Help with a Diffuser

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jbylake, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    I have to take pictures of Custom Choppers and Harleys that we sell on consignment, and advertise on the internet, and our website.

    My problem is this. I shoot film, mostly B&W. Of course the bikes, I shoot in color. I'm using a canon 299T flash. I get a lot of glare off of these things, because of the huge amount of chrome and polished aluminum on them.

    I can't bounce off the ceiling (too high), and the walls are all covered with bike stuff (parts) lube's, tires, etc....

    A studio? Ha...

    So, I'm trying to find a diffuser that might help. A friend recommended lumiquest. I called them after visiting thier website. The person that answers the phone didn't really know the product, I guess they were more of order takers, office admin types. I was promised several times that the person who could answer my question would call me back. Never happened. So -1 for them, in my book.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction. The savings in frustration would be worth a pound of gold, if I had it to give you.:lol:

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  2. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    DIY Reflector-Diffuser
    I was a bit hesitant doing this thing but when I did, it provided great results. By the design, you supposed to use it as a bounce card BUT, shoot it through and it softens the light enough to eliminate nasty shadows and give me overall softbox-like result.
    Good Luck
     
  3. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Looks like one of the 15-20 sold by lumiquest. check out thier website www.lumiquest.com . Couldn't figure out which one would work, and their customer service kind of sucks. I didn't want to buy 10 or so, to see which shape would work the best though.

    Thanks for the reply,

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I needed something that will eliminate nasty shadows when I'm shooting my kid in the house. Since 2y/o don't sit or stand still for more then 3-5 seconds, umbrellas and/or backlights are out of the Q. So then I asked for opinions on Gary Fong's and got really mixed feelings from folks around. On Fong's website though he has a diffuser that he shoots through and I figured that rather then bouncing, I should try shooting through it - worked great - eliminated shadows, soft, fills the room. The only thing I need to do is adjust white balance (I'm not a RAW shooter) to accommodate for the warmth of the foam-paper.

    Plus, the fact that I was able to make 2 of them from 0.99cents sheet of foam paper and 2.99 Velcro was also a BIG factor.
     
  5. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    I would suggest using daylight and foam core as reflectors. Forget the flash. Use available light but control it with the reflectors. Makes the chrome look great!
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    CSR Studio hit the nail on the head. Foamcore is great for diffusion and a must for any shoot. Staples has some large sheets. You will also need a couple of lightstands (or something similar) and spring clamps to customize your creation.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

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    Agreed.

    To soften the light from a flash, you need to make the light source larger. A diffuser like a Stoffen Omnibounce just isn't going to do that. It makes the light go out in all directions, but the actuall size of the light source remains much the same.

    Using a reflector will effectivelly give you a light source the size of the reflector.
     
  8. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    Thanks to all for your suggestions. Guess I'll have to figure out what and how to use reflectors. I've never been that advanced of a photographer.:confused:

    J.:mrgreen:
     
  9. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    They are easy. You literally use the foam core to bounce the light back to your subject. You will see it as soon as you move the foam core into place. Good luck!
     
  10. ErectedGryphon

    ErectedGryphon TPF Noob!

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    Shooting into chrome is like shooting into a mirror, if you don't want to have the flash bounce back you have 2 options; 1) Don't use flash, 2) take the flash off camera and reposition at an angle far enough to not relect into the camera.

    EDIT: Actually 3) Shoot with the camera at an angle where the chrome wont bounce back, though this will likely result in unusable pics.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I have shot a number of chrome, gold, and silver-plated lure components that had mirror-like finishes. To me, the easiest lighting setups were always what is known as a P-22 panel, which is a 42x72 inch PVC frame, through which I shined one or sometimes two studio flash heads. The nice thing about 42x72 inch diffusion panels is that they are large, and produce large, smooth, clean-looking highlights on the tops of the lure parts, which are usually somewhat rounded, being metal beads, cylinders, and domed spinner blades, usually with some curvature along the top surface.

    These types of panels can be built with 7/8 inch outside diameter white or black PVC pip and elbow joints, and are put into position using clamps and stands. Some people build legs for them; There are also factory-made clamp solutions that allow you to precisely rotate and or angle the panels,to get the right reflection angle on surfaces.

    The fabric covers I have are factory-made, but you an also make your own using material from fabric stores. Look at the Scrim Jim line of products, as well as the accessory clamps at this site for ideas on what you need.
    Reflectors, Reflector Kits and Accessories | Westcott Pro Photography and Video Lighting
     

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