February 8, 2012

materials for the black foamie thing / black foamy thing

As regular readers of the Tangents blog know, I use the black foamie thing (BFT) as a truly inexpensive flash modifier to flag my on-camera flash to give me lighting indoors that truly look nothing like on-camera flash. The BFT consists of a small piece of black foam held in place by two hair bands. Simplicity itself.

I’m frequently asked where the black foam can be sourced … well, here are the Amazon affiliate links to order the black foam, as well as hair bands.

All the links to articles relating to the black foamie thing.

Of course, there is also a Facebook fan page for the black foamie thing.


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{ 14 comments. } Add a Comment

1 Sean February 8, 2012 at 5:34 am

For those here in Ireland and the UK – Funky Foam!


2 Joe Leong February 8, 2012 at 6:15 am

I have been using the black foamie thing for over a year and a bit. It’s the best and cheapest thing I have ever done for my flash. Thanks Neil.


3 Geoff Johnson February 8, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thanks for the great tips Neil! I made my own BFT using a drink coozie (the thin, flexible, fold-flat, foam ones – got about 20 from various places) – cut the bottom off and then cut into 2 pieces – perfect size for blocking direct light, and quick on/off the strobe using my wife’s hair bands. I also made one as a snoot – just removed the bottom.


4 Mike February 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Foam sheets are available at Walmart, Joann’s & Michael’s for about $0.50 for a 9″X12″ sheet. Larger sheets are also available at these stores. If you don’t want to make a foamie thing you can buy ready made here for $20.00: http://www.abetterbouncecard.com/abetterbouncecard%2Deyeshield.html


5 Ryan February 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm

It cracked me up to scroll down to the “Customers who bought this also bought” section and see several arts and craft supplies, and a link to Neil’s Off Camera Flash book.


6 Eric Skagen February 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I’ve been using my BFT for over a year now too and I love it. I cut mine from an old foam fender cover that was lying about in my garage. I have just started using a ball bungie to hold it on the flash. It seems a bit easier to manage when moving the BFT to shoot vertical. Just grab the ball and the edge of the BFT and scootch it around.


7 Geoff February 9, 2012 at 12:43 am


an alternative material, which seems to work well, is 3mm nylon/lycra backed wetsuit neoprene (which can be bought in sheets). The neoprene I sourced had nylon/lycra on both sides, so I carefully pulled off the backing on one side, to go towards the flash, as the rubber has more friction against the flash unit than the nylon. (Oh, and one side of the wetsuit material I got happened to be blue, which was not useful…)


8 Tad February 9, 2012 at 3:40 am

Most of the mousepads is made of black foam, there is only sheet of colour paper on the top. Try to remove this paper in water, clean a little and you have it :)


9 edy February 9, 2012 at 5:04 am

dear Neil
I followed you for years and always read your great post.
For a long time I waited to buy a new digital camera and have always been the idea of buying the Nikon D 800.
At this point I stopped because I knew that the D 800 has 36000 pixels, and I fear that this pixel value is negative for the noise.
I have proposed a Nikon D3s at cost but are very undecided whether to wait for the D 800 or take the old D3s.
I am not a professional photographer but I use the camera for pure passion.
I wanted to know if you think the D 800 has an acceptable noise …..
I need your advice ………. I consider you the best in the world.
I buy only with your advice …. I just need clarification from you!!
Thank you so much
Edy Trigona
Genoa, Italy


10 Neil vN February 9, 2012 at 5:30 am

Edy … I would have no idea how the Nikon D800 will perform in terms of high-ISO noise. It has just been announced, and it will be a few months still for the camera to hit the streets. So I really can’t form an opinion yet.


11 edy February 9, 2012 at 6:38 am

Thanks Neil,
I will continue to follow you know if you have news about it.
Thank you Thank you thank you
Edy Trigona Genoa Italy


12 Will Dochertaigh February 9, 2012 at 7:28 am

I glued a white (WFT) to the back of mine to use as directional bounce card for when id rather direct than flag or direct and flag or…
Just another variety upon one of my most valued accessories

& Thanks again, Neil, for that and so much info – online and in your great books.
I had found very little useful info available to help me utilize my flash, then i found your site, your books and my flash is now a very vlauable asset to my photography.


13 jimmy February 9, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Does the black foamy thing have to be black ?

would using different colors cause a color cast?


14 Neil vN February 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Yup, you don’t want to introduce a color cast.


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