Learn how to use a reflective thing to reflect light on a dude's face... all the cool kids are doing it.
Tags:How to Use Reflectors,How to Use Reflector,Introduction on how to use Reflector,Using Reflectors in Photography,Using Reflectors Like a Pro,substream
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Hi! This is Mike from the thesubstream.com. I’m off screen, about to join my good friend and very handsome model, Ryo the—
A couple of months ago in the film lab here we talked about how to create Rembrandt lighting which is a really simple, really basic way to light for drama using three lights. It starts with the key light which lights of the subject, the filled light on the other side that fills in some shadows, and a backlight from behind that helps pick out our subject right over here from the background. But what if you don’t have three lights? What if you’re shooting outside or you’re shooting next to a sunny window, or you have one lamp only?
Well there’s still things that you can do to them and help make your lighting look dramatic but also natural. Once I get the houselights tuned off we’re going to use our lamp here, a Lowel omni as a stand in for any single, strong light source. The sun and the sun shining through the window, a household lam, and I’m going to cut to a close. There we go a close up so we can see what it looks like.
Yeah, okay. Not so hot. It’s a little severe. It’s very dramatic. There you’re contrasting and it’s the kind of thing that might work, a friar was looking for the Maltese Falcon. But as far as general purpose say interview light goes, it’s little over the top and a little bit too harsh. What we need to do is get some light under the fill side of his face, the side with the shadows.
So what do you do if you don’t have a second light or a third or a spare sun in your pocket? Well, you can use reflector like this one. They sell at any photo supply store for about 50 bucks. What you do is stand on the other side of your subject and bounce the excess key light back into your subjects face. As you can see, the reflector acts like a fill light, filling in some of the detail that was lost to shadow before. You can also use it to waive around in the air and shoot the reflection back into the camera lens for some reason I can’t remember.
On the adverse side of this reflector is a white surface. As you can see, it doesn’t reflect as much light but the light it does reflect is softer. Now, if you don’t have access to a reflector you don’t want to incur the expense, you can use this stuff instead. It’s called foam core and it’s available at all kinds of hobby shops and hardware stores and it’s just basically a light polystyrene board with a white paper surface. And you could use it just like a reflector. Stand opposite the key and angle it so that it bounces the key light back into your subject’s face. And as you can see, it works about as well as the reflector too.
Now, it may seem like a jerry-rig but the stuff gets used all the time on professional film sets because it’s easy, cheap light and ultimately disposable. On behalf of Ryo and I and everyone here at the substream.com thanks for watching this short film lab episode about how to use reflectors. I’m sorry there weren’t more jokes or explosions or special effects in it but we’re saving those for more later, a funnier and better videos.
Remember you can make a reflector out of almost anything, put tin foil or a white sheet over top a cookie tin. Once you get the concept of using something reflective to bounce key light back into the unlit side of your subject’s face you’re limited only by your own ingenuity. Bye.