The Party Bouncer is Back in Business (Card)

party_bouncerYet another small internal flash bouncer. I really like this one since it is the fastest one to make yet. I’ll estimate about 15 seconds.

If you are a big executive and have your own business card, you can cut the time it takes you to get a business card and you are at 5 seconds. The results are not professional and there is some light lost, but when all else fails, it is a neat trick to have up your sleeve. It will defiantly work for Canon internal flashes. Other brands – you might need to adjust a bit.

I got this trick in the mail from Marko Helenius. He holds a nice gallery at Pleae go over there and have a looksy. Judging by the (small number of) studio shots, this guy knows what he is doing. Now I give the floor to Marko.

I’ve been countless times in a indoor situation where the hint of light is just not enough to shoot even slightly sharp portraits from friends and family and you just know even without trying that the use of integrated flash in SLR would end up in a catastrophe.

At one time I came up with extremely simple, cheap and diy Party Bouncer. All you need is a white business card and a pair of scissors
(knife, sharp edge, nail etc). Make two cuts on the other end of the card and install it to the metallic hinges of the integrated flash. You might even consider an angle near 45 degrees. :)


Cardboard is great material for this Party Bouncer. Most of the light bounces from the card into the roof, creating nice overall illumination, while some of the light penetrates directly through the card, disperses and lights the subject from the front.

Test photos below show the amazing overall light. First photo is shot with integrated flash and second photo with Party Bouncer attached. Direct flash tends to burn areas in front and leave very hard
and visible shadows.

No Bouncer – Everyone is sad


Party Bouncer Installed – Man, It Rocks!


The coverage test images below were shot with 10mm Sigma wide-lens approximately 1.5m from the wall, again with and without the Party Bouncer. The coverage with Party Bouncer looks very scattered, but for example with the Canon 50mm lens the shot ends up in the middle of the plain area. In this case, the direction of the light is more important that the coverage.

Party Bouncer doesn’t look professional at all, but can give you great photos when all hope is lost.

PS: few pointers that came up 3am :)
– You cannot get Canon 350D and 400D to take a picture of each other in the exact same moment with remote ir switch. It’s easier to shoot through a mirror if you want to get a picture of the integrated flash in action (400D has slightly smaller flash latency).

– You cannot use the radio trigger transmitter as support piece in the picture if you want to similarly actually use the studio flash.

Related Links:
4 ways to bounce a flash
Flash Mounted homemade DIY Softbox
Instant Lightsphere – The Emergency Diffuser
ACE of bounce

  • Lorryn_I

    this is the most helpful article i’ve read in terms of reducing hard flash as a rookie photographer. Not being satisfied with full on flash digital photos as opposed to no flash (too dark) this has helped me find a happy medium. thank you!