Studio Flash Reflector
Studio flash reflector for photography are metal reflectors, available in various size and shape. These reflectors bounce back and redirect all light of a studio flash in one direction.
One standard reflector of around 9 inch diameter is supplied as a part of a studio flash. This is one of the most frequently used size which can be used for fixing barn doors and honey comb on its ring.
Wall of most of metal reflectors are parabolic in shape. Some small ones are with straight wall to give much focused light. Big ones are more than thirty six inch diameter and can have its own white cloth, to further defuse the flash light.
Metal reflectors are coated either with shiny metallic reflective surface or white surface. This metallic surface can be silver or gold finish. Silver is used for regular shoots whereas gold is used in fashion and model photography. Gold reflector warms up the light and makes the skin tone look richer. Metallic finish reflects more light whereas white surface reflects soft and defused light.
In order to check the quality of a metal reflector, place the light in front of a white wall. Take the reading with a flash meter on the center point. (mark that point if required). Now take readings from four to six places, one foot away from the center. This reading may fall by 1/10th of a stop but all readings must be same. Repeat the process at two feet, three feet and four feet. Fall should be gradual and reading must remain constant for the given radial distance. A reflector with bad design will fail this test and it may form a bright ring, means that light falling at one foot away from the center is more powerful. (I actually had this type of defective reflector).
In most of genre of photography, this fault will not be noticed, however, why to go for a defective design?
Some studio flash reflectors are square in shape. Though not as effective as a soft box, but they are very handy.
Reflectors must be protected for scratches, rust and dents. A dent will not only reduce the performance of a reflector but it can also spoil a photograph with a hot spot or a dark patch.
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