Saturday, March 8, 2008

Get the Goods: Gary Fong's Puffer

OK, so maybe I am a little "Fong Obsessed," as one of my buddies at the Wolf Camera store called me yesterday during my daily lunch break spent at the shop. But seriously, the Gary Fong Puffer Pop-up Flash Diffuser is an amazing piece of equipment for under $20.

The Puffer mounts into the hot-shoe slot of digital cameras with a pop-up flash and softens the quality of the light. It's a great tool for the budding photographer who isn't ready to invest in a costly external flash, but still wants to be able to take great portraits of family and friends. By now, the features staff at the Denver Post are aware of my photography and quite used to me trolling around the office taking practice shots whenever I get new equipment. I think I heard one utter under her breath "Oh God, here she comes again with that damn camera!" before she fessed up and told me, "You know I don't like myself in pictures." But I was able to convince Ed Smith, the entertainment editor, to pose for me while I tried out the Puffer (as long as I promised to send him the good pictures, which of course I did).

This image without the GF Puffer

The shadows are noticeably softened with the Puffer in the second image. And Ed's skin tone is more natural and true to form without that harsh glare unfiltered pop-up flash produces in the first image. The Puffer was incredibly easy to install, packs completely flat for convenient storage and has eight different mounting positions to fit any popup flash camera. Get one. It really works for those quick snap shots you want to take of people or close-ups of objects.

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