How to create diffused light indoors.
Window light is one of the easiest places to find diffused light indoors. Many natural-light photo studios feature south-facing windows to take advantage of the steady, diffused light that pours in all day long. Position your subject near a window that doesn’t get direct light for a naturally diffused close-up. For even softer light, you can pull a curtain across the window, as long as it’s relatively translucent.
If you want total control over your light, use a softbox or other light modifier to illuminate your subject. Place your softbox at a thirty-degree angle from your subject for a flattering look, or experiment with different light positions. You might surprise yourself with how many different looks and moods you can create with just a light or two.
“When I work with studio lights, I want to make the largest softbox I can to get the softest light possible,” explains Gaskins. “If the studio has white walls, I turn the lights around and just bounce the light off the walls to create a massive softbox. If you don’t have modifiers, diffusion sheets, or scrims, you can set up two lights and just use the walls.”
How to create diffused light outdoors.
Depending on the look and feel you want to create, you can diffuse harsh light yourself or simply plan around mother nature and let her do most of the work for you.
On a sunny day, you’ll want to use a light modifier to diffuse those strong rays. A 5-in-1 reflector is a great choice, since you don’t need any lights, stands, or power sources to use it.
On cloudy days, you can use the weather to your advantage. Overcast days may not make for the most striking landscape photos, but these flat skies act as a natural diffuser that works wonders for portraits.
In addition to cloud cover, you can use the angle of light and time of day to your advantage. “If you’re really constricted with what you have available to help you control sunlight, the best thing you can do is wait until either early morning or evening to shoot, because that’s when the light is the softest,” says Gaskins.