Testing out a Bounce Card I made..

This is a discussion on Testing out a Bounce Card I made.. within the Flash forums, part of the Photography Tips category; Before the weekend, I had posted about bounce cards , and mentioned foam paper to make one, and that I might try it over the ...


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  1. #1
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    Before the weekend, I had posted about bounce cards,
    and mentioned foam paper to make one, and that I might try it over the weekend.
    The basic idea behind it is from "A Better Bounce Card":
    http://www.abetterbouncecard.com

    So tonight I made one.

    I picked up some white and black foam paper at WalMart. Only 33 cents per paper.

    I took the black paper, and cut this out of it:

    (it's about 5 1/2 inches tall by 4 1/2 inches across)

    I planned to use this as a backing, so that if I have the flash tilted to bounce off a wall or something, the black backing would block the flash from blinding bystanders.

    Then I cut out a smaller piece from the white foam paper.

    (it's just under 3 inches tall and about 4 inches across)

    I put the two together


    So the white would be used like a bounce card.
    And the black, to keep stray light from annoying/blinding people nearby
    (plus it just looks better then a piece of white foam sticking out of the top of the camera. hehe).

    On the black area under the white, I put velcro, and attached it to the speedlight that way.

    Also, I added a black strip of foam paper vertically down the center of the white, which helps reduce light from bouncing back straight on.. causing glare and other things.

    (scroll down a few posts to see photos of what it looks like actually on the camera)
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  • #2
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    Here's some test shots I did using it.
    All the settings (ISO, Aperture, speedlight angle, etc) are the same.
    The only thing I changed was the foam bouncer, taking it off and on for each shot.

    Without bounce card, flash just bounced off ceiling:


    Flash bounced off ceiling + bounce card with black strip down center:

    The shadows are filled in better, etc.

    You can see where it'd come in handy if I was shooting a person.
    There'd be less shadows under the eyes, under the chin, etc.
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  • #3
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    Without:


    With:
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  • #4
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    Without:


    With:


    It added a catchlight to the cats eyes, as well as softened the shadow under her caused by the ceiling bounce.


    It works decently so far. And the foam is very flexible and durable. I like it so far.
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  • #5
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    Okay, so I played with this some more today.

    The velcro I used to attach the foam to the speedlight was getting annoying.
    It didn't stick to the foam well, so when I'd go to take the foam off of the speedlight,
    the two velcro pieces would stay stuck together on the light, and it'd just peel off from the foam. ack

    So I trashed the idea of the velcro and just used a hair tie wrapped around the foam / light to keep it on.
    I may pick up on of these to replace it though:
    http://www.michaels.com/art/online/display...oductNum=nw0287
    It's like a velcro belt to wrap around things. So I'd be able to wrap it around the foam like I have the hair tie now,
    but I'd also be able to un-velcro the "belt" to move it around or take it off.

    Here's a shot of it all on the light/camera:


    And the back of it:


    Close up of it:

    (I just used a stapler to staple the white foam onto the black backing foam)

    In my original post, I mentioned also adding a vertical strip of black foam going
    down the center of the white, to help reduce straight on bounce glare. Something like this:


    It worked well, but it isn't for every situation.
    Some situations, I want the full bounce without the strip.
    So I tore the black strip off (which is why I'm having to hold it on the foam in the above photo).

    So I had to think of a way to put the black strip on and take it off easily as needed.
    I could of just made another bounce card with it on there, but then that would mean having to change
    bounce cards every time I wanted that center strip on there. That's too much work! hehe

    So I thought about putting a piece of white velcro on the white foam, and another on the black strip,
    so I could just attach / detach it onto the white foam with the velcro as needed.
    But the problem of the velcro not sticking to the foam very well ruined that..

    So I thought.. and thought.. about how I could easily get the black strip on
    when needed and take it off when not.. and finally thought of..

    (see next post)
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  • #6
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    Magnets!

    Nothing too strong of course, I didn't want the magnets to mess with / harm the speedlight or camera.
    But just a little magnet to help hold the black strip against the white foam.

    I put one little magnet on the front of the card:


    And another little magnet on the back of the card..


    So they'd magnetize together and hold the black foam against the white.
    Yay! It works nicely, isn't heavy and isn't too big to mess with the results of the flash/bounce.

    But now I have this extra accessory (magnets and black strip) that I plan to take off and on..
    so where do I put it for easy access when its not on the camera and I need it..

    Easy! When I'm not using the black strip.. I just have the magnets hanging out of the edge of the foam:


    And can tuck away the black strip under the white one:


    Works well. =D

    And what if I don't want to bounce the flash off the foam, but just want to use the flash normally without it?

    Just pull the foam back and you're ready to shoot normally.
    This is also how I can pack it away in my camera bag easily without taking it all off.


    Yay! It's working out good so far.
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  • #7
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    And it doesn't look too crazy or weird on the camera either. hehe:


    I'll post some sample photos using it in my next couple posts here..
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  • #8
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    Well documented and a good idea. I think this will work well. Thanks for sharing.
    Nikon user

    Please visit my smugmug site!
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    "Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest places if you look at it right" - Robert Hunter

  • #9
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    Here's some sample photos.

    I took 3 of each thing..
    - One with just a regular bounce flash bounced off the ceiling.
    - One with the bounce off ceiling + bounce card.
    - And one with the bounce off ceiling + bounce card + black strip down the center.

    The only thing that changed was the bounce card on the flash.
    The ISO, aperture, shutter speed, angle of the speedlight, etc all stayed the same.

    Regular bounce off ceiling:

    It's okay.. there is VERY slight glare in the glasses though, and dark shadows in the "neck" area..

    Bounce off ceiling + bounce card:

    It's a little better in some ways..
    but maybe a bit too much bounce flash directly on the subject.
    Caused worse glare in the glasses..

    Bounce off ceiling + bounce card + black strip:

    Adding the black strip to the bounce card removed the glare from the glasses since it reduces the straight on bounce.
    But it also made the image a bit darker.
    I could of probably upped the flash power to help this.
    Or can probably tweak this on the computer to brighten some.
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  • #10
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    Regular bounce off ceiling:

    It's nice.. there's some shadows on the body though.
    If this was someones face, shadows wouldn't be good.

    Bounce off ceiling + bounce card:

    Hey! Got rid of the shadows.. but the card bounce is a little strong. It has that "flash was used" look

    Bounce off ceiling + bounce card + black strip:

    The black strip reduced the brightness from the bounce from hitting directly.
    So it has a less harsh flash look while still filling in those shadows.
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