Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Right Size for Flash

Click image to view at 800 pixels wide

Probably the one significant shortcoming of the Fuji FinePix S5600 is the limited power and range of its flash. Any more than eight feet back from a subject and you're in trouble, and as for snapping a group shot at a concert, be ready to do digital enhancement to bring up the mid-tones and generally brighten the pic. Therefore, when you're shooting something as large as an aircraft in conditions of low light, flash is essentially not an option. This is the Phantom FGR.2 in the RAF Museum, Hendon, on the north side of London, and I was frustrated by the conditions: in the cracks between light too low for my filmspeed and subject too big for the flash. (Change filmspeed, duhhh, but I was worried about 'digital grain' at the time and prefered to practice the art of holding the camera steady.) But detail closeups are another matter, and the cockpit was just the right size to floodlight with flash. Harsh contrast, of course, but the flash found the details of the grey and black instrument panels, and for those interested in the F-4 cockpit for its own sake, this is the right sort of picture to take. December 2006; image by Mike.

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