What is a reflector and how does it become an important tool for photographers? If you are new to photography, you might understandably have a few questions about how to use a reflector. Here is an easy guide to understand the Reflector usage.
What is a Reflector?
We need light to make our images happen. A reflector is simply a tool that helps us put that light where we want it. A reflector allows you to bounce available light – whether natural or artificial – back towards your subject, so you can change the way the light illuminates it.
How does a Reflector look like?
Reflectors come in various shapes and sizes, although the most common shapes are circular and rectangular. They are made from reflective material, usually in white, silver or gold for different effects. Some have handles or can be folded together for easy storage, while others are large and difficult to handle. You can even make your own reflector from white cards or thermacol sheets.
Do you need a Reflector?
It is a good idea for all photographers to have at least one reflector at their disposal, even if it’s just a small one. In certain circumstances it will come to your rescue and make a big difference to the quality of your image.
How easy is it to use a Reflector?
It is easy to use, well mostly. Although trying to hold a large reflector in the perfect position outside when a wind is blowing can prove tricky. There are stands designed to hold them in place for you. These work pretty well, but are better indoors, out of that wind!
What kind of Reflector do you need?
That depends on what type of photography you do and how often you would use one. If you just do general photography with occasional portraits, then we suggest a small circular pop-up reflector that has both silver and white sides. You can get these with different covers so that you have a choice of white, silver and gold, or you can make one at home with silver or golden foil paper on either side this is most economical.
The ideal size would be a 32-inch diameter circular reflector that can fold down small enough to slip into the side of your camera bag. Larger reflectors will generally give you a better spread of softer light, but are not so easy to carry or handle.