Photography And Flash: What Is There To Know

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When you purchase something for the first time the product, often times more then not, comes with a few parts already integrated within the system. This is cool of the manufacturer and all but to be honest, integration sucks.

The integrated systems tend to be less then stellar in their functions and often times more then not you will replace them with an external unit that does the same thing only better. In this case, a Flash device for Flash photography, it is essential to acquire the means of Flash if you’re operating a camera in the confines of a less then good indoor environment, it’s imperative to use it if lighting becomes an issue.

Step 1: Utilize your surroundings

As it’s been known, light tends to work better when it’s not on camera so this leads people to have to work with an on-camera flash if that’s all that you can work with. Pictures will not necessarily come out in their best quality using that route but hey, you get what you pay for. Plus, it’s better to have something then to not have anything at all.

Here’s a scenario, you’re outside having fun with friends doing whatever you please, and you bring your camera along for good measure, you call it your “little buddy”. This baby has a built-in flash ready for use. Now, if you did NOT have that flash and you wanted to take a picture of yourself and your friends in front of a sunset, the photo would come out looking very blah almost like all you’re gonna see is an outline of you and your friends. If you HAVE it and you flash that beauty off you’ll get a great picture stored in memory for years to come. Of course if you can’t administer a flash to your camera you just gotta work with what you have, in this case a little natural light.

Another use of flash is the ability to reduce awful shadows when you’re snapping a shot outdoors during the daytime. If you enable it with a high ISO you’ll get a much more intricate shot outdoors as well as indoors. If you have this, don’t be an idiot, USE IT!

Step 2: Equip your needs

An amazing photograph doesn’t need to have the greasiest equipment available to achieve but if you choose to use flash photography, you better cough up some dough as a few pieces of choice equipment ARE needed in order to relegate proper results. Get yourself a lash, preferably an external unit.

Make sure that when you buy one of these trinkets that you get one with nice output power whilst still paying attention to your wallet. Also, you don’t need to get the primary external flash units from places such as Canon, Nikon, Panasonic; etc, etc. you can also find great products from third party sellers. Honestly, you won’t have a problem finding what you need when you need it as there is practically a never-ending assortment at your feet just waiting for you to buy, buy, BUY!

Another thing, you could actually get a camera with a flash and trigger it even when it’s off-camera. Even though pretty much all cameras have the flash software already built-in certain SLR models need to have more then one flash/special triggering device in order to use it’s function. You can get these radio triggers for less then expensive prices as well, you just gotta look. Unfortunately there’s no auto-mechanism when working with these triggers but it’s really not so bad… unless you’re a lazy bum.

Step 3: Change-up

Try something a little different when you shoot photos, if you’d usually take them using a P or <<green square>> maneuver it over to the aperture priority.

While these auto-modes are in use, the camera would normally shoot at the appropriate flash sync speed/velocity at around 1/125 to 1/250, this of course pertaining to the type of camera you have. Light exposure may not be taken into account unfortunately in regard to your shutter speeds.

Even if you DON’T want the light in the shot, period, that type of light-less attitude will NOT come up very often.

Step 4: Shutters and flash sync

A few times during a shoot your shutter speeds will likely drop at a frighteningly rapid rate making rendering that nice atmosphere increasingly more difficult. Don’t fret about it too much; as long as you have flash you’re gold. The flash will freeze your subject in place and render it sharp or semi-sharp. This does not include moving subjects though as they will leave behind a ghost trail if caught in the shot so tell them to “get out of my shot!”

If you have a camera that can synchronize flash to a dual shutter curtain or “rear curtain” this can be cool. With this capacity turned on you can look at the frozen, sharp version of your subject after an instance of ghosting has occurred it will then appear as if the subject has speed trails coming off of him or her. This adds a bit of humor to your photo and will add a much more natural flare that people can enjoy easily.

If at all possible, make sure your flash is on second curtain sync at all times. This is of course impossible to accomplish though with a radio trigger attached.

Step 5: Light is expansive

As you may have noticed each time you’ve been outside for whatever reason, light tends to come at your from behind your back as opposed to your front. If you have a built-in flash your choices quickly become scarce. Fortunately, if you acquired an external flash you don’t have to worry about the flash coming from your forehead.

Any form of a direct flash can and will create very harsh light and shadows that most times don’t look very good for the subject. If the subjects are next to a wall or anything else taking up a consistent background the shadows on the wall will explode all over it making your picture less then extraordinary, also, if you are in a darker room then red or as some would like to call “Demon Eyes” will become a problem. So, if for some strange reason you WANT your picture to look funky like that then by all means do it, but if not try your hardest to stay away from direct flash.

The central theme here is to find a way to receive a good light source from something other then the top of your camera. The cool thing about this is that you don’t even have to turn the flash off your camera. If you have a camera with the ability to rotate and tilt you can direct where your lights will bounce and where they will end up. Just try a few tricks out and you’ll get the best indirect light effects imaginable.

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