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The high-speed wing action of a hummingbird hawk-moth isfrozen by ash. The ash has given the foreground more illu-mination than the background. See Inverse-square law.
A ash is a device used in photography producing a ashof articial light (typically 1/1000 to 1/200 of a second)at a color temperature of about 5500 K to help illumi-nate a scene. A major purpose of a ash is to illuminatea dark scene. Other uses are capturing quickly movingobjects or changing the quality of light. Flash refers ei-ther to the ash of light itself or to the electronic ashunit discharging the light. Most current ash units areelectronic, having evolved from single-use ashbulbs andammable powders. Modern cameras often activate ashunits automatically.Flash units are commonly built directly into a camera.Some cameras allow separate ash units to be mountedvia a standardized accessorymount bracket (a hot shoe).In professional studio equipment, ashes may be large,standalone units, or studio strobes, powered by specialbattery packs or connected to mains power. They areeither synchronized with the camera using a ash syn-chronization cable or radio signal, or are light-triggered,meaning that only one ash unit needs to be synchro-nized with the camera, and in turn triggers the other units,called slaves.
1 Types of ash
Main article: Flash-lampStudies of magnesium by Bunsen and Roscoe in 1859
1909 ash-lamp1903 view camera
showed that burning this metal produced a light with simi-lar qualities to daylight. The potential application to pho-tography inspired Edward Sonstadt to investigate meth-ods of manufacturingmagnesium so that it would burn re-liably for this use. He applied for patents in 1862 and by1864 had started the Manchester Magnesium Companywith Edward Mellor. With the help of engineer WilliamMather, who was also a director of the company, theyproduced at magnesium ribbon, which was said to burnmore consistently and completely so giving better illumi-nation than round wire. It also had the benet of being asimpler and cheaper process than making round wire.Mather was also credited with the invention of a holderfor the ribbon, which formed a lamp to burn it in. Avariety of magnesium ribbon holders were produced byother manufacturers, such as the Pistol Flashmeter, whichincorporated an inscribed ruler that allowed the photog-rapher to use the correct length of ribbon for the exposurethey needed. The packaging also implies that the magne-sium ribbon was not necessarily broken o before beingignited.An alternative to ribbon was ash powder, a mixture of
2 1 TYPES OF FLASH
magnesium powder and potassium chlorate, introducedby its German inventors Adolf Miethe and JohannesGaedicke in 1887. Ameasured amount was put into a panor trough and ignited by hand, producing a brief brilliantash of light, along with the smoke and noise that mightbe expected from such an explosive event. This could bea life-threatening activity, especially if the ash powderwas damp. An electrically triggered ash lamp was in-vented by Joshua Lionel Cowen in 1899. His patent de-scribes a device for igniting photographers ash powderby using dry cell batteries to heat a wire fuse. Variationsand alternatives were touted from time to time and a fewfound a measure of success in the marketplace, especiallyfor amateur use. In 1905, one French photographer wasusing intense non-explosive ashes produced by a specialmechanized carbon arc lamp to photograph subjects inhis studio, but more portable and less expensive devicesprevailed. On through the 1920s, ash photography nor-mally meant a professional photographer sprinkling pow-der into the trough of a T-shaped ash lamp, holding italoft, then triggering a brief and (usually) harmless bit ofpyrotechnics.
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye with Kodalite Flasholder and Sylva-nia P25 blue-dot daylight-type ashbulb
The use of ash powder in an open lamp was replacedby ash bulbs; magnesium laments were contained inbulbs lled with oxygen gas, and electrically ignited by acontact in the camera shutter. Manufactured ashbulbswere rst produced commercially in Germany in 1929.Such a bulb could only be used once, and was too hotto handle immediately after use, but the connement ofwhat would otherwise have amounted to a small explo-sion was an important advance. A later innovation wasthe coating of ashbulbs with a plastic lm to maintainbulb integrity in the event of the glass shattering duringthe ash. A blue plastic lm was introduced as an op-tion to match the spectral quality of the ash to daylight-balanced colour lm. Subsequently, the magnesium wasreplaced by zirconium, which produced a brighter ash.
