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Questions tagged [flash]

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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57 votes
14 answers
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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 ...
anon's user avatar
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38 votes
2 answers
9k 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 ...
Arseni Mourzenko's user avatar
35 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
matt burns's user avatar
  • 6,036
34 votes
6 answers
5k 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 ...
Drew's user avatar
  • 2,465
32 votes
1 answer
37k 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 ...
Imre's user avatar
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30 votes
4 answers
24k 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 ...
kacalapy's user avatar
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29 votes
7 answers
3k 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?
jfoucher's user avatar
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28 votes
9 answers
12k 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. Period....
Agile Scout's user avatar
28 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why do we charge our flashes?

So whenever we want to shoot our flash before taking a photo. we have to charge it first. What is the point of the charging our flashes? Aren't their power directly supplied by the battery of our ...
Delta Oscar Uniform's user avatar
27 votes
4 answers
4k 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?
ahockley's user avatar
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26 votes
4 answers
52k 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?
Brig's user avatar
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26 votes
3 answers
93k views

Is it necessary to fully drain Ni-MH batteries before recharging them?

Is it really necessary to fully drain the Ni-MH batteries before recharging them? As a rule, I always want my speedlite batteries to be fully charged. At the end of each day when I use my flashgun, I ...
insignum's user avatar
  • 732
26 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why don't camera flashes use proprietary batteries?

In trying to explain Why Cameras Use Proprietary Batteries, many have claimed that it is because proprietary lithium rechargeable batteries have better high-current capabilities than any AA (though ...
Greg Smalter's user avatar
25 votes
9 answers
6k 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 on-...
John's user avatar
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24 votes
4 answers
85k 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 ...
spong's user avatar
  • 1,487
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why is there ghosting when using flash on tripod with image stabilization?

I am puzzled by the ghosting in this shot. It is definitely caused by the flash (shot of the exact same scene without flash removed the ghost image). The camera was on a tripod, and I was using a ...
Duncan_w's user avatar
  • 501
23 votes
4 answers
13k 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 low-...
mattdm's user avatar
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23 votes
2 answers
674 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 ...
cabbey's user avatar
  • 6,680
22 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Nir's user avatar
  • 20.8k
21 votes
7 answers
6k views

How to take a picture of a group with flash so that everyone's face is lit evenly?

A common situation in how I use my DSLR is to take a group picture at a badly lit location (think a table in a bar) with a flash. I have a flash that's pretty powerful even with a reflector and I have ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 2,976
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

What features should one look for when selecting a flash?

I have been thinking of getting a flash to improve my low light photography (particularly indoors). However, there seem to be a number of different models available at similar price points (budget of ...
ab.aditya's user avatar
  • 4,655
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

What are the Yongnuo flash naming conventions?

I'm trying to get an idea of which Yongnuo flash will fit my requirements. I'd like to have a flash to pair with my SB-900 with TTL support for use both on and off camera (Nikon CLS-compatible). My ...
Roman Matveev's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
5k views

How to capture a swinging pendulum?

A pendulum when reaching the extremes stands still for a moment, allowing us to see the details of the bob, and gradually increase its velocity towards the equilibrium point. Therefore, its trace of ...
Ooker's user avatar
  • 409
19 votes
7 answers
6k 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 - ...
dpollitt's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
3k 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.
Si Keep's user avatar
  • 1,021
18 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
Gapton's user avatar
  • 5,088
18 votes
7 answers
86k views

Can a Nikon/Canon flash be used on the other brand of camera?

I was just thinking about this problem and was wondering if anyone knew if/how to use a competing flash unit (EX or SB series) on a Nikon or Canon (respectively) camera. I would assume a lot of the ...
newfie_coder's user avatar
  • 1,317
18 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
Nir's user avatar
  • 20.8k
18 votes
6 answers
14k 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 all ...
AJ Finch's user avatar
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18 votes
4 answers
30k 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 ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 3,149
17 votes
4 answers
7k 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 ...
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Bill's user avatar
  • 493
17 votes
3 answers
2k 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. ;...
Vetle's user avatar
  • 375
17 votes
8 answers
5k 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 ...
Daniel T.'s user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
22k 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 ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 3,837
16 votes
10 answers
13k 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 in Digital Image Stabilizer (DIS) mode, I get white spots in pictures. This doesn't happen always. There is an option called Pixel Mapping, ...
theTuxRacer's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why does the flash freeze a picture?

Why does a flash freeze a picture even if I use a shutter speed like 1/10 sec? I don't understand it, because the light will hit the sensor the whole time, not just when the flash is fired.
rockZ's user avatar
  • 397
16 votes
4 answers
611 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 ...
Michael H.'s user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
7k 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 camera....
Richard's user avatar
  • 700
16 votes
3 answers
25k 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? ...
Nir's user avatar
  • 20.8k
16 votes
3 answers
2k 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?
jfklein13's user avatar
  • 3,872
16 votes
2 answers
387 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 ...
Rismo's user avatar
  • 711
16 votes
5 answers
2k 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 ...
jessegavin's user avatar
  • 1,413
16 votes
3 answers
1k 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, ...
asalamon74's user avatar
  • 4,573
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do you really need to fire flashes regularly when not otherwise used?

Years ago, I read someplace that in order to stop a flash deteriorating in storage, every month or so, you should put some batteries in the flash and fire the thing a couple of times. I'm beginning to ...
mooie's user avatar
  • 1,296
15 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
anon's user avatar
  • 1,871
15 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Evan Krall's user avatar
  • 12.4k
15 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Sarah Haren's user avatar
  • 1,136
14 votes
7 answers
7k 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 ...
ahockley's user avatar
  • 21.5k
14 votes
5 answers
10k views

Why don't many modern cameras have built-in flash?

I'm looking for a new mirrorless camera. I'm not a pro, but not a noob - I'm just a casual photographer taking photos for myself, mostly. I found that many, many cameras don't have a built-in flash. ...
mimic's user avatar
  • 257

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