Wedding Photography Tips: Softening Your On-Camera Flash

In this video we take a look at using modifiers such as the Gary Fong LightSphere and Pearstone Bounce Dome that can make the difference in your next shoot.

Softening Your On-Camera Flash

36 Responses to “Wedding Photography Tips: Softening Your On-Camera Flash”

  1. Nick Everitt

    This is a very misleading video aimed purely at selling pieces of overpriced plastic to people who do not know how to correctly expose photos with flash. Showing an overexposed straight on flash shot compared to a properly exposed shot with bounced flash is not a proper comparison at all.

  2. Rabi Ahmad

    That’s not very professional though. You shouldn’t be making videos solely to advertise a product even if that means introducing bias into it just to sell it. At least show us a fair comparison of the final image.

  3. sofukingwhat

    or you can use a scott towel wrapped on the flash with a rubberband lol… the 1$ softening technique

  4. Farez Hassan

    using the bounce dome outdoors in bright sunlight! hope you brought spare batteries:P

  5. Jamfan101

    I have a bridge camera and It has a hot shoe. what type of flash can I attach to it? Does it has to be a specific type of flash? the camera is a Fuji HS35EXR

  6. Joshua Chang

    the examples you chose to show could’ve been better… composition wise and lighting wise.

  7. Juvis Wilshon

    Using a diffuser outside? Whyyy!!!

    • B&H Photo Video

      Even a cameras tiny pop up flash can cause harsh shadows on a persons face and an unnatural catch light in their eyes. A diffuser will soften the flash and make the light appear more natural looking on your subject. 

      C h u c k 

    • Juvis Wilshon

      +B and H He could have used a better diffuser for outside portraits… but I guess it helps… 🙂

    • LS_scape

      +B and H At that distance, the surface of the diffuser is still way too small to make any portrait have softer shadows. Plus, you are wasting more than 50% of your flash & battery power towards the open space of the outdoor left, right, beneath and above the subject.

  8. SketchSloth

    The indoors shoot made no sense, shooting with flash straight forwards then using a defuser upwards? you could easily just point the flashgun upwards if the ceiling is bright, using bounce flash of the ceiling will give the softer shadows while still keeping a shadow under the chin making the image more slimming and attractive. 

    • Kassandra Flores

      Agree. I was just going to say this.

    • Rob Tokar

      ditto, as soon as I saw that I clicked off 😉 not that it matters, but clearly wasn’t going to help anyone

  9. Charles Rollins

    The lightsphere showed very little difference than straight on flash. With the white walls and ceiling no lightsphere is needed, just bounce the flash off the wall or ceiling behind you, makes a more flattering flash.  The lightsphere is good in a small number of scenarios.  Bounce flashing is more flattering than a lightsphere which sucks up battery power because you are spreading light all over the room.

  10. Charles Rollins

    Just beware of Gary’s How To Shoot A Wedding video. He said he is shooting a wedding. Actually, he quit a few years ago and either he got permission to shoot at this one or he staged it because no photographer who calls themselves a professional in their right mind, would not shoot the bride and her dad coming down the aisle and he doesn’t use his own lightsphere on the outdoor photos.  All his ads are so very misleading and images are doctored up in a way to make them look more attractive. He calls it business, I call it misleading the public for a piece of plastic.

    • mrBDeye

      +Charles Rollins Gary Fong’s live tutorials are quite good and his images are not “doctored up” as you say. The quality is good because he uses Sony a6000.

    • Charles Rollins

      Ever pay attention to the videos and the still pics he inserts?  Watch the person he is photographing, the expression on their face at time of shooting is nothing like the inserted pics he said he took and they are all doctored up.  Watch closely, typical Fong bait and switch he has been using for many years.  Watch the wedding video – so many mistakes and missed pics that no pro photographer would ever do.  I mean not even photographing the father escorting his daughter down the aisle is something a rookie would not even do.

  11. Paul Duerinckx

    Indoor fine, outdoors nonsense. These diffusers are too small to make a difference even when going for the hot fill-in light shown in the examples (that btw look horribly over-lit). They are both designed to bounce light off convenient white walls and ceilings (indoors, where ceiling and walls are more prevalent). If you are underexposing the daylight outside, the most you can hope for is some reduction in specularity in comparison to direct flash. I’ve found that a simple bounce card produces an equally good effect and is certainly cheaper than the Gary Fong (I use the Demb Flip It). Dome-type diffusers are good for lighting spaces broadly with off camera flash. Both the Fong and the Pearstone (Stofen copy) rob you of 2 stops of light outdoors, so, for fill, just use direct flash.

    • Jason Bodden

      +Paul Duerinckx Pointing the Lightsphere straight at them, outdoors, like that at that distance, with them in shade, can more than fill in shadows like that lol. You may have to increase your flash power but it is VERY possible. I’ve seen it done and have done it. I do agree that a cheaper alternative would be a bounce card. My preference is the Adorama Shell Diffuser on camera for softer light but the Lightsphere would soften light to a point in that situation, too.

    • listerheb

      No, it won’t soften the light.  The sphere softens light by bouncing it around the room which doesn’t happen outdoors like this. You’ll fill just as many shadows with less power by pointing your flash directly. If you’re very close a wide setting on the flash could make a difference. The point is the sphere isn’t helpful over and above your regular speedlight in this situation. 

    • Jason Bodden

      It’s helpful but at a close distance. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of flash power. More effective diffusers would be like what I mentioned in my last comment as there’s not much wasted light and it’s a bit more concentrated rather than throwing light out in every direction. The Lightsphere will soften it somewhat but I’m not going to argue the point.

    • Jason Bodden

      +Paul Duerinckx I use the Adorama Shell Diffuser, period. It’s the best diffuser I’ve ever used for indoor and outdoor application. Built really sturdily, looks great, and is a fraction of the cost of a GF Lightsphere, which does nothing to justify its price for me. The GF Lightsphere is quite low on my list.

    • Jason Bodden

      +listerheb The point is that it is helpful. Might not be the best solution for fill outdoors but it will certainly soften it a tad. Again, personally, I’d rather go with diffused flash, Adorama Shell Diffuser, or bare/diffused flash pointed at my subject, using HSS (High Speed Sync).

  12. grufiog

    $50 for a piece of plastic? uumm…

    • deasttn

      No thanks. Buy that junk on ebay or aliexpress, right?

  13. Dennis Keena

    You used the Gary Fong the wrong way .watch his tutoial or better still read the card that comes with every lightsphere sold .

  14. FlopsyGuitarBunny

    If you had bounced the flash off the ceiling to begin with it wouldn’t have been so harsh.

  15. shock7258

    maby just decrease flash power… ?

  16. Bunty Simmons

    your subject would be over exposed if you shoot at 90%, Advertisement I recon

  17. Maciek Matwiejszyn

    Maybe I am dim, but where is the bulb (globe) like diffuser ???

    • B&H Photo Video

      If you are referring to the Gary Fong Lightsphere, we do carry these. The Lightsphere talked about in this video is simply the inverted option, but we do have the traditional option. *Christina*

  18. Jim Carigga

    Hi. Is the Gary Fong’s Lightsphere compatible with the Nissin i60a? -Thanks!

    • B&H Photo Video

      You could use the Gary Fong Lightsphere on the Nissin i60A. *Christina*

    • Jim Carigga

      Thank you!

  19. g bee

    B&H has made some excellent videos but this is definitely not one of them.

  20. Lyka Lyod

    Thank you