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Lighting Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon

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Chapter 5. Working with Flash

For various reasons, many photographers have a phobia about using flash lighting for their images and prefer instead to work in natural light, mistakenly thinking it is more a pure and less contrived approach to photography. The technology and tools of flash lighting have evolved so that it has become easy to match the power, flexibility, and nuanced lighting quality of natural light for all types of photographic applications. Flash systems come in many sizes and capabilities and are rich in features for all types of lighting control. No longer only associated with producing garishly lit photos, using flash in your photography can now produce better results than ever before. From the mighty, powerful pack-and-head systems to monolights or hot-shoe-mounted speedlights, working with flash truly expands your knowledge of light and increases the impact of that light on all your photographic subjects.

Working with Flash

The three main types of flash systems used in digital photography today are the pack-and-head system shown on the left; the monolight, sometimes referred to as a monobloc, in the middle; and the small hot-shoe-mounted flash called a speedlight, on the right. You can easily see the size difference among the three styles.

Flash Systems

Most photography studios employ some type of flash system in their daily work because they just cannot afford any down days where ...

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