I’ve had a couple people ask us in the past “What kind of bounce board should I use?”. Well let’s get you guys and girls some information.
First off, let’s start with ‘what is a bounce board?’ Well in definition, a bounce board (or reflector as it is also called in the industry) is an improvised or specialised reflective surface used to redirect light towards a given subject or scene.
You will commonly see these at a photography studio or in BTS (behind the scenes) footage during a movie shoot. They have several shapes and sizes and also different surfaces. There are ones that look like umbrellas (photo studio) and square, round or elliptical ones that look like cloth ‘pancakes’ or ‘flying saucers’ for the lack of a better description (cinematography). They can also come in a single or double sided configuration.
Usually you will see a textured/shiny ‘brass mylar’ or ‘silver mylar’ type fabric on one side and a white fabric on the other. This is a double sided reflector. Basically you use it to direct either sun light or artificial light onto your subject just outside of the camera’s view. The ‘brass mylar’ side is good for sunlight applications as it directs a “warm” colored light onto your subject or actor/actress. The ‘silver’ option can be used to project a “cool” colored light onto them and the white side projects “cool” or neutral colored light.
It literally “bounces” the light from a light source to it’s directed path (depending on where you point it and what angle you have it directed. You can look up more about them here.
Now, back to the question of “which one should I get”; honestly, I suggest getting the lot (like these) in order to make sure that you have what you need when the time comes. The optional sizes really just depends on what you need to ‘help light’. Obviously you cannot use a 34″ reflector to light the entire side of a car. The smaller sizes are generally used you actors/actresses on medium-long to close up shots.
Finally, I have seen people try to make the in order to save money. This is a bad idea (especially if you are trying to be professional about it). With the about of work (and cost) involved with trying to make one, you can easily go online and buy one for just a little bit more money. Now also keep in mind that you can get what you pay for. If you buy an el-cheapo reflector from say China, you may get anywhere from 10 to 1000 uses out of it before it rips or starts coming apart. Just our two cents of information.
Laythrom Production Crew