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Thread: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

  1. #1

    Default Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    For those of you who shoot portraits, do you find the silver reflectors too strong? Especially in very sunny and hot singapore. The faces usually become too white or the model complains that it is uncomfortable for the eyes.

    Gold reflectors don't work too well either. The faces usually apprear more yellowish when the light is too strong.

    I haven't tried a white reflector. Will it be a better choice/ give a subtler effect if the light is too strong?

    Thanks...
    Last edited by Andreq; 27th February 2008 at 05:21 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    mmm not a pro here but i heard the compressed foam boards are very good reflectors for portraits.

    never tried just heard.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    silver for contrast. gold for warm tones. model uncomfortable? deal with it. its her job.

  4. #4
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by naresh666 View Post
    mmm not a pro here but i heard the compressed foam boards are very good reflectors for portraits.

    never tried just heard.
    I use compress styrofoam alot when I do my product or live shoot in door. I use them to bounce light off them to illuminate a subject or have a bright light source or flash behind a styrofoam illuminating through it. A direct flash is too harsh in some cases so bouncing light is the way to go about softening or lower contrast on a shoot.

    Various material or colour tint has varying effects on a shoot. A silver shiny highly reflective board (almost mirror like) tend to reflect bright contrasty illumination at your subject. So if you want to simulate something like bright sun light shining on your subject for example a shiny surface like a silver or gold sheet or even a mirror will be what you need.

    But if you want to have an even, soft or diffused light illumination then a matte surface would be the way to go. This is due to light hitting the matte surface ( which is really a rough surface when you view it under a microscope) which sent light in a less then uniform direction towards your subject.

    A styrofoam is very much a matter surface, it is non too reflective (being white oblaque instead of mirror finish) thus any light you bouce off it will tend to be soft and diffuse.

    A good example of this is looking at a scene illuminating on a cloudless sunny day, then looking at the same scene on a very cloudy day with no blue clear sky. You will notice your scene has a difference form of contrast (and saturation of colours) from each other.

    I can go into greater details but I think you get what I mean and why you find there are various material (paid and unpaid) you could use to shoot or just plain experiment with to get varying effect in your photography.

  5. #5
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    silver or white or gold reflector.

    it depends what you want to create,

    the level of reflector fill, also depends what is your taste.

    to get the best result is by test it out yourself.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    depending on the amount of sunlight and framing, maybe silver is the only choice as it reflect more effectively. normally, white is on the reverse side of silver. try both. instead of reflecting reflector light directly on the models, you can bounce flash light off the reflector. i found silver is useful to rim the side on the body.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    Ha, thanks every one who replied. But my original question got twisted out of proportion cos the first reply talked about styrofoam and then all the rest digressed.

    this is my question, put simpler:

    I have used silver and gold, but not white. I find silver and gold can be too strong especially when the sunlight is harsh. I'd rather sacrifice the warm gold tones in favour of a more comfortable model and pleasing light reflected.

    So will using a white reflector give a more subtle reflection?

    Thanks!

    (By the way, some of you mentioned "compressed" styrofoam. Pardon me, I know what's a styrofoam but in compressed form, what is it? And is it a DIY thingy? )

  8. #8
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreq View Post
    Ha, thanks every one who replied. But my original question got twisted out of proportion cos the first reply talked about styrofoam and then all the rest digressed.

    this is my question, put simpler:

    I have used silver and gold, but not white. I find silver and gold can be too strong especially when the sunlight is harsh. I'd rather sacrifice the warm gold tones in favour of a more comfortable model and pleasing light reflected.

    So will using a white reflector give a more subtle reflection?

    Thanks!

    (By the way, some of you mentioned "compressed" styrofoam. Pardon me, I know what's a styrofoam but in compressed form, what is it? And is it a DIY thingy? )
    actually, it is very simple, use sliver when there is no direct sunlight, use white when the sunlight is strong, use gold when you are shooting under shade.

    those "compressed" styrofoam is the same material as your polyform lunch box but is about only 5mm thick, go ArtFriend and see.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    thanks!

    Is the compressed styrofoam not as convenient to carry around as the portable reflectors which are foldable?

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreq View Post
    thanks!

    Is the compressed styrofoam not as convenient to carry around as the portable reflectors which are foldable?
    compressed styrofoam is cheap, you can get silver or gold sticker sheet to paste on it to convert them to silver or gold reflectors, best use in studio, if you go location, use foldable reflectors. (those flexible type)
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Silver or white reflector for portraits?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    actually, it is very simple, use sliver when there is no direct sunlight, use white when the sunlight is strong, use gold when you are shooting under shade.
    Oh. Thanks for the simple explaination. Learn something new today.

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