HELP w/Reflectors

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by kahulani, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. kahulani

    kahulani TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma...wishing I lived back on the West Coast
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How do you make your own, and more importantly, if I am shooting a portrait, but don't have anyone to hold the reflector, what's the advice? Do I just put it on the ground?
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    PVC pipe and elbow fittings make nice square or rectangular panels. I tend to favor big reflectors, about 72 x 42 inches. Square and round reflectors are a lot easier to position in a makeshift or temporary way than round reflectors. Fabrics are made from, well, fabrics. Round reflectors want to roll; rectilinear reflectors do not roll.

    There's a fellow, whose name escapes me, that makes a reflector kit that he sells on-line; it is basically a two-sided reflector with a side view shape that looks like a capital letter 'A'. Two legs are joined at the top of the 'A', and the legs are opened up and the reflector angles nicely. It doesn't need any stand or leg braces to hold it up. He does a lot of high school senior photos, and does seminars on that area, and also sells these reflector kits.
     
  3. kahulani

    kahulani TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma...wishing I lived back on the West Coast
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks...do you think reflectors are 100% necessary in shooting indoor portraits?
     
  4. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,513
    Likes Received:
    122
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    Hmm...what is the source of light you plan on 'reflecting' indoors?
     
  5. kahulani

    kahulani TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma...wishing I lived back on the West Coast
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, I have two settings, one which is mainly natural lighting - large picture windows, and the other room I have to use a fill flash, with very minimal natural lighting.
     
  6. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    nothing is ever necessary. Various equipment have different purpose it just matters how you use it and what do you want it to do :)
    actually, camera is necessary :) and film :)
     
  7. kahulani

    kahulani TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oklahoma...wishing I lived back on the West Coast
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I guess I am just used to shooting outdoors, not so confident with the whole idea of using my flash for this shoot, so any advice is VERY welcome! Thanks!
     
  8. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    How do you get those contraptions to stand on their own? Just curious. Do you use a 3-way pipe at the bottom corners and construct a kind-of base thingamajig? (I'm always looking for some way to carry a large reflector without a vehicle. Round reflectors, sadly, are the one thing that I've found to be easily collapsible and portable.)
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    No, reflectors are not as IgsEMT pointed out, 100% necessary. But a large reflector indoors will easily quadruple the amount of light you would have on the shadowed side of a subject being illuminated by window light.

    A superb resource is the Dean Collins "Tinker Tube" book in PDF format for $19. There is also an amateur's book with many of the same plans, floating around somewhere in the 'net.

    Here is a free sample plan from the Dan Collins book. For those born after 1970, who probably have never heard of the late Dean Collins, he was a master photographer and educator who popularized the old-timey "scrim lighting" with a series of articles,and later video tapes, all about how to light even complex commercial jobs using "panels" aka scrims. http://media.software-cinema.com/documents/tinker_tubes_p12.pdf

    A LOT of lighting devices can be made out of PVC pipes. Reflectors are dead-easy to make. One simple reflector is a V-shaped arrangement of two reflectors, clipped together with two cut-out pieces of PVC pipe about 4 inches tall, glued together. These clip panels together. Simply hacksaw out about 40 percent of one side of a PVC pipe section that's 4 inches tall, then do the same with another piece, and gle them back-to-back--they will then SNAP! onto the PVC pipe and hold two tubes tightly. You need two,or three of these, and you can make a nice "joining clamp" as they are called. When two square or rectangular reflectors are clipped together, you have a free-standing reflector that needs no feet or legs to keep it upright indoors.

    You might find this studio overview/primer useful
    Studio Photography guide and tips from Photo.net

    Here is a background support system made form PVC pipe.
    Studio Lighting - Home Made Cheap DIY Backdrop Stand | DIYPhotography.net
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Well, the original LightForm panels, which I have, have internal bungee cords,and break down completely into six separate lengths which you sort of "fold up". The fabric can then be wrapped around the legs, and a velco tie or two lashes the whole thing together. The fabrics have elastics at each corner, and are two-sided. I carry them in some REI (sporting goods store) travel duffle bags, which are like lightstand bags. Those have shoulder straps for slinging over your shoulder. A 42 x 78 inch reflector has MUCH more reflective surface than a round reflector,even a big round reflector.

    I'm from the era of before round, collapsible reflectors were invented,and I see the great lengths needed to stabilize them. With PVC panels, outdoors you use turf spikes to anchor them in the wind, and you can make "easel-type" legs to prop them up, or you can use a single, center-mounted, hinged leg with its own turf spike for outdoor use. Since the panels and accessories are joined together with PVC "joining clips", you can put on one, or two, or three "legs" or two or even three "feet" by clipping on what's needed.

    There are also factory-made solutions like EC-1 clamps that allow you to clamp onto the PVC panel, then clamp the EC-1 clips to light stands, and then to angle the panel precisely, and then cinch the clamps down to hold the exact angle of the reflector. I have watched a zillion YouTube videos of people using round reflectors,and honestly, they are popular because they are cheap, light, and portable, but they really have serious limitations in how much light they reflect, compared with panels. ROund reflectors present a bit of a physical challenge to hold in position or to affix to light stands at more than one location--simply because the sides of a round reflector that is say 48 inches around are 48 inches apart at ONE, one inch high spot,so you cannot use cheap hardware-store A-clamps ($2.99 each) to clamp a round panel to a lightstand at say 1 foot up from the round, 3.5 feet up, and then six feet up from the ground; since light stands go straight up--if you have straight-sided reflectors, low-tech solutions will work to position a reflector. With a round reflector, you need "grip" equipment, and sometimes, lots of it. Which costs money and is pretty heavy too.

    Here's a page that shows just a few panel accessories--not nearly the entire range by any means Westcott Lighting, Westcott Lighting Accessories Westcott

    Here's a company that makes some really nice panels--and note, they do not make any round reflectors--there's a reason you want a flat,straight edge...
    Scrim Jim | Westcott Pro Photography and Video Lighting
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2009
  11. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,694
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    NYC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Personally, both indoors and outdoors I use flash (love the catchlights). INDOORs, if available, use walls, ceiling to bounce the flash off.
    Generally, reflector supposed to add a little kick to your image. It supposed to fill in the shadows a drop. :)~
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,795
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you want catchlights that sparkle, and make the eyes of a person literally come alive, but don't look like flash, an under-chin reflector of metallized silver will provide amazing catchlights,with no flash, at any shutter speed and any f/stop outdoors, or indoors.

    A pretty standard beauty lighting system used an overhead light source, like a softbox, with a large-ish, silvered (or white) reflector underneath the subject,angled upward to catch the overhead lighting and to provide a catchlight a the bottom edge of the eyeball, which adds a tremendous amount of definition to the eyes. [look up under chin reflector]

    Out doors, the large overhead light source can be created by overcast skies....or by a large scrim positioned overhead, allowing sunlight to be diffused through the translucent fabric panel. The California Sunbounce people push that system approach pretty hard. Monte Zucker used to as well. Large scrims are the way early Hollywood movies were lighted...strong sunlight diffused through big "silks"....still in use today...since film makers cannot use "flash", they often get their catchlights through reflectors...
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

cheaper clamp to hold scrim jim

,

diy reflector stand easel

,
diy stands to hold reflector
,
free standing reflector photography
,
how to position a reflector in photography
,
lightform ec-1 clamp
,
make reflector from pvc pipe
,

make your own mc clamps for photography

,
photography reflector outdoors diy stand
,
stand up photography reflector