Flash & Lighting
So, next up, we're gonna get in to a few flash accessories here. So we're gonna talk more about lighting in an upcoming section, but a little word on some of all those additional flash units that you can add to your camera. So if you don't have a flash, we do have little low end, very simple flashes, which are kind of nice, just to add a little bit of fill light straight in front of the camera. They're not very powerful, so I don't really recommend them in most cases. I think the mid-range flash is pretty good for most people who want some versatility and a little bit more power. If you're photographing social events, weddings, things like that, where you need more power, you need to use wide angle lenses where you're spreading the light out more, or you're gonna be shooting a lot of shots where you're gonna be shooting in sequence. The power systems on this are a little bit faster in their recycling time, and they will also have some special effects modes in there, we'll talk a little...
bit about in the flash section, but for most people, I think the mid-range is where you're gonna be looking for a basic flash, but if you really get into it, the advanced ones are very nice and offer a lot of features. If you get any sort of flash, one of the most important things for getting better quality flash is getting the flash off the camera. If you want to do that in the simplest way, you want to get one of the TTL cords, and this is an offshoot cord that allows you to shoot fully automatic with the flash away from the camera, and it's just about as long as you can reach with your hand, or if you want to mount it on one of these brackets here. There's a number of different flash brackets. This is an older one I have, I don't think they sell this one anymore, but it's got a nice wood handle on it, feels good in the hand, and than what it enables me to do is rotate the camera, so the lens stays in the same position, and we'll talk more about that in the flash settings. The flash diffuser is a way for you to increase the light source. I got one of those over here, somewhere, right here, and this one allows me to point the flash up in here. It gets the flash a little bit further away from the camera. It also spreads it out in a slight manner, and so this is gonna get you a little bit softer shadows around your subject's face for instance, and so, I prefer to use this. It decreases the power of the flash, but if I'm relatively close, than power's not the major issue, it's getting a nice soft light, that's important. Very special tool here, this is for bird photographer's in most cases. It's where you want to throw the light in a very narrow beam far forward. I was out at one of our local parks here, Discovery Park, and there was a family of owls there, and this is where a flash helped illuminate these birds under low light in the forest. You're able to get a little (mumbles) light in their eyes, and see their feathers, and them just a little bid better, and you don't have the normal problem with flash with a shadow on the back wall, 'cause there is no wall right behind him, and so you don't get to see those shadows quite the same way, and so that can really help on subjects that are much further away from there. The flash bracket is something that I have found very handy because when you don't have this, when you shoot verticals, the flash gets thrown off to the side, where it looks less attractive. Having the flash top and center in consistent in your photographs will help out, and so these rotating flash brackets can be very, very handy to keep the lens in the right place, and I've shot a few weddings in my time, and I know, you all know about Uncle Bob, hopefully you know about Uncle Bob. Uncle Bob is the Uncle at the wedding, who happens to have a professional DSLR, and wants to take photos, and kind of wants to be the professional photographer there, but when you have one of these devices, Uncle Bob shrinks down and moves away, because there is no doubt when you step in to the situation that you are the photographer in that case, and I know it sounds a little corny, but it works. It works (mumbles). But it also gets you better quality shots, which is the real reason you're using it, and so, getting that flash in a high centered position so it's even for horizontals and verticals, and getting you better light. For those of you who do want to get in to Macro, getting light in close can be a real problem, and so they do make special macro lights that can actually mount on the front of your lens, and when we get in to light, we're gonna talk a lot about distance. How far away is the light from the subject its illuminating? And you'll want to get that light in really close for power reasons, 'cause you need that power in there. So this is how you get the flash as close as possible without getting it in the way of the camera, and so these are available for many of the different lenses that are out in the market.