Black cardboard thingy

Recently I watched a video presentation by Neil van Niekerk entitled: “Direction of Light – Your Key to Better Portrait Photography”, which is all about the importance of the direction & quality of light, especially when doing flash photography …

I’ve also seen his video all about his “black foamie thing”, which is his home-made on-camera flash modifier …

So I had a go at producing my own version of this, using a 16 cm square of black cardboard (cut out of an A4 document folder) and 2 black hairbands, which I used to attach it to my flash unit. I also used my Omni-Bounce diffuser, which fits on top of the flash unit. I bought the folder and hairbands at Wilkos, by the way.

Here is a photo of my camera flash set-up, which I used to take a photo of my teddy bear (which is now 65 years of age). I took this photo using a pop-up flash that’s on my Canon G15 camera – you will see that the flash lighting is too harsh, and that there’s a bad shadow of the bear on the wall behind it …


Compare this with my next photo, which I took with my Canon 5D Mk 2 camera with the flash modifier (and the flash unit pointing diagonally upwards & behind me). A much softer light, with more light falling on the right side of the bear’s head, and no ugly shadow on the wall behind it. This image isn’t as sharp as I hoped it would be, but it was just a test shot to try out my modified flash unit …


I used my camera flash last weekend when we had a family get-together – I was very pleased with the results. Many thanks, Neil, for your brilliant ideas and presentations.



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