Diffusion Panels for Outdoor Video Lighting

Published on November 18, 2010

Shooting video outdoors is great because there are so many visually interesting things you can capture. But it can also be a big challenge because of unpredictable, uncontrollable elements. One of the unpredictable things is the lighting.

That said, the right tools can make a big difference.

When you shoot video outdoors, the three main tools you use to control the light are:

  1. Reflectors
  2. Diffusion Panels
  3. Scrims

This video is all about item #2, diffusion panels -- specifically showing you the impact of different levels of diffusion.

Diffusion material comes in different levels of diffusion. With the Scrim Jim system, you can quickly swap out the various diffusion fabrics.

Want to see the difference between light, medium, and heavy diffusion? This video shows you exactly what they look like.

Light Diffusion

When I use only 1/4 stop of diffusion, the changes aren't significant. This very light diffusion softens the edges of shadows slightly, but mostly leaves the quality of light in place.

Medium Diffusion

As you would expect, when you use medium diffusion (3/4 stop in the video), you see more impact. The size of the specular highlight increases dramatically. The edges of the shadows become more gradual.

Heavy Diffusion

Once you move to heavy diffusion (1 and 1/4 stop in the video), you really see some big changes. Suddenly the shadows start to have no edge. The light smoothly wraps around the subject.

You'll also note that I'm hosting this video on YouTube. My plan is to start posting videos there regularly. You can Click Here to subscribe to the Izzy Video YouTube channel.

Note: Members have seen this video before. Previously it was available to members only.

This article was last updated on March 28, 2019


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