If you don’t really know much about reflectors or how to use them or you are not sure what kind to buy, this simple short video will give you a brief answer.
Why Use a reflector?
With flowers it is simply to lighten the areas that are deep in shadow. Whether you are in a daylight studio or out in the field a reflector can be an invaluable part of your equipment. I tend to carry a small 30cm diameter reflector with me when I am on location and I use a 60cm diameter reflector along with a smaller one whilst working in the studio.
What colour reflector should I choose?
The answer will ultimately depend on your still life subject and the overall effect you want to create. For a white light you need to bounce the light from a white reflector. For a warm glow you need to use a gold reflector. And it’s not just about bouncing light around; you might want to direct the light in a more controlled way and this scenario you would choose to use black reflectors or black boards. Please see my previous blog post here for more info on this.
How do I position the Reflector?
In the shots in the video I held the reflector to the left hand side of the peony in order to catch the light from a window that was on the right. You can hold the reflector yourself or if you want to keep your hands free you can attach it to a light stand with a special attachment that can easily be purchased online. I often work with two reflectors or more when I am working with a daylight studio. As I only have one pair of hands I tend to hold one of the reflectors and I then have one on a stand and one propped up by my backdrop if need be.
What kind should I purchase?
There are various reflectors on the market and I would recommend buying two sizes a small and a medium. I have a small reflector that is white on one side and gold on the other. These days you can also purchase one with an interchangeable cover and these are really cost effective. If you are studio based and want to play with reflectors on a tight budget then buy some white daler art board or some white foam board to begin with.
Compared to other camera equipment purchases reflectors are a relatively inexpensive purchase and you will really see a difference in your photography once you start experimenting with them.