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Milk jug light diffuser


Remove the bottom of an ordinary milk jug, and enlarge the hole at the top to fit your macro lens.
Remove the bottom of an ordinary milk jug, and enlarge the hole at the top to fit your macro lens.

The translucent quality of white plastic used in making milk jugs can be helpful in macro-photography.

LIGHT DIFFUSION FOR CLOSE-UPS

Remove the labels and cut the bottom from a large, white plastic milk jug. Then, cut the jug’s mouth so it is wide enough to insert the barrel of a close-up lens. Wash any milk residue from the insides, dry it and you now have a handy light diffuser for close-up photography.


Positioned to surround a small subject, sunlight or flash coming through the sides will be diffused, providing even, softly-shadowed lighting for close-up work.

The jug’s sides will even keep a subject still in a light breeze (a flower, for instance) or prevent an insect or another tiny critter from escaping until you have taken its picture.

These pebbles, photographed in direct sunlight without the milk jug diffuser, have deep shadows.
These pebbles, photographed in direct sunlight without the milk jug diffuser, have deep shadows.

Harsh shadows and contrast are reduced when shooting through the milk jug diffuser.
Harsh shadows and contrast are reduced when shooting through the milk jug diffuser.

Expect to lose about one stop in exposure, but also expect to have softer, more uniform light on your subject than you would have from direct sunlight.

Try it. It works.

HOME-MADE FLASH DIFFUSER

A section cut from of the side of a white plastic milk carton can be bent into a U-shape and taped over the head of an electronic flash for an inexpensive flash diffuser.


Strong shadow & highlights are visible in direct sunlight.
Strong shadow & highlights are visible in direct sunlight.

The milk jug diffuser evens out the light, reducing harshness and producing uniform coloration.
The milk jug diffuser evens out the light, reducing harshness and producing uniform coloration.

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