Effective distance of reflectors?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Sn00bies, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Sn00bies

    Sn00bies TPF Noob!

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    Howdy...

    I'm in the process of applying for a Photography Major and am trying to make my best shots. I've thought out an image in my head and think I may need a reflector, but I'm wondering at what distance reflectors are effective? I'd imagine the soft-color is shorter than a non-soft. I'm trying to create a down-town busy feel, with my subject standing sharp and then the surrounding walking people/cars/trains blurred. I'm afraid that with tall buildings nearby, the sun probably being behind them, and my subject facing away from the sun, that I'll have shadows that I might need to get rid of. If I had to take a guess, the camera will probably be about 15-20 feet from my subject. I'll be using a wide angle so I don't think I'll be able to put the reflector very close to the subject, probably just right by the camera. Would I have any luck using a reflector to cast light that far? Maybe the available lighting and possible shadows will look okay, but I just want to be prepared for anything when I actually get to doing the picture.

    Something I just thought of.... since I'll be taking more than one picture and masking them together to get the sharp/blurred contrast, perhaps I could put the reflector close to the subject to get the lighting I want and then just mask it out?

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any ideas/input... you guys have been a wealth of information for me already and I am grateful for it!
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    If the sun is blocked by the buildings...what light are you going to be reflecting at your subject? If the reflector can't 'see' the Sun you'll have to use flash, but your subject can be in the shade of the buildings and the camera and reflector be in the sunshine.

    The size of a reflector and how shiny it is has a lot to do with how much 'throw' it has.

    Using a wide angle lens seems to kind of negate needing to be 15 to 20 feet away.
     
  3. Sn00bies

    Sn00bies TPF Noob!

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    The sun may or may not be blocked. My issue is that I wasn't sure if the reflector would be of any use with just the available light (6-7p.m. ish) to capture it coming down between the buildings from the sky and direct it horizontally into the subject. Even though the source is hidden there is still plenty of light. Having not used reflectors without the sun visible, maybe I misunderstand the lighting needed to get use out of a reflector.

    I'd argue that that depends on the perspective I'm going for, and what focal length of wide angle I'll be using. Being that I haven't been to the location and framed my picture you may be right... but I plan to use a length on the short side.
     

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