New toys, Glow Reflector Panels
There is no end to technical challenges in photography, and for every challenge there seem to be multiple products to try to help you meet that challenge. The result, of course, is a tendency to spend too much money! I just received a couple of new toys that I hope will be useful in my photography, two sizes of reflector panels.
The Glow Reflector Panels come in two size, 35"x70" ($69.95 US) and 28"x39" (59.95 US) and are available from Adorama. (In case you were wondering, "Glow" is the brand, not an indicator of any light-producing capability.) I shoot most everything on location, and have many times wished for v-flats for both reflectors as well as as flags to block light, but couldn't haul v-flats around. These reflector panels looked portable and have some nice flexibility with multiple color panels.
The panels are supported on light stands, which you provide yourself. Each set consists of two fabric panels, one black and white, one gold and silver. The panels are thick enough to block light, but are still lightweight. I do have some concern about durability of the fabric, but only time will show if that is a problem.
I didn't get any instructions in my sets, and especially for the larger panel, could have certainly used some guidance! I put the large panel together a few times but still haven't found a quick and easy process (and one time I smacked myself in the mouth when removing one of the rods, so careful there!). I suspect that it would be easier if I had a large clear (and clean) area to lay the panel, then insert the rods from there. I didn't want to put the white panel on the floor, though, and didn't have a clear 70" surface on which to work. The smaller panel is relatively easy to put together, though.
Once constructed, I was pleased with how easy it was to move and position the panels at various heights and angles. I plan to use the small panel for head shots (below, filling in shadows). I'll probably use the large panels for head shots, too, as the size is better than my 43" round reflector. I plan to use the large panel for other situations, too, reflecting and blocking light.
Despite the hassle putting the large panel together, I smiled when it was together and could be easily moved around the room, and I smiled again when I had it all put back into the lightweight easy-to-carry bag. I might well buy at least one more of the large panels.
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