Day 270 – Morning Reflectors

Today I went outside to enjoy the morning dew – it was beautiful. A sign that Autumn is on its way, my grass needs cutting and a great reason to get close and look at the details with my macro lens.

Today’s set up:

  • Canon 100mm macro lens
  • Tripod – with the centre pool reversed and the camera hung underneath
  • A shutter release cable
  • A reflector

I focused on some toadstools in my lawn and tried out what would happen if I used a reflector to bounce back the morning sunlight. I have been reading up on light… so I was looking for opportunities to experiment.

For each of the next four images i kept the camera in the same place on the tripod, I used the same ISO, the same aperture and I let the camera choose the shutter speed. I should have composed the image better – 3 toastools would have been a stronger group – and I shot into sun.

Toastools in the lawn - straight from camera. ISO100, F8, 1/125sec
Toastools in the lawn – straight from camera. ISO100, F8, 1/125sec

Above the detail of the toadstools is lost cause I am looking at the shady side – but the sunlight behind makes a great bokeh!

Toastools in the lawn - straight from camera. Silver reflector bouncing light back onto toadstools. ISO100, F8, 1/160sec
Toastools in the lawn – straight from camera. Silver reflector bouncing light back onto toadstools. ISO100, F8, 1/160sec

Adding a silver reflector and making it bounce the sunlight back onto the toadstools and WOW – I can not believe the difference it makes… the camera chose a slightly shorter shutter speed … but the details are there… you can now see my depth of field is to shallow to capture the near toadstools … but I don’t care …. it makes me want to reach for my reflector more often.

Toastools in the lawn - diffuser providing shade ISO100, F8, 1/15sec
Toastools in the lawn – diffuser providing shade ISO100, F8, 1/15sec

This time I have used the white diffuser part of the reflector to put the toadstools into shade – the details are there, but the bright sunlight in the distance is distracting and the bokeh is not so obvious … but it still creates an amazing difference for the first image.

Toastools in the lawn - Gold reflector bouncing back light - ISO100, F8, 1/125sec
Toastools in the lawn – Gold reflector bouncing back light – ISO100, F8, 1/125sec

This shot shows light being reflected back again – this time with a gold reflector, it has added warmth to the image.

Four shots all the same – none particular composed well … but I wish in photography books you saw more examples of what the equipment you can use actually does … this shots were taken with a large 4 in 1 reflector – a relative cheap and light piece of kit … which can make a huge difference to the end image.

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