Reflectors are used by photographers who work with natural light and need to bounce it to enhance their photographs. Reflectors come in different sizes, colours, and shapes. But how do you choose the right one?
When choosing a reflector, consider what you want it for
Most reflectors are round or rectangular. It is essentially a piece of fabric stretched over a frame, which makes it easy to fold and transport when needed.
Carefully consider the size of the area you want to illuminate. For portraits, we recommend buying a reflector at least 80 cm in diameter. The rule of the thumb is simple: the larger the reflector, the more light it bounces.
Modern reflectors consist of a frame with white diffuser fabric stretched over it. This can be covered with a reflector pane available in four colours (white, black, silver, and gold), which produces different effects.
What reflector surface should you choose?
- Diffusion - slightly translucent surface is used to soften the light passing through. You can use it to diffuse and soften sharp sunlight.
- White - mostly used for brightening up shadows and the eyes of the photographed person, since they mirror the reflector pane.
- Black - blocks and subtracts stray light; can be used as background when shooting smaller details.
- Silver - reflects light in large quantities over a long distance, so you must be careful to not create glares. The reflected light is very sharp, contrasting, and neutral white.
- Gold - works basically the same way as the silver pane, while adding a warmer colour tone to the image.
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