A Drop of Lighting Reflection Can Go a Long Way

Models Justin Bourdet and Suzie Bird © Benjamin Kanarek

Most of us have taken images outdoors and indoors. We generally use flash indoors when the available light is such that it is a necessity. Unfortunately, in most cases that light source is on the camera or perched in the hot shoe. When you think about it though, the effect of that massive blast of light kills most of the nuances of the available light and the result is often quite flat or just plain uninteresting.

The play of light is often very subtle. We see the dominant but pay less attention to subtle play of light as it bounces off of reflective objects to finally land on the most absorptive materials. Move one of those reflective sources and the whole landscape changes. We often look for that dominant light source and feature it as the nod or focal point of our images.

What I am suggesting here is perhaps looking at the scene from a different perspective. Studying the nuances will open up different way of viewing your composition. When using available light you may start to play with multiple reflectors to change the ambiance of your image. Moving your reflected source just a few inches can change the final outcome significantly. This can even be more apparent when using flash sources and reflectors, mixing those with ambient light and adjusting them to your taste. Even a half of a stop will have an effect that can prove to be dramatic.

What are your feeling about how you approach light and how do you think you can enhance your vocabulary?

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…