If you want a cheap, effective lighting diffuser, here's a way to make one for about $20. I love my panel diffuser/reflectors and own several of them. Of course, it's nice to buy the ready made systems, like the LitePanels from Photoflex – of which I own several as well. These systems have dedicated accessories and are a bit easier to setup and takedown, as well as look more professional. However, sometimes you just need cheap and effective!
We started making our own panel diffusers when I had a big project to photograph 200 families in one afternoon at a local park. It's a annual charity project that we started over 10 years ago and we enlist the help of local photographers to make it happen. I wanted each photographer to have a diffuser to improve and make the lighting more consistent. Few of them owned one, so we just decided to build some since we couldn't afford to buy them for everyone.
This "KevPanel" collapses down to fit in a light stand bag and snaps back together in seconds. You can use it in the studio or on location as it's easily transportable. The lighting quality is amazing and it's very versatile.
The following video shows you everything you need to know to make one, where to shop, what to buy, how to put it all together. I hope it's helpful to you too! I'll post some tips in the future on different ways you can use it for your photographic lighting.
Do you have any cool D.I.Y. photo tips? Share them here and we'll love you!