I gave a 90 minute presentation to Dublin Camera Club on Tuesday night about Flash Photography, and the first third or so of the talk covered my own history with flash photography, from not too illustrious beginnings (on-camera direct flash, harsh light, unflattering images and inconsistent results) to where I am now (namely, I hope, a competent user of flash who can get good quality results in environments that require or benefit from its use). I wrote before about being seen as “the flash guy” in the camera club, and I think that reputation arises out of the fact that I am confident enough in my understanding of flash to show others how to use it – the one day workshops I run being a good example of this. But in preparation for my talk on Tuesday night I did a quick assessment of what percentage of the images I take are lit by flash, and the figure (roughly) is about 14% over the last couple of years. That might be lower than some people who know me expected, but it’s actually higher than I expected. Still, it’s a minority of my photography. What’s key, though, is that for 80% of that 14% I can confidently say that my use of flash improved the image I would otherwise have got, and in many cases made an impossible image possible. It’s worth mentioning too that I can, literally, count on one hand the number of on-camera direct flash photographs I’ve taken in the last 5 years, since I started out on my journey to learn how to properly (and appropriately) use flash in my photography because the first place that journey took me was to get the flash off the camera. It all starts with a photograph I took in Feburary 2007.
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