Turn a Used Candy Box Into a Mirrored Pop-Up Flash Bounce Reflector

Want to improve the quality of the photos captured using your DSLR’s popup flash? Tina (AKA synthetic_meat) discovered that the cardboard box that came with a particular brand of chocolate had a nice silver lining on the inside — perfect for making a mirrored bounce reflector! After some cutting, scoring, and folding, she came up with a DIY Lightscoop clone that lets you bounce your onboard flash off the ceiling or wall for softer and more appealing images. You can download the free template to make your own in both A4 and Letter formats.

Here are some sample shots showing what the reflector can do. Bounced photo is on the left, while no flash and direct flash can be seen on the right:

If you can’t find any silver-lined cardboard, you can also use standard cardboard or card stock and line it yourself with aluminum foil.

(via Lifehacker)

Image credit: New: now with template! foldable recycled mirror popup flash bouncer by synthetic_meat and used with permission

  • Zefanya Hanata

    I usually used a velcro to attach a card or aluminium cloth/foil to the flash. It can stick stronger and is a lot smaller than this…..

  • fototastic

    This reminds me of my quick and cheap way to make a macro flash back in 2008 using my old Canon PowerShot S2

  • Tina

    That’s a nice idea too, and what I used at first; and the original Lightscoop is a similar design with only one mirror at the front as well. 

    But I figured that reflective metal surfaces on every side all around the flash picks up more of the flash power to direct it upwards and forwards, so less light is lost to the back and sides. Theoretically. I’m not sure it makes a lot of a difference in practice, but I like to think so.

  • Mantis

    Cue the people who love to to cry & whine about “cheap looking DIY photo gear”.

  • Zefanya Hanata

    I tried that too but I can’t see the difference if you angle the bounce 90 degrees north.

  • Tina

    You may be right. I was curious to try for real. I took a strip of the same silver-lined cardstock I had used for my enclosed bouncer and attached it in front of the flash. My test shots show a difference, but not the one I expected: instead of more light, the enclosed bouncer (as seen above in the original post) seems to produce a more even light, while the single mirror strip makes the light come from only straight above. (see )
    It may be an issue with the angle I used (I held it up with my hand at approximately 45 degrees, no velcro while you mention 90 degrees?), with the enclosed bouncer having one that lets light bounce behind the photographer, and bouncing back into the face of the subject from the front, while the single-mirror strip leaves the eye sockets a bit dark (at least in my shot). I guess it depends on what you need in a specific situation. I’ll keep both modifiers in my bag :).