Diffusion: The Secret Ingredient to Fantastic Food Photos

Do you love to shoot food but want more control over your lighting? Maybe you’ve seen those beautiful soft shadows on so many of the excellent food blogs out there and want to get the same results. Joanie Simon has these tips to get you started:

Making the leap from natural light to artificial light isn’t as scary (or as expensive) as it seems. There are just a few principles you need to keep in mind. Once you get those nailed down, you’ll probably begin to enjoy the total control factor that goes with it. And one of the key factors is adding diffusion.

The difference between using diffusion and not using it

As far as expense goes, all Simon uses is a speedlight and a diffusion panel. You can do the same with a softbox, and if your softbox has an inner baffle, all the better!

Here’s Simon’s setup. (Notice how close the diffusion panel is to the subject.)

How to set up your diffusor

Honestly, it’s so freeing when you know how to use artificial light. It means that no matter how dark and rainy it is, or what time of day it is, you can shoot to your heart’s content. And this setup is not only great for persimmons–it’ll work for just about any item of similar size.

So if you haven’t taken the mighty leap into the artificial light realm, give it a try. It won’t be long before you can turn out fantastic shots any time of the day or year.

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