Home made reflectors

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by denny_kyser, May 26, 2004.

  1. What can you use to make reflectors?? Looking for some way to keep me
    shooting throuh sunny periods.. the few we have here in NW Pa.
  2. Foam core is a great, cheap reflector. It's essentially 2 pieces of posterboard sandwiching a piece of foam for rigidity. It's often found in office and art supply stores. Tape some aluminum foil to it, and you have a silver reflector.

    For more portable options, I've used silver collapsable windshield screens from an auto parts store. It's like if Photoflex sold their Lite Discs 2 for $10, rather than $50 each.
  3. White foam core works well. I got a big sheet of it for a few bucks at Home Depot in the insulation section (on one of the windiest days of the year, unfortunately: I must have been quite a sight trying to get the thing, which makes a very efficient sail, out to my car ). It's easy to cut to whatever sizes and shapes you want.
  4. Thanks guys, one more question.. any tips on positioning them when your on your own?
  5. In terms of positioning them when you're on your own, you can either tape or clamp them to a light stand (I like to use an old tripod as they are more stable and you can clamp the reflector to the center post and two legs to keep it from rotating) or buy one of the ready-made reflector holders put out by several manufacturers. The professionally-made units do a lot better in wind, but no matter what you have holding it down, it doesn't usually take more than a moderate breeze to make any reflector an unviable tool. -BC-
  6. For a 'hot' reflector there's nothing better than survival blanket. That's the silvered plastic film that's used to wrap up climbers who are suffering from exposure. It's cheap and readily available from climbing and outdoor pursuits suppliers.
  7. You can also use silver Lamay (I'm not sure how to spell it) found at a fabric store. Put an elastic band across the corners on an angle. Build a stand out of pvc pipe. I am in the process of making one right now. I haven't tested this, but I know a lot of photographers who have and love it. I am also making it reversable with gold on the other side.
  8. Something that I made some very handy reflectors out of is a sunshade made for automobiles. I'm referring to the type that are stored as a circular shape (about a foot in diameter) and pop open to a round-cornered rectangle. I got the silvered type. The surface is quite crinkled (like crumpling aluminum foil and then pulling it out straight), and does a fair job of diffusing the light that it is reflecting.

    I made a couple of adaptors for cheap light stands so that I can position the reflectors on arms to just about any position I might need (indoors with no wind). The reflectors are held to the adaptors with kitchen clips (the type designed to hold a bag of potato chips closed).

  9. Here is an idea to warm up skin tones - Take the fold up auto sun shade in silver and add random gold 1" round stickers to it - give skin tone a glow like a suntan.
    Play around with number of these "dots" to increase or decrease the warming effect.
    Why pay $150 for a gold/silver reflector.

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