I still remember the days my Dad used to keep the candles close to a dressing table mirror or at the corners of white walls whenever there was a power failure. I never knew that the mirror and white walls could reflect the candle light more powerfully all around the room. Here the mirror and the white walls are the reflectors…!
Reflector is an indirect or borrowed light source which reflects the main source of light. Every bit of our surrounding in the world reflects the light in its own way. I could recall the surprising information my science teacher shared, that the Moon light we enjoy at night is the Sunlight reflected from the Moon. Here the Moon is just a reflector and not a source of light.
Reflectors in photography are used to manage the shadows. Infact shooting a photo is easier than handling a reflector in photography. In fact it is an important accessory to bring in the right amount of contrast in the pictures and show the ideal details in the shadow areas. In the earlier days of making cinema, while shooting in the outdoors, reflectors were the prime source to manage the shadows.
I had many times wondered as how and why a movie shooting crew carry so many huge silvered square boards (they call it as reflectors) and set them in perfect places. I also watched them moving the reflector closer or farther and position it at a particular angle. Now ofcourse, many of these reflectors are replaced by the huge HMI lights or professional studio flashes stimulating the daylight in the scenes.
The effect and the quality of the light reflected from a reflector depends on few factors.This makes the reflectors unique and comfortable to use for an effective management of lighting contrast.
Apart from photography, reflectors have become a part of our everyday life in many accessories and applications. You cannot miss out the use of reflectors in traffic signs and display advertisements. They are used in many of the domestic, automobile, industrial applications. Reflectors are used for safety and identification by signal men, traffic cops, sanitary workers, fire men, life guards etc.
Though we have very few light sources, the world around us look bright and beautiful because every other object around us reflects the light mutually to make us see the world great!
Model courtesy: Ms.Ankitha