As a beginner photographer, you must be own at least one DSLR camera, as well as several camera lenses. Even though you probably take most of your pictures during the daytime, however you will eventually come to a time for you to take pictures in low-light scenes, such as shooting at lounges and bars. In order for you to do so, making use of an Olympus Flash with your Olympus camera is important, and you need to learn on how to use it properly.
The problem arises when you start using your on-camera flash. For my Olympus E-510, the on-camera flash is extremely weak. So I bought an Olympus Flash FL-50, which has greatly improved my photography technique.
Unfortunately, this Olympus flash is very strong and creates dark shadows, which does not result in pictures I wish to shoot for. For example, if you take a picture of a person standing up on a wall, the flash can create a dark shadow on the wall, which makes the person look wider than they actually are. It was time to get a flash diffuser, and my sto-fen omnibounce is now permanently attached to my Olympus flash. It’s a little white box that is ideal for spreading the light around.
Flash Diffuser to the Rescue
Before I bought a flash diffuser, although my Olympus Flash FL-50 gave me a lot of creative freedom in taking the pictures I wanted in almost any lighting conditions I faced, it still was too harsh. It created glares on shiny surfaces, resulting in shadows, and sometimes didn’t act properly when it came to fill lighting.
What the flash diffuser does is “diffuse” the light. It spreads the flash light around so that it doesn’t hit your subject directly. By softening the light, it also creates a more natural feel, which is something great to have when using flash lighting. Furthermore, it allows you to give your image a softer look without dialing down the flash power. This helps with any fill lighting problems you may have previously had.
Buying a Flash Diffuser
As I previously mentioned, I used a Sto-fen Omnibounce flash diffuser, which does a better job than the diffuser that comes with my Olympus FL-50. There are also larger diffusers available, such as those from Gary Fong. However, I have not tried it, since it is slightly expensive.
Still on the fence? Make your own flash diffuser
If you’re not sure you want to invest 30$ on a flash diffuser, then you can still make your own. I did, when I wanted to see if things are different. One way to do this is to simply tape some tissue to your Olympus flash. Although it can easily get torn, it will filter and spread the light, acting as a diffuser will. It isn’t ideal, but it is good enough. The second approach you can use is to place an index card at 40 degrees to your Olympus flash. Although it isn’t exactly a diffuser, it is a quick way of letting the light bound off the card. This spreads the light around the room, with effects similar to those obtained with a diffuser.
Of course, as always, have fun with your camera!