Using a Reflector the Right Way


Picture Perfect Lighting


Lesson Info

Using a Reflector the Right Way

Lot of times when we do for the shoes, I see people holding a reflector. So they have the son comes this way. They put up the put the reflector this way and I see the blast of light hearing the person's face. Nothing wrong with that. The problem is that you have to have a reference point when you use a reflector. A reference point means what is the light around? You look like and can you match it with a reflector? Not I have a reflector and I just bought it. I want to blast the poor person with it because I paid full price, you know? And so I want to use the entire reflectors or not. Like other purchases, you make you buy it to only use ten percent of it. That's. Kind of, kind of like most of our gear. You buy it for lee here. So then explain if you look at the photo on the left, you notice that her the skin is well lit. She looks fine. But one thing that you notice also that her eyes have a little bit off a raccoon eye socket, darkness situation. This is where laziness really comes in...

most photographers or, you know, you're either in a hurry and you have to move on. Or you just decide not to take the extra step to fix that. Part of the reason is if it's cloudy like you shooting in seattle or something the flash the reflector is not going to reflect anything it's just going to reflect how depressing the sky looks all the time she went insane joke in seattle if you have son but if you live in arizona uh it's just reflects too much light and there's no reference point if you use a video light outside you may not have enough power to really bring out the ice I think the only solution is either used a strobe, a flash or the easiest one to solve this is to do ah a reflector if you do do the reflector you have to only use literally ten percent of it. It's like the edge off the reflector will give you enough light to keep the reference even the reference again is that the the lighting levels in the surrounding area that's it within your frame on how much lies you're throwing into your subject. So if you have a lot of light in the surrounding area, then you can throw more light into your subject because the reference point is higher if the reference point is slower like it's kind of moody, you gotta keep it moody on the reflector makes sense you want to keep it relaxed so the four on the left is the original photo taken on the photo on the right is me trying to photo shop it out me trying to make the eyes brighter in photo shop so I went with the last two I highlighted the eyes and I brought them up okay and he looks like that would you say in your honest opinion the photo on the right is absolutely fantastic I mean would you say is horrible probably not horrible but this is what this class is about it's about taking the extra step it's about the extra effort to make it good I'm going to show you um some reflect the usage on I want to talk to you about what is the limit that your eye can handle before he starts to squint which is actually I also one hundred to five point six shutters be five hundred that is the limit off your eye if your eye if the light is any higher than that you're going to be like it's gonna be really squinty none of these lights were using strobes none of these photos were using anything crazy it was just me a reflector on the person and that's it and this is the quality of light were getting on the two on the differences in the two the one on the right you notice something really interesting her eyes are lit but her eye sockets are not overly brightened that is the key is a ten percent use off the reflector so and then I'm also going to show you some technical use with this in order to accomplish that this is a very high tech piece of equipment is called a piece of white fabric you go get yourself one of these and you put it on the reflector and that reduces thie eye socket over brightness but it still it still breaks the ice just enough because the eyeball is much more reflective than the skin so all you need is a little bit something a little bit brighter and they will brand the eye but without going crazy on the ice okay, I'll explain that in a second here we go that's that's me using that little white suck it little white blanket thing on the reflector I'll explain that it requires you seeing it requires you seeing if you have some of these little clips I just get four of these and I just clipped a white sheet on it and I just used a little angle of it when you put the white sheet on the reflector it makes a light beautiful now people on the internet are probably saying, roberta why don't you just use the white side of the reflector dog right? Oh my god I never thought about that that's like why did I know think about the white side of the river the reflectors reflectors when they're made their actual the white side sexually very has a sheen to it that that's it that read those that kills with a point of what I'm trying to make that she makes it gives it too much power so I tried to keep it a fabric takes that away that's the only difference if they make a reflected that doesn't have that sheen I would use that but in the meantime that's the way this guy just came up with a business idea just give me oh okay another one the limit off somebody's eyes is five point six I also one hundred shutter speed five hundred if you put someone in light at this point there is one technique the light's gonna look gorgeous but you have you have about a quarter of a second before the people's I start to strain that doesn't mean you don't take the picture they just means you're aware of it if your light meter says I s so one hundred shutter speed at four sorry if I point six uh apertura five point six shutter speed five hundred if you have a light meter most people don't these days but if you do you know that you have about half a second before the eyes are going to have a hard time however you also know that the light is gonna be crazy good a little bit too good almost okay so um that is, the difference isn't direct reflection on diffuse reflection if you have strong light and you put a reflector on the person's face to give it even more light on that reflection that you put on her face measures higher than what I just said it's going to be overpowering for her. Why did I mention this? Because I see this all the time I see people at the beach going wow! And I just see the poor break one ball like whoever the shooting if you shouldn't family pictures I see a crazy overuse of reflector if you use it issuing children or high school seniors I just see the reflector being used crazy ways creative life reaches people around the world. This is a good place to say it's a ten percent use of your reflector. I know that david between direct reflection when the sun gets the reflector and then you bounce it directly on a diffuse