Diffusers

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Blackswann, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Blackswann

    Blackswann TPF Noob!

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    Hi Guys

    I need some advice whether or not to buy a diffuser for my flash gun. I take quite a few indoor portrait and full body shots for personal and semi-pro use... question is... do they make any difference? I have found by 'bouncing' the flash off the ceiling/walls I am getting quite a bit of solid light and still creating shadows.

    I have tried using a make shift reflector but still am unhappy. Any thoughts and advice would be very much appreciated

    Thanks!
     
  2. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    Well, they soften the light. Have you tested the effects out by putting tracing paper over the flash? It's cheaper and you can change the strength of it by changing how many sheets thick you use it.

    If you only use one light source you will get shadows no matter what you do.
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Yes it makes a tremendous difference if you are unable to bounce! It stops two big things - eyes going funny and shiny cheeks. It also helps reduce burn-out on the highlights if you are very close to your subject.

    Stick a few rizlas to the front of the flash, or as above, make one out of cardboard and tracing paper which is about 8" square. If that works for you, decide whether you want to look more professional with a commercial version of the same.

    Generally though, use bounce if you can, check your flash gun's guide number to see if it's going to have enough whoompfh and use the cosine law (see FAQ) to approximate light drop-off.
     
  4. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    Check out Adorama for their Strobo-socks. They slip over the head of your flash and act as mini softboxes. I bought a pair and absolutely love them. They help quite a bit and are really easy to put on and take off.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Diffusers and small soft boxes are better than nothing, although I prefer bouncing the flash off the ceiling if I can. I have a thing called an 80-20; it bounces 80% of the light off the ceiling, and 20% of the light directly at the subject. It works great. I think it's made by Promax.

    The bigger the light source, the softer the shadows.
     

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