Finding reflectors in the environment


When out shooting on location, it's always good to keep an eye out for things that can be used as reflectors. Whether it's the glare of a late afternoon sun reflected in a window of a nearby building or the wall of a public restroom, reflectors can be found all around in places you would not expect to see them.


Even in a parking lot. . . 


While prepping for a test shoot at Ironwood Beach in Kapalua, I noticed some trees next to an empty parking stall that would make a nice backdrop for a photo.  What made it even better was that there was a white Toyota Tacoma in the next stall which acted as a natural reflector for the late afternoon sun.

When the model Stephanie arrived, I had her stand in the empty stall and we did a few quick shots using nothing but natural light.  Since she was pretty close to the trees, I shot with the lens wide open to blur the background as much as possible. In addition, there was sunlight streaming through the branches of the trees so Stephanie had to position herself carefully so that we wouldn't get spots of bright sunlight on her face (you can see some of it on her right shoulder in this first image).



One thing to keep in mind when using reflectors in the environment is that light will take on the color of whatever it is bouncing off of.  For example, sunlight that reflects off of a tan or brown wall will cast a warmer light on your model than sunlight bounced off of a blue wall.