Flash light projected directly onto the subject of a portrait creates overwhelming illumination on the face, stark shadows and flat, ugly light. So the light has to be made softer and more diffused - something achieved e.g. with indirect flashing. For example: the flash can be directed onto a wall behind the photographer and the light is then projected back off the wall. The illumination area is greater, the light is scattered, and the shadows are softer. It is more like the light is surrounding the subject, instead of bundled light hitting the front of the subject.
But there is not always a wall or ceiling available to act as a reflector. Especially not at outdoor shoots, like weddings. That's why there are the most varied solutions available that act as mobile diffusers or reflectors for flashes. There are yogurt cups or small tents made of hazy material that can be attached to a flash. Some people use little cardboard cards to fasten them to the flash.
However, none of these solutions are really satisfying, because they do not really allow the light to be molded to the purpose. A truly revolutionary solution to this problem is the BOUNCE-WALL by Sunbounce. The BOUNCE-WALL is a real reflective surface, just like the big Sunbounce reflectors. It even has the same surface, such as ZEBRA = gold/silver mix. This mini Sunbouncer can be adjusted almost three-dimensionally. It is attached to an arm that can be fastened to the camera. The arm or boom is simply screwed securely onto the camera tripod thread, just like a normal flash bracket. Just stick the flash into the flash shoe and direct it towards the BOUNCE-WALL. No additional cables or remote flash triggers are needed.
The BOUNCE-WALL is mounted on a ball head and can be tilted in any direction. And the reflector surface can be replaced, so silver, gold or white surfaces can be used. With the adjustable reflector area and the exchangeable surfaces, any light that you want can be created.
Of course, this amazing item has a price - which is why I made my own DIY BOUNCE-WALL for 99 cents.
This is all I needed:
- a wire coat hanger
- a piece of cardboard
- aluminum foil
- clothes pins
- adhesive tape
- an old tripod or adapter screw
And this is how I built my DIY BOUNCE-WALL:
I took a piece of sturdy cardboard the size of a standard sheet of paper (DIN A4) and covered it with simple household aluminum foil.
I completely straightened the wire of the coat hanger and then bent it exactly in the middle. At the two ends of the wire, I bent a short piece, about 3 cm. Then I placed one end over the other and wrapped them with adhesive tape.
At the other end of the wire, I wrapped the two sides with adhesive tape, as shown in the photo. I left a little space for the screw. The adapter screw has to fit through here to attach the arm to the bottom of the camera.
Next I screwed the wire under the camera and, as shown in the photo, bent the wire up at a right angle.
Then I turned and bent the horizontal piece, wrapped in tape, such that it was at about a 45 degree angle to the shooting axis.
I used a clothes pin to fasten the reflector surface to the horizontal, taped piece. Then I moved it to the desired angle, e.g. 45 degrees.
I put the flash on the camera's flash shoe and turned it such that it was pointed directly at the reflector.
It was that easy to make my DIY BOUNCE-WALL out of items found in any household.