Reflectors - when to use what color? at

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Old September 11th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #1
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Reflectors - when to use what color?

There are many colors of reflectors it seems. There are kits that offer 5 reflectors in 1, such as this:

Question is, for what purpose is each of the different colors of reflection?


Mike Shkolnik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2005, 11:16 AM   #2
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The translucent one you place between the light source and the subject. It'll knock down the intensity of the light coming through it, and it will make the light softer.

The white reflector is just like a normal reflector. It reflects some light and has a very soft light quality.

The black reflector you can use for "negative fill". You can use it to block off ambient light from hitting a subject; have the black side face the subject.
Suppose it's a cloudy day... there will be ambient light all around and the subject may look kind of flat. By using negative fill, you can get one side of the subject's face brighter than the other and add some dimension that way.

The silver reflector is like the white reflector, except I believe it reflects more light. As well, it has more specular reflections (acts more like a mirror). The light will be slightly harder light, and it will put more light where you aim it.

The gold reflector reflects yellow-ish light instead of white. It can give a kind of bronzed look to people.
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 12th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #3
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for what its worth: gold reflectors aren't very practical for general shooting. The idea was that they added warmth to a subject, but the reality was that they shifted the color balance way too much. There are some hybrids that blend silver and gold material to produce a reflection without as much color shift (sunfire, soft gold, etc...) I use them when shooting people on overcast days.

If you want to save some money in the beginning, you could get a sheet of black and white foam core from most art supply stores and some silver and/or gold metallic fabric from a fabric store. That'll give you 4 out of 5 surfaces for about half the cost of a similar reflector. The advantages of premade reflectors is they fold up easily and will last longer than foam core.
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