nomad-photographers-surfers
nomad-photographers-surfers

PROPER USE OF A LIGHT REFLECTOR

PREVIOUS / NEXT

PHOTOGRAPHY by KRISS on 13 march 2016

How to use a light reflector to fill in harsh shadow in full sun ? You can’t ! That’s about it, no matter how big your light reflectors, you will never bounce as much light as the sun produces to fill in the harsh shadows on a full body or even a face if you are under very harsh sun.
But you can still work around and produce beautiful images.
Everything depends on what you want to do really.

Recently a friend and client of ours Isabel Gilton, who teaches Yoga and Dance classed in Nerja, asked us for a very contrasty shoot which I was very pleased to cover.

Lately, the temperatures have been very funny in Andalusia, ranging from freezing cold to hot enough to sunbathe topless.
And all on the same day.
As a consequence and not being able to anticipate what the weather would hold for us, we decided to shoot outdoors in broad day light, around 5pm when the sun is still at its highest point.

Luckily it was warm enough for the shoot to be enjoyable despite the wind but working without a reflector would have been catastrophic.
Fortunately, my little assistant Amy, the middle one of my growing children came to assist me with a big enough reflector.

That’s actually the first question you should be asking yourselves : How big do you need your reflector to be ? The right answer is as big as you can in terms of carrying it around.
I opted for a 1.50m x 1m reflector because it’s already bigger than my 10 years old daughter and sufficient to fill in harsh shadows for portraits, parts of body or even a full body if you want to keep some of the shadows to outline muscles for instance.
Had it been a beauty shoot, and considering the amount of sunlight, we would have needed a couple of 2m x 1.50m reflectors to compensate.

We used the silver coating of the reflector, nowadays most reflectors come with at least silver, gold, white and black.
And usually without the coating you get a semi transparent white fabric that can be used as a poor softbox to screen the sun, unless you use a couple with some distance between the two of them to diffract the light even more.
The rest of the surfaces can be used as follow :

GOLD : To produce a very warm yellowish light that is hard to correct in post production.
Can be useful for swimwear or tanned and dark skin by the sea for very warm effects.

SILVER : To bounce as much light as possible, can result in bouncing too much light and create really light areas, faking the use of powerful flashlights with no modifiers.
This can be the desired effect as is our example though.

WHITE : Usually the surface that produces the easiest tone of light in post production, just enough to fill in shadows without overpowering.
In that case you need an immense surface of reflection to fill in small shadows.
A 1m50 reflector will be good enough for a portrait + neck and cleavage at best.

TRANSPARENT : Can be used as I said as a modifier although one will never be enough to really smoothen direct sunlight and the use of 2 reflectors with 2 assistants can be required.

Now you need to think about the shape of the reflector and rectangular shape reflectors are the ones that will be easier to work with.
First because you can actually hold them and squeeze them between places, a lot more easily than round ones.
Also they will bounce more light.

Finally when using a reflector, you need to decide which part of the body you want to compensate because there are many ways to bounce the sunlight and experience and practice only can teach you that ! Your worst enemy will be the wind, reflectors will be very difficult to manoeuvre on a windy day and I must say I am very proud of my little Amy who managed quite well the task even if I had to help at some point.
That day was windy enough for her to use the reflector as a paraglider !

Anyways, these are raw examples of what you can come up with on a very sunny and very windy day and a reflector.
We will surely most post produced images to illustrate how the harsh shadows can be better corrected while keeping high contrasts.

And if you’re simply interested in attending one of Isabel’s course.
Check her out on her website : Yoga fusion arte

#techniques #photography #reflector

PROPER USE OF A LIGHT REFLECTOR

PROPER USE OF A LIGHT REFLECTOR

PROPER USE OF A LIGHT REFLECTOR

.

COMMENTS

Be the first one to comment this post

Comment the general thread (or click another comment)







If you are made of flesh leave this the way it is

HIRE US FOR YOUR BLOGGING NEEDS

• web development
• writing
• translations
• proofreading
• illustrations
• photo edition

INTERESTED IN AN EXPERIENCE WITH US?

Name*

Email*

Prefered language

Location*

INTERESTED IN AN EXPERIENCE WITH US?

Name*

Email*

Prefered language

Location*