Photography is all about the lighting. Lighting is all about the tools. A carpenter can build a house with a hand saw and hammer, but he’ll build it faster and better with electric saws and nail guns. You can make a picture with available light, and try to salvage something in photoshop, or you can manipulate the light and create a photograph.
The easiest way to create the lighting you want is with available light. You can see what you are getting, you don’t have to figure ratios as with studio lights, and there are no surprises when you load your images to your computer. The easiest way to manipulate available light is with reflectors and diffusers. Of those two, a diffuser is the least used, the easiest to use, and produces the most dramatic results. Pro’s know this. So why don’t more people use diffusers? Probably the main reason is, because they are expensive.
If you’ve priced quality diffusers, (note the term quality, such as the california bouncer variety), you know you will spend over 000 for a 6 foot diffuser. Granted these are among the best on earth, but dropping down in price to another brand usually gets you flimsy junk.
Why not build your own? We use the store bought brands, but we use more of our own, and always have on location shoots. We will put one of our sturdy studio built diffuser scrims in a creek, propped in the mud, or against some trees in a heartbeat. Not so quick with our 000 models. The results though, are the same. Beautifully diffused light.