DIY Flash Reflector


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Soon after I got my fancy-schmancy camera a couple of years ago, Jamie Worley’s husband Ken taught me a nifty little trick for angling a napkin or a piece of paper in front of my camera’s built-in flash to bounce the light. This avoids the harsh light that often results from a built-in flash.

It’s a handy little trick, but not always easy to pull off because it leaves you doing everything else one-handed.

A couple of nights ago, I started searching for an alternative after seeing how much better a shot – especially indoors – can be when the flash light is bounced off the ceiling rather than whatever you’re shooting. See?

built-in flash

(without a reflector)

with reflecgtor

(using a legal pad as a reflector)

I was so impressed with the difference that I decided I wanted to rig up something easy that wouldn’t require me to shoot one-handed. That’s when I remembered that I had some craft foam pieces left from when I made my homemade light box.

With the help of my handy-dandy razor knife, I soon had this:

flash reflector

Cheap and simple DIY flash reflector. I use the rubber band to hold it on my camera at about a  45 degree angle under my flash.

camera 1

camera 2

camera 3

Check out the difference it makes:

built-in flash without reflector

(without)

built-in flash with diy reflector

(with)

See how much more even the light is? Look at these:

built-in flash without reflector

(without)

built-in flash with diy reflector

(with – Look! No crazy pet eyes!)

The second one is a bit darker, but I can do a lot more with it without the pet eyes and the harsh light. See?

peanut

peanut 2

So, there you have – more tips from your friendly, neighborhood, hobbyist photographer on making better photos for your blog with a cheap DIY flash reflector.

Have you ever experimented with reflecting or diffusing the flash with your camera’s built-in flash? Did you discover anything that worked really well?

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8 Comments

  1. I can’t quite picture (sorry) how the reflector attaches to your camera. Any chance you could take a picture of it with another camera? I do agree, it makes a big difference.

    BTW, I meant to ask yesterday. What is the game with the marbles? It looks familiar, but I can’t place it.

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    1. Sarah,

      I added some photos to show how the reflector is attached to the camera. It’s high-tech stuff, be warned. 😉

      The game with the marbles is Aggravation – a really old version. It’s a family favorite.

  2. Kris,

    Thanks for the pictures of the camera.

    Aggravation. It looks so familiar, so I know I must have played it. Sometimes the older versions are the best.

    Thanks for clearing up how the reflector was attached.

    Sarah

  3. Thank you for sharing!!! Love it and can’t wait to try it, will help with skin tones too( for us really pale people) LOL!
    Thanks!

  4. Kris great tips! My husband uses this trick in TV production it’s called white balance. But I hadn’t thought to use it for photography. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 Daniele Evans clued me in to your post.

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