On Monday, we went through Part 1 of this post, so if you missed it and need to get caught up, check it out HERE.
Method 3. Using Natural Reflectors
One of our favorite reflectors to use are natural ones. As we walk into a shoot or are scouting locations, we try to find places where light is reflecting back to give us a great look on our shots. It is great to find open shade, but when that open shade has light bouncing into it (like the above graphic) then we know we are going to get some more dynamic lighting. This image above was in the shade of the sun (good start), but then it also had soft light bouncing back into it. Directly behind the camera position and about 30 degrees right (about 80 feet away from us) was a large, white 3 story building that was reflecting the sun back into this area. That gave us not JUST soft light, but directional soft light that gives nice contrast to the image. TIP: Try and find natural reflectors that are at least 2 or 3 stories high (if they are 50 or 100 feet away) so that the center of those light sources is above the eyes of our subjects. That helps the light come down at a flattering angle and makes the images look much better.
Method 4. Diffusing Direct Sunlight
The last way we control light in this way is to use our diffuser. Sometimes you are shooting and you have NO where to hide from the sun and you are getting tired of just backlighting every client and adding some light to the front with your reflector. That is why having a large diffuser is critical to wedding and portrait work. If we have a large reflector with us, then we can shoot in direct sun and get great images of our clients. Some of you shooters out there have nothing but tons of sun and no shade for lots of your shoots, so learning to use a diffuser really well is key!
Here is the shot of the behind the scenes image from above in direct sun. It is not flattering and tough to shoot in.
Once we add the diffusion, we now have this beautiful soft light with manageable contrast that looks great!
Nothing But Sun
If you find yourself shooting in direct sun almost ALL the time, then we would recommend that you invest in a diffusion panel like the California Sun Bounce.
(image from California Sun Bounce Italy)
This piece of gear takes the diffuser and puts it in a frame, then allows you to get an accessory mono-pod so your assistant can carry it around and create soft light anywhere. It comes in tons of sizes and we recommend a large one for two or more people. Shooting on the beach, in the desert or anywhere in between, you can create soft light and get great images!
With these 4 Methods for shooting with reflectors, you will see your images have that extra pop and will feel confident walking into most any natural lighting situation!
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