Inbuilt Flash Diffuser?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by laam999, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. laam999

    laam999 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I would like to ask you guys if you nkow of anything I can use to diffuse the light on my inbuilt flash to prevent the harsh shadows that result from the flash light.

    I like taking photos using my flash as it help with problems of exposure etc and lets me take photos where I would not be able to get the picture i was aiming for, this is espccially true for portrait style phots I am trying to improve at.

    Since I cannot afford a stand alone flash I have been searching the internet for some ideas for either makeshift flash diffusers or a product I can buy. I have tested many of the makeshift ideas and find they make little or no difference to the actual shadow. I have seen online many purpose built inbuilt flash diffusers but have found very mixed reviews on them and can not find any side by side comparision shots to try and make a decision for myself.



    Secondly I would like to ask if there are ways to remove these harsh shadows from an image, of at least soften them up so they have a smaller effect of then ending photos.

    Here is a sample image of what I mean by the shadows.

    [​IMG]


    To let you all know my camera is a Canon 350D (Rebel XT I belive its called in the USA) and the software I have is both lightroom 1.4 and photoshop CS3.

    Thanks for any help.

    -laam-
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not much that can be done for the shadows in your present set up, other than to separate the subject from the wall further. For a diffuser, I'd suggest a piece of translucent plastic, such as the type that rubbing alcohol, bleach, or other chemicals sometimes come in.
     
  3. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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  4. Photonic Harmony

    Photonic Harmony TPF Noob!

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    You could mask out the harsh shadows in Photoshop, but it's a fiddly job, especially with the hair.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Toilet paper :)
    seriously get a few folds of white toilet paper and secure them infront of the flash - cheap and effective
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I actually do this when I'm at bars some times. I have friends that want me to shoot them with their P&S since I'm "the photographer". I usually grab a napkin and hold it infront of the flash. They're like WTF? And I usually let them know that either they're too drunk or it's too technical for them and they just nod their heads and continue on.
     
  7. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I will definitely be using this and the toilet paper method until I can afford a speedlite+diffuser. Does anyone know what brand of film comes in these opaque canisters? Last time I ever bought film, it was Kodak and I think it was in a black canister. Is Fuji film in the opaque one? Maybe I'll try the 99cent store film.
     
  8. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    You know what worked on my E-510's flash?

    An empty dental floss... thingy. I took some tweezers and pulled the inside floss mechanism out, stuck it on my flash, and voila. You might need to tear the lid off of the floss container to fit your pop-up, but I didn't have to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
  9. KD5NRH

    KD5NRH TPF Noob!

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    Also, go to WalMart or a craft store and look for some make-your-own-stencil material; it's thin, frosted looking plastic, but stiff enough to use for diffusers. I cut a piece that just fits in one of the pockets of my camera bag, and hold it in front of the popup if I don't have time to do anything better.

    I also cut a couple strips of the stuff about 8"x3", put Velcro dots at the ends, and the other part of the Velcro on the sides of my Sunpak DS20s - diffused cheapie slaves without spending nearly as much on diffusers as I did on the strobes.
     
  10. ksmattfish

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

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    Here are instructions on using a business card as a bouncer with a pop-up flash.

    http://www.diyphotography.net/the-party-bouncer-is-back-in-business

    I've seen a few diffusers designed for pop-up flash (you'll probably get better search results using the key words "pop up" rather than "inbuilt"). I would tend to agree with the above posts that DIY solutions work just as good.
     
  11. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was just playing around with this exact concept no more than 5 minutes ago. I had a question about flash and came to the forum and saw this. I have a piece of a milk jug that I cut so it slips below the popup flash and loops up around and slides in the seam behind the flash. I was just taking test shots right before jumping on the forum here for another question.
     
  12. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    Built-in Flash; cheapo mod tests.
    The Japanese doll is about 4 feet in front of the wall. All photos have been altered only to adjust white balance and exposure.

    Unmodified

    [​IMG]

    Toilet Paper Mod -
    Wrapped single ply toilet paper 8 times around the flash. Thanks Overread.

    [​IMG]

    Business Card Deflector Mod - Business card used as a deflector. Thanks ksmattfish.

    [​IMG]

    So far, the Business Card Deflector method works quite well. Only draw back is that it uses the ceiling to bounce the flash off of. This methods doesn't work so well when turning the camera sideways and taking a vertical shot.

    I've also noticed that a flash reflection is noticeable in the upper left of the unmoded and toilet paper moded shots. There was a framed picture on the wall just 2 feet left and 2 feet above the doll's shadow.

    When I get a film canister, I shall be adding that test in later. Thank you to all who have contributed to this thread. I has helped me and hopefully others.
     

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