August 7, 2011
Whether you’re short a couple of lights, or just want to travel light, reflectors are a great way to achieve professional-looking lighting when working with limited resources. Reflectors can fit into any budget since they range from professional grade to do-it-yourself. Both are highly effective at lighting your subject and can be used in a number of lighting setups with great results.
If you’re looking to save a few dollars, making your own light reflector is inexpensive and easy to do; all you need is a white foam core board and some aluminum foil. You can use the white foam core board by itself for a soft reflected light or cover it with the aluminum foil for a more intense reflected light. If you desire a reflected light that falls between the two, try crumpling up the aluminum foil and then smoothing it back out before attaching it to the board. The bumps and ridges that result from the crumpling will help scatter the light, making it less intense than the smooth aluminum foil.
Using a foam core board as light reflector is a simple way to add highlights to your subject while filling in dark shadows. However, if you find this technique to be too much work or desire a more portable solution you can also use a reflective car window sunshade. Sunshades are relatively inexpensive, transport easily, and work great for reflecting light.
Whether you make your own light reflector or spend the additional money to acquire a professional one, having a reflector in your arsenal of lighting tools is priceless. By becoming familiar with light reflector techniques, you’ll discover that it’s really quite amazing how much a bit of bounced light can help you create that professional look.
Reflectors are inexpensive, but sometimes you need additional lights. Lights made for video production can be expensive and generally not sold in local stores. At Videomaker we know many of our readers need to acquire better lights on a budget. We have bundled these three eDocs Lighting Technology, Lighting Gels and One Light Wonder because they are the most helpful to videographers who need to create better lighting on a tight budget.