Most cameras these days have built in flash. Even the more upmarket digital SLRs sport a small pop up flash. They also have a hot shoe for flash. However, as well know, this kind of flash photography can often yield boring and unnatural lighting results.
Often, the most effective use of your flash gun is off-camera. In other words, the flash is not sitting on the cameraâ€™s hotshoe, but is physically disconnected. SynchronisationÂ can beÂ achieved by using specially designed cords or leads which plug either into the cameraâ€™s PC flash connection or to the hotshoe itself.Â With dedicated flash systems, the manufacturer often provides the means by which the flash can be placed off camera and still retain full TTL compatibility. Some cameras have wireless capabilities which allow them to interact with the camera’s exposiure system and be controlled by it. An older method for off camera flash can be also achieved is by using a flash with a slave unit attached. The slave unit senses the flash from another unit (maybe the one or built in to your SLR) and fires the flash to which it is connected simultaneously.Â With digital cameras however, this can be a problem as the camera’s pre-flash willÂ often trigger the remote unit and is something you will need to consider. However having the flash off camera can mean more natural lighting and greater control over the image. Variations of the same image can also be made simply by changing the direction, distance and intensity of the flash.
Off camera flash can be used very effectively both indoors and outdoors and is a very effective means of adding greater interest to your subject.
Shelton Muller can be contacted via his website at www.photographybyshelton.com