Hack Your Reflector By Cutting a Hole in the Middle
Friday, March 18, 2016
By Elizabeth Walker
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This is a great idea. Ken has asked me to hold a reflector so many times! A suggestion by PhotoBiz would be to get a car windshield reflector before cutting up a perfectly good reflector. Elizabeth



This is the cheapest yet most effective photography hack I can think of. Step one: get disc reflector. Step two: cut lens-sized hole in said reflector. Step three: profit.

Seriously though, there is almost no reason to not do this hack. It’s one that I briefly showed in my “make the most of what you have” post published here last month, and in this post I’ll flesh out the idea a bit more.

First of all, the reflector’s fabric is really tough which means the hole will not spread. Secondly, the reflector can still be used traditionally, even with a hole in it.

1- the hack

The only issue that ever arises is if I am using the reflector to block the sun — now there is a spot of hard sunlight poking through. This problem is easily remedied: get a second reflector.

But… but… what about the Omega Reflector™??? Well, since you asked, not only is the Omega reflector around $100, it also requires the use of an assistant or reflector stand to use. I can operate a hacked reflector by myself.



The camera lens holds the reflector in place, allowing me to use my non-camera hand to angle the reflector to the desirable position. Full disclosure: I use a cheap light rig (the Cactus RF60) and a hacked reflector but I have a really nice lens.

As long as you know how to get a proper exposure with your camera, the lens is the only thing that really matters. This is where I recommend photographers invest their money. Not only is a nice lens sturdier than a cheap lens but they also hold their value. You can resell them years later for what you paid for them, if they are properly taken care of.

All that to say, I use a Canon 85mm f/1.2L II lens, which allows me to shoot at a shallow depth of field and still get a sharp image. When it comes to gear, I travel extremely light and use the elements of wherever I am shooting to help shape my light.

For example, rather than lugging a soft box to a shoot, I take an unmodified flash, placing it behind my subject and firing it into a neutral colored wall behind them. I then use the hacked reflector for a fill light. This gives you a nice, ethereal looking portrait.

You can read more at Peta Pixel, http://petapixel.com/2016/02/22/hack-reflector-cutting-hole-middle/.

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