Post & Photo by Joe Farace – Follow Joe on Twitter Back in the day, when shooting film a Flashmeter and (expensive) Polaroid tests were indispensible in getting correct exposures but in a digital world filled with histograms and three-inch histograms the short answer is not always. While I usually use a flash meter or […]

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Photofocus is proud to announce the addition of Andrew Darlow as a regular contributor to our site. Post by Andrew Darlow –  Follow Andrew on Twitter Electronic flash has many uses when outside. For starters, flash can reduce or eliminate “raccoon eyes,” a look that can occur due to shadows being cast under […]

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A few days ago I posted this photo of geese flying in formation at Bosque del Apache. It really is a once in a lifetime shot, because the geese were in great formation with separation against a dark background. But exposure was a bit challenging. I’d been shooting the geese as they took off in […]

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In case you don’t think you need a flash, here’s a quick little post that might help you see why you do. I shot this flower at the Portland Rose Garden while leading the Scott Kelby Photowalk last weekend. It was a sunny day, late morning and the light was harsh. I looked for flowers […]

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If you want to learn how to use your TTL flash, these tips will get you started. 1. Read the manual. Yes RTFM. It’s packed with valuable information on how to get the most out of your flash. I am always astonished that people will spend lots of money on books, training seminars, videos, etc., […]

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The image above was photographed with a Nikon P5100, ISO 800, 1/15th @ f/2.7. I have never been a fan of on-camera flash as the main light-source for a photograph, especially when I’m out using my point-and-shoot. If you have your camera and/or flash set to “auto” then it usually will turn the flash on […]

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Photofocus Episode #6 is now in the feed. If for some reason it doesn’t show up in your copy of iTunes, please refresh your feeds.

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NOTE: We had a mic fail half way through the show and I had to switch to a cheap headset mic. Sorry for the audio quality – it’s been corrected for our next show

Photofocus Episode 6

Host: Scott Bourne ( or

Show notes by Bruce Clarke ( or

Welcome to Episode Number 6 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and Rick Sammon. The show devoted to your photography questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. You can also send your questions via Twitter to either Scott or Rick. Use the hashtag #photoqa to make sure that we can find them. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together.

This week we are talking about flash photography.

Question One – Lighting Recommendations

@arielko can you recommend any strobes, ring flashes, power packs? but not as expensive as Profoto, broncolor. Is White Lighting good?

Rick: I’m a Canon explorer of light and as far as ring flashes I’ve only tried the MR 14EX and the Macro Twin Lite 24 EX. I like the less expensive 14EX for 2 reasons. It’s easier to use and it gives off a nice diffuse type of lighting.

Scott: I use Elinchrom which is unfortunately very expensive but most of my friends on a budget rave about Alien Bees. Alien Bees also offers a ring flash but the Ray Flash adapter will work with any flash and turn it into a ring flash. When it comes to lighting equipment you do tend to get what you pay for. If you’re going to be hauling it around, the cheaper stuff doesn’t tend to fair so well.

Rick: Another option is Westcott makes the Apollo and the mini-Apollo. You can put any type of flash in them and trigger them with something like a PocketWizard. Continue reading