The second round of our monthly digital photography competition had as its theme “Flash Photography”. Using flash illumination is a photographic technique with which most people are familiar, so our entrants had to put in a bit of effort to come up with a novel, artistic or particularly skilful interpretation of the theme. As usual, our ingenious and creative readers proved to be up to the challenge; we received far more entries than I was expecting, and those entries were almost universally of a very high standard.
Perhaps because flash is such a useful and universal technique, the usual phenomena of distinct sub-themes was les noticeable this month, although there were one or two popular ideas. One was the direct use of the flash itself in the photo, as exemplified by this excellent self portrait by regular entrant Eyal Darshan, of Petah Tiqwa, Israel. Eyal’s title for this shot is “The Magician”.
A more conventional flash technique is this shot from another regular entrant Richard Koizumi of Tokyo, Japan. Richard has used a single flash positioned above the subject and fired remotely. The result is strongly directional lighting that highlights the shape of the muscles and skin texture of his subject.
Flash can be used on a wide variety of subjects. Here Roberta Ballestriero of Prestatyn, Wales has used it to show the delicate iridescent structure of this dragonfly’s wings Says Roberta: “I used two flashes for this; my partner was holding the off-camera one.” The result is a beautifully lit and stunningly detailed shot.