The built-in flash on a compact digital camera is handy, but it can cast harsh shadows on a subject and on the wall behind it. The flash can also cause a subject to become over exposed.
To eliminate these problems, photographers use a variety of techniques and accessories such as an external flash that can be raised to bounce the flash off of a ceiling. They also use a diffuser, built into the flash unit or purchased separately as an accessory.
If your camera has a pop-up flash, a simple 3×5″ white card can be used to bounce and diffuse the light, resulting in a more natural, pleasing photo. It can even help prevent red-eye.
It’s important that the card that is used is pure white. A card with even a slightly tinted color will result in an unnatural hue on the subject.
In the illustration, the card is attached to the camera just under the flash and bent upward at a 45 degree angle.
Photo by James Jordan