Some of the products that have the most transformative effects on your photography are the simplest. One such item is the Joe Demb Flip-it, which, with care, can deliver impressive results when more elaborate lighting set-ups are not possible. The flip-it essentially enables the photographer to create sophisticated ‘three light source’ images even when using the much-maligned on-camera flash. I have two of the Jumbo version.
The Joe Demb Flip-it is a hinged reflector, or bounce card, attached to an upward-pointed flashgun. It attaches with a velcro strap and will fit any model with adjustable head. It fixes easily to my Canon 580ex and Sigma DG Super 500 easily. You do not need to put any adhesives on your flashgun itself.
On the Joe Demb Flip-it here’s a hinge to angle the flash – much better than a fixed-angle reflector or simple bounce card as you can adjust how much light is kicked forward and how much is ent to your bounce surface – ie. a wall or ceiling. Even if a bounce surface is distant or unavailable by angling the reflector forward you can at least increase the size of the light source, softening the light over bare flash. You can use the Flip-it! in both portrait and landscape orientation.
Say we had a suitable ceiling available as a bounce source, our subject would receive the soft light as in a traditional bounce situation but also a kick of more direct light from the bounce card. It’s a little like having a key and fill in one light. Add in your ambient sources too and that’s a potential three light-source set-up. It’s possible to take flash pictures in dark environments that barely look flashed at all that have an air of complexity that may trick some into believing you must have used umbrellas or off-camera flash.