Electronic Flash Photography

Hey Buddy, You Need A Light?

All You Ever Wanted To Know About Electronic Flash But Were Afraid To Ask

This work comes from a workshop held at the Valley Photo Center in February 2017. Discussions revolved around electronic flash photography. The organization of topic is shown below and you can jump to each for more information.

Unfortunately, the workshop was limited to a couple hours and there was a week’s worth of material to properly cover. If you visit each link, you’ll find some (all) are “under construction”.

Special thanks to the folks who came in for the workshop. We started with a question about what each person wanted to get out of it. With more time, we probably could have attended to each need. As it turns out, it was more of an overview kind of thing with lots of good interaction. Maybe those areas that were overlooked or only lightly illuminated (excuse the pun) could make for future workshops which are more focused. (OK, another pun for photographers.)

Keep shooting – practice, practice, practice!

Bonus – Polarized Light

As supplied by our Director, D. John McCarty…

Polarizers work outside because the light waves coming from the Sun 149,597,870,700 meters (92,955,807 miles) away are more or less parallel. When you try to use the polarizer with your flash that is only a few meters away or less, the light isn’t parallel and you won’t get the effect you want. The way to overcome this is to put a polarizing filter both on the lights and on the camera. Using this technique is great for coping photographs and artwork as it can remove reflections from the glass frame or from the painting or photographs surface to make them look more color saturated without glare.

The only trick is after you put the filter on the camera lens and on the lights take a few photos after each turn and pick the photo with the right amount of polarization since you can’t see the effect by just looking through the camera if you are using electronic flash without a modeling light. (I look at the material through the camera filter and turn it to see when it blacks out.)

You can get polarizing sheets on line for around $10.00. This material is for the lights and not suitable to use on the camera lens.

2 thoughts on “Electronic Flash Photography

  1. Apologies for leaving early; I was exhausted and dreaded the drive back.
    Thank you for leading the workshop. I don’t know what I missed past 8:45 PM but by then I had heard about the history of flash and about accoutrements and accessories for flash but still hadnt heard about the basic how to’s of a flash system and what I’d hoped would be actual hands on experience.
    I have experience but some of it’s luck and a prayer, admittedly.


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