Images taken from random posts (not my own)
Speedlight - Last Minute?!
Most photographers like to be prepared for most situations where they plan a specific concept and know at least approximately what the environment will be around them. But what if you keep your camera with you and just happen to run across a photo worthy event or person. It looks like you only have your camera, a speedlight, and perhaps a few lenses in your bag. It turns out this opportunity in indoors without the greatest natural light- what are your options?
You do have a few options in this situation. You could crank up your ISO and work with a wide open aperture, work with a slow shutter speed and hope that your images do not turn out too noisy or blurry. This of course can only take you so far of course, especially if you are photographing people or a pet. So you break out your speedlight and of course you don't happen to have any of the fancy modifiers, stands, or triggers that are sitting home. So, on camera flash it is today! Speedlights are handy, but typically produce a very harsh light. You know that you can adjust the angle of the flash head and even rotate the head itself. You quickly look for a light colored wall or at least a piece of paper that you can use to bounce your light.
There are of course other spur of the moment modifier that you might use such as tissue paper or napkins in front of the strobe to soften the light. But if you think for a moment, do that location have trash bags? By partially inflating a white (unused) trash bag and securing it around the strobe you could find yourself with a very nice larger modifier. OK, it looks silly, but it can work!
What about the nice foam plates so commonly available? Do you have something similar to tooth pics available? Well then, you could create a impromptu beauty dish. Cut a opening in the back of the foam dish for the strobe head. Now cut out a smaller circle just slightly larger than the strobe head lens. Use tooth picks or something similar to advance the smaller foam circle so it it rest in front of the strobe lens (See above).
While these 'hacks' might not impress a potential client, they will provide you with options that you may not have thought about in the past.