It probably happened to you, you are on set and your light kit doesn’t have any diffusion panels or soft boxes. What do you do? You pick your brain and try to find anything that will do the job! Here are some ideas when you are in a pinch and need to get creative.
Idea #1: Parchment Paper
This one is my favorite and go-to option when I need to. It is super cheap, available at the grocery store, corner store, etc. It creates a great diffusion, and you can stack 2, 3, 4 sheets and tweak it to your liking. This paper is also meant to be used in the over so you can use it on halogen lights without worrying it will catch fire. One drawback of using the parchment paper as diffusion material is that it will change the color of your light.
Idea #2: Plastic Bag
This one is great for what it is. You can get those bags everywhere and it creates a great diffusion, again, stackable to your liking. It is fairly neutral colorwise and shouldn’t change the color of your lights too much. This one can only be used with LED though, even with barn doors one halogen, it may get dicey.
Idea #3: Sheer Fabric
This diffusion material is my second favorite as it creates great soft shadows. This one can be curtains at the location or your girlfriend top (that’s what I used in the video!), whatever that is available to you. This one doesn’t change too much the color of the lights and is somewhat resistant to heat (for a short period).
Idea #4: Shower Curtain
And lastely, the shower curtain, this diffusion material works great if you need just a little bit of it. If you need more, these things are so large that you can fold it 10 times to create a better diffusion. This one shouldn’t affect your color, but will be cumbersome to work with, and is not heat friendly… so LED, CFLs and Ballasts only!
Hopefully, we inspired you a little! Let us know in the comments what is your go-to “unusual” diffusion material.