done with professional results.

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 03:23)

Scott introduces the structure of the class and the concepts that will be covered.

Lesson 2: Flashes to Consider (Duration 05:37)

This lesson is for anyone who is looking to purchase a flash.

Lesson 3: Other Gear to Consider (Duration 12:27)

Once you have the flash you need a secure way to get it off the camera and a way to soften the light.

Lesson 4: Packing Your Kit (Duration 02:12)

A simple compact bag can keep you organized and ready to go at any time.

Lesson 5: Basic Camera Settings (Duration 05:51)

It helps to have a good starting point for your camera settings before you head out. You can adjust as needed on location.

Lesson 6: First Location: In the Shade (Duration 17:35)

When choosing your location you need to consider the available light as well as the background. From there you can test your settings and hone in on the right flash power and position.

Lesson 7: First Location: Indoors (Duration 03:46)

A change in location will bring a change in settings and flash positioning.

Lesson 8: Running and Gunning (Duration 06:00)

When you work with an assistant it can bring in a lot of flexibility to change things on the fly.

Lesson 9: Flash Outdoors in Bright Light (Duration 03:41)

There are a few ways you can use the flash to your advantage when shooting out in the sunlight.

Lesson 10: Flash with Window Light (Duration 03:41)

Window light is great for portraits, but you may not always have enough with just the window alone. Adding in a flash gives you even more flexibility.

Lesson 11: Second Location: Football Field (Duration 09:28)

With a new location and new subject comes new camera settings and new challenges.

Lesson 12: Reviewing the Shots (Duration 06:05)

Before getting into the retouching Scott takes a quick walk through of some of the shots from the two locations that he will be retouching later.

Lesson 13: Retouch: Amanda by the Stairs (Duration 11:18)

Photo retouching is as much about the background as it is about the subject itself. Scott starts in Lightroom and then seamlessly moves to Photoshop to finish the job.

Lesson 14: Retouch: Dealing with Eyes, Teeth, and Hair (Duration 11:03)

Retouching the subject's eyes is one of the most important parts of the job, followed closely by the teeth and the hair.

Lesson 15: Retouch: Ultimate Eye Quick Fix (Duration 12:11)

Scott teaches a real quick fix for brightening eyes and then follows up with tips for dealing with shiny highlights on skin and a few finishing touches.

Lesson 16: Retouch: Sharpening for Women (Duration 15:13)

After a quick fix using the Liquify Filter it is time for sharpening to complete the job and move on to the next photo.

Lesson 17: Retouch: Working Through a New Shot (Duration 08:08)

Reinforcing the steps, from processing in Lightroom to retouching in Photoshop, to see how it all comes together.

Lesson 18: Retouch: Stefan on the Field (Duration 18:38)

While the basic workflow is the same there are techniques you would apply to a male subject that you wouldn't do when retouching a female portrait.

Lesson 19: Conclusion (Duration 01:58)

Scott wraps up the course with a quick review of the concepts covered.

Meet Your Instructor: Scott Kelby

Editor and Publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, training director and instructor for the Adobe Photoshop Seminar Tour, President National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), CEO of Kelby Media Group, author…


  1. I am so happy that you created this class! I just watched this course from beginning to end. I had already been to a live Shoot It seminar in my city and it was great. The problem is I really did not have the strobes and other studio gear to practice. This course feels like it was meant for me; the shooter that does not have a big budget or super high end gear but wants to learn to produce high quality images with the gear I already own and the addition of a few inexpensive add-ons and the one flash that I already own. It has inspired me to get out their and practice and because it was demonstrated how it can be done on a budget and what kind of results you can get, I feel like it is something attainable for me and it has excited me big time! The only thing I could not seem to find was the list of equipment posted on the site that was mentioned in the early lessons. It is okay, as I am going to go and watch them again and take notes on this part so I can get the missing pieces I don't have. Thanks for making a set in this series in the scope of the beginner lighting photographer on a budget!

  2. Great Course!...I think we would all appreciate more courses like this!...Everything was stated very clearly: equipment, all settings on camera, posing, etc. Great job Scott!

