What are all the uses of camera reflectors in photography?
Light is the soul of photography for, without it, photography would not exist. In most situations, you have light from one source alone and this puts the picture in a stilted perspective. You have shadows and the light may not be enough or it may be too bright. So much so, one turns to the reflectors. These are the alternative to having a solitary source of light.
Variety of reflectors
Reflectors are planar objects that help to reflect, deflect, or block the light. By controlling the light, one can control the complexion of the photograph. To achieve the best effect, one must use many kinds of reflectors. We have round reflectors, rectangular reflectors, hand-held reflectors, oscillatory reflectors, and much more.
Reflectors are big, and they are small. You can move them around when the subject is moving or let them remain fixed as on a stand if you will shoot in the same place for a long time. How big you want them depends on what you are shooting. You can have two small circular reflectors, so you get more diffused light, or you can use one big reflector to have a more concentrated light source.
Choice of colors
The color of the reflector too matters. The common choice of color is gold, silver, white, and black colored reflectors. The use of gold reflectors helps add a natural glow to the interiors and the portrait photograph gets flesh on the bones. Silver reflectors helps add the highlights. It makes the special points of the photograph stand out, so you get a special picture.
Use of white colored reflectors is common, it adds natural light to the scene. You can use big white cardboard pieces painted white to reflect light on the subjects. White reflectors are common because they help fill the picture with plenty of light and get rid of the dark corners. Now, this may not always be desirable. At times, the situation may warrant the use of black reflectors.
Curb the light
The black reflectors help to cut down the light. The brightness of the scene remains low so that optimal light is present. Use of the reflectors helps to keep the subject in sharp focus. This helps enhance the quality of the photograph.
Then, we have the translucent reflectors. These reflectors help provide translucent light around and near the subject. The soft light helps enhance the brightness and brings out the colors without highlighting any specific point in the scene. This makes the light and color transition smooth.
Position the light
You can ask your assistant to hold the reflector. In this case you can direct him to hold it at the correct angle so that the subject remains highlighted well. Or, you can have a stand to which the reflector remains fixed. You need this when you have a long session, and you have too many breaks between shots.
You improve the quality of the photograph when you use the right reflector. You might want to try one or two trial shots before the actual run to see if the photographs come out right.