Digital Photography Tip: Easy Portrait Lighting

August 30, 2013

Digital Photography Tip: Easy Portrait Lighting

People take up photography for a lot of different reasons, but it seems that most folks are looking to take pictures of people—loved ones, friends and family.

But getting a good portrait shot can be frustrating. That’s because success in portraits is so much about lighting.

Professionals know this. That’s why they spend so much money on lighting equipment—strobes and light boxes and flashguns and…

But you can capture amazing portraits with much simpler (and less expensive) equipment. Specifically, you can create some really wonderful portrait lighting effects using something as simple as a reflector.

digital photography reflectors

Reflectors can be used to bounce the available light onto your subject, helping to reduce harsh and unflattering shadows. In fact, one of the best places for a reflector is at a level below the face, tilted slightly upwards to move light up under chin and eyes, lighting up otherwise shadowed areas. Reflectors can also help to bring catch lights to the eyes, adding that all-important sparkle.

Reflectors are especially useful when you’re shooting a portrait outside. Since the lighting outdoors can often be harsh and frequently comes in from above, you can move your subject into the shade and then use the reflector to bounce the light onto your subject from a more flattering angle. And since the reflector naturally helps to diffuse the light, the resulting illumination is softer and more flattering.

Reflectors typically come in a two colors: silver and gold. Silver reflectors give off a brighter, whiter light while gold ones give off a softer, warmer light.

For more about using reflectors in your portraits, check out the video and links below:

The Art of Stunning Natural Portrait Lighting With Reflectors

Using a Reflector for Better Outdoor Portraits




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