There can be times when, even with your flash set to its lowest power setting, the result is still a little too harsh or bright. Typically the image shows burnt-out areas or hard shadows, neither of which are very flattering for portrait work, and may not be desirable in other situations such as landscapes and architectural work.

An easy solution is to fit a diffuser to the flash head, essentially an opaque white cover that softens the light. These can be bought, or you can make your own from a bit of thin opaque white plastic, such as a yoghurt or cream carton.

In an emergency though, toilet or tissue paper will do the job. Just wrap it around the flash head to diffuse the light. More layers result in softer, less powerful light,whilst fewer layers obviously allow more light through the impromptu diffuser.