Sunday, November 16, 2008

Photography Tip #2 - Reflectors

Today's mini tip is the use of a reflector. If possible, even on overcast days such as seen in the pictures below, using a reflector can greatly improve the quality of your pictures without the use of flash. I prefer using reflectors over fill flash because you can see exactly how the shadows fall and how the light will fill in without having to use the flash and readjust your power til it's right. This is the reflector that I use. Westcott Reflector and for only $50, it will improve your available light photos a ton.

The following shots are straight out of camera and scaled down for the web.

Available light on an overcast day with no reflector. It looks ok, but as you can see there are dark shadows around the eyes and lips, and the overall color is a little flat.

Holding the reflector even on an overcast day really improves the quality of the image with little effort. By simply reflecting a little bit of light on Madison, it fills in those nasty shadows around the eyes and lips and makes the colors just a little less flat and vibrant.

So there you have it folks. Keep sending in your questions and stay tuned for the next photography tip - ways to get vibrant colors in photoshop and with the use of photoshop actions.



Kelli said...

Ok, a legitimate comment...Do you always have an assistant to hold your reflector, or you are just more coordinated that myself and can hold it yourself? Would you recommend a reflector stand?

Brandi said...

I love me a reflector.. I got a nice big one and it is just awesome. Thou Kelli brings up a good point.. I have attached mine to a little light stand with a clip from Home Depot.. I am too cheap (read: poor) to justify actual reflector stands at this moment in time.

Dustin Izatt said...

Excellent question Kelli :)

I usually have one of my assistants to hold the reflector. If my assistants aren't able to come and I am shooting by myself, and there are no parents or siblings to help me out, then I simply stand facing the sun and lift up my shirt, and let my WHITE WHITE belly act as a reflector.

It's one of the benefits of having the world's most awesome farmer tans.

Hahaha, j/k. but if I find myself alone I usually put on my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and shoot it one handed and try my best to steady the reflector with my other hand.

A reflector stand would be a good idea though :)

Dustin Izatt said...

I concur Brandi. There is also a very cool triangle shaped reflector that has a grip on one end that allows for easy grip and hand holding for when you are alone and steady with shooting one handed.

You can check that out here

It's a great option for handholding a reflector when you don't have an assistant.

Kelli said...

lol Dustin. I'm white white all year round, so that's just perfect!

Oooh..that's a great idea for a reflector. I'll put it on my christmas list. You know I've been a good girl all year long!

Talia, Justin, and Turner said...

This is the first time that I am checking out this blog and you are AWESOME!!! If only I could take photos like you one day. Sigh..... Anyway, I can't wait for the next photography tip! Keep 'em coming!