Reddish Egrets at Sunset Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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Bird Photography FAQ 9

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RTP-2: The use of fill flash is recommended when photographing warblers, like this Blackburnian.

General Bird Photography
Frequently Asked Questions

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How far will my flash reach with the "Better Beamer Flash Extender"?

Though I often get asked this question, it is one that I can never answer, for a flash's reach, or the greatest distance at which is effective, is dependent on several factors. Here they are:

  1. Is the flash being used as main light or as fill. All things being equal, you can use flash as fill at greater distances than you can use it as main light. (To learn about using flash as either main light or as fill, see Chapter Four, "On Matters of Light," in The Art of Bird Photography: The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques.)

  2. The ISO (or EI, exposure index) of the film that you are using. The higher the ISO or the EI, the greater your maximum flash working distance.

  3. The aperture setting. The wider the aperture that you utilize, the farther the reach of the flash.

  4. The tonality of the subject. Darker subjects require more flash to be exposed properly than lighter ones.

  5. The ambient light level. The brighter the daylight, the farther the reach of the flash.

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