Lesson 19: Photography Reflector Basics
A reflector is often seen in the possession of many professional photographers. If asked, they would probably say that it was one of the basic must-haves for every serious photographer. Since light is a major aspect of any picture, it makes sense that the ability to manipulate that light, to make sure it does what you want, is important. That is where the reflectors come in. Think of it as an inexpensive option for a second light.
There are four different colors of reflectors that each have different functions and specialties.
This is the reflector that reflects the most light. These are the most often used reflector in studios because the silver doesn’t alter or change the color of the reflected light. Ideal for portrait photography.
More flexible between indoor and outdoor use. Since the white reflector doesn’t catch and bounce back as much light as the silver reflector it is the intermediary between indoor reflectors and outdoor reflectors. If you think you’ll be using it often both inside and out, this is your best option. Ideal for product photography.
Best used outdoors where the gold of the reflector catches and amplifies the hue of the sun. If used indoors the same effect will happen as outdoors with one huge exception, the light being reflected will be very harsh yellow. It is best if restricted to outdoor use unless you are wanting that yellowish hue. Ideal for outdoor photography.
This is more the opposite of other reflectors. It is able to absorb rather than reflect the pre-existing light. This reflector is good for when you have too much light bouncing area your chosen photography area. Ideal for reflective photography.
When positioning your reflector there isn’t a specific place that is correct, however getting the reflected light to be where you want it requires it to be positioned. Simply move your reflector around, while you look for the light to reflect on your subject. Once you have found what position best suits you, either use an assistant or a reflector boom arm to hold the reflector in place.
All the possibilities these different reflectors provide ample opportunities to improve and enhance the lighting of your photography.
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