Cigarette Packet Flash Diffuser





Introduction: Cigarette Packet Flash Diffuser

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
Cigarette packet
pocket knife

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



  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest
  • Oil Contest

    Oil Contest
  • Clocks Contest

    Clocks Contest

77 Discussions

the best blog I never got such information before this thanks.

the best blog I never got such information before this thanks.

the best blog I never got such information before this thanks.

bought a number of want to they e
cigarette and had and this is by far the best experience I have had in a
number of ways. 1st. The nicest, friendliest most beautiful colors uses in it
you could ask for - did everything in his power to make it easy for us…

This is not a good idea. The color in the box diffuser will be introduced into whatever your subject is. This can also introduce a color crossover.

You can simply use a piece of white paper of even tissue paper and a rubber band or tape around the built-in flash for a better effect.

If you are using a flash in the hotshoe of the DSLR camera, simply point the flash up and rubber band a piece of white card to the flash with a the card sticking above the flash by between 2 to 4 inches. Many hotshoe flashes come with a white plastic card for just this reason.

Both of these ideas will work better then a cigarette box.

(Note: This is the 4th time that I have tried to post this. Hopefully this website will display my text properly, which has been the problem 3 previous times.)

1 reply

Not only have I had a problem getting my text right here, but this website wants to displlay my posts twice each time.

I prefer the before pictures, the after one's look like they've be left in a smoke filled room and have turned yellowy brown.


2 years ago

This is such a clever idea! Now to find a smoker ...

If you're at a bar, you could order one of those drinks that come with a little parasol (umbrella) and use that, if you can figure out how to make it stay on or if you have washi tape in your EDC (everyday carry).

Brilliant! I've seen smaller rice paper lamps in the Japanese dollar stores, like Daiso--I know smaller would be less effective, but in the interests of packability, I wonder if they'd be good enough.

Cool sort of... but holy. That is a giant thing to have on your camera!

Funnily interesting. I like it. Can I use 'cigar box' instead.

Very interesting way to cover the flash, for some reason on Step 4, a packet is turned in the direction of the photographer. Incidentally a lot about photography, please visit