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A Better Reflector:The "Do It Yourself Marshall Reflector" does things that other reflectors can't.

3/30/2024 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

 As a portrait photographer, understanding light is crucial for creating stunning images. Light sculpts your subjects, enhances their features, and evokes emotions. But manipulating natural light isn't always easy. That's where a high-quality reflector comes in.
In this article, we'll introduce you to the Marshall Reflector, a versatile tool designed by photographer Warren Marshall specifically to address the shortcomings of traditional reflectors.
Why Use the Marshall Reflector?

  • More Than Just Reflection: While traditional reflectors offer basic functionality, the Marshall Reflector goes beyond. It boasts a unique design with multiple surfaces for various lighting effects.
  • Control the Light: Unlike traditional reflectors with limited adjustability, the Marshall Reflector allows you to control the softness and intensity of light for precise manipulation.
  • Easy to Use: Forget wrestling with bulky, awkward reflectors. The Marshall Reflector's innovative design makes it quick to set up and adjust, even for beginners.
  • Double Duty: The Marshall Reflector isn't just a reflector; it's a multi-functional tool. Use its flat surface as a groundsheet to keep your gear clean or block unwanted light with the black side.
  • Creative Possibilities: Unleash your creativity with the Marshall Reflector's viewing hole. Shoot through it for unique lighting effects or utilize the various gobos (light-shaping tools) to achieve dramatic results.

Key Features of the Marshall Reflector

A Better Reflector:The "Do It Yourself Marshall Reflector" does things that other reflectors can't.
  • Dual-Sided Core: Choose between white and black color (used as gray) for precise light control.
  • Black Surface: Block unwanted light or add dimension to your subject's face.
  • Viewing Hole: Lets your assistant see exactly how the light is falling on your subject for perfect positioning.
  • Collapsible Design: Folds flat for easy storage and transportation.

How to Use the Marshall Reflector

The Marshall Reflector offers a wide range of functionalities. Here are some examples covered in the article:

  • Standard Reflector: Reflect light back onto your subject to fill in shadows and create a softer look.
  • Clamshell Lighting: Achieve beautiful glamour light by positioning the reflector above and below your subject.
  • Open Shade: Create a flattering effect with soft light on the front of the face by using the black side as a top light blocker.
  • Background Control: Use the white or black side as a background for a studio-like look even when shooting outdoors.
  • Light Balance Tool: Utilize the white side to correct color balance in post-processing.

Building Your Own Marshall Reflector (Optional)

The article acknowledges that the Marshall Reflector is a prototype. It provides a brief overview of the materials and construction process for those interested in building their own.


The Marshall Reflector is a game-changer for portrait photographers seeking more control and creative freedom with light. Its versatility, ease of use, and innovative features make it an invaluable addition to any photographer's toolkit.

Video and images via Newcastle Photography College