Digital Photography Lighting

Get the right Lighting for your Digital Photography!

Digital photography lighting ranges from the flash units that are built into most cameras of this sort, to sophisticated studio lights that the professionals use. So you will see that when it comes to digital photography lighting, it really depends on your needs. If you haven't bought your camera yet, then it is a good idea to think about digital photography lighting before you go shopping, because it might affect your choice.

Most digital cameras, however basic, have a flash unit built into them. They work well when the subject is relatively close to the camera and can be used to fill in shadows when conditions are bright. But they don't always provide enough light.

One solution is to use a separate flash that you connect to your camera. These are generally more powerful than those that are built into the cheaper cameras. But be aware that you can only do this if your camera has a hotshoe connection that provides a secure electrical connection. These little flashguns usually have their own battery power, and they work in the same way as the built-in type, flashing light when you take the picture.

More expensive hotshoe flashes have what is called a bounce head that can tilt and so enable you to literally bounce the light off a pale-coloured surface (the ceiling for example). By bouncing flash, you can reduce harsh lighting and produce a more sympathetic and natural photograph.

Then there is what is known as a slave flash, that is triggered by the light from another flash unit. You can even trigger more than one slave unit at one time if you want to. But you need to know what you are doing.

The professionals use studio flashlights that often have a flash synchronisation terminal. This is where it is plugged into, and is triggered by the camera. But these so-called flashlights are huge in comparison to the much smaller hotshoe flashes we talked about first. They usually work on mains electricity and they often utilise umbrellas (that shield the light), or have large units that contain the light bulbs, that are covered by umbrella-like material, thus controlling the amount of illumination discharged.

If you're just starting out, rather buy a camera with a decent built-in flash that can accommodate a dedicated flash (that you can plug into the camera) at a later stage. Leave the big stuff to the pros until such time as you become a pro and need some more advanced digital photography lighting.

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