Technical workshop week 3: Controlling light

In todays workshop, we learned how to enhance portraits by using additional lighting kits such as a diffuser and different coloured reflectors. The learning outcome was to evaluate the use of reflectors and diffuses. We got into group and Beth was the model. The first image below is with no reflectors. Before taking this image we had to set the light meter to match the cameras ISO and set the cameras aperture to f/8, the light meter after firing it told us the shutter speed to use in the environment we choose.

No relfector

First image with no reflectors, very dark, harsh light on one side of the models face.

White reflector

White reflector, still harsh on one side of the models face. The reflector brightened up the other half of the models face where in the previous image without the white reflector, it was hardly visible. It has improved the portrait but not to the professional standard you would expect a portrait shot from an experienced photographer. The white reflector does however reflect a very clean and soft light which when paired with a studio light, would make this portrait really attractive and successful. 

Silver reflectorSilver reflector. The silver reflector when compared to the white seemed to enhance the models skin colour. Her skin on this image has more of a yellow glow, which i think looks more realistic, more appealing and natural. Towards the left hand side of her face, the light is still quite harsh having a shadowing effect on the other side.

Black reflector

Black reflector. This reflector in the studio does very little/nothing to enhance the portrait of the model. The harsh light is very bright on the left hand side of her face whilst the other half is completely black. The black reflector doesn’t really reflect any light at all, photographers use this to cast a shadow in a particular area on the model or background creating a more artistic shadow.

Gold Reflector

Gold reflector, This image really made her skin glow yellow which could be adjusted in camera by cooling the white balance a little or even in camera raw. The gold reflector casts a very strong warm light onto the model. Her face looks very ‘radioactive’ and personally a look i really do not like. 

diffuser alone

This image is produced by using a diffuser alone. The job of a diffuser is to soften the light which when compared to the first image, you can see a noticeable difference in the harshness of the light.

Diffuser and gold reflector

This is the outcome when using a diffuser and gold reflector together. In comparison to just using the gold reflector, the ‘radio activeness’ as i mentioned before has been softly taken out. The gold and yellow glow is no longer as strong as before. The diffuser really softens and ‘defuses’ the strong warm glow from the gold reflector in this image. 

Diffuser with silver reflector

This is with the diffuser and silver reflector together. I much prefer this outcome with the silver reflector as the models face has a very realistic and natural skin tone. This is my favourite image out of the whole workshop and i think the diffuser when paired with the silver reflector is a winning combination when shooting a portrait in the studio.

Black reflector with natural light

This image is taken with the black reflector using natural light. The models skin tone is very pale but is more accurate to the actual model’s skin tone.


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