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Yes, I finally own an external flash for my camera! For my birthday, I received a Sigma EF-610 DG Super. It’s Sigma’s top of the line flash, and I am loving it!
There are a few reasons you’d want to purchase an external flash. Two of my top reasons are no more red-eye and a less harsh light source. The reason you don’t have red-eye with an external flash is because of where the light source is located. The pop-up flash on your camera and your lens are close together, which means that light is traveling in a straight line from the flash to the back of the person’s eye where the retina is located. The retina works like a mirror, bouncing the light back towards your camera. The red is the eye’s capillaries being lit up like the sky on Independence Day (speaking of which, I hope you’re enjoying your barbeques!). With an external flash, the light source will be farther away from the lens making the angle larger. If you’re not quite following my explanation, check out the gallery below for two diagrams I drew up. (FYI: I used Paintbrush for Mac to draw up the pictures).
Part of the reason the light from the external flash isn’t as harsh as it is from a pop-up flash is an external flash has the ability to swivel. The light from a pop-up, unless you buy some fancy DIY gadgetry, only goes in one direction at one intensity. An external flash’s light can move 90 degrees (from straight forward to pointing skyward) and rotate 90 degrees to the right or 180 degrees to the left. The flash itself also comes with a built-in diffuser and a white card piece that you can bounce the light off (usually used when your flash is pointing straight up). For more on how to properly take advantage of indirect light, check out this video. It made me laugh, and taught me a thing or two 🙂
The third reason I’m enjoying my external flash is the compliments I’ve been getting: “That’s a nice camera you’ve got there.” “That’s quite the professional pieces of equipment you’re sporting.” I hesitate to say, “It’s just a Nikon d60,” as I am trying to look and be more professional. Who knew that an external flash could do so much for your image and self-esteem?
Next step: a DIY soft-box. The diffuser that comes with the camera is nice to have, but doesn’t do much to prevent the intensity of the light coming from the flash. So stay tuned! And as always, enjoy! 🙂