reflection when the sun hits the reflector hits the sheet first, diffuses it, absorb some of the light and then bounces back softer cleaner light okay, uh, let's see here, this's what your poor subjects look like look to it looks like this for them. How would you like to look at that for more than two seconds if you have to do it closure subject's eyes get ready to shoot tell them where to look before they opened up their eyes. Then tell him to open up the rice. Okay, so remember, close their eyes then say, when you open your eyes, look at my shoulder, okay? My shoulders, right? He remember that then they opened up the rise. You take a picture as soon as they opened their eyes and you can you can take advantage of the light without straining their eyes. Um, this is direct reflection when the sun hits the reflector directly. This is what your subjects look like under direct reflection. Okay, you see how the light is almost too strong it's a little bit too made a wish. Okay, look at the look at this overuse off reflector past the I'll omit. You know, I know that in two thousand fifteen nobody has a light meter, but I got to say, if you want to learn lighting, you should probably go get a light meter looks just like a cheap one on remember what I said, I don't use a light meter when I'm shooting. I mean, I do check this I use a light meter to train myself on how to read light I think light meters or one of those discussions where if you're like the techie type you're like, if you don't have light meter, you're a disaster you get out of my face, right? And if you're like that oh, I just love photography I want to get into it you don't even know what a light meter is I recommend if you're going to get into the photography world you just get a light meter like, get a cheap one or something I don't care what get one um if you do, you're going to be a lot more conscience off the light when I point my camera at a subject like this on my setting say I s so one hundred shutter speed five hundred aperture at five point six I know I'm not gonna be able to shoot it it's too much and if my settings say f ate it's gonna look like this that f ate now why do I say this numbers to confuse people know if in your brain you start to associate numbers with looks, you're going to be faster you're gonna be a faster photographer. So for example, if you point your camera at someone on the camera says I s a one hundred shutter speed f f ate apertura fate shutter speed five hundred your brain should automatically have a reference points like that is too strong that is too much light, okay? And you get this does I look pleasing to the eye into you guys? No way this is the this is the limit I s so one hundred shutter speed one to fiftieth of a second aperture at four that's the limit that I can stay open without any struggle andi gives you the maximum amount of light so if you shoot yes nicky you have a question? I just have a question about the aperture so aren't you letting more light and well, I know you're letting more light in the smaller the number is so two point eight so why is it stronger at that's? Why I love his questions this is very important you just said that I'm not talking about the camera setting some talking about the measurement of light so if you put that if you put that incident light meter next to the person's chin if it reads f eight you're killing them your camera is can I can I just put the amount of light hitting her face is what I'm talking about so that's not something you that's that's why the light meter helps because if you put a light meter under a person's chin under that light you say okay that's that's crazy like it's too much light um yeah if you want to shoot this with your camera you would probably go to like some other toe kill the light you would be like that f sixteen or something like that yeah I'm talking about that's good point talking about the incident light like the light is hitting your subject not the reflected light like the incident okay this is what I do know many times it looks with the ghetto but it's fine it works totally well so what so what happens is this you open up your sheet you wrap it around on you're done you just you just do this okay if you look at the cameras and stuff it just looks a lot cleaner if you need someone to hold it get this clips and just clip it open on dh maybe don't do this in front of like a high end clients looks a little weird but you know that's the way it goes um anyway you get the point you do it this way and you get the fuse reflection diffuse reflection is a big difference between direct reflection this allows you to use the entire reflector instead of just ten percent of the direct one cool does that help is just a white sheet okay okay any questions on that direct versus diffuse reflection and proper use of reflectors and I limit is there any questions in there? Are we good good yes I did have some questions from the internet maybe we can just take a couple of really quickly so this was from sunrise so why are the reflector reflectors so big if only ten percent is needed? Okay, well you're shooting the shooting three quarter body so you want to have the size of the reflector there reflector still pointed at the body, but the main light the part that's actually hitting the reflector directly, it's pointed towards their face, so that's probably why you would do that? I recommend forty two inch reflectors, fifty two inch reflectors to support the good ones. Um so that's, why cool? So that kind of roberto answers a little bit? Is it more effective to use the corner of a big reflector or use a mini reflector? Does it depend on the subject? Okay, good one, yet I have about maybe eight reflector sizes when I come and I have a bag with all the reflectors in it. I even have ones that are just about five inches or twelve inches or small wants if I'm shooting a portrait of the girl's face on her faces or a model or whatever and she looks good, but her eyes just need a little pop. I don't want to I don't want to add more light into her entire body, so I just bring back the little five inch little desk like this and I just give it a little pop off light now believe it or not, this works really well if you need a little pop of light on a small reflector, put put put a reflector here, put put, put, very light this way, and that keeps you the popoff lights that you needed. So if you don't have enough light coming from the sun or whatever, just go like this. Remember, light is light. The light coming from the sun is the same as the light coming from the ice lights, or from any light source for you. Did you choose? Ok, actually, what I just said, it and it's really important. I don't know if you could see what I'm saying. They're a little pop, a flight on the ice, you put a small reflector if you don't have enough light to bounce us and use a light like this and make the light okay.

