While a flash helps improve lighting when taking photographs, it can also create unnatural light on a subject. Additionally, shooting without a flash is often not an option when there are low light conditions. By using accessories such as flash diffusers and reflectors, photographers can soften the light from the flash to illuminate the subject without harsh shadows. By comparing flash diffusers and reflectors, photographers can learn about the resulting effects and determine which one works best for their photography goals.
About flash diffusers
Flash diffusers cover an external flash in order to soften the light it produces. Made from a translucent material, a flash diffuser sits directly over the flash and disperses light over a wider area. By eliminating harsh light and shadows, photos have a soft and natural appearance. Flash diffusers come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the brand.
Types of flash diffusers
Photographers can choose between two main types of flash diffusers. The first type features a hard plastic shell design that fits directly over the external flash. This type has a custom shape and fit to go along with the flash model the photographer uses. The second type has a soft and pliable design that adjusts to fit over any external flash, known as a softbox. A softbox completely encases a strobe flash and creates low-contrast portrait lighting.
About flash reflectors
Flash reflectors have the same function as diffusers, but achieve the effect in a different manner. They change the direction of the flash in order to soften light and create a more natural appearance. By bouncing the flash off a different surface, the light does not hit the subject directly from the front. Flash reflectors must be white in order to avoid casting coloured light onto the subject.
Types of flash reflectors
Reflectors for photography come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Photographers often use umbrella reflectors with strobe flashes. The flash shoots into the umbrella, which then reflects back onto the subject and covers a wider area. Likewise, reflector discs work in the same manner. Photographers use these to direct soft light in a specific direction by firing the flash toward the disc.
Comparing flash diffusers and reflectors
By comparing flash diffusers and reflectors, photographers can determine which one works best for their needs. Both are viable options for any instance where the harsh lighting of a flash is unacceptable. In order to make a decision, shoppers should consider usage, size, and effects of each type.
The way a photographer uses a flash diffuser and flash reflector is quite different. While diffusers always cover the flash, reflectors sit in front of the flash to change the direction of the light. Photographers do not need to adjust the placement of a diffuser to create the desired lighting effects. When using a reflector, photographers must carefully consider the placement of both the flash and the reflector to ensure that the light hits the subject at the proper angle. Reflectors work well in the studio while diffusers work in a variety of situations.
Aside from a softbox, flash diffusers are generally quite small. In fact, they do not need to be much larger than the size of the flash. On the other hand, reflectors vary greatly in size. Some small reflectors attach directly to a flash, while umbrellas and reflector discs come in a variety of sizes. The size of the umbrella or reflector disc depends on how intense photographers want the reflected light to be. Additionally, photographers may need additional stands to hold reflectors and flashes in the proper position.
While diffusers and reflectors both function to soften the light that hits the subject of a photograph, they each produce different effects. Diffusers cast soft and even lighting over the subject from a single direction. With reflectors, photographers can cast light on the subject from a specific angle. Additionally, they can use reflectors to create a second light source for interesting lighting effects. Some reflectors include white, black, silver, and gold surfaces to create warming and cooling effects with the light.
How to buy flash diffusers and reflectors on eBay
You can find a large selection of cameras and accessories, like flash diffusers and reflectors, by shopping on eBay. Use the search bar on any eBay page to begin the search. Narrow the listings based on brand, size, and price range to find one that meets your needs. Consider used camera accessories to find lower prices on photography equipment. Specify a price to find the listings that fit in your budget. Create soft and natural light from a flash by using diffusers and reflectors to disperse the light evenly on the subject.