(Words by Christina. Graphics by Justin.)
I used to avoid flash at all costs, but the FinnBounce piqued my interest in flash photography. This simple homemade device, designed by Petteri Sulonen, allows the built in pop-up flash on digital SLRs to be bounced, effectively deflecting light from the lens. This eliminates the harsh shadows characteristic of most built-in flashes and instead results in a more natural looking, evenly lit subject.
But does it work? Short answer: Yes!
Impressed by the before/after shots posted by the creator, Justin and I wanted to test the FinnBounce out for ourselves.
We gathered the household materials (cardstock and foil) and followed the 9-step directions to construct our very own FinnBounce. Preliminary tests revealed impressive results. However, it was apparent that the design was not meant to fit our particular camera, the Canon Rebel XSi. We decided to tweak the design to allow for a more consistently secure use of the FinnBounce. Ultimately, we found the following model to be most successful for the XSi:
Compared to the original FinnBounce, our modified FinnBounce incorporates a flap that runs over the hot shoe and slides behind the rubber viewfinder cover.
We made two versions of our modified FinnBounce: 1) white (without foil) and 2) foil. The former acts as a diffuser-bounce combo, while the latter is better-suited for bounce only. Both significantly reduce dark shadows and overexposure compared to shots taken without the FinnBounce.
Check out some test photos (click to enlarge):
Try it out for yourself! Download a free template of our modified FinnBounce here.
Bottom line: The FinnBounce is a simple, cost efficient (read: free) way to explore flash photography.