  3. Hey Scott, GREAT lessons. Wish I had had this course a little earlier, before I spent WAY more than the amounts you were showing. Oh well, another lesson learned there too. LOL. Thanks so much. Learned all the things that I needed to round off my next shoot. Cheers mate, Mark

  4. An excellent course covering many topics, delivery was fun and energetic. I especially appreciate the 'budget' aspect which is critical for this enthusiast. Another 'must see' from Scott Kelby!

  5. Great course! I have been waiting to see some more photoshop & Lightroom classes and this one was great! Love the lighting and photoshop and Lightroom mix! Thank you Scott you nailed it:-}

  6. okay ... i'm raving about this course!!! thank you, thank you, and, thank you!!! i so needed every bit of what you gave us ... not surprised ... but very grateful!!! flash photography is where i am right now on my journey and i've been hoping for just such a resource!!! thanks so much, scott!

  7. Nice Stuff, Scott. In combination w/Syl Arena's stuff on KT, this course was a home run. I like the fact that great lighting can be achieved while keeping my wallet rather than leaving it at the 'lighting shop'. I learned by seeing, which always helps. Going to go out and do it myself tomorrow. Thanks!

  8. Awesome class Scott. This class alone is worth the cost of Kelby Training. While I can afford (some) expensive studio gear, I can't rationalize it nor do I have the space for it. This training hits the sweet spot for those who want to take better portraits of their family and friends without investing a bunch of money. Of course the retouching closes the loop. Thank you!

  9. Excellent! Thank you, Mr. Kelby for a really great, useable, and realistic look at what the average Joe (not McNally) can do with small flashes. I've been advocating this type of shooting for a while now, and I can tell anyone that this is a viable way to achieve results that look just as good as images made with more powerful (and expensive) equipment. It won't do everything, but it will do most things and do it well. Your quick, simple and effective retouching techniques are also awesome! Thank you!

  10. This has been the most informative tutorial I have ever watched !! Thanks Scott. I love how this guided the audience from the very first step (set-up), right to the finishing touches on Light room and Photoshop.

  11. I really, really liked this course. From a beginner flash photographer perspective (thus far, I've been more into landscapes), this was great because it showed me I can start out without spending a lot of money and still be effective. Then, I can see if this is something for me. Thanks a lot for the the tips and techniques.

  12. please do more like this i absoutley loved this course i already have all the gear you used in this class and i dont have any studio felt like this class was designed for everything i want to be able to do... thank you so much!!!!

  13. Nicely done Scott! This should be the first lesson for every newbie -- you just have that way about you to communicate effectively. I also like that you left in the troubling areas -- I learned from that too ;-)

  14. Simply an outstanding course! I really appreciate the focus on getting great results with a modest investment in lighting equipment. The content and presentation from start to finish is informative and easy to follow. I also want to thank Kelby Training for providing the options to view the videos at three quality levels. For those of us waiting to get higher speed Internet connections in rural areas, the lower quality video streams is a big plus in viewing course videos. Thanks for listening to your customers! M.Cook

  15. Scott, I cannot wait for my Holidays time off to experiment with my off-camera flash. You got me all excited and I am now confident I will get great results! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

  16. This was one of the most useful courses for my photography. Thank you SO much for this. I will be referring back to this one often. It was very precise and clear and some of the edits were different than I saw during your L/S/R seminar. Great Job!

  17. It was excellent! Well done, Scott! This was actually a subject that I have been looking into for a while - really not knowing where to start, but wanting to learn something - if only a little about it! Imagine my delight to see this course on the front page last week! I'm loving it and learning more than I hoped! Scott Kelby is an excellent teacher with a way of breaking things down that makes them easy to understand. I got a chuckle out of the stairway incident in photoshop - it really sounded familiar. Again, excellent course! One of my favorites so far.

  18. I have been waiting for a course like this. It thoroughly and simply answered so many questions I had about using hot shoe flash for portraits. Never realized it could be so simple and so cheap to get started. I wish I could have had this course a couple years ago. Very helpful. One of my favorites on Kelby Training.

  19. Thank you, Scott, for doing this course. I'm on a small budget too, and I'm getting my feet wet in working with Speedlights. I've also watched Sly's courses here on KT, and yours' blends in well with his. Your delivery in communication is one of the reasons I chose KT to learn. Thank you again, Scott.