Flashbulbs took longer to reach full brightness and burnedfor longer than electronic ashes. Slower shutter speeds(typically from 1/10 to 1/50 of a second) were used oncameras to ensure proper synchronization. Cameras withash synch triggered the ashbulb a fraction of a secondbefore opening the shutter, allowing faster shutter speeds.A ashbulb widely used during the 1960s was the Press25, the (about 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter) ashbulb of-ten used by newspapermen in period movies, usually at-tached to a press camera or a twin-lens reex camera. Itspeak light output was around a million lumens. Otherashbulbs in common use were the M-series, M-2, M-3etc., which had a small (miniature) metal bayonet basefused to the glass bulb.The all-glass AG-1 bulb was introduced in 1958. Elim-inating both the metal base, and the multiple manufac-turing steps needed to attach it to the glass bulb, cut thecost substantially compared to the larger M series bulbs.The AG-1 (along with the M2) had a faster ignition time(less delay between shutter contact and peak output), soit could be used with X synch below 1/30 of a secondwhile most bulbs require a shutter speed of 1/15 on Xsynch to keep the shutter open long enough for the bulbto ignite and burn.
1.2.1 Flashcubes, Magicubes and Flipash
Flashcube tted to a Kodak Instamatic camera, showing bothunused (left) and used (right) bulbs
In the late 1960s Kodak improved their Instamatic cam-era line by replacing the individual ashbulb technol-ogy (used on early Instamatics) with the Flashcube. Aashcube was a single-use module with four ashbulbsmounted at 90 from the others in its own reector. Foruse it was mounted on a swivel mechanism atop the cam-era that also provided an electrical connection to the shut-ter release and a battery inside the camera. After eachexposure, the lm advance mechanism also rotated theashcube 90 to a fresh bulb. This arrangement allowedthe user to take four images in rapid succession beforeinserting a new ashcube.
1.4 High speed ash 3
Undersides of Flashcube (left) and Magicube (right) cartridges
Flip ash type cartridge
The later Magicube (or X-Cube) retained the four-bulbformat, and was supercially similar to the originalFlashcube. However, the Magicube did not require elec-trical power. Each bulb was set o by a plastic pin in thecube mount that released a cocked spring wire within thecube. This wire struck a primer tube at the base of thebulb, which contained a fulminate, which in turn ignitedshredded zirconium foil in the ash. Magicubes couldalso be red by inserting a thin object, such as a key orpaper clip, into one of the slots in the bottom of the cube.Flashcubes and Magicubes look similar but are not inter-changeable. Cameras requiring ashcubes have a roundsocket and a round hole for the ashcubes pin, whilethose requiring Magicubes have a round shape with pro-truding studs and a square socket hole for the Magicubessquare pin. The Magicube socket can also be seen as anX, which accounts for its alternate name, the X-Cube.Other common ashbulb-based devices were the Flash-bar and Flipash which provided about ten ashes froma single unit. The Flipash name derived from the factthat once half the ashes had been used up, the unit wasipped over and re-inserted to use the remainder.
1.3 Electronic ash
Electronic ash was developed after ashbulbs, and even-tually superseded them as prices came down; ashbulbsare virtually obsolete. A typical electronic ash unit haselectronic circuitry to charge a high-capacity capacitor toseveral hundred volts. When the ash is triggered by theshutters ash synchronization contact, the capacitor isdischarged almost instantaneously through a ash tube,
producing a ash of very brief duration almost instanta-neously (i.e., the ash duration, often around 1/1000 of asecond, is shorter than the fastest practical shutter speed,and full brightness is reached before the shutter has timeto close appreciably). Synchronization of full ash bright-ness with maximum shutter opening was problematicalwith bulbs which took an appreciable time to ignite andreach full brightness; electronic ash does not have thesediculties. Electronic ash units are sometimes calledspeedlights or strobes in the USA.Simple electronic ash units are often mounted on or nearthe camera; many inexpensive cameras have an electronicash unit built in.
Two professional xenon tube ashes
Some lenses have built-in (ring-)ash lights for shadowfree macro photography, but there are also accessory ringashes available.In a photographic studio, more powerful and exiblestudio ash systems are used. They usually contain amodeling light, an incandescent light bulb close to theash tube; the continuous illumination of the modelinglight lets the photographer visualize the eect of the ash.A system may comprise multiple synchronised ashes formulti-source lighting.The strength of a ash device is often indicated in termsof a guide number designed to simplify exposure setting.The energy released by larger studio ash units, such asmonolights, is indicated in watt-seconds.
