If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we are a big fans of reflectors. I would say that the 5-in-1 reflector is probably one of the most useful items a photographer can have in their bag. It is cheap and can serve for shade, a backdrop in a pinch and, of course, reflecting light.
The only caveat with the 5-in-1 is that it is usually a rather smallish item. Maybe 43″ in diameter.
Using Bigger Screens
Sometimes you just need something bigger. Say like, 10 feet. This will get you a great bounced light for on location shoots, assuming you can anchor it down (I usually use two light stands), or provide a nice patch of shade.
This is how I use my impact screen (reviewed here) – mounted between two small light stands. It is used as a backdrop in this setup, but using it as a bounce is just a matter of where it is placed and how much anchoring it needs.
Reader Ken Young sent us this tip about a cheap and portable alternative that can go all the way to 4′ X 10′.
His idea was to use a Multi-Purpose Foil as a huge reflector and I gotta say it looks like a sweet idea.
While I have not used one of those huge foils, I used their smaller cosines, the windshield covers. They are very easy to handle, highly reflective (yet somewhat diffused due to the pattern on them), and fold flat for storage.
But Why Stop There?
Once you tap into the world of camping, there are plenty of supplies you can use as makeshift flags, bouncers and shades.
Consider this outdoor wind break from SwissGear. It even has loops on the sides of the wall just begging to go through a light stand.
Or this 10′ X 10′ canopy for instant on location shad.
I would love to hear if you know of any other camping items that can be borrowed for photography.