Natural light / reflector project #1

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by jcdeboever, May 27, 2017.

  1. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Inspired by a @DanOstergren thread where he challenged us or me to use natural light and reflector. Can't find the link. Anyway....

    This merely a study on the effect light directed from different angles has on the subject. Setup was morning sun flooding in from front of house. I used the light from the oval window in my front door to bounce the light onto the subject. First time I used a reflector. XT2 with 23mm f/2. Shot in raw, converted to Acros in camera, imported into snapseed from my tablet, no edit. My goal was to look at the light, how it effects the subject, and prepare me (gain knowledge) to use in real situations to improve image qualities. I took a series of shots, not posting all of them. Others not posted, including these are going into journal for reference / continuous improvement

    What I learned.... Intentional direction of light creates an enhanced render of facial features, fills in shadow, smooths surface area, and creates drama. Different color reflectors produce different results, white (only one shown in thread) is noticeably softer than silver and gold. The transparent white can be used to defuse natural light (not shown here). Black can be used to block (not shown here). I am confident in my future use to use in real time situations. I needed more room to manipulate the reflector to produce a wider variety of light options. One more project outside to solidify learning curve.

    1. I would like some feedback on what differences you can see that I may not have, so I can add to my journal so I can further explore and develop moving forward.

    2. Additional tips is highly welcomed.

    3. Why would I use silver or gold as opposed to white?

    1. Not reflected
    2017_0527_07162100-01.jpeg

    1a. Reflected white
    2017_0527_07172400-01.jpeg

    2. Not reflected
    2017_0527_07200800-01.jpeg

    2a. White reflected
    2017_0527_07203700-01.jpeg

    3. Not reflected
    2017_0527_07230000-01.jpeg

    3a. White reflected
    2017_0527_07231000-01.jpeg


     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Nice little project. Thanks for sharing! This illustrates really well how effective and subtle reflectors can. be. My tip would be: Don't forget to "shape" the reflector for optimum results. Most people tend to use them flat, but. by bending and curving them you can really control their "output". Silver is used where increased speculating is wanted and good for very dark skin or a 'sunset' look
     
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  3. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Never considered bending it, thanks.
     
  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Man-o-man ... I wish I was there with you so we could both learn. I would think that gold would be used to color the light ... give it a golden hour feel. Did you change your camera settings between non-reflected and reflected?
     
  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nice write up, and worthwhile project JC. Couple comments -
    1. I've tried this with a head, and the difference between real skin and the surface of the head is different. Granted it allows you the opportunity to study the pattern of shadows, but I found it slightly different when I went to a real human. The advantage is the head doesn't complain, like my wife does, about sitting there while I study subtle changes. LOL
    2. In addition to the comment by @tirediron about bending the reflector, you can also alter the shape/size of the reflector (think small spot/snoot) to only bring light into certain areas, or add flags or gobos to block the light. I have one built to simulate a plantation blind, but all kinds of shapes can be added.
    3. I didn't see anything mentioned in your post, but I'm assuming that in your journal you made notations as to location, distance, size, angle, etc. of the reflectors? In doing a recent black line shot, I discovered just how much you can change the shape, and move reflected light.
     
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  6. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I did . Howrver, it was somewhat fruitless without the reflectance attachment I have on order for my meter. I'm all ears. I was more interested in seeing the sculpture property of the light. I tend to bite things off in chunks, study, move forward. I love the helpful, additional comments so far. Really finding it useful.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
  7. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I did write a lot in journal for reference. Took a lot of meter readings. I could have been more diligent by using a tripod, Exposure settings, but it was getting confusing, so I focused on the sculptural aspects. I think once I get outside, I will be able to wrap my wrap my mind around it for a 3rd project. Thanks for the guidance.
     
  8. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I don't like doing shoots without a reflector. The only problem is that usually it requires having an assistant which isn't always possible.

    I'm glad you challenged yourself. There's no going back now!
     
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  9. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    i make the wife hold the hair light :eyebrows:
     
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  10. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Nice.
     

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