1.4 High speed ash
An air-gap ash is a high-voltage device that dischargesa ash of light with an exceptionally short duration, oftenmuch less than one microsecond. These are commonlyused by scientists or engineers for examining extremelyfast-moving objects or reactions, famous for producingimages of bullets tearing through light bulbs and balloons(see Harold Eugene Edgerton).
4 1 TYPES OF FLASH
A photo of a Smith & Wesson Model 686 ring, taken with ahigh speed air-gap ash. The photo was taken in a darkenedroom, with cameras shutter open and the ash was triggered bythe sound of the shot using a microphone.
A camera that implements multiple ashes can be used tond depth edges or create stylized images. Such a camerahas been developed by researchers at theMitsubishi Elec-tric Research Laboratories (MERL). Successive ashingof strategically placed ash mechanisms results in shad-ows along the depths of the scene. This information canbe manipulated to suppress or enhance details or capturethe intricate geometric features of a scene (even thosehidden from the eye), to create a non-photorealistic im-age form. Such images could be useful in technical ormedical imaging.
1.6 Flash intensity
Unlike ashbulbs, the intensity of an electronic ash canbe adjusted on some units. To do this, smaller ashunits typically vary the capacitor discharge time, whereaslarger (e.g., higher power, studio) units typically vary thecapacitor charge. Color temperature can change as a re-sult of varying the capacitor charge, thus making colorcorrections necessary. Due to advances in semiconduc-tor technology, some studio units can now control inten-sity by varying the discharge time and thereby provideconsistent color temperature.
Flash intensity is typically measured in stops or in frac-tions (1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 etc.). Some monolights display anEU Number, so that a photographer can know the dif-ference in brightness between dierent ash units withdierent watt-second ratings. EU10.0 is dened as 6400watt-seconds, and EU9.0 is one stop lower, i.e. 3200watt-seconds.
1.7 Flash duration
Flash duration is commonly described by two numbersthat are expressed in fractions of a second:
t.1 is the length of time the light intensity is above0.1 (10%) of the peak intensity
t.5 is the length of time the light intensity is above0.5 (50%) of the peak intensity
For example, a single ash event might have a t.5 value of1/1200 and t.1 of 1/450. These values determine the abil-ity of a ash to freeze moving subjects in applicationssuch as sports photography.In cases where intensity is controlled by capacitor dis-charge time, t.5 and t.1 decrease with decreasing inten-sity. Conversely, in cases where intensity is controlledby capacitor charge, t.5 and t.1 increase with decreasingintensity due to the non-linearity of the capacitors dis-charge curve.
1.8 Flash LED used in phonesHigh-current ash LEDs are used as ash sources in cam-era phones, although they are not yet at the power levels toequal xenon ash devices (that are rarely used in phones)in still cameras. The major advantages of LEDs overxenon include low voltage operation, higher eciency,and extreme miniaturization. The LED ash can also beused for illumination of video recording as well as meter-ing and AF assist.
1.9 Focal-plane-shutter synchronizationElectronic ash units have compatibility issues with focal-plane shutters. Focal-plane shutters expose using twocurtains that cross the sensor. The rst one opens and thesecond curtain follows it after a delay equal to the nom-inal shutter speed. A typical modern focal-plane shuttertakes about 1/200 s to cross the sensor, so at exposuretimes shorter than this only part of the sensor is uncov-ered at any one time. Electronic ash can have durationsas short as 50 s, so at such short exposure times only partof the sensor is exposed. This limits the shutter speed toabout 1/200 s when using ash. In the past, slow-burningsingle-use ash bulbs allowed the use of focal-plane shut-ters at maximum speed because they produced continu-ous light for the time taken for the exposing slit to crossthe lm gate. If these are found they cannot be used onmodern cameras because the bulb must be red *before*the rst shutter curtain begins to move (M-sync); the X-sync used for electronic ash normally res only when therst shutter curtain reaches the end of its travel.High-end ash units address this problem by oeringa mode, typically called FP sync or HSS (High SpeedSync), which res the ash tube multiple times duringthe time the slit traverses the sensor. Such units requirecommunication with the camera and are thus dedicatedto a particular camera make. The multiple ashes resultin a signicant decrease in guide number, since each is
5only a part of the total ash power, but its all that illu-minates any particular part of the sensor. In general, ifs is the shutter speed, and t is the shutter traverse time,the guide number reduces by s / t. For example, if theguide number is 100, and the shutter traverse time is 5 ms(a shutter speed of 1/200s), and the shutter speed is set to1/2000 s (0.5 ms), the guide number reduces by a factorof 0.5 / 5, or about 3.16, so the resultant guide numberat this speed would be about 32.Current (2010) ash units frequently have much lowerguide numbers in HSS mode than in normal modes, evenat speeds below the shutter traverse time. For example,the Mecablitz 58 AF-1 digital ash unit has a guide num-ber of 58 in normal operation, but only 20 in HSS mode,even at low speeds.
