The Importance of Flash Duration and How It Works

Flash duration is a lesser discussed concept, but it can have very practical consequences on your work. This great video will help you decode the numbers and figures to understand how it affects your images and how you can put it to use. 

Coming to you from Mark Wallace with Adorama TV, this helpful video discusses flash duration and how it affects your photography work. If you are only using strobes to light static subjects, such as for portraiture work, flash duration probably will not affect you all that much. On the other hand, if you are using flash to freeze motion, you will need to pay careful attention to flash duration. What can be particularly tricky is that flash duration does not stay consistent through a strobe's power range. The majority of the time, a light's fastest duration will be at its lowest power, meaning you have to carefully consider your lighting setup and control of the ambient light if you need a short duration. Most manufacturers list the t.5 and t.1 times for their strobes at various powers; be sure to check the manual or website. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Wallace. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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