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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4k 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 ...
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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
4answers
2k views

What is flash duration?

When speaking in terms of flash specifications, what is flash duration and how does it impact exposure?
7
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1answer
741 views

Main differences between the Nikon SB-600 and SB-700?

I am a total newbie when it comes to flash, and I am looking to buy an off-camera flash for my Nikon D80. The main choices for an amateur like me seem to be the SB600 and SB700. What are the main ...
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votes
2answers
1k views

Can I combine my Canon camera with my Nikon flash?

I have a Canon 60D camera and a SB-600 flash for Nikon. Can I use this flash wirelessly with my camera? I had Nikon camera before which I replaced with Canon and I haven't purchased a flash yet, so ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What flash slaves can be used with a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT?

My current flash setup is a standard shoe mount but I've been thinking about getting a remote. I've been drooling over the Speedlite 600EX-RT. It uses radio to control slaves, which is nice (longer ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How does TTL flash work in manual exposure mode?

I got the Metz 44 AF-1 flash recently that is TTL capable for my Canon 550D, and have been reading around to get a better understanding of using flash on-camera (Neil Van Niekerk's article on flash ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Are burn marks on a flash unit window normal?

My flash unit has been accumulating small burn marks on its window. Is this normal wear and tear or equipment damage?
7
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1answer
571 views

Photoshoot lighting on a shoestring budget?

I've just about used every cent I can afford on my DSLR and an extra lens and a tripod and a friend of mine suggested I come along and do a casual photo shoot of two bands that are staying at her ...
6
votes
4answers
483 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
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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: ...
6
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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
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3answers
2k views

Are there any major drawbacks to buying a used flash gun?

I'm looking to buy my first external flash to use on my Canon 350d (which I bought used — no problems). Most likely this will be a Speedlite 430EX II. Looking on Ebay, it looks like I can save over ...
6
votes
3answers
686 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
3answers
856 views

Can one radio trigger be used to trigger two speedlights?

I have a pair of Yongnuo RF-603 radio flash transceivers, two SB-600s & D200. I'm planning to build a large rectangular softbox that'll use both speedlights for extra power. Is there a synch cord ...
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 ...
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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
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4answers
839 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
8k views

How do I light a photo booth with a single flash and an umbrella?

I run a photobooth for a friend at a party for a side job and last night we came across a predicament. We only were able to use one flash on a tripod, instead of the usual two, along with the camera ...
6
votes
3answers
384 views

Quick way to disable the flash (Speedlite) on a Canon without switching off?

I have a 430 EX mounted on a 450D/XSI. Is there any easy way to quickly disable the flash for a shot, without turning it off, as you have to wait for it power up again.
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How to use old flash units with Digital SLR?

I got some old flash units (e.g. Metz 30bct-3) that I won on eBay along with some older slr cameras. The flash units are in good condition. I thought of using them with my Canon 600D but heard about ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

When would you use CTS (Straw) gel instead of CTO?

The Roscolux sampler pack contains several strengths of both CTO (Color Temperature Orange) and CTS (Color Temperature Straw?). The CTS seems to be a bit yellower than CTO. What situations would you ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Pentax P-TTL: Why and when does underexposure occur and what can I do?

Pentax's P-TTL flash metering system tends to be unreliable and may underexpose at times. When and why does the system underexpose and what can I do? I want to know the situations that cause flash ...
6
votes
2answers
400 views

Are there any tricks to make a pop-up flash suck less in low light?

I'm taking a lot of low-light indoor shots of moving subjects. I hate a the default flip-up flashes of most moderns DSLRs (in my case, a Canon 60D), but this is typically a point and shoot situation ...
6
votes
2answers
331 views

How are power levels automatically determined when using multiple speedlights with CLS?

If I take a picture with an on-camera flash, or a single speedlight, my understanding is that the camera/flash pre-fire and then automatically select the approrpriate power level to properly expose ...
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) ...
6
votes
1answer
130 views

image metadata - flash mode values

the 'flash mode' is saved in the image meta-data as a number, what does every value mean in words? How can it be parsed? is their any documentation for this?
6
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3answers
349 views

Flashgun for Nikon D60 and F5

So, I'm a massive fan of Nikon gear. I've got a D60 which is pretty lovely, and I've recently bought a 2nd hand F5. However. The flash on the D60 is feeble, and there's no builtin flash on the F5. ...
6
votes
1answer
268 views

Can an E-TTL II cable trigger a speedlite in Manual mode

Essentially, if you own an E-TTL II (or presumably iTTL) cable of a certain length/type, is there any reason to also own a manual PC-sync cable of a similar length/type, or can the camera be fired in ...
6
votes
2answers
480 views

Outdoor flash lights on a budget?

