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04-17-2014, 10:06 AM   #1
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42" diffuser panel and natural light

I've been meaning to post these images for a long, long time (the baby in the photo is now a full-tilt toddler). This is mainly to let anyone who is curious know what a cheap ($30), 42" "multi-use diffuser/ reflector" can do for natural light photos.

While I know the basics of studio lighting and modifiers, I prefer constant and natural light, and frequently got frustrated when it wasn't diffuse enough or had hotspots. Think about direct sunlight through leaves, or through a window, or any form of very powerful directional lighting. Sometimes the warmth and calming effect of sunlight on the subject is very desirable, plus it can be found on any good day near a window when you're on location. Bringing the foldable diffuser to someone's house is much easier than strobes, stands and softboxes, even if it limits your options for shooting locations.

So here are three shots, in fairly quick succession, with my (now ex-) FA77 Limited and the magic of low-in-the-sky winter sunlight coming through a window.

Direct sun:



42" diffuser panel halfway between window and subject:



Subject playing with the silver/gold zip on reflector, with the panel in the background:


04-17-2014, 12:41 PM   #2
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Well it certainly nails the shot.

But I;m not sure its any more portable than my 7 flashes and multiple brolly snoots.

And of cause you still need sunlight.

But think your results are better for less effort (gels etc)
04-18-2014, 02:33 AM   #3
bmw
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QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
This is mainly to let anyone who is curious know what a cheap ($30), 42" "multi-use diffuser/ reflector" can do for natural light photos.
Excellent demonstration, and lovely shots.


QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
But I;m not sure its any more portable than my 7 flashes and multiple brolly snoots.
You do realize that the 42" reflector collapses to a 14" diameter 1" thick disk that weighs less than a pound? Unless you have a Tardis-brand kit bag I can't see your 7 flashes alone being as portable as that. I transport just four flashes, modifiers and a few stands in a fully loaded four-foot long roller case. Portable, but heavy and inconvenient. I used to carry it all in a duffel bag but I developed tennis elbow from that. :-(

If I can get a reflector to do the job, I will.
04-18-2014, 06:26 AM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bmw Quote
Excellent demonstration, and lovely shots.
Thanks, it's one of those things that changed how I view lighting.

QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
But I;m not sure its any more portable than my 7 flashes and multiple brolly snoots.
As bmw says, most of these reflectors/ diffusers are just fabric-covered, flexible rings that can be folded up to be much smaller, and then "pop open" to their full size. Here is a link on Amazon to the one I'm using. $24!

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