On the BBC news front page recently:
You will notice the flash warning. Lobbying in England by an epilepsy group has resulted in this warning being displayed in all media whenever there is flash.
Because a few people react to flash. Only a few, and only when they do not take their meds, and only if the flashing is repeated at a rate of around 25 Hz, of course; but that’s beside the point, apparently.
It is a shame that there is no regard for reasonableness in these knee-jerk reactions. I can see the day that flash is illegal anywhere in a British public space… preposterous. Now if they said “we prohibit repeated strong stroboscopic flash at a rate of 25 Hz, deliberately aimed at large audiences”, it would perhaps be a different matter. Perhaps.
But superstition rules. Flash in news. Cell phones at gas stations. WiFi and Peanut butter in schools. Vaccinations. All of these represent either some danger or some possible but unproven danger or no danger, just superstition. But when there is danger, the question is “how much? ” And it is there that policy makers fail. Obviously we accept danger in life, otherwise we would all live in tents in open fields, ride bicycles limited to 2 km/h, and wear helmets 24/7, and have police officers assigned to every family 24/7. We would not have airplanes either, or electricity or cars. Clearly, that is nonsensical: we accept risk. And the risk involved in flash photography is extremely minimal. So carry on flashing, speedlighters: no fear.
My friends: if you are able to come to Brantford, Ontario, I have just scheduled five workshops over the next month. See here:
Space is strictly limited so if you want some top-notch learning, join and reserve your spot now!
A reader asks:
I need your device on buying a secondary speed light . I currently have the canon 430 Ex 3 RT speedlite. I wish to purchase a second speedlite. Should I purchase the Canon flagship or should I buy a secondary 430 ? Are the 430’s more than enough for off camera work? Does it make sense to purchase a speedlite with more power? Any advice would be helpful ?
Well. “It depends”.
If your camera cannot use its pop-up flash to drive other flashes, then buy a 580/600, the flash that can be a “master”. The 430 can only be a “slave”.
Also, the 580/600 are more powerful. And they can rotate a full 360º, which is important when bouncing.
Or… you could do it all in manual mode with all remote flashes. using radio triggers like Pocketwizards. In that case, buy cheap flashes, like 430s or the even cheaper Yongnuo clones.
The choice is yours.
The Pro Flash Manual gives you more information: see http://learning.photography.
Summer. Time to get your camera out and start becoming the pro you always wanted to be.
And if you have not done so, now is the time to purchase my e-books and start practicing your pro skills. Or to get some personal training, one-on-one, either in the same room or via the Internet, worldwide.
And there’s great news. To encourage you to do that, I have just created a temporary summer savings discount code. ANY purchase over $100 is 30% off. Only until the end of May, so hurry and order now. Go to http://learning.photography and upon checkout, enter discount code SUMMERSALE.
I have said it many times.
- Brides are their own worst enemy if they hire a $300 photographer.
- Photogs are their own worst enemy if they include awful photos with the good.
Here’s an illustration of both points at once:
Singaporean Couple’s Awful Wedding Photos Go Viral After Hiring the Worst Photographer Ever
This is a meme now; google “singapore bad wedding photos” and recoil in horror…
Needles to say., a good wedding photographer a) does not take a significant number of bad photos like that, and b) does not share them if s/he does. (And c) does not do such an awful job editing). Bad flash! Bad composition! Bad moments! And Bad editing. Ouch, ouch, ouch.
You are as good as your worst photos.
Michael teaches photography to both beginners and pros. Flash and events are his specialties. See www.michaelwillems.ca and http://learning.photography