Reduce, Reuse, Diffuse: Make Your Own Flash Diffuser from an Old Film Container


The Ingredient list

ingredients

* Camera with a pop-up flash
* White film container — We got free used ones by sweet-talking the clerk at our local photo lab.
* Ruler
* X-acto knife

Step 1: Measure your flash

measure flashMeasure the width of your flash so you’ll know how wide to make the cut in your film container.
Step 2: Cut the film container

cut film containerUsing a sharp blade, carefully cut a notch in the side of the film container (take the lid off first). Make the notch just slightly wider than the depth of the flash. Click on the photo to see the finished result.
Step 3: Slide it on

put canister over flashSlide the film container onto your flash, and put the lid on to hold it in place. If the fit is too snug, make the cut a little wider. If it’s too loose, a little tape should keep it on.
Step 4: Go take pictures!

canister on cameraGet out there and shoot!

Take photos as you would normally. The film container will diffuse our flash’s harsh light. Your camera should automatically adjust exposure to make up for the reduced light output.

You’ll be everyone’s favorite photographer once they see how good you make them look!
Before: Shiny & Pasty

before pictureHarsh flash washes out skin and highlights flaws. Seriously, you can see stains on somebody’s soul with that thing.
After: Lovely & Pleasant

after pictureDiffused light makes skintones look more natural and lets the unflattering details slide.
Want some more ideas?

Here are a couple more ways to diffuse that blinding flash…

* Have a look at Instructables user ve2vfd’s tutorial for further details.
* No film canisters on hand? If you’re a smoker, you may be in luck. (10-to-1 that’s the last time we say that). Check out monkeywithagun’s guide to crafting a diffuser from an empty cigarette pack.

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