·Some SLRs and a few digicams allow for an alternative technique, "slow
speed sync" or flash at long shutter speeds. This is particularly useful
for "pan/blur" effects with nearby moving subjects with some sharp
and some blurred image areas. Set a shutter speed such as 1/15 sec and move
the camera at the same speed as the subject to create an image with a strong
sense of motion.
not discussed in the text, a macro flash system is the ideal accessory
for extreme close-up photography. The most versatile models include
at least two tubes that can be controlled independently, allowing
for directional light when that is the desired effect.
·Try off-camera flash using the appropriate TTL connecting cable accessory
(about $50) that runs from the hot shoe to a remote flash unit. Or use Wireless
Off Camera TTL Flash if available with your camera/flash unit. Ask a friend
to hold the remote flash unit above and to the side of the subject or buy a
flash bracket accessory ($90 and up) that's designed for this purpose.
·For gentler illumination, buy a "diffuser" that will spread
and soften the light, such as a LumiQuest, MilaGrid or Gary Fong accessory sold
by major photo retailers. They're most effective when the subject is no
more than six feet from the camera so they're most appropriate for close-up
photos of people and nature subjects.
camera manufacturers market TTL cables that connect an off-camera
flash unit to the hot shoe, maintaining full automation. While some
cameras/flash units provide Wireless Off Camera TTL flash, that
may require a triggering accessory allow for convenient off-camera
·If you want to photograph birds or mammals using a 300mm or longer
lens, you'll need an accessory to extend flash range. The simplest, most
affordable ($40) product of this type is the Flash X-Tender or Better Beamer
available from several vendors and easily found with a Google search. Employing
a Fresnel lens that concentrates the light from flash into a narrow beam, this
accessory makes flash useful for distant subjects.
flash diffuser accessory such as this LumiQuest model produces softer
light that's more pleasing and more suitable for many types
of images. Do note however that a device of this type is most effective
with nearby subjects and it does cause some loss of light that reduces
the effective range of flash. If you find that you're getting
underexposed flash photos, move closer to the subject or set a higher
ISO level (for greater sensitivity).
Some of the advanced techniques may seem complicated but they're quite
easy thanks to "intelligent" multi-segment metering and "smart
flash" systems. With a digital camera, you have a definite benefit: the
ability to review photos immediately. If the effect is not quite right, try
slightly different settings or a modified approach. Regardless of the equipment,
read the instruction manuals for features and for any tips or flash range data
provided by the manufacturer. Once you become proficient with flash in outdoor
photography, you'll wonder how you ever got along without it.