Simply it is a tool used in photography to reflect light towards the subject. You can use them with all different light sources such as sunlight, flash or strobe lights, our continuous lights commonly used in home studio photography, or video.
The concept is simple, light hits the reflector and due to placement it reflects it back towards the subject. One of the most common used reflectors would be a white wall or ceiling, remember the light will change color if you bounce it off something colored! You simply point your adjustable flash towards it and the light bounces off at an angle, or use the reflector to bounce your sunlight back towards your subject!
Today, I will be showing you how to make 3 different versions of a Light Reflectors, that would be helpful in a home-made studio, like one used for small product photography. You will be happy to know that I purchased only $3 in supplies and used only these few other items that everyone should have at home, or would be easy to find! You can use any of the techniques with any of the products and mix and match to make the type that works best for you!
- 2 1/4 boxes (recycled from shipments I have received)
For this reflector I purchased 1 gold tissue pack from my local dollar store. Yep, that's it. Simply make sure that you select one that is solid gold and without any patterns to it.
I then folded my box flat and cut one edge of it, creating a long bendable piece.
Next, I set out my tissue paper (which is a thick metallic sheet, which I didn't know has silver on the other side... so in reality you could buy 1 pack and use 1/2 for one gold reflector and the other 1/2 for the silver!)
TSUA-List and read "My Dollar Store Studio")
Here is the finished product image using the Gold Reflector and shooting with the diffused light from the window.... you can see some of the gold picked up in the white background on the table and in the label.While for purposes of the other post this is done in program mode, with no editing... it shows you what you can expect... a warmer tone where the gold reflects on the product.
Next I made a silver reflector. This time I used a shallow box and wrapped it in my $1 aluminum foil purchase. I covered the whole box and flaps here it is while I was working on it.
Then as I set it up to be used...this one allows it to stand easily, and I can adjust flaps to angle the light if I need.
As an alternative, you can use the aluminum foil as both the reflector and the bottom side of your background. Below, I did just that, shooting directly towards my window with the white background over it filtering some light. This is a really nice effect! Again, the product is showing a little dark because I am shooting program, with no post-editing and NO exposure compensation... all things that are easily done to create sharp and well exposed images as shown in the second image.
|Simple Photoshop Edit|
And lastly, I made a simple white reflector buy cutting down a piece of foam core and attaching a part of an old cardboard box to it to create a stand. I just used packing tape to secure it, and bent it to create the stand.
It does a great job of reflecting light to reduce shadows and provide even soft light from the diffused light already coming in from the window. Below you see an unedited, and shot in Program mode, image with the window on the left, and white reflector on the right.
All of these reflectors provide you with a means to manipulate your available light. With small adjustments in a basic editing program, or by simple adjustments to the camera mode all of these would make nice product images.
This how-to post is brought to you by Streeter & Co, in partnership with TSUA-List. I have been a member of the A-List since it rolled out, and I LOVE what it does for small businesses!
To learn more about creating a home studio for your products check out my "dollar store studio" guest post on the Indie A-List blog.
I will be continuing to tackle home studio projects, and provide you with great DIY product photography tips! I hope you come back and learn more!