Speedlite Diffuser

“You’ve gotta taste the light.  And when you see light like this, trust me, it’s like a strawberry sundae with sprinkles.”-Joe McNally

In my journey to understand light and to capture it, I’m reading about the characteristics of light as much as I possibly can.  It’s a vast and complex topic.

My first step in this attempt to paint with light was to buy a speedlite, albet a modest one.  It was made in China and sold by Amazon under the name of Yongnuo.  Model?  Yongnuo YN565 EX.  For the last two weeks I’ve been playing with it.  My wife is assisting by being my model.  She is doing great.

My latest acquisition was a cheap plastic Chinese light diffuser, also known as a “Sto-fen” light diffuser.  A light diffuser creates a diffused bare bulb effect, giving even coverage across the entire frame, with lenses from 15mm to 200mm in the 35mm format (and equal in other formats as well).  It is easy to use and fits in and off the speedlite in seconds with custom fitting and no touch fasteners.

Snapshot of a Yongnuo YN 565 EX speedlite with a Sto-fen light diffuser installed on the head of the flash. Last evening I tried it taking pictures of my wife in our living room. It had a decent performance, but not as much as I had anticipated. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

This white dome will convert the flashlight-style light into a bare bulb-style light.  It’s omni-directional, but it is still small and harsh.  But it will absolutely make your flash act like a bare light bulb.

The diffuser I purchased was very cheap—$3.94.  Interesting to comment that bringing it from Miami to Panama had a cost of $7.71.  Transportation costs were a bit more than twice the cost of the diffuser.

Below is a sample picture of my wife acting as a model in our living room.  It was about seven o’clock at night with the light of the dining room lit.  The speedlite was placed beside her on the floor about three feet away, aimed at the white ceiling.  The idea was to bounce the light from the ceiling to the subject.  The flash’s power was set at the minimum setting of 1/128.  The DSLR Canon EOS Rebel  T2i camera was set up as follows:  ISO 200, Aperture Value 5.6 and Shutter Speed 1/200.

Tonight I will slightly darken the scene by changing the Aperture Value (AV) to f/7.1 and see what happens.

Photograph of my wife, Aura, posing for the camera while I experimented with an off-camera speedlite and a modest Chinese plastic diffuser. The shot was taken last night in our living room. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

We plan to continue our shooting sessions again this evening.  In my opinion, the only way to learn is by doing, over and over again.  “Practice makes perfection.”  Good Day.


4 thoughts on “Speedlite Diffuser”

  1. Thank you again, Omar, for taking me on your learning journey. It will be fun to see your next photo of her with settings changed. Have a great day!

    1. Morning Barbara,

      The idea is to share my experiences with readers and also to document the results of my learning curve. There is so much to learn, a lot more than when I started shooting with my modest P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS, which by the way, I still use.

      Light is such an interesting subject, and there is so much you can do with it in the magical world of photography.

      I am happy that you are enjoying the experience as well.



  2. The exposure looks great Omar and you wife looks patient. My wife usually make faces at me when I ask her to be a test subject 🙂

    1. My wife has turned out to be a perfect model for my speedlite’s experiments. We have a long way to go before I get it right. Yesterday we made some test shots which resulted in a total mess. Tonight the exercises will continue.

      Joe, I’m really interested in mastering the technique of off-camera lighting. There is so much you can do with light.

      Thank you for your comments.



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