Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Reflector

Often times when budding photographers walk up to me, I tell them to take the light off the camera and their initial reaction is that of uncertainty. It's a bit intimidating which is the starting hurdle and once you think about the gear required the big cost factor hits them and there ends the enthusiasm. (In some cases a branded flash costs as much as their camera. Strobes are also not cheap then you have wireless triggers....well you get the picture.)

Now lets say you are on the same boat but you would like to experiment with off camera lighting and you can't get anyone to lend you their lights. To the rescue is the trusty reflector. Mr cheap and cheerful, some of them are as cheap as Rs 1000. Though these also get expensive depending on various factors but, they should be cheaper than purchasing a branded flash.

You should be able to get it in the camera market in Chandni Chowk if you stay in Delhi and if you push you budget to about Rs 5000 you should be able to get a 5 in 1 reflector. Once you have these you can do a lot of things with.

  • You can use it as a fill light by keeping  the light opposite to the main or Key light source. It could be a bulb or a bigger bulb like the Sun. 
  • It can function as a key light where all the light for the subject comes from the reflector
  • It can function as a diffuser so you can reduce the intensity of the light and get great images even in the harsh sun.
This is not restricted to people you can try it on objects too. Penny De Los Santos uses a small reflector on her shoots when she is on location clicking food.

How far can you take the trusty reflector. Take a look at the following links