One of the biggest challenges with flash photography is the possibility that you might have to content with harsh shadowing and over exposure in your shots. One way to deal with this of course, if by using a diffuser.
As you probably know by now, I’m a big DIY fan. So, with that in mind, here’s an easy way to rig yourself up with a DIY diffuser for an external flash unit. And one of the best things about it – you probably won’t have to buy anything. Unlike many of these projects, I can all but guarantee that you have sufficent materials just laying around your house or apartment.
What you’ll need:
1. A rubber band – one that will fit tight and hasn’t lost it’s elasticity.
2. A piece of thin white material. I’d recommend something like a handkerchief or glasses cleaning cloth. But all in all, so long as it is fairly thin, most materials should do the job just fine.
What to do:
1. Wrap the material around the main part of the flash unit co it covers over the light emitting portion as tightly as possible.
2. Place the rubber band around the the white cloth in order to hold it in place.
That’s it, you’re done. In all of 30 seconds we can have a quality, effective diffuser!
This image is a similar concept to the method described in this post.
So anyone who wants to get seriously involved in photography will come across some challenges along the way. As one of the photographers in Pittsburgh PA with a minimal budget, I can assure you I’ve experienced this dilemma several times first hand.
The key is not to get discouraged and to make the best choices for equipment and other tools that fit your budget. How do we do this? Here are a few options.
If you’re not worried about the aesthetics of things, you can create some props and tools yourself for a much more affordable rate than you might find when trying to purchase items through a commercial outlet. This blog contains a few examples and there are tons of sites online that you can find that will help you out. Youtube alos offers some good visual tutorials.
Buy second hand
While you have to be careful buying used items, don’t let that turn you away from benefiting form the savings you can gain by doing such. E-bay is a good option and so is Craigslist.
Look in unexpected retail locations
The tenancy might be to search out specialty shops when shopping for photography equipment. However, you can find some great quality buys at more general locations. For example, online retailers like Amazon and Buy.com have a surprisingly extensive selection of photography items. And in general, they cost less than the specialty shops. Offline, you might benefit from buying materials for backdrops in the fabric section of your local Walmart or craft store. The savings can be hugh.
OK, so anyone who has ever ventured in doing some photography work realizes that whether you’re in at as a hobby or looking to work at it in a professional capacity, photography can be quite expensive.
Naturally you need a camera, film/memory card, batteries to power your unit and the absolute basics. And even these alone will likely run your at least $500 minimum. And that doesn’t even include all the other things you’ll need to invest in for portrait photos and any other spot of shooting you may wish to undertake.
So, here’s a list of photography tools you can make on your own or make use of other objects to provide the same effect.
Head to the craft store and pick up solid white foam board. You can also spray paint it with metallic silver or gold for additional color options. You can also buy a car window visor and use that.
Don’t pay extra for a “photo specific” cleaner. Get yourself a travel-size spray cleaner of eye glasses. It will probably cost you a ton less.
You can buy muslin from a fabric shop and dye it however you choose. Or, you can use heavy, lager blankets or think sheets.
Get some PVC pipe (very cheap) and put one together on your own.
Diffusers and Gels
As mentioned in earlier posts, white medicine bottles and color copies on transparencies can fulfill both these needs effectively and for much less than the typical retail price.