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DIY Sunday, flash diffuser

  • Posted April 4, 2009 by Mark Viewed 2011 times

OK, another boring Sunday coming up. Here's a do it yourself activity for your playtime leisure.
My friend revenant recently had a comprehensive and conscientious tutorial [photoblog.com] on how to get the most out of flash photography.
But what if you are a lazy, cheapskate philistine who doesn't want to pay hundreds of dollars for a flashgun and doesn't know what tungsten lighting is or where to hunt down strips of colored gelatine?
May I suggest a piece of waxpaper? It doen't totally neutralise a useless built in flash but there is a noticable improvement.

Godaweful flash

Impossible conditions for any flash, extreme wide angle (10 mm) varying distances to subjects

Add some waxpaper …

Voila! Noticably less harsh light and better colours at the cost of underexposed corners.

The diffusor is more obviously useful in combination with better composition. Notice no red eyes despite flash straight on at close quarters.

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    There are 10 comments, add yours!

    • # Igor

      i like DIY stuff! it's cheap and fun! and it works sometime too! :o) i have all my diffusers DIY!

      2009.04.07 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Monika

      I HATE flash! bought a diffuser for my nikon speedlight lately (appr. 60sfr) actually similar concept like your diy idea, makes a lot difference (http://www.hama.de/tools/advanced_search/index.hsp) but if really necessery I use flash indirectly (pointed at roof or walls). your family looks tolerant and immune to your experiments :-)

      2009.04.06 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Dragana Jurisic

      oh sorry, its on the camera, you can also stick some magic tape directly on, it works similar to wax paper

      2009.04.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Dragana Jurisic

      the best tip i have for you, if you can rotate flash head 180 degrees is to bounce the flash behind you so the flash is pointed away from your subject.

      2009.04.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Brian

      Great post. I will definately try this. And this didn't have all the big fancy words that Stefan used in his recent post:)

      2009.04.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Arun Dasgupta

      I check the blog of revenant, and your comment too, it's nice to learn about creative use flash light, it's pros and cons. Thanks. These shots are beautiful, especially the last one.

      2009.04.04 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Stefan Fletcher

      Thanks for the plug. It was a comprehensive list of mistakes, rather. I see your family has exactly the same resigned expression as mine when I force / bribe / con them into posing: "there he goes again..."
      I would offer another quick and cheap solution: cigarette papers, which can also be used to clean lenses.
      Cute kids, by the way.

      2009.04.04 Edited Reply Cancel

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