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Two great flash diffusor/deflector designs for the pop-up flash of a DSLR

Want to get more out of your pop-up flash? Here are two designs, one deflector, one diffusor that I made for $0, which really improve the quality of your flash photography.

The first one is made by cutting out a diffusor out of a milk jug. Works very well. Originally I wanted to make something like this fellow here (the diffusor slips underneath the popped-up flash), but the hot shoe on the Nikon D3100 is not accessible from the front. So I had to go up and around the pop-up flash. Works very well.

TIP: If you make one yourself, make a cardboard version first, then zoom out all the way, snap a flash photo of your wall, and see if the light spills in on the edges. This will prevent your from making the diffusor too small.



Second one: a little Lego contraption, BONUS: I’ve got a director on set with me. The kids love it. This diffusor solved the issue that when I taped a business card to the camera, the light would be deflected towards the side, when snapping a portrait photo. I used this diffusor for my daughters birthday party recently, and I got some great results.





The following is an example of using the Lego deflector at the afore mentioned birthday party (sorry, the really good shots can’t be posted here, because I don’t have permission to use them), you can see that there is a very soft shadow from the bounce down from the ceiling underneath her elbow. The lighting in the art studio, the location of the party, was all fluorescent lighting, so choosing the right white balance wasn’t easy.


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  1. Rose Rose

    Hans, these are great ideas. Perhaps you could post some photos of the milk jug diffuser and the paper for the lego one laying flat so we could copy the cut-out shape…Also, photos before and after, where you don’t and then do use the diffuser would help me understand the value of these devises. Thanks!

  2. Hi Rose,

    I’m not able to take a photo of the reflector on the lego “apparatus” right now, I just took a business card and started cutting little corners off, until it didn’t hit anything anymore. The picture that shows the reflector and the camera from the side bouncing the light to the side (for portrait mode), shows the business cards thinner side, which is two inches. You can almost see all the other details from that.

    There is a really interesting youtube video about diffusers, if you are looking for before and after explanations:

    Cheers, Hans

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