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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 06 Dec 2008 (Saturday) 18:25
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Why Professional Photographers don't use diffusers?

 
Li_Photo
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Dec 06, 2008 18:25 |  #1

I've been wondering this for a while now. How come Professional Photographers I see on TV don't use defusers when shooting? I always see them with on-board mounted flash set at 0 degrees with no defuser. Why aren't they worried about harsh flash lighting?


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noodle_snacks
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Dec 06, 2008 19:20 |  #2

If you see them on the news etc, it may be that there is nothing to bounce off, or available flash power is a limitation hence the requirement for direct flash. Often getting the picture is more important than making it pretty.




  
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RandyMN
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Dec 06, 2008 19:22 |  #3

I see tons of diffusers used when looking at photographers trying to get news worthy shots.

TV shows they can do all they want because it's all make believe.




  
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Li_Photo
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Dec 06, 2008 20:32 |  #4

1000arms wrote in post #6826883 (external link)
If you are writing about TV shows, be aware that the "flash" may be added in post-production.

No, what I meant was when you see on TV photojournalist taking pics of politicians or paparazzi taking pics of celebrities, they never use defuser on their flash.

noodle_snacks wrote:
If you see them on the news etc, it may be that there is nothing to bounce off, or available flash power is a limitation hence the requirement for direct flash. Often getting the picture is more important than making it pretty.

yeah, I guess that makes sense.

RandyMN wrote:
I see tons of diffusers used when looking at photographers trying to get news worthy shots.

I'll look harder next time... I have yet to see that.


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FlashZebra
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Dec 06, 2008 21:31 |  #5

Another reason might be if you are outside or in a very large area like an arena, a tiny on flash diffuser just does nothing. The effect will be the same with or without the diffuser (try it), and the diffuser just wastes light by sending it out towards Pluto and Neptune, not at your subject.

The basic concept of those small on flash diffusers is to send some light to close ceilings and walls to soften the light via bounce. If you have no ceilings or walls for the bounce you just send light to Pluto and Neptune.

You soften light by making the light source larger (that is what the walls and ceilings do), not by just placing something on the flash. The diffuser is just a means to get the light to the ceiling and the walls. Subtract the ceiling and the walls and the so called diffuser is just an exercise in wasting light.

Enjoy! Lon


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jcolman
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Dec 06, 2008 22:34 |  #6

mainly because they're more concerned about capturing a "news / celeb" photo and all they're interested in is getting a sharp pic with plenty of light. They're not concerned about making it pretty.


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Dec 06, 2008 22:40 |  #7

FlashZebra wrote in post #6827547 (external link)
Subtract the ceiling and the walls and the so called diffuser is just an exercise in wasting light.


Unless you live in the outer solar system, then they could brighten your day :lol:


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Faolan
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Dec 07, 2008 06:30 |  #8

It's also worth noting that a bare flash has more chance of being able to shoot 'through' smoked glass windscreens, the more power you have the more chance of succeeding. This is why you see some paparazzi with their cameras near on top of the car.


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Roy ­ Mathers
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Dec 07, 2008 06:48 |  #9

XSIPXL wrote in post #6826690 (external link)
I've been wondering this for a while now. How come Professional Photographers I see on TV don't use defusers when shooting? I always see them with on-board mounted flash set at 0 degrees with no defuser. Why aren't they worried about harsh flash lighting?

Surely the only people to use defusers are the bomb disposal people? :D




  
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Collin85
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Dec 07, 2008 07:00 |  #10

Roy Mathers wrote in post #6829141 (external link)
Surely the only people to use defusers are the bomb disposal people? :D

:lol:


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Collin85
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Dec 07, 2008 07:04 |  #11

XSIPXL wrote in post #6826690 (external link)
I've been wondering this for a while now. How come Professional Photographers I see on TV don't use defusers when shooting? I always see them with on-board mounted flash set at 0 degrees with no defuser. Why aren't they worried about harsh flash lighting?

Photo-journalists and paparazzi are usually more preoccupied about getting the shot, rather than making it look pretty. Furthermore, remember diffusers are practically useless unless there exists surfaces around to bounce the light off. For photo-journalists, often there aren't such surfaces (appropriate walls, ceilings etc.) around. For paparazzi who mainly shoot their money shots outdoors, often telephoto, that luxury is often completely unavailable.


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Li_Photo
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Dec 07, 2008 12:58 |  #12

What I meant when I said defuser was more of "mini soft box" type of thing that go over the external flash unit to soften the light on subject's faces. I didn't mean to bounce light off ceilings or walls.
It make sense that they are shooting telephoto must of the time and a defuser/mini soft box would be useless.
I mostly shoot portraits with 30mm or 50mm lens so I always use a defuser/mini soft box device whenever there are no ceilings or walls to bounce.


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Roy ­ Mathers
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Dec 07, 2008 13:26 |  #13

XSIPXL wrote in post #6830716 (external link)
What I meant when I said defuser was more of "mini soft box" type of thing that go over the external flash unit to soften the light on subject's faces. I didn't mean to bounce light off ceilings or walls.
It make sense that they are shooting telephoto must of the time and a defuser/mini soft box would be useless.
I mostly shoot portraits with 30mm or 50mm lens so I always use a defuser/mini soft box device whenever there are no ceilings or walls to bounce.


You obviously didn't notice my post. I'm sorry but you mean 'diffuser' :D




  
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rudy_216
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Dec 07, 2008 14:09 |  #14

The effect of a diffuser is minimal unless you are close to the subject. That and the fact that it wastes power. Now if you were shooting your flash at 1/4 power with bare flash and you had to go to full power with a diffuser that would effect the rate at which you can shoot.

This is not about getting a portrait. It is about getting as many usable shots for whatever slant the editor wants to put on the story. A shot that make the person look dumb could be just as valuable as one that makes them look sympathetic or sincere.




  
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Li_Photo
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Dec 07, 2008 21:53 |  #15

Roy Mathers wrote in post #6830882 (external link)
You obviously didn't notice my post. I'm sorry but you mean 'diffuser' :D

LoL! I just noticed my spelling!


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Why Professional Photographers don't use diffusers?
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