When you set up your lights, you may find yourself wanting to control and shape how the light falls on your set. There is a plethora of grip gear that can help you do just that. What do you need in your grip kit that can help direct your light? Author Abba Shapiro demonstrates the importance of including reflectors in your grip kit.
- Reflectors are a simple and inexpensive way to add another light source. Now, most commonly they're used to add fill light to your key light, but you can use 'em for other things. You can place them on the floor to bring light below the person to fill in those harsh shadows and like the sockets of the eyes. You can use it to create an edge light or even behind them to create a nice hair light. There's a amazing amount of uses for reflectors. They're not just used to reflect light, but you can also use them to shape natural light.
Whether it's light coming in from a window and you have a strong shadow or if you're outside fighting the bright sun, a lot of times, a strobe won't necessarily light your subject up enough, but reflecting the sun's light, you can get a nice balance. Now, like flags, reflectors come in all shapes and sized to meet your needs as well as different materials and colors. A reflector can be as simple as a piece of white foam core. Cheap, disposable, and if you forget to bring these, you can find these in almost any city in either a drugstore or an art shop.
Now the nice thing about some pieces of foam core are that they may be black on one side, and the nice thing about having black on one side is you can create something called negative fill which means you want to control the amount of shadow. Instead of having more light, you want less light. So a lot of times you'll place what's called negative fill and you don't have to worry about the reflection off set hitting your talent. So, getting a piece of foam core with both white and black will double it's duty and basically save you twice the money. In addition to foam core, there's also collapsible reflectors.
Now these range in size from a couple of feet in diameter all the way up to four by eight feet. Now, usually these are white on one side and silver on the other. The nice thing about the white is that it creates a softer reflection, and you know, a smoother nice round light, but there's times when you want to harsher or you need just a brighter light and you have silver on the other side. Now, some reflectors have gold on one side which provides a warmer fill, and that's really nice if you're shooting in the late afternoon or you just want that kind of golden hue on your talent, and it's really nice to use that nice, cold side.
Now, some of these reflectors are called five in one reflectors and they have more than just white and silver or white and gold. As a matter of fact, this one has silver, gold, as well as the white, and you can see they pop open pretty easily. You can unzip this so I have a silver on this side for nice hard light. On this side, it's actually a combination of silver and gold if I don't want too much warmth. But then I can always unzip it, I have a simple white side, as well as a pure gold side.
And then in the middle is actually some diffusion which is really nice if I want to just block some of the light. Collapsible reflectors aren't always circles. As a matter of fact, there's other shapes. There's, for instance, a triangular shape reflector. And the nice thing about the triangular shape reflector is that it often comes with a handle and now, if I'm working alone, I don't have to worry about you know, trying to balance this somewhere. I can hold it up with one hand, shoot with the other, and in this case, I have that nice soft white on one side and a much stronger silver on the other.
Now, the best thing about reflectors is that they're inexpensive. They're lightweight and they're portable.
- What is a grip kit?
- Organizing and transporting your grip gear
- Using stands and plates
- Mounting equipment with clamps
- Controlling and shaping light
- Powering your shoots
- Staying safe: important safety gear