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A Flash in the Night
A Flash In The Night
Create dramatic evening images with a touch of artificial light
To create exciting images at night, a flash is an indispensable tool. Stunning results are possible by simply using a camera's built-in or auxiliary flash unit. Yet there's so much more that you can do with a flash beyond merely turning it on.
Flash & Lighting
Flash & Lighting
Choosing the right accessory flash and other useful lighting tools for perfect exposures
For capturing exciting images and well-balanced exposures, a flash is an indispensable tool that can greatly expand the creative possibilities and quality of your photography. Making colors brighter even in daylight, removing shadows from faces, adding catchlight to eyes and opening up the foreground in early-morning and late-evening scenics all become possible when using an accessory flash.
Advanced metering, manual options and a variety of automatic modes offer extended control that goes further than what your camera’s built-in flash can typically do. Beyond that, a flash also can extend the range and accuracy of your D-SLR’s autofocus system with a built-in AF assist beam that aids focusing in low light. Take note of compatibility, though, because some work properly with only their own systems and, more specifically, some features are only available when used with specific cameras.
For even more control and flexibility, you can change the quality of the light emitted by a flash by bouncing or diffusing it. Using a diffuser over the flash head will soften the light’s appearance, reducing harsh shadows and high contrast. Other simple, easy-to-use accessories like portable continuous lights, collapsible reflectors and ring-flash units serve to better illuminate what you’re shooting.
For its convenience and portability, a flash is the most popular choice for adding light to the scene. If you’re considering upgrading an older unit, know that recycling times have been greatly improved in new models, so you won’t have to wait long to continue shooting. Many newer flash units have a swivel head that can be aimed at a reflective surface, like a ceiling or wall, to bounce light for softer, indirect illumination.
Lighting the Way
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.