Best way to diffuse light with a fixed flash?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Patm1313, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    If you have a pop-up flash on your camera, and thus can't point it in a different direction than what you're shooting, then how do you diffuse the flash?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could use something like THIS
     
  3. Rogan

    Rogan TPF Noob!

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    i saw something a lady at a gig i was shooting had.

    it was like what big mike posted but taller, like vertical, and it looked like it worked very well, she had it on a pop-up flash on one of her cameras and a speedlight on the other
     
  4. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    There's no home made ways to do that? $20 seems a bit pricey, but if it's my only option I m may try it.
     
  5. Mike30D

    Mike30D TPF Noob!

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  6. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

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  7. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Keep in mind that simply by putting something opaque in front of the flash, you are not necessarily making the light any softer. The softness of light is determined by size and distance to the subject. So the point of things like 'the puffer' is to increase the size of the light source.

    Either way, when you use something like this, you block a fair amount of light and also destroy the beam like properties that it has coming from the flash head...so your range (power) is severely reduced...and the pop up isn't very powerful to start with.

    My suggestion, if you must you your pop up flash, is to just use it as is...and maybe play with the FEC if you think it's too bright for your situation.
     
  9. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Before I had any external flash, and all I had was the onboard, I'd often crank the flash compensation way up, then put my hand or a piece of white carboard at an angle in front of the flash, so that it would bounce away and come back as a nice fill. It's crude but it works and it looks better than ANY diffuser with direct-to-subject light.

    Direct flash, NEVER looks good, diffused or not. If it's only onboard, then always always bounce at least.
     
  10. Patm1313

    Patm1313 TPF Noob!

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    Considering that most of my subject will be within 2 feet of the camera when I need the flash, a less powerful flash is fine with me.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You really shouldn't have had to crank the FEC way up for that because with auto flash metering, the camera meters the light that gets into the lens. So if you forced the light to bounce first, the camera would still meter the light and tell the flash to use as much power as it needed to get the exposure. It might mean that it's firing on full power because of the bounce...but it should have worked that way.

    By cranking the FEC, it will want to overexpose the scene with flash...whether it's bounced or not. Although, I'm guessing that the pop-up on most cameras would not have enough power to bounce and over expose by a couple stops...so it probably worked out for you.

    Now if you were controlling the flash manually, (no auto metering) then cranking it up would be the way to go.
     
  12. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Oh I suppose you're right. The preflash metering would have noticed that the subject wasn't getting as much light as it should and would have cranked the flash for me.

    Thanks for making me aware of that, even if I'll probably never shoot that way ever again.
     

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