Oval reflector in studio... your way to use?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by eumenius, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Hello friends,

    I got a nice set of Manfrotto IFF hot lights - three lamps with reflectors etc., a big heap. Well, that included an big silver-white oval foldable reflector and a good 3m stand for it. I can easily find some simple ways to use it - as a fill-in source to give more plasticity to portrait, for example. You just light one's face from one side you prefer, and put a white reflector at a correct angle on another side - especially good for low key. That gives more intimate picture than an additional filling light. It's useful outdoors when the contrasts are too high... How else can I play with it, that's the question? :smile:

    Cheers from Moscow, Zhenya
     
  2. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    You can also bounce a spot or strong flood off of it to emulate window light. Also it's often used below a models face to fill shadows when using butterfly lighting. I've also used a large reflector as a main light by bouncing it into a shadowy area for a nice effect. And when lighting shiny objects use it with black cards to give more form to the reflections in the object.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I use my reflectors in all the ways recommended by the previous posts, I also use them , either, white or silver for a stronger reflection for available light portraits using north window light, you can achieve some good results this way. The beauty of reflectors is they are so easy to make, by either using big sheets of polystyrene or white emulsion painted board of some sort, or for stronger reflection cover the board with scrunched up aluminium kitchen foil, to create a spotlight effect use a small round mirror. I hope this helps in some way

    Ben
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi zhenya -

    i don't use reflectors in a studio, but when i am out "on location"
    i usually have either an assistant hold it for me as a fill, or i use the
    reflector as an "ice breaker" ... what i mean is:

    the reflector is in a little pouch all folded up nice and all. i pull it out of the pouch and it unfolds ( uncoils ) itself AND smacks me in the face -- this is the first act of the show --- after that the situation is a little less tense :smile:

    john
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I use reflectors quite a lot. The possibilities are endless. On location they can be used to get a light source to somewhere that you couldn't otherwise get one, because they are so thin and light. For example, if I want an overhead light and don't have enough height for a boom and light I just bounce a spot from a reflector held against the ceiling. Similarly if the space is so compact that even the furthest light position would result in too much square-law falloff, I 'fold' the light path with a reflector.

    Additions to the reflector, such as the aluminium foil already mentioned by Ben, can be used to dapple the light a little, and introduce subtle variations in colour. Here again the possibilies are endless. Visit a fabric store and pick out gauzes etc that can be draped over or clipped to the reflector, not necessarily covering the whole reflector. Golden colours for a warm effect, blues and greens for cold. I go for very subtle, barely perceptible, changes but others use them more dramatically. More difficult to describe than to demonstrate.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have one of those

    I have one of those, it's a Lastolight reflector, I once forgot it and left it in a coffee shop I called in to on the way from a wedding, not realizing until I got home that I had lost it, the owner of the coffee shop the next time I went in brought the open reflector out of the back of the shop and said "Is this yours ? I found it where you were sitting the last time time you were here , I opened it and it sprang out, I have a bad heart and I nearly had a heart attack !!!. Can dangerous things John, as well as funny.
     
  7. eumenius

    eumenius Member

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    Dear friends,

    it's amazing to read your ways to use reflectors - indeed, it's a powerful, versatile and potentially dangerous tool :smile: Glad that I got one, really. I am thinking about one stupid thing now - in a real autumn, why should I shoot the fallen leaves while it's so unfriendly outdoors? :smile: I plan to emulate the cold diffuse autumn light with an artificial sky - a reflector flat over my table, white side down, reflecting a 1000W spot on my table with arranged leaves. Maybe a silver umbrella would add that cold punch to the pictures, and to give the scene some smoke I will be using liquid nitrogen, plentiful in my lab :smile: I promise to post my result in the gallery, of course.

    Thanks again, and cheers from Moscow - Zhenya
     
  8. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Another thought on the control of light Zhenya is the opposite of a reflector, called a Gobo,a matte black surface which is used to kill unwanted light and create shadows,can be made cheaply, like reflectors don't need plugging in, and you can see the effect on your subject as you move it to get the effect you want.
     
  9. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Also called a flag or a cutter, when 'gobo' used in this sense. Of course cutters shouldn't be confused with cookies. And they are not to be confused with biscuits, because cookie is supposed to be short for cucaloris, which is a name given to boards, cloths or screens (etc) that create patterned or dappled shadows. There are as many stories about the origin of the word 'cucaloris' as there are spelling variations, but the truth is that it is Glaswegian for 'grimy old factory with broken windows'.*

    Best,
    Helen

    *This is not the truth, it is a barefaced lie.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2005
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I'm impressed Helen, you really know your stuff.

    Regards, Ben.
     
  11. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    A great emergency reflector is a 'space blanket'.
    Also handy when traveling....
    .