Reflectors: A Lighting Tutorial

Reflector small image

In this Slanted Lens lighting tutorial we take a look at the basics of reflectors and how to use them on location. We shot Liz Hernandez from E-TV on location at the Ultimate Grave Yard and had a great shoot. From this shoot we are going to take a beginning look at reflectors, the different colors and practical application examples on how to use them. As a beginning photographer, using a reflector is an easy way to start to modify light and learn where to place the light source in relationship to your subject. Using reflectors and becoming good at placing them will teach you how to place strobes. Good light placement is the same for both strobes and reflectors but easier to see with a reflector than it is with strobes. The color examples used in this video are all based on Photoflex reflectors which can be seen at
Good luck and keep on click'n! Jay P. Morgan.

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1 no Reflector 5798 sm image
#1 For this lighting demonstration showing reflectors we set Liz with the sun rimming her from camera left. The sun becomes a nice rim light on her legs and hair.  I'm exposing for the sun which leaves her body and face dark and in need of light. This is where the reflectors come in.
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#2 A reflector is just like a strobe head or hot light. It needs to be place in the right place to be effective and make your talent look good. If you sit the reflector on the ground,which is very common, it will light from underneath and not be as flattering as when its raised into the air like a light on a stand.
The reflector used in this photograph is white which gives you a neutral soft light. 
3 White Gold reflector 5805 sm image
#3 In this photograph we used a Photoflex white gold reflector. Its more directional and gives a warm harder light. I love this reflector because of the warmth and contrast it creates. Its not to much in my opinion but enough to warm the skin and brighten the face.
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#4 This image was shot with a solid gold reflector. This reflector creates a hard light with a strong warm color. Its great on a cloudy day when there is not much sunlight in the sky.  I use them at other times as well depending on how far the sun is from the subject and how cool the light is. On an overcast day I will most likely use a solid gold reflector. 
5 Sliver Reflector MG 5802 sm image
#5 Our last image was shot with a silver reflector. Silver throws a very hard neutral light that's great for black and white because of the contrast it creates. It also can be good when there is not much sun.
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