Today, not from from where I live, a very large private estate, known as Maywood, opened it’s grounds for an annual tour to benefit the National Garden Conservancy. I have never been to Maywood and was very excited to view their grounds and gardens. Only one problem- it was a bright, sunny day. I guess for a lot of people a bright, sunny day to stroll around an amazing estate would seem ideal, but to someone interested in photographing flowers that sun was a real killjoy.
Bright, hard light does not compliment flower photography. It produces harsh shadows and really washes out color, leaving you with images that are less than pleasing. So what do you do? You can pray for some flowers to be in a shady spot, or for occasional clouds to roll by, but this really limits your shooting opportunities. In order to make due when that beautiful sunshine is trying to wreck havoc on my photography, I pull out my handy dandy collapsable diffuser. If you are into flower photography, there really is no excuse not to have one. They are extremely portable and affordable- two adjectives I love for camera gear.
The above photo demonstrates just how compact the diffuser is when folded in it’s pouch. It also weighs less than an ounce. I simply clip it onto my bag or belt loop and go. Unfolded it is 12 inches in diameter, big enough for flower photography, but not so big that it becomes difficult to handle. I got this gem for under $10.
So let’s see what it does. All of these photos are straight out of the camera, no editing whatsoever. I simply want to demonstrate how the diffuser effects light. The images on the left were taken without the diffuser, on the right with the diffuser.
Pretty dramatic difference, right? For me it simply comes down to being able to produce usable images versus throwaways. How many on the right would you keep? Happy shooting.