A few days ago my neighbors parked their car in front of their house, and as the sun set their rear reflector caught the light perfectly and bounced sharp red light through my blinds and into our office. I thought it looked pretty cool, so I grabbed my camera and took a quick shot of it. Like this:

Tim Lewis Photography light Portrait Eugene Oregon

Kinda cool. I found some light, and it was decent. Today I started thinking about that light, and how bouncing in sunlight through blinds could be interesting in other ways. So I grabbed a light stand and a mirror, taped a green gel to the mirror and set it up outside my office window like this:

Tim Lewis Photography light Portrait Eugene Oregon

(Tako’s not sure about all this)

The mirror was way more reflective than my neighbor’s tail-light, and a lot more light came in than I was expecting. Also, since I taped a gel to the mirror, the light was really really green. When using gels and mirrors, you have to remember that the light is going to come down, pass through the gel, hit the mirror, and then pass through the gel again… so you effectively double the gel when you’re doing it this way, since the light goes through it twice. After color correcting for the super-greenified light, I got this image:

Tim Lewis Photography light Portrait Eugene Oregon

It’s a cool effect. The mirror and gel are making a really interesting light pattern on the wall behind me. I wish the light source was higher, since it’s about at my eye level so the shadows are going a bit weird. It was also really intense, I had to squint in order to not be blinded by the light.

This is really just a proof of concept type setup. If I wanted to continue with it I would probably start setting up some flash equipment and move toward really defining shapes in the picture. I do like the pattern the mirror + gel is creating on the background, I can definitely see myself using that part again in the future.