IF you are a professional photographer or an enthusiast, you will most likely own an external flash unit, commonly known as speedlight.

It is more powerful than the built-in flash. Its tilting and rotating neck enables you to direct the light or bounce it off the ceiling or side wall.

This will give better and creative lighting for your subject, making your photos more interesting.

You can also use your speedlight off the camera — trigger it remotely using a wireless trigger and use a few speedlights at the same time for creative lighting.

The independent battery use also enables you to shoot with a flash longer without draining the camera’s battery.

Here are some of the occasions when you need a speedlight.

Low-light condition

1. Low-light condition: The latest camera technology with low-light condition is something to marvel at, but there are times where it is too dark for the built-in flash. I was in Nepal during winter. When I reached the Golden Temple in Kathmandu, it was already dark. I was able to get this shot of a boy with a speedlight.

Back light condition

2. Back light condition: Back lighting has a dramatic effect on photos. However, if it is too strong, your subject will be a silhouette. If you do not want a silhouette effect, then a speedlight is needed to light your subject.

Overcast day

3. Overcast day: Planning to shoot on a cloudy day with thick white or grey clouds? It is normally difficult to balance exposure of the bright clouds and your subject. This can be achieved with the help of a speedlight.

Sunrise and sunset

4. Sunrise and sunset: Usually it will be a colourful scene during this hour. To capture this tranquil moment, expose your background which usually under-exposes your foreground. Use a flash to brighten your subject in the foreground.

Street photography

5. Street photography: Yes, you read it right. Some street photographers use speedlight in their work. However, check out the works of Bruce Gilden or Eric Kim before use.

Razz found his passion for photography while travelling abroad. He has been in a relationship with his camera ever since.

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