  20. Thanks Scott Kelby, for a thorough well thought out and complete short course on inexpensive lighting, and taking the shoot all the way through. I have been a shooter for many years, and even I learned a lot from your course. Thanks Again

  21. Scott.. good video! Purchased the $70 Flash just to see how good..or bad.. it was. I am VERY surprised by the build quality, great. I put it to work last night in a quick shoot and it worked just fine! Thanks for the tip and the detail. Put is next to my Canon flash to see how it stacked up.. not too bad!

  22. Scott, I learned so much from this course and can't wait to try these techniques. Love seeing everything from the very start of taking the photos to the final retouching workflows.

  23. What I like about Scott Kelby's courses is that they explain everything clearly in language everyone can understand. It's almost like he has distilled all the information presented in other courses and put his own stamp on it. Nice work.

  24. First off, thanks for such a great lesson Scott! It's like you read my mind; I had just purchased 2 umbrellas and 2 Yognuo flashes!! I'm now on the market for some basic backdrop mounts for my apartment. Maybe if you could shed some light on "cheap" backdrop systems/mounts in some future videos that'll be awesome! Thanks again - I'm a big fan!

  25. As an amateur photographer who has spent his time taking pictures of family and nature, I've begun to explore the opportunities of using off camera lighting. With a couple of new grandchildren, the demands for lots of photos has increased dramatically. This course presents the techniques in such a clear, logical and easy to follow format that allows me to better understand the shooting and retouching process without tedious trial and error. I have subscribed to the Kelby Training videos for the past couple of years and I find them invaluable as learning tools due to the straightforward presentations of Scott, Matt, RC and the rest of his team. Thanks so much.

  26. Great job Scott!!! This was so helpful to me. I really appreciate the short cut suggestions. This course was right on target for those of us that are either hobbyists or part time photographers. I'm retired and just trying to learn some basics to do some shots for family and friends. This was right up my alley!!! Thank you so much. And thanks for leaving in the times where you forgot something or did something and had a time getting it to look right. I have to tell you that it really makes folks like me feel so much better knowing that someone as talented as you are and are such a professional yet are confident enough to share your problems. I renewed my membership to Kelby Training and NAPP until June and July of 2014. It's so worth it to me. to get such excellent training. Thanks again!!!!

  27. Scott, This class is awesome. It would also be great if you can create class on how to shoot family/group portraits on budget. Light it, Shoot It, Retouch It for family/group shots.

  28. Just an awesome course. It's the first one I've looked at since purchasing a subscription to Kelby Training. I can't believe how much I've learned in such a short period of time. Scott is an amazing teacher, he doesn't waste a moment. Breaking the course up into small units (3-4 minutes each) is perfect for someone who wants to learn a little bit during breaks at work as well as during longer periods of time dedicated to learning. The ability to either stream the lessons online or download them to a device is a bonus: perfect for situations when you won't have Wifi but will have time to watch the lessons. The best thing is that I learned so much more than just about lighting and shooting with hot shoe flash. Seeing how Scott used a monopod as light stand made me realize just how versatile the equipment I already have is: I just need the imagination to put it to work in different ways. I am very fired up and so glad I purchased this subscription!

  29. Great course! I love how Scott walks you through every component of getting started with off light photography. One thing that really made me appreciate Scott was the stair touch up. :) It just goes to show that even the pro's run into little issues like the stairs. Great watch!

  30. I just subscribed to Kelby Training for one month, if I watch NOTHING ELSE other than "Light It. Shoot it. Retouch It" I'll have gotten my money's worth out of this one class alone!

  31. Wow! Changed my whole perspective on using flash. I have always told people that I am a 'natural light' enthusiast, because I was afraid to use flash. No longer thanks to Scott! Buying your suggested kit to start my new expansion into flash photography. Thanks, Scott!!

  32. Scott, Awesome! Going into this course I thought it would be a gloss over of the LSR book. But you have really given a 100% solid route for anyone who wants to get started with off camera flash. And with the gear guide... it just makes it that much easier to get started. Also I learned a few more tricks that I missed in your NY seminar with the retouching. Rich.

  33. There is soooo much information packed into this course that I actually feel bad for getting the year at a discount. er...that does not mean you can go back and double charge my card. Stellar, absolutely stellar course and well worth watching over and over.

  34. I learned so much more for $6.99 than I did in several photo classes at local photo institutions. Simple and to the point. Scott explains everything so clearly. Awesome course!!! I loved every minute of it.

