Let there be light
While today’s cameras have a much better capability of shooting in low light, there may be occasions where you need a little bit more light.
On camera flash units are best used for ‘fill-in’ or ‘evaluative’ flash, and often pop-up when required and do a very good job at giving your subject that little more light needed for a good exposure. As these units are not often very powerful, as they best offer a top-up light situation, you may need an external flash for greater light requirements.
Often these external flash units fit onto a camera’s ‘hot-shoe’ and work automatically with the camera offering more light at a greater distance. These units usually allow you to create ‘bounce-flash’ where you can tilt the flash head to a light coloured ceiling or wall to create a more natural feel to the light.
It is also worth noting that if your camera does not have a hot-shoe or you are using a smart phone, you can still use a flash unit set up as a ‘slave’ unit. This unit fires and offers light when it detects another flash source, such as the lower powered on-camera or phone unit.
Experimentation is key here as there are lots of permutations of how to set things up, but if you feel the need for more light in your photography, pick a unit up. There are some excellent second-hand units available on eBay.
By Adrian Toon, Director of a2n