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In this course, photographer and educator Erin Manning shows beginning photographers how to appreciate and work with natural light. First Erin takes a look at the qualities of light, from softness to direction to color, and details the camera settings that help you get the most out of the scene's available light. Then Erin works together with a student to shoot a natural-light portrait, employing inexpensive accessories such as reflectors along the way.
Light is being reflected around us every day. Mirrors, glass, water, white walls, and even white tablecloths reflect light. By reflecting light onto your subject, you have more control over the quality of light in your image. If your subject has under eye circle, wrinkles and bumps, they all but disappear when a reflector is used to bounce light back into their face. So I'm going to take a few shots, that looks nice but it's very contrasty, so Lauren could you help me out again, with the reflector? >> You want to use the goldish side? >> Let's try the silver gold side. >> Okay >> See how that works. That's great, yeah.
You're kind of filling in those shadows there, that's nice. And Josh, you can close your eyes for a second while I get set, because I know the lights really bright. While we sort of fill it in and figure out where we're going to be. Yeah, if you can get really close. I think that, I think that's good. And Josh what I'm going to have you do when I say 1, 2, 3 I'll have you open your eyes and look right in camera. >> Okay. >> And 1, 2, 3. (SOUND) Good, you can shut them. To reflect light, find your light source and position your reflector so you can bounce the light back on to your subject, filling in shadows and diminishing imperfections.
This reflected light can also liven up the catch light in your subject's eyes. You can buy professional reflectors of gold, silver, and white from camera stores or online. But you can also you common household items to reflect the light. For example, a white foam core board, a cookie sheet covered in aluminium foil, or an inexpensive car dashboard, reflector can all reflect the light back on to your subject. Gold reflectors bounce a golden light. They're nice for warming up skin tones.
Silver reflectors bounce a cooler harsher light. And white reflectors bounce a neutral white light onto your subjects. >> (SOUND) That's good right there, okay. I know it's, are you blind yet? (LAUGH) >> Nope. >> Alright, 1, 2 and 3. Right back at me. Whoo! Those blue eyes look amazing! (LAUGH) >> Good. Have an assistant hold the reflector for you or use a light stand with an extending arm that holds the reflector so you're not limited to zooming into your subject and cropping tightly.
And ask your family and friends for assistance. A lot of people enjoy going on photo shoots and don't mind holding a reflector to help you out.
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