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One-Light Portrait Photography

Lesson 8 of 10

Shoot: Reflectors to Add Extra Pop

Dan Brouillette

One-Light Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

8. Shoot: Reflectors to Add Extra Pop


Lesson Info

Shoot: Reflectors to Add Extra Pop

I'm gonna have you stand back here so you're not so much reflecting on his face, but almost creating a little bit of a rim light. Yup. So keeping that, as long as we keep it from the subject and behind, so as long as this is clear the light won't affect his face as much. And we'll get a nice rim light. John I'ma have you turn it just a little bit more this way so it's not in frame. Perfect, thank you. Alright... Head out this way more with your nose, eyes to camera. Chin up a tiny bit... 1, 2, 3. (camera snaps) And look at that, you can see it on his neck especially, and ear, we're even creating a little bit of a second catch light there. But just going from there, to there, look at his shoulder, creating that separation. Again, we didn't add a second light, we just added a silver reflector. So it's just something different you can do. There is a little bit of a distracting catch light in his eye, if you notice that. See that one? So what we can do there, move back, yep, John will just...

move back a little bit. Even further... Right there, perfect. Angle it towards Joe just a little bit. Alright, 1... 2, 3. (camera snaps) I might of got a little of background, but it doesn't matter, because it's black. So here we go, that looks really cool. You can just see a hint of rim light. If you look at his ear, look at here, the ear that's in shadow, versus here. It's just a hint. If you wanna move closer with your reflector, and you can do more. But that's basically, yup... We've got a question from online. Yeah Chinder says, "When would you use a white reflector?" "When would you use a silver reflector"? Okay Does one throw harder light? Yeah! So exactly. It's the same thing of when you would use a white umbrella versus silver. When you need more specularity and a little more pop from your reflector, use the silver side, because it's going to reflect a greater amount of light, than if you use the white side. Similar to if you're someone who uses natural light, and you're out shooting in white open sun, a lot of times you use the white side of your reflector, but if you're in open shade you might use the silver side, because you're trying to pull a little more light off that reflector, and put it back onto your subject. So, it just depends on what you're going for, but yeah, that's a good question. Any other questions here? So, with the beauty dish... Yes. There was no orange light before the flash... Not orange light, the... Day light... Oh the modeling light? Yeah the modeling light. Yeah, that won't affect anything at all with the shot. That'll only... If we didn't have any of these lights on, the only reason I would have that on is to be able to focus. That modeling light is so dim and it goes off when you hit the flash that it won't affect the shot at all.

Class Description

It's amazing what you can create with just one studio strobe. Editorial and Award-Winning photographer Dan Brouillette shows how to get amazing and different lighting with the simplest of gear. Whether on-location, or in the studio, he'll use one-light in a variety of different ways to create everything from soft and pretty looks to hard, edgy portraits. While taking advantage of a number of different lighting modifiers, and utilizing just one strobe- you'll have a strong studio on the go for your portrait photography. 


Ryan Redmond

I have mixed feelings on this one. I would still recommend it because the theory and explanations are solid and he gave a wide array of examples that show you the incredibly broad spectrum of results you can get with a given light just by changing distance and position. Having that general understanding of the fundamentals will be very useful. I'm a little bummed that he's using thousands of dollars in lighting for something that felt like it was promoted as an introduction or fundamentals class. I am a hobbyist and I am using speedlight and small softbox or umbrella combos that cost under $100, not 500 watt strobes in 60" softboxes or $1500 strobe and beauty dish combos. It would have been nice to see some examples with more basic equipment. I know the concepts will scale with some practice though, so the class was certainly still valuable.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic little course. I knew a lot of this stuff already but still learned a couple things, too. I love seeing how different photographers explain the same things and Dan was crystal clear and highly effective. Glad I bought this course.


Brilliant course for beginners. Would like to have seen some comparative examples with slightly cheaper gear, but that is for the individual to experiment. The inverse square law theory of light was a great help to me.