Published : 11th August 2003
Just for kicks (the tuff spun thread got me to thinking about this), I'm curious what people have used for diffusion that isn't made by Lee or Rosco.
For instance, I've used Xerox paper, paper grocery bags, curtains ...
Anybody got any good stories? Or anybody carry anything unusual in their kit that they like?
Ted Hayash wrote :
> The whole parachute
Tried this in a pinch as a butterfly outdoors.
When my C-stands lifted off the ground I felt like an idiot !
(Even worse, a passer-by who saw the parachute asked if I was doing a site specific environmental art piece
Sam "no Christo on a windy day" Wells
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Tracing paper has been used for years, It is still a industry standard in most cameraman's bag of tricks. Most people know it as 1000H it is great for lighting a women's face.
Bing Sokolsky, ASC
> Just for kicks (the tuff spun thread got me to thinking about this)
I have quite a collection of old vinyl translucent shower curtains that I use. I've found that you can shoot light straight through them, or drape them on a gobo arm like a shower curtain for varying diffusion, "bunching them up" on the edges to give a variable degree of diffusion.
My wife thinks I'm off that I won't let her throw any of these away, but the do make some nice light, and I don't have a problem cutting them to pieces or throwing them away when they start to color from the heat.
Phillip Badger wrote:
> For instance, I've used Xerox paper, paper grocery bags, curtains ...
The white polyethylene closed cell foam used as packing material. Comes in big rolls in varying thicknesses. I used some once about 5/16 (8mm) thick in a large sheet. Socked a 1 k open face into it, 2 feet from the lamp. lost 1 stop but was amazed at how big an area the light was diffused over and how evenly it was spread. basically a person standing 4 feet from the hanging sheet was lit *almost* evenly from head to toe.
Mark Smith DP
Oh Seven Films Inc.
Gerry Williams wrote:
> I have quite a collection of old vinyl translucent shower curtains that I >use.
Oh yeah. There was a type of shower curtain that had sea shell ( classic Shell Petroleum logo kind of shell) shaped pattern in it, with each shell having radial ridges in a fan shape tight at the small end of the shell and fanning out to the large end. A point source coming through a 2x3 foot piece of this can illuminate a 25 x 30 foot space.
Mark Smith DP
Oh Seven Films Inc.
Mark's story about using foam packing material reminds me of another odd diffusion material - the familiar bounce material, bead board. I was never on a set when we pushed a light through it, but I did hear a few stories about people using it as diffusion material in front of big lights, and how it was continually melting. Sounds like a terrible idea from a health perspective, but I can imagine that the light was quite nice, if you could get enough of it...
Los Angeles, CA
> Anybody got any good stories?
Back in the day I used to carry a couple of the shear(ish) vinyl shower curtain liners which I would use as shower curtain...duh
They were cheap and great looking and smelled hot before they melted (good warning) keyed many a talking head with a shower curtain draped over a Lowell Pole stuck into an interlink on a KS stand with a blonde blasting
I was assisting a friend many years ago on a very low budget film in Philadelphia. On a drunken stagger home we noticed some discarded "frosted" glass shower doors. We dragged them back to set and banged some light through them the next day.
Quite lovely, actually.
Flash forward years
later, I'm hanging outside the building where I teach, catching a smoke
before class, and one of my students is excitedly telling me how they
got some beautiful soft light pushing an open face 1K through the shower
door in the bathroom they shot in the day before, and I smiled, remembering
the excitement when you re-invent the wheel for yourself.