Copyright Tamara Lackey

Guest Post by Tamara Lackey

Everyone has a different style of shooting, which often means a different look they go for when evaluating how to best light their subject. Personally, Ive come to recognize that I really (really) like to see the whole face of my subject.

So, for me, fill light is an incredibly important element in nearly all of my shoots.

In my studio, thats fairly easy to achieve – I typically position my fill across-ish from my main (or key) light source and adjust as needed, based on who or what Im shooting. Since a fill light is used to fill in enough light to manage shadowing created by your main light, my normal fill is typically either a wider reflective object or a dimmer light source. All that means is that Im either using less powerful lighting or Im moving it further away to control the effect.

When Im on-location, though, I usually don’t want to deal with the hassle of bringing additional lighting with me – especially if Im working with fast-moving subjects. I find that if Im dangling two cameras, two lenses, a lens bag with another backup camera, all my compact flash cards, one or two more lens options and a flash … yeah, I am rather eager to minimize the need for additional equipment.

Thankfully, a reflector will do the job for me. I find it easy enough to use one when Im out and about as all the fill lighting I need, very specifically used to either:

  1. control overly-contrasted shots (general rule of thumb, less fill = more contrast; more fill = less contrast)

and / or

  1. accentuate catchlights (especially with backlit shots)

But what about when a reflector is too cumbersome to utilize, especially as a single shooter in tougher atmospheric conditions?

Great question! So glad you asked ?
To be continued…