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1. Introduction

Chapter 1. Introduction

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The invention of electronic flash, and its subsequent miniaturization and automation, completely transformed photography. The earliest photographers were constrained by the availability of sunlight, but today reliable and portable light sources are at every photographer’s disposal.

Electronic flash was first used in the 1930s as a tool for freezing motion and illuminating dark scenes with artificial light, but flash is now used for all types of photography, creative and mundane. Its uses range from supplementing daylight to designing complex scenes lit by multiple light sources.

But flash photography is also a difficult artistic and technical challenge. When most people hear the word “flash”, they think of harshly lit snapshots: friends in a dark cavern of a restaurant or living room, staring into the lens like deer in the headlights. This represents the typical experience of flash photography—but it doesn’t have to be that way.


  

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