  35. Thanks Scott for a great tutorial. I have been attending some courses on lightroom and photoshop here in germany, but none as informative as what Ive seen the past hour and a half. Thanks, thanks, thanks, and keep them coming!!! Combining Syl Arenas and your information gets me a lot further on my path as a photographer.

  36. Wow, your light it shoot it on a budget was fantastic! I am lucky to have most of what you are using but will be getting some of the smaller items soon. You are a great teacher. Please always keep it simple and I am looking forward to learning more. You guys are the best in the world.

  37. Once of the BEST classes I've seen om Kelby. Really enjoyed the presentation and the information was very informative. Keep up the good work......

  38. Hi Outstanding......just purchased a subscription (because I have read 5 of your books) .....this is the second tutorial that I have watched and I am hooked (however the wife is not so happy). The tips are great. Can all the tips be duplicated in CS5. I absolutely loved the made it sound so simple. I will definetely recommend this session. Great Job!

  39. Kelby Training is the best training I have found! I love the examples and being able to watch the pro's work, see their set up and see their settings and why they chose them, then see the photo they just took. It is helping me greatly. Thank you!

  40. This course is, by far, the single best course I have taken on speedlight-off camera flash. It thoroughly explained how to control light and make flash look natural doing so in an easy to understand way. Thank you Scott Kelby !!!

  41. This was a terrific course with a great deal of information that I can immediately apply to my pictures. My wife walked by the computer during the retouching segments and spent 30 minutes looking over my shoulder in amazement. Thank you!

  42. This has been the best investment ever! You cover everything, all the questions running through my mind you have answered, even the ones i think are silly. I am so estatic about watching these videos. So easy to comprehend and be able to use. The best part is that i can replay it over and over. LOVE IT!

  43. Awesome!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. My first video I watched with my subscription. Can't wait to get my gear and take great photographs. Thanks for all the links to the gear. Truly an inspiring tutorial.

  44. Thank you for creating this course. It has been very helpful. I have been trying to find some great gear at a good price and you helped big time. Please keep these great courses coming.

  45. I watched this class from beginning to end. I have been to Scott's seminar on Light It. Shoot It, Retouch It was great! This class is a great compliment to that if you're interested in off-camera flash. Loved it.

  46. Scott hit it out of the park with this video by showing how a photo enthusiast is able to attain pro like results without breaking the bank purchasing high end lighting equipment. Kudo's to Scott for not only this video but his Travel and Lightroom Photo Book series as well.

  47. This course has been able to tie together how to mix lightroom and photoshop to achieve a perfect image. This course has improved my working knowledge of lightroom, photoshop and lighting generally. Thank you.

  48. Excellent! Thank you so much! Very helpful information for someone starting out with off camera flash and on a budget. You are down to earth and you get to the point which I love...the flash is a square flash of light! I don't need to be intimidated trying it out! Thanks again and I enjoy all of your classes, Scott!

  49. This course provides EVERYTHING I wanted to know about getting started with studio/portrait photography. The bang-for-your-buck factor of this series is massive, by itself justifying the cost of subscribing to Kelby Training. Thanks you Scott, I will be coming back to view this course over and over. These training videos are DA BOMB!

  50. Excellent hands-on course! Thank you for making this course possible! I am applying everything I learned right away and seeing quality of my work improve instantly.

  51. I posted a rave comment about this course not quite 8 months ago. I had learned enough from it that even though I could not at the time purchase the necessary equipment to get the flash off the camera, I started practicing right away, playing with flash power levels and my distance from the subject. I got astonishing results using my on-camera flash as fill light that way. I'm writing again just to thank you for the direction and inspiration. I've had so much fun playing with the equipment that I already owned that I've been able to entertain myself until the moment was right for me to buy a lighting kit and wireless triggers (I got the sandbags right away, I do a lot of landscape photography). That equipment came last week. I took one of those derided, reviled bathroom selfies and used it as my Facebook profile picture. Just for the heck of it. And 6 people contacted me and asked me to take their portrait. Thank you again Scott!

  52. Thank you Scott for a great course. This is the first training course I have taken with and am looking forward to more. The course went into the details of what equipment to use, how to shoot with it and how to retouch it. It was straightforward and easy to understand and detailed enough to be worthwhile. Thanks!

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