HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
Give the light a little help on location and in post-production
■ You may not have control over the light itself, but you can have a say in how it reaches the camera’s sensor. If you shoot portraits, for example, a foldable reflector can be a valuable way of modifying the light, either for lifting shadows or adding a catchlight to hair. The most useful kind come with an assistant attached, so aren’t much use for street photography. If you have one or more assistants to hand, you could also use diffusing panels to soften direct sunlight. Oh yes, and you can use portable flash, if you must.
Next, filters. Once predicted by some to have had their day with the arrival of digital, they are still thoroughly relevant. Grads help to balance the contrast between sky and land when there’s a clear horizon line, while heavyduty ND filters allow slowmotion water and the blurring of passers-by in daylight (see our feature, starting on page 26, for more on this). Software helpers include shooting RAW for the extra data you can recover, and 32-bit processing of combined HDR files. Reflectors like the Lastolite with grip here, and graduated neutral density filters in a variety of strengths and hardnesses, are traditional modifiers of light. The first fills in dark shadows, the second darkens bright skies