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Size and color of reflector
  
 
widbays
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p.1 #1 · Size and color of reflector


I知 just starting to focus on studio photography which involves strobes, flashlights, umbrella, soft boxes, and back-drop. I found that I知 having hard time dealing with shadows, however the more I practice and the more I read about digital studio photography, I think I have a feeling that I finally am able to solve my problem.

The first thing that I know is to move subjects away (approx. 5ft.) from the wall or from the back-drop. The second thing that I learn but I haven稚 tried is to use reflectors, and here痴 my big question. What is the proper size of reflector that I need? Let say that I知 taking a picture containing about 15 people in 20x30ft. room, again what is the proper size for the reflector that I need? Is the bigger better?

As we all know there are many sizes and colors (white, silver, gold, etc.) of reflectors available in the market, what color that commonly or mostly use in studio photography? Assuming that I take a picture in tungsten or in florescent ambient light environment, again which color of reflector that I suppose to use? Lastly, when do I have to use a white reflector? (sorry for the dumb questions)

Ooh..I forgot one thing, does the color of a wall have an impact with the lighting?

Any advice or suggestions, I知 greatly appreciated. Thank you.



Dec 27, 2013 at 03:02 PM
colinm
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p.1 #2 · Size and color of reflector


A white reflector is softer than a silver reflector. The color temperature of the light source doesn't matter; a neutral (silver or white) reflector is simply reflecting what's there. Put fluorescent light into a white or silver reflector and you get fluorescent light back out. Put tungsten light into a white or silver reflector and you get tungsten light back out. Put daylight into a white or silver reflector and... you get the idea.

A gold reflector adds a yellow tone to your light source, and generally makes your photos look like garbage.

There's an in-between color, usually called "soft gold", which is a mixture of silver and gold. That's the ticket if you want to warm your subject up a little bit while still having natural-looking color.

As to whether the wall color will have an impact on the lighting... as with many things in photography, it depends. Under some circumstances, it may. Under others, it may not. That's a question that's best answered with your own eyeballs when you're setting up the picture.



Dec 27, 2013 at 03:39 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #3 · Size and color of reflector


The color of the walls will have an impact on the color temp if your studio space is small and/or there's a lot of uncontrolled light "splashing" around the set, such as happens when you use shoot-through umbrellas without backs.

<Chas>



Dec 28, 2013 at 01:13 AM
dmacmillan
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p.1 #4 · Size and color of reflector


widbays wrote:
Let say that I知 taking a picture containing about 15 people in 20x30ft. room, again what is the proper size for the reflector that I need? Is the bigger better?

A group that big would be a challenge to use a reflector effectively. I would use other techniques for fill, such as a very large umbrella.

The rule of thumb is that fill light should be as soft or softer than the main (key) light. That's a function of both the size of the source and the distance to the subject in relation to the distance of the main to the subject. For instance, I could have two umbrellas the same size, one on my main light and one one my fill light. If I place the fill closer to the subject than the main, I'm following the rule of thumb. If the fill is further away, it runs against the rule of thumb.

I agree with using neutral reflectors. I normally use white over silver because silver can give an "overfilled" look. You need reflectors of various sizes. Small reflectors are easier to handle and can be used for closeups. Big reflectors are nice for head and shoulders or even full length.

When I was at Art Center we had a huge shooting area. We often used "flats", large panels up to 10 feet long by 8 feet high that could be rolled around. One side was white and you could bounce light from them for fill. The other side was painted black and could be used for subtractive fill.



Dec 28, 2013 at 02:54 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #5 · Size and color of reflector


Once you begin paying attention to reflected light, the concept falls into place pretty quickly. Play with a piece of rigid white paper, reflecting a variety of light sources onto a small subject (a face, for example), then wrap it with aluminum foil and do the same thing.

Any surface that doesn't primarily absorb light reflects it so yes, of course, in close proximity and assuming light hitting walls of your studio the wall color can have an effect (as Chas notes above), but unless you're blasting light at the wall, the inverse square rule usually results in so much fall off that it's not a big deal unless your subject is under lit or being primarily lit by ambient.



Dec 30, 2013 at 02:34 AM





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