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What is a speedlight flash? Strobist Photography Tutorial Series on Off Camera Flash



This is the first in a strobist photography tutorial series about Speedlights – what are they? Why and when you should use off camera flash? I'll even teach you some great strobist portrait techniques.

A speedlite is simply a small battery powered flash that is designed to work both on and off camera. Speedlights have grown in popularity even among studio professionals because of their small size, light weight, quick set-up and tear down and best of all – price.

The term Speedlight was actually coined by Nikon in the 1960’s. It was used to describe Nikon flashes that weren’t built into the camera. Canon quickly adopted a variation by spelling the word this way - speedlite and today most companies refer to their standalone camera mounted portable flashes using one of those two terms.

Just like the film cameras of the 1960’s, the original on camera flash units were manual – always putting out the same amount of light. Then companies like Vivitar released units like this 283 which was one of the early Automatic flashes that worked by using a sensor mounted on the front of the flash. This Vivitar 283 is one of my favorite flash units of all time. Then as technology progressed, TTL flashes became common place. TTL stands for through the lens and means that the camera monitors and controls the flash to give you the proper exposure for your scene. And now companies like Yongnuo have reverse engineered the more expensive Nikon and Canon flashes to make speedlights very affordable if you are willing to sacrifice some of the build quality.

In 2006 Maryland based photographer David Hobby began the Strobist® blog and since then the term strobist has become the label attached to any photographer who uses this type of portable flash, even though Mr. Hobby registered the trademark for the name in 2010.

Speedlights have traditionally been the starting point in terms of lighting for most new photographers because they are generally less expensive than studio lights and much more portable, which really opens up a lot of creative possibilities. Now just because they are a starting point – don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to move on to bigger more expensive studio strobes – that’s not the case at all. I’m going to talk about the differences between speedlights and monolights in the next video – but I assure you – most photographers will have at least one speedlight in their kit for their entire career.

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Videos titled What is a speedlight flash? Strobist Photography Tutorial Series on Off Camera Flash are published by Channel Joe Edelman with Channel ID UCwXdraq_EYPD--p1mPY2oXg on 19 08 2016 - 20:05:48

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