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View Full Version : Reflector or Umbrella????



oldnavy170
10-22-2007, 10:52 PM
Ok, I am sorry up front if this is a goofy question. :o:

I have been looking into reflectors. I do mostly outdoor portraits and I want something that will work great for outdoors. Well I came uponed an umbrella but I'm not sure if that is used outdoors or not. Also, if it is do you use it the same way you would a reflector?

One more question:

Should I be using white, gold, or metalic colored reflector for outdoor portraits?

Thank you for any help.

convergent
10-22-2007, 11:33 PM
I don't do a lot of this, but as far as I know, umbrellas are for use with strobes or hot lights. You either shoot through them, or bounce into them... depending on what they are made of. For outdoors, you'd want to use a reflector. White will give you neutral light. Gold will give you warmer light, and I believe silver will give you colder light. I'm not 100% positive on that last one. Westcott makes some kits that give you several different ones in one.

zacker
10-23-2007, 07:04 AM
mike is correct, unless you are using a flash (studio) than youll just need a reflector. for out doors with sunlight, id get as big a reflector as i could... it will reflect a more even light and if need be, you can use it to shade your subject if the sun wont let you get the shot you want.. you can buy white reflectors with gold and silver covers.. gold for "warming" and silver for "cooling" use basic white for diffusion and blocking or for filling. And, when / you do use flashes, they come in handy for filling in the shadow side, esp if you only have 1 light.

convergent
10-23-2007, 09:09 AM
I used a reflector that was about 4' square last weekend to fill a shadow side on an outdoor shoot. I had off camera flash to catch the front, but I was still getting quite a bit of shadow on one side that I wasn't happy with and unfortunately had a battery problem so couldn't use extra flash guns.

JayVig
10-23-2007, 12:39 PM
mike is correct, unless you are using a flash (studio) than youll just need a reflector. for out doors with sunlight, id get as big a reflector as i could... it will reflect a more even light and if need be, you can use it to shade your subject if the sun wont let you get the shot you want.. you can buy white reflectors with gold and silver covers.. gold for "warming" and silver for "cooling" use basic white for diffusion and blocking or for filling. And, when / you do use flashes, they come in handy for filling in the shadow side, esp if you only have 1 light.

Seems like Craig knows a little about this photography stuff...

I had just learned something similar about getting "warmer" or "cooler" light. When you get a Fong Lightsphere II you have the option on the inverted dome. You get the frosted white for regular diffusion normally or you can get an "amber" one for a warmer light. So I guess any variation of gold, amber, orage, etc will give similar effects.

StudioCMC
10-23-2007, 03:16 PM
The use of an Umbrella is really ideal for Strobes or Hot lights Silver or “natural” (Translucent White Umbrella) is typically good to fill in the dark spots of a figure. The shade of the color is determined by the type of lighting. As well as the wattage (for Hot lights) As well as your White Balance of your camera.

You will get more use out of a 5-in-1 Reflector. As most makers have, Silver/Gold/White/ and Silver&Gold in a Zebra pattern, this is usually known, as a “Zebra” The center disk is also a Diffuser screen to shade direct sunlight evenly.

The Colors to use depends on the skin tone of the subject. Or the attempt to place highlights.

Gold really enhances darker skin tones better than silver does. But it also helps to choose the metallic colors, by any accessory jewelry (if any). I rarely use silver.

The most common use is the white side, you can also get away with this by using white foam board, that you can pick up at a craft store for a $1.00 I usually carry 2 sheet of this just in case, and they also work well to block the sun too. White will enhance any color of skin tone, and it will brighten the darkest spots on a face or body, the closer you get the better it will look depending on the shot your after.

Umbrellas as I said, they are designed to have light reflect back to [onto] the subject. A standard shoe flash is useable, but it needs to be re-metered from the reflective value, back to the subject. It will take a little bit of an adjustment. Thus you will have to experiment with a reflective flash source.

I would suggest that for outdoor use a Flash fill, with a diffuser screen or transparent umbrella be used to chase down the over kill of a single or dual flash setup. But the placement of these screens could or will block IR signals for a flash unit, and they will probably have to be synched with a cord, or a pocket wizard (radio) to work properly.

The only thing with a Reflector, is when there is too much cloud cover, this obviously does not get much use for direct sunlight. But the flash can be bounced off the reflector for the same effect.

You can pick up a 5-in-1 for around $30.00 on E-bay, but try to get 40” to 56” size, or a full body square up to 5 foot tall. These are the most common sizes that I have encountered.

I hope that helps
Chris