Optimizing your Pop-Up Flash results - Direct comparison between different methods and modifiers

Started Oct 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Optimizing your Pop-Up Flash results - Direct comparison between different methods and modifiers
Oct 4, 2012

I'm a bit nervous about posting a pop-up flash thread in a Studio and Lighting Technique category but know that there are many great photographers here with a wealth of knowledge.

Before I begin, I just want to state that I do know the limitations of pop up flash photography and used to shoot with a Canon system with wireless external flashes however since my son just became a toddler, it was not feasible to carry my heavy gear around with him so I recently ended up buying a lighter micro 4/3 system.  (Olympus OM-D E-M5) In order to keep the system a light as possible, decided I would do a bit of experimenting to figure out the best compromise using the pop up flash.  In no way is this to replace studio off camera lighting ( I can still use my wireless triggers for that) but the idea is to have something I can use for more everyday shooting.

Below is a direct comparison of different pop up flash modifier 'types' on the market.  I say type since many on the market are just simple variations of really just the same couple of ideas.

I also shot one photo with my own DIY modifier that is different from any one found on the market and would like to see what others think about the results.  If people like the results of mine, I would be glad to show you how I made it at the end.

So here goes.  Below is the direct photo comparison.  I left out which photo used which modifier to allow you to decide without bias.  Let me know which photo you like the best.  You can also make an educated guess on which photo was shot with what type of modifier.  I'm sure the experienced members, that would be a rather easy task.  The photos are shot indoors in a room with 8 ft white ceilings.  The first photo is the output without flash which is black representing no other light source influencing the results.  Of course the results of these modifiers would be better if some ambient light is allowed in the photos but I wanted to just compare the modifiers directly.  All photos are shot in JPEG unedited straight out of camera.

Please pardon the awful looking self portrait, no models to shot unfortunately and my wife doesn't allow me to post her photos ;-(.  Please judge the lighting effects and let me know which one you like.  I will post the answers once people have had their chance to make their choices.  Thanks in advance.  Cheers.

Olympus OM-D E-M5
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