In this article Aron Brand will demonstrate how, using homemade and accessible materials, you can improve the light quality of a simple slave flash, and get a natural and soft light. This sort of light is good for jewelry photography, shooting items for eBay and portraits. Note the picture at the end of this article, not only showing softer shadows, but also pops the look of the metal, giving it more polished, expensive look. Similar methods to obtain the same effect can be a light tent, of a flash mounted softbox. Good luck.
If you are a photographer and using flash (either for studio pictures or for outdoor shooting), you are probably aware of the problems that a hot-shoe flash introduces: the shadows of an object are crisp-sharp, creating an artificial look to the object. When dealing with studio lighting, you can use a softbox to diffuse your shadows and this is an acceptable solution, but for the amateur photographer it does have some disadvantages:
1. A softbox is very expensive. A simple softbox like this softbox from Arri, can cost several hundreds of dollars. (See our big DIY softbox version)
2. A softbox is big, and can not be carried around.
The amateur photographer can compromise and us a flash mounted softbox like this softbox from Lumiquest, or a stoffen box. The problem with this one (although a minor one compared to the “big” Softboxes), is the cost, nearing 30 dollars. Well, I guess that for some 30 bucks is no big deal (and especially no big deal for photography equipment), but I am going to try and do even better.
In the following tutorial, I will demonstrate how to make your own flash mounted, homemade softbox (view results).
You will need two good hands, and some patience, but your reward will be a nice softbox for the cost of only 3-4 dollars. (Not to mention that wonderful feeling of cutting and gluing, like you are small kids again).