this weekend i put the finishing touches on a light diffusion box i’ve been making. we have an overabundance of sunshine here in the sunny south (of california), but it’s mostly very bright, direct light. great for contracting carcinoma; not so good for taking pictures.
i read a lot about people taking their photos next a bright window, but we don’t seem to have one positioned to capture the light just so (design flaw)…so i researched light boxes and diffusion boxes…and found that i could not really justify the cost. the cheapest one i could find was about $80, but it would only work for very small items. so no props, no changing background color outside of photo shop, no good.
but with the magic of pvc pipe and grafix drafting film (a matte plastic “paper” purchased at an arts supply store), i made a 2×3 foot diffusion screen for less than $10. plus i was able to repurpose pvc pipe that i had from a hamper (the college years), so it was green. ish. i only had to purchase one 10 foot length of pvc pipe, which i am happy to report cost all of $1.26. with tax!
combined with my very fancy reflector–aluminum foil over a piece of cardboard–i can now take super schwanky shots on budget. i can even shoot directly into the sun–with the diffusion screen inbetween–to capture the sparkle of translucent gemstones! below is an un-photoshopped example of the difference it makes in my photography:
this setup keeps colors true and reduces the shadows. it means much less time with photoshop and i don’t have to wait for bright shade to form in our treeless backyard. in short, much less work, better payoff, and–most importantly–cheap!