What are the best options for having outdoor flash lighting? I have seen a few kits for sale on ebay that cost around $1000 which include 2 lights, a battery pack, umbrellas and soft box covers. I ...
6
votes
1answer
633 views

How do I repair a detached SB600 flash head tilt/rotate lock-release button?

The rubber cover that I press to tilt/rotate the head of my SB-600 flash has come off after years of abuse, and it looks like the original adhesive has dried out. Can anyone recommend some ...
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2answers
209 views

Can Nikon flashes display flash power used right after a shot was taken?

I'm trying to compare two camera bodies (Nikon D90, Nikon F100 (digital and film)) with respect to TTL flash power in different situation. I came to know that few Canon flashes can display the flash ...
5
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3answers
749 views

How long will the bulb last in the flash of a compact or DSLR?

Compact cameras and DSLRs have built in flashes. And DSLRs have external flashes that you can attach. How do I know how long the bulb in the compact camera flash will last? (e.g. how many more ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

How do I get this fashion photograph effect?

I found an interesting fashion photograph and I want to recreate the effect. I know for a fact that the pictures are taken in complete darkness using a Canon XSi, the built-in flash, and some ...
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
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3answers
364 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?
5
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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
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3answers
2k views

Why are there white dots on my night time photo?

Could you please explain why I am getting white semi-transparent dots for night photography with flash on? Original image here.
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3answers
3k views

For a novice to flash, what color correction gels would be best to experiment with?

I recently purchased a Canon Speedlight 430EX II, and have been experimenting with the flash on my camera. I have also ordered a 6 foot off-camera flash cable and a bracket that will allow me to move ...
5
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3answers
351 views

Why doesn't narrowing the aperture have the same effect as lowering the flash power?

I have a small doubt here. I'm no strobist and just got my first flash (Canon 430ex II Speedlight). While I was playing around, I found that narrowing down the aperture DOES NOT have the same effect ...
5
votes
2answers
317 views

What is an independent flash called?

By "independent flash" I mean a flash which is not attached with the camera by default. What is the technical name for it?
5
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7answers
525 views

Is this sensor ghosting, or something else?

I recently took some shots of a house fly, primarily for use in a simple case study of print sharpness that I posted here. Several of the shots turned out fairly well with flash, however they all seem ...
5
votes
4answers
540 views

How to take a picture with subject in focus but with a circular light-trace effect around it?

How to keep the Girls sharp combined with the lighttrace effect? Thank you very much!
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I use a flash indoors with a really high roof?

I am using a Nikon D3200 with SB-700 flash. Typically, when taking pictures indoors, I bounce the flash off the roof or the walls. However, I will soon be in a situation where the roof is too high to ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

How to get beautiful even and soft lighting on face?

How do I get bright even and soft light on a face like this? Image taken from this link I got the exact same equipment but I wasn't able to reproduce the result. First I tried lighting it from ...
5
votes
3answers
338 views

Does the wide-angle diffuser on a flash help reduce hotspots when used in a small softbox?

Many speedlight-style flashes have a pull-out / flip-down wide angle panel built in. This isn't really meant as a light modifier, but is intended to help the flash provide better coverage at wide ...
5
votes
2answers
505 views

What are the functions of the extra contact points on a Canon hotshoe?

I am wondering about the 5 contact points on the top of the Canon camera for the flash. The flash I am putting on this camera has only the center contact. What are the functions of all these other ...
5
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2answers
274 views

Why photos taken with flash appear to have less noise?

I have not verified this on pixel-peeping level. But I have observed that photos taken with flash (built-in one in my case) appear to have very less noise at ISO 800/1600 than the ones taken without ...
5
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5answers
2k views

What kind of batteries will provide the fastest recharge/recycle time for a flash unit like the 430EX II?

I have gotten deep into bird photography this year, and have put a lot of time and effort into learning the tricks of the trade. My latest endeavors are into bird/bif flash photography. I own a Canon ...