Adorama OnSet: When trying to soften shadows, is it better to diffuse or reflect the light?


posted Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 6:59 PM EDT


When lighting a portrait, there are typically opportunities to either diffuse light to make it larger and softer or to reflect light back onto your subject to fill in shadows. Which technique is better? In the latest episode of Adorama's OnSet, photographer Daniel Norton investigates this question.

In the video below, Norton is using a 5-in-1 reflector, a very common accessory every portrait photographer should have in their kit. You can get one from your favorite photography store for under $50. With a single light set up to act as a sun – meaning it doesn't have any sort of diffusion modifier attached – Norton goes through a few different scenarios, including ones using diffusion and reflection. Which do you prefer?

(Via Adorama