I challenged myself this week to find and buy photography accessories under 10 pounds. The rules were that it had to help improve my photography or video output without spending more than a tenner.
After several hours of browsing on Amazon, I decided to purchase the following light reflector by Neewer.
Products from Amazon.com
This one is a 60cm x 60cm version that has 5 different colours which is pretty impressive for £10.
I could have got a slightly bigger 60cm x 90cm for an extra £1 but that would have taken me over my challenge budget.
I’ve also made a video about my “Camera Accessories for under 10 pounds” challenge.
Benefits of a Light Reflector
When it comes to video or photography, light is the most important ingredient for capturing an amazing shot.
Whilst you can choose to purchase several expensive video lights or studio lights. Sometimes you don’t need a direct light. A hint of second hand reflected light will work in a softer, more natural manner.
The great thing with a reflector is that it doesn’t care whether the light source is the sun or an indoor light.
Let’s run through what each colour is used for.
The white side casts a very soft light at the subject. This can work well either when there is lots of light such as outside during the day. It can equally work when using flash photography in a studio situation.
In order to get the best results using the soft reflection from white, you will need to use the reflector very close to the subject/model.
Ironically the black side of the reflector isn’t a reflector at all. It will absorb light. This can help if you want to cast a shadow in a well-lit room/set.
This works well to create more of an artistic look for example if your models face is too evenly lit, you can use the black to create more shadows on certain areas of the face.
You can also use black to dim light on background items in the shot that you don’t want the viewer’s eyes drifting towards.
Silver is the main go-to reflector colour and is usually a metallic type of material. It works well for most situations and is great for beginners to start out with as you can position it slightly further away from the subject and still get good results.
Silver is also really good for shooting in low light. Though for that very same reason you will find using silver during midday sun a little too harsh.
A gold colour reflector will cast a strong, warm colour on the subject. This can be handy if you are using white lights and want to introduce a warmer tone more similar to that of a fireplace or a tungsten light.
Due to it being a metallic material (same as the silver reflector), you will need to be careful and ensure the reflections are not too strong. For example outside you would be better to use this to match the colours of sunset/sunrise rather than midday.
The centre part of the 5 in 1 reflector from Neweer is a translucent colour. I would suggest this is better used as a diffuser rather than a reflector.
For video use, if you have a powerful light this could be used in front of the light to imitate a softbox look. This can help remove shiny skin look.
For outdoor photography, you could hold the translucent side above the subject/model to soften the light from the sun.
After spending £10 to buy a light reflector. I can safely say I am really happy with my purchase and the Neweer light reflector I bought seems to be good quality.
For videographers, it will give you the ability to have more ways to play around with your video lights.
Equally, you will have more ways to experiment with getting the perfect photo. Now you can take your time considering both light and shadows.
Join the £10 Challenge?
I highly recommend you participate in the “photography accessories under 10 pounds” challenge? I would love to hear what you bought in the comments below.
If you already own a light reflector, what situations do you benefit the most from using it? Drop a message below.
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