Class Description

Don’t rely on Photoshop tricks to make your portraits pop – learn how to use light to capture the moment in a camera. In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto Valenzuela will teach you how to make the magic happen with on-camera, off-camera, and natural light.

Roberto is a photographer and educator committed to helping other photographers overcome roadblocks and produce their best work. In this class, he’ll teach you how to achieve perfect lighting in your portraits without always relying on bulky and expensive modifiers. 

You’ll learn:
  • How to handle Speedlites
  • The best way to use natural light
  • Studio lighting techniques
Roberto will demystify lighting and help you become a more confident practitioner of your craft. You’ll learn to embrace lighting as a source of creativity and expression, rather than a source of fear.

In Picture Perfect Lighting, Roberto will help you reduce the time you spend retouching in Photoshop so you can focus on what is really fun about photography: taking pictures. You’ll develop a better understanding of the principles behind photography lighting and learn about the gear that will make your work more beautiful – without weighing you down.

If your unedited images could use a little boost, don’t miss your chance to learn how create Picture Perfect Lighting with Roberto Valenzuela.


1Intro and Who This Class is For 23 Groups for All Lighting Scenarios 3My Progress in Lighting 4Analyzing Circumstantial Lighting 5Circumstantial Lighting Q & A 6Using a Reflector the Right Way 75 Behaviors of Light: Overview and Angle 85 Behaviors of Light: Inverse Square Law of Light 95 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size 105 Behaviors of Light: Relative Size Continued 115 Behaviors of Light: Color 125 Behaviors of Light: Reflective Surfaces 135 Behaviors of Light: Q & A 14Location SWOT Analysis and 10 Things to Look For 15Location SWOT Analysis: Examples and Exercises 16Overview Q & A 1Speedlites: The Basics and TTL 2Speedlites: Manual Flash 3Speedlites: Zoom Flash 4Speedlites: Zoom and Rotating Flash Head and Reflectors 5Speedlites: First Curtain vs. Second Curtain Sync 6Speedlites: High Speed Sync 7Speedlites: Optical vs. Radio Systems 8Speedlites: Groups and Channels 9Location Lighting Upgrade Examples 10Indoor Lighting: Building on Ambient Light 11Outdoor Lighting : Speedlights in Direct Sunlight 12Outdoor Lighting: Using Speedlites in Shade 13Outdoor Lighting: Romantic Look and Patterns with Speedlites 14Indoor Lighting: Creating a Window with Strobes and a Curtain 15Indoor Lighting: Moody Light with Speedlites and Gels 16Indoor Lighting: Reflective Surfaces 17Indoor Lighting: Shooting Against a Window 18Indoor Lighting: Adding a Reference Point and Ambience 19Indoor Lighting: Shooting into a Mirror and Creating Separation 1Why You Need to Learn to Get it Right In Camera 2Location Photo Review and Analysis 3Intro to Reception Lighting SWOT Analysis 4Reception Lighting Setup 5Image Critique: Lighting Problems and Solutions 6Don't Limit Yourself As A Photographer



I can say enough about this class, the best class ever I've seen about lighting. Roberto Valenzuela, as a professional photographer and artist is the best also as a teacher. If you are beginner, enthusiastic, o professional photographer and want to craft and master lighting for ever and ever, please buy this class. Thanks Creative Live for the opportunity of been part of this. Roberto you are the best. "Eres el Mejor Amigo, Gracias"