Portable flash units, or speedlights, have become more capable, more powerful and a lot less expensive in recent years. The camera brand units had gotten so expensive, upwards of $600, that a lot of people just couldn’t afford them. But a couple of years ago some high-quality imported units started showing up that had all the same features, better battery systems, and sophisticated remote control for less than half the price of the high end gear. Having one or two of these in your kit will solve tough lighting challenges and will give you the flexibility to try styles and techniques usually reserved for bigger studio gear.
In this overview, we’ll discuss the creative aspects of lighting with speedlights, and we’ll look at several flash units and give you some usable tools to add a lot to your images without spending a lot on equipment.