Using Found Objects as Light Sources for Photography

At first glance, many objects we see when scouting shooting locations deter us from setting up our gear to take photos. We may find a lot of things unsightly, but in truth, some of them can be used to our advantage. In this short and informative video clip, Joe McNally talks about how you can use found objects to improve your photographs:

In McNally’s example, he used a large white truck to reflect his lights off of to create this photo of parkour expert:


This white truck made a huge light source.

“Quick thing, when out on the streets use what you can. Improvise. In this case, a panel van.”


The bounced light from the truck lit up the parkour artist as he jumped.

By having Jonathan run toward the camera, McNally was able to use three speedlights bounced off the side of the truck, effectively turning the truck into a light source that created a light similar to a lightbox. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t nix a location before thinking about how you can use found objects to your advantage.

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