The following article about how to build a homemade reflector stand was contributed by Brian Zimmerman. You will want to use a reflector if you only have one light source, or in other cases where you want to eliminate shadows from a dark place and don’t have a flash to place there. The trick is how to place this reflector in the most effective way.
Homemade Reflector Stand Introduction
This reflector panel holder made of 3/4″ PVC pipe is handy if you have a spare tripod to use. The tripod provides a stable base that can be adjust for height and tilt angle. Reflector is the collapseable type used for an auto windshield (31 x 38″). It may also be possible to build a stand from PVC.
Reflector Stand Instructions
Here’s another idea for an alternative way for attaching my PVC holder to an old tripod, which could work if the head is broken or it does not have a strong metal head… Remove the tripod head assembly so only the top vertical pole remains on the tripod, then use a size of PVC that slips over the top pole and fasten by drilling two holes a few inches apart through both PVC pipe and tripod pole, and secure with nuts and bolts. Attach my reflector holder to that PVC pipe, using an extra T-connector, plus a size-reducing bushing if necessary to accomodate a different diameter of PVC pipe. The only disadvantage with this is you loose the tilting action in the head, but you could still adjust for height, plus adjust the legs for a small amount of tilt if needed (usually close to vertical will work for most portraits anyway).
Another idea for holding the reflector panel might be to slit an approximately 1-ft length of PVC pipe lengthwise (or slit twice to remove a 1/4″ strip for a wider opening), then use two of these as crosspieces and bolt them to a vertical PVC pipe which could slip over any vertical pole. The thinner PVC (schedule 25?, not schedule 40) might work better for the crosspieces and be easier to cut. Attach the top piece with the slit pointing down and the bottom piece with the slit pointing up, then slide the reflector panel inside the slits. A longer vertical pipe with extra hole(s) near the top could be used for a different size reflector(s).
Auto reflector packaging – Front.
Auto reflector packaging – Back.
© 2002 Brian L. Zimmerman, BLZphotos.com