Whether you’re a natural light or strobe shooter, knowing how to use bounce boards can play a key role in your lighting set up. Bounce boards are there to help add a little kick of light and to help fill the shadows! If you’re a natural light photographer, you know that sometimes if you turn your subject toward the light too much it can wash out any dimension. That can leave part of your image too dark and lacking detail. Pop in a bounce board and it will help bring those details back!
Bounce boards come in a variety of colors and materials. My suggestion is to hop on down to the home improvement store of your liking and pick up some insulation boards. I suggest grabbing the board that has white on one side and silver on the other. Choosing a board with silver and white on different sides will give you a range of light intensity.
Bounce boards are used to help fill in the shadows when your key light doesn’t cover the entire source. For example, natural light shooters know sometimes turning your subject totally into the sun can wash out the subject or fill the shadows so much you loose dimension the shadows help create. Putting a bounce board near your subject so it can bounce light from the sun on to them will help lighten those shadows! From time to time I’ve heard from photographers who struggle with shooting in natural light so I decided it was a great opportunity to write a short blog post to share a few tips and tricks. If this happens to be you, give this post a quick read and you’ll better understand where a bounce board should be placed to minimize shadows on your subject!
Using the silver side is considered a harsh light so sometimes that may be a little too strong while outdoors. Flip the board to white and it will soften that light! Keep in mind, since the white side doesn’t throw as much light you will need to walk the board in closer to your subject! However, you’ll benefit from using the silver side if you’re shooting indoors. If you’re getting a nice soft light coming through the window it will fall nicely on anything close to that window but the rest might fall dark. Pop that silver bounce card in and it will brighten up the space!
If you want to see the bounce board in action, I put together a short video on YouTube of a shoot where I used silver bounce boards in my home. Let me tell you, they were a lifesaver and helped add a little extra life to my images! This really is an affordable lighting solution, I got mine for right around $10 at Home Depot!