Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand

    | Photography Tips | 31/10/2012 02:00am
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    Flash photography tips: using flash diffusers

     

    Child photography tips: attach a diffuser

    A flash diffuser is a good alternative to bounce flash and works in a similar way by spreading out hard, directional light into a larger, omni-directional source.

    This minimises red-eye, weakens shadows and creates softer, more flattering lighting. Taking diffused flash off-camera enables you to create even more natural results.

    You can buy various types of diffusers for external flashguns. High-end flashguns often ship with a translucent diffusion dome, which looks a bit like a plastic ice-cream carton and fits snugly over the flash head.

    If you don’t have one, try the white, green and gold Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce diffusers, which are available for different makes and sizes of flashgun. LumiQuest makes a similar device called the UltraBounce and a built-in pop-up flash diffuser called the Soft Screen.

    For a dirt-cheap substitute, tape some tracing paper or soft tissue over your flash window. Or you can follow our popular DIY Photography Hacks tutorial to make a simple foam diffuser for your flashgun.

    To create a more powerful diffusion effect you need a miniature softbox, such as LumiQuest’s Softbox or Mini Softbox. Lastolite also makes a mini Micro Apollo softbox in three different sizes that attaches to any make of flashgun with Velcro.

    For the ultimate in soft, shadow-free lighting, combine off-camera bounce flash with a diffuser, adding a wide-angle adapter for even greater diffusion.

    This method’s great for close-ups and portrait work, but because diffusers also reduce flash output by up to two stops, you could be looking at a light loss of five stops in total.

    Products like the LumiQuest UltraSoft overcome this problem by combining a mini reflector and diffuser in one completely enclosed modifier that keeps light loss to just two stops.

    PAGE 1: Overview of external flash units
    PAGE 2: Off-camera flash
    PAGE 3: Replicate studio lighting with two flashguns
    PAGE 4: Bounce flash techniques
    PAGE 5: White bounce cards
    PAGE 6: Using flash diffusers
    PAGE 7: Wireless flash
    PAGE 8: External flash photography cheat sheet

    READ MORE

    Free portrait lighting cheat sheet
    Digital camera effects from A-Z


    Posted on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 2:00 am under Photography Tips.

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