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  #1  
Old 09-13-2015, 11:35 PM
Kevinator Kevinator is offline
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Hey guys! Does anyone know any cheap and effective way to soften a light source? I can't find a good way to go about doing it without buying more equipment.
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  #2  
Old 09-14-2015, 12:55 AM
Nana Trish Nana Trish is offline
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Sheer curtain panels will soften the light/sunlight coming from windows.
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  #3  
Old 09-14-2015, 01:38 AM
desertanimal desertanimal is offline
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Wax paper? Tracing paper? I think it really depends on the specific light source you're trying to soften.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:16 AM
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Some sort of white cloth?

Our flash fires off-camera inside what's called a 'Softbox'. We have bought one, but basically the front is just soft white cloth that softens the light from the flash, with black sides which stop it leaking out other routes.

The other thing you can do is try and bounce it off the ceiling. Before we had the Softbox we used to point it up, the ceiling is white and not particularly high, the bounced light softened it a lot, but if the ceilings are too high you will loose most of the light.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:09 AM
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I went to the local craft store and bought a wooden canvas stretcher frame for about $5 for a 36" frame. Then, a cheap white sheet from K-Mart was doubled and stapled to the frame, the excess trimmed off.

Put that between the flash and the subject - you can play with the various distances to experiment.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:45 PM
snowflake311 snowflake311 is offline
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If you want to get into flash photography get an off camera flash. Bouncing light off a wall gives a nice effect.

What kind of flash and camera do you have?
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:20 PM
naoki naoki is offline
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If you can change the direction of your flash, then bouncing is the cheapest way. You can direct the light to the side or up, and then hold a large white paper, and bounce back the light to the subject.

Or with available light, you can use north facing window or you could wait for cloudy days to get diffused light.

But I think getting the flash off camera is the 1st thing to improve photography as Rosie suggested. I would go with cheap radio trippers instead of wired remote flash. Then you can use soft boxes, or umbrella (either reflective or shoot-through).

https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/...tudio-umbrella
https://www.fasttech.com/products/0/...tudio-umbrella

For me, umbrella is easier than softboxes to set up.

Here are a couple DIY ideas:
How To Build 24 DIY Softboxes - DIY Photography

Before I got the lighting setup (it improves photography much more than buying a new camera), I also used something like what Ray mentioned. I used a cardboard box, put the aluminum foil inside, and covered one end with thin fabric, and made a hole in the back to stick a flash head into.

If you don't want to go with remote tripper route, you can use high power CFLs in the softbox.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:50 AM
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Are you talking about light for photography, or growing plants?
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2015, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowflake311 View Post
What kind of flash and camera do you have?
I am currently using a Nikon D3300 with the normal lens that come with it and I only have an on-camera flash. I'll have to consider getting an off camera one someday.
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2015, 09:46 AM
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Experiment with waxed paper layers over the flash, held in place with tape. In a pinch, I've been known to hold a plastic food container over mine, too.
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