A Handle On The Light
People photographers who are not afraid to use flash lighting - and it is not a black art, mind - are frequently keen to soften the effect of their portable flash guns when they are used for fill-in lighting. This is particularly so when this form of lighting is used outdoors to interact with natural daylight.
Up till now we have had various forms of small soft boxes and box diffusers that did some good, but were limited in the amount of softening that they could do by their size - the smaller the box, the harder the light. The bigger the box, the more awkward to manage.
Of course there was the option of firing the flash either into an reflecting umbrella or through a translucent one - but how to hold the flash as you did this? Lastolite and their copyists came up with plastic and metal brackets that balanced the speed lights inside the opened umbrella but in their turn had to be placed on light stands to be able to be directed on the subject. This was fine for studio use but blew away - literally - when the umbrella was used outdoors. The least puff of breeze launched the assembly out across the landscape.
Now Lastolite have conquered this. No, they haven't tempered the wind to the shorn photographer - they have made a small hand-held bracket for the speed light and umbrella that lets an assistant act as a flexible, intelligent, heavy light stand that can direct the light as required but not blow away.
The speed light slides onto a shoe on the top of the handle, the umbrella goes in to one of two channels, and you trigger the flash with either a flexible TTL cord, a radio link, or with the IR link that may exist in your DSLR. In a pinch the bracket can be fastened on a light stand.
If you have your camera connected via a coiled cord, you can operate with one hand and position the fill with your other. And if it rains you can tuck under the whole lighting assembly and run for it.