Hey, i bought a lot of tracing paper and made several different diffusers to try them out. Obviously not going to be as good as a pro version. But it gave me a good idea of what should work and what shouldnt
Also, as im always doing walkabout shots, im going to be assuming theres no walls/ceiling to bounce off
My conclusion is
a) bounce cards, baseball mitt/whale tail diffusers suck. Sure they project light forward, but since theyre mounted relatively high, they project downward and increase light at the cost of larger shadows (from the higher angle). Also a lot of them dont really diffuse too much light.
b) Condom style (stofen) are marginally better than your typical flash. But they dont offer much more apart from portability. Waste imo
c) Pillow style - This is where I had the most success. It projects light forward, so your not losing too much light. Also with its natural bloated form from the airballoon, it diffuses the light evenly over the picture area without getting a "deer in the headlights" look
d) Gary Fong LS - This tech is a better version of the bounce card. Some light hits the ceiling, some light hits the model. It works great! but im really turned off by the fact that it projects light outward all around. Thats a lot of light lost in my case since im assuming there is nothing to bounce off. I however, want to try the clear LS with the dome and point the dome forward as this is supposed to be used for situations where there is nothing to bounce off.
I just discovered the ray flash however, and this sounds like the perfect solution for what im after! It projects light from the lens area, so technically there should be hardly any shadows and reflections should be at a bare minimum. The negatives from what ive read are it shoots a somewhat flat look, which means it will show inconsistencies in peoples skin and that since its mounted so close to the lens you may get red eye.
Im gonna try both the clear Gary Fong Lightsphere and the Ray Flash and see which ones better.