Hi and welcome back.
Near the end of my Off Camera Flash workshop on Saturday, Audette, one of my students, asked about natural light portraiture using a reflector. She showed me an image she had taken with natural light and a gold reflector. She was happy with the overall quality of the light but not the yellow tone in the image.
I recognized right away that she had used a gold or silver/gold zebra stripe reflector. When she confirmed she had used a gold reflector, I quickly told her to stay away from gold reflectors for caucasian people; that gold reflectors worked best on people of dark skin and that yellow color casts will affect your image and she’ll find herself in post processing removing all that yellow cast from skin tone.
So at the last moment of the workshop I set up my California Sunbounce Micro Mini with Grip Head onto a lightstand and went to work.
Califonia Sunbounce Micro Mini
I placed Christina in such a way that the sun was behind her and thus falling over her head and shoulders and hitting the silver side of the reflector, giving me that great, bright, non-yellow light needed for a perfect color tone.
Here’s the setup with the Sunbounce: it’s important to note that the 20×30 micro mini is perfect for upper body and head and shoulders shots.
At this point, you can locate your reflector, set your exposure, WB, and just shoot. I usually push ISO up a bit to get a fast shutter speed and aperture of between 4 and 5.6.
The real beauty of this is that there is no flash or strobe battery to deplete or recycle times to worry about. You can just have your subject act natural and knock out some great, fun shots, like these:
You can see the catchlight in her eyes is the reflector doing it’s job and giving me perfect, contrasty fill light for a great round of shots with the sun behind for hair and separation light.
All shots are raw to jpeg unedited proofs right out of my camera, Nikon D3 and 70-200 vr lens.
The reflector is one of the most important tools in your lighting kit. Take it out often and use it; you will be amply rewarded with great images using simple gear.
My next workshop is at Foto Care in NYC on June 25.
Check it out here: Foto Care
Hope to see you there. Till next time, happy shooting!