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Flash is a device which provides additional light to a scene. It can be used to help fill in a dark area of a photo, to provide light if there isn't sufficient light to begin with, or it can help to improve the composition of a particular photo, by creating your own source of light.

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10
votes
3answers
2k views

What is sync speed?

When referring to flash exposure, what does "max sync speed" mean?
21
votes
4answers
6k views

When should you use a normal flash vs a second-curtain flash?

There have been many questions lately that focus on improving the quality of the image taken, where the answers circle around using a second-curtain flash to reduce blur and freeze motion. Why not ...
19
votes
9answers
2k views

Prime lens or flash: which upgrade will most improve baby photos?

I current own a Nikon D5000 with kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6) and am looking to take better indoor photos of my fast-moving 9-month-old, which sometimes come out blurred or not natural I use the ...
34
votes
10answers
1k views

What attributes should I look for when buying batteries for a flash?

I want to buy some more rechargable batteries (AAs) for my flashes. I suppose I mainly care about: - Quick recycling of the flash - Hold their charge when not in use Although bonuses for: - Long ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What exactly is flash sync speed, and should it be a factor in a buying decision?

What exactly is flash sync speed and should it be a factor in a buying decision?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the quantative relation between flash guide number and ISO?

I found that formula on the Internet: Guide Number = (Shooting Distance * Aperture) รท ISO Sensitivity Is it correct? If it is could someone please explain why ISO is related to guide number in this ...
27
votes
8answers
50k views

Is camera flash actually harmful to infants or newborns?

I just got a new off-camera flash, and the instruction manual says: Never fire the flash unit closer than 1 meter from infants. This was a little startling to me, since one of the main reasons I ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

How to Avoid Red-Eye in Photos?

Although tools exist to remove red-eye in post-production, what's the best way to avoid it while creating the photograph in the field?
24
votes
1answer
8k views

What are the differences between E-TTL, i-TTL, and P-TTL?

Canon, Nikon and Pentax each have their own TTL flash metering systems, respectively E-TTL, i-TTL, and P-TTL. They all use a weak preflash that is metered and used to calculate flash power level ...
12
votes
4answers
408 views

How to keep flash from disrupting the scene?

My friends and I have observed that the act of using a flash in informal settings (for example, pictures of a Christmas party or a busy toddler) tends to draw attention to the photographer and thus ...
19
votes
3answers
12k views

What does TTL mean?

I'm new to photography and I see the term TTL all over the place. What does it mean? And how do I use it to make my pictures better?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What is second-curtain or rear-curtain technique?

I have a Nikon D80 I seem to remember having read somewhere that it should be possible to take photos in it using something called a second curtain technique. My question is does anybody know if this ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

What should I consider when choosing continuous lighting vs. strobes for studio photography?

If one were to want to get started with studio photography (I'm thinking things like portraits, headshots, perhaps pets, etc) what would be the considerations in choosing whether to go with continuous ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I manually calculate fill flash?

My main flash is a Nikon SB-24, used on a Nikon D200. Hence, iTTL doesn't work. I've had no issues using A-mode (the thyristor in the flash determines flash output) or M-mode (manual on the flash) ...
4
votes
1answer
491 views

How can I calculate the effect of non-TTL flash on exposure?

I recently got an old Canon AE-1 film camera back in working order. I'd like to use my modern 430EXII Speedlight flash with it, however since there is no TTL metering, I have no idea how much the ...
4
votes
3answers
772 views

How do TTL flash metering systems calculate how much power is needed?

Does anyone know how TTL calculates the amount of power to put in after the preflash is done? I understand that the value is somewhat brand specific, but what is the general logic? Because if you ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Are small on-flash softboxes useful, or a gimmick?

There are a number of "mini-softbox" products on the market. These are meant to mount on a hotshoe flash (usually with an elastic band). Lumiquest Softbox III Are these worthwhile portable and ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Which cameras can sync at faster than 1/250?

I am told that certain (mostly older) DSLRs can sync (i.e. successfully work with flash) at shutter speeds faster than 1/250 of a second. Which makes / models can do this? Update Thank you for ...
13
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the best external flash for Nikon beginner?

I have read a lot about the SB-800/SB-900 but I am on a low budget (around ~120$). Is there an external flash that I can have to start learning to use it? I do not want absolutely TTL compatibility so ...
8
votes
2answers
464 views

Why do I get horizontal grey bar with flash at shutter speeds slower than max sync speed?

I'm a total newbie to flash photography, and I am just trying to do some test shooting with Canon Speedlite 580 EXII using my 7D. I saw on the user manual that the maximum sync speed is 1/250 sec. ...
5
votes
2answers
397 views

Will my SB-600 work off camera with any camera?

I own a Nikon SB-600 flash and no camera. Now, looking for a new camera, I want to know if I could trigger the flash from another non-Nikon camera body. I never use it on camera and therefore I ...
5
votes
3answers
350 views

What are the most important factors that need to be kept in mind while purchasing a manual flash gun?

What are the most important factors that need to be kept in mind while purchasing a manual flash gun?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there a preflash from a built-in flash when using remote flash only?

When using Nikon D7000 with an off-camera SB600 (which cannot be used as commander) in TTL mode, the built-in flash must be opened to make it work (to serve as a commander), even if this built-in ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it acceptable in photography to never use flash?

I was hanging out with a friend of mine who is a professional photographer (for 15+ years), and has a solid portfolio, web-presence, and regional and national exposure. He never uses a flash. ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

What does it mean to “kill the ambient”?

I have heard of a technique called "killing the ambient" in flash photography. What does it mean and how do I do it? This similar existing post I believe is separate enough to warrant this question - ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Advantages of TTL over manual mode when using speedlites

Yesterday a user on stackexchange asked me why do I prefer manual over TTL when working with speedlites. I use them mostly off-camera and I've developed a kind of a workflow where I do not walk back ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do flashes make a whistling sound when recycling?

When recycling, some flashes make a whistling sound, going from low to high frequency for a few seconds. After a more intensive flash, the sound is more intense as well. What is the source of this ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What can I expect in upgrading from built in flash to using a speedlight?

In pursuit of my low light photography passion I an considering purchasing a speed light. because I am so new to photography I am unsure of what the results will be using a speed light flash instead ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

When and how to use a push-on flash diffuser?

I've bought a cheap flash on eBay and got this fancy flash diffuser as a free gift: So, what are the effects of a light diffuser like this one? What difference does it make to the resulting photo? ...
1
vote
3answers
564 views

Would this IR-transparent plastic be useful for blocking unwanted control flash?

Pentax's wireless P-TTL system is optical, and requires a control flash. I'm using the built-in flash on my camera, but one can also use a hotshoe-mounted flash with the right feature set. If you have ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Can using an old flash damage a new DSLR?

I have been using my dad's old Metz mecablitz 18 B1 flash for a while with my Canon 7D and had no trouble with it, but just received some advice from a friend that using old flashes can fry the ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is the D7000 commander mode flash firing during exposure when the manual says it won't?

I'm wondering if I'm using the D7000's Commander mode incorrectly. Page 225 of the Nikon D7000 manual says The built-in flash does not fire [in "--" Option], although remote flash units do. Yet ...
10
votes
2answers
621 views

Which flashes are weather-proofed?

With some effort, it's possible to find out which camera models and lens have weather sealing. However, there seems to be little information available on weather-sealed flashes. From another answer ...
9
votes
2answers
929 views

What will I be missing with Vivitar 285HV vs. LumoPro LP160 or Canon 580EX?

I'm planning to get a hotshoe flash soon (I currently only have the onboard), and I have narrowed my choice down to several options, but I'm having a hard time deciding which way to go. ETTL This is ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can i use my old Canon Speedlite 2777T with my new 5D Mark II

Actually it's my dad's lens that he bought many many moons ago to use with his old Canon T70. I dont have a flash but have borrowed his to try out, but he mentioned that some flashes will send too ...
4
votes
1answer
893 views

What third party Speedlites work best with Canon?

I am currently picking out a flash (speedlite) for Canon XSI. There is a number of third party flashes available from manufacturers other than Canon. They all claim to be Canon compatible but I have ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is manual flash at the lowest power stronger than the TTL result?

I have a 500D with the 430EX II flashgun. I've taken two pictures with the camera in manual mode, one with the flash in ETTL mode and then in manual mode with the power to 1/64 and the flash exposure ...
3
votes
1answer
743 views

How can I tell if the built-in flash on my dSLR is broken beyond self-repair?

My built-in flash D50 is broken. It is popping up, but it isn't flashing. It fell down, so is it broken, or can I still fix it?
2
votes
2answers
669 views

Why don't these external flashes fire when the camera shoots in Live View mode?

I had the opportunity to use some professional flashes yesterday and I found out that they didn't fire when I was trying to shoot with the camera in Live View mode. The flashes were two Elinchrom ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I get proper flash exposure in AV mode without using ETTL?

I have a Canon 5D Mark II and normally shoot with natural light (I try to stay away from flash). However, I am taking on more situations where I need to use my hotshoe flash (Canon Speedlite 580 EX ...
15
votes
5answers
7k views

How to get good results with the built-in popup flash?

How can I take good pictures using the built-in popup flash of my camera? Usually I try to use available light only but sometimes there's just isn't enough light for proper exposure (at a reasonable ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Low budget entry level Speedlite?

Owning a cheap Canon 20D, I now want to buy an entry level speedlight/external flash but I'm confused with should i go for used or new the one while considering my low budget(150$ max). What things ...
13
votes
3answers
558 views

What was my flash power?

When I am using a Canon flash in the E-TTL mode, how can I tell which flash power the E-TTL magic chose? For example, if I got a correct exposure in the E-TTL mode, can I easily choose the same flash ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I reduce the light from the pop-up flash as a wireless controller on a Canon 7D?

What are the best work-arounds out there for dealing with the built-in flash when trying to use the Wireless Flash feature of the 7D? Is there a Canon version of the SG-3IR? Or do you use a modified ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is the Fluorescent filter for a flash green?

I just bought a Nikon SB-910 speedlight. The filter that comes with it to use under fluorescent lighting it green, why is this? because certainly to my eye there is not a hint of green under normal ...
15
votes
3answers
921 views

Why is it important to move the flash away from the camera?

I've read that it's not the quality of your camera, but the quality of the lighting that make pictures really good. That is probably not always true, though - there are many crappy cameras out there. ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do we use flash in photography?

Why do we use flashes in photography, instead of simple light bulbs etc. to illuminate the scene? Why are specially made flashes used?
12
votes
2answers
285 views

What is a fill flash and how is it used?

What is the fill flash technique?
11
votes
9answers
5k views

How do I take a portrait at night with detail in the background instead of just blackness?

I was trying to make a photo of my girlfriend around 9 pm with a D7000, Sigma 24-70 2.8, and SB-900. She was in the center of the frame, taking up about 20% of the frame. About 40% was taken up by ...
11
votes
3answers
836 views

Does a flash work well with regular alkaline batteries?

In doing research prior to purchasing my first flash for my DSLR system I have come across a wealth of information, including this post that outlined many great points in selecting the best ...