Improve your food photography by using a diffuser to soften your light! This is a step by step photo tutorial to making your own stand alone diffuser for your photography! So easy and so cheap to make one yourself!
Out of all the things I have had to learn from starting this blog, the photography aspect has been the one I have learned the most about. No one tells you, or at least they didn’t tell me how many photos you would need to take in order to call one a good photo. When I first started out, my photos were (insert scary face here) god awful. No really they were…
See I told you.
Then I proceeded to try and learn as much as I could about food photography and over the years I have gradually improved my photos…
Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane…
One of the things I learned was the lighting could make or break your photos. Natural light is best. But what I didn’t realize was that does not mean DIRECT SUNLIGHT. Diffused natural light was the best for taking photos.
What is diffused natural light? Think of putting sunglasses on. You do this because the sunlight is too direct and harsh, causing you to squint. The same thing goes for your food. You do not want to place it in direct sunlight. You want to soften it a bit. A diffuser softens the light to photograph in. That’s what a diffuser basically does.
Now you can buy a diffuser, like this one. I have this one and it has worked great for me over the years. However, I am one
man woman show. Sometimes I don’t have that extra hand or way to prop up the diffuser on my own. Enter my new stand alone diffuser. It’s awesome. It was cheap and easy to make. And works great with my artificial light set up, which is what I use most of the time for my food photographs (like 99.9% of the time).
I actually found this project over at Fervent Foodie, and can’t take credit for coming up with this idea.
So let’s break down this quick and easy weekend project for you:
TO MAKE YOUR STAND ALONE DIFFUSER YOU WILL NEED
- (2) 3/4-inch thick 5-foot pvc pipes – I got these at my local Lowe’s and then simply cut them down at size. Check to see if your store will cut them for you and save you a step!
- (2) elbow PVC connectors- 3/4-inch thick – double check they fit your PVC pipe and are the right size.
- (2) 3-prong PVC connectors- 3/4-inch thick- again double check the size.
- Vellum Paper– this is a thin slightly translucent paper that will be used to cover your diffuser. I got mine on Amazon, but you could try checking your local craft stores!
And that’s it! That’s all you need to make your own diffuser. All in all, it cost me less than $20 (the vellum paper cost about $10 but I didn’t use a lot of it).
So let’s get to making this DIY photography diffuser…
Cut each PVC pipe into 3 lengths- 25 inches, 20 inches, and 15 inches. You will have 6 pieces in the end. Two of each length.
Make the frame using the 25 inch and the 20 inch pieces. You are making a basic rectangle shape. Use the elbow connectors to piece the top of the frame together. Then use the 3-prong connectors for the bottom.
Attach the 15 inches into the bottom of the frame to support it. Ok maybe that’s like step two and three but you get the idea right? It should look like this…..
Roll out your paper and tape onto the front of the diffuser. I just simply masking tape and it worked just fine.
And there you go your very own stand alone diffuser for les than $20!
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