The 5 Minutes, $1.50 Reflector And How To Use It

Jul 4, 2015

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

The 5 Minutes, $1.50 Reflector And How To Use It

Jul 4, 2015

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

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Feature-image-reflector-title

I’ve already used those DIY reflectors in a couple of my articles but I’ve never actually did a full post explaining how they are built and used. I want to show you how easy it is to make this reflector and how useful it can be. Definitely a good use for $1.50. It actually takes around 5 minutes to make it and you can make it as big or small as you need.

What you will need

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How to do it:

Step 1 – setting size

Cut a piece of the foam (or illustration) board the size you want. I make mine quite small because I mostly use them for my still life photography.

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Step 2 – foil

Cut a bigger piece of aluminium foil or silver gift wrapping paper. I used aluminium foil before but have used silver gift wrapping paper when I had non available (don’t ask).

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Step 3 – matching

There are two ways to do this. If you have double stick tape you can just put double stick tape on the board and stick the aluminum foil to it.

If you only have good old regular tape, fold the aluminium to the back of the board and tape it. Do this for all sides. If you have excess foil or wrapper on the sides, just cut it away.

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Step 4 – placement

Use your clamp or binder clip to make your mini reflector stand.

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After that your done! Gotta admit, well spent 5 minutes and several cents. Making a few of those will probably set ou back a buck fifty.

Testing out the 5 minutes reflector

First, have a look on how adding a few of this those little reflectors can impact your photo

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For this test I used one light thru a softbox on the right, facing the subject

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I placed a DIY reflector on the opposite side of the softbox to fill in the shadows.

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I placed another one just beside the camera to get some highlight near the shutter and and more fill on the grip.

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To get some “catchlights” on the lens, I carefully placed a reflector in front of the camera and angled it so that I got some nice catchlights and a little bit fill light on the lens itself.

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Lastly, my last reflector went on the left-back side of the camera to get some highlight on the side of the the camera and also some highlights on the left side of the lens hood.

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Final Image

Here are some examples of using this reflector on previous tutorials.

A really big diy reflector: Build A $300 Music Stand Triflector For $29

5min reflector examples1

How To Shoot A Watch Using One Light And All The DIY Gear In The World

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Tips On Getting Gradient Reflection On Reflective Surfaces Part 2

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5min reflector examples3

How To Perfectly Capture Steam In Food Photography

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5min reflector examples2

How To Create The Perfect Milk Splash In The Studio

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You can also use this reflector to get some back light on your subject by reflecting the main light: How To Shoot The Perfect Perfume Shot Using El Bokeh Wall

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Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

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8 responses to “The 5 Minutes, $1.50 Reflector And How To Use It”

  1. Tony Avatar
    Tony

    US dollars are written with 2 decimal places when using cents, ie, $1.50

    1. Vladimir Avatar
      Vladimir

      Dude? Really? All that you can say about this awesome piece of shared lighting knowledge is an error in decimal places? You have to be kidding.. right?

      1. Tony Avatar
        Tony

        I didn’t mean to hurt any feelings, just letting the author know.

        1. udi tirosh Avatar
          udi tirosh

          none taken :) fixed.

  2. Ken Young Avatar
    Ken Young

    I use a silver sunshade from the car. when I need a bigger one, I use the one from my motor home.

  3. SHolland Avatar
    SHolland

    These are splendid photography tips that I’m going to share at my website/blog, The Creative Seller, this morning! Some good info in comments too. Thanks!

  4. Eyewear photography Avatar
    Eyewear photography

    Great típ.
    I use small reflector on left side of sunglasses.
    https://eyewear-photography.com/collections/sunglasses/products/vo5165sf-2575-8h

  5. Van Nguyen Avatar
    Van Nguyen

    Thank you for useful tips