A Hobbyist Photographer's Wish List by Juro Malazo

A Hobbyist Photographer’s Wish List, Item #10: 5-in-1 Reflector Kit

It’s become quite customary for most people to wish for things during the Christmas season. Some dream of driving off in a new car, some want to get their hands on the latest smartphone, and some others, like me, have wish for gear…photography gear, that is.

I’ve also got a wish list of sorts, arranged from the most affordable to the most expensive. I’ll be posting the items on the list over the next few days, with item #1 to be revealed on Christmas day.

So to start off, here is item # 10: 5-in-1 43 inch Collapsible Reflector Kit.
I could get one like this for P1,000 from an [local] online store, making it the most affordable item in the list.

5-in-1 Reflector
5-in-1 Reflector [image source: photozuela.com]

Reflectors come in different sizes and shapes. I figured getting one this big would be more practical than buying a small-ish set. The choice of shape is more of a no-choice thing, but given the choice, I’d still probably start with a circular kit.

So what are reflectors? They’re exactly that–reflectors.  They reflect light…at least most of them. A reflector kit typically comes in 5 different colors: white, which reflects softer light, probably the most used one; silver, which reflects the most, therefore harshest, light; gold, which reflects a warm glow and is preferred by some when shooting portraits; translucent, which does not reflect, but actually reduces or cuts down light; and black,  which also reduces light, more so than the translucent one.

I could use a reflector when shooting portraits with the sun behind my subject. In that scenario, the sun would light up the back, but not the face. Holding a reflector so that it reflects light from the sun and back to the face of my subject, I’d have a potentially well-lit portrait.

I could also use a reflector to introduce catch lights to my subject’s eyes. Catch lights, put simply, are (I think) highlights reflected to the eyes. This brings life to the eyes of the subject, making for a better portrait overall.

The use of reflectors, however, isn’t limited to portrait photography. One could use the translucent one to diffuse light when shooting a flower, for example. Or use the black one to cut/reduce the light, whichever is needed.

So there you have it: Item #10 on my wish list, A 5-in-1 43-inch Reflector Kit that could be bought for P1,000.

Is a reflector kit in your wish list as well? If you already have one, which color do you often use?


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