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