Open flash

An interesting way to use a separate flashgun, without needing any extra equipment, is called open flash technique. This technique involves working in a blacked out room, or outdoors at night. You set the camera up on a firm support such as a tripod and lock the shutter open on 'B'. Then, holding the flash unit freely detached from the camera but pointed at your subject, you press its flash test firing button. Having fired the flash once and allowed it to recharge, you can fire it several more times, each from different positions around the subject, before closing the shutter again. The result looks as though you have used several lights from different directions.

Open flash allows you to photograph the garden or part of your house as if floodlit. Calculate exposure from the guide number given for your flash. This is flash-to-subject distance times the lens f-number needed. If the guide number is 30 (meters) with the film you are using then set the lens to f8 and fire each flash from about 3.75 m (12 ft) away from its part of the subject. Plan out roughly where you should be for every flash, to light a different area. The total time the shutter remains open is not important provided there is little or no other lighting present.

Alternatively, if the flash unit you are using has a built-in sensor, then match ISO and f-stop values from the camera with those on the flash and then proceed to paint your subject with the flash light, allowing the unit to automatically govern its output.

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