Monday, June 25, 2007
Enlighten your photography with the illumination of accessory flash
There are a variety of flash modes often built into a camera model. Whether or not the flash can take advantage of them is often up to the individual camera and compatibility. When there's synchronization, many flashes offer modes such as automatic, fill-flash for "filling in" shadows in normally lit conditions, rear-curtain (or second-curtain) for streaking effects in dark scenes, a slow-sync mode to increase the exposure of ambient light in night photography and red-eye reduction-a pulsing preflash illumination that contracts the pupils of the subject, minimizing the dreaded "red eyes" that show up from light bouncing straight back from the subject's retina.
Flashes use a lot of power today, so much that they require their own separate batteries. Even then, the power provided by standard batteries may not be enough. Some flashes offer compatibility with batteries designed specifically for camera and flash power consumption, such as optional power packs, or lithium or nickel metal hydride batteries. Flash intervals (or recycling times) depend greatly on the type of power supply being used and, of course, the flash count (or number of flash discharges) depends on how much power you have as well.
Some flashes have a swivel head, which allows you to point the flash and bounce light off of walls. The result is more natural and even lighting than the harsh and heavily contrasted light that a direct flash provides. This often also helps to prevent red-eye because the flash doesn't reflect at a straight angle back to the camera. Swivel heads are especially useful with a white wall or a low ceiling off of which to bounce the light, but additionally, the flash requires more power to maintain the same amount of illumination. Most heads also include a built-in diffuser for a softer light source, which helps restrict blown-out close-up shots.
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