These DIY Light Modifiers Greatly Improve Photos Taken with a Simple Flash (VIDEO)

Most photographers know that a using a simple flash unit isn’t the most effective way to shoot portraits and still-life photos under low-light conditions. If you lack the budget or skills for more complicated lighting setups, the video below is for you.

In this DIY project from AdoramaTV, New York portrait pro Daniel Norton demonstrates how to make a variety of light modifiers from common household items, and demonstrates the dramatic effect they can have when shooting with a simple flash. These homemade accessories are not only effective and easy to make, they’re also a lot of fun to use.

Norton is quarantined at home without a model, so he’s using a goofy prop he calls “Uncle Leo” as his subject. He begins by shooting an image without flash at all, then moves on to his strobe—with and without the DIY light modifiers.

You’ll pick up valuable tips on exposure settings along the way, and learn how to direct your supplemental light properly for optimum results. Norton also demonstrates how to capture catchlights in the eyes of a subject for even better images.

The most basic DIY modifier Norton demonstrates is a hand-held sheet of aluminum foil that serves as a reflector, while he elevates his off-camera flash by placing it atop a stack of books. You can accomplish much the same result with a small white card.

Norton’s other homemade flash modifiers can be used to create stylistic effects, alter the color of the light, and much more. So take a look, pull out your flash, and have some fun. There are more interesting tutorials on the AdoramaTV YouTube channel.