Monday, January 29, 2007
Lighting The Way
Understand the fundamentals of flash to make the best purchasing decision
You also can remove flash completely from the camera either using a dedicated TTL cord or using a wireless system. The flash then can be positioned virtually anywhere. Many high-end TTL flashes also will maintain full functionality while off-camera.
You can supplement the capabilities of your flash with a variety of easy-to-use accessories. The LumiQuest UltraSoft (List Price: $26) diffuses light produced by your flash. It enlarges and redirects the flash at a 90-degree angle and softens the light by passing it through a frosted diffuser. This reduces the harshness of shadows and delivers a softer, more pleasing look.
Even if you're using only one flash, the Photoflex LiteDisc (List Price: $21 to $140) provides studio-like control of your lighting. Position the flash on one side of your subject and place the collapsible disc on the opposite side to create a pleasing fill-light. The circular models are available in sizes from 12 inches to 52 inches, with dual reflective surfaces including soft/gold, gold/silver and silver/white.
The Quantum Turbo Compact battery (List Price: $512) ensures that your flash has power when it's needed. The powerful rechargeable battery supplies consistent and reliable power to your flash along with a fast recycling time. The compact battery includes easily readable LEDs for quickly checking battery capacity.
We used to be limited to how far off-camera we could use a flash by the length of a cable. Now, we can achieve distances of more than 30 feet, as well as use multiple flash simultaneously.
Unlike studio packs that are heavier and more costly, portable flash units offer incredible convenience and portability (although they don't provide as much power). As many systems now offer TTL capability, the difficulties of handling exposure are eliminated. The output of the flash is controlled via the camera or the individual flash unit.
Creating a multiple flash setup in this way allows you to create a portable studio virtually anywhere with the results immediately displayed on your digital camera's LCD. This displayed image provides immediate feedback on the placement and output of each of the flash units, giving you information that you can use to make any necessary adjustment.
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