Not everyone wants to be a photographer, but everyone does want to take great photos. It’s why every new iPhone has a better camera than the one before it, because in this digital age we live in people take tons of photos every single day. Every memory deserves to be captured well.
When it’s not practical to have a photographer follow you around day after day to capture a memory that may or may not occur, it helps to know a few tips and tricks so that you get the most out of your own photos.
The tip I give today has been brought to you by … reflectors.
These simple tools can make a BIG impact on your final image.
A reflector is essentially anything that bounces light. It can be an actual professional photography reflector, which I have a couple of, or anything from a large piece of Styrofoam or white board.
Here is how having a reflector has made a difference in my own day to day life.
Every month I take photos of my children in the same room, on the same blanket, in the same color clothes and around the same time of day. This room only has one window but I have never had a problem getting a good amount of light bouncing around to nail my exposure.
What many may not know about photography is, just because part of the image is in perfect exposure does not mean the entire image is perfectly exposed. Have you ever taken a photo where one part looks great whereas part is in harsh shadow? In comes a reflector. This handy low tech gadget is so easy to use any one can take their images from “Oh, that could have been a great photo.” to “Wow, that is a great photo.”
Yesterday I set up my kids to take their photos like I do every month and to my annoyance, the day was quite overcast. The light from the one window was not enough to bounce around the room like it usually did. To my frustration, all my photography tools and equipment, other than my camera of course, was all at the studio. I had to come up with a homemade reflector and fast before my sons lost interest in sitting still, which any of you parents out there knows is about three and a half minutes… if that.
I grabbed a white blanket and draped it on a piece of furniture directly across from where the harshest shadows were hitting my son. I knew it helped but to be honest I didn’t see what a difference it made until I looked at the final images. (These images are with the exact same camera settings and are unedited.)
Wow. For something I just grabbed in the moment, it worked like a charm.
Now I know the image still contains shadow, but I actually love keeping a bit of shadow in my images because it shows depth. Bob Ross said it best, “You need the dark to show the light.”
So there you have it. A little tip for you whenever you are in a lighting bind. Any large white object will reflect light and reduce any harsh shadows on your subject.
I hope you this helps you in future… it sure helped me out of a jam.
Happy weekend all! Go take some great photos!
January 11, 2020