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Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-29-2004, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I get any opinions on when to use a silver or gold reflector and when not too. Or would it be better to stick with a fill flash?
Thanks
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-29-2004, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm shooting here in Kuwait/ Iraq and have been using a couple different improvised reflectors. One is white shrink wrap plastic, the other is silver mylar plastic, both use electrical conduit as a frame and are 4'X4'. I tend to favor the white most of the time, and switch to the silver as the sun gets lower as it seems to move more light. Something warmer, like gold would be nice, but I don't have the material, and have been compensating the whole image using warm cards, as the sun is harsh as hell here. The benefit of reflectors to me, is that a lot of my subjects are wearing BDU caps, boonie hats, and helmets, and it allows me to get the sun up under them and onto the face to eliminate the shadow from the visors. Have also started friggin' with a circular polorizing filter. Would like to try a 81A and/ or B in the future. Don't know if that helps your circumstance or not. Take care, George
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-29-2004, 05:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks George, It does help somewhat.
Good Luck over there.
Otto
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-29-2004, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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White reflects light. Gold adds warmth to the reflected light. Silver brightens it up.
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-29-2004, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank You but I guess what I am really looking for is are they better to use that a fill flash? Or is it up to me on what I want to portray with the photo?
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-30-2004, 01:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I prefer reflectors, usually not gold unless I want it to look artifically warm. I like refectors because I think they look more natural than an on-camera fill flash, but they can require slower shutter speeds or wider f-stops than what you can get with flash. Also, the models can tend to squint more, and you need a strong assistant to hold it in the wind.

Since exposure is critical (to those of us raised on, and still shooting chromes) it also seemed trickier to keep the flash to subject distance consistent, with my models dancing around in the ocean. If you have a crew and can bring a big softbox fill flash, or maybe even a small one, then yes if you can control the exposure, it would look good, but some of the work I've seen looks overfilled - when the model and background intensities are almost equal. On the other hand, that is a "look" - actually a darker background - that is used in Maxim and fashion magazines these days, so who knows. Whatever you like.

One thing if you do use flash, make sure to put a slight warming gel (like a 10Y over the flash so to the color temperature is closer to daylight, otherwise the model will look too blue. In fact, at sunset, I'm using a vary warm pink gel to match the warm tones of sunset. Like this:



Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-30-2004, 05:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Andy,
In relationship to the model what angle should the reflector be held. I assume that you perfer the white or silver.
Otto
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-30-2004, 06:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Otto, Imagine the reflector as a mirror, just a more efficient reflector, and you position it in such a manner as to bounce your light source (sun?) to fill the desired areas. It's a bank shot if you will. Don't forget a shade can be used at the same time to kill, or tone down harsh direct light, while using the reflector as a fill, a rim, or hair, whatever you need. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] George
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Re: Silver and Gold Reflectors
Old 01-30-2004, 06:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The relationship between the model and the reflector? They should just be friends, that way its a nice reflection on the model.

OK... well it partly depends on the angle of the sun, but I generally prefer the light (reflection) to come at the model's eye level, or just above. Some people use extreme angles - coming from below or way overhead, and that's interesting sometimes, but I like my light to look natural. No matter how much equipment and people it takes to achieve that natural look.

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Andy Pearlman
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