Add A New Dimension To Your Photos — The External Flash

A digital SLR camera gives you greater control over your images — where you can adjust aperture, shutter speed as well as sensitivity and focal length. When you add an external flash unit to your camera arsenal, you’ll be opening up a whole new dimension to your photography experience.

Benefits of an external flash. Most compact digital cameras and SLR cameras come with their own built-in flash so you can illuminate your subject in low light conditions. However, one of the features of a SLR camera is the ability to utilise an off camera flash that offers you greater control and flexibility for your lighting. Here are just some of the benefits you can achieve:

Reduce red eye — red eye is caused when the light entering the eye reflects off the retina. An external flash unit lets you adjust the angle of entry so the light doesn’t get reflected back to the camera. Try and aim your light slightly above your subjects for ideal results.

It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.
Paul Caponigro

Get rid of washed out skin tones – banish pale ghostly white and washed out subjects. Direct illumination can sometimes be too bright so your subject gets over exposed. External flash units offer more diffused lighting techniques. Angle your external flash upwards, maybe even point it upwards and let the light bounce off the ceiling to create a more ambient illumination.

Capture the movement

Extend your reach — an external flash unit is usually more powerful than built in flashes, so you’ll get better illumination and a wider beam of light.

Create lighting effects — use your external flash to create dramatic effects by playing with shadows. A cable from your camera body to your flash will give you an extra level of mobility, so you can move the flash off to the side and away from the camera for some very dramatic shadows.

Capture movement — some of the most brilliant night-time images capture the movement of light, such as vehicles travelling along a street. Look for these opportunities when composing your night-time shots. Make your subjects stand out – people lit by ambient light make for great images.

If you’re photographing people at night, have your subjects fill the frame by getting in close. Experiment with your external flash unit — you’ll be amazed with the results.

Photos Courtesy of Caleb & Glagys.