One of the most important aspects of filming is proper lighting. Cameras require a lot of light to make a good image and to create the correct ambiance, but not every production can afford skilled studio lighting to improve their film. Fortunately, filmmakers on a budget may construct certain film lighting equipment from simple home objects, such as a light diffuser.
What Is a Light Diffuser?
A light diffuser is a device that scatters your light output. Light diffusion softens harsh shadows and balances your lighting effects, producing even, soft light on your subjects (much like a lampshade). A softbox or diffuser kit is commonly used in film production to diffuse light, although these types of equipment may not be affordable for many filmmakers.
4 Ways to Make a Light Diffuser on a Budget
DIY light diffusers are ideal for filmmakers who do not have the funds to purchase expensive studio light diffuser panels or polycarbonate flat sheets.
1. Make use of a frosted shower curtain. DIY filmmakers may save money by creating a soft lighting effect in a scene using a frosted shower curtain. Simply connect a frosted shower curtain to a C-stand (a multi-purpose platform used to install diffusers, lights, shotgun mics, and cameras), then position the stand a few feet in front of the light source to produce a soft lighting effect.
The softer the light seems, the closer the light source is to the subject. To provide an even softer light on your topic, attach an extra shower curtain to the C-stand.
2. Make use of a bedsheet. A semi-transparent white sheet may be used to build a great DIY diffuser. The transparency of the sheet is determined by the light source and the amount of light that has to be diffused. The sheerer the sheet, the less light diffusion you require. Place the bedsheet on a C-stand a few feet away from the source of light.
Bedsheets are combustible and should be used in conjunction with LED lights, which produces very little heat, to avoid a potentially dangerous scenario. If you’re using non-LED lights on set, put the bedsheets on a C-stand that’s a safe distance away from the light source, and use fire precautions.
3. Make use of a pillowcase. A white pillowcase can also function as a light diffuser. The cloth is generally thin enough to allow some light to pass through while keeping the light soft and natural. A white t-shirt is also useful (different colours of t-shirts can help adjust the light temperature). These materials, like bedsheets, should be used with non-LED lights for fire safety reasons. If you must use non-LED lighting, set the pillowcase on a C-stand that is a safe distance away from the light source.
4. Use material paper. You can utilize printer paper (or even tissue paper) to make your own DIY softbox diffuser, yet material paper is a superior choice as it is both hotness safe and murky enough to do the work. Material paper can be put straight over your lights without hazard of a fire peril, which makes it a more secure choice than other combustible sorts of paper.