Saturday, April 6, 2013

Bounce fill often better than adding another light

Years ago I heard a famous New York fashion photographer describing how she lit her shots for the covers of famous magazines. She used one light and a carefully placed wall of inexpensive white foam board for fill.

It was a good tip and one I went on to use for not just fashions shoots but food shoots and more. Now retired and blogging, I needed a shot of a drug blister pack showing some writing on the foil. My first shots were all too contrasty.

I was doing my shoot on the dining room table with the light supplied by a nearby window. The light was soft, directional and yet too harsh for the foil.

I looked about and grabbed the napkin holder filled with white napkins. I slid the hold into position below the blister pack. (See picture.)

The white napkins reflected the window light back into the shot, lightening the harsh shadows that had been hiding important lettering. The yellow table cloth also benefited from the boosted light level.

It took five seconds to add a "second" light. Five seconds!

Check the results. It was five seconds well spent. And the napkins could still be used as napkins later.

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