Here’s the One Lighting Tip You NEED to Know: Reflected Light Explained (VIDEO)

It’s easy to become intimidated by the myriad of lighting methods available, especially if you’re a photographer who likes to shoot with natural light. And if there’s only one lighting technique you need to understand, you’ll find it in the five-minute video below.

This quick tutorial with Ted Sim, Chief Creative Officer at Aputure, has nothing to do with complicated studio lighting fixtures, but rather with reflected light bouncing off trees, grass, or other objects—including those illuminated by artificial light. Whether you’re shooting stills or videos, these simple tips will help you up your game.

As Sim explains, reflected light is a special category of ambient lighting, and using it properly has serious benefits for both beginning and more experienced shooters. Among those is the fact that bounced light can be easily shaped, and provides a softer source of illumination with less intensity.

You can achieve this effect outdoors when shooting under harsh midday sun, simply by using a white bounce board. This will enable you to fill in shadows and provide a more pleasing look to your images. When shooting indoors, a light-colored ceiling or nearby wall achieves much the same effect.

There are more advanced methods of using reflected light, both indoors and out, and we encourage you to watch this quick tutorial to see how it’s done. You can find other helpful lighting tips on the Aputure YouTube channel. And be sure to check out their earlier video, explaining how to use the “Golden Spiral,” instead of the Rule of Thirds, for more effective photo composition.