Bare Bulb Light

by William Lulow

Lately, when I shoot weddings and other events, I have taken to using my portable flash’s bare bulb – that is light without a reflector. I find that the reflector aims the light in too confined a space. Especially when I’m shooting groups of people, I want the light to be spread as wide as possible.

The bare bulb causes the light to be scattered in a 360-degree pattern. It is not aimed or restricted at all. This also cuts down on the light’s intensity. For this reason, I only use the bare bulb when I have a flash mounted on the camera. The other thing I’ve been doing lately, not that it is a new idea, but I’ve been using a smaller flash unit with a 360-degree diffuser. This softens the light when I’m shooting people close up and produces a more desirable effect.

This is what the bare bulb looks like: