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Monday, March 21, 2011

Diffusers and reflectors

When shooting macro / closeup with  natural light, sometimes you need not just a reflector, but a diffuser as well.

First, a little bit about diffuser and reflector.

Diffuser and reflector set. White translucent fabric (left) is great for diffusing harsh direct light. The cover (right) has 4 colors: silver and black (underside) and gold and white inside. Of course, you can turn it inside out easily.
reflector and diffuser set RIMG0036 copy

When to use which side? Here's an excerpt from Amazon site:
Ardinbir Studio 22" 60cm 5 in 1 Round Collapsible Disc Photo Reflector/Diffuser Kit: Gold Silver Black White Translucent Set
Ardinbir Studio 22" 60cm 5 in 1 Round Collapsible Disc Photo Reflector/Diffuser Kit: Gold Silver Black White Translucent Set
Technical Details
- Silver increases the specular highlights and yields a high-contrast image. Its perfect for video, product shots     and B&W photography
- Gold produces a natural, golden fill that is great for sunsets or indoor portraits
- White produces an even, neutral-colored bounce light that works beautifully as a fill light source
- Black is used as a flag to block light or can be used to subtract light
- Translucent fabric is used to diffuse light, producing a broad light source and a soft, wraparound effect

It was mid day and under partial shade, and a little bit of direct sunlight made it through the canopy. I didn't have a commercial diffuser with me but I used a 3mm thick foam sheet as my DIY Diffuser (right hand).
reflectors and diffusers in natural light macro photography RIMG0040 copy

 From a different angle. Diffuser on right hand and reflector on left.
diffuser and reflector in natural light macro photography RIMG0038 copy

Let's see what kind of difference a diffuser make.

No diffuser used. Note the hotspot on the top side of  eyes and also abdomen
direct sunlight without a diffuser Pygmy 2

With a diffuser, no hotspot (Pygmy dragonfly photos courtesy of Derrick)
diffuser used to soften the harsh direct sunlight Pygmy 1

Comparison:
with and without diffuser comparison

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