Watch for Natural Reflectors

Sometimes nature gives you the gift of beautiful natural reflectors. A perfect example is a beach. Usually the sand is white and smooth and bounces back all the sun's rays. If you photograph a subject in the shade near the beach, the sand acts as a giant reflector, evenly filling in all the shadows.

Also, if you are in the shade and there is a sunlit concrete sidewalk, it is a likely a great reflector. Watch to see what the sun is illuminating. This illumination might create a great natural reflector or natural softbox. Floors, cars, and sides of buildings are potentially great sources of light.

Figure 8.15 is a behind-the-scenes image of me creating the portrait in Figure 8.16. I did not use light modifiers to create this beautiful, glowing light. Instead, I watched the natural reflectors already present in the environment. The sun was bright and was reflecting off a large, white concrete sidewalk. I noticed this bright reflector and put the subject in the shade, using the sidewalk to fill in the shadow.

Figure 8.15 is a behind-the-scenes image of me creating the portrait in Figure 8.16. I did not use light modifiers to create this beautiful, glowing light. Instead, I watched the natural reflectors already present in the environment. The sun was bright and was reflecting off a large, white concrete sidewalk. I noticed this bright reflector and put the subject in the shade, using the sidewalk to fill in the shadow.

Shadows And Sunlight

Figure 8.15

I placed the subject in the shade to avoid the harsh sunlight, and the well-lit concrete sidewalk acted as a giant reflector to fill in the shadows and create the beautiful result shown in Figure 8.16.

Light Modifiers For Fashion

When shooting portraits, look for natural light reflectors. I achieved this glowing portrait without light modifiers, using only available light.

When shooting on location with natural light, you can't just be aware of your main light. Can other sources of light benefit your image? Perhaps there is an open doorway casting a highlight into the room that could be used as a nice rim light on your subject. If you watch the light carefully, chances are you'll discover these other sources that can add dimension to your images by acting as a hair light, rim light, or even interesting background illumination.

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