External flash is an equipment which is not a part of the camera unit and can be used in addition to the existing built-in or pop-up flash in your digital camera. Many moms, who click their children’s and family’s pictures quite often, will agree than there have been times when a direct flash light has robbed a photo of it’s natural sheen and colour.
And that is why, moms who have taken up photography seriously, increasingly use external flash to help them light up their subjects in a better way. Many types of external flashes are available in the market, depending on your requirement and budget. Here is a guide to the different types of external flashes and their functions.
1. Hot shoe mount flash
It is a kind of external flash that can be either mounted on the hot shoe (the slot given to attach flashguns on top of a DSLR) or connected to the camera via a cable. Attaching it with a cable gives the photographer the freedom to use the flash from an angle different from that of the camera.
2. Slave flash
These are small units which are remote controlled and offer light in addition to the built-in flash. These flashes contain a trigger which goes off when it detects another flash source within the sensor’s field of view.
3. Bounce flash
It is a technique where you bounce light off a white surface – usually the wall or ceiling to get a soft illumination of the subject instead of harsh light of direct flash. You can either use a slave flash or angle the hot shoe mount flash to achieve this.
4. Diffuser flash
Like bounce flash, this is also a very useful technique which photo studios use often to get soft and uniform light from a flash. In this method, light is diffused onto the subject rather than falling directly. Shadows are minimal in this technique and results are amazing.
5. Floor flash units
These are used by professional photo studios to get a continuous light source. These flash units are portable and also provide firing flash light, so it is multipurpose, but expensive too. So only go for this if you are planning to take up photography seriously.