08 May, 2011

Flash?

Too much?
I'm interested in street photography, so I don’t think of myself as a studio guy — a setup guy. Certainly a flash isn’t helpful for capturing the “decisive moment,” that Henri Cartier-Bresson was chasing. HCB never used a flash. But for him that seemed to be because a flash was obtrusive. HCB remarked, “...a good fisherman does not stir up the water before he starts to fish.”

But, not every moment is an HCB moment. Often enough, I’m taking pictures of the family, or friends, or pictures at work. And, that’s when I could use a decent flash.

I find that the built-in flashes on my cameras are both underpowered and hopelessly harsh. Since a flash would get me the shots that I want to get, it seems a no-brainer that I should get one. But I’m resisting.

Would my money be better spent on something else? Would a flash put me on a slippery slope toward the artificial? Would getting a flash mean getting a diffuser? An off-camera bracket?

And, if I considered buying one, which flash should I get? The major camera companies all have their own flashes. (The Panasonic flashes, however, seem to me to be very expensive.) Vivitar? Metz?


We'll see.

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