Cheapest Lighting Improvement Ever


 Not everybody has access to a fancy lighting setup, and flash photography, especially camera-mounted flash, seldom gives you the best results.

However, even if you're forced to resort to using room lights alone, you can improve the results considerably by using one or more simple reflectors.

In this photo, I'm just using a sheet of printer paper that I've folded in half so that it stands up. A more effective reflector could easily be contrived, but this was the easiest thing I had to hand.



And here's the result. I've done no post-processing at all of this photo, because I wanted to show it just as it came out of the camera.

It could have been further improved by adding a second reflector in front of the tank, to fill in those dark shadows.


Compare the previous photo with this one, where no reflector was used at all. There's very little detail to be seen on the vertical hull side.



Naturally, you'd still need to be using a tripod to avoid camera-shake. Even with studio lights that would be a necessity for decent photographs.

Also, it can be very useful to have the help of an assistant to hold the reflector(s) in exactly the right place(s) for best results, while you, the Sublime Artiste, make your composition through the camera's viewfinder.

If the pure white reflector (or part of it, at least) is included in the shot, it can be used as the white target for my easy colour correction system as described in another post. Once the colours have been properly balanced, all that clutter can be cropped away.

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