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Flash and Flash Accessories

Learning to see and use light effectively is one of the most challenging tasks for a photographer to learn. When photographing animals inside, such as cats and other small animals, flash is essential to getting a good exposure.

When photographing animals outside, fill-flash is an invaluable tool that we always use. An active dog's position can change quickly and using fill-flash helps to ensure that the contrast in the photograph is even no matter what the lighting condition. Also, it adds a nice catch light to the eyes that really helps them stand out.

When photographing cats and other small animals inside, we use a flash diffuser such as the Stofen Omni Bounce. Using a flash diffuser has several benefits. It softens the light and helps to reduce red eye or the glowing eyes that cat's tend to have in photographs.

To also tackle the dreaded red eye (or green eye in cats) and glowing eye problem once and for all, a bracket and flash extension cord are essential. After some experimenting, I've found that the Stroboframe Press-T bracket works well for me. You will also need an extension cord to be able to use your flash off of your camera. For my Nikon F100, I prefer the shortened Nikon SC-17 (one foot in length) availalbe from retailers such as Really Right Stuff and Kirk Enterprises. It's more expensive than the stock Nikon SC-17 (five feet in length) but saves me the hassle of dealing with all the extra cord.

With the combination of the diffuser and the bracket, we never gotten red eye or glowing eyes in any of our animal portraits.

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