Is your new years resolution to take better pictures for your blog? Then check back here all week until new years- i am re-running some of your favorite photography tips from my blog in 2011. Need great lighting? This quick and easy tip will get you some great extra light in no time!
I am always looking for quick and easy ways I can improve the composition of my photographs before I begin to edit them. Taking a few minutes to set up a good shot can save you lots of time and frustration while editing. Unfortunately, that is often easier said than done. I am slowly saving up for some fabulous studio equipment (go and shop my etsy shop so I can get there faster), but in the meantime, I have been finding ways to “cheat” great lighting. While light reflectors aren’t the most costly item you can find, money is money- and I have a great way to get the same result- for free. Learn how to make your own light reflector and how to use it to get great pictures!
To make your own light reflector, you will need three things you are likely to already have on hand- a cardboard square, tinfoil, and some spray adhesive.
Go outside and spray the adhesive to the cardboard. Wait the amount of time suggested on your adhesive bottle, and then cover with tinfoil. I used a broken down package for a clock from IKEA (you’ll see the clock soon), because I photograph mostly smaller items. If you need a large reflector, cut a side out of a big box.
Now go put it to good use!
You might wonder why you need a light reflector. Well, if you’ve read my previous photography posts, you will remember it is best to use natural light and set up your shot right next to an open window. Only problem is, sometimes you will have great light to the back of your item- and not to the front, where you will be standing to photograph. You might also get some harsh shadows that don’t compliment your product or craft.
Here’s a shot of a simple birdhouse, taken right next to a window with indirect light coming in.
It’s totally bland and washed out. By simply holding up the light reflector in between myself and the birdhouse-
I got a much better shot!
See the difference? These shots are all unedited (so you can see the difference in lighting), so with a little time editing, they would be even better.It can be a bit tricky to hold a light reflector and take a picture, so if you can’t grab an assistant, you can try using an easel or propping it up next to your subject so your hands can be free.
Bring your light reflector next time you are taking pictures of your kids, too- a little more light brightens up children’s eyes and can make your shots really dynamic. These little guys also really help food photographs “pop”!
Ok… now go and make your own! Please link up any awesome shots you get using your own light reflector!