Gray Day Photo Lighting Trick

photo lighting
This is a simple trick to help to better photos in the natural light, without resorting to flash. Photo lighting in tricky in Seattle most of the year, but especially when it is as gray as it has been this season. I take almost all my photos in front of the sliding glass doors in our family room, it is almost the only place that works for photos in our dark house. During the darkest winter months, I may only have a couple of hours at midday that photos would work at all.  I could resort to turning on lamps or purchase a reflector, but I don’t like the yellowing of artificial light and this trick works just as well as a reflector. Using this homemade reflector  can bounce the light and soften the harsh shadows that show on the side of the object not facing the window.

Photo Lighting Trick

I bought a piece of white foam core from the dollar store. Actually I bought 2 pieces. One I left white, as is, and one I covered with aluminum foil on one side, securing it with tape. Depending on which “reflector” looks better for any given photo, the white or the shiny metal, that’s the one I use.
In the example above, the photo on the left was shot with in front of the glass doors, with no reflector to bounce the light back on the object. The photo on the right has the aluminum foil reflector bouncing the light. If the lighting effect felt too “shiny” or bright, I would try the plain white foam core sheet and pick between the two. You could certainly get fancier that these options, but these boards and my iPhone usually do the trick!

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