Watch the video: Photography Tips – Turn a Can of Pringles into a Flash Diffuser
We all try our hand at macro photography, at some point while we are taking pictures. And the secret to great macro images is to use additional flash lighting – but some photographers are put off by the idea of investing in or learning a new kit.
Well, if you don’t want to investigate the best speed lights and the best ring flash for macro photography, we’ve got a dirty photo hack for you involving your camera’s humble pop-up flash!
All you need is an empty Pringles box, tissue paper, a pair of scissors, and rubber bands.
It’s a bit MacGyver, but those basic craft skills will pay off – the quality of light that’s channeled through the DIY diffuser and into your subject is well worth the minimal effort!
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Once you pop (up) you can’t stop
01 Configure your camera
Obviously, you’ll need a macro lens for this, and you’ll also need to pop up your camera’s flash. In the menus, select your camera’s standard flash mode and lower the flash output to -1 stop.
02 Shape the box
Of course, your box of Pringles should be empty, so step 02A should be to eat all those crisps first! Step 02B is to hold the canister over your camera flash and determine the area you will need to cut out to fit. Try tracing the shape with a pen so you know where to cut to size. You will also need to cut the front of the box, at an angle, so that the light is tilted in front of the lens.
03 Add tissue paper
Now glue tissue paper over the corner you cut to diffuse the light and soften the shadows. Do not use too many layers, otherwise the flash output will be drastically reduced and you will not be able to illuminate your subjects properly. If you want something more sturdy, try a custom cut piece of shower curtain or shower cap.
04 Attach your diffuser
Make holes in the box with scissors and run rubber bands through them to attach the diffuser around your camera. The use of these bands makes it easier to grip
can turn off when you want to shoot something other than a close-up (like we did while walking through this forest).
05 get closer
Set an aperture of f / 11 or f / 16; the depth of field decreases the closer you get, but a small aperture counteracts that a bit. We use an ISO of 1250 and a shutter speed of 1/80 sec to ensure that the background not illuminated by the flash is visible.
06 Experiment with composition
Try varying your composition and the direction of your light by turning the camera vertically, but if you’re shooting delicate subjects such as mushrooms, be aware of how close your makeshift diffuser is. The last thing you want to do is bump into them and damage them.
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