Bouncing Light

Following the location recce I am considering the option of bouncing light from the low hanging white fabric ceiling. I’m foreshadowing the eventuality that we won’t be able to get a good quote from Panalux concerning the built in lighting rig.

Bouncing light creates a very soft look, instantly diffusing and spreading the beam wide. There are a huge range of material types and techniques behind the art, all ultimately serving the purpose to soften the light for a more natural, even look. This natural look is something that is particularly important when considering light for the film. I need to create a natural supermarket atmosphere, making the audience feel like it is everyday life.

Having used reflectors in the past I can appreciate the verstatility, perfect for when you need a little extra fill light. In the past I have always found them to be a vital tool in my arsenal, thinking ahead to the shoot I already have some ready under the idea of bouncing light to ensure I get a twinkle in the eye. A reflector and portable LED panel are always a great combination for adding a little extra light, I’m sure these will be making appearances on location.

The studio itself presents a white fabric ceiling in order to diffuse light, the material itself should provide a softer quality of light, most likely throwing the beam wide. However I would anticipate some of the light quality being lost through the material, so using powerful lights would overcompensate when thinking the bounce will loose a couple of stops.

Other materials to consider alongside a reflector are styrofoam boards, show cards, foam-core boards and plastic griffolyn sheets. As styrofoam has the most matte surface of all these types of reflectors it will reflect the softest quality of light, the lightweight nature of the material is a pro, but its rigid nature may be seen as a con. Show cards are the next softest source with foam-core proceeding also offering flexibility and a better sense of direction for controlling light. Finally griffolyn is the most direct source, its the harshest of the materials, but the fact its a reflective material still maintains a soft quality of light.


Reflecting light can serve many purposes, the soft nature of the bounce is something that will prove important if we pursue floor lamps if the quote for the rig is too high. Part of me wants the quote to be high so I can practice my craft further and undertake the challenge of having to light an entire supermarket studio purely with bounced light.


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