In this exercise direct and diffused lighting was used to photograph the wooden carving.
In the first photo I shone a light directly at the carving.
The shadows are dark and quite crisp, the shape of the shadow is recognisable as that of the carving.
For the second photo, of the same carving, I held a diffuser between the light and the subject.
The shadows are much softer, greyer and not recognisable as the shape of the carving. Also in this photo the carving itself looks warmer and less glare reflecting back.
Overall I prefer the second photo.
What have I learned from doing this exercise? I have used diffusers before to soften the light – but usually outdoors in direct sunlight. Doing this particular exercise has shown exactly what difference the diffuser can make.