How to Light a Scene with Sunlight at Different Times of Day
Shooting an exterior scene but not sure how to light it? Then you should check out this video.
Many times exterior shots turn out to be some of the most difficult ones to control. But even though your production is kind of at the mercy of Mother Nature in this kind of situation, knowing your way around light modifiers can really help you take full advantage of that amazing, 100% free key light fireball in the sky: the sun. In this video by Aputure, David Carmichael of Corridor Digital offers up some tips on not only shooting outdoors with nothing more than a few reflectors, but on how to do it at different times of day. Check it out below.
The tricky thing about shooting outdoors, and the main reason people don't like having to do it, is that there are lots of environmental factors that change the light of the sun. Clouds, trees, buildings, the Earth's rotation can all affect the intensity and consistency of the daylight, so planning ahead and being prepared are integral for having an as-smooth-as-possible shoot.
This is why it's important to know how sunlight behaves at different times of day, so you know how to counteract, say, the very bright, very harsh light of the noonday sun, or the very soft and colorful glow of golden hour. There's a chance that you might need a separate light to use as a hair light or something similar, but for the most part reflectors and diffusers serve as excellent fills—and they're a hell of a lot cheaper than a complete lighting kit.
Do you have any tips on using modifiers to light exterior scenes? Let us know in the comments below.