Image exposed without additional lighting (left) andwith ll ash(right)
Lighting produced by direct ash (left) and bounced ash (right)
As well as dedicated studio use, ash may be used as themain light source where ambient light is inadequate, oras a supplementary source in more complex lighting situ-ations. Basic ash lighting produces a hard, frontal lightunless modied in some way. Several techniques areused to soften light from the ash or provide other eects.
Softboxes, diusers that cover the ash lamp, scatterdirect light and reduce its harshness.
Reectors, including umbrellas, at-white back-grounds, drapes and reector cards are commonly
used for this purpose (even with small hand-heldash units).
Bounce ash is a related technique in which ashis directed onto a reective surface, for example awhite ceiling or a ash umbrella, which then re-ects light onto the subject. It can be used as ll-ash or, if used indoors, as ambient lighting for thewhole scene. Bouncing creates softer, less articial-looking illumination than direct ash, often reduc-ing overall contrast and expanding shadow and high-light detail, and typically requires more ash powerthan direct lighting. Part of the bounced light canbe also aimed directly on the subject by bouncecards attached to the ash unit which increase theeciency of the ash and illuminate shadows castby light coming from the ceiling. Its also possibleto use ones own palm for that purpose, resulting inwarmer tones on the picture, as well as eliminatingthe need to carry additional accessories.
Fill ash or ll-in ash describes ash used to sup-plement ambient light in order to illuminate a sub-ject close to the camera that would otherwise be inshade relative to the rest of the scene. The ashunit is set to expose the subject correctly at a givenaperture, while shutter speed is calculated to cor-rectly expose for the background or ambient lightat that aperture setting. Secondary or slave ashunits may be synchronized to the master unit to pro-vide light from additional directions. The slave unitsare electrically triggered by the light from the mas-ter ash. Many small ashes and studio monolightshave optical slaves built in. Wireless radio transmit-ters, such as PocketWizards, allow the receiver unitto be around a corner, or at a distance too far to trig-ger using an optical sync.
Strobe: Some high end units can be set to ash aspecied number of times at a specied frequency.This allows action to be frozen multiple times in asingle exposure.
Colored gels can also be used to change the colorof the ash. Correction gels are commonly used,so that the light of the ash is the same as tungstenlights (using a CTO gel) or uorescent lights.
6 5 SEE ALSO
No ashLeft: the distance limitation as seen when taking pictureof the wooden oor. Right: the same picture taken withincandescent ambient light, using a longer exposure anda higher ISO speed setting. The distance is no longerrestricted, but the colors are unnatural because of a lackof color temperature compensation, and the picture maysuer from more grain or noise.
Using on-camera ash will give a very harsh light,which results in a loss of shadows in the image, be-cause the only lightsource is in practically the sameplace as the camera. Balancing the ash power andambient lighting or using o-camera ash can helpovercome these issues. Using an umbrella or soft-box (the ash will have to be o-camera for this)makes softer shadows.
A typical problem with cameras using built-in ashunits is the low intensity of the ash; the level of lightproduced will often not suce for good pictures atdistances of over 3metres (10 ft) or so. Dark, murkypictures with excessive image noise or grain willresult. In order to get good ash pictures with sim-ple cameras, it is important not to exceed the recom-mended distance for ash pictures. Larger ashes,especially studio units and monoblocks, have suf-cient power for larger distances, even through anumbrella, and can even be used against sunlight, atshort distances.
