To begin with, he quickly skipped though the various aspects of this particular photographic tool, namely: -
Manual flash, TTL (Through The Lens) flash, Direct flash, Bounce flash, Fill flash, Flash Compensation, High speed flash, Stroboscopic/Repeating flash, On-camera flash, Off-camera flash, Soft light, Hard light, Double Exposures, Umbrellas, Softboxes, Beauty Dish, Snood, Grid, Flags, Lighting Ratios, Butterfly lighting, Loop lighting, Broad lighting, Short lighting, Rembrandt lighting, Low Key lighting, High Key lighting, Creative Lighting System (CLS), Advanced Wireless Lighting (AWL), Commander Mode, Master, Slave, FV Lock, Inverse Square Law, Guide Numbers, Continuous light, Instantaneous light, X-Sync Speed, Diffusion Domes, Light Modifiers, Reflectors, Light meter, Incident light, Reflected light, Optical trigger, Infrared trigger, Wireless trigger, Modelling light, AF Assist Illumination, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain Sync, Key light, Back light, Fill light, Strobist, plus a zillion other things he didn’t know about, care about or remember...
Once everyone had picked themselves off the floor, he demonstrated that flash photography was easy and entailed just sticking your camera in one of the auto modes and letting it decide when you need a flash and how much additional light is required.
He added that you’d get a perfect shot every time and so ended the talk on flash photography, or did it?
Alan then covered the basic advantages and disadvantaged of the use of a camera’s built in flash, external flash, off-camera flash, TTL and manual flash exposure, off-camera verses on-camera flash and what camera mode is the best to use for various situations.
To accompany this, he provided clear examples of what to do and what not to do, to get the best results from the use of flash.
This lead to a general discussion covering the use of light sources in other aspects of photography as well as flash, including natural light, diffused light, studio lighting etc.
Alan’s interest in this field of photography was infectious and progressed naturally to the planning of a full day at a fully equipped photographic studio in Newcastle planned for later this year.
There was however one wee drawback to the evening. Whilst we discussed artificial lighting, Mother Nature was proving once again that she was true light artist by giving the greatest display of the Aurora Borealis we have witnessed for many years.