What Is Flash Diffuser In Photography? Types and Use

Updated on September 6, 2022 in Photography by

What Is Flash Diffuser In Photography? Types and Use

Did you ever feel like using your camera flash but stop yourself due to that annoying reflection and hard light? We all have been there; even if we use the flash, that photo doesn’t get picked.

And that is why we can use a flash diffuser in photography. If you are a beginner, this is the best article for you.

Something that I wish I had known before filling my storage with those hard light images. So if you want to avoid that path and capture some amazing portrait or product photography, let us get started.

What is Flash Diffuser in photography?

A Flash diffuser in photography is a type of light modifier attached to the camera flash to spread the direct light from it. It eliminates the hard light coming from the flash and makes it into soft and well-spread lighting.

A Flash diffuser is generally made of white translucent plastic attached to the camera flash, diffusing the light from creating reflection and the hard light.

Why can’t we use a softbox or lighting umbrellas?

We can, and they work on the same principle of passing the light through translucent sheets. But due to their size and requirement for additional power supply, they aren’t mobile. Before capturing any photo, you’ll need to ensure the whole set-up is ready.

(Flash diffusers are not alternatives but additional lighting accessories. Various types of lighting and modifiers are used in a professional setup.)

What are the types of flash diffusers?

Like any other accessories, photography has various types of flash diffusers. The working and the principle are the same for each one, but each one of them specializes in certain types and areas of photography.

Here’s a quick brief about them:

Dom Diffuser

Dom Diffuser - type of flash diffuser

Dom Diffuser is a type of flash diffuser in photography that is like a small sphere cut into half that you can attract over your camera’s flashlight directly. These basic accessories are mainly used just to avoid hard lighting.

Sphere Diffuser

Sphere Diffuser - type of flash diffuser

Sphere Diffuser takes one step ahead of the dom and, while diffusing the light, also spreads the light around the room. While using them, the flash is faced towards the ceiling. This helps in achieving better natural lighting.

Mini Softbox Diffuser

Mini Softbox Diffuser - type of flash diffuser

As the name suggests, it is a type of flash diffuser in photography that works like a softbox over your flashlight. If you require a targeted soft light on your model or product, you can use this. Again, Softbox has its perk, but this will help you get the work done in its absence.

Bounce Flash Diffuser

Bounce Flash Diffuser - type of flash diffuser

If the above was a mini version of a softbox, this one replicates the reflectors. The diffuser is attached behind the flash. When the light is triggered, it falls on the diffuser and then reflects on your scene.

Pop-Up Flash Diffuser

Pop-Up Flash Diffuser - type of flash diffuser

Now using an external flash? Then you’ll need this pop-up flash diffuser for your pop-up flash. This gets directly attached to your camera and helps you diffuse your pop-up camera flashlight.

DIY Flash Diffuser

Anything and everything that you can use as a diffuser is a type of DIY flash diffuser. People used paper, velcro, white plastic containers, and even milk jugs in the past. You can use any translucent to cover up the flash and use it as a diffuser for your flash.

White color is preferred as the light from the diffuser doesn’t affect the scene and the color of the frame.

How to use a flash diffuser like professionals?

The best way to use a flash diffuser in photography is with a flashgun. When shooting a scene, try out different angles of the flashgun attached to a diffuser. If it faces the subject, the light will be soft but direct.

If you capture a wide frame, this can result in an illuminated center and dark edges. Same with the Bounce diffuser. The most common way to use a flash diffuser in photography is by keeping it faced up (with a sphere diffuser). This will spread the light evenly and give a natural look, especially during model photography.

Finally, if you are doing product photography with products that can fit on a table, you can use a Softbox diffuser. This will eliminate the direct lighting and expose the image with good lighting.

Conclusion

Using a flash diffuser in photography is always a creative decision that you have to make. The best thing you can do is test it for your scenes yourself. Compare the results and go ahead with the one that gives better output.

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