Choosing Light Control Flags, Cutters, and Floppies
Light control flags are thick pieces of colored material, usually black or white, stretched over metal frames. Flags feature steel, fabric, certain plastics, and other materials. Positioning flag cutters at certain angles allows you to control light direction and intensity with more accuracy.
What's a Flag Cutter?
Cutters are large, irregular-shaped light flags. Flag cutters can keep light from spilling over to unwanted areas. They will also protect your lens from light flare. Use light control and accessory kits with clamps, extension arms, and lamps to get the right look and lighting for your photo shoot.
What Are Scrim Fabrics?
Scrim fabrics are flags that hangs on background frames in front of strobes, and they allow still-life photographers to manipulate lighting. They are particularly good for diffusing light. There are several materials used for scrim flags, but the most common are fabric scrims and steel scrims. Steel tends to produce a harsher, brighter lighting effect, while fabric scrims produce softer lighting effects. Other useful fabrics for producing specific lighting effects are butterfly and panel reflector fabrics. Reflector fabrics allow you to bounce light in several directions at once, or create a centrally focused light on certain areas of your subject.
Photography Flag Kits and Accessories
Photography flag kits can include cutters and standard flags in a variety of colors and sizes. Other common items found in flag lighting kits include collapsible frames, color plates, and other filters. There are also kits that contain floppy cutter flags, a type of control flag that uses a collapsible hinge to fold in half. This type of flag can become twice its folded size, and it's popular as both a table cover and background for product turntables.