New Flash


TPF Noob!
Jan 1, 2009
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I am going to first admit that I don't know anything about flash photography, but I DO know that I feel limited without one and am ready to make the jump. My husband is getting me the 580 EX II for my birthday next week, but I was wondering about diffusers. I see most are around $15...pretty cheap, but then there is the Harbor Digital Design "Ultimate Lightbox Diffuser" and it is over $100. Could someone tell me if a "lightbox" as opposed to a "diffuser" makes that much of a difference on the end of a flash? Is the lightbox meant to be attached to the flash when it is on the camera or is it something for when you are shooting in a studio setting, off camera? What do YOU use?? Thanks so much!
I use the walls, honestly. Learn how to bounce flash before you start delving into the modifiers. The DIY solutions are often the best.

In truth, bouncing isn't always practical, but many of the modifiers don't really change the size of the light. It's still a very small point of light and thus has the potential to create very harsh shadows even with modifiers.
I made a diffuser for my 580EX II from a empty alcohol bottle. With the top part cut off it fits perfectly on the head of the flash.

I also made my own bounce card out of Fun Foam. It's held on with a bicycle inner tube cut to fit around the head of the flash.

Flash Photography Techniques
Wow, an empty alcohol bottle...that's pretty resourceful. I've considered making a bounce card (or just buying one from the "better bounce card" guy). Thanks for the pictures too. It's helpful to see how they actually look when they are on the camera.

And thanks Rufus5150, I am pretty excited about getting the flash and learning how to use it. I'm sure I'll suck at it for a long time!
I took this picture of one of our dogs with the alcohol bottle works pretty good.
That DOES look pretty good. I'll never look at an alcohol bottle the same again!

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