How to make a supersimple bounce flash for your dSLR

A bounce flash for your dSLR camera delivers more uniform light to your photos. Here's how to make one using simply a business card and a pair of scissors.

Xiomara Blanco Associate Editor / Reviews - Tablets and monitors
Xiomara Blanco is an associate editor for CNET Reviews. She's a Bay Area native with a knack for tech that makes life easier and more enjoyable. So, don't expect her to review printers anytime soon.
Xiomara Blanco
2 min read
Watch this: Make a DIY flash bounce

The internal flash of a dSLR comes in handy when shooting in low light and indoors but can sometimes be too harsh on your subjects. Bouncing the flash is a great way to distribute the light more uniformly, allowing for more than just foreground assets to show up in the photo. Bouncing the flash is also great for avoiding harsh shadows and those pesky red eyes.

So how do you bounce a flash? Well, the easiest way is to use an external flash attachment. The problem is that external flashes are bulky, heavy, and cumbersome to travel with. This makes them less desirable to carry around and decreases the chances you'll actually have one when you need it most.

Don't be left in the dark! Here's a DIY flash bounce caught on camera. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Here's a supersimple trick that allows you to bounce the light from your dSLR's internal flash using only a business card and pair of scissors. This trick works for most popular dSLR models with traditional internal flash configurations, like the Canon Rebel and select Nikon models.

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Using the back of a white business card allows you to bounce the light of the flash upward instead of directly at your subject, creating a less harshly lit photo subject. Any standard-size white business card will get the job done.

To make one, first pop up the internal flash on the camera. There's usually a button on the side of the camera that does that for you. If not, turn the camera on and take a picture that requires flash.

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Now take the business card and press one of the shorter sides of the card against the hinges of the internal flash. Press hard enough to make two indentations on the bottom of the card.

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Next, take a pair of scissors and make two cuts about an inch long where the indentations are.

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Then simply slide the business card between the hinges. I recommend placing the card at a 45-degree angle, but when taking photos you can experiment with whichever angle lights your photos best.

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There you have it!

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The top photo was taken with the internal flash, and the bottom photo was taken with the internal flash and business card bounce. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

External flashes are a great addition to any photographer's collection, but when packing light, this trick will give your indoor photos more flash for less weight.