Flash: Bounce or Diffuse, That Is The Question: Part Two
Welcome to part two of “Flash: Bounce or Diffuse, That Is The Question”. In this segment we will talk about flash diffusion.
Flash diffusers are translucent/semi-opaque devices that sit between your flash and your subject. Diffusers come in all sizes and shape both on and off camera.
The simplest and easiest are the clip on diffusers called diffusion domes. They just go over the face of the flash head to enlarge and soften the light. However Diffusion domes don’t do much when pointed direct at the subject, so you will most likely need to combine it with a ceiling or wall bounce.
In order for diffusion to be at its best you need to get the flash unit off the camera and make it bigger. This is where we introduce a softbox or an umbrella.
I prefer to use a softbox over an umbrella. The main reason I prefer to use a softbox is there is less light lost and is more directional.
An umbrella scatters the light in all direction therefor a portion of light is lost. But don’t get me wrong umbrellas have their place and time and are fantastic diffusers. This is just a preference of mine. Umbrellas do have an advantage over softboxes in that they easily fold up, store and are generally larger in the arena of portability.
Once you get the flash unit off the camera and attach a softbox or an umbrella place it to your side about 45 degrees to you and the subject. This gives a more pleasing direction to the light and creates dimension and depth to the subject.
There has been time where I had to use my Lastolite round and TriGrip diffuser/reflector as a flash diffuser. You just need to place it a couple of feet away for the flash head.