Micro Four-thirds:  Built-in Flash for Holiday Photos
Dec16

Micro Four-thirds: Built-in Flash for Holiday Photos

Last week I had an early morning photo session with a family for their holiday photos. I thought I was being prepared by putting my camera case in the trunk the night before.  Even when I woke up and it was 25 degrees I didn’t think that it would affect my camera equipment. When I arrived at the shoot there was still a freezing rain. I got out my Lumix GH3 and Metz external flash I was surprised when the flash wouldn’t charge because...

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Using Flash for Outdoor Portraits
Jan31

Using Flash for Outdoor Portraits

Portraits are all about light, so you should begin the process of creating great outdoor portraits—including glamour photography—by looking for locations where there’s plenty of natural light but I’d also suggest that you bring along your electronic flash. Even the small pop-up flashes that are built into most digital SLRs can perk up your outdoor portraiture. The key to improving your outdoor portraits is knowing when it’s the right...

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Understanding Guide Numbers
Jun19

Understanding Guide Numbers

Much as a digital camera’s resolution is measured in megapixels, flash output is often measured in Watt-Seconds, a unit of electrical energy that’s equal to the work done when a current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second. Sometimes also called a Joule it’s basically a way to measure the power and discharge capacity of an electronic flash’s power supply. Think raw automobile horsepower but because...

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Using Your Built-In Flash for Casual Portraits
May24

Using Your Built-In Flash for Casual Portraits

The key to using your camera’s built-in flash is knowing the right time to use it. If there’s any secret at all to knowing when, it’s learning how to see the light falling on your subject, especially the range of shadows and highlights within the scene. Learning to see light is not difficult but takes a bit of practice and using your camera’s preview screen will help you instantly analyze those flash photographs to see how successful...

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Measuring Electronic Flash Power
Apr12

Measuring Electronic Flash Power

Electronic flash output is often measured in Watt-seconds (Ws,) a unit of electrical energy that’s equal to the work done when a current of one ampere passes through a resistance of one ohm for one second. Sometimes also called a Joule it’s basically a way to measure the power and discharge capacity of an electronic flash’s power supply. Think raw automobile horsepower but because Watt-seconds doesn’t consider reflector design it’s...

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Setting Your Camera’s Flash Synch Speed
Mar26

Setting Your Camera’s Flash Synch Speed

The key part of determining any flash exposure is the lens’ aperture but shutter speed plays an important role too. The duration of electronic flash units is quite short— 1/1000th of a second is not uncommon. The exposure is made while the shutter is open but the actual shutter speed will be slower because there is a maximum synchronization speed that varies with each camera and is the time when the shutter open, the flash fires, and...

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One Light Glamour, with a Softbox
Mar20

One Light Glamour, with a Softbox

Experiment. Don’t go out with preconceptions of what a picture will look like. That will block you from being receptive to something new and exciting. – Mason Resnick What my friend Mason was saying applies to all kinds of photography, including portraiture or glamour where it’s all too easy to set a subject on a posing stool and place them in “Pose A”, then move then into “Pose B,” making the whole process so mechanical even...

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