LIGHTING-7: DER REFLEKTOR-UNTERSCHIED
Todays post will be about the reasons and the importances of using a reflector inside your studio. Some photographers don’t like to use reflectors as they are to focused on using strobes. Another reason is, that positioning a reflector is often very tricky. Not so with the correct equipment. After all, even the best reflector is cheaper than a average flashhead with a softbox or even an umbrella. And finally, a good reflector (*MANUFACTURER-LINK) is even easier and quicker to set up.
Let’s take a look at the photo above. A classical vertical clip setup. Dish directly above the camera, reflector from down below the model.
Take a look at the comparison. One shot without the reflector and one shot with the reflector. Same settings for the export of the JPGs, same camera settings, same everything… except the usage of the reflector.
You can see different aspects of working with reflectos on these two photos.
- MOST IMPORTANT!!! More light makes no better photo :-) I personally prefer the photo on the left.
- The amount of the light reflected is huge. And we only used the wide side of the bouncer.
- The shadow is still visible. The active mainlight is still dominating the lighting.
When using a reflector, you can control the intensity by the chosen material (the kind of surface on the reflector), the distance and the size of the reflector.
- The closer you move the bouncer to the model, the brighter it gets.
- The more mirror-like the surface gets, the more light is being reflected.
- The bigger the reflector is, the brighter it gets.
The final conclusion is fairly simple. Start working with reflectors. Reflectors can make a huge difference when lighting portraits. Keep in mind, that a reflector is no active light source. The reflecting light can never be stronger than the lightsource itself but it is very seldom to have a need of that. Lighting up shadows is not killing them :-)…
As a small hint at the end of this posting. Take a close look at the angle of the reflector. The reflector is slightly turned away from the model. Some photographers have problems finding the right position and angle. Sometimes the right angle makes the reflector face away from the model. It’s perfectly normal and the angle is defined by the incoming angle of the light. When working with reflectors you simply have to get used to it. There a special rules, know them.