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How to Turn a Piece of Paper Into a DIY $0.01 Flash Diffuser

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diycheappaperflashmain

If you ever need to soften your flash in a pinch, you can go the MacGyver route and fashion a diffuser for yourself using an ordinary piece of paper. They usually cost about $0.01 per sheet, so this is one of the cheapest diffusers you can make.

A photographer who goes by ofnuts shared his simple visual guide with us and on Reddit. Start with a standard piece of printer paper and cut two slots on one end — they should be slightly wider than your flash head.

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Turn the strip into an arrow — depending on the design of your flash unit, this strip should slide through your flash head’s legs (this diffuser is designed for certain pop-up flashes, so you may need to customize the design based on your own flash).

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On the other end of the paper, cut a slit that’s narrower than the arrow head you created on your strip.

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Insert the arrow strip through the legs of your pop-up flash, bend the sheet of paper over itself and slide the arrow head through the slit to keep the paper diffuser bent across the front of your flash.

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Voila! You just made yourself a $0.01 paper diffuser that can soften the harshness of your flash when you don’t have anything better to use.

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Here’s what the same shot looks like with and without this makeshift paper diffuser:

A test shot without the diffuser.
A test shot without the diffuser.
A test shot with the diffuser.
A test shot with the diffuser.

“The paper thing has two big advantages: I can make one on the spot in a couple of minutes in about any home, and it makes people smile on the pictures,” Ofnuts writes.

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