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Weekly Video Tip: How to Perfect Outdoor Lighting

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By Stephen Schweickart

You will need to accessorize for your outdoor shoot with reflectors and diffusion panels. The look you want to achieve was decided long ago. Now, the first step in shot composition is: always know where the sun is.

Your instinct is to have the sun as your “key light,” don’t fight it, just remember that the sun can be very bright and your talent will probably be squinting the entire time. Place a diffusion panel between the sun and above your talent’s face, which will diffuse the light so they can un-squint their eyes.

Diffusion panels are just the beginning. You can add to your desired look by using reflectors or bounce boards. They can be used to create backlighting by bouncing light behind your talent. You can also use it to fill in the shadows of your talent’s face. There are multiple types of reflectors you can purchase. The basic three options are gold, silver, or white. Use the white reflector if you want to bounce light with a more natural color. The gold or silver reflectors bounce a more intense light with a corresponding tint. This allows you to add some color temperature, if you think it’s needed.

Try as many things as your heart desires to create your ideal outdoor lighting setup.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic visit VScreen’s site at www.vscreen.com.

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