Daniel Goh's Blog
Daniel Goh male Junior Writer
A video game junkie always looking for more convenient ways to do things tech wise. Some say its lazy, I say its innovative. Currently being sucked into the world of social media addiction and will never leave the house without his trusty iPod and headphones.
I recently upgraded my DSLR from the entry-level D40 to a more semi-pro D90 body. As any enthusiast photographer knows, accessories for my new toy costs well more than I could afford right now.
Being the thrifty (read: cheap) connoisseur that I am, I have been scouring online for more efficient (again, I mean cheaper) ways of getting the best out of my new DSLR body.
Whether you are using a compact camera or even a beginner-level DSLR, one thing that I am sure you have been fussing with, is the fact that whenever you have to utilize the built-in flash, things start to get ugly – literally. More often that not, the lighting is just way too harsh and the position of the flash bulbs tend to make your subjects look like unfortunate deers that were caught in the headlight.
With DSLR systems, this problem can be easily rectified with an external flash gun. These things are pretty expensive, however. To purchase a unit that comes with a tilt and swivel head will run you anywhere from RM 500 to even thousands of precious Ringgit.
Therefore, for those like me who have to make do with what we have, I have found a couple of diffusers that will let you make your DSLR’s pop-up flash more bearable. These diffusers help to spread the light from the flash, giving it a slightly softer contrast, which works wonders on portrait photography. It is also handy for toning down the shadows. Keep in mind, however, that these can be purchased from a store, but again, the price varies from RM 25 and up, while I will be showing you how to make one for less than RM 1.
What you will need:
- Hard board (I used a mounting board)
- A4 paper
First, what you need to do is download this template and print it out. Now, the cone-like portion of the template will become the diffuser itself, while the other square portion will be cut out from the mounting board to act as the base. It’s pretty straightforward. Once all the pieces have been cut out, simply glue the top portion to the base, and voila! You have your diffuser.
What you will need:
- Film canister
The second method is a lot simpler, because all you will need to do is cut a half or three-quarter inch chunk out of the canister body, glue the top back on (the cap will not hold without glue now that you’ve altered the structure) and you’re done!
What’s really great about these, besides the cheap price of course, is the level of customization you can do. For the paper diffuser, instead of printing it out on paper, you can experiment with materials with varying levels of opacity to fine-tune your flash contrast. Also, for those who are interested in Lomography, you will be able to use colored paper or gels to give your images a nice tint to them without forking out additional dough for a Colorsplash Flash. So try it out!.
If you have any tips for me on how to improve on these diffusers, or you simply have a better solution, let me know in the comments below or better yet, post your own tutorial in the Consumer Electronics section on our forums! <link to our forums>