Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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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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12
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 ...
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
980 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
290 views

What is a fill flash and how is it used?

What is the fill flash technique?
11
votes
3answers
898 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

How would one remove yellow eyes instead of red eyes?

On a recent trip to Madagascar, we were able to capture some interesting animals during the night, where of course we used flash. The following photo is not made by me... ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Group shots on a bright sunny day?

What are some techniques for getting good group pictures (3-8 people, say) on a bright sunny day? I've found shade to be difficult, because someone will invariably have a splash of harsh sun across ...
7
votes
4answers
836 views

How limiting are the line-of-sight requirements of Canon's optical wireless flash system?

I have a Canon 7D and 580EX II Speedlite, and am trying to make the jump into flash photography, particularly portrait work. I understand that the 7D's wireless trigger works by line-of-sight. Will ...
7
votes
4answers
299 views

How do I start using a hotshoe flash?

I've just been given a Sigma EF-500 DG ST flash unit. I've not really had much experience using flash. How can I get started? Are there any good learning resources?
6
votes
1answer
832 views

Why does the camera default to ISO 400 in auto ISO mode with flash?

I've observed this behaviour on my Canon 550D, and I was wondering why it didn't use a lower or even variable ISO. I'm not sure if this is a camera/brand specific setting. Is there any particular ...
6
votes
4answers
840 views

Does adding additional strobes cumulatively add to the flash power?

I've been reading articles that talk about using multiple strobes next to each other, all pointing in the same direction: as a means to add more light over what one flash can do. Does the addition of ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

When and why should I consider buying a speedlight/external flash?

I am just a hobbyist in photography. And I do not have specific interest areas (as of now). So while looking for different things to try with photography, I kept coming across things which require use ...
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Ways to soften an onboard flash?

What can be done to soften the direct light from an onboard flash? I know there are diffusers available for external flash units, but I'm not aware of such a solution for an onboard flash, such as on ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What are good situations to use Canon Multi-Flash feature?

What can be done with the MULTI-Flash feature of a 580ex II flash? What are good situations to use this feature?
3
votes
3answers
220 views

Shooting objects under glass with pop-up flash

I sometimes need to take photos of new devices kept behind glass at trade shows. Currently I have to depend on my camera's in-camera flash. Often the picture is spoilt because of the flash's reflected ...
3
votes
3answers
478 views

How can I get nice, vivid colors in food photography without blown-out brightness from the flash?

Whenever I click pictures of people and food using flash, the whole picture becomes bright. When I click without flash, the camera takes in the light from the surroundings and gives me a monotonous ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Where should one go in terms of equipment for event shooting after a D7000 kit?

I'm still new at photography -- really, it is going to be a long while before I can get close to the potential out of the D7000 kit. However, Microsoft recently has been giving me the opportunity to ...
1
vote
2answers
855 views

Do Canon 430EXII speedlite flash units have an optical slave function?

Before I buy , i want to make sure: will a 430exII fire by "seeing" the light burst from other flash sources? and if not, what canon speedlite can do this?
12
votes
7answers
4k views

Why does using flash sometimes create these white spots in the photo?

I have an Olympus FE-190. When I take a picture, with flash on Digital Image Stabilizer (DIS) mode, I get white spots in pictures. This doesn't happen always. There is only an option called Pixel ...
12
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I get a black background in daylight using flash sync speed with no extra gear?

I have seen sports photography where the background is completely wiped out (black) during daylight. I'm trying to achieve a similar (pure black background) effect with no extra gear, just a DSLR ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What is a good softbox for small hotshoe flash?

What are the good softboxes for a small flash like a Canon Speedlite 430EX, for example?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does my old Quantaray flash not work on my newer Canon DSLR?

I have an older Quantaray QTB-7500A flash with the Canon TTL module. I used this with my old Canon EOS Elan 35mm which died a few years back. I recently bought a Canon Rebel XSi, because I could use ...
7
votes
2answers
721 views

What does UV coating do for a flash tube?

For studio portrait lighting, is it better to have a UV coated flashtube, or a clear flashtube, and why? Does it make a difference what ambient light there is?
6
votes
3answers
692 views

Can using an old flash damage a new DSLR if it never fired?

my daughter found my old flash (20+ years old) and tried it on her canon T3i. It didn't recognize it and it never fired, but she tried the shutter button. Could this have damaged her camera even if it ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

I cannot open the internal flash on my Canon 60D camera; how do I fix it?

I tried opening the internal flash on my Canon 60D camera the other day and it didn't open at all. I couldn't understand why. After messing around in the menus, I found out that the camera thinks that ...
6
votes
4answers
484 views

In low light, does it make sense to use a normal house light bulb instead of a flash?

Actually, yesterday I shot a photograph indoors with a tubelight (on the wall) and a flash on. The results were "too" boring. The flash had robbed away all the natural looks of the scene. Does ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What post-processing methods work best to “fix” photos that are blown out from flash?

Even when bouncing flash off the ceiling or nearby walls, you can occasionally blow out or overexpose a picture. What methods work best in Lightroom 3 or other software to reduce or eliminate the ...
6
votes
5answers
412 views

What is needed for a photoshoot in a concert?

