Yes, I know there are a thousand versions of DIY flash diffusers out there; for both pop-up flashes and external flashes. Well; I created my own, so here’s another DIY Flash Diffuser for you. This one is for your pop-up flash and can be used on cameras with or without a hotshoe.
What you will need:
- 1 opaque plastic gallon size jug such as a milk jug
- 1 brass paper fastener (I think we used to call these brads)
- clear tape
- scissors and/or a craft knife
- hole punch
- a paper pattern (you have to make your own from an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, these directions, and the quick drawing below)
The first thing I did was to make the paper pattern. It looks like this…
…and the approximate measurements are as follows:
- the long strip across the bottom 10″ x 5/8″
- the square with the rounded corners 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
- the red outline 5/8″ (the thickness of the long strip) x 6/8″
- the slits on the two ends 7/8″ from edges
- the two slits in the middle 3/4″ from center
You will want to adjust this for your camera. I think if I make another one for my own use I might make it just a bit wider. Do a test fit with the paper before you start cutting on the plastic.
Your directions are to cut on the black lines and fold on the red lines….
…tape your paper pattern onto the plastic, I positioned mine over a slight bend in the plastic to give the finished project a bit of a curve. Now carefully cut out the shape of the pattern and all 4 small slits. Once you have all the black lines cut fold the horizontal red line up towards the main square piece so that the strip lays over the main piece. Use the hole punch to punch a hole in the center of that red box and through both layers of plastic. Now fold the two vertical red lines; the one on the right towards the right and the one on the left towards the left. Clear as mud? Crease your folds tight by pressing with a wooden stick or even the handle of your scissors. Careful not to rip the long strip at the little slits! Again it’s a good idea to practice on a paper pattern until you get this figured out. Now use the brass paper fastener to hold the two layers together by inserting it from the front towards the back (the back being the side with the strip folded up). Leave some play here you are only preventing the plastic from falling down flat against your lens but you don’t want it held tight against your flash either, think something a bit less than a 45 degree angle. Fold the ends of the fastener around the edges of the plastic to get it out of your way and help it hold tight.
To attach your diffuser to your camera sit your camera on something solid like a table. Pop-up your flash. Hold the back side of your diffuser (the side with the long strip) towards your camera and put both ends of the strip through the space under the flash and above the camera body. Now take the right end of the strip and bring it around the right arm of the flash and lock the slit into the right center slit; take the left end of the strip and bring it around the left arm of the flash and lock the slit into the left center slit. Still with me? I know clear as mud, but I think you’ll get it once you see it. Make sure you have the little slits locked together, that’s what holds this whole thing on!
And now you are done!!
Ok, so I’m not the best at writing directions but maybe you get the idea. Here’s some shots I took with my cell phone so you can see how it looks…
And now for some results…
The data is the same for each of these shots so I’ll only include it once…
focal length 50mm
pop-up flash fired
Well it didn’t get rid of the doggy version of red-eye but that can be fixed in Photo Shop…
Anyone else have a fun DIY project to share? Include it in the comments.