Lighting Tutorial – Using Bounced Daylight

Irina Lazareanu wearing Christian Lacroix Haute Couture © Benjamin Kanarek
Lighting Tutorial

Here is a suggestion for a harder more contrasted light.

Imagine you have your window open and the light is streaming in to the room. Now this will apply to direct sunlight and overcast conditions. The rendition will differ, but the technique is similar.

Take two or three pieces of cardboard, one about 35 cm 1′-0 square another 50 cm 1.5′ square and another 70 cm or about 2′ square. Make sure that it is quite rigid. Perhaps polystyrene art boards would be better. Take aluminum foil and glue one side of the boards with the shiny side and the other side of the board with the more mat finish. Flatten the best you can. Use some make shift stands and use clothes clips to secure the boards to the stand. Any stand will do. Ideally, use wire coat hangers so you can angle the boards for “High” source or “Low” source light.

Place the “Subject” opposite to the light source and as you will be facing the light source, start painting with the light by bouncing some of the cards on the subject and others on the back ground or what ever suits your fancy. Meter for the subject and let everything else go where it may.. By doing this the background will be 2-3 stops richer, darker and more profound. Play with different variations. Using the pure white board as well to mix soft and hard source light. Shoot from high up, below, from the side etc… Enjoy!

PS.. Don’t use a backdrop, use the space and play with DOF… More interesting IMO.

Tagged with 
About Benjamin Kanarek
Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…