Peter Lee Custom Macro Flash Diffuser
Picture: Peter Lee, Macro Photographer, Instructor & Inventor.
16th January 2014, Singapore – Macro photography is catching on a lot of interests in the recent years in Singapore. This is not surprising as Singapore is a tropical country, the climate and humidity plays host to over thousands of species of insects and nature wildlife. Being a garden city helps too – boasting a very strong ecology where the balance of plants & insects population thrives. That explains why so many photographers takes an interest to macro photography.
While we all (or most photographers) know that macro equipment are not cheap, photographers started to innovate their techniques & gear – yes, gear too. Although most of us can just pick up what we needed from the photography store, sometimes the equipment still cannot satisfy our quests for better results. This is where customization kicks in.
Peter Lee, a well-known professional macro photographer and an instructor finds himself into such a situation a few years ago. His issue was flash lighting. While macro dedicated flashes are available in the market by proprietory brands & third party makers, he understand that most photographers entering the macro genre will be more likely to own a regular flash gun (hot-shoe mounted) than to immediately purchase a macro dedicated flash which costs as much as a mid-focal range macro lens. Seeing how harsh the lighting had caused by the flash gun, Peter started thinking & experimenting – finding a way, finding a method or an equipment that are able to diffuse the flash light to soften the light cast while not compromising on the effective light throw distance and final illumination.
Addressing the lighting needs of macro photography, Peter decided that he should invent a flash diffuser and he did. Using a combination of materials, he calls it “Custom Diffuser”. This is because before he make a new diffuser, he will custom the size of the diffuser to the camera+lens combo that the person is using so the results will be as intended and promises no light loss and easy ease of use. For the rest of us in the photography circle/ community, we have given Peter’s diffuser a better name – we call it “Peter Lee Custom Diffuser” or “PLCD” in short. This name is catching on really fast among photographers as this diffuser works really well and promises excellent results. (Remember how Gary Fong shot to fame with his light dome?)
Out of curiosity, we contacted Peter and requested for a review unit. After explaining to us how to use the diffuser and other related information, we took the diffuser back to our studio and put it to the test. Check out the photos below.
We decided that my favorite toy car inside the studio toy box should be the subject and we took 2 shots of it. 1 without the diffuser and 1 with it. Check out the difference.
The 1st shot below is without the PLCD and the 2nd shot is with PLCD.
As we can see from the above, the results are pretty obvious. The PLCD created a more balanced cast/ exposure across the frame than the shot that was shot without the PLCD. The end result created was more “studio-like” and when I showed the above 2 photos to few fellow photographers, they commented that PLCD actually allows a much softer diffusing and yet not compromising on the final exposure output. This means, apart from macro, this diffuser is also very suitable for portraiture use and other table top applications.
Interested to own a PLCD? At the moment, Peter is making these diffusers on requests and mostly making for his students for the macro photography class, but you can order yours too from the below contact details.