A cheap and effective way of utilizing available light
“If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed”…
If you simply cannot light your subject correctly and you have no speedlight or flash, take the light from elsewhere and direct it onto your subject using a reflector. These generally come in white, silver or gold depending on the effect you want or you can make your own quite easily.
It is advisable to take a meter reading from your subject once the reflected light is on them…not before.
Here are a couple of examples using a large, gold, Lastolite reflector. The first two images were shot outside with the sun behind the subject giving heavy back-lighting…
Without balancing the light with a reflector or fill in flash, the subject would be more in a silhouette as the camera would meter for the light behind and not for the subject. Using a reflector creates a nice balance, a warm tone to the skin and a nice catchlight in the eyes.
In this next shot, the subject was deep inside an outdoor porch where there was little light hitting her. we simply held a reflector outside in the sun (about 20 feet away) and shone it into the porch area and onto the subject. The results once again are spot on with great skin tones and catchlights in the eyes.
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