The extquotedblred-eye eect extquotedbl is an-other problem with on camera and ring ash units.Since the retina of the human eye reects red light
straight back in the direction it came from, picturestaken from straight in front of a face often exhibitthis eect. It can be somewhat reduced by using thered eye reduction found on many cameras (a pre-ash that makes the subjects irises contract). How-ever, very good results can be obtained only with aash unit that is separated from the camera, su-ciently far from the optical axis, or by using bounceash, where the ash head is angled to bounce lighto a wall, ceiling or reector.
On some cameras the ash exposuremeasuring logicres a pre-ash very quickly before the real ash. Insome camera/people combinations this will lead toshut eyes in every picture taken. The blink responsetime seems to be around 1/10 of a second. If the ex-posure ash is red at approximately this interval af-ter the TTLmeasuring ash, people will be squintingor have their eyes shut. One solutionmay be the FEL(ash exposure lock) oered on some more expen-sive cameras, which allows the photographer to rethe measuring ash at some earlier time, long (manyseconds) before taking the real picture. Unfortu-nately many camera manufacturers do not make theTTL pre-ash interval congurable.
Flash distracts people, limiting the number of pic-tures that can be taken without irritating them.
Photographing with ash may not be permitted insome museums even after purchasing a permit fortaking pictures.
Flash equipment may take some time to set up, andlike any grip equipment, may need to be carefullysecured, especially if hanging overhead, so it doesnot fall on anyone. A small breeze can easily topplea ash with an umbrella on a lightstand if it is nottied down or sandbagged. Larger equipment (e.g.monoblocks) will need a supply of AC power.
4 Gallery Front and back views of an Agfa Tully ash attach-ment for AG-1 ashbulbs, 1960
A package of AG-1B ashbulbs with an AG-1 ashattachment
Front and back views of aMinoltaAuto 28 electronicashlamp ca 1978
5 See also Air-gap ash Batterycapacitor ash
7 Guide number
List of photographic equipment makers
6 References McNeil, Ian (2002). An Encyclopaedia of the History of
Technology. Routledge. p. 113-114. Retrieved 14August2014.
 Chapman, James Gardiner (1934). Manchester and Pho-tography. Manchester: Palatine Press. p. 17-18.
 Jayon, Bill. Dangers in the Dark. Retrieved 25 July2014.
 Taking instantaneous photographs by electric light.Popular Mechanics 7 (2): 233. February 1905.
 Solbert, Oscar N.; Newhall, Beaumont; Card, James G.,eds. (November 1953). The First Flash Bulb. Im-age, Journal of Photography of George Eastman House(Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photographyat George Eastman House Inc.) 2 (6): 34. Retrieved 26June 2014.
 Wightman, Dr. Eugene P. Photoash 62 Years Ago.Image, Journal of Photography of George Eastman House(Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photographyat George Eastman House Inc.) IV (7): 4950. Retrieved4 August 2014.
 AG-1 Flashbulb History. Photo.net. Retrieved 5 July2013.
 Nicholls, Kyle. Non-photorealistic Camera. Photo.net.Retrieved 28 December 2011.
 Studio Flash Explained: Flash Duration. Paul C. Bu,Inc. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
 Einstein User Manual/Operation Instructions. Paul C.Bu, Inc. p. 13. Retrieved 5 July 2013.
 Langford, Michael (2000). Basic Photography (7th ed.).Focal Press/Butterworth Heinemann. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-240-51592-2.
 Stobe Tips. Addendum. June 12, 2010.
7 External links Flash Let there be light! extquotedbl. RoieGalitz.
Flash Photography with Canon EOS Cameras -Part I. PhotoNotes.org. 12 December 2010.
A Minolta/Sony Alpha Flash Compendium. Fo-tograe.
Photographic Cheat Sheet PDF (87.2 KB). Gor-don McKinney.
List of ashbulbs models. David L. Brittain. Flash comparison chart. Bart Zieba Photography.
