Quick as a flash

I found a shot of a guy who has applied my mom’s philosophy of providing food for guests (too much is not enough) to his on-camera flash use. Maybe he’s compensating for some strobe envy.

Why use a flash outdoors on a bright sunny day? Early morning or late afternoon light can be wonderful, coming in at low angles and giving pictures a warm glow. But shots during other times of the day can sometimes use a little help. A fill-flash technique can aid in lessening or eliminating harsh shadows that can occur from a midday sun. Taking the flash off the top of the camera can further enhance the effect.

Tokay High quarterback Casey McCurdy, left, stands with his brother and back-up quarterback Luke, right, and coach Louis Franklin, center.

I usually use an off-camera cord, it’s quick and easy. But for this picture I mounted two Nikon SB-80 flashes on light stands. I used my cheapo ebay radio transmitter/receiver to sync the flashes with the camera. They’re more versatile than the cord which is limited by it’s length (about 2-3 feet). With the transmitter I can set the strobes almost anywhere and turn the great outdoors into a studio.

Most modern cameras, even lowly point-and-shoots, have the potential to shoot in a fill-flash mode. Next time you’re out on a bright sunny day, give it a try.

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