This last month I have been focusing on historic cemeteries using the Pentax 70mm DA. I’m specifically shooting for the bokeh affect achieved with f2.4 and 2.8 and given the limited flash sync offered by the Pentax system, I’ve been experimenting with collapsable reflectors for fill light.
The two reflectors used were a 24″ Creative Light Deluxe (sunlight/white) and a 36″x48″ Bowens (silver/gold).
I found I really liked the squarish shape of the Creative Light Deluxe. I wished I had a little larger area than the 24″ to highlight some of the larger monuments, though this size worked well for most of the average size stones and appears it will work well for other smaller artifacts as well.
I also really liked the tone of the sunlight surface. It warmed up the stones without adding to much color variation. Unfornunatly, the white side didn’t seem to reflect enough to add any additional fill light for me.
The Bowens, naturally due to it’s size was impossible to hand control and shoot at the same time. I did find that propped in the right angle the silver side offered a large amount of light in extremely shaded areas and worked well to bring in enough light to obtain a steady white balance. The gold really brought the level up but turned out to be extremely hot.
I feel this surface might work well if one has the space to distance such a large surface away from the subject; but for tight areas, I found the smaller and softer sunlight surface of the Creative Light to offer more directional flexibility and creative opportunities.
I have used Lastolite TriGrips in the past and like the soft subtleness of their sunlight/soft silver combination. I find I prefer the shape of the Creative Light Deluxe over the TriGrip and with the newer 32″ offered by Creative Lights, I would probably go this route again if I only needed one reflective surface (sunlight or silver, as the white didn’t seem to perform well). When eliminating extra baggage in the field is a concern, I’ll stick to the dual purpose sides of the LastoLite.