Light plays an essential role in photography. Most professional photographers use light reflectors to compensate light in different angles to improve image quality. It is a useful photography tool that is used to bounce off a light or reflect light. Knowing how to use reflectors in photography is for professional photographers and amateurs, and hobbyists. Knowledge of this will give different and exciting approaches to pursuing a passion in this creative field.
What is a Light Reflector
Light reflection is very important in photography, and it is what reflectors are specifically made for. Reflectors act as a reflective surface in directing lights needed by a certain subject. This photography accessory can be improvised as well, while some are readily available in the market. It can be placed in any place that will reflect light to the subject up to the photographer’s discretion. They are a lot of help in creating sharp images and more defined photos involving available light.
For both indoor or outdoor settings, reflectors bounce back the existing light. Pinpointing the location and determining its intensity is key to improving the quality of the image. In this way, you could adequately utilize and use that reflected light to create your image. In a natural light set up, bear in mind that the source of light can be affected by certain things, such as branches or twigs that could block the sunlight from hitting the reflectors, thus resulting in a much lesser reflected light. The subject itself could also create shadows that would block the source of light from being reflected. The same goes for an indoor setup, light placement matters.
Finding the Right Reflector
Reflectors come in different sizes, shapes, brands, and colors. Indeed, choosing the right reflector would make your photography experience much enjoyable. The size of your reflector might be the most thing you would want to take into consideration. Although unnecessary, it may sound, reflector’s size could affect the overall output of your pictures. For example, using a small size reflector in many subjects could create more shadows as it does not reflect much light. However, using large reflectors in the individual subject could result in an over-bright cast in the image. Most photographers would suggest using a 40-45-inch light reflector for they work well, especially in one-two subjects. There is a more readily available alternative reflector that is portable, lightweight, and collapsible.
Basic Colors of Light Reflectors
In photography, there are five primary colors used that have something to do with reflectors. Understanding how they reflect light and when to use them is a great advantage in achieving the best look you could give to your pictures. Below are the basic colors of the light reflector and their uses:
- Black. It is used in a setting where there is too much lighting. It helps to block the light to create a more balanced tone on your subject.
- White. This light reflector creates a much softer look since it brings a natural color and does not cast shine.
- Gold. A reflector that naturally produces a yellow and warm tone to everything it casts on.
- Silver. Useful for creating high contrast images, it is also best in product advertisements, video shoots, and even black and white photography.
- Translucent. Photographers use this to create a somewhat broad day-like lighting.
Proper Angling of Reflectors
In shooting different lighting setups, you need to consider things like where to position your light reflector. When taking pictures, the last thing you would want to happen is blind your subject, that is why the proper way of angling the reflector is necessary. The appropriate way to position the reflector is to turn it to where the light is and observe how it changes your subject. It’s for you to decide on the right position based on your want and the look you are trying to achieve.
In angling the reflectors, the distance matters. Placing your reflector much closer to the subject would give a hard cast of shadows because there will be much stronger reflected light. While if you put the reflector much relative to the subject, you would achieve a softer look. A common mistake some beginners make is limit themselves in positioning the reflector at an upright angle. Though that placement is not a mistake, versatility and exploring different angles would produce better output than sticking to one angle. Know more about photography.
Learning the basics of photography is an excellent step in exploring this creative field. Now that you have understood how to use a reflector in photography, it could be the start of mastering taking your best photos. Express yourself in photography and let the potential artist reflect on you.