Light Controlling Gadgets

Abstract hand Managing light sources and distribution will give you the pictures and effects that you’ve always envisioned. There are multiple gadgets available on the market to help you deal with light inconsistencies, so that you can see the results that you want.

Polarizing Filters: although commonly mistaken for a color filter, polarizing filters are colorless. They are mostly used to darken light overexposures and reduce glare that occurs from the reflection of light on certain materials (metal, glass, water, plastic, etc.).

Newer polarizing filters are called “circular” filters, while the older alternatives are referred to as linear. More modern circular polarizing filters don’t interfere with the lens’ focus capabilities, an issue that was prominent with older filters.

Color Filters: these filters are used to modify the general hue of a photograph. An ochre colored filter can be used to add warmth to a cold mountaintop, like a blue grey filter can make a sunset look like twilight.

Color filters come in infinite colors and can be used to add many different effects to a single image. We will address this further into our photography newsletter course.

ND Grad Filter: this type of filter is black on one side and clear on the other. It is used to mute contrast between two objects in a landscape. Say that you are shooting a beach, but the contrast between the sand and the water is too striking. Place an ND Grad filter’s black side on the bright element of the picture and the clear side on the dark element. This mutes the difference between elements, offering a better balance of light, dispersion, and detail.

Because there is a line dividing the two frames on the filter, you must place it so it lies on top of a subject or silhouette line, like that of the horizon, for example.

Diffusing Panels: these light altering panels soften hard light to maximize detail and minimize hard-edged shadows or silhouettes.

Reflector Panels: these are used to bounce light that travels in just one direction (hard light). They consist of a reflective, metallic surface that is aimed in the direction that you want light to bounce.

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