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Fresh batteries in your flash or even a battery pack can help ensure that you are ready to trip the shutter when you get the expression you are looking for. Facial expressions can change very quickly in animals and I would hate to miss that perfect head-tilt, ears-up look because my flash is recharging.

When working with fill-flash outside, I find that using rechargeable Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries in my flash to provide adequate recycle times. I have been using the Kodak PhotoLife Charger Kit with several sets of 1600 mAH NiMH batteries for over a year in my camera and flash and they have been great. I just make sure to give them a fresh charge before I use them and they recharge very quickly and have saved me a lot of money. Check out for a wide selection of rechargeable batteries.

When photographing cats and other small animals inside, I quickly found that I needed even quicker flash recycling than my rechargeable batteries can give me. I typically spend 5 to 10 minutes with my lens pointed at a cat trying to get the cat to look at me. Cats usually respond by looking everywhere in the room but at me. Eventually, the cats will give in and look at me for a couple of seconds.

When they finally do, a rechargeable battery pack gives my flash the power to recycle very quickly. I have been using a Quantum Turbo Z for my Nikon SB-28 for a few years and it has served me very well, allowing me to take four or five pictures with my flash in those couple of seconds when I get a cat's attention. It's sometimes a bit cumbersome to have the battery pack and cord swinging about but I wouldn't be without it when photographing cats.

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