Website by ThierryD

Copyright 2010-2015
All rights reserved
Reproduction prohibited

Last update : 2020/09/05

diffuser for flash photography

I offer here some flash diffuser that I made and I use.
In photography (especially in indoor photography) have often used the flash.
The flash has several flaws.
It tends to crush the object or character that you take their picture.
He creates shadows if the object or character is near a wall.
The flash light is strong and tough, although the recent flashes have functions
determination of light (iTTL, Ettl, ...).

Some flash diffuser can reduce and even eliminate the defects of the flash.
a flash diffuser also allow better control the light.

On photo01, you can see my whole range of flash diffusers and Leaf Barndoor.
these small diffusers are easily moveable and adaptable to all flash
From the photo02 to the photo11, I will describe them individually:

- The bounce card (photo02) is the flash diffuser that I use most often.
It directs the flash towards the ceiling, the bounce card sending part of the light (10-20%)
to the object or a character, the other part of the light is sent towards the ceiling.
I still have that diffuser with me in the camera bag.

- The mini soft box diffuser (photo03) is used with the flash in the direction of the object to be photographed.
All light is directed towards the object but attenuated by the broadcaster.

- The diffuser on the principle of the pocket bouncer (photo04) is almost equivalent to running
bounce card. It sends back a little more light to the object that the bounce card.

- The diffuser 80-20 is known (photo05). 80% of the light from the ceiling, 20% of light to the object.
A portion of the light who going toward the ceiling will be lost (perhaps 5%).

- Here is another diffuser pocket bouncer (photo06).
It is not in white plastic but in silver (like 80-20). Made simply
with a milk carton (the inside a brick of milk is used to make great diffusers and reflectors).

- The honeycomb diffuser, also called "Snoot" (photo07) to a different principle of previous diffusers.
Its role is to focus the light into an area to highlight, accentuate, detached an area of photography.

- The photo08, another honeycomb diffuser or Snoot. It is longer than the photo07.
The concentration of light will be more important on a smaller area.

- The following Snoot (photo09) is made with straws larger, the diffusion of light is less concentrated.
The straw color makes the light softer than black straw.

- The honeycomb diffuser (photo10) is very long and very thin. Its use is special. It can be used
to accentuate a look, for example.

- The photo11, is not a diffuser but a leaf Barndoor. Leaf Barndoor as its name implies is used to prevent
the flash to diffuse in one direction or multiple directions with several Leaf Barndoor.
For example in a photographic scene, you can light the background with a flash equipped with a color filter.
The Leaf Barndoor will prevent the colored light reflects off the object at the center stage picture.

To show the result of each diffuser, I offer a small set of photos.
The doll's head is probably not the best example, since each diffuser is made for a certain type of photo,
but you still give a good overview of different effects. This series goes from the photo12 to the photo22.

- The photo12 was made with flash without diffuser. The light is harsh and strong, skin color is bleached.
There's a shadow on the backdrop behind the head of the doll.

- The photo13 has a soft light. It was made with the bounce card diffuser (photo02). The color is good.
There is no shadow on the bottom. On a real face, wrinkles are more visible.
This is my favorite broadcaster for portraits.

- Photo14 was taken with the soft box diffuser.
The light is slightly softened to compare with a flash without diffuser.
Over the soft box is opaque, the more light will be soft.

- The pocket bouncer (photo15) gives results almost equivalent to the bouncer card is also the same
principle except that the pocket bouncer also sheds light on the sides.

- The photo16 was made with the 80-20. We see that there was less light transmitted. The picture gives the same impression
there was no flash. It is very well suited for debouch the shadows.

- The photo17 was taken with the pocket bouncer made of milk brick. The reflective silver material gives
Light sweet but slightly harder than the white plastic pocket bouncer. This is another very interesting effect
on the light

- Here is the first picture (photo18) made with a honeycomb diffuser or Snoot. The light is completely different of other
diffusers that I have just presented above. The light is concentrated. To see a concrete example of use
a Snoot, look DSC_9108.jpg photo in the "still life" section in my gallery (the photo with a note pad
a pencil and glasses). To make the picture DSC_9108.jpg, I used the Snoot photo07 and two reflectors. The reflectors
are simply reflective surfaces can bounce light. These reflectors helped for debouch slightly
shadows in pencil.

- The photo19 is made with the Snoot of photo08. It is a bit longer than the Snoot photo07, it concentrates light more advantage.
With this Snoot, there is only the head of the doll which is illuminated by the flash.
The Snoot is easy to manufacture. Simply cut drinking a lot of straws. Linking the straw drinking to each other in rows.
Paste the rows of straw on top of each other rows (6-8 rows). Wrap all rows of straws drinking in the carton very opaque
or black plastic.

- The photo20 was taken with the Snoot of photo09. It was made with straws drinking larger and colors. This gives
light a little different, less white.

- The photo21 was taken with my special Snoot for look. This diffuser must be used with other flashes,
because it use individually the effect is too pronounced. This Snoot just needs to enhance the eyes of the model.

- The photo22, the leaf barndoors permit to illuminate half of the face of the doll, but you can't see the spot of the flash on the photo.
The leaf barndoors are very convenient and allow for example to hide a flash behind an object without this flash is visible on the photo.
They permit also to illuminate some of the background for example.

The photo23 shows you the equipment used to diffusers and Leaf barndoors.
These are plastic liners that you can find on school radius of supermarkets.
3 shirts (white, black and transparent / opaque) can permit to perform all types of diffusers and leaf barndoors.

On photo24 and photo25, I show you a very interresting tool for photography: the photographic umbrellas.
Photographic umbrellas are often used in photo shoots in studio (where the meeting is made with flash).
The light with an umbrella is both strong and soft (photo26), there is no shadow even under the chin of the doll.
I use umbrellas instead of diffusers (translucent white umbrella) that I find more enjoyable than umbrellas
reflectors (gold or silver on the inside and black outside), umbrellas reflectors tend to create a hard light.
To see an example of using umbrellas broadcasters look at the pictures in the "equatorial Plate" link in
"Tips and Tricks" section of this website. The photos were made with two umbrellas (one front right, one left behind, and
with a flash with soft box diffuser to the left).

In the "Download" section of this website, you can download the models from the pocket bouncer and 80-20 diffuser in JPG format.

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse of different diffusers, and given to you the desire to
learn to shape your lighting.

Copyright 2010 ThierryD -
Last update 20/07/2010
Reproduction prohibited

Use arrows for the direction and speed. Click on thumbnail for enlarge.