External Flash Accessories
A battery pack speeds recycle times and extends shooting sessions.
A flash bracket.
A flash diffuser.
If you are using an external flash, there is a variety of accessories that photographer's have found useful for both general and studio photography.
- Battery packs containing large rechargeable batteries let you extend your shooting time. These units, small enough to attach to your belt, connect to the flash by cable. They not only extend your shooting time, they also shorten recycle times—the time it takes the flash to fully recharge for the next picture. With one of these you won't be caught missing a shot because your battery isn't charged or the flash recycled. (If you have ever taken a series of flash pictures and one is much darker than the others, it's because the darker one was taken before the flash completely recycled).
- Flash brackets, often seen being used by wedding photographers, elevate the flash to move it farther from the lens axis. This reduces red-eye in photos of people but also changes the angle of light so it's not as flat. These units mount onto the camera using its tripod socket. You then slip the flash into the bracket's cold shoe. To connect the camera and flash you use a sync cord.
- Flash reflectors bounce the light emitted by the flash and soften it because
their reflective surface is larger than the flash's. One version has cutouts in it so some light bounces off the ceiling and the rest is reflected forward on the subject.
- Flash diffusers are like translucent softboxes that spread out the flash so it bounces off more surfaces, softening it.
- Extension cables (shown below) let you connect the flash to the camera without mounting it in the hot shoe. This lets you hand hold the camera some distance from the camera, or even mount it on a tripod.