Lighting The Way
Understand the fundamentals of flash to make the best purchasing decision
When it comes to flash, it's easy to consign its use for night when there isn't enough light. The real power of flash lies in its ability to improve the quality of almost any photograph, however, whether shot at twilight or midday. More than just a source of illumination when light is lacking, it's a phenomenal tool for affecting exposure, contrast and color.
This has become all the more possible with the technological advances made by camera and flash manufacturers. A flash isn't an afterthought, but instead an integral part of a complete exposure system. In the case of the Nikon D70, for example, distance information from an AF Nikkor lens combines with the camera's 1,005-sensor meter and preflash data from the SB-800 AF Speedlight to produce an accurate exposure. The wonder is that all of this happens by just turning on the flash.
Supplementing your camera with an auxiliary flash expands your creative possibilities. By understanding the difference such a tool can make in your photographs, the easier it becomes to choose the flash that best suits your needs.
Built-In Vs. Auxiliary Flash
A built-in flash can be the ultimate convenience; simply activate the flash and take your picture. Despite their small size, they can illuminate an area up to approximately 12 to 15 feet at ISO 100, more than enough for most shooting situations. Built-in flash doesn't offer enough power for more distant subjects, however.