How to Hack Your On-Board Digital Camera Flash

Learn how to hack the on-board flash of a digital camera from commercial photographer Dan Bracaglia in this digital photography lesson from Howcast.

Nearly every digital camera out there has an on board pop up flash. This camera is no exception. Truthfully though, it’s kind of a little dirty so you go to the camera industry and these flashes are really God awful for lighting your subject well. It’s just straight on, blinding light that generally washes out the subject, make them look really pale, ghost like.

It’s just not flattering. So, there’s a couple different ways you can hack the flash or already on your camera so you can’t afford or don’t want to buy a more expensive one, that will just really improve your image quality. This camera is a little bit of an exception because it has this little bit of a nice feature. You can bend the flash in like that and I can literally hold it there and bounce it off the ceiling like a more expensive flash, and have if fall down on my subject instead of blinding. If your camera can’t do that, which most can’t, another really simple technique is to take a piece of masking tape or even a piece of tissue paper and just put it over the flash.

This will diffuse it a little bit and soften the light. Always keep in mind you’re going to have to compensate a little bit when shooting your subject because you’re having less light output and tricking your camera into just putting out less light in general. Play around. There is a lot of household items that will work well. Like I’ve said masking tape is great, tissue paper, and wax paper. So play with it and have some fun and see what works for you. If you are one of the people who is fortunate to have a point and shoot that you know you can bend the flash like this, give that a try to and see what works, but don’t use it like this.