The Poor Man’s Fill Light

January 5, 2011

Reflectors are one of the best tools in a photographer’s camera bag, but if you can’t afford one or are working with limited resources, aluminum foil makes a great stand-in.

In the photo above I just have a piece of foil that’s been re-used a hundred times hanging off a chair. It’s facing my window and bouncing the natural light back onto my plate, helping to reduce the shadows.

Ideally you’ll want to use relatively smooth foil and tape it to a tri-folded piece of cardboard (think Science Fair). I was working fast, so I just grabbed a piece of foil out of my kitchen drawer.

It’s not exactly rocket science, but PetaPixel has a great tutorial for all you visual learners out there.

Oh! And for the record: This was Lunch 1-3-2011. French bread toasted with whipped cream cheese, chopped basil and thick-sliced sopressata.

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Actions: Powder, Simpler Simon
Available soon through K. Miller Actions.

Great idea! Thanks for the link to the tutorial.

I love the lighting in your work…foil is the best!

[] Oh, and I WOULD! I’m always looking for folks to have over so I can make dinner or lunch for. It feeds my maternal instincts without all that messy motherhood business. :P

i adore your photography. more importantly if i lived near you i’d just want you to feed me. all. the. time.

i think it (aluminum foil) helps you get rescued off the side of a snowy mountain as well.
pretty handy stuff. wonder if there’s 101 uses for it. ;)

I use aluminum foil as a reflector all the time!!! I love it.

Yum! What kind of cheese do you use with salami? I never know what to have!

That looks yummy!
And I’ve been using aluminum bbq plates and an aluminum car shield thingie as reflectors as well haha!
It sure is handy.. and thanks for that tutorial.. interesting still! :)

ooh the foil did a nice job here!

and this sandwich looks so simple and perfect. man i want lunch already now…