Choosing Hard and Specialty Modifiers
But there are all kinds of light mods, and often choices other than default soft three-quarter light can be more interesting. My favorites are snoots, grids and ring adapters.
Snoots are like little tunnels you attach to your flash to block part of the light beam. Snoots are not rocket science -- we are just blocking some light. And cardboard works just fine to create tight zones of light that you can use to create something like the photo above.
For grid spots, which work like snoots but have a much more beautiful fall-off to the edge of the light, you can DIY them out of straws but it is a pain in the ass and not really worth the effort for many. My advice? Get a Honl eighth-inch grid and be done with it. They will last forever (seriously, indestructible) and they fit all speedlights.
I'd nix the velcro mounting system, however. Mod it with elastic for quick changes and you'll be good to go.
A less expensive (but flash-specific) alternative are the DIY-ish grids from SaxonPC. (Seen above, more info on those here.)
Also in the specialty mod category are speedlight ring flash adapters. They turn your small flash into a donut of light that can give you a beautiful, shadowless look for key or fill. After the demise of the Orbis, my current favorite is the RoundFlash.
AlienBees ABR800 for those needing more power.
Whatever you do, avoid the Chinese knockoffs of the Ray Flash. They are light-sucking pieces of junk, and are rarely anywhere near color correct. But they are cheap!
Seriously, if you're that broke you'll be better off home-brewing a cardboard DIY ring flash adapter for the time being.