Thursday, March 31, 2011

My new toy, the light diffuser...

I got a new toy.  I was so impressed with the pictures Lindsey took at the Bloggy Boot Camp last week, with her big fancy light apparatus (a light diffuser, for those of you more technically inclined)... I had to get me one.  Yes, the grammatically correct portion of this post is officially over.

I couldn't afford this one, or this one, so I decided to go with this one, the Gary Fong Puffer - Pop-Up Flash Diffuser.  The training wheel version of photography supplies.  

Photo Credit

Yes, I need training wheels because it has taken me 27 years to realize I'm an impulse buyer, where money is a very small factor in my decision making.  Please help.  I'm in need of a 12 step program, but I'm getting better, and this is proof.  I bought this little muffin for $12 on Amazon.  Can you say, "Score?"

Ok, so let's put it to work.  Hanky Stanky was a willing participant... well, up until the end.  I know it's very slight, but when you use the diffuser you get rid of that hotspot of light happening on Hank's chest and the carpet below him.  The light is uniform across the entire picture.  I know... you can't stop swooning over that sweet little face.

Ok, let's look at some more pics and talk a little bit about editing "diffused" pictures.

The first thing to notice about these two hydrangea pictures, is the uniform brightness the diffuser gives.  The picture taken without the diffuser has deep shadows in between the petals, and a sharp shadow around the bottom of the flowers.  The diffused picture has a shadow, but it's softened, and doesn't stand out... the flowers are the focal point, as they should be.

The other bonus to using the diffuser is you can lighten the entire picture, without the fear of over exposure.  When I began to increase the exposure of the non-diffused picture, I could only go so far before I began to "blow-out" portions of the petals.  You can only make your whites so bright, before your picture is full of data gaps... absent space.  I had much more control over the diffused picture... I could tweak my levels exactly how I wanted.  I love having control. 

Well, folks... that's all I have for now.  Just a short review from a couple hours practice.  I like what I've seen, so far, but I'm sure I'll be ready to ditch the training wheels and spring for the upgrade in the coming months.  I just can't help myself.  

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