Some Quick, Helpful Tips for Shooting With the Sun and Strobes and Extending Golden Hour

If you're just getting started with artificial light, one of the most challenging scenarios you'll probably undertake is mixing natural light and your strobes convincingly. This helpful video will give you some quick tips, as well as a neat trick for eking out a bit more shooting time during golden hour.

Coming to you from Mango Street, this tutorial will show you how to use a strobe in tandem with the sun, whether that be to balance the natural light, use the sunlight as a second source, or even fake the sun to extend that precious golden hour time just a bit longer. As they mention, the beauty of using artificial light is the ability to control power; I've owned a 5-in-1 reflector for years, but in all honesty, I was never a huge fan of using it, because i had no control over the ratio of the sun's light to the bounced light and I could rarely get the sort of balance I really wanted. I ended up using it mostly for the diffuser (and still do). However, with a strobe, you get complete control over that ratio, and that's really the key to finding the proper balance. Grab your light and try these out!

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3 Comments

Michael Kuszla's picture

Simple but really effective.
I always bring a 5 in 1 Reflector with me, and honestly I use it to bounce or diffuse my strobe as Mango Street explained it.

As you said I had no control to use the 5 in 1 reflector in solo. It take too much time to set up this piece. In contrario, I love to use it to bounce or diffuse my strobe :)

Good technique. Reminds a little of Jesús Padilla Fotografía who has mastered multi OCF. You know your good when you use 2-3 light assistants to create the perfect shot.

Stefano Chiarelli's picture

I used a 5 in 1 reflector in some occasion when the sky was completely grey overcast and I tried to simulate golden hour. It worked quite well.