What is flash, and is it still useful for photography?

(Image credit: Future)

Most photographs are captured in a split second, so if you need to illuminate a dark scene, a quick burst of intense light is all that’s required – provided the burst goes off at the moment the camera’s shutter is open. This burst of light can come from the camera itself via a pop-up or built-in flash, or it can come from an external flash unit that’s powered by batteries or even plugged into the mains. 

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Andrew James

Andrew makes his living as a photographer, videographer and journalist. For 26 years he was a specialist magazine editor, the last 13 of which were on Practical Photography magazine. A long-time expert in photographic techniques across many disciplines, he's a self-confessed photo generalist, and a font of creative knowledge to capturing just about any subject, although he has a strong leaning to wildlife and travel photography. Andrew's wide-ranging photography experience means he authors the long-running Photo Answers section for Digital Camera Magazine. His work as a journalist, guide and educator dovetails neatly into his commitment to Foto-Buzz - an online subscription community he founded, where Andrew writes articles, films tutorials and records blogs on all manner of photo-related subjects and techniques for enthusiast photographers.