5 inexpensive ways to reduce harsh camera flash
Tired of the harsh tones you get when using your pop-up flash, but don’t have a ton of cash. Try some of these pop-up flash diffusers
Photography is an expensive hobby; nobody will dispute otherwise. You might start off with just a simple DSLR but once the bug hits you, you’ll want to buy a zoom lens, then probably the nifty fifty, an external flash, and a tripod… the list will go on and on. But what do you do when your new hubby just isn’t in the budget? You will find alternate solutions to your problems until you can afford what you really want.
One of my biggest annoyances was the unnatural effects the pop up flash would generate. I’m always striving to create images with as much natural light as possible. The popup flash doesn’t come close to “natural” especially in low light situations.
When I first started an external flash was not in my budget so I needed to find a less expensive but effective solution fast. Here are some of popular popup flash diffusers I have found, some I have tried for myself, some I have not. But all can help diffuse the light from your camera’s pop up flash and can be used for just about any digital SLR.
Gary Fong Puffer
The Gary Fong Puffer is one of the most popular diffusers for your SLR pop-up flash. It can be used with any brand from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus and more as long as your camera has a hotshoe mount you can use the Gary Fong Puffer.
It’s great for portraits, quick shots of people and close up shots and perfect for taking pictures of crafts and jewelry you may be making to sell. It’s compact enough to tuck away in your purse or back pocket.
Best of all the Gary Fong Puffer will only set you back about $20.
The LightScoop was created by Professor Kobre and the slogan says it best with the LightScooop you can “say good-bye to ugly flash photos.” The LightScoop also attaches with your cameras hot shoe and can be used with most SLR’s and there is a special edition specifically for Sony.
The LightScoop website provides some great information on how to properly use the LightScoop. You can be purchased for about $30.
This is the very first diffuser I used and still grab it for quick shots around the house. You need to have something to bounce the flash off of like a ceiling or wall, so if you are in a gym or church or anyplace with high ceilings the LightScoop may not be that effective.
I wrote a review a few years ago, The LightScoop one of my Favorite Photography Accessories.
Lumiquest Screen Diffuser
The LumiQuest Soft Screen is a diffuser, designed for the built-in pop-up flash. It helps soften harsh shadows and reduce hot spots. It attaches in seconds and will also fit most DSLR cameras.
The LumiQuest will run you about $15 and its very light and can be easily stored in a pocket or purse. I have the Canon 50D and did have some difficulty getting the Lumiquest to work with my hot shoe so you may need to make some adjustments, which they explain on the packaging.
StoFen OMF1 OmniFlip
The Omni-Flip is designed to slip into the hot shoe as well as the others diffusers listed. However it will not work with Minolta or Sony DSLR’s. You can pick one up for about ten dollars.
Diffusers for Your Point-and-Shoot Camera
If you are looking for a diffuser for you point and shoot camera there are a few options like the Gary Fong Delta 2. The Delta 2 is a flat filter wedge that can mount to the telescopic lens of many point and shoot cameras. The diffuser has mini pyramids to further disperse the light.
Other Ways to Diffuse Your Point-and-Shoot
There are simple and fast ways you can diffuse the flash on a point-and-shoot. Grab a piece of paper and place it over the flash. If you are at a restaurant try grabbing a paper napkin or translucent cup.
Make Your Own Diffuser
If you are more the do-it-yourself type there are plenty resources online that can help you create your own pop-up flash diffuser.