Harsh, unflattering flash got you down? Grab an old roll of film and make it all better.
Follow Flickr user natuurplaat’s lead, and turn an old film canister into a flash diffuser! A few strategic cuts make it easy to slip the canister onto your pop-up flash, and voila! Soft, beautiful lighting.
Keep reading and we’ll show you how to make your very own little piece of genius.
Thanks to reader Jeff Gamble for the tip!
p.s. Thanks to everybody who sent in book ideas! You rule.
The Ingredient list
- Camera with a pop-up flash
- White film container — We got free used ones by sweet-talking the clerk at our local photo lab.
- X-acto knife
Step 1: Measure your flash
Step 2: Cut the film container
Using 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
Step 4: Go take pictures!
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
After: Lovely & Pleasant
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.
- No film canisters OR cigarettes? Try yogurt containers.