A reflector and a flag are useful pieces of kit you should have in your kit. In this video, photographer Alastair Bird shows you how to make your own 2-in-1 reflector and flag. The white side works as a reflector to give you a nice, soft fill light, and you can use the black side as a flag. It’s cheap, easy to build, and it fits in your car along with all the gear you carry to a shoot.
Nearly every professional studio I’ve ever used has these ‘polyboards’ and you‘ve probably even seen them yourself but may not have known what they’re used for. Polyboards are polystyrene boards that usually measure 4 feet wide by 8 feet high and are normally 2 inches thick.
One of the other defining characteristics is that they are often white on one side and black on the other. This dual colour is very important as this gives them two key uses.
One of the most basic tools every portrait photographer should have in their arsenal is a reflector. It can be used with natural light, in a studio, pretty much anywhere, really.
While it’s easy to go out and buy one for $20–40, it’s also possible to make a much more affordable DIY reflector by using little more than an emergency blanket and poster board.[Read More…]
Lighting modifiers can have a huge impact on specialized shots. With the right ones, light becomes putty in your hand, easily molded by the skill of the potter. (Yeah, I jumble up my euphemisms frequently.)
YouTuber Theoria Apophasis believes in the the power of light modifiers, but he believes even more in ingenuity. The “Angry Photographer” shared one of his favorite homemade mods to get creative lighting that adds drama to his images. This is one of the best lighting mods and can be easily created with craft store supplies for $5.
Photographer, Phillip McCordall, has put together a great video tutorial explaining the how he uses a combination of studio lighting, slow shutter speeds, and rear curtain sync to create almost atmospheric photographs of dancers, such as the photo you see above. While there are many applications in which you can use this technique on, the graceful leaps of the dancer are really eye catching when you are able to illustrate the motion of them, too.
If you’re not already familiar with rear curtain sync, this could be a really fun project for you learn it with. To put it briefly, when shooting with a rear curtain sync, the flash will fire at the end of the exposure rather than the beginning of the exposure. When used with a slow shutter speed, this allows you to record motion (as a blur) using only the ambient light at the beginning of the exposure, then right before the shutter closes, the flash will fire and freeze the motion.