Flash­gun mod­i­fiers

Don’t set­tle for any old il­lu­mi­na­tion: fit your flash­gun with a light mod­i­fier

NPhoto - - Test Team -

oth­ing matches the hum­ble flash­gun for pro­vid­ing in­stant il­lu­mi­na­tion in a por­ta­ble pack­age. They’re not short on ver­sa­til­ity, ei­ther, but there’s al­ways room for im­prove­ment, as a world of light­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties is opened up if you team your flash­gun with a mod­i­fier.

A dif­fuser, which soft­ens harsh light, is a clas­sic mod­i­fier. They range from sim­ple pocket-sized caps to full-on ring-flash sub­sti­tutes. Al­ter­na­tively, if you’re af­ter a more fo­cused feel, a snoot or hon­ey­comb at­tach­ment will fun­nel your flash­gun into a pow­er­ful spot­light to iso­late a sub­ject. And if you’re fed up with bor­ing back­drops, slip a coloured gel over an off-cam­era flash­gun for an in­stant colour blast.

We’ve com­piled a se­lec­tion of popular mod­i­fiers to see which gives the best light trans­for­ma­tion when shoot­ing still life and por­trait shots. Testing from a tri­pod-mounted D-SLR re­vealed sub­tle light­ing dif­fer­ences, but flash­guns are de­signed for life on the move, so we also put each mod­i­fier through its paces dur­ing a hand­held shoot.

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