Flash brackets.

Strobe flash does not always produce ideal results. It can produce harsh and unflattering images, especially when not using a method to make the light more omni-directional. Sometimes that problem arises when an add-on flash is connected directly to the camera’s hot-shoe. This setup works fine for standard horizontal pictures, but an issue arises when the camera is held vertically. The flash’s light will be on the same level as the camera’s lens, producing a strange upward shadow on your subject. As we expect light sources to come from above thanks to the sun’s rays, having such odd shadows produces a strange look to the image. To get around that problem, you can buy something called a flash bracket. The most standard configuration of a flash bracket goes like this: It is a metal single hinged bracket in the form of an un-curved “C” where the interior bottom of the bracket screws into the camera’s tripod screw. The hinge allows the top of the “C” to move, allowing whatever is connected there to be above the camera when everything is held vertically. Using that mechanism, you can now have the flash above the camera at all times. The flash would be connected to the camera with a small sync cord, which gives enough length for both configurations to work. The other benefit of a flash bracket is that it can often act as a second grip, so you can hold the bracket with your left hand and the camera’s grip with your right. Brackets are relatively cheap and a staple of event photography, so I would suggest getting one if you can get over the embarrassment of using such a serious camera setup and of course the negative of having to carry around extra bulk.

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