8 8 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES, CONTRIBUTORS, AND LICENSES
8 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses8.1 Text
Flash (photography) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_(photography)?oldid=630179597 Contributors: Mark, SimonP, Heron,Michael Hardy, Seer, Egil, Julesd, Samw, Arteitle, Popsracer, Jeepien, Munford, Jerzy, ZimZalaBim, Clngre, ShutterBugTrekker, Giftlite,Smjg, BenFrantzDale, Reub2000, Nayuki, Christopherlin, Sam, Shadypalm88, Deglr6328, Wfaulk, Jpk, Shanes, Femto, Fir0002, Robotje,Hooperbloob, Mtreinik, M7, Cburnett, TenOfAllTrades, Jopxton, Axeman89, Mel Etitis, Mindmatrix, Bellhalla, Pol098, Bluemoose,GregorB, SDC, Mandarax, Nightscream, Kugamazog, The wub, Mahlum, Tezakhiago, Arcimboldo, LeCire, Chobot, Digitalme, YurikBot,Angus Lepper, Ppinheiro, Groogle, Scott5834, Hydrargyrum, Manop, ENeville, JonathanWebley, Janke, Shotgunlee, Bota47, Nikkimaria,Fourohfour, Allens, Katieh5584, Bernd in Japan, Nekura, Chic happens, Crystallina, SmackBot, InverseHypercube, Gnangarra, Unyoyega,CyclePat, Speight, Stie, Chris the speller, BrownBean, Stevage, Audriusa, Chlewbot, OrphanBot, Sakuyatech, Mosca, AdeMiami, Zea-mays, Stefano85, Dfoy, Mr. Lefty, IronGargoyle, Jec, Dicklyon, EEPROM Eagle, Hiroe, Olivierd, Klimot, Kleptomac, MIckStephenson,Johnnydc, Skrapion, Jana Deenax, Sadharan, Thijs!bot, Vertium, Z10x, Mmelgar, Gushi, Adorama, Scepia, Gigi head, Moogyboy, IrishF-Ball32, Johnscyee, Magioladitis, Doug Coldwell, Tomato Knuckles, GordonMcKinney, GeorgHH, SimonLea, Nono64, J.delanoy, The-greenj, Slow Riot, Futurebobbers, Tiberius47, RenniePet, LCecere, KylieTastic, RJASE1, Idioma-bot, Funandtrvl, TheMindsEye, PhilipTrueman, Hqb, PDFbot, Njn, Falcon8765, Atomicbre, Michael Frind, SieBot, YonaBot, Hertz1888, Mbz1, Lennartgoosens, Jerryobject,MagiCubes, Lightmouse, Rooh23, Whitbywitchuk, Martarius, The Thing That Should Not Be, Arakunem, Joelanders, Jim92065, Gnomede plume, Alexbot, Three-quarter-ten, LarryMorseDCOhio, Aleksd, Lambtron, PhotoSchool, DumZiBoT, XLinkBot, Addbot, Akhuntia,AndersBot, Bae gab1978, Tassedethe, Lightbot, Jarble, Amirobot, Magog the Ogre, Dmarquard, AnomieBOT, Piano non troppo, King-pin13, Googlere, Ubcule, Qwertyzzz18, Ardara, Ll1324, Fotaun, FrescoBot, Kendaniszewski, Wione, S.k.o'reilly, Matthias know it all,NameIsRon, John of Reading, WikitanvirBot, Wikipelli, Bob drobbs, Qswags, AVarchaeologist, Gsarwa, Tim Zukas, ChuispastonBot,ClueBot NG, Gratte-papier, DieSwartzPunkt, Iamjforlife, Helpful Pixie Bot, K0 7zQY0oyqcz, Cameraashes, Vagobot, Soerfm, Cita-tionCleanerBot, Raaraan, BattyBot, DoctorKubla, The Quirky Kitty, Caraval, DavidLeighEllis, Rz2750, Omeddego, The Flashman andAnonymous: 122
8.2 Images File:1909_Victor_Flash_Lamp.jpg Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/1909_Victor_Flash_Lamp.jpg Li-
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Types of flashFlash-lampFlashbulbsFlashcubes, Magicubes and Flipflash
Electronic flashHigh speed flashMulti-flashFlash intensityFlash durationFlash LED used in phones Focal-plane-shutter synchronization
TechniqueDrawbacksGallerySee alsoReferencesExternal linksText and image sources, contributors, and licensesTextImagesContent license