Monday, February 16, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Flash Tip

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.

Flash Tip
Many inventions known to modern man are true wonders. I can pick up a phone and converse with someone halfway around the world. I can’t believe I can send a fax from an airplane and somehow the words, symbols and illustrations magically fly through the air and are transformed to paper hundreds of miles away. In complete darkness I can create an image by placing a battery powered flash atop my camera and record what I can’t even see.

I love doing macro work. A large percentage of my close up images are made with flash. I have a special bracket that mounts to the tripod socket of my camera body. On the bracket, I mount two flashes. One is off to the left and above the lens. The other is to the direct right of the camera. The higher one is the main light which connects to the hot shoe via an accessory cord. This allows complete TTL auto exposure capability. The other is a manual unit that provides 1 1/2 stops less illumination and is used as fill. This light is triggered by a photo slave to synchronize it with the main light. I set my aperture to f22 and fire away. In the image of the dahlia, the shadow from the main light. is considerably softened. Without the second flash to act as fill, the image would depict a lot of contrast."

To learn more about this subject, join me on one of my photo tours. Please visit to get more information.

To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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