Tip of the Day: Minimize Flash Delays

Your camera’s built-in electronic flash can cause delays when you’re forced to wait for it to build up a full charge between shots. Some cameras have the option of locking the camera to prevent taking a photo before the flash is recharged, and others let you fire away, taking underexposed shots. If you want to keep shooting flash pictures without pausing, keep these tips in mind:• Close-up shots use less power. If you’re taking close-up photos, you can probably shoot quicker and with fewer delay

Your camera's built-in electronic flash can cause delays when you're forced to wait for it to build up a full charge between shots. Some cameras have the option of locking the camera to prevent taking a photo before the flash is recharged, and others let you fire away, taking underexposed shots. If you want to keep shooting flash pictures without pausing, keep these tips in mind:
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• Close-up shots use less power.** If you're taking close-up photos, you can probably shoot quicker and with fewer delays than if you're using up your flash's maximum power with every shot.
• Reduce flash power. Many built-in speed lights and external units can be set to 1/2, 1/4, or 1/8 power, or can reduce power for you automatically at closer distances.
• Use an external flash. The flash built into your camera sucks juice from your camera's main battery and so has been designed to use the minimum amount of power necessary to do the job. This conservative approach can mean slower recycling. External flash units usually have beefier batteries and recycle much quicker.
• Use an add-on battery pack. You might be able to connect your external flash to an add-on battery pack that offers really fast recycling of a second or less.
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Adapted from Digital SLR Cameras & Photography for Dummies by David D. Busch (Wiley, 2007, $30)_