Simple but More Resistant DIY Aluminum Foil Reflector

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By Johannes Wienke

Since some time I kept a small piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil in my camera bag as an always-with-me reflector, e.g. for flower photography. This is a well known thing and the effect is great. However, I had the problem that the aluminum foil is not very resistant and after some time starts peel off the cardboard. So I was thinking how to make things a bit more resilient with stuff available in the household.

Aluminum peeling off the cardboard

The solution I came up with is to us a transparent sheet protector (punched pocket) for carrying around the cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil. This way the reflector hopefully last longer. Along with the cardboard I also put a white paper into the sheet protector to have a second reflector type for some variation. Here is a short photo walk-through of the creation process:

The required ingredients: aluminum foil, a piece of cardboard (pink color is not required), a sheet protector, and a sheet of white paper.
Cut the aluminum foil to cover the cardboard.
Wrap it around the cardboard.
Slide things into the sheet protector. Et voilà.

The resulting reflector fits easily into the pocket of my photo bag (Vanguard Up-Rise 33).

Reflector fitting into the photo bag

Here is a test shot I did with the reflector to show the effect of the two sides.

Without reflector.
Silver side.
White side.

This was the setup used for the photos:

Setup shot