#2 – Flash Diffusers (aka “Tupperware”)

Ambition. Ingenuity. Innovation.

Harsh shadows begone! Creativity with your flash begone! Now you can bounce better, diffuse light better, and lose a lot of flash power without even trying.

Introducing flash diffusers:

Number two on our list of stuff photographers like belongs to flash diffusers. You may have spotted one of these bad boys at a recent wedding. It made the photographer look twice his size and twice as legit. Or maybe you had the worst of luck catching one in the face at a local celebrity event. Heck, you probably use one yourself to try to outdo the competition.

Sure, it might look ridiculous carrying a $59.95 plastic, translucent rice bowl on the top of your flash. People might laugh and say, “What is that big funnel for?” or “Why do you carry tupperware on top of your flash?”

They can laugh all they want. You know better than they do.

Let’s take a look at a prime example.

Popular photographer Gary Fong, as many of you may know, invented the one and only Gary Fong Lightsphere that swept photographers off their feet world-wide. Now you can be one step ahead of the pack and take your photography to a whole new level!

Just take a good, long look at that fine nylon polymer in all its upright glory. I can already see a smile forming on your face, as the key to infinitely better photos is just a simple Paypal click away.

Finally.

Control your light. Bounce effectively. Impress your friends, your relatives, your co-workers… Impress other photographers!

Make your bride happy.

You can almost feel it…

Speaking of fine nylon polymer, it reminds me of a peculiar scene in Napoleon Dynamite. It’s kind of how some people feel about flash diffusers in general:

Fine Nylon Polymer. Yours Truly, Uncle Rico

But before we continue to bash praise this piece of photography accessory, let’s start a history lesson, shall we?

A few millennia go, the Sto-Fen Omnibounce was invented. This is what started the whole diffused flash craze. Think of the talking Elmo doll. Or the Teletubbies. *shudder*

Yes, this magical cap of mystery fit snugly on your flash (unless you had the misfortune of owning a Canon 580ex II), and everyone around you would point and whisper amongst themselves, “Wow, now THAT guy is a professional!”

Though it’s ideally used at a 45 degree angle with a white ceiling above you (it’s not called an Omnibounce for no reason), some photographers still use direct flash with it. True, direct flash can be used outdoors as a proper fill. But is it worth losing the extra stops of light? I don’t know. Buy one and let me know!

For those of you who don’t have the money to shell out $19.99 for one of these mini lamp shades (of course, you can still afford $3,000 of photography equipment) you can always try an alternative solution:

Hey, it’s the photos that count, right? I can’t tell you how many different species of this gadget infiltrated the CES convention earlier this month; guys pushing through crowds, trying to invest in Microsoft while waving their paper diffusers in the air… Who wants to bet that they also refuse to pay for lemonade at In-N-Out and would religiously mix the free lemon slices and sugar packets in their free cup of water? Of course, we shouldn’t judge.

Here are a couple more household alternatives for those who are in the same boat:

Sto-Fen's hobo cousin, the Styro-Fen!

Warning: Eat yogurt first before applying to electrical device.

We will leave you with one lasting photo. This one should make every photographer jealous, including you. Yes, you: the one who needs an edge over everyone else. Well, now you’ve got some ground to make up.

Who needs weather-sealed equipment anyway?

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3 Comments

Filed under Accessories

3 responses to “#2 – Flash Diffusers (aka “Tupperware”)

  1. Love the Napolean Dynamite reference!

  2. i use lamp shades with CFL ubls instead of incandescent lamps, they are much cooler and uses less electricity *`”

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