The spring wildflowers this year have been stunning in the Phoenix area. Since I was in Phoenix for a weekend, I insisted on photographing the wildflowers. The White Tank Mountain Regional Park was closest to where I was staying, so I went out at first light and found the poppy covered hills. I drove part of the park loop and found a short path that lead to poppies. I set up my tripod and macro lens and was ready to shoot. The sun was rising and quickly illuminating my shady spot with direct light creating harsh shadows.
I reached for my diffuser to soften the light and realized it wasn’t in my bag. All I could find in my camera bag and was a white grocery store bag. If I tore the bag, it would become a full square piece of white plastic. I held the plastic between the sun and the flowers. The result – instant shade! If the bag was a color other than white, it would cast the bag color on my flowers. Luckily, white is fairly neutral and did not cast a color on my flowers. Now, if I had been photographing a larger area, the plastic bag would not have worked. Because I used a macro lens and only had a few flowers in my frame, the bag shaded the entire area I was capturing in the camera.
Take a look at the images below: Image A was in full sun and Image B was using my plastic bag diffuser. If you look closely, you can see the difference in light on the background poppies too. So, if you find yourself without a diffuser, grab that white grocery store bag and shoot away!