Use a Small White Card to Bounce Your Built-In Flash

Just because you use the built-in flash on your compact camera doesn’t mean you need to live with harsh, direct lighting. Here’s a quick video tutorial teaching how to use any small white card (e.g. a piece of scrap paper or a business card) to easily bounce your flash and soften the lightning.

(via Pixiq)

  • DanClarkePro


    The flash is powerful, if you have a spare CD around that you’re not worried about, put it up to the flash, see the damage it can do; I’ve had to replace my travel card because it fried the chip on it!

    Be careful!

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    Fantastic info! Thank you so much!

  • Anonymous

    Most tiny camera flashes are only rated for about 5-10 feet. In many houses that’s up to the ceiling and… well, not all the way back down. And then the camera is exposing for the bright flash it _expects_ to see, not the diffused, reflected flash that might make it back down (if at all).

    What I did was use the inside of a glossy white box that I got some gear in, cut it so that the lid becomes the reflector (not the ceiling) and I end up with a 2″ Periscope, of sorts. The flash hits the white of the box, bounces up, and hits the big white lid and reflects forward. I still illuminate the face, but now it’s from higher up, or over to the side (if shot portrait mode with the camera rotated) and right at the subject.

    Much more diffuse than the focused “in your face” flash. But only a stop darker, which, in many cases is just fine. I use it especially well with my kids and an add-on wide angle lens that creates a shadow on the subject with the normal, in-camera flash. This solves both problems beautifully.

    Business card and a ceiling with a weak point-n-shoot flash? Not so much. Sorry.

  • CookieofDoom

    Keep in mind that the camera is usually a good 5 feet in the air. Given an eight foot ceiling, you’ve only got three up and three back. I tried it on my T2i and it worked really, really well. I don’t have a point-and-shoot to test with, but I imagine it would work decently if the subject is close… when it works the effect is wonderful.