Dublin, Ireland-based photographer Maciej Pietuszynski was doing a bit of spring cleaning recently when he decided to upgrade a plastic box he has been using to carry his camera and flash unit. His idea was to give the box an extra job as a makeshift softbox in addition to its storage/transportation/protection duties.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how you can make a pretty nice flash diffuser for your macro setup for just a little time and a little money.
3D printing is becoming cheaper and more accessible, so photographers no longer need to rely on camera gear manufacturers for simple plastic gear items such diffusers and other light modifiers. Eric Chu over at MAKE recently noticed a photo intern using a piece of paper as a cheap flash bounce. Seeing that the makeshift bounce didn’t ever last more than a few days, Chu wanted to offer a better solution… so he decided to produce one himself.
Flash diffusers come in all shapes and sizes, from DIY Home Depot versions to more expensive professional grade equipment. None of these solutions seemed adequate for 30 year photography veteran Les Tirmenstein, however, and that’s why he designed the FlashPipe. Read more…
Flickr user boingr came up with a great idea for those of us who don’t want to spend money on a flash diffuser from a camera shop — head over to Home Depot instead. All he did was buy an Amerimax Home #85208 downspout funnel, shimmy it onto his Canon Speedlite 580EX II, and presto: Open-Top Flash Diffuser.
The diffuser apparently fits snuggly on several of the flashes he has around the house, and for the ones on which it doesn’t, “one of those fat rubber bands that come around broccoli bunches” helped to solve the problem.
Image credit: DIY open-top flash diffuser by boingr
Industrial design student Hunter Frerich came up with a simple and cheap DIY beauty dish that’s created using fabric, foil, velcro, and glue. To make your own, simply download and print out the template and follow the step-by-step instructions.
DIY Speedlight Diffuser [Hunter Frerich]
Flickr user Twin-Reverb made this nifty DIY flash diffuser using a cardboard paper towel tube, a paper towel, and some aluminum foil.
Here’s a quick and easy photo hack: cut a slice out of a white film canister to soften the light from your DSLR’s built-in flash.
DIY Project: Film Canister as Flash Diffuser [Lomography]
Photographer Joseph Nienstedt was at a grocery store recently when he spotted a $4 plastic flask that reminded him of a curved light modifier he had seen before. After buying it and transforming it into a diffuser using a razor, Nienstedt discovered that it provided softer light than his Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce due to the 5x larger surface area. While it’s not a very respectable look for a professional environment, using a plastic bottle as a DIY diffuser could be an option if you’re in a pinch or if you’d like to experiment with lighting.
Head on over to Nienstedt’s blog post for a step-by-step guide.
DIY Speedlight Diffuser [JWNPhoto]
Flickr user Steve Kushnir came up with this neat idea of building a cheap DIY diffuser using a Pringles can, two layers of paper towels, and some rubber bands. He attached it to his Nikon D5000′s popup flash and uses it for macro photographs of creepy crawlies.