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Demo: Reflectors

Lesson 12 from: Introduction to Using Multiple Flashes

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

12. Demo: Reflectors

Next Lesson: Demo: Beauty Dish

Lesson Info

Demo: Reflectors

So let's talk about the next thing, which is, which are reflectors. So I'm gonna use this same octa, but I'm gonna bring in a reflector. Here, I'll take that from you. Put this back. So, reflectors are important. We're talking about lights today. It's all about three, four, five lights. But reflectors can also be another light. So, I think every photographer should have a minimum of one reflector, and a maximum of infinity reflectors. I love reflectors. I use them all the time because what they do is, they basically give me another free light. If I don't wanna go out and buy five flashes, well I can use, maybe, one is the key. And then I can use a reflector as the fill, and that frees up my other flashes to do maybe a hair light or a background light. So, a reflector basically saves me the cash outlay from buying another flash. And, typically, we're using reflectors as the fill. So, just real quick, I'm gonna show you how to use a reflector as fill. My reflector's are here in the back.

I brought three types today. I'll come out of the forest. (chuckles) 'Kay. Here, why don't you hold that one, just like that. Yeah, perfect. Okay, here are the reflectors. So, we've got this one here. This is a 42 inch reflector. This one here is also 42 inch, this is convertible. In other words, it has all different types of colors. We've got gold on the inside, we've got black, which is not a reflector, it's a light absorber. It's a diffuser as well, 'kay? So, diffuser. These five in ones are a great way to go. But you're typically gonna want two reflectors in your studio setup. Some people are tempted to get a reflector like this, gold on one side, white on the other. Don't. This was a mistake. Solid gold, it was a 1970s TV show, and it was good back in its day but, in photography, solid gold is really hard to work with. So, if you want to get a colored reflector, maybe just do the half gold, half white. It's a much gentler, kinder type of reflector. 90% of the time, maybe 95% of the time, I just use the white surface reflector. So these are 42 inchers. This one here is a four foot by, it's not quite six foot. We'll call it four by six, four foot by six foot. I love this for doing full length body shots. I can set up some lights on this side of her, and then I can clamp this to a light stand, and this can fill the other side. So, typically, for full length shots, you're gonna need a six foot tall reflector. But for this, I'm just gonna use a 42 incher. And what we'll do is, I'm gonna borrow another studio audience member to be my reflector holder. Anyone volunteer? You wanna do it? Cool. You feelin' white or silver today? Silver. Alright, that's what I thought. There you go. So, he's gonna hold that silver reflector up. And get this thing set up here. Okay. So, we're gonna use the octa as the key light, 'kay? And, again, I'm gonna position it basically in the same way that I did before. And so then, for the fill, come in nice and close. Even closer, closer, closer, like that. Can you see how tight this is? I'm gonna shoot right through this gap. And when I do a secondary reflector as fill, I bring it in, tight. If you bring it far away, you're gonna lose a lot of the effectiveness of the reflector. So, sometimes, I even bring it in... I'm just gonna bring it in like I actually would do, right there. So, for her, it feels a little bit claustrophobic. But she's gonna end up looking right at me in the camera and it's gonna come out just fine. So you typically want the reflector to be in the front. And we'll take this picture. There we go. We're in. We're in like Flynn. Alright, just a headshot on this one. One, two, three. (camera clicks) Alright, let's see if that one came through fine. And it did. Oh, look at the difference. Okay, I think that illustrates it well. So you can just set that on the ground if you'd like. Or lean it up against that chair. Look at the difference, just adding the reflector made in these two photos. I know, positionally, they're different position. And I will put them side by side, just to show them. (humming) A lot of times, I don't use keyboard shortcuts, 'cause I want people to actually see what I'm doing in real time. Alright, so the one on the left is with the reflector, and the one on the right is just the single softbox. You can see that one silver reflector, that you can buy for 30 bucks, makes a huge difference in the photo. I'm not saying the photo on the left is different. I'm just saying it opens up a lot more options for you in your photography. And I really like that image. You like that second image? Yeah. Yeah. I think it came out great.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Multiple Flash Lighting Diagrams
Keynote Presentation

Ratings and Reviews

Marty Walker

This is really a fantastic class and at an even fantastic-er price. Well worth the money, and is a great help. The instructor does a very good job explaining the methods, light shapers, and effects they create. One of my favorite videos!

Jeph DeLorme

Mike Hagen does a great job of presenting what could be a complicated process in a way that makes it easy to understand and implement. Not only does he make it easy to follow along, he presents alternative solutions that don't break the budget. I have viewed several instructors and various classes at Creative Live and this would definitely be one of my favorites. I have to say, this class would be a bargain at 10x the price!

Tim Stapenhurst

What can I say about this class? Mike is great- not only does he give a thorough break down of all the equipment one could need but he also includes wide variety of price options for those just getting started. Aside from his thorough knowledge of gear, Mike provides an excellent and easy to follow bread down of how to build up the light for your subject. His lesson plan is super easy to follow and very concise as he slowly builds up from using 2 lights to 5 lights. He also demonstrate what I think is a much needed trait in a photographer and that is being cool under pressure, dealing with issues and not getting rattled and simply going back to the basics. Creative Live Nailed it with this class

Student Work