Homemade Light Diffusers

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Using light diffusers when taking photographs can make your photos turn out much more pleasing and professional looking. Without diffusers, you will find that light from photo lamps and flash is too harsh for most uses, and it creates ugly dark shadows too. A simple light diffuser fixes these problems easily, and they are quite simple to make yourself at home.

Choosing Material

  • The type of diffuser fabric you choose will influence the photos you take. Using lace curtain panels is an excellent way to create sparkle on shiny surfaces such as moist food for example.

    Using tinted fabric or paper will create a color tint on your pictures. Some types of stationery and printer papers do not have an obvious tint. If you look closely at them--or you use them for photo diffusers--you may quickly find there is a slight amber, rose or other color shade to them.

    Lightweight fabrics are wonderful for creating textures and patterns in your photos, but almost anything can be used for creating a variety of different diffusers. Wax paper is an excellent example, as is plain printer paper, thin tissue paper and white satin.

    Heavier fabrics, such as velvet, cotton and wool, can also be used, but they block much more light as well.

    Experiment with different types of fabrics and papers to find the results you like best.

Making Diffusers

  • Once you have chosen one or more types of fabrics or paper for your diffusers, you simply need to mount them in a way that makes them easy to use when taking photos. One easy approach is to create a simple frame.

    Cut out the side of a medium- to large-sized cardboard box. Cut out the inside of that square, leaving yourself with a cardboard frame. Tape, glue or staple paper or lightweight fabric to the frame, covering the hole.

    If you have old picture frames on hand, they can be used in the exact same way. Remove the glass and frame backing, then tape, staple or glue your diffuser to the frame.

    A simple and fast approach is temporary but quite useful in a pinch. Wrap gauze or light tissue paper lightly around your photo lamp shades to diffuse the light coming from their bulbs.

    Wal-Mart and other discount stores sell portable clothes closets. These are quite handy to make photo diffusers. The wheeled frame is excellent to clip, pin or staple cloth and paper to. You will end up with a 5-foot tall diffuser that can even be used for people portraits.

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