Orquid "Phoenix"

Orquid "Phoenix"

by ceinmart

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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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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 ...
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 ...
27
votes
8answers
51k 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 ...
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Without modification, is the built-in pop-up flash EVER appropriate?

You can't use a diffuser, you can't redirect it, you can't adjust intensity, you can only pop that little sucker up and blast away. Is there ever a situation where having this built-in pop-up flash ...
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. ...
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 ...
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?
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?
20
votes
2answers
957 views

Why do animals get green-eye?

Multiple sources on the internet (including answers on this site) claim that red-eye is created by light from the flash reflecting on the blood vessels in back of the eye. So, why do animals like ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

How do I predict exposure when using flash?

So I've got the basics down for the exposure triangle, but sometimes you just need to add more light to the room and the flash can be the most convenient way of doing that. The problem is that the ...
16
votes
5answers
1k views

How to explain to your client that a camera flash does no harm to infant?

Firstly, it is pretty definitive that a camera flash will cause no harm to infants (see below): Is camera flash actually harmful to infants or newborns? My question targets photographers who had ...
16
votes
4answers
894 views

Why do people in the stands during events use flash?

I was watching the Olympics, and one thing I noticed was that flashes are going off in the spectators' stands. Why are people using flash? Is it because they are using automatic mode, or point and ...
16
votes
3answers
754 views

What are the disadvantages of using a diffuser on a flash?

I am thinking of using a diffuser on my canon speedlight flash to soften harsh shadows when shooting indoors. I was wondering what the disadvantages of this might be.
16
votes
1answer
267 views

Are flashes really subject to a “use it or lose it” problem?

I was just reading the manual that came with my new flash and stumbled over this warning: 14.3 Flash capacitor forming The flash capacitor built into the flash unit undergoes physical change if ...
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 - ...
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
924 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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
325 views

Will I see a difference in my photos if I aim my flash to the umbrella axis?

I've seen people over the internet aiming their flashes to the umbrella's axis but haven't seen yet a before and after photo. In my case, the flash aims a bit above the axis. What would be the benefit ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

What flash options are there for the Pentax system?

I am a relative newcomer to the photography world and am slowly building up a set of gear based around my Pentax K-x. Next on my list of priorities is a flash. As I have virtually no experience in ...
14
votes
2answers
433 views

What are the advantages of the Canon 580EX II over the 430EX II?

I want to purchase a Speedlite for my Canon DSLR, but am curious to whether I need to spend the extra dollars to get the top of the line 580EX II over the more affordable 430EX II. What are the ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I think logically about getting correct exposure with flash?

I recently got a new off-camera flash (Nikon SB-700), and I'm having trouble thinking about the variables that go into proper exposure. For example, without flash, I have a little mental decision ...
14
votes
0answers
889 views

Which AA rechargeable batteries work best for Nikon SB-600 speedlight?

I am interested what is your experience with this speedlight with regards to the type of batteries you use. Can you recommend the batteries providing shortest recycle time and max number of flashes?
13
votes
3answers
721 views

How do cheap macro ring flashes perform?

When I last checked years ago, the price of a typical Ring flash unit was approximately $500. Nowadays there are still ring flashes for approx. $500 like Pentax AF160FC, Pentax AF-140C, Canon MR-14EX, ...
13
votes
5answers
890 views

What are the pros and cons of using an optical trigger for external lighting?

I have been reading up on the different kinds of lighting kits out there. I read about using optical triggers for external lighting kits. This would allow me to use my on-camera flash (or a mounted ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What's a good starter flash for Nikon?

I have a Nikon D3000, use it mostly to take pictures of my kids. Going into winter, I'm thinking about getting an external flash but I don't even know where to start. I'm assuming all flashes are ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
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
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
692 views

How do you carry flash gels?

I recently obtained a Rosco swatch book with about a million different speedlight-sized gels. However, the gels are hard to use while still attached. Before I break them apart, I want to make sure I ...
12
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
285 views

What is a fill flash and how is it used?

What is the fill flash technique?
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the purpose of a dual LED flash?

I see that some smartphones now have dual LED flash. What exactly is the purpose of a dual LED flash? Anything to do with brightness? What can a dual do that a single flash cannot? Would a triple LED ...
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
838 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Cheap secondhand off-camera flash with manual power controls?

I have a Canon 500D and am not overly a fan of portrait shots, but thought I might give it a go with a few simple setup scenes. External lighting would be useful, but the good stuff is very expensive, ...
11
votes
6answers
992 views

Which is faster for flashes, radio triggers or optical triggers?

Assuming you have a line of sight to all your flashes and both methods will trigger the flashes with 100% reliability, is it faster to use radio triggers or optical triggers to set them off? Or put in ...
11
votes
4answers
688 views

What remote flash triggers can you recommend, on a budget?

I'm looking for a remote flash trigger for my canon DSLR. I know that I'm going to hear Pocket Wizard or other similarly-priced options, but I'm looking for something a bit cheaper. At a minimum, I ...
11
votes
3answers
830 views

Why do hotshoe flashes use fresnel lens, but studio strobes do not?

I notice that hotshoe flashes (e.g. Nikon SB-800) typically have a Fresnel lens system to focus the light, but studio strobes (e.g. Photogenic Powerlight 1250) do not. What's up with that?
11
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I stop my Canon Speedlite (430exii) from going to sleep? (auto power off)

I want to use my Speedlite flash as my main flash off-camera and fire it remotely (with cactus V2 triggers) but I find it really annoying when the camera just goes to sleep and I have to walk over and ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I use wide aperture with fill flash?

I was working with an off-camera flash this weekend for some portraits of my son. I was shooting in medium sunlight (early morning, partly cloudy, w/ some shade), and I like the lighting control I ...