So I’ve seen a lot of chatter lately about how to achieve the soft, even lighting we all prefer for photographs of our work. The top image here is taken in full sun. Bottom image is taken with my Fancy Dancy Diffuser. Much better, yes? So the Fancy Dancy Diffuser is really my own smaller version of the diffusers we used to build back in school at Brooks Institute of Photography in the good ole days (you know, when we used film and light meters and worried about the temperature of the light for color balance, reciprocity failure, etc!). It is actually a piece of translucent shower curtain liner, that I’ve gotten really fancy and sewed so that I can slip pieces of PVC pipe into it. (It comes apart for easy travel). I’ve made quick ones before by stapling the shower curtain liner to a thin (cheap) picture frame.
The diffuser sits upright on the table between the light source (sun, window, light) and the subject. The cool thing is that you can actually focus the light by tilting it back and forth! I usually hold it with my left hand and take the picture with my right hand, but a second person can be really helpful. So here is a picture of my purposely un-glamorous tabletop setting (with the diffuser propped up cause I get tired of holding it) to show you how little you really need..
Now before you say, no way will that work for me, take a look at some of the images I’ve taken for my friend Monica at Silver by the Sea with a little set I build for her work on a TV tray in my patio using my diffuser.
THOSE OF YOU ATTENDING MY MULTI=MEDIA CLASS AT FANDANGO – I WILL BE BRINGING MY DIFFUSER! Remember, we will have a photography section at the end of the class.
Still need a little bit of light on the shadow side? Use a white piece of paper for smaller items or poster board to bounce the light from the diffuser back into the subject. (I painted an old boogie board warm white to use. I can prop that sucker up!