I like to light my backgrounds but I was never very happy about the way light spread unevenly. Typically my setup involves a background light with a conical standard reflector. The light is a couple of feet away from the background and pointed near center. Light spreads across the backdrop but of course it’s much brighter closer to the light source. Light also has a tendency to spill onto my subject.
Impact offers a simple solution with its shaped background reflector. One of the first things I thought of was how ideal this would be for headshots. My model friend Corey helped demonstrate how helpful this simple light modifier is.
A closer look at the reflector
This particular model is a Bowens mount. Lucky me, I had a Godox SK 300 II that I often use as a hair or backdrop light and has a Bowens mount. Take a close look that the knob where the reflector meets the light body. That little screw allows for easy rotation of the reflector and room for creative application of the light.
The dark gray background now had a nice spread of light in an oval shape. What I appreciated the most about the Impact Background Reflector was how the light didn’t spill over onto my subject.
My typical approach with a strip box, standard reflector or even barn doors would leave some light spilling over. Sometimes that’s good, but this time it’s something I wanted to avoid. Initial results were exactly what I was hoping for.
Let’s add gels to the background reflector!
Keeping with the goal of a simple demo, a simple blue gel was clipped over the reflector. A 50-degree grid was placed on the beauty dish to keep the light under tight control. The result was perfect.
Creative application of the background reflector
We explored using it like a backlight, and a rim light. Corey stayed in position while I circled around her looking for interesting application. With a little tilt away from the background, some light spilled across her nicely. I don’t know how to express this other than to say we were stoked. The amount of control I had was pretty spectacular.
Taking the leap
We had one more set of ideas — a series of athletic portraits. Specifically I wanted a strip box and standard reflector with a red gel at camera left, the blue gel at camera right and a couple of changes to the main light. The red gel should light both Corey and about half of the dark background. The blue gel should continue lighting only the background. We knocked it out of the park.
I used the word “stoked” earlier. That’s not just local California beach town jargon. There was elation while exploring the creative possibilities offered by this inexpensive tool. Impact Background Reflector, welcome to the toolbox. I expect to use this often.
Impact Background Reflector for Impact/Bowens Mount Strobes
This Impact Background Reflector for Impact/Bowens Mount Strobes is a sconce-shaped light modifier that outputs an oval, fan-like beam of light that is ideal for placing behind the subject for even lighting of the background. Alternately, you can place it closer to the background for a corona or graduated effect or backlight the subject to separate him or her from the background. The reflector has handy clips to attach gels and diffusion material and a rotation mechanism that allows you to vary the direction of the light.