Bounced vs Diffused Light

Tonight I did a quick comparison in light quality, first bouncing a light off of an object, then just diffusing the direct light.

I used a 650w tungsten light, a white,2′ x 3′ foam board , and a 4′ x 4′ frame with a cotton sheet as diffusion. There is a small difference in size which ultimately makes this an unfair test but its a cool look at a reflected light source vs a direct light source. Here’s my setup:


The bounced light was giving me a reading of f2.2 and the diffused gave a 2.8.

Can you guess which is which?  (Both Capture One exports; 6 contrast, 5 clarity and 3 structure  and custom white balance)

It’s actually in the order of the BTS; bounced then diffused.

To my eye, the bounced is more flattering, but take that scrim shot and fill in the shadows with the foam core, and it’s a beautiful one light setup with one hard light.

I’ve even rigged the light and scrim on one c-stand.

So there it is, bounced vs diffused. Not quite a perfect test and teachimg a real conclusion would require a 4×4 bounce and more precise meter readings.