Wednesday, November 14, 2012

professor reva, camera expurt

I'm going to give you a wee photography head's up today.  I know, the last person to be giving photography advice is me, but I discovered a pretty nifty trick I just had to share, and it works for any camera with a flash - fancy schmancy or point n' shoot.

You know how when you use a flash, it can totally wash out whatever is closest to you and you can't see anything in the background?  our house has terrible lighting, which makes life a little more difficult for me since I never leave the house and take massive amounts of pictures of my children.   Real photographers have external flasses that they can adjust and wiggle around, but I'm not a real photographer or have a job where I can go out buying fancy stuff for my hobby.  One solution is a  Light Scoop, which you can put on your fancy schmancy SLR and it reflects the light up toward the ceiling and diffuses the light a bit.  Here's an example from their website:

See the difference before and after?  It's really awesome and I love mine,  The only problem is, we have really tall ceilings so it doesn't work very well in the main part of the house where we always hang out.  So when WonderGirl had a her huge birthday party here a few weeks ago, I was doomed to either have washed out pictures or to not use the flash at all - which, because of the low light, would result in lots of blurry pictures since kids refuse to ever stay still for a picture.

I went on Pinterest and found lots of ideas, one which was free and super handy.  I made my own thingy to diffuse the light of the flash a tad with a piece of plastic I cut from a milk carton!  I made you a picture to explain:

See?  I cut a piece out of the milk carton, then held it over the flash as I took the picture.  It took a bit of the harshness out of the flash but left me with enough light to get everyone.

Here's an example of a pic the husband took with the pop-up flash on the SLR:

 See, the ones closest up look like ghosts.  I'm the big pregnant blob in the corner handing the husband my make-shift diffuser and asking him to please use it in the next shot.  Which he did.
 See the difference in the color of the table cloth and the closest kid's faces?  It's not perfect, but it was just right to catch all these kids running around the house.

WG doesn't look like a ghost, or a blur, even though I'm using the flash right in front of her!

I took two pics with my point n' shoot, just to be clear this was possible with any camera.  My "diffuser" is resting next tot he SLR.  First, with the flash on:
 Now, flash on WITH my hand-held, handmade, makeshift diffuser:
The map in the background isn't in the dark and the closer camera isn't washed out.  Is it perfect, no, but is it better?  yep, and I have a lots of cute non-blue non-ghost pictures of WG's birthday part to prove it!

You can buy ones that hook onto your camera, and maybe I'll look into those some day.  For now, this free and easy hack worked great.

And yeah, you should totally pin it too :)


Jane said...

I was just thinking I needed a light scoop the other day and now I might not.
I think you need to post about how you made that nifty device.

Master P said...

I DID Jane, I literally cut up a milk carton then held the piece of plastic over my flash while I took a picture. Easy peasy

HEAR YE. I need to document the fact that I ran 3 miles and didn't feel like death.  So just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, I did...