2. Flash diffuser
Even relatively inexpensive gear like a flash diffuser can be expensive when your budget is limited. Before using up your savings, try looking around for substitutes at home or while shopping. Photographer Jeff Vier discovered that a downspout funnel from Home Depot made a perfect substitute for a flash diffuser on his Canon Speedlight 580ex II. He saw it had a large surface area, which created excellent shadow softening. It came with little tabs sticking off one side, but he just clipped those off with wire cutters. Other than that, he made no alterations.
Jeff Vier – DIY open-top flash diffuser
Jeff Vier – DIY open-top flash diffuser/light cloud