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Lighting Digital Field Guide by Brian McLernon

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Chapter 6. Working with Speedlights

Digital technology has increased the public's interest in photography and considerably shortened the time it takes to learn about light and how it is captured in photographs. Speedlights afford fantastic results within the reach of a broader number of photographers with exceedingly various photographic pursuits. Small flash use has exploded in the last several years and this chapter brings you up to speed on these amazing creative tools. I also discuss some accessories for your small flash and a few third-party wireless systems that help expand your creative options.

Working with Speedlights

It's easy to see the difference in size between a camera's built-in onboard flash and an external speedlight when they're compared side by side. The larger speedlight expands the power, range, and versatility of using flash to light your subjects by including TTL, High-speed Sync, Second-curtain Sync, Flash Head Zoom, and Stroboscopic Flash shooting modes.

Overview of Speedlight Flash Units

Canon calls them Speedlites, Nikon calls them Speedlights, and most other manufacturers simply call them flashes. They're also called strobes, small flashes, and flashguns. For purposes in this chapter and for the rest of the ensuing chapters, I refer to small hot-shoe-mounted flash units as speedlights. Although this chapter is not a comprehensive look at all the ways you can use speedlights, it provides ...

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