One of the mainstays of portrait lighting, a reflector lets you bounce light back into shadows to make more even and flattering illumination. Lastolite’s Halo Compact design is aimed at greater portability than traditional reflectors. It uses a collapsible aluminium frame, which the reflector’s fabric then clips on to and, when broken down into its case, it measures only 6.5x27x6.5cm and weighs just 335g. As well as the supplied silver/white fabric, a diffuser can also be fitted to the frame. manfrotto.co.uk Lastolite 82cm Halo Compact Reflector £68
Lastolite Ezybox Speed-Lite 2
Honl Photo 1/8in Speed Grid
Many photographers rush to flash modifiers that spread and diffuse light, but those which focus it can be just as useful. A honeycomb, like Honl’s 1/8in Speed Grid, attaches to the front of a speedlight and narrows the beam, meaning you can use it more accurately and create more contrast in your lighting. Made of polycarbonate, the Speed Grid attaches using a strap and covers an area of 89x58mm, so it’s big enough to fit most speedlights. There’s also a 1/4in Speed Grid version with a looser honeycomb and therefore a broader throw.
If you want softer and more flattering results from your speedlight flash, one way is to increase the size of the flash emitter – the larger the panel is in relation to the subject, the softer the light will be. At 22x22cm, the outer diffuser panel of the Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 is far larger than that of an unmodified flash, so shadows are softer and contrast more even, and there’s also an inner scrim to further diffuse the light. This modifier has a folding design so it’s quick to erect and can be easily transported – and a neat travel bag is included.
Creativity Backgrounds Compact Deluxe stand and bag
If you’re using backgrounds, you’ll need something to support them. So, as well as supplying an amazing range of backgrounds and other creative gear for portraiture, Creativity Backgrounds stocks stands. In this deluxe version, both stands and the horizontal support are telescopically adjustable, so height can be varied from 1.4m to 3m, while the width can go from 1.4m to 3.8m. To complete your set-up, grab a roll of 1.35x11m paper, available in loads of colours, for only £35.
Rogue FlashBender V3
Long favoured by photographers who need to get better results than an on- camera speedlight alone can allow, the latest Rogue FlashBender is version 3. This flexible, reflective panel can be fitted to almost any flashgun, and when the flash is fired into it, it creates a larger source of light, softening results. Because of the flexible nature of the material, it can also be twisted into shapes that channel the light rather than spread it if required. Like previous versions, the FlashBender V3 can be easily slid into a laptop compartment or similar for easy travel.
Packing a host of neat features, Kenko’s AI Flash AB600-R is a good bet for photographers looking to step up their use of flash. Its tilt-and-swivel head allows easy bouncing of flash off walls and ceilings, and the best angle is automatically calculated for ideal results. The AB600-R also supports wireless control via its 2.4GHz radio signal. It has power of GN60 (at 200mm, ISO 100), a manual or automatic zoom head covering 18-200mm and takes four AA batteries. Kenko AI Flash AB600-R
SRB 30cm 2 in 1 Reflector kit
If you’re after specific colours and textures in a backdrop, look no further than Club Backdrops, which supplies an amazing range of backdrops in both vinyl and canvas. Perfect for portraits, the canvas backdrops measure 1x2.1m, and have a high-quality finish and an authentic look, with all the designs being created in-house and printed to order. A single backdrop will cost around £55, but there are offers to save on multiple orders, so dive in for a look. Club Backdrops
This neat little reflector adds gold and silver shadow-filling options and, at only 30cm wide, it’s small and light enough for your subject to easily hold one-handed just out of shot. The silver side gives neutral fill light, while the gold has a warmer and more summery look. For an ultra- portable appeal, it also folds down to only 10cm. There are 50cm, 80cm and 110cm sizes available, too, ranging from £11 to £16.
MagMod Basic kit
Attaching quickly and easily to most speedlights and giving great results, the MagMod Basic kit combines silicone rubber with magnets to give a huge range of light-shaping possibilities. This basic set includes the MagGrip, which stretches over the speedlight’s head, and two modifiers – a MagGrid honeycomb and MagGel holder with a standard
set of gels to insert, including CTO and frosted versions. There’s also a Transmitter Band to attach a radio receiver, and a pouch to put it all in.
Issue 81 | Photography News 11
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