So here is the scenario, you're on a beach and you want to capture the beautiful sunset, the waves, the sand and oh yah, the person in front of all that. Problem is, the setting sun is on the back of your subject. You end up with a very nice sunset with a shadow that represents a person. If you are after that shadowy look then great. If you actually are photographing the person, not so great. Your options: Use a flash, which will provide light on your subject, but will be a mixed color of the warm glowing sunset. Next, use a flash with an amber filter. Much better and you should be able to get a good match between ambient light and the one your flash is producing. Next option, use a gold deflector like the one above. You can use a human (voice activated light stand) to position just the angle you want. You can see exactly how the reflected light will hit your subject and exactly what you will get in camera. You will brighten the scene up a bit, but only those things that are in the foreground (your subject). It will not brighten the rest of the scene because there is nothing to bounce the light back into your camera sensor.
One of the best ways to learn how to properly use a reflector is to shoot video with a model and slowly move the reflector around and closer and farther away etc. and also use the different colors. Then you can review your video and start / stop / review to see how the placement of lights and reflectors impacts your image.
Silver gives you a stronger light.
Gold gives you a stronger light and adding the warmth as noted earlier.
White is most often used to just reflect or bounce light into the scene without changing the color temp.
Black actually absorbs light, so you can use it to take some light off of your subject or just use it to block out light from a source of light that is unwanted in your shot.
Scrim – Reduces ambient light or introduced light. It is semi-see thru, which is similar to an umbrella. You can shoot through it or bounce to it or if you are at high noon (bright sun), you can use it above your subjects head to diffuse the bright sunlight and still have background lit properly.
Flash lighting can not be used in video, however reflectors will provide continuous unchanging light which is generally desired in videography.
Reflectors are really really inexpensive. Speedlites and other lighting can be very expensive. You can use reflectors in conjunction with sunlight, other room light or ambient light, speedlites and other continuous lighting.
Reflectors come in a variety of sizes. Select the size that you need to bounce off your subject. A 24x36 is suitable for 1 person, generally you only need to highlight (reflect) from the face down to belly. Even if you are shooting full body shots, you can use more than 1 reflector if necessary.
While there are reflector arms available to use on a light stand, the use of a voice activated light stand (human-grip) will yield the best results.
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