Is It Better To Use a Flash or To Have Good Lighting?

  • on September 13, 2022
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Is it Better to Use a Flash or to have Good Lighting?

Hello, fellow photographers! I will get to the point because it is pretty evident what you are here to know. Let’s start with lighting, canon speed lights, in particular. These come in pretty much any shape and size you can think of; either a little bit more oversized and round or more miniature and rectangular. Some run-on batteries and some are USB rechargeable, so there’s something for everyone.

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So what is the difference between using a led panel and a flash?

Well, a difference is that the led panel is a continuous light, so it’s either always on or it’s always off, while the flash gives a quick burst of light. Straight away, we have come to the main benefit of working with LEDs; that light is always there so you can see exactly how it’s falling on your subject.

Pros of good lighting

If you’re composing your scene through your live view or viewfinder and holding the LED above your subject, wherever you put that light, you can see exactly how it will appear in your image. But that isn’t how flash works. With a regular one, you start by changing your camera settings, and then you have got to hold it in your hand and imagine what would be a good position so you’d have to take the shot and then look at what that light looks like in the camera and then decide to change up.

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So every time you move this light, you have to take another shot to see how that light changes with the different angles. It becomes this constant trial and error, making these little micro adjustments as you light it up in various ways, so you can figure out which way you prefer using the led.

What if you take them to the real world outside?

If you take them out of the studio to see how they work in the real world, you will get to see how the light panel does not seem as powerful as it does inside.

Why?

Because it competes with ambient sunlight, it fails to overpower the sunlight. If you’re in the middle of the summer sun, then a LED panel isn’t going to cut it. It’s just not radiant enough to overpower that sun and become the light source in your image. It gives enough extra light to highlight your subject or fill in some shadows.

Pros of using a flash

Flash is much more powerful, meaning you can completely control how that light falls in your scene, but that LED panel on max power results in a very dark image. That is why I rely on flash for my photography rather than continuous LEDs; it means I can achieve whatever results I want in whatever conditions. Flash puts out a burst of light so quickly that you can freeze action in a way you can’t do with LED, which permits you to get shots. The other benefit is that flashes are slightly smaller and are cheaper than led panels.

The downside to flash photography

The downside to flash photography is that you can’t see it in real time when you’re composing your image. So it does take a lot of trial and error to balance your camera settings with the flash settings and then find the position for the light when you’re taking your shot.

It’s a trial and error process, so that does mean that there’s quite a steep learning curve when you first start working with flash, but like anything, the more you try it, the better you’ll get and the quicker you’ll be able to get the results that you want.

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