Flash diffuser queastion

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by flyin-lowe, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe TPF Noob!

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    I recently got a speedlight 430 EX for my camera. I have seen the square diffuser that run about $10.00 and snap on the end of the flash. Are these worth the money or is there something else out there that people recommend.

    I am a noob and mainly taking pictures indoors and outdoors of my children, and some of the family kids.
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    I have one but don't really use it much. I prefer to use a bounce card or a empty alcohol bottle.

    A Better Bounce Card. You can actually make your own with white Fun Foam from a craft store and a big rubber band.
     
  3. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I would say just make sure you are bouncing the flash when you can, giving you directional light. If you cannot bounce it, the omni-bounce (plastic diffuser for the flash head) is probably a good choice. Let me give you a link that will definitely help improve your flash photography with your 430EX: www.planetneil.com There is some very useful info. here if you take a bit of time to read it.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    If you can't bounce, the 'Omni-Bounce' is completely useless.

    Like most flash 'accessories', the Omni-bounce is meant to spread the light out or at least separate it so that while some goes out to bouce (off of a ceiling for example) some of it also goes directly to the subject or to other surfaces for bouncing. The Lightsphere, for example, spreads light in all directions, with the hope that it will hit something and bounce back.

    If you have nothing to bounce the light off of...then the only light you use, is the portion of it that goes directly to the subject, the rest is wasted....and wasted light means more power is used which means slower recycle times and faster battery consumption.
     
  5. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    Good point! The only reason I suggested this is because I figured less direct flash is better than too much direct flash (but with that, one could just dial down their speedlite :blushing:

    Then I guess the next best thing (in that case) would be to use a deflector to bounce the flash into, so that all of the light isnt direct, producing those hard shadows and flat lighting.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The only way to make light 'softer', is to enlarge the source or move it closer to the subject. Putting a translucent 'something' in front if it won't make it softer unless it's significatnly larger then the light source in the first place.

    So looking at the omni-bounce, it's not really any bigger than the flash head/lens, so it won't soften the light.

    By bouncing the light, the bounce surface becomes the light source, and it's likely a lot larger than the flash head, thus you get nice soft light. Not to mention that you probably get bet light direction than light from the same angle as the camera.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Indoors, you should be able to just bounce the bare flash off a wall or other surface. Outdoors is trickier, and you can get away with a little direct flash as fill, but a diffuser of some sort will yield better results. I tend to use a QuikBounce when I'm running and gunning outdoors and can't be bothered to mess with the flash off camera on a shoe-to-shoe cord, and a SoftBox when it's off-camera on the cord and I can direct it with my hand.

    That said, a piece of foam and hair elastic or similar would easily suffice in either situation.
     
  8. RJohnston

    RJohnston TPF Noob!

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    Many times bouncing means deep shadows in the eyes in shots of people. So its good to practice setting up in an area where you get light bounced from a wall as well as a ceiling. On problem with bounce though, is it picks up the color of walls its bounced off.

    My solution was a strobe with a removable metal reflector. I bounce it off the ceiling, but then by trial and error drilled 1/8 inch holes in a side that gets rotated so its facing the subject. Drilled 5 holes before I finished. So two or three 1/4 inch holes would have done the same.

    Drilled them right next to the flash tube.
    It not only works as a fill light, but adds a highlight in the eyes.
     

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