Photography Tips 22: Flash Diffusion Experiment 1

I haven't done any more experiments with this yet but I know more are coming. Anyway, on to the experiment. On one of my message boards a question was asked about the Sto-Fen Omni Bounce flash diffuser and if anyone used it. It made me realize that while I knew I had one, and I use it a lot, I have never really tested to see if it was adding to my images or not. I executed an experiment to test if it diffused the flash, which I assumed that it did, and if that additional diffusion was beneficial. Here are my results.

Click image for full size.

I tried to adjust the flash output to keep the exposure consistent but I wasn't careful enough to get it right on all of them so I did adjust the exposure in post to make them all look similar. So the flash power/settings don't exactly match up to what was ideally needed.

It clearly helps diffuse the flash, and you needed to set the flash to a higher power to get the same exposure if you don't adjust the angle. Depending on what you are aiming for with the flash, I am not sure I am always going to keep the diffuser on. Like when I bounce it behind me, I think it might diffuse too much light forward for some applications. In general this experiment reminded me to really think critically about why I use the gear I do and make sure it is adding positively to the images I make using it.

1 comment:

SusanB said...

The best is the straight up, 1/4 power with the bare bulb. I think, more than anything, controlling the direction of light is more important that the diffusing method you choose.


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