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Outback Photo Handbook: Gear

Portable Softer Light from Flash

essay by Uwe Steinmueller

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We most of the time photograph using available light. But there are situation where we would need some flash and we would not like to carry big flashes and/or umbrellas with stands. We looked for solutions that are portable and still make the flash light softer. These tools won't turn your flash into a big professional soft box but at least they help a quite a bit.



These versatile and inexpensive caps are classic tools for many photographers. Some flashes come today with similar caps but the Omni-Bounce is the original.


The diffusers come in white and warm tone. The warm tone helps often where you don't want the fill light to be to cold in tone. If we carry flash we have these two caps in our bags.


If you are like us and like the build-in flash on some cameras (DSLRs and also Panasonic G1) for the rare occasion you need a simple flash you should have a look into the STO-FEN Omni-Flip:

The Omni-Flip can be placed on the camera's flash hot shoe (works with many models).

Both products are highly recommended

Harbor Digital Design

Ultimate Light Box

If we want want the light to be some level softer we use the Ultimate Light Box.

This is actually a very modular system and consist of the following parts:

  • Small Bounce Diffuser with flash adapter (*)
  • Larger Soft box
  • Six colored Gels

(*) for a new flash you only need to buy a new adapter because the rest of the modular system is generic and identical for all flash systems.

Our first concern was that the Ultimate Light Box is not very small (which helps to get softer light). We then learned that you can pack the flash into the open soft box. Because you carry the flash anyway the soft box does not add much in terms of volume and the weight does not matter at all.

Highly Recommended

Our affiliate merchant B&H carries both systems (use the search box in the right navigation)





Manage the Digital Workflow




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