Use a Reflector

On March 17, 2011, in Photography Tips, by admin

Pineapple Fence Posts, Paia, HI

What do you do when the lighting in your composition is uneven?  What do you do when the lightng casts deep shadows over importants details?  Use a reflector to cast light onto the important details hidden in the shadows.

The picture on the left is natural light without a reflector.  Note the shadow on the lower left of the pineapple and the bamboo stakes of the fence.  The shadow does add depth to the pineapple, but there is a little too much shadow in the image.  Using a reflector I added light to the lower left of the pineapple and on the bamboo stakes.

Photoflex makes a series of LiteDiscs.  I always carry their 22″ model in my backpack.  It folds up small and has a case to protect it.  I also have the 36″ model which I take when I know I will be shooting in bright sunlight, especially flowers.  Besides reflecting light into shadows, a reflector can be used to create shadows.  This is helpful at high noon when light is harshest.  At that time of day you can use the large reflector to put your subject in shadows and soften the light.