The Hot Shoe Diaries

I may have mentioned that one of the most exciting developments in my photography in recent times was the discovery of off-camera flash. Or, if I wanted to be strictly accurate, my recent rediscovery of off-camera flash..

I was browsing through the B&H Photo site the other day when I noticed Canon accessories which allow you to connect off-camera flashes to your Canon film cameras. It reminded me that I once had a set of those cords, hot shoes and connector boxes, and which gave superb results. I was shooting my niece who was a toddler at the time and, if I tell you that she now has her driving license and is at university, it’ll give you an idea of just how long ago that was.


For one reason or another, perhaps it was too limiting to work tethered with short bits of wire, I stopped doing the off-camera thing; and what a great pity that was.

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Doing it off-camera

One of my most important photographic discoveries in recent times was the huge benefit to be gained by moving your flash off-camera. There are strategies for improving the quality of light from on-camera flashes but the results are usually pretty flat, giving no definition and shape to your subject.

Moving your flash off-camera results in pictures which are not just a tiny bit improved, but are so much better that they belong in a different world. Studio photographers have always known about off-camera flash, but I had assumed that this wasn’t really viable with the small flashes designed to be mounted on cameras.

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