Ever wanted to take indoor photos at night, but hate the washed out look which your built in flash creates? I've often been at a pub and found the regular flash to be a bit of a pain. Thanks to a little drunken curiosity and an attention span problem, I created a flash diffuser using only an empty cigarette packet.
Step 1: Equipment Needed
SLR with built in flash
Step 2: Quit Smoking.
This will not only provide you with the empty cigarette packet, but it will improve your health, make climbing stairs easier and probably save you enough money to buy a real external flash unit.
if you don't smoke, I'm sure your friendly neighbourhood chain smoker will provide you with an empty.
Step 3: Removing the Foil
Remove the foil from inside the pack, taking care not to tear it. Once the foil is removed, reverse it so the shiny side is facing inwards. Then reinsert the reversed foil into the packet. This provide a reflective surface to bounce the light out of the box.
Note: With some brands of cigarettes, you can skip this step as the foil is already facing shiny side in.
Step 4: Attach to the Camera
This one's pretty obvious.
Feel free to adjust the angle of the packet's lid, to differ the angle of the flash spread. Also, experiment with position of the box. Reversing the box may also help.
The more upright your flash unit is and the lower the ceiling is, the better the results.
Step 5: Results
Here is a before and after shot to demonstrate the difference. These shots were taken in a fairly dark place with relatively high ceilings.
I no way will this replace a $400 external flash unit, but it is improvment on what you already have using something that you can probably find on the floor the next time your at a pub.
more examples can be found at my flickr site.
Created by Dan and Andy