I have been invited to take some photos from an ensemble in a conservatory. I do photography a lot, but mostly outdoors and this is going to be my first experience. I have a Canon 50D with 2 lenses: ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Multiple flashes with different trigger voltages

I have the following: Nikon D3100 (max 250V trigger voltage) Vivitar 2600 flash (148V trigger voltage*) Yongnuo YN465 flash (6V trigger voltage) Hot shoe universal translators** I'd like to use ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How does commander mode on a Nikon camera body differ from commander mode a on SB-700 Speedlight?

My Nikon D80 and new Nikon SB-700 both offer Commander mode. I have two questions: When NOT in wireless mode (that is, when the flash is plugged into the hot shoe either directly or with a cable), ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does using my slave flash darken the image?

Why does my slave flash at full power actually seem to darken the image? The camera (Lumix G1) is set to M-Mode, forced flash at -2, f6, 1/30s. I set my external flash (Nissin Di466 FT) to slave mode ...
4
votes
2answers
427 views

How do I take portrait photo with flash and good ambient light as background?

I was taking a building structure with nice ambient light using high ISO without flash. The photo turned out as what I expected. However, when I took it with a person as foreground with Canon ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Does a flash's TTL automatically adjust as I change its location?

I just bought a radio trigger for my flash. I was just wondering if I understood TTL correctly, as I move the flash around and changes the distance does TTL automatically try to compensate (assuming ...
4
votes
1answer
247 views

How does dragging the shutter work?

I am reading a photography book which talk about dragging the shutter when a flash is used. It just tell me how to do this trick but doesn't explain why. Can someone here tell me more about how it ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What third-party speedlite/flashes are available for Nikon?

I'm looking for a flash with a budget of < $200. I have a Nikon D3100, and I'm a beginner with photography, who is taking some classes and wants some flexibility with a decent bounce flash. I was ...
3
votes
5answers
276 views

Does TTL by definition overexpose your subject? [duplicate]

So I'm only beginning to learn TTL but from what I understand the preflash determines how much flash power to use. But the camera already exposes everything correctly for the entire scene (assuming ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Canon 430EX vs 580EX vs 600EX-RT

I'm considering buying a flash for my Canon DSLR. I noticed the 600EX recently came out. Do you have any suggestions/opinions about the pros and cons of the new 600 flash versus the other two?
3
votes
2answers
449 views

Is there a radio flash control system for Olympus that allows setting flash power from the camera?

One of the main advantages of optical wireless flash control systems is that they don't require anything extra: at least with many cameras, they work with the built-in flash, and can often control ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

If TTL only preflashes once, how does it get correct exposure immediately after?

If I understood TTL correctly, say you are in M mode with a camera and you have intentionally underexposed. The flash in TTL mode theoretically would try to add enough light to correctly expose the ...
2
votes
4answers
191 views

Which flash modes use the least power?

Cameras have a variety of flash modes (e.g. Fill-in Flash, Slow Shutter Flash, High-Speed Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Slow Sync Flash, etc..) So, which are the flash modes that use the least power ...
2
votes
6answers
519 views

What is the most effective way to get soft light from hotshoe flash indoors?

I'm thinking of getting a flash for better indoor pictures. I was looking at the 430EX Speedlite as a good unit in budget, but still having lots of capability. How do I use this most effectively ...
2
votes
1answer
535 views

What is the relationship between Guide Number and flash power level?

From this post, I understand that the flash guide number (GN) is given by the following formula: Guide Number = Shooting Distance × f-number ÷ ISO factor I'm assuming that the GN calculated via the ...
1
vote
4answers
122 views

Why does flash exposure compensation of 4EV have such an unnoticeable effect?

I took two photos, one with flash exposure compensation set to -2EV: and the other with +2EV: I find a minor, almost unnoticeable difference between these two photos. But there's a difference ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

nikon d3100 built in flash not working

I’ve been using my D3100 for awhile now. Today I took a few pictures using the flash and everything worked fine. After that I spent some time exploring menu set-up options and played with a few ...
1
vote
5answers
272 views

What exactly does TTL flash sets its power to?

I understand that TTL flash means the flash will preflash and try to calculate the right exposure for that particular scene. That part makes sense, but what exactly is the "right exposure"? Does it ...
1
vote
3answers
190 views

What flash unit should I choose for taking photos on a night boat cruise?

I'm going to a boat cruise tonight in London. With the following kit to choose from: Nikon D7000 Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon SB-400 Yongnuo YN-465 I need to make a choice ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

Is there any alternative to Nikon SU-800?

I just got the kit R1 (without the SU-800) with the two flashes Nikon SB-R200. Because now I have a D300, I am will make my pictures using the integrated flash (with the provided IR converter from ...
0
votes
3answers
548 views

What to look out for in indoor restaurant photography?

I'm tasked with documenting a company event we are hosting in an restaurant. As you can see the place is lighted but I'm sure it's still consider dark for photography. I'm not a professional ...