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Shooting The Casual Portrait: Camera Flash Accessories That Work

Most flash brackets resemble "C" shaped metal frames where one leg of the "C" attaches to the camera's tripod socket and the other leg has an accessory shoe on top to mount the flash unit.

Many versions of flash brackets will allow the photographer to adjust the distance between the top of the camera and the top of the flash bracket. In all cases a TTL extension cord will be needed to allow the flash to communicate with the camera's metering and exposure system.

Once the camera, flash and bracket are all hooked up and ready to go, photographers can expect noticeable changes to the very next image they shoot. By moving the flash higher above the camera the photographer will notice fewer shadows in the resulting images. Given the increased angle of the flash, most shadows will now fall out of frame.

In addition to shadow control the photographer can expect to see more flattering light. When the flash was camera mounted it produced light that was head-on and direct. By moving the flash higher the angle of the illumination is from above the subject and the lighting of faces will be much more natural and pleasing.

And finally when using a flash bracket with articulation, the flash can be kept positioned above the subject when the camera is moved into portrait orientation (vertical). Conversely a camera mounted flash moves with the camera body so that an image shot in portrait orientation also moves the camera from above the lens to the side of the lens. Images shot this way seem to have the light coming form the side, raking across the subject.

In all a flash bracket is a must have flash accessory for the event or wedding photographer or anyone else who shoots people pictures with a camera flash. Flash brackets come in any number of different configurations and styles yet the function and purpose of any bracket is the same. And don't forget, every camera and bracket combination will require the correct TTL extension cable in order for the two pieces of equipment to work in tandem for proper exposure.

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