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Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Tips: Control the “Power” of Your Reflector

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Scott Kelby explains that, even though a reflector doesn't run on batteries, you can still control the amount of light it bounces onto your subject.
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One of the handiest tools for controlling light outdoors is a basic $20 reflector. It’s incredibly handy because it’s lightweight, folds up to a small size, and most importantly, you don’t have to plug it in, and its battery never runs out (well, since it doesn’t have a battery). But, over the years, I’ve heard people say that the weakness of the reflector is that you can’t turn the power up/down like you can with a flash. Well…that’s only kinda true, because you actually can control the amount of light a reflector reflects onto your subject by how far away the reflector physically is from your subject. The closer it is, the brighter the reflected light becomes. So, if the reflected light is too bright, then just move the reflector farther away. What’s a good distance for a reflector used outdoors to bounce some sunlight back into your subject? About 8 to 10 feet from the subject is a great starting place. If you want the reflected light brighter, move in tighter, as seen above. Easy enough.

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