Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand
Flash photography tips: using flash diffusers
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
Free portrait lighting cheat sheet
Digital camera effects from A-Z
on Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 2:00 am under Photography Tips.
Tags: bounce flash, camera tips, flash, hot, photography cheat sheet