DIY Photography Hacks: soften pop-up flash with an empty milk carton


In the past we've showed you how to diffuse flash with foam and other materials… but let's face it, these can look large and unsightly. In our latest DIY Photography Hacks post we'll show you how to use part of an empty milk carton as a more compact diffuser to soften pop-up flash.

DIY Photography Hacks soften pop up flash with an empty milk carton

Using your camera's pop-up flash can produce harsh and unattractive results. For those of us who haven't got the spare cash to splash out on a hotshoe mounted flashgun, a small diffuser is the next best thing.

[caption id="attachment_545993" align="aligncenter" width="199"]

With diffused pop up flash

With diffused pop-up flash[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_545994" align="aligncenter" width="199"]

Without the diffuser

Without the diffuser[/caption]

Raid the fridge for an empty plastic milk carton and dig out the scissors for some serious DIY flash-diffuser action.

Soften pop-up flash the DIY photography way

Soften pop up flash the DIY photography way step 1

1 Find a bottle
Next time you go to the shops, grab a six-pint carton of milk. The opaque plastic is the perfect gauge to diffuse the light just enough without losing too much power.

Soften pop up flash the DIY photography way step 2

2 Cut it out
Before it goes into the recycling box, cut out the carton's handle section. The diameter is perfect for a snug fit, but leaves enough space for diffusing the light.

Soften pop up flash the DIY photography way step 3

3 The slits
To enable the diffuser to slip comfortably over the flash, cut a slit down the whole length of the handle (splitting it in half) before sliding it over your flash.

Soften pop up flash the DIY photography way step 4

4 Trim it
You'll want to look cool on the streets and keep the size small enough to fit in your pocket so trim the plastic, leaving a centimetre each side for maximum effect.

DIY Photography Hacks: beat camera shake with a simple bag of lentils
DIY Photography Hacks: why a blank CD case is the perfect rain guard for your lens
DIY Photography Hacks: make your own tripod holder


How to eliminate harsh shadows when using flash
Flash photography made easy: master everything from pop-up flash to multiple flashguns
Bounce flash photography techniques in 4 simple steps
Studio Lighting: 4 seriously simple lighting techniques to try at home