Light Bouncer for SLRs Internal Flash: Simple and Effective





Introduction: Light Bouncer for SLRs Internal Flash: Simple and Effective

This bouncer differs from others, because it reflects some of the light to the ceiling and some - on the object you are shooting, giving you outstanding result,  just like firing up with external flash indoors.

+  It is very easy and quick to make. It takes less than 5 minutes to make it.
+  The mounting/unmounting is very quick
+ When unmounted it fits your pocket.
+ You will need only white cardboard, foil (e.g.  from chocolate), and adhesive tape.

Enjoy :)

Step 1:

You will need some white cardboard, foil (e.g.  from chocolate), and adhesive tape.
Scissors, pencil. For more accurate result cutting knife is also desirable.

Cut a rectangle of cardboard which has about 12cm width and about 15cm height. Exact dimensions are not critical.

Step 2:

Open flash on SLR, place cardboard in front of it and mark with the pencil boarders of ledge located under the flash on the SLR body.

Then make notches so, that your cardboard can tight hold on the ledge.

Step 3:

Now we need to make a hole for the flash. On the cardboard mark an area which is covering a flash, and cut it.
Better use cutting-out knife. Scissors are also ok, but not so accurate.
Place a cardboard on the ledge and see if the hole is ok. If not, expand it.

Step 4:

Now we need reflector, from which light will bounce on the cardboard and on the ceiling:
Take a chocolate foil and fold it twice. Cut the side to make its width equal with the width of the cardboard.
Place the foil below the window. Fix its bottom part with adhesive tape, wrapping it around cardboard below the window.

Congratulations! Your new bouncer is ready !
Place it on the ledge and bend the foil to form a parabolic profile.

Now direct flash is not illuminating an object you are shooting. Instead of it larger cardboard is glowing, giving much softer light. Moreover, the light, which passed cardboard will bounce from the ceiling, giving you ambient illumination.

You can adjust configuration ( foil form, foil size and cardboard size) during your shooting.
Go to the last step to see my samples and final thoughts.

Step 5:

Using the bouncer is much like a using of external flash directed upward. With consideration of the less power. So use higher ISO.
I shoot in M-mode with ISO 400 - 800, and shutter speed above 1/100.
I also used positive flash power correction to make my photos brighter.

If you like the result you can easily make such a bouncer from nice durable materials. You can enforce the mounting part of the bouncer to make it fit more firmly.

You can also invent a way to attach such bouncer not only to SLR, but to some other camera having a flash.

Thank you for your attention :)

Update: See nice modification for close-up photos and comparision in this comment from chibimaddy



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    Man, this is amazing! you opened me a world! really really a big thanks!

    1 reply

    You are welcome! Have a good shots! :)

    I definitely want to try this. Do you have any examples of "this photo shot with direct flash" vs "this photo shot with light bouncer"? It would be cool to see the difference!

    2 replies

    You can also reference chibibaddy's Before and Afters in her comment above.

    You are right, I forgot a comparison example. When I first made this bouncer I made tests of course, but that photos were technical and not survived. It's easy to repeat, may be later I'll update last step with it. Thank you!

    wow! thank you a lot for this incredible tutorial! it's so easy!

    1 reply

    You are welcome!

    Couple of thoughts. Use non-stick aluminum foil, which looks like it is matted, so you get a more diffuse reflection. Or check thrift stores for old movie screens and cut out a section. That white cardboard probably absorbs a *lot* of light.

    2 replies

    Thanks! I tried several materials, but for instructable selected the most easily accessible. Replacing cardboard with more special material of course makes sense. I am not sure about matted foil - I think mirror-like is more appropriate for the first reflection to avoid loss of light - it will be diffused later anyway by the cardboard and ceiling...

    Mylar from the inside of some frozen food bags, is very reflective ... hey thanks

    This looks so interesting. I'm going to give this a try today. I have problems with lighting my small items for photos, the flash is too harsh because I have to get in closely so I am interested to see if I can make this idea work for me. Thank you very much!

    4 replies

    You are welcome! For very close shots consider a shadow area: probably you will need to make the foil a bit shorter, not to cover the light from cardboard on your object.

    I think for your application it will work better if you take a bigger cardboard and to bend it above the objective, reducing shadow area.
    Less light will reach the ceiling, but the card itself will act like a ceiling.
    Try it, It's interesting to see your photos!

    You are my saviour! Seriously, you've solved a problem I've been trying to figure out for years. Nothing like having to set up 4 expensive Otte lights to take pictures of something that just a bit over 2 inches. Now I can take my pictures with my camera's flash and nothing else! Thank you so much!


    Wow! You are very cool! Nice modification and photos! Thank you for sharing!

    Oh yes, that makes sense, making a cardboard ceiling. Very smarty pants of you! :o) I will come back and post photos once I've made it!

    Very simple!! thanks i'm trying this on my reflex camera, =)

    Can't wait to try this! I purchased two of these, but love this idea and wouldn't mind giving it a whirl.

    Really need to try this one!

    Very clever idea. I'll make mine just now. Thanks!

    1 reply