A Simple Lighting Tool That Will Make All the Difference in Your Shoots

Sidney Diongzon - Simple Lighting Setup
Credit: Sidney Diongzon
This simple four-piece lighting set-up can elevate your shoot and give you a professional look.

Whether you're a newbie about to shoot your first interview or talking head or a seasoned filmmaker digging into your latest project, everyone should know about this easy lighting tool and the different ways you can use it.

Sidney Diongzon shares the one piece of gear he always includes in his set-ups, and how it can change the entire look of your shoot.

Watch the video below.

Diongzon is shooting a simple talking head in this video, and he goes through his setup. His key light is an Aputure 120d diffused through a light dome. These are on a simple C-stand in the corner of the space. On the desk behind him are a couple of practical accent lights.

Pretty simple, right? But there's one tool that can take this set-up from basic to polished. It's this Photoflex Reflector.

Just take a look at the difference it makes in this shot. Here it is without the reflector:

Sidney Diongzon - without reflector
Credit: Sidney Diongzon
And here it is with the reflector:

Sidney Diongzon - with reflector
Credit: Sidney Diongzon
The reflector is placed in front of and below the subject, bouncing light from the 120d. This makes a huge difference in the subject's skin tone and also throws fill under his eyes. This is great for an interview set-up, where those kinds of deep, dark shadows aren't really desirable.

You can get creative with the placement of the reflector, trying it from the sides or above.

This particular reflector comes with different options, including a diffusion option and a gold reflector for use with tungsten lights.

It's a fairly affordable tool, but if you're on a microbudget, Diongzon points out that you can use those windshield sunshades for cars or even aluminum foil. A big ol' white piece of poster board. 

Now that you know this simple trick, check out some more of our lighting tips. Make sure you're familiar with ten things everyone should know about lighting. Here are the five most common cinematic lighting set-ups.

If you're not into soft, bounced light, here's how you can use hard light. We've got you covered when it comes to beauty lighting, too!

What's your go-to tool in your own lighting set-ups? Let us know in the comments!     

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Your Comment

1 Comment

I'm a gracious enough video producer, so thank you. Respectfully, could you have made this simple tip more complicated? I mean, "light, reflector, great results." I don't know, maybe more information about working with the zipper on the 5 in 1 or a proper way to plug the light into the electrical socket. "OR," subtitles in 5 languages?

September 16, 2019 at 11:23AM

Marc Blake

Entertaining and informative. I feel I am NOW in need of a dome, a reflector and a stand. Thank you for explaining. I'm new to this community so far thus good.

September 19, 2019 at 5:33AM