71 — Portable flash

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #71 dis­cusses the prin­ci­ples of using a portable, exter­nal flash. We talk about how flash works, the dif­fer­ent types of portable flash, on cam­era and off cam­era flash, using a portable flash as a main light source ver­sus a fill light, bounc­ing the flash, sync speeds and more.

Depth of field guide

Depth of field guide

Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
Pod­cast #33 — Stu­dio light­ing for begin­ners
Pod­cast #47 — Flash sync speeds
Pock­etWiz­ard from B&H
Peanut slaves from B&H

August’s‚ “Water”‚ assign­ment on the Photography.ca forum

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feel free to join our friendly :) Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

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How Important are External Flashes?

Exter­nal Flashes have many advan­tages over on-camera flashes; not only is an exter­nal flash much more pow­er­ful than a small‚on-camera flash, but it also has a tilt-able head so that you can bounce it. Bounc­ing a flash is a great way to soften the light since direct flash is quite harsh.

An exter­nal flash gives you far more con­trol over how you want the scene lit — the built in flash on your cam­era is usu­ally only good enough to light a sub­ject from a short dis­tance and the light from the flash can only be used from one plane. This is another area where an exter­nal flash shines :)

Exter­nal flashes can be taken off cam­era. This allows the pho­tog­ra­pher to cre­atively light a sub­ject from dif­fer­ent angles. You’ll need a way to trig­ger the flash and there are sev­eral good meth­ods depend­ing on your bud­get. The cheap­est way (20 bucks or less) is with a sync cord but a bet­ter way is a wire­less trig­ger­ing sys­tem like the Pocket Wiz­ard.

So if your bud­get can cope, an exter­nal flash is a prime invest­ment and a step­ping stone to get­ting you closer to the ‘advanced pho­tog­ra­pher’ sta­tus. For addi­tional info check this link from our pho­tog­ra­phy forum.