Affinity Photo is like Photoshop, only with a nicer user interface, no silly subscription requirement, and at a very keen price. Many Photoshop plug-ins will work with Affinity and it will open and save Photoshop files, should you need to. For Adobe Illustrator users there is a similarly capable application called Affinity Designer. They are Mac only, unfortunately, and both cost £40 from the App Store.
Stephen Fry once tweeted that one should always travel with a film crew, as they are able to fix anything, and that’s because everyone has a Leatherman. Knives, saws, files, screwdrivers, scissors and who knows what else, all in a convenient, virtually indestructible package. Available from a variety of outlets from around £120.
Want to know why Saoirse Ronan looks so great in the film Brooklyn? Well apart from the face that god gave here, the film’s DoP Yves Bélanger used a simple China Ball as her main key light.
Buy one from Habitat for around £10 including shipping.
Indispensable for lighting car interiors, shelves and cupboards – you name it. We like the remote phosphor LED lights from BBS lighting (www.bbslighting.com).
Neutral Density Filters
Not the most exciting piece of camera gear, but everyone needs a set of NDs. We’re particularly fond of the glass in Breakthrough Photography’s offerings, but wish they would make them for matte boxes too. Or you could get a variable ND, which is basically two crossed polarisers.
Sun Seeker App
This fantastic app tells you everything you need to know about the sun – where it will be in the sky, shadow length, rise time, set time, twilight and so on. Point your phone at the sky and you get an augmented reality plot of the sun’s path, so you can see when it will clear that pesky tree. £7.99 from the App Store or £5.75 from the Google Play Store.