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How to Use the Sun and Reflectors to Light Videos Outdoors

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We've already come pretty far in this course. You've learned how the sun behaves and how to use it properly to light our subjects. We've also seen how to work with shadows as well as  lighting on cloudy days and how to use different types of reflectors. Now it's time to bring some of these elements together to create a basic lighting set up. In this lesson we're going to follow along with Jordy as he starts with a three point lighting setup (backlight, a fill light and a key light), and then brings it to the next level. 

The Backlight

As always, we're going to start with the backlight. The first light source that we have is the sun, and we're going to use that for the backlight as it's the most intense. Just make sure that the backlight comes either from the left or the right. In this example, you can see that we have a very large backlight.

Jordy setting up a reflector

The Key light

Now that we've created a backlight, it's time for setting up key light. In a previous lesson, we've learned that we must position the key light in the opposite direction of the backlight, in this case the sun.

For the key light, we're going to position it on the left side, as the sunlight is the main backlight on the subject's right shoulder. Using the silver side of the reflector, we can really bring a lot of the light to their face. You'll  understand why we're doing this in just a minute when we're setting up our fill lights.

Jordy setting up a key light

Setting Up Fill Lights

We've been casting a lot of light on our subject. We have a backlight and the key light is being reflected with the silver side for that extra boost. Previously, we've seen that we don't always need a fill light as the reflection from the environment can sometimes take care of that. But in this case, we're going to add a secondary fill light. A fill light is a very subtle thing. You don't want or need to go overboard here. Let's take out our white reflector to give the skin a soft touch of light.

Jordy setting a gentle fill light


We've created a double backlight, added a strong key light, and we decided to add a fill light, instead of relying on an environmental bounce. Now this is a big setup and while it seems advanced, it just takes some practice. So congratulations if you were able to pull this one off. Let's now look back at what we have actually created by adding much lights to the subject.

Jordy showing the final results

The exposure here becomes even more in line with the background, even though this is a basic setup, it's requires some practice. Maybe before you jump into the next lesson, where I'll teach you how to use defuser, you can take a quick break